Jam of the Week

I’m obsessed with the entire new album from Rhye, but this jam is especially infectious.  It’s hard to believe this was recorded in 2012/2013 and not the 80’s.

This is part of a growing obsession I have with indie R&B/electronic sounds of late.  I went to a dj show earlier this week that featured a number of iconic R&B samples and remixes and they’ve become earworms, so I made a playlist of recent indie R&B and R&B-influenced electronic tracks to jam along to at work. Check it out and enjoy.


Jam of the Week

This R&B jam from Autre Ne Veut’s new album has an intense Purple Rain 80s vibe and borrows some production techniques from other electronic ingenues obsessed with rhythm and blues.  The distorted saxophone is a pretty unreal touch.  One of the strongest singles of 2013 so far for sure.  It’s no wonder the album has already garnered Best New Music accolades and the third highest rating of the year from Pitchfork.

First Listen: Shlohmo – Laid Out EP

This is a cross-post with Indie Bloops and Bleeps.

Shlohmo (aka Henry Laufer) may reside in sunny southern California, but the moody atmospherics in his productions belie a fixation with less pleasant climes.  His exceptional 2012 track “Rained The Whole Time” is practically an ode to a less than sunny disposition, with its soothing electronic plinks that emulate raindrops on glass and a woefully plaintive guitar melody that perfectly encapsulates the sentiment that so much more could be done about today if only the sun would shine.  Shlohmo’s productions provoke the sort of melancholy ambiance so often associated with contemplation on the past or on missed possibility.  It’s perhaps ironic, then, that his artistic ability represents fully-realized possibility, a statement supported and expanded upon to encompass some new aural moods on this latest release, an EP of five tracks titled Laid Out.

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Jam of the Week

As those who know me already know, I’m a bit of a new music snob enthusiast, and compulsively curate playlists of new finds and old favorites on Spotify.  I also frequently stream music from turntable.fm an online radio format that caters to music discovery and new artist promotion.  This twin obsession leads me to hear a lot of music released each year, and I always feel compelled to rank or sort it at the end of the year for a list of bests.  However, my memory isn’t always great, and the task of identifying and sorting a year’s worth of gems at the end is pretty daunting.  So I’ve begun curating cumulative playlists of my favorites as I find them – hence, I’ve already created two Best of 2013 playlists (tracks and albums separately) though we’re not even clear of January.

To highlight some of the gems within the gems, I’m going to start posting my favorite new addition each week using this fancy Spotify embed widget.

My jam this week is Jessie Ware’s “If You’re Never Gonna Move”.  Fans of the sentimentality or lyrical message of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” may find this a musical spiritual animal as well, as Ware describes a love off the dance floor who she’ll slowly dance toward to attract attention.  It’s a sexy slow-jam version of the Robyn tune, but no less infectious. Check it out.

First Listen: The Joy Formidable – ‘Wolf’s Law’

Rolling Stone has a sneak preview of the new The Joy Formidable album streaming on their website.  As a big fan of the Welsh rock band’s first release, 2011’s The Big Roar, I’ve looked forward to this release for some time.  The band played a benefit concert at a church in D.C. this past November and debuted a few of the new tracks on stage, but I’ve been waiting to hear how they sound on tape.

Well, the wait is over and they sound pretty great. Continue reading