I’m usually pretty wary of songs about the beach because they tend to be meandering, naval gazing nonsense, but LUUUL and Amanda Roi really bring something beautiful. This is a perfect Sunday morning song with Roi’s gentle, floating vocals that echo back faintly like the tide through a cave. LUUUL lets her voice really shine with simple beats, fuzzy electronic and exactly what I imagine when I think of good chillwave. There’s also some neat ocean sounds because come on, the song is called “Beach.”
Check out his Soundcloud! Plenty o’ free downloads.
If you recall, I attempted National Write a Novel in a fucking Month before with very unimpressive results. I ended up hating a lot of what I was writing and since I already spend a lot of time doing what I call “interactive fan fiction”, I really can’t justify a month of writing that I’m not going to use if I’m already writing creatively. Should I be working on a novel daily? Probably. Buuuuut fuck it.
Anyway, so like I said, I write a lot. Either it’s for work, for my blog, for video game reviews or for my roleplaying. And, I usually like to have music playing while I do it. I figured since a lot of you are attempting the National Oh God Am I Actually Writing A Novel? Month I’d help y’all out with some tunes.
First up is what I like to call “Gotham Music”. It’s something clangy, dark and urban that belongs somewhere between Amusement Mile and Crime Alley. It’s got the intrigue of Arkham, the justice of Batman and maybe even some Siren sexy. “Sycamore Feeling” has all of this wrapped up in a six minute package. I love the dark beats, the grinding electro and smokey vocals. This song seems designed to take you places gently like a creepy tunnel of love and that makes it perfect for writing. This is for the horror writers. The noir revivalists. The dark cyberpunk fanatics.
Oh what’s that? You need something a little more ponderous. A detective thriller with a murder mystery to solve or a lone space oddesy? Bonobo’s “Noctuary” has the thing for you. With singular, twinkling melodies and a steady trip-hop beat, you’re sure to write up some good clues, secrets and twists. This is also a longer track and a little less adventurous, but that’s still good for writing. You get into the groove a lot easier.
But, you need something upbeat, you say! Something that is both totes bad ass and action packed? Well…I can’t believe I’m saying this…but Hotline Miami: The Takedown has probably some of the coolest blood pumping music I’ve heard in a long time. With 80’s inspired synths, a totes dramatic bass and a beat that’s infectious, I deem “To The Top” perfect for your fist pumping, dudes punching and guns shooting scenes. It’s short as hell, but sounds awesome on repeat.
Oh, what’s that? You’re writing the next indie-music inspired darling and you need something to get you in the mood of disenchanted suburban youth and sensitive loners? Snowblink’s “Unsurfed Waves” might have more vocals than the other songs, but the fuzzy guitar and gentle tone wraps around you like warm blanket while you watch the sunrise. It’s great for writing those optimistic feels, those teenage bro times you’ll never get back and that lost rebel adventure.
Okay everyone! Remember tonight at 10pm California time we’re going to have a little music hang out. Game Llama Gumballs is going to host tonight instead of me with a theme~ that’s sure to bring back some memories. BE THERE and then guild wars 2 maybe?
Today I dug up a band from a couple years ago that (shocker!) I’ve never heard before even though I guess fans of Gossip Girl and other Vagina Aimed shows would have. The Magic Wands are a neat, 80’s influenced, almost Muse and also Mother Mother mix. They’re the dark little sister of the Ting Tings with catchy choruses, chiming instrumentals and pretty vocals. I like that they’re a little weird even if their music catches a lot of pop music sounds in its nets. There’s no sparks of perfection in these songs, rather a lo-fi rawness that disregards correcting synth and auto-tuning in favor of vocals with personality and rogue guitars.
First we have Black Magic which is extremely catchy for a little indie song. I love the chorus in this song and how they stutter their voices with the line “bla-a-a-a-ck magic”. There’s a strong beat, faintly glowing instrumentals and then the heavy, static guitar that comes in for its own little solos. You’ll hear Muse in this song, but I think it sounds more like Mother Mother, who gaining momentum around the same time.
Next, a rainy day song with HAND CLAPS called “Teenage Love”. I know this song is really basic, but I love the dark retro feeling. Her deadpan delivery keeps the song from wandering into sugar pop territory, along with the slow, wandering instrumentals. I wonder if teenagers like to listen to music about young love, or it’s just us years past it who enjoy romanticizing that time once and a while?
This is probably the weirdest cover I’ve posted. Not because it sounds particularly zany or out there, but because it’s so far removed from the song it’s covering that it works kind of brilliantly.
After my Fez knock down, I wanted to prove that I like “chill” music. It’s good if it’s done right and makes for amazing writing music or just chilling as it were. I think the key to a good laid-back song is a simple melody, strong beat and nothing that sounds too abrasive. You don’t actually want a whole lot of sharp beeps and boops in a good chillwave song because it breaks up the vibe and forces you to listen too closely. I think that a strong, steady melody is the real key here, though. A good chill song can slowly bring me in and out of the water like a gentle tide. I know when the wave is going to sneak up on the beach, but I don’t totally know everything it’s going to bring up with it.
