Tunesday: Out with the Old, in with the New

Hello folks, I’m back to running Tunesday. A shout out to Ashley who did a phenomenal job while I was gone for the summer.

Things are changing. Some of our friends have graduated, some of us have had summer romances come to an end, many of us are beginning a new journey at a new school, and most life-changingly of all, several of us were traumatized by Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMAs. Fortunately, it’s a big town (world, as a matter of fact) and there are plenty of new people to meet and everyday is an opportunity to move on with your life.  Here are some tunes to listen to while the leaves begin to change colors this autumn.

Postiljonen – Atlantis

This song is reminiscent of M83’s Midnight City in many ways, but it manages to stay original with its use of saxophone. Dear god, the saxophone. That is one versatile instrument. In certain contexts it’s classy, but it mostly screams a need for some kind of fun, usually sex. No wonder Bill Clinton was so good at playing it. Postiljonen’s album Skyer has some decent songs on it, but the clear stand-out for me is Atlantis. This is a three-person band producing these noises (they have 2 incredibly talented multi-instrumentalists).

Jaymes Young – Moondust

This one goes out to all the dead summer flings, or even worse, the relationships that were killed by distance.  My first exposure to Jaymes Young this summer was by hearing Kiely Rich’s remix of Dark Star which is a far more upbeat song than this one as well as the original version of Dark Star.  Jaymes Young classifies himself as “Dark Pop” and I’d say that’s a pretty appropriate self-categorization on his part.  He pumps out somber tunes that are laced with synth, similar to Sir Sly who I talked a bit about in a previous Tunesday.  Jaymes Young recently put out a full album, which is available completely free of charge.  My personal picks: Moondust and Running on Fumes.

Felix Cartal – New Scene (ft. Ofelia)

During summer, my two favorite EDM discoveries were The M Machine and Felix Cartal.  The M Machine hits a bit harder in most cases, whereas Felix Cartal is more melodic.  Judging from his most recent releases, he is proving his talent in curating vocalists.  This particular collaboration with Ofelia is one that was stuck in my head for days after a first listen.

Jay-Z ft. Rick Ross – FuckWithMeYouKnowIGotIt (THUGLI Remix)

Jay-Z – Heaven (K Theory Remix)

This is a case in which I couldn’t decide on a particular remix.  Both of them are incredibly well done remixes of songs from Jay-Z’s most recent album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.  THUGLI’s remix is from the school of trap, which is commonly associated with Baauer (unfortunately).  I’ll admit Baauer expanded on his repertoire to make me like some of his songs, but I still have a tough time convincing people that trap has some worthwhile songs because of Harlem Shake.  The lyrics in the song and the beat basically make me feel like a badass when I’m listening to it, which is not the usual way my day goes.

K Theory on the other hand took on Heaven in a more symphonic, strategic manner.  The lyrics to Heaven are already existential in nature, and K Theory places emphasis on the right ones.  The long intro adds suspense that makes the rest of the song a relief to the listener.

London Grammar – Wicked Game (Cover of Chris Isaak)

Imagine that the xx and Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine make a band baby together. That’s basically what London Grammar sounds like to me. If that’s enough to sell you, in this particular song, they cover Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, better known as the song from when Ross and Rachel make out in the planetarium on season 2 of Friends during the episode “The One Where Ross and Rachel… You Know”.  London Grammar put a unique spin on it that somehow makes the idea of love sound even more devastating than its original.  Speaking of original, it’s worth giving a listen to their original songs as well rather than judging them just on their covering abilities (which, by the way, was done live in this case).  This is truly a modernization of a classic.

Konoba – Breezeblocks (Cover of alt-J)

Capital Children’s Choir – Untrust Us (Cover of Crystal Castles)

Modernizations of classics are nice, but some of the best covers are of recent songs.  No need to wait 20 years if you’ll do the song some justice.  I know a ton of my readers aren’t fans of covers, but I will keep defending the validity of covers and how they can make us see things we love (or sometimes even things we hate) from a different point of view.  Konoba is reminiscent of multi-instrumentalists Pomplamoose, one of my favorite Youtube cover bands who did songs such as Lady Gaga’s Telephone.  They take an interesting turn during the cover in which they briefly transition into a theme song from a recent blockbuster movie. I won’t ruin the surprise, but it worked perfectly.

On the other hand, Capital Children’s Choir recently went viral with their covers and one that I thought was a case of “better than the original” was their cover of Untrust Us by Crystal Castles.  Their precision in emulating the background music, percussion and Alice Glass’s glitchy vocals all while putting their own spin on it were just chilling.  By the way, when did kids get so damn talented?  Back when I was in grade school, I was able to place 2nd in a talent show by doing magic tricks straight from a pre-bought kit from the bookstore.  What a difference.

Adventure Club – Gold (ft. Yuna)

Leaders in the melodic dubstep movement Adventure Club teamed up with Malaysian singer Yuna for this song.  Solid choice.  She sang one of my favorite songs for a Sunday morning and this would be an amazing song for a Saturday night.  I’m excited for Yuna’s new album coming out on October 29 which will most likely be filled with acoustic pop, so it’s nice to hear her voice in another setting entirely.

Stavroz – The Finishing

I’ll be finishing this week’s list with “The Finishing” and more saxophone.  While Postiljonen’s injection of saxophone solos was all about having a good time, Stavroz takes more of a relaxed approach to it.  This is the kind of song I can imagine myself sipping some aged whiskey to and then dancing with a beautiful woman in the style of Pulp Fiction, but because I am not classy, smooth or wealthy enough I stuck to listening to it on the BART at 3 am.  It’s one of the longer songs I’ve shared with you clocking in at 8 minutes, but it’s worth every minute if you’re in need of some serious stress relief.

As usual, please comment or e-mail me with suggestions or feedback. I’m always up to listen to what you have to offer, and every once in awhile your recommendations may make it here.