Lists lists lists! Aural Wes members each send in a song they've been listening to the past week. Contributions span genres and moods. It's fun for children of all ages. Maybe write home to your mom about it.
This song combines Nosaj Thing and Kazu Makino's talents in such a beautiful way. Nosaj Thing's ethereal, haunting production and Kazu's gorgeous vocals mesh together, evoking a feeling of longing in the listener (in me, anyway). It's also nice to dance to, so naturally I love it. Makino is a member of Blonde Redhead and I'm a fan of them, so hearing her voice is always a delight, especially in this song because I haven't heard anything new from them since 2010. The music video features two dancers and weird/interesting effects that I think you might just enjoy. Check it.
Danny Brown - Kush Coma
Danny Brown dropped the first single off his debut album "OLD," and proceeded to take a victory lap around the internet rap game. Danny Brown's aggressive vocal delivery swells in and out alongside an overblown array of 16-bit synths and moderately tasteful implementation of trap snare-rolls and handclaps to produce a track that once again blurs the definition of what "punk" means in 2013. With a beat that sounds like a coked-up Timbaland's "Ayo Technology" mixed with something that would feel right at home on Crystal Castles' first album, Danny manages to realize his heavily Grime-influenced sound more fully than ever. It's loud, ignorant and cluttered, but somehow manages to come off as smart and remarkably attuned to the almost incomprehensible state of contemporary hip-hop. Danny sounds like he's been consuming as much Gucci Mane as he has been Death Grips, and that's a combination I can definitely get behind.
I'll keep it real: I've listened to Vivaldi's Four Seasons before, but I don't really know the work, so in writing this I listened to the whole thing so I could have a reference point for Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi - The Four Seasons. If you listen to the first few minutes of the original Summer movement, it's clear where Richter's 'Summer 1' derives its inspiration from - the quiet, fairly calm introduction and frantic pace of the rest of the "Summer 1" are clearly grounded in Vivaldi's original. But what Max Richter does best as a composer is melodrama, and when Daniel Hope's violin rises above the relentlessly rushing strings, the drama of the piece multiplies in intensity. My favorite Max Richter songs evoke a naked and deep sense of melancholy, and by underlining and deepening (often with electronically-generated bass) the most moving passages of Four Seasons, he's transformed Vivaldi's work into a piece unmistakably his own.
Anthony Naples - El Portal
Don't allow yourself to not move to this.
Mikal Cronin - Weight
Mikal Cronin's new song off his upcoming record MCII is about starting over -- or at least trying to, anyway. But in my opinion, "Weight" does anything but. The massive pop single builds on Cronin's already impressive track record, beginning with a simple, almost childish piano melody before the song explodes into a springtime chorus of strings and fuzz. The song is somehow even more grand than anything off his stunning self-titled 2011 record, the orchestration and lush harmonies all the more catchy and heartwarming. Though Mikal Cronin appears to be moving away from the blown-out fuzz of his earlier singles, the pure power-pop of "Weight" couldn't be a more pleasing and weather-appropriate direction. I haven't listened to a song this repeatedly since, well, Cronin's last single, "Shout it Out," so I think it's safe to say that his May release is going to be a special one indeed.
Cobain does Bowie, Silk does listen.
Wesleyan Professor of Music Ron Kuivila's live performance of Loose Cannons from Imaginary Landscapes a record of "new electronic music" from 2006. A master of live electronic music killing it with bleeps and bloops and sweeps and waves.
The first cut from Dusk + Blackdown's latest Keysound Recordings compilation entitled This Is How We Roll, representing the new generation of producers who run the UK's underground grime scene. New Wave is the introduction to the compilation, a collaboration between Visionist, Beneath, and Wen - three young club artists who unite in their love for all things dark, grimey, and bass leaden. The track showcases each artist pushing the development of their sound, with punchy snares, ambient synths, and percussive stabs that round out a killer garage track. In describing the compilation, Blackdown has this to say about it – “There’s light and shade, momentum and arrest, tenderness and anger, strangeness and familiarity – there’s even a club banger whose drums run backwards. The only thing that unites it is a 130bpm heartbeat. I’m not sure where it’s all come from or where it’s all going but you can feel the sense of momentum building.” Definitely check out the rest of the compilation with more contributions from these rising talents and be sure to keep an eye out for some more underground club bangers off Keysound in the coming months.
Harper was an Australian composer with a big band background- a couple of his tracks were picked up for The Mouse and The Mask back in 2005 and played pretty darn well behind Doom's rants (and he's not an easy guy to keep up with). "Thoughtful Popper" was sampled on "Crosshairs"- the original piece sounds a bit like a tv theme, but it's been shown to be pretty versatile, and it is in its own right, quite a good number.
The more I listen to Cocteau Twins, the more I realize that many of my favorite bands have too. “Whales Tales” from their album Victorialand released in 1986 is a beautiful example of the group’s versatility. On this track, guitarist and producer Robin Guthrie creates a rolling ambient soundscape over which vocalist Elizabeth Fraser exercises her etherial power, unfamiliar to those who have only heard Heaven or Las Vegas. Her angelic voice complements Guthrie’s work through its melodic unintelligibility. The desire to understand what she is saying only makes her role in the song all the more emotive and powerful.
fthrsn - Middle School Swag
I've been bandcamp trawling for a few weeks and fthrsn's Middle School Swag is my first great find. I've fallen in love with how he weaves his vocals around the nostalgia-filled, glitch beats. His songs are love ballads to everyone and anyone and break up ballads as well. Middle School Dance is the dance song of this record and even in this song his lyrics just ping your heart strings. His latest release is off this great independent label called GRL MTN which showcases artists from Ann Arbor, Michigan and I would recommend looking up their latest compilation, AAURAL II, for more sounds similar to fthrsn and other experimental sounds from the Great Lakes State.
This is one of my favorite rock tunes to be released in some time by Orlando-based indie rock band Merchandise. These guys gained a huge following in the punk/hardcore scene around 2008, but have developed an incredibly mature sound since then. This most recent 6-song release has been called "romantic" and Smiths-esque. 'Become What You Are' is a two-part 10-minute song that is almost a journey itself. There is fairly constant groove with a beautiful melody and shimmering guitars. Definitely recommend checking out the song + full album.