10 of 2010

11 10 of 2010

i was pretty damn thrilled when i received a mail from steph who hosts a radio show at american university in washington dc. she kindly asked me to contribute a playlist to their programme (called “muzak to make your booty clap” – hehe) and my first thought was, “YES! an actual real life legitimate reason to make yet another music mix.”

the theme (there’s always a theme) is a track from each of my top 10 albums of 2010. the criteria for my favourite albums are easy: i picked the ones i listened to all the way through, on repeat, all year long. in no particular order.

bear in mind that i’m not a music critic and i’ve simply chosen albums from artists i love, not based on any metacritic ratings or what pitchfork thinks. so there.

10 of 2010. playlist…

arcade fire sprawl II (mountains beyond mountains) from the suburbs
my absolute favourite album of 2010, along with thousands of others i’m sure. i have wanted to include this song in a playlist for the longest time, but it never felt right – as if it would simply overpower the rest.

beach housezebra from teen dreams
this song alone makes me joyous & teary. what an amazingly beautiful album.

the morning benderswet cement from big echo
they caught me hook line and sinker with opening track excuses which makes for absolutely addictive listening, the rest of the album is of course excellent – surprising in parts and never predictable.

sharon jones & the dap-kingsbetter things from i learned the hard way
i want to high five sharon jones, she is just all kinds of awesome. i enjoy singing along to this one.

she & himdon’t look back from volume two
i actually killed this album within a week and had to give it a break for a few months – guess there is such a thing as too much zooey deschanel. woops. it’s still in my top ten though.

best coastcrazy for you from crazy for you
makes me happy and sad over and over.want to kill you, but then i’d miss you.” honest lyrics and the feeling of california sunshine is highly appreciated.

matt & kim – AM/FM sound from sidewalks
the newest release on the list, but i’ve listened to it enough times to already consider it a favourite. love the lyrics in cameras, “no time for cameras, we’ll use our eyes instead” – right on.

the black keys – tighten up from brothers
the kind of band i wish i could see live in a dark bar with an audience of less then fifty people, sitting arms length away from the stage. if i drank bourbon & smoked cigarettes that’s exactly what i’d be doing while listening to them.

mumford & sons – roll away your stone from sigh no more
this album wasn’t on the list originally because it was released late 2009 in the UK (early 2010 in the US.) but then i thought – fuck it. i’ve listened to it so much this year it’s actually ridiculous and would be a travesty if i didn’t include them. you need only watch this video to understand why these guys make me swoon so much.

broken bells – the mall & misery from broken bells
total goosebumps the first time i heard this song, it has such a great build up and then suddenly james mercer sings and it’s all over for you. i instantly fell in love the first time i listened to them.

honorable mentions that aren’t on the list:

two door cinema club – tourist history
got bumped for mumford & sons. still, a highly dance-able (and highly remix-able) album that is fun fun fun

kings of convenience – declaration of dependence
another album released late in 2009, but that took me through 2010.

band of horses – way back home from band of horses
perhaps not their best – but still highly listenable.

local natives – gorilla manor
if only because it’s called gorilla manor, eh? seriously though – a wonderful debut.

janelle monae – the archandroid
i must admit i don’t love it completely, but i love parts of it enough for it to almost be in my top ten

stornoway – beachcomber’s windowsill
a delightful album. simply delightful.

the tallest man on earth – the wild hunt
i love a good folk artist, and kristian matsson is a great one.

vampire weekend – contra
released so early in 2010 that i almost forgot about it.

wait what – the notorious xx
does not technically count because it’s a mash up album (what about girl talk though, right?) but this too was on repeat for a good chunk of 2010.

ps: album art is a pretty unsophisticated mashup of this & this.

all music is for sampling purposes only – please go out and buy the artists’ records & support them at their shows!

all day day light

you might have noticed the lack of new posts here today – due to the usual reasons (busy busy busy real life bla bla bla). well, i’ll leave you with at least a little something on this lovely friday, in honour of the noticeable change of season around here. here’s the music video for the morning benders song all day day light:

second hand songs

i was compiling my favourite cover songs and thought it would be a pretty great playlist to share. the list was so long that i had to cut it down, and as expected it boiled down to mostly indie / alternative artists. that’s not to say that more well known cover songs aren’t amazing – sinead o’connor’s version of nothing compares to you is arguably more well known than prince’s, but i wanted to share renditions that hopefully you haven’t heard before… enjoy :)

the song list :

1. cake – i will survive (gloria gaynor)

probably the most well known cover on here, this version is so dry & deadpan – as only cake could do it.

