Like the cocky, stuck-up hipster that I am, I bemoaned the inordinate attention that Daft Punk’s admittedly catchy Get Lucky received upon release. Partly because I absolutely must hate anything that’s popular, but mostly because it was a derivative of 60s/70s funk that really didn’t do anything much except mirror the kind of stock-standard definition of the genre.
As such, it’s always a pleasure to go back in time and pull out some truly excellent funk – or rather, let my brother do it for me. Allow me to present Stretch, a group that was initially formed to replace the members of Fleetwood Mac during their crazy period of infighting during the 70s. Once that hoo-ha settled, Stretch was officially formed and this single was released. Despite having less chords than Get Lucky, this song seems to do a whole lot more with them. Funkalicious, baby!
Alrighty, let’s get this show on the road! Allow me to present Canada’s Tamara Williamson and her almost eerie but always beautiful tune, Victoria. It’s inspired by the story of an Argentinian woman called Victoria who discovered at the age of 20 that the parents she had grown up with were not her actual parents, but instead, responsible for her abduction. Not only is this a gorgeous song, but Tamara’s forthcoming album, Sister Mother Daughter Wife revolves around the individual stories of 6 different women. For that, and the fact that proceeds from the sale of this track are going to Amnesty International, I can think of no better way to open 2015.
Holy cow, it’s 2015! When did that happen!? Never mind, never mind, on with the show. It is time to take a look at yesteryear with either/or’s Best of 2014! Like our previous best of compilations, it will be about the stuff posted in 2014, not just music released in 2014 and will proceed in no particular order. And so, tallyho!
LAKE – Do You Recall?
Ironically enough, I didn’t recall this song, so it’s just as well I had the clairvoyance to stick a bunch of songs in a ‘best of’ list. But appropriately enough, it is as beautiful as I can recall!
First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining
Good golly, I do love me some country twang. To which First Aid Kit delivers in spades! These plucky Swedish sisters had quite the year, so here’s hoping they’ll keep on keeping on. Geddit? Cos it’s one of the lyrics! I crack myself up.
Kings of Lowertown – Mississippi Flood
It is time to change tack and present some rockingly good rock. This is such a damn good bit of dirty, dirty blues, sung by a fellow who sounds like he has whiskey over his cereal of wooden logs every morning.
Pisces – Being With You
Delectably sweet and oh so very lovely, PIsces managed to warm the cockles of the burnt out, withered husk that is my little heart last year. And continues to do so!
Angela Moyra – Draw a Picture
Were it possible to contract diabetes from the amount of sweetness contained in this best of post thus far, I would surely (somehow) have all varieties of it by now with this song. I am still completely captivated by that chorus!
The Gloaming – The Necklace of Wrens
Should proof ever be needed that you don’t need a huge production to create a huge impact, perhaps your ears need to be pointed in the direction of this incredibly heartfelt and touching rendition of Michael Hartnett’s poem. Just divine.
Teenagre – Visitor
Dreamy, but perfectly danceable pop – it’s the dream, isn’t it? This is a marvellously catchy tune that’ll no doubt put a bebop in your step, a nod in your head, and a click in your thumbs.
Parachute Musical – Dear Jacksonville
If you ever wished that Ben Folds had songs that had samba-flavoured interludes halfway through, then perhaps you ought to check this out. If, however, you want to listen to some great pop rock, then you probably should listen as well!
Megan Washington – My Heart is a Wheel
Last but certainly not least is my dear friend Megan Washington (I say friend, but the restraining order says otherwise), with this peppy, 80s inspired romp, which is, as always, graced with her utterly gorgeous singing.
It was with great sadness that I learnt today that Joe Cocker had passed away after a long battle with lung cancer. I greatly enjoyed his music and figured the best way that I could honour his memory would be with this little post about his most famous work.
A cover of the Beatles song, Cocker made it entirely his own with this wonderfully soulful, sentimental arrangement that has become as ubiquitous as the original version (if not more so). His raspy but powerful vocals perfectly compliment the backup singers in a way that, on paper, really shouldn’t work.
Once upon a time, there was a film called Sucker Punch. There’s no more to that story, because the film was pretty dang sucky (how on earth do you make a film featuring kick-ass women and robots so dang boring), but there is certainly a good takeaway from it, in the form of this tune.
I am a pretty big fan of the original song, which usually spells doom for any subsequent cover version, but this is quite delightful. It takes an already fairly psychedelic song and gives it a kind of Massive Attack style aura, to which I cannot say no!
This song popped into my head this morning for some reason, and I felt that given the mood of Sydney (where I’m based) this week, it seems ideal.
This is quite the lovely little song from Australian group Axiom. Though that name is perhaps not particularly well known in Australia, it was the progenitor of Little River Band being as how Glenn Shorrock and Brian Cad were both members of it. So kick on back and ride out the week with just a little more joy.
Did you stop after reading one of my posts and think “This is brilliant, but I sure wish he wasn’t so gosh-danged silly with his writing! And also, I wish the writing was about video games and movies and stuff”. Then, my friend, you are overflowing with luck today! Perhaps you ought to buy yourself a lottery ticket, or gamble away your life savings?
Yes, it’s true: I have other websites. I am an internet whore, apparently. A redesigned version of Invert-x has just gone live with a post about the film this here track was written for! Isn’t that exciting? Anyway, that post is all serious and full of crazy words like ‘magnum opus’, whereas this post is all about how this track sounds kind of heroic and also sad and also metallic-y as well (because it’s a film about robots). Enjoy!
I do love ethereal electronica: it kind of skirts the area between downtempo and electronic by creating a hazy blend of the two. Much like how this post is a hazy blend of coherent, grammatically correct english and the wild ramblings of an alcoholic. Fortunately, this tune isn’t as rubbish as that combination.
There are songs that don’t ask to be listened to as such, but instead take you somewhere. A warm, comfortable and safe place within yourself, person with the person you love – a universal theme, but awfully intimate at the same time. It is a nice place to be! It reminds me of DAVIDS Dead Walkie, which gives off a similar kind of aura.
Sometimes, I bemoan our tagging system. Mostly because I’m no good at categorising music, but sometimes because I want to tag music with “intimate” or “haunting”, which would ensure that the amount of tags on the website would eclipse the amount of posts in a matter of minutes.
Here is Oh Wonder, a London-based songwriting duo who are cranking out a song a month for a year. Their output so far would certainly fit the hypothetical tags that I mentioned earlier, though I would also add “beautifully sad”, “upliftingly melancholic” and “wrap yourself up in something warm and wile away a day to it”. Quite lovely.
Anyone who knows me would’ve known that this piece would close out our week of John Williams music. The quintessential theme to the quintessential film, The Raiders March is a glorious and aurally stupendous composition that perfectly captures the dynamism and vitality of the 1930s adventure serials that Spielberg was emulating.
The theme is every bit as iconic as Indiana’s fedora and whip, and bustling with their aura of allure and grandeur. It paints the portrait of a rugged hero much in the same way that the Superman theme does, only without the camp – spirited, determined, and with a fierceness that in no way diminishes its warmth. To say that this theme (and soundtrack) is perfectly matched to its subject is a truly colossal understatement, as I’ve still yet to come across a composition and film as beautifully paired together as this.