So, here’s the Iron Man song which has a chorus we all know. It has a recognizable melody that is generally pretty bad ass on it’s own. But, when you acoustic the song up and add some sweet, gentle electronic bits, it becomes a lullaby for a sleepy robot dragon. It reminds me a little of the elsewhere Marvel Fairy Tales stories (which I totally recommend!).
If this puts you in the mood for some sleepy time music, check out this, too.
I’ve started playing through Earthbound (Mother 2) for the first time and it charmed the pants off me. I love the cheekiness, the playful jabs at suburban America and the surprisingly advanced for its time RPG elements. I’m also a big fan of the music, which you can find in full here.
I thought I’d put together a little Earthbound tribute this Monday if you guys don’t mind. It’s not going to be chiptunes, but rather songs that remind me of what it was like to be a rebellious kid in the suburbs. I went with some weird stuff this week, so be prepared for the unusual and yet oh so familiar.
First up, we have a band that holds a special place in my heart because their name brings back nostalgic memories of cartoons. You know Passion Pit and Foster the People? Imagine their weird little brother who likes to paint figurines of space aliens and was a champion at racing a box down a muddy hill. There are hints of that “indie rock” feel that’s become popular, but Reptar isn’t afraid to blast through it with a little more velocity and personality. I love how weird his voice is, how the synth glows in the background like fireflies and how it reminds me of my own wild suburban youth.
Digits are hit and miss with me, but “Because it’s Wrong” is one of those tracks that’s more prowling than chill. The melodies and electronic flavor reminded me of Earthbound’s soundtrack when it goes into caves or past Ness’s bedtime. This song has almost zero direction, but I can’t help but head bop along with it. The darkness of it gives a slice of how sometimes if you stay out late enough and hang with the wrong crowd, you can get into some trouble.
Finally, we have a real chillwave plus pop equals success track from Chromatics. “Kill for Love” has sleepy vocals with synth that pours around it like Spring rain. I like how this feels like bedroom electronic but without the over saturated fuzziness that completely takes off any sort of edge.
Last night I watched Reality Bites and absolutely hated it. Okay, to be fair I didn’t hate the movie, I just hated the people in it. The movie itself sets up a pretty typical story arch where a girl has to choose between a deadbeat who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else and a nerdy square. Even though the deadbeat is emotionally abusive, unreliable and has a serious superiority complex, she goes after him because…..true wuv? Man, I don’t know. All I know is that I’m glad I was a kid in the 90’s and not some idiot 20-something who thinks quoting the easiest fucking line of Shakespeare makes them a god. At least now, I can be an idiot 20-something who communicates through nerdy inside jokes.
So, here’s songs influenced by indie music that tells the 90’s to go to hell. First, we’ll start with a better era of music: the 1980’s. The term “indie rock” started in the 80’s when college radio stations started playing cool, undergroundish music like The Vaselines and Sonic Youth. These sounds are responsible for a lot of bands you enjoy today like Belle and Sebastian and even Arcade Fire. They paved the way for lo-fi, and proved to be young music that was the logical next step of maturity out of high school.
First up, we have Eux Autres with their new song “Home Tonight” off their hot new EP. If you’re a fellow fan of The Vaselines, you’ll see why I picked this song. It’s sort of sweet, smart and a little disconnected from the world.
Then, we have M. Ward, a college rock pioneer on his own right, with “Primitive Girl” off his new album which you should totally check out. This song actually reminds me of The Smiths and certain sects of chamber pop. What’s that, you ask? Well, chamber pop was developed in the UK out of a complete dissatisfaction for how rock music (which was dominated by America, by the by) at the time was heading. The 90’s were a time of grunge and hard hitting alternative rock, so chamber pop wiggled the other way and mixed some music from the 60’s (cough cough Velvet Underground cough) and electronic noises they found laying around. Not all chamber pop is good since a lot of it is experimental, but I like that it’s a big fuck you to the 90’s.
Thanks so much for all the kind words about my last post. I put a lot of love into it and even though it’s a lot different from the Mumbles you know in Spoiler Warning, I’m glad y’all still liked it. But, most of all you liked the music! That’s what matters, yo.
Anyway, Merry Christmas, bitches. I got you a mixed bag stocking filled to the brim with swagger: a highly valued quality here at Digital Mumbles. But, what could this amazing property of swag be? Well my friends, I’m going to say it’s perfectly encapsulated by this trick shot in Skyrim. I mean dude. That’s some swagger.
So, I’m actually a stupid ridiculous fan of the Speed Racer movie. To the people who hated it I say this: remember that part where Speed Racer pistol whips a guy? Yeah. That’s what I thought. But, if there’s one thing that movie taught me it was that racing music totally needs to sound like it’s fresh out of an anime. Enter: Comic Strips with their revving and roaring track, “Tear It Up”. I would HIGHLY suggest audio surfing this song, because it really does make you feel like you’re faster than all the rest. I love the mix of electric guitar and dubstep in this track. It comes across so naturally, I’m surprised more people don’t do it.
