Sufjan Stevens - Take Me (Demo)
There are 3 types of Sufjan Stevens fans.
1. Old school fans who love his allegorical folk rhapsodies and hate everything post The Age of Adz
2. The fan who relishes the apocalyptic fantasia and futuristic DIY electronic music embraced post-2010 and cares little for his other works
3. Or the rarest camp of fans who enjoy both approaches to music.
Say what you will about Sufjan Stevens’ antics/gimmicks, faith, on stage costumes, etc. etc., the man can sing, and songwrite and perform like a boss. This supposedly forgotten track, Take Me, was recently found by Sufjan, who had this to say on his Tumblr account:
"Sloppy lo-fi demo I found on an old hard drive. It don’t go nowhere so don’t expect nothing. Love don’t go nowhere so don’t expect nothing. Quadruple negative, yo. Stay Positive."
If this is indeed a genuine demo, it puts most artists’ demos to shame. Hopefully this track will appeal to all 3 camps, despite there the lack of live instrumentation.
Eluvium - Genius & The Thieves
This instrumental piano piece is from Eluvium aka Mathew Cooper. I have enjoyed this track since discovering it in 2006. It has relatively straightforward structure but it has a simple beauty to it.
Genius & The Thieves appeared on Eluvium’s second album, An Accidental memory in The Case of Death. To date, it is still one of his most popular compositions.
Solillaquists of Sound
Solillaquists of Sound - Bulletproof
There have been few people in the 21st century who have inspired so many and sacrificed so much as Martin Luther King Jr who was assassinated 55 years ago for being an outspoken civil rights activist in a racially segregated America.
Rather than eulogise the man, I will leave it to Swamburger and the Sollilaquists of Sound to describe his struggle, set to piano, strings and drums. An amazing song befitting an amazing man.
Naxxos - New Orleans
If first impressions are anything to go by, they can be deemed unreliable when it comes to New Orleans.
What starts out as a slow, descending piano-chord-driven melody, gradually morphs into a sultry pop diva, right before saxophones hijack the centre stage. Things begin to go crazy just before the two minute mark when Naxxos change the mood into a chopped up dance track.
There aren’t too many dance groups I can think of at the moment that are wiling to incorporate saxophones and given the saturation of garage, house and dubstep, it is really refreshing to hear a group that is prepared to use old methods for creating a memorable dance anthem reminiscent of the European trance movement of the 90s.
Follow the link below for a free download of New Orleans.
Download - New Orleans
Everything Everything - Arc (James Rutledge Album Remix)
In a world where a song is remixed every minute, remixes of this scale are rare. James Ruledge had an idea to remix Everything Everything's new album into “one coherent track that retained the emotive punch and some of the thematic threads that run through Arc.”
There are some particularly powerful moments in this sprawling 6 minute track. At 1:40 the progressive build heightens and changes up the melody. The 4:00 point onwards, starting with a simple piano break and quickly launching into an epic soundscape.
The vocals are heavily distorted and depending on how openminded you are, some may find the persistently morphed singing off-putting. But all in all, James Rutledge has achieved his vision. It’s good that he hasn’t lost sight of what he loves after winning Remixer of the Year in at the MPG awards in 2011.
Matt & Kim - Daylight
In 2010, this song was more infectious than swine flu.
In 2013, it still hasn’t lost its instant effect on people. Much like the rest of Matt & Kim's catalogue, it is attention-seeking and in your face. You will definitely form a love or hate track relationship with this track fairly quickly, but after 3 years, there is still a lot to love about the brash, jaunty and repetitious melody that perpetuates Daylight.
Big Scary - Twin Rivers
Sometimes it pays to just listen to music from start to finish in the way an artist intended. After perusing through Big Scary's new album Not Art in its entirety, I have come to appreciate the broader vision of Melbourne duo Tom Iansek and Jo Symem. They can both sing beautifully and a definite strength of the album is the layered soundscapes and intelligent songwriting.
I mistakenly believed that Luck Now was the song I had been anticipating after hearing a Youtube teaser back in April. I am now more certain that Twin Rivers was the track featured that I was looking for. Large beats, piano and lovely from beginning to end.
Ludovico Einaudi - Fly
Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi is a contemporary classical king. And if that sentence wasn’t contradictory enough for you, just wait until you hear how much this soothing piano playing pumps you up big time!
Okay, so it has a slow build up, but it certainly isn’t misdirected. It is aimed straight up, and straight up - this dude is a champion. Have a listen to Fly and you will realise why this guy made a living as one of the world’s most recognisable modern pianists, even with a surname that trips up English-speaking monolinguists everywhere.
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