Even with these eerily unseasonable temps, February is a great time to break a summer song. Set against weeks of slate grey skies, a track like this is a much-appreciated dose of musical sunshine. Thanks go out to the breaking band known as Electric Guest and the producer Danger Mouse (who has emerged from the art house and returned to his infectious Gnarls Barkley sound).
Oh, about the picture above. After almost two weeks of a (nearly) device-free vacation in Vietnam, I’m back. The work that I’ve jumped back into is a bit dizzying, but the music that piled up while I was away includes some exciting stuff. So stay tuned.
As I’m caught amidst an afternoon of procrastination, I thought I’d share three cuts from surprising duos that are going to drop in the coming weeks.
The first is from Broken Bells. At the musical core is Danger Mouse, but Cee-Lo has been replaced with James Mercer from the Shins– so Gnarls Barkley is now Broken Bells. A nice, heartfelt song… that you can read about in the Times today but you can hear it here. So there.
The second song for the day, which I think I like even more than the first, is from The Very Best. In the spirit of their astonishingly good first mixtape, they have remixed an existing song from the xx with their own Malawi-inflected sound.
After a week of vacation and two weeks of vacation-heightened work, I’m back.
To work our way back into things, a quick music-focused post inspired by the 70 degree forecast and a fantastic DJ collective named, appropriately, Heatwave.
Heatwave’s gig is simple and impeccably executed. They take familiar songs and re-interpret them (they call it re-fixing) through a dancehall lens. The tropically-tinged results are imminently enjoyable and irresistably danceable.
Though it’s a bit of a stretch to break out the reggae when the temperature is still sub-70, these guys are really worth checking out and who knows how many months it will be before I could credibly write a post with any references to heat.
The first manages to bring back Gnarls Barkley’s mega-hit in a way that reminds me why the world couldn’t stop listening to this song, but also gives it a new spin that wants met to listen once again.
Creezy Hype, Heatwave (featuring Gnarls Barkley, Jay-Z, and lots of dancehall people I don’t know).
The second turns Mary J. Blige into a reggae superstar while maintaining the vibe of her original song
Heat Wave Affair, Heatwave (featuring Mary J. Blige)
The third takes the lyrics from Pharcyde’s classic, and lays them into a reggae riddim.
Girls Town, Heatwave (featuring The Pharcyde)
Lots of ideas for posts bouncing around in my brain. More soon.