It was a bit of an adjustment getting back into the swing of things since returning from my week off in Mexico. Not only did I have to trade my flip-flops for a fall jacket, I apparently missed a pretty amazing week for new music, which I’ve been trying to catch up on over the last few days. I guess you can consider this mix as a way to sum up what happened while I was gone, plus what happened this week. Check out the playlist, plus my notes and assessments, below.
1. “Competition” by The Dodos
San Francisco duo the Dodos have announced their new album, Individ (out January 27, 2015 on Polyvinyl), and have premiered the first single from the record, “Competition.” For the Dodos “the best time to make a record is right after you’ve finished one” says vocalist and guitarist Meric Long. Having just wrapped up the sessions for their last album “Carrier,” the duo immediately began laying to tape another batch of songs. Channeling more of a sound akin to their 2008 commercial breakthrough Visiter, the duo focused on the movement that occurs between just two instruments, as evidenced in “Competition” (dueling guitar lines that overlap above and below a persistent drum beat as Long’s assured vocals soar above it all).
2. “Every Age” by José González
I was really excited to see José González’s name keep popping up in my RSS feeds and press releases, with news of a new record titled Vestiges and Claws and the release of its first single “Every Age.” Featuring a stripped down arrangement with his signature sombre delivery, this might just be your winter record for all those upcoming quiet nights in. Look for the video for the track, it’s pretty awesome.
3. “Hall & Oates” by Satchmode
LA dream pop band Satchmode are back with some new music off their second EP called Afterglow. Take a listen to “Hall & Oates,” a song about “realizing that you don’t love someone anymore, and that once you’ve fallen out of love there’s no way to bring it back. You keep clinging to the relationship because you desperately want that feeling again, but you know deep down that it’s gone for good.” The duo (multi-instrumentalists Gabe Donnay and Adam Boukis) have recently added a full band to their live lineup, also choosing to have their drummer record with a full kit, then layering synth drums over that to keep their electronic, dancey vibe.
4. “Dead Air” by CHVRCHES
“Dead Air” is Scottish electro-pop band CHVRCHES‘ contribution to the forthcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 soundtrack, which is being curated by Lorde. This along with Lorde’s “Yellow Flicker Beat” (also on the soundtrack) are setting a high bar for music in the film, making me believe this will be one of the most popular soundtracks of the last couple of years.
5. “Who We Are” by Golden Coast
I wasn’t aware of LA band Golden Coast until I was tipped to them a few days ago from someone in their camp. The duo (comprised of Denny White & Steven Mudd) met in college while producing and writing for various artists before finally deciding to team up and release a project of their own. Golden Coast combines the best of both their skill-sets: a mixture of electronic and organic instruments, tight production, and sanguine themes set to no shortage of instantly hooky melodies. “Who We Are” comes from the bands’ upcoming sophomore release “Dream And An MPC” and features “vocal stutters, beefy drums and a siren of a synth hook.”
6. “You Only Live Once” (Strokes Cover) by Wolf Saga ft. LYON
This track hasn’t even hit the Hype Machine yet, but I think it’ll find its way on there in no time. It came to me not more than two hours ago in an e-mail from Wolf Saga, saying that he wanted to make this Strokes song feel like fall weather does. Great cover, featuring his friend LYON on vocals.
7. “Go Go Go” by Panic Is Perfect
I heard Panic Is Perfect for the first time while making this playlist and “Go Go Go” was a great introduction to this San Francisco-based band. The group is planning to release an EP in early 2015, with ”Go Go Go” as the first single. I hope you follow my lead and put this band on your radar.
8. “Hideaway” (Kiesza Cover) by Ben Howard
I bet you’ve heard Kiesza’s “Hideaway” more than a few times, but have you heard English singer/songwriter Ben Howard’s cover of the track? Howard strips it down with an acoustic guitar with a heavy dose of reverb and it just somehow really works nicely.
9. “Holocene” (Satchmode Remix) by Bon Iver
While getting to know the Satchmode song I posted earlier in this mix, Soundcloud recommended me the band’s remix of Bon Iver’s “Holocene” by autoplaying it after I’d finished listening to “Hall & Oates.” It’s a beaut, and a great way to finish off this week’s playlist.