Here’s the thing, I haven’t really been much into blogging lately. There’s been a lot going on in life, even though it’s summer and I’ve not got uni and exams and the like to contend with. The music’s still been there though, and been just as big as it ever has been in my day-to-day, if not more so, so here’s a run through the tunes that have made my May and June that bit better.
CHVRCHES – “Strong Hand”
It’s amazing that given they have such a small catalogue of songs to choose from that I still managed to discover another one. This one, a bonus track on the album named after a lyric in the song, is an absolute gem as I’ve come to expect. Featuring a two-tiered chorus that’s equally epic and emotional, it gives me some renewed and reignited confidence and anticipation that their second album – completed just last month – will be as good as what’s gone before.
Sam Smith – “I’m Not the Only One”
Generally Sam Smith’s stuff isn’t my cup of tea but sometimes you hear a song and it knocks you back a bit and this was one of them. He’s got an incredible voice and with the slow, sultry piano in the background with its deep bassiness (if that’s a word) it’s impossible not to get carried away with the emotion of things.
Womack & Womack – “Teardrops”
This one’s that rare disco tune that still manages to hold its own in the modern day, I think. It gets a bit repetitive but the beat through it all could still be something you’d hear in the charts nowadays, but maybe with a little more zing to it and some vocals that have a bit more power behind them.
Christopher Norman – “Integrate”
A really great song that has a beautifully calm and light feel to it that really helps cleanse the musical palette of the usual busy and loud songs I listen to. It’s one that’s gone under the radar a bit but one that really plays into my love of electronic songs that do things that bit differently.
Dr. Kucho! and Gregor Salto – “Can’t Stop Playing (Makes Me High)” (Oliver Heldens Remix)
Winning the award for the longest collective artist and song name in history, this one might seem a little simple but the bassline and drop both drive through the song so well that it doesn’t really matter. This is one of the songs that falls into the category of being nothing terribly special on first glance, but one you keep wanting to hear and never seem to be able to skip past in a shuffle.
The Naked and Famous – “All of This”
It was only May that I finally got around to listening to The Naked and Famous’ most, well, famous album that was constantly recommended to me by Last.fm and with this being the opening track it was something that I should have got round to far, far sooner. It kicks off with a drum beat that just relentlessly follows through the song while being draped with these lyrics that build and build in a way that all my favourite songs do. There’s an undefinably quality about the songs that make their way into my favourites but this song is really something special and will no doubt be near the top of my end-of-year list.
Kacey Musgraves – “High Time”
I’m no stranger to a bit of country but the modern stuff generally escapes me, but this song from one of the modern stars’ new album strikes the right notes. Instantly catchy, with some typically oddball lyrics such as “It doesn’t take a thousand dollar suit to take out the trash” make it quickly worm its way into your head and get caught there. A nice and calm summer song too.
Leonard Cohen – “Nevermind”
True Detective season 2 kicked off with an epic song that actually put the amazing “Far From Any Road” from Season 1 in its place a bit. The ridiculously deep and ominous voice of Leonard Cohen creates a unique atmosphere to the song that while slow it keeps plodding through, making the usually overlong titles of an HBO song seem pretty short.
Groove Armada – “Superstylin’”
A bit of a dance classic, the way the beat falls behind the lyrics a bit makes this song what it is. A banging tune, to use the proper term of the 90s, it’s got an amazing energy to it that’s not too high-octane like modern dance songs but not slow either, which is refreshing when you hear it again nearly twenty years later.
Metro Area – “Miura”
Apparently this song started out as a cover of the incredible “Funkytown” but although there is definitely the odd nod here and there through the song it stays pretty close to the slow build formula that Metro Area was always associated with. This is the band that influenced my favourites LCD Sounsystem, and in this song I can hear the beginnings of what became “Beat Connection” very clearly, adding an extra draw to the song.
Nero – “The Thrill” (Porter Robinson Remix)
Anything Porter Robinson touches turns to gold, and when he takes an already rather good Nero song and adds his signature touch to it then you know it’s gonna be good. It’s so good that Porter actually managed to make a more dubsteppy song than Nero managed, whilst keeping with the flashes of Japanese infused flair that his last album Worlds had in spades.