Sufjan Stevens - Alphabet Street
Sufjan Stevens has managed to divide critics with the symmetry of a tightrope walker since deviating from his folk roots and experimenting with mind-altering electronics on his 2010 standout album The Age of Adz. The man is a self-proclaimed blender of “autobiography, religious fantasy, and regional history,” and I think they left out alien conspiracy.
Seemingly drawing inspiration from anywhere and everywhere, Sufjan Stevens has recently announced his second double disc Christmas compilation album, Silver & Gold, which is due for release in two days. This psychadelic cover of Prince's Alphabet St will presumably be one of the 58 odes to Santa, or Jesus, or the apocalyptic art of Royal Robertson - I forget.
Enjoy, or if you are the other 50% feel free not to!
Download - Alphabet St
Pacific Air - Float (TheFatRat Remix)
The opening of Pacific Air's Float is disarming enough. Subdued keys and a very approachable melody. However, the introduction is very deceptive as German DJ TheFatRat capitalises on the song’s dance sensibilities to deliver a very large floorfiller house remix.
But don’t be fooled by the obvious club appeal. At the core of it all, Float still maintains a theme of escapism and search for some kind of euphoria, it just might get lost in the glossy, overproduction that will appeal some and dispel others. If you aren’t taken at first listen, download Float and give it another try later on. You may find that it grows on you, like the massive synths that sweep in. Alternatively, the original version will definitely appeal to fans of Keane.
Download - Float (TheFatRat Remix)
Take Me Home
Germany Germany - Take Me Home
Canadian musician Drew Harris aka Germany Germany released this track as a freebie last year. It received plenty of positive feedback on Birp! and made Germany Germany another relatively unknown musical project get some attention and recognition.
I love the first few minutes of rainfall and urgent guitar riffs before the song spirals to a thrash guitar climax, although that part has its charm too.
Download - Take Me Home
St Lucia - Closer Than This (Xaphoon Jones Remix)
Xaphoon Jones is much more than your dime a dozen DJ. The producer extrordinaire keeps himself busy being one half of rap group Chiddy Bang, but that is not the extent of his musical projects. He also remixes artists from a range of genres. He openly embraces and experiments with soundscapes to create original, yet distinctive remixes of an awesome calibre. If you still unconvinced after listening to this enchanting take on St Lucia's forlorn ballad Closer Than This, peep this mashup of Passion Pit & The Jackson 5.
If you are convinced and want more Xaphoon you can download his latest mixtape for free from here, alternatively download this cut below.
Download - Closer Than This (Xaphoon Jones Remix)
Falling Star - Kid Cudi (R3K Remix)
This track came out one year ago (almost to the day) and it’s resurfaced on my playlist.
Florence and The Machine composed the original track and the dreamy vocals of Florence Welch can still be heard through parts of Falling Star. DJ R3K has mashed Kid Cudi's vocals on the backing instrumental and the rest is history.
Kid Cudi's vocals compliment the synth and harp backing in an anthemic style typical of the American artist.
Download - Falling Star (R3K Remix)
Body Language - You Can
This dreamwave song is immersed in synth. The synth is everywhere, so if you aren’t a fan of the synth, be warned that this song has synth, the whole synth and nothing but the synth.
But synth aside, the vocals are steeped in a casual shoegaze style and the Brooklyn based outfit aren’t afraid of experimenting with some pretty funky electronic melodies.
Misun - Coffee
The self-described ‘aquawave’ trio Misun have finished the touches on their debut EP which is available for free download via their Soundcloud.
The three founding members met working in different roles at the bar/restaurant of the Science Club in Washington DC in 2010. Lead vocalist Misun Wojcik sounds right at home on the radio friendly track. The 6 track EP has marine influences that can be heard throughout.
Download - Coffee
In Your Eyes
John Frusciante - In Your Eyes
The avante-garde and always bold John Frusciante is about to release the Letur Lefur EP on July 16th shortly after Japan has the first taste on July 4th. The five tracks are an adventure in experimentation, something John has always striven for in his music.
In Your Eyes opens the EP and the mood and sounds shift dramatically though the track although it still remains relatively upbeat. According to John, the EP title refers to 'the transition of two becoming one, notably symbolized by the first song on the album being the sequel to the album’s last.'
Later on, John describes his music as ‘Progressive Synth Pop' which demonstrates the former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist’s range in musical appreciation. Later on the EP is the track 909 Day which is an exploration in sample based production (possibly a nod to the 909 sampler) while FM could be described as a combination of hip hop/opera/synth that could sit comfortably with fans of s/s/s.
The five tracks are leftovers from John’s upcoming album PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone. You can read more about that project and Letur Lefr here.