2. nouvelle vague – heart of glass (blondie)
nouvelle vague basically only does covers with their signature bossa nova spin

3. rogue wave – everyday (buddly holly)
rogue wave’s version is almost unrecognisable from the original sweet fifties ditty

4. metric – don’t think twice, it’s alright (bob dylan)
it’s nice to hear a girl singing this song, and emily haines’ voice is soothing compared to dylan’s

5. amy millan – i will follow you into the dark (death cab for cutie)
you might know amy millan better as the lead singer of stars. she’s also a guitarist, which you can clearly hear on this almost country version of i will follow you into the dark

6. the morning benders – nothin’ in the world can stop me worryin’ ‘bout that girl (the kinks)
the morning benders do a lot of covers, my favourite of which i already included on a previous mix. this is a close second though.

7. band of horses – the end’s not near (the new year)
i actually don’t know the original version at all, but because i love band of horses this is an obvious in.

8. the tallest man on earth – graceland (paul simon)
i love this version of graceland because it really suits the imagery i’ve always had of the song in my mind, an american south backwoods banjo twang of sorts (even though lead singer kristian matsson is actually swedish). paul simon’s original still gives me goosebumps & always makes me think of south africa, especially because we listened to the album on road trips throughout the country as a kid.

9. daniel rossen (grizzly bear) – too little too late (jojo)
this song is great if only because he’s covering jojo, possibly the most annoying teen singer on the planet (except for bieber?) it has a really ominous undertone too which is kind of hilarious considering the lyrics.

10. passion pit – tonight, tonight (smashing pumpkins)
aah, one of the best smashing pumpkins songs. passion pit recorded this as part of the levis pioneer sessions, which is pumping out some pretty great covers.

11. foo fighters – keep the car running (arcade fire)
i wish this was a better quality recording because it’s a great cover of a superb song

12. amy winehouse – valerie (the zutons)
i prefer this version to the original… i really really really hope amy winehouse makes a comeback.

13. goldspot – float on (modest mouse)
i can’t say i’m familiar with goldspot, but they’ve managed to turn an already upbeat song (by modest mouse’s standards) into something almost over the top happy. you’ll either love it or hate it.

14. florence and the machine – postcards from italy (beirut)
you’d think that anything florence welch sings has to sound good… and you’d be right. i adore the original and i’m very pleased with this cover too.

all music is for sampling purposes only – please go out and buy the artists’ records & support them at their shows!

it’s cold outside

so, i really liked sharing my first playlist with you and was super happy when i got a few nice people telling me they enjoyed it. here is installment number two. something happy and upbeat to get you through this sudden plunge into winter (even though winter makes me happy anyway, but this music just makes things sweeter).

the song list is as follows:

  1. mumford & sons – winter winds
  2. band of horses – dilly
  3. the morning benders – i wanna be like you (jungle book cover)
  4. fanfarlo – what makes you think you’re the one
  5. pelle carlberg – clever girls like clever boys mucher more than clever boys like clever girls
  6. laura marling – crawled out of the sea (interlude)
  7. thao & the get down, stay down – bag of hammers
  8. rogue wave – solitary gun
  9. albert hammond jr. – holiday
  10. shiny toy guns – season of love
  11. human highway – all day

image courtesy olivia megalis.

all music is for sampling purposes only – please go out and buy the artists’ records & support them at their shows!

mélange tape

wolves cafe posted such a great little playlist at their blog the other day, so i decided i’m going to share one i’ve been playing quite often lately (i’m an obsessive playlist maker). some mellow, some happy, some old & some new stuff.

the track list is as follows …

  1. bombay bicycle club – always like this
  2. noah and the whale – two atoms in a molecule
  3. paul simon – me and julio down by the schoolyard
  4. two door cinema club – something good can work (ted & francis remix)
  5. the morning benders – excuses
  6. she & him – please, please, please, let me get what i want
  7. billie the vision & the dancers – a beautiful night as oslo
  8. broken bells – the mall & misery
  9. the cure – close to me
  10. peter gabriel – solsbury hill

the image above is from lim heng swee

all music is for sampling purposes only – please go out and buy the artists’ records & support them at their shows!