Wary

wary

In the depths of winter, people look toward the warmer times ahead. Tickets are going on sale for Coachella, Firefly, Gov Ball, Paradiso, (insert every other festival here) as we speak and as the Festival Bubble continues to inflate the lineups continue to get more ridiculously packed with great artists. It’s not the worst thing, you can see many of your favorite artists for a (usually) reasonable price and devote a whole day to nothing but enjoying music and friends. However, as I’ve begun to enjoy intimate, $10 concerts in underground venues or club-based events the sheen with which festivals used to shine in my eyes has faded to a dull luster. There’s another up-side to the phenomenon, though, at least