A certified Digital Mumbles swagger king doesn’t care if their roommate accidentally catches them doing the most embarrassing version of the Carlton. I know what you’re saying: “But, Mumbles I don’t have access to any cool dance music!” Well, you’re in luck little lamb. I happen to be all about indie music you can dance to. Twee fused with garage rock and a little of the Britpop is just what you need to get up on your feet and rock out. The great thing about this Slow Club song is that it’s so jangling and fast paced you don’t have to worry about sticking to one beat. And, why would you when there’s so many to choose from!
What was that? You want a song just for the ladies (or dudes who like to pretend to be ladies that’s cool too)? Well, get your high heels, 80’s shoulder pads and oversized sunglasses cause we’re going to the mall. The Greatest Hits brings you “You’re Just An Uptown Girl” that’s filled with the kind of swagger specifically made for girls who just want to have a good time. Also, if you listen closely, you can hear the Pac-Man dying sound. I thought that was kind of neat. I mean, swaggering. Total swagger.
Finally, swagger is all about making a cover that’s better than the original. I’m a big fan of Kanye West, but he really doesn’t have anything on this last song. I think it actually proves that he’s a great producer, even if he fails a little as a rapper.
I’m going to play some games with your head. First, I’m going to post some fairly new dubstep tracks I really like. Then I’m going to follow that up with a couple of really boring, noisy drone tracks I like MORE than the dubstep. AFTER THAT I’m posting the best dubstep track I’ve heard in the past year. I HATE IT.
So, here’s those awesome dubstep tracks. Yes, I’m aware both their names start with “Em” & I assure you, it’s pure coincidence. Emika is a Ninja Tune Records artist & I’m wired into their youtube/soundcloud/twitter feed. Emalkay did a remix of a Ninja Tune Records artist [Two Fingers]. So no, I didn’t just Google “dubstep” & randomly pick out two artists from an alphabetical list. Also, yes, it’s pure coincidence that their videos feature beautiful women being cool. STOP ASKING SO MANY QUESTIONS.
Alex Proyas directed The Crow and Dark City. He also did, in his early years, a film called “Spirits of the air, gremlins of the clouds” whose soundtrack is more widely-known than the film itself (which, judging by that intro, is incredible). Whilst browsing the reviews archive of Cyclic Defrost I discovered a band with an awesome name; “The Church of Synth” (if you know my internet handle, you get why I dig it so much). Unfortunately, The Church of Synth isn’t really that hot. But some of the artists who remixed them ARE pretty sweet. And one of those artists, Ourobonic Plague, have a pretty wonderful little two-part tribute to “Spirits of the air, gremlins of the clouds”. Listen. Or don’t:
Now, Ourobonic Plague have a pretty awesome name. But the other remixer (remember, I found them because they remixed The Church of Synth) is named Burial Hex. Assuming you’ve read all of this, please tell me in the comments which is a cooler name because I’m honestly not sure. And fortunately (unlike The Church of Synth) Burial Hex has tunes to match their moniker. Check it out. Or, you know, DON’T:
(As a side note, observe the album art for The Tower. Bonus points if you’re thinking of the same creepy alien relic I’m thinking of.)
Finally, for those tl;dr of you out there, I’m about to blow your mind. I get the feeling Mumbles is going to like this track. I know I positively LOATHE it. Oh, yes, of course it makes me want to dance like a centipede on a hot tin roof but that doesn’t mean I have to be okay with it. Listen, and observe the sound of all cool things being sat on by an annoying ugly loudmouth fat lady.
Yeah! Some lo-fi, kinda country, kinda garage band rock for you today. I’ve actually been a fan of Those Darlins for a while, but their earlier stuff was something so country it sounded like a band that would open for Dolly Parton. Well, not so much open for Dolly Parton, but play at the bar next door that’s surrounded by an alligator swamp. In recent songs they’ve strayed away enough from the twang to please a wider audience. But, they’ve kept their raunchy sense of humor and upbeat sounds.
The first song is a rough and tumble anthem that any tom-boy can understand. It’s absolutely a vocal focused song, but the lyrics are fucking awesome. My favorite include “wanna put a bunch of eggs in a microwave” and “I may have girly parts but I got a boy’s heart”. If I was going to make a mix tape that captured the essence of Mumbles, it would probably open with this track.
Next is something completely different: a fun little island tune about using a language suggestively. I really dig the 60’s Hawaiian vibe, the collective chorus and how dirty this song sounds even though I have no idea what they’re saying. This is one of their songs that follows the same instrumental lead as a children’s song, which makes it more awesome cause it’s so dirty. Oh god, I just realized how much cooler the Tiki-Tiki Room would be if they had this song. I’m writing Disney right now!
Check out their website and amazon page to buy their sssttuuuuffff! If you give them your email, they send you one really sweet goddamned tune.
Yeah, I’m just about done with winter. I always think I’m looking forward to cold weather, rain and terminal depression, but each year around this time I realize I was wrong. So very wrong. Spring, get your ass in gear. I have enough cash money for an air conditioner, so I ain’t afraid of no extreme heat. Anyway, in the hopes the weather here will clear up a little bit, here’s some springy songs. Continue reading →