Songs of the Month: February 2015

Runrig – “Faileas air an Airigh” (feat. Julie Fowlis)

A mhìos seo, cheannaich mi a chlàr bhon cuirm Party on the Moor a bh’aig Runrig a bhòn-uiridh anns a’ Bhlàr Dhubh airson an 40mh cò-latha-breith aca agus ‘s e seo an òran as toigh leam as fheàrr bhon oidhche ud. ‘S e òran àlainn a th’ann le clarsach sa chùil ‘s faclan boidheach mu dheidhinn fear ag eilthireach ‘s e cuimhneachadh air an tìr ‘s an gaol aice a dh’fhàg e. ‘S e am pàirt as fhearr nuair a tha Julie Fowlis i fhein tighinn a-steach le rann à Teann a Nall, a tha air an iasad gu drùidhteach ‘s a dh’fhag mi gun fhacail aig a chuirm fhein.

This month I finally got round to buying the album from Runrig’s magnificent 40th anniversary concert in Muir of Ord, Party on the Moor, and this was the song I preferred most from that night. It’s a beautiful tune with baying harp in the back and lovely lyrics about a man emigrating and remembering the land and the love he’s left behind. The best part is when Julie Fowlis chimes in with a verse from the traditional Gaelic song Teann a Nall that is skilfully borrowed and left me speechless at the concert itself.

Madeon – “Pay No Mind” (feat. Passion Pit)

Madeon signifies to me the sort of fun and funky music that Daft Punk would be doing if they had come along fifteen years later at the height of EDM, or hadn’t chosen to go down the slow and boring route they did with their last album. This is a fresh and jumpy track added to with Passion Pit’s Michael Angelakos’ signature vocal sound over the top of it. It’s the sort of song that you can play on a Saturday morning to shake away the cobwebs of the week and look forward to your days off with.

ProleteR – “April Showers”

I’m all for older songs, and although sometimes it’s risky trying to infuse them with modern electronic music this is a great example of how right it can go. With a jaunty rhythm and some nice vocals it’s a great background tune, although it perhaps gets a little repetitive as it plugs away.

Passion Pit – “Lifted Up (1985)”

Passion Pit are undoubtedly one of my favourite bands, with the sort of sickly sweet and melodic tunes that are better earworms than anything other bands can do being their strong point. “Lifted Up” is the first song from their upcoming album Kindred and it seems as though they’ve taken the incredibly sensible route of merging the styles of their last two albums and making a heartfelt song that has a catchiness and melody to it like nothing else.

CHVRCHES – “Cry Me a River”

One of the things I love most about CHVRCHES is their incredible ability to cover songs and make them entirely their own, whilst keeping the feeling and song structure of the original and this one from their recent appearance in Radio 1’s Live Lounge is another fantastic example of that. Something that their most recent songs have done is keep the beat slightly behind the vocals, and that works a dream on such vocal-led song such as this – whilst drawing focus to the swooning synths at the same time. They’ve started work on their second album, and from everything they’ve done since their last one (apart from this wind-up) it’s going to be another cracker.

Katy B – “Katy on a Mission”

A bit of an older tune, it’s Benga-produced dubstep-infused rhythm is just as encapturing as the situation Katy B describes with the song – what she calls herself as “how it feels when you go into a club and there’s so much energy in a room”. She’s a great vocalist and manages to sound sweet over the darker synths that wail in the background giving the song another layer to it.

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