Bipolar Sunshine - Fire (Budo Remix)
Seattle beatsmith Budo has credentials that have made him a go-to for aspiring rappers and musicians seeking cutting edge production. He has recently begun releasing free remixes on his Soundcloud page and while some tracks are hit and miss, Budo always seems to select enjoyable tracks to flex his musical powers on.
My favourite in the series so far, is Fire. The afrobeat inspired symphony draws on all of the essential ingredients to sculpt a memorable and palatable remix nowadays. A harmonised African choir, strong lead vocals (from Bipolar Sunshine), claps, synths, keyboards and a monster feelgood house-driven chorus kicking in after the one minute mark transform Fire from a great song into a song to love to fall in love with.
Download - Fire (Budo Remix)
Paul Simon - Rewrite
It’s not hard to love this song. Big name musician aside, Rewrite is a songwriting masterpiece regardless of the performer.
An acoustic guitar, a 12-stringed kora and a bass djembe embellish the track. Simon’s love affair with west African music has permeated in much of his music since the seminal 1987 record, Graceland.
Simon’s expansive and equally impressive back catalogue means that it’s easy for a song such as Rewrite to be lost to obscurity. Then again, his noteworthiness means that this song will probably have more exposure than if it were penned by a lesser-known artist.
Rewrite appeared to Simon’s latest studio effort, the 2011 album So Beautiful, So What.
Vampire Weekend - Step
Vampire Weekend amp up the hype for their highly anticipated third album with a new Youtube lyrics video for the track ‘Step.’ I remember hearing the sampled lyrics ‘everytime I see you in the world you always step to my girl’ from the early 90s Souls of Mischief track Step To My Girl. I’m not sure where the origin of those original lyrics are from but regardless, Vampire Weekend harmonise the lines beautifuly and come in great form with Step.
Modern Vampires of the City is due to be released May 13th, and no doubt fans will be relishing the new record while many critics will be keen to criticise the band, whether it be due to experimentation or lifting influences from other artists.
Diamonds On The Soles Of Her Shoes
Paul Simon - Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes (Live in New York, 2011)
You can’t help but let the uplifting vocal and instrumental expressions of this song pick you up and carry you away on a foot tapping frenzy. Written twenty-five years ago, this song still gets people of all ages dancing as was proven at the Paul Simon concert held last week in Melbourne.
Paul Simon has been a powerful force in influencing modern music today. Bands such as Vampire Weekend have drawn inspiration from the groundbreaking 1988 album Graceland, from which Diamonds on The Souls of Her Shoes appears. The album is noted for its African musical influences and genre-defying upbeat vibe.
Vampire Weekend received a lot of backlash by fans of Paul Simon's solo work for 'lifting' similar influences, such as afrobeat and eastern African folk music in the wake of their 2008 breakthrough album. However Paul Simon defended the group.
'I felt bad. I wanted to go and tell them that I didn’t think they were taking anything. So that’s what I told them. They said, “Do you think we are?” and I said, “No, I think you’re going to the same sources that I went to. You’re drawing from the same well. You’re trying to write interesting songs.” In a way, we were on the same pursuit, but I don’t think you’re lifting from me, and anyway, you’re welcome to it, because everybody’s lifting all the time. That’s the way music grows and is shaped.'
The 71 year old is still an excellent performer and musicians continue benefiting from his illustrious 50+ year musical career.
Vampire Weekend are due to release their third album in May this year.
Tim Fitz - Up Much Higher
One of the most promising new Australian acts to catch my attention in the past year is Tim Fitz. The man has already released 3 EPs since 2011 that are worthy of high rotation on ye olde iPod.
If you aren’t convinced that this song is up your alley, just check out his other releases on his bandcamp page. You really are spoiled for choice with the number of great tracks available. One of the beauties of his music is that no two tracks sound alike. There are a host of free and ‘name your price’ digital downloads available right now.
Fans of The Paper Kites will warm to this song very quickly and fans of more experimental production will surely enjoy Tim Fitz's other work.
Local Natives - Ceilings
Since the Local Natives' new album Hummingbird leaked two days ago, things have been pretty quiet on the blog front. I’m going to write about one of my favourite tracks on the LP and hope that Frenchkiss Records don’t hunt me down over this one.
Ceilings is an absolute gift from start to finish. The balanced concoction of guitar and synth combined with dreamy riffs and harmonies makes it approachable, replayable and remedial all in one.
Remember that Hummingbird is officially released on January 26th and I would strongly recommend purchasing that album if you like what you hear. It is well worth the purchase.
I haven’t done this in a while, but I think I’ll share the lyrics of Ceilings with you.
"Haven’t stopped your smoking yet
So I’ll share your cigarette
Just to feel it in my fingers
Walk around ‘til 3 am
Tell me what I know again
To keep myself from second guessing
All my silver dreams bring me to you
Hold the summer in your hands
'Til the summer turns to sand
We were staring at our ceilings
Thinking of what we’d give to have one more day of sun,
One day of sun
Silver dreams bring me to you [x3]”
Local Natives - Heavy Feet
One of my favourite bands of the 2010sies has just leaked another track from their sophmore album Hummingbird.
The Local Natives can manage to strike a chord between bliss and heartache as demonstrated on songs like Cubism Dream and Airplanes on their debut Gorilla Manor LP. Heavy Feet carries on in that tradition, with the Californians further proving their pitch perfect harmonies, percussion and sincere songwriting.
Hummingbird would have to be one of my most anticipated releases of 2013, thankfully we won’t have long to wait, as the album is released on Australia Day on iTunes.
Wild Cub - Thunder Clatter
Keegan Dewitt is already an estblished musician in his own right, being a film composer and siger/songwriter. On his latest side project, he has teamed up with multi-instrumnetalist Jeremy Bullock to form Wild Cub - a musical venture that clearly takes inspiration from indie music and Paul Simon's experimentation with African afrobeat music.
The lead single from their debut album has skyrocketed them to international fame with Thunder Clatter clocking up 700 plays on Last FM this week with next week’s charts sure to increase on that number. The blogosphere have been raving about the duo and with good reason as Wild Cub seem to have found the perfect formula for creating feelgood tunes that resonate with indie lovers everywhere.
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