Spring break soundtrack: 10 songs for your consideration
With spring break finally here one constant will remain the same: The search for the best road trip/beach party/house party/enjoying a school-free week soundtrack. Here are 10 selections from the underground and foreground to entice your ears. 10. Motorama // "Image" (Calendar)
Continuing the current Post-Punk Revival, Motorama here captivates with a ripping, brightly lit melodramatic set of surf guitar licks featuring an apt depressing lyricism. The style is reminiscent of those Brooklyn sweethearts, The Drums. However, Vlad and Co bring a darker pop to their style. Motorama is Strawberry Switchblade meets The Cleaners From Venus, minus the impromptu bombastic interludes and the spangling lo-fi jangle. A misty, evading track that will permeate your comfort.
9. KiNK // "Leko"/Boiler Room DJ Set at Warehouse Project (Leko/Boiler Room) The ambient Techno House project KiNK explores the dissonance between vivacious harmonics and buoyant melodies. Hinting at his influences, KiNK brings a lively and dark ambiance to Boiler Room Manchester. What comes to mind when listening to both these pieces is a long winding tunnel lit up by harsh mustard yellow lights, as you accelerate, the lights move with you and start to mesh. The music itself is a grand metropolis of sound, woven in lush layers.
8. Cities Aviv // "Fool" (Come To Life) "FOOL" is one of the many masterpieces from Cities Aviv's latest release Come To Life. It is a mix between the spiraling ambiance found in a Logos or OPN record and the drive of ruthless rap. With snarling vocals, lead singer Gavin Mays unleashes the calamitous monster that is his charged, vicious lyricism and stoic compositions. The music is a landscape suitable for Ingmar Bergman's "Anna," Stephen King's "The Shining," or anything that renders you speechless to the point of sheer discomfort and awe. Disjointed loops, atonal harmonics, and the opaqueness of his lyricism make this one of the year's most profound tracks. 7. Oneohtrix Point Never // MODCAST #86 in Mixes/"Chrome Country" (Modcast/R Plus Seven) The pinnacle of ambient music rests on the shoulders of Mr. Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never. The name alone could make one salivate with intrigue. Lopatin isn't your textbook electronic artist. His creation of dark, mingling leads, loops, and other sonic canyons is terrifically more sophisticated and fantastic than those of his contemporaries. OPN takes us through his Cultivated 2013 release with brighter, angelic and harmonious compositions. Basically, it is redefined New Age Music. The only way to visualize "Chrome Country" is to imagine euphoric natural landscapes that elate you to the point where you can longer tell if you are dreaming or not. The synthesizers in this track have a soul.
6. Palm Trax // "Equation" (Equation) "Equation" is Palm Trax's brain child without a doubt. It's the pivotal point in his repertoire; and it emphasizes his Ambient Techno House-influenced motif. "Equation" is a spacious song that immerses the listener's mind. It has the power to induce a deep trance. Certainly Palm Trax resides as a transcendent force along with his label mates at Lobster Theremin. The track provides both a gloominess and cascading quality. 5. Black Marble // "A Great Design"(A Different Arrangement) If there is nothing more joyful in this world than a buoyant synthesizer as a lead into a bombastic track, then "A Great Design" might achieve a certain immortality. Black Marble's subtlety here is an example of how endearing of a band they are. Listen to this music with delicacy and care and it will unravel beauty.
4. El Ultimo Vecino // "Un Sueño Terible" Simply put, Spanish post-punk is quite possibly one of the greatest sub-genres ever. This song engulfs us in gorgeous synth leads. It will certainly end a beautiful day with a lavish feeling.
3. Future Islands // "Sun In The Morning" (Singles) Scorching with bright tones, "Sun In The Morning" is just one of the many opuses that could lend itself to being a model for future electro-pop compositions. Future Islands has defined their sound fully in their magnum opus, Singles. The beauty of rasping horn sections and foggy harmonies clash to create a magnificent symphony. Frontman Samuel Herring, usually known for his soul crushing allegories of relationships, provides new allegories about life through out Singles. The lyrics are complex and the listener is invited to come with his/her own meanings.
2. Chris & Cosey // "Oktober Love Song" If you want to feel the sensual, dreamy noise of 1980s distorted synthpop, then Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti are what to explore beyond the usual, acclaimed avant-garde Downtown 500 scene. Everything about this track is gritty, girly, and poppy. It's creepy, fluid, not incredibly vivid, but jarring. The whole "I'm incredibly in love with you, I will die for you, and never be with anyone else" stalker vibe creates a sense of returning to a bad memory, or a trip into sheer delusion.
1. Blancmange // "Holiday Camp" (Irene et Mavis) If there is one band that strives to be the pivotal 80s synthwave, art school band and does so with success, it is Blancmange. This English band was formed in the early 80s when frequenting the Hacienda was not mandatory but a standard. The opening guitar progression is the hypnotic intro to a dizzying set of somber synthesizers. If there is any song that should move your nerves to the point of possibly tears, it is this song. Let it envelope you in dramatic, melancholic warmth.