Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kylie Minogue - Timebomb

Australian pop superstar, Kylie Minogue, will spend the majority of 2012 celebrating her past twenty-five years in the showbiz spotlight.  Declared "K25", Kylie's plans include a greatest hits compilation, re-worked versions of classic singles, and an "Anti Tour" with concerts consisting of non-single tracks, b-sides, and rarities.  While K25 is mostly a milestone for Kylie's previous accomplishments, she's still looking forward by releasing a brand new single and music video.  "Timebomb" is her latest track and it already sounds like classic Kylie.  From the "Nu-di-ty"-esque "whoop" to the slinky verses, it's so much fun.  I'm beyond thrilled that "Timebomb" is an edgy dance-pop track without giving into any gimmicky passing trends.  Kylie Minogue remains the classy pop singer that she is.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Woodkid - Run Boy Run

You may know Yoann Lemoine from his visual work as a director.  He's directed music videos by artists such as Lana Del Rey, Yelle, and Katy Perry, but he's also a musician.  As Woodkid, he creates lush songs that live up to the cinematic nature of his other occupation.  Woodkid's latest single, "Run Boy Run", picks up where his Iron EP left off.  It's a grand track that has officially pushed his upcoming album, The Golden Age, onto my "most anticipated albums of 2012" list.  Check out the video for "Run Boy Run" below.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Big Pink - Future This Remixes

The Big Pink released their second album, Future This, back in January. Four months later, they've created a five track remix EP that features new mixes of three tracks from the album.  There are two mixes of "Stay Gold" and "Hit The Ground (Superman)", and one of "77".  The producers at hand are AraabmusikForest SwordsKing Krule, and d'Eon.  One of the Araabmusik remixes features Danny Brown, but it's a bit of a mess to be honest.  You can stream and download the entire EP for free in the widget below.  Everyone loves free music, right?

If you missed the original release of Future This, you can get a copy of the album here.

Drop The Lime - Bandit Blues

Drop The Lime, otherwise known as Luca Venezia, has created this hybrid genre that merges rockabilly and dance music.  Yes, it's an odd concept, but the result is spectacular.  If you're unfamiliar with his stuff, then I suggest you use this moment to watch the video for "Hot As Hell".  I think it serves as the perfect example of what Drop The Lime does best.

Wasn't that great?  I love how the Drop The Lime image goes hand in hand with the music.  Anyways, Drop The Lime just released a new video this week on MTV Iggy for his latest single, "Bandit Blues".  This track is a bit different from his other singles such as "Shake Baby Shake" and the previously mentioned "Hot As Hell".  The production feels slightly shifted in comparison and it's much more vocal focused, but it still has that guitar line.  Check out the eerie music video for "Bandit Blues" below.

"Bandit Blues" is out on May 22, along with four accompanying remixes. Drop The Lime's full length album, Enter The Night, is scheduled for later this year.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Diplo - Set It Off (Feat. Lazerdisk Party Sex)

Diplo's upcoming EP, Express Yourself, is out on June 12th and he just released yet another track from it.  "Set It Off" is a collaboration with Lazerdisk Party Sex, a duo of DJ's from Vermont.  It's not quite as filthy as the EP's title track, but it's still pretty amazing.  There's a pitched vocal sample and some pop-like chords.  Once again, the production is stellar. You can give the track a listen below.

In case you forgot about the lead single, here's the music video for "Express Yourself" with Nicky Da B.  Warning, lots of butt shaking in this one.  Lots. Feel free to join in if you must.

All six tracks from Express Yourself will be available June 12th on Mad Decent.  You can pre-order two different album packages directly from Mad Decent, here.  One of them comes with a t-shirt!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rufus Wainwright - Out Of The Game

Before its release, Rufus Wainwright stated that Out Of The Game was his most "danceable" work yet.  His 2010 album, All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu, was a dark Shakespearean venture that showcased Wainwright's operatic stylings on the piano.  Mistakes along the line of overproduction were nearly impossible with the concept that entangled All Days Are Nights.  It was stripped and elegant.  For the production on Out Of The Game, Rufus teamed up with the man behind some of Adele and Amy Winehouse's biggest singles, Mark Ronson.  With Ronson by his side, Rufus Wainwright's seventh album is a snap back into the full band sound that encompassed some of his earlier work.

