Something We Heard Before

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I do love happy coincidences. A friend of mine recommended this track to me, and being the credible music journalist that I totally am, I did some research on Mr. Laurance only to discover that he is a member of the New York-based jazz collection, Snarky Puppy, of whom we’ve posted about before. Does… does this mean we’re cool and on the pulse of what’s hip and in? I’m going to assume yes!

This is some very slick jazz indeed, mixing in some synth pop and downtempo for added bite and flavour. This is, perhaps, a little more spicy than what Snarky Puppy output, in case you need a rubbish comparison of some kind, though the piano kind of reminds me of Tagged under: ,

Today, we lost one of the finest talents the world has ever seen. I will remember him for so many different things, but the first thing that sprang to mind when I was thinking of something music related was his manic turn as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin. His exuberance and wit was front and center in this film, and you can just tell that so much of what ended up in the animation of the Genie came about as a result of his creativity and spark.

So in honour of Mr. Williams, I present Friend Like Me from the aforementioned film. A stunning and vivacious introduction to the character of the Genie, yes, but also a beautiful snapshot of his unbridled talent and enthusiasm.

You will be missed, Robin.

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Oh, how I do love when music punctuates a mood better than words can. Not that I need an assassin right now or anything – possibly a timely example of how sucky words can be, sometimes!

Anyway, this is some more Junip, and we all know what that means: heavenly sounding alternative folk, the kind that might bring a tear of joy or sadness to your eye. It is a wide-open choice! And since I’m in charge of my eyes, I’m going to go with a combination of both.

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Being a pasty, nerdy white guy, I obviously know everything about rap. All the things. Yep, I know it all. Totally.

Anyway, if our scant count of 22 rap/hip-hop posts (well, 23 now) isn’t enough of an indication, I am not particularly well-versed in the genre, or even that fond of it. But every now and then, something pops out of the blue for me to enjoy, and enjoy it I do! It sounds vaguely Eminem-esque, but without the mostly rubbish lyrics. So yeah. Get down. And stuff.

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Sometimes, you just need a little bit of sweetness in your life. Something that makes you smile and maybe tear up a little bit because it’s also a little bit sad. If that’s the case, then say hello to Big Star with their probably quite well-known tune, Thirteen! Now, like me, you probably heard Elliott Smith’s cover of the song before you heard the original, and with good cause: this came out in the 70s. Gosh dangit, the 70s were great for music.

Anyway, this really is just an achingly beautiful song that I just want to listen to over and over again. So excuse me while I go do that!

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You know what sucks? A gum infection caused by a crowning wisdom tooth. You know what doesn’t suck? This song! Though I think I will have to add that segue to the list of things that suck, because it was equally as painful as the aforementioned infection.

Anyway, enough of my body related woes. Here is City and the Sea with some perfectly agreeable pop rock, with more than a passing resemblance to the energetic stylings of the late 90s. Which doesn’t seem like it was that long ago, except it was nearly 20 friggin’ years ago.

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Oh my good golly gosh: Megan Washington is releasing a new album in September. Happy days! To say I was smitten with her undeniable talent is perhaps the biggest understatement of the year, but I shall carry on regardless. Here is a song off her upcoming album, There There (incidentally, the name of my favourite Radiohead song). It feels a lot more mellow and, dare I say, heartfelt than her peppy debut, but I sure as hell want to listen to it as much as anything else she’s released.

No embeddable stream unfortunately, but you can listen to the new song here.

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So, here’s something adorable! The Tallest Tree, comprised of Armando and Dawn, formed when Armando fell in love with Dawn after his band, the Oats, was playing in Canada. And they wrote songs when they were visiting each other! Good gracious, that is genuinely a lovely story. They are married now, and are hopefully going to continue making charming little indie rock ditties like this one. Now, excuse me while I go deal with my crippling loneliness!

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If yesterday’s song was the soundtrack for a grown-up romance (no, not the smutty kind), then perhaps this is the version for all you young whippersnappers out there. With your skinny jeans and odd haircuts. Two things I totally don’t have.

Anyway, the Savoys come from the musically rich country that is Canada with a soothing, dreamy spot of shoegazing. Now, if you’ve been paying attention, you will know I am partial to a good dose of shoegazing every now and then (I mean, it has its own tag on this site). To that end, this hits the spot quite swimmingly. So pardon me while I go drift away!

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It’s Sunday night. Chilly outside, but you’re rugged up inside your swank, tastefully decorated abode. There’s a quietly crackling fire, and a glass of wine in your hand. Perhaps your sweetie is giving you a loving look. What’s missing? A corking soundtrack, is what! As per usual, Zero 7 delivers for this situation and many others with another beautiful composition with some of my favourite singing/lyrics ever:

Likufanele, likufanele,
igama obizwa ngala,
Obizwa ngala.

The internet informs me that it’s sung by the Philani Mothers, who are a group of South African nurses. The language is Zulu/Ndebele and roughly translates to “The name you are called suits you”, which I think is just wonderful. Alternatively, some say it could also mean “In the firelight, your eyes are stars of summer in the firelight”, which is equally wonderful. Either way, kick back and let the good times flow.

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