Modern Music for a Modern House: Upbeat tracks from 2014

A Modern house deserves Modern music, so here are my fave upbeat tracks of 2014. For you morbid detail-oriented fact-checker folks out there, yes, indeed, several are from last year and even two years ago, but I just heard 'em this year. So there.

"Fade Out Lines" by The Avener

Although not officially indicated, this is really a sensitive remix of a Phoebe Killdeer and The Short Straws track (Phoebe used to sing with Nouvelle Vague, for you lounge 80s types). Regardless of the provenance, this track is simply gorgeous. A simple guitar riff holds the track close to the ground while the noir vocals keep things musty and mothbitten. Just a four on the floor bass drum that leaves the house at the perfect moments.

"Mt. Grace" by Christian Löffler

Mr. Löffler says he tries to fuse melancholy with euphoria. I say he succeeds. Tick-tick-tick with amorphous moaning.


"Can't Do Without You (Tale Of Us and Mano Le Tough Remix)" by Caribou. 

Nice (really nice...) mellow remix of Caribou. An electro love song...

"Superflat" by The M Machine

Starts off like little alien girls hopscotching a school rhyme, turns somewhat chunky, gets all glitchylike, morphs into a shootout with space monkeys, suddenly seeps all sappysweet, aspires to the spires of a gothic church, more gunplay with space monkeys, chunks and spires, and then everyone crawls back into their empty cough medicine bottle.

All in all a good ride.

"Close" by Drumsound and Bassline Smith

This came to me from 2012 when I watched the nearly dreadful movie Alien Uprising. A spunky drum-and-bass track with some (good) elements of dubstep.

"Prayer in C (Robin Schultz Radio Edit)" by Lilly Wood and the Prick

Nice little remix of a nice little song.

"Another Life" by gusgus

Gusgus released a new album this year with a number of great tracks, but this one, with former lead vocalist Earth and oddly warped backing vocals, stayed in my head the most. 

"I Had This Thing" by Röyksopp

The 'sopp had a good year, but this track, with its wickedly foreboding bass washes and ethereal vocals and chorus, was the best by my ears.

"Artifice" by SOHN

The bride makes fun of me for loving this track (I like to offtune it while driving...). Kinda sappy but kinda not. Vacillated on whether or not to pick it up. Picked it up. Listened. Listened. Listened. Now love.

"Finding My Way Back Home" by Si Begg

It just so happened, after a friend posted a comic on Facebook about aliens sending us messages via dubstep, that I watched a sci-fi movie ("Alien Uprising" ["UFO" in the old country]) with a dubstep soundtrack. Lemme say that aliens and dubstep go together quite well!

"West Coast (Solomon Remix) by Lana Del Rey

Nice evil-sounding thing with Lana cooing "You've got the music, you've got the music...".

"U.S.E. (GusGus Vs T-World Mix)" by Pole Folder & Simon Latham

Minimalistic Doepfer chugs draped with glistening cascades just like the tide, the fog, the everything rolling in...

"What Else (Mollono.Bass Remix)" by The Micronaut

A quaint little boo-boo track for the boo-boo people.

"Stay (Justin Martin Remix)" by Henry Krinkle

Competent, ethereal dance track that ebbs and flows. 

"Play the Game" by Maya Jane Coles

Nice house number that Maya seems to crank out in her sleep.

"Elysium (feat. Sailor & I)" by Eekkoo & Casper Whirlin

An epicish track with a dark yet inspiring edge.

"I Am Dust" by Gary Numan

I am not a slave to blind nostalgia. If you suck, you suck, no matter how great you might have been back in the day. For example, every album Blondie has made after 1980 should be quietly smothered with a polyester pillow. And am I the only one who thinks the new Pixies album croaks more than Kenny?

Therefore, without the aid of rose-colored hearing aids, I present to you a Numan track from 2013. Heard him play this at SXSW, downloaded the track as a memento for the bride, and, while listening to it marching around a large storm water retention pond, decided that, yes, this was, indeed, a cool track.

This beauty sounds like a cross between (ahem...) Gary Numan and Nine Inch Nails. Good Nine Inch Nails. And, therefore, good Gary Numan.

"H.S.K.T." by Sylvan Esso

We were at a local wine bar (Apothecary) drinking a minerally wine (you could TASTE the rocks!) when this mesmerizing little ditty entered the bar. Fortunately, despite the hipster chatter and clanking of glass and egos, I was somehow able to shazam it. Nice singsongy vocals about television and beeping phones accompanied with lo-fi electronics. This live version (above) is just as good as (if not better than) the recorded version.

"Never Look Back (feat. Angela McCluskey)" by Button:Pusher

I kinda dig flapper-electronic fusion, and this one is particularly sweet, stepping a wee bit out from the typical platters served up by the genre. If the 1920s had happened during the 2020s, this is what they would have sounded like.

"My Bro" by Tonetta

As the saying goes, if you set a million monkeys in front of a million typewriters probability dictates that eventually one will peck out the Grapes of Wrath in whole. This track is like kinda like that. Tonetta is a high speed full-of-dead-chickens car wreck (be careful if you surf out others in his Youtube oeuvre...); however, this track stuck to me like hot black tar and freshly plucked feathers.

You are warned.

No comments:

Post a Comment