Tag Archives: Arcade Fire

The Scottish Arcade Fire?

Is this a song that, as a sleeper hit, will spark a second chance?

A few years ago, Broken Records were very busy being tapped as the next big thing.  Breathless reviews of their live gigs, a signing to 4AD, industry pubs dubbing them “the Scottish Arcade Fire,” the whole instant rock star treatment.

And then… well, not much.  The band stands stalled on the precipice of popularity, with people like me chancing upon them only because a nice side benefit of a mini-vacation in Southern California is the existence of KCRW.

Since this song riveted me on first listen, I can’t help but think that these guys are going to break it open sometime soon. Sure, they’ve got an Arcade Fire vibe, with a bit of The Walkmen thrown in for good measure.  But “A Darkness Rises Up” is musically taut and lyrically anthemic, the kind of song that makes you feel triumphant though the lyrics are anything but.  It’s a song ready to take down the stage at a summer festival, and I hope they get the shot.  Enjoy.

A Darkness Rises Up, Broken Records

30 Days of Music, Day One: Joy

“Music takes people where they want to be.”

If this blog is about any one thing, it’s about the power of music: to help us transform, transport, evoke, excite, remember, or forget.

So it’s with this truth in mind that I’m going to try a new experiment: The Thirty Words of Music.  Inspired by the 30 Days of Music meme from a while back, I’m going to take the next month or so to write about words and songs that bring to life a certain aspect of the power of music.

Because the posts will be inspired by a particular word, I think it’ll be inspiration for me to dig a bit deeper into my music collection than I might otherwise.  It’ll probably also draw me away from hip-hop more often and into a range of other genres.  I think I just heard you applaud, Tracy.  And Tish.  And Sara.

The first word of 30: joy.   Continue reading

Summer in Chicago Mix 2010

With back-to-back dinner parties this weekend, I of course had to spend a good chunk of time obsessing about the proper soundtrack for said soirees.  The answer I came up with is the collection presented here: 19 food and family friendly tracks you probably haven’t heard but will want to.

For loyal readers of this blog, this CD will serve as a nostalgic tour through the mellower tracks that have emerged as my favorites over the last year or so.  For the newbies out there, feel free to search the artists’ names on the blog so that you can learn more about them.  And do track down their commercial releases: there’s not a band on here that’s not worth the price of admission.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the track list and the link to the music. Continue reading

Here Comes a Star

How it is that we aren’t (yet) hearing this song in movies, car commercials, and episodes of the O.C. is beyond me.  Hailing from the UK and about to drop his first full-length record in September, Tinashe is a vibrant new voice and one that I think could have an absurdly broad appeal.  He manages to take the energy of the Arcade Fire, the anthemic appeal of the Arctic Monkeys, and the world music vibe of The Very Best (or, yes, Vampire Weekend) and put it all together into an infectious, nod your head along at first listen, mix.  Pull it down, turn it up, and enjoy.

Zambezi, Tinashe

And here’s a likably lo-fi performance of his song “A-Liar.”