September 2010

I had been wanting to devote a post to Arms‘ “Heat & Hot Water” for a while (well, since I first heard it back in March of this year), but it had kind of fallen off my radar until I heard an interesting remix of the song about a month ago from Birds & Batteries.  The original song is a great little melodic lo-fi track with some sprightly percussion and an overall feel that is dark, yet also jubilant.  The remix takes these elements, wraps them in some deep funk, and creates something pretty cool, including an amazing “Eureka” moment at 0:29 which takes the disassembled melodies of the original and jams them together with the first taste of that deep funk – it results in a brilliant few seconds which make the song (IMO).

[mp3] Arms – Heat & Hot Water
[mp3] Arms – Heat & Hot Water (Birds & Batteries remix)


I think I’m officially a sucker for songs that feature samples from Grizzly Bear‘s Two Weeks.  First it was Childish Gambino, which had me playing “Bitch, Look At Me Now” on repeat for the greater part of, well, two weeks and led to a post featuring the artist.  The latest artist to utilize the indie anthem is K. Flay, a female hip-hop/indie artist from San Fran whose song “2 Weak” has recently been gracing my playlist.  The sample serves as the backbone for what is a very catchy and enjoyable song, and while I haven’t heard much of her other material, a quick perusal of her website and Myspace unearths some more gems that are similarly enjoyable.  Of particular note are some of her joint efforts, with a diverse cast of collaborators like hip hop duo Zion I, the electro-classical SomethingALaMode, and nerdcore staple MC Lars.  All said, I’m looking forward to hearing some more of her material.

[mp3] K.Flay – 2 Weak

New Zealand is a long way away.  Which is why it isn’t too surprising that it’s taken so long for me to hear electro-pop group The Naked and Famous, despite the fact that their single “Young Blood” debuted at #1 in New Zealand on June 14th (it’s currently still on the charts at #25).  The immediate popularity shouldn’t be a surprise – after giving it a few listens, it’s fun, light summer-y feel becomes quite infectious.  It’s a bit of a shame that the song didn’t catch on a bit earlier here in North America – I have the feeling it would have been a great summer anthem.

[mp3] The Naked and Famous – Young Blood

Over the past week or two, I’ve been falling in love with Pepper Rabbit‘s “Older Brother”, one of the singles off of their new album, “Beauregard”, to be released October 26th.  I haven’t heard much else from the group so can’t comment too much on prospects for the album, but this track is a great indication of things to come.  It features soothing vocals, chimes, ukulele, and organ, and just seems like the perfect fit for a lazy, late summer afternoon.

[mp3] Pepper Rabbit – Older Brother

It’s hard to describe Montreal-based electronic group Pop Winds without invoking the word dream.  While some artists may earn that label by creating gentle and slow-moving music, Pop Winds is not one of these.  Rather, Pop Winds creates songs that are so unique, beautiful, and otherworldly that they would seem to be at home only in a dream – a dream that is lively, vivid, and lucid, like flying through the air or floating through space.

The songs feature a number of unique and eclectic components (including both sax and synth), but the real magic is in the arrangement of such diverse components into a beautiful and dramatic composition that manages to feel both natural and whole.

[mp3] Pop Winds – Met Some New Colors
[mp3] Pop Winds – Owl Eyes

When you first hear Rai Knight, you could be excused for thinking that she’s already a widely-accepted media/pop darling – her sound comes across as very polished and radio-ready despite not yet having a full album release to her name.  She lists Gwen Stefani as an influence, and it’s hard not to see the similarities between the two artists, especially on “New New”, with its absolutely infectious feel-good melody, and a singing style that straddles the line between singing and rapping, often quickly flipping between melodic verses and flowing prose.  Needless to say, it’s a super-fun song that should come with a warning: “May cause involuntary toe-tapping or strut-dancing.”

[mp3] Rai Knight – New New

So, this is apparently my 100th post here on Mister Manager’s Marvelous Music Mblog.  Yeah, I know.  I’m as surprised as you are.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I’m going to post a video by my favourite band, of my favourite song, at one of my favourite concerts.

P.S. I’m well aware that I’ve posted a multitude of Arcade Fire videos lately, but it’s my postiversary, so I can do what I want.
P.P.S. For those who still haven’t seen the awesome uber-cool interactive-y video for “We Used To Wait”, check it out here.

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