5 Songs We Can’t Stop Listening to is the best of the best. Usually it is the absolutely newest/latest, but true to it’s name, there are songs from albums that have been out that are so good that we need to listen to them over and over. This week we are heavy handed on Glass Animals, we love their album, Zaba, they came to our studio and picked a song, and they played here that night. Sometimes, after a show, there is a musical afterglow, and you only want to listen to that artist because their show was so good and their music is so great. That’s what happened with Glass Animals this week.
Glass Animals Pick: Erykah Badu- “The Healer”
Glass Animals is a new band that I believe has some real staying power. I believe that the most remarkable part of Glass Animals is the production. They make a lot with relatively few elements. When I talked to their lead singer, Dave, he told me he loves this song by Erykah Badu for that same reason. You can hear his explanation, given in his beautiful British accent below.
Erykah Badu’s album, New Amerykah, Pt. 1 (4th World War), was released in 2008.
Listen if you like: Glass Animals, R&B, a great example of bare bones production.
Sufjan Steven’s- “A Little Lost” (Arthur Russell cover)
There is a reason that the question bands get the most is, “who are some of your biggest influences” and that reason is that we want to know. We want to know what the musical ingredients are that make up our favorite artists. And sometimes they give them without us even asking in a cover song. When your favorite artist releases a cover song it’s like they are letting you in on that little secret of what musical ingredients make up who they are.
For me, the biggest treat is when my favorite artists cover someone I didn’t even know existed. It seems like the purest form of musical discovery. And that’s just what happens with this song. Sufjan Stevens, lets us in on that musical secret and covers Arthur Russell. And maybe you are one of the few who are familiar with Arthur Russell’s work as an avant-garde composer and his one completed album that he released before his death in 1994. Or maybe, like me, you didn’t, and now you have the whole world of Arthur Russell to listen to thanks to Sufjan Stevens.
This is part of a tribute compilation honoring Arthur Russell called Master Mix: Red Hot + Arthur Russell, due out on Yep Roc Records on October 21.
Listen if you like: The Arthur Russell version, subtractive synthesis, Sufjan Steven’s distinctive large-scale composition.
Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar- “Never Catch Me”
This is one song from two artists who have changed the way that we listen to their respective genres.
First: Flying Lotus. Flying Lotus is an electronic music producer. His albums, including Cosmogramma, and Until the Night Comes have challenged listeners and have pushed the boundaries of electronic music through their complexity tonal richness. A fruit of the Coltrane family tree, Flying Lotus is heavily influenced by jazz and may serve as the genres crossover artist for a new generation.
Second: Kendrick Lamar is a rapper from Compton California. His monumental albums Section.80 and Good Kid Maad City, have propelled him onto the top tier of contemporary hip-hop artists, receiving outstanding critical acclaim as well as a Grammy nomination.
Together, they are vanguards of our musical future and I don’t know if anyone can catch them.
Flying Lotus’ new album, You’re Dead!, will be released on October 7.
Listen if you like: electro-jazz hip-hop fusion, innovative production, Kendrick rapping in his higher register.
Ex Cops feat. Ariel Pink- “Tragically Alright”
As I was putting on more and more layers last week and listening to music I was thinking, does every season have its own sound?
I think that it does. As the air gets crisper, leaves start to fall, and autumn rolls in there is a biological slow down, and I think there might be a musical one too. A season tempo change. Just a half step back. This is a song that I would like to wrap up in a warm scarf and sip a hot pumpkin flavored coffee drink to.
Ex Cops new album, Daggers, will be released on October 28, via Downtown Records.
Listen if you like: Ariel Pink, Mac Demarco, hazy lazy drify songs.
Glass Animals- “Hazey”
I’ve got to be totally honest, I just cannot get enough of this Glass Animals album. It has a vice grip on my turn table right now. In the past two week I have bought records from Leonard Cohen, Scott Walker, Tom Waits, Cold Specks, Chubby Checkers, Afrikaa Bambaata, and Serge Gainsbourge, but I can’t lift the needle off the Glass Animals album that I picked up at their show last week.
They’ve got the groove on lockdown. Looping these totally drip drop beats, snaps, and bells and weird sounds that I can’t even identify, and breathy voice dubbed with the perfect amount of reverb to that makes it downtempo and uptemp at the same time. It's dancing around in my apartment in a total trance. This might be an album of the year for me.
Glass Animals’ debut album, Zaba, is out now.
Listen if you like: drip drop beats, the rainforest, something to listen to under candlelight.