Saturday, April 19, 2014

THE BEST 2014 FUNKY TRACKS SO FAR : How To Dress Well, Ships, All We Are,…

Following the funky line of “Busy Earnin’” by Jungle. from the “Best February Tracks”, in some new Electro/Pop/R&B songs, I’ve heard funksome techniques, like slap-bass, the infectious trademark of many 1970s funk hits, cowbells or handclaps, installing an irresistible groove, even if the bands are not strictly branded as Soul/Jazz/Disco, like British band Smoove and Turrell who just released and EP.

Below is a totally danceable playlist of 10 new funky tracks or here directly from pleer: no funky reworks, only original songs! Funky is definitely the mood this year.

1- American actor, Penn Badgley, took guitar and vocal lessons for the role of Jeff Buckley in the 2012 film “Greetings from Tim Buckley”. So now he is starting a band, Mother. There are only 2 singles on his Soundcloud. The first one “Easy” had a funky pop electronica taste.

2- For the second single of his 3rd album “What Is This Heart?” out in June, Chicago musician, Tom Krell, aka How To Dress Well, is going beyond his minimal Electro/R&B flow by adding a funky guitar over “Repeat Pleasure”.

3-All We Are is definitely a good band name to pin down a trio based in Liverpool and originating from Ireland, Norway and Brazil. After a 1st single “Utmost Goodout last year, here is poppy /funky “Feel Safe”.

4-Spanish Gold is the super group featuring Patrick Hallahan, drummer of My Morning Jacket, ex-Grupo Fantasma guitarist, Adrian Quesada and guitarist/vocalist Dante Schwebel of Hacienda. “Out On The Street” is the 1st single of their debut album “South of Nowhere” out in May. Funky because when the first lyric line comes " The sun is falling…", it sounds like the chorus on "Somebody's Watching Me" from Rockwell.
By the way, the product “Spanish Gold Fly”, contains natural ingredients said to boost women's sexual desire. No need for the trio to add Fly to their name.

5- Songwriter and performer from Sydney/ Australia, PJ Wolf, has also an electro pop venture: Thief.Taken from his “Closer EP” last year, the track “ Closer” has been released now as a single with remixes.Nothing better than the original blue eyed electro funk track.


6- “Come Alive, Feat Toro y Moi” is an electro boogie killer from Chromeo. It was the 1st single of their upcoming 4th album “White Women” out in May.

7- “GIRL”, the 2nd solo album from Pharrell Williams, is putting him again on the front line after several featuring and productions. Among the 10 tracks, because of the chorus, “My love is kung fu-uuh” and the heavy breathing, “Hunter” is the sexiest track.

8- The now trio Irish band, Ships, already released a couple of pop/dance singles since 2012 and really got into the groove with the new track “ Space Inside”, A-side of the eponym single out in March on bandcamp.

9- Since 2000, the four piece band from Leeds/UK, The New Mastersounds , is part of the New Funk scene. “Therapy” is their 9th album out in March with 12 tracks of pure jazz, funk & soul: especially track “Slow Down” with the saxo solo by guest Ryan Zoidis.

10- Duck Sauce, the duo responsible for the 2010 smash hit, Barbra Streisand, is including it in their "Quack” album out in April. Before that this year, they released “Duck Droppings”, a 4 tracks EP, all house/dance minded but with funky section starting at 0:45 for “Party In Me".

Monday, March 31, 2014

BEST INDIE TRACKS FOR MARCH 2014: James Supercave, Wye Oak, JAWS,…

Of course, a lot of new album releases this month of March: “Atlas” the 3rd album for Real Estate, “Singles” the 4th album by Future Islands, “Mess” the 7th album by Liars with indeed many BPM and decibels, “Lost In the Dream” the 3rd album for War on Drugs, “Love Letters”, 4th album for Metronomy, “GIRL” the 2nd album by Pharrell Williams and so on, but sometimes the singles out of them a few months back were enough…In March, it seems that Boy/Girl duos are more present than ever, electro music genre is darker than ever, synth pop poppier than ever.

All of these trends are featured in the “ Best Indie Tracks for March 2014” 10 songs playlist below or, as usual, directly from pleer player here .

1- Not to be mixed up with Film Noir, a Greek new wave band of the 80s, the unreliable info about newcomer Film/Noir are that is name is Tobi Fadale and that he is a 19 year-old Londoner. The only accurate info is that his first dark synth track ”Limbo”, out this month on his soundcloud before his EP “ Oracle Bay” in summer, is very promising.

2- Music from Bernard+ Edith, a Girl/Boy duo from  Manchester/UK  is tagged under “Experimental/Ambient/Art Music” on their bandcamp, where they already released 2 EPs. The new one “Poppy” is out now. Nick 'Bernard' Delap, ex Egyptian Hip Hop, provides church like synth pop bells and vocoder voice mixed with Greta 'Edith' Caroll’s one.

3- Another Girl/Boy mixed singing, Weeknight duo from New York is Holly MacGibbon, Andy Simmons. The 1st LP “Post- Everything” is out on their bandcamp. Darker than The xx, with the song of the cicadas as a bonus.

4- A German Boy/Boy duo now with Circuit Diagram made of Kris Alert on samples & programming and Nicolas Sheikholeslami on drums & vibes. They fuse hypnotic psychedelic and krautrock but they don’t sing though, letting the work done by fellow Berlin-based Touchy Mob, on the new track “Motown” out from their new EP released by No Counter Records.

5- KIll J is a Danish duo, making the following statement about their new track “Bullet”: “This song is dedicated to the victims of other peoples bullshit convictions. People who act sinful, hateful and ungodly in the name of their God”.Julie, a classical trained singer, has the capacity to simulate the sound of an automatic gun to accompany the pulsating synths of Lennart along with cooing in a most delightful way. “Phoenix” another track available on their soundcloud gives the whole idea about their R&B and hip-hop vibe.

6- The quartet band from Brooklyn,Small Black, appeared in 2010 in the chillwave world with a 1st album and the single “Photojournalist”. Since their 2nd album “Limits of Desire” they moved to razor sharp synths and even syncopated ones on “Downtown Lights” while keeping the 80’s flavor of this song, originally recorded by the Scottish group, The Blue Nile.This is one of  the 5 tracks of their new EP ”Real People” out now.

7- James Supercave is the new art pop band of the moment in Los Angeles. The quintet has only one EP “The Afternoon” out this month on Hit City USA label. “Old Robot” has also a cute childish lyric video.
8- For their 4th album “Shriek” out in April, the Baltimore duo, Wye Oak, is making a drastic shift in sound: no massive sound of guitars and indeed it is a fresh sound, putting Jenn Wasner’s voice to the front. ”The Tower” was the 1st single already reviewed everywhere and “Logic of Color” another potential one.
9- Funny enough, with their new single “Think Too Much, Feel Too Little” sounding a lot like The 1975, the four piece band from Birmingham/UK, JAWS  might start another battle of bands, like Blur/Oasis, The 1975 coming also from Manchester like Oasis. But the guitars on their first two EPs were not at all 1975! Wishing JAWS the same success.

10- Propelled into the world of summer hits in 2011 with their 1st single
“Pumped Up Kicks”, the LA trio of Foster The People is wise enough to think that a sophomore album “feels like a coming of age” (1st single of “Supermodel” out in March). So they were confident enough to even dare to take a psychotropic wanderlust on the 2nd single “Pseudologia Fantastica”.