The album's lead single and title track helped the record make its initial impact when a music video starring Helena Bonham Carter hit the internet.  The odd video had the actress mouthing away to Wainwright's vocals for one of this year's most interesting and humorous videos.  The lead single is also a signal of Rufus' direction with this album.  It's melodic style is one of Wainwright's stronger features.  Taking a more traditional pop song structure, "Out Of The Game" builds up into a chorus of "Look at you, look at you, look at you, look at you suckers", as he declares his feelings towards a younger generation of musicians "doing all that they have to do on Youtube". He explains his attitude towards the lyrics by stating, "I'm not being insensitive, just tired".  It's a mix of ridicule and envy.

In today's music industry, when someone says that their creating an album that's "danceable", synthetic beats come to mind.  That's not the case with this album, so forget about any images of clubs and Katy Perry.  When Rufus says "danceable", he means an acoustic Motown inspired beat.  Think of pre-eighties genres that have a groove to them, excluding disco.  It doesn't sound dated, though.  It's mature and works perfectly with Ronson's production.

All of the elements that surround Wainwright's voice are the main attraction on Out Of The Game.  The lyrics are largely about his family relationships. "Candles" is about his late mother, Kate McGarrigle.  "Montauk" tells the story of a future vision where Rufus' daughter, Viva, joins him and his fiancé, Jorn, at their Montauk home.  The personal stories matched with his ability to write a soaring melody are a winning formula.

A gathering of musicians serve as the band on Out Of The Game.  Three other Wainwright family members provide backup vocals.  Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs plays the electric guitar.  Sean Lennon plays the acoustic guitar.  Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow sings some more backup vocals.  The list goes on and on.  There's clearly a strong base to the supporting aspects of the album.

Rufus Wainwright's records can have the tendency to really open up over time and with several listens.  No matter what kind of music you listen to, you know what I'm talking about.  Albums and songs grow on you as you live with them.  Something you once despised can become your most adored memory.  That sort of situation happened to me with this record.  I never outright disliked anything about it, but with every listen, I grow towards it even more.

I imagine some listeners would dismiss this album for being a bit old-fashioned or forgettable.  It's a patient collection of songs and there's a very impatient market out there today  That market, however, isn't the audience for Rufus.  The target audience for this musician is one that loves flashback pop tunes, theatrical vocal harmonies, and classical arrangements.  There's a lack of flashing lights and huge surprises, but the idea of Rufus Wainwright moving towards a more mainstream sound that's really danceable is bizarre.  When it comes down to it, I prefer the stripped down arrangements that focus on his piano and the melody.  Simple, yet effective.  Mark Ronson's production work brought that idea of "simple yet effective" to more expanded level.

Rufus isn't trying to keep up with anyone except himself, and this album is full of great material.  Moments such as "Montauk", "Out Of The Game", and "Song Of You" shine bright.  The record could've easily gone a different direction and resulted in a bland mess, but the man played his cards right and hit the target.  He sings' "I'm out of the game / I've been out for a long time now", but maybe Rufus Wainwright isn't as out of the game as he thought he was.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

RAC - Hollywood (Feat. Penguin Prison)

RAC may be responsible for some of your favorite remixes.  The group of musicians, André Allen Anjos, have remixed an insanely wide spectrum of artists including Tegan And Sara, Lady Gaga, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, and CSS.  They've also worked with a guy that goes by the name of Penguin Prison when they remixed his track, "The Worse It Gets".  A few days ago, RAC released what could be called their first original single.  "Hollywood" is a bouncy pop track that features Penguin Prison's Chris Glover on vocals.  It's a pretty light song that just might find a permanent home on your summer playlist.  You can stream and download "Hollywood" below.  For more information on the project, check out Green Label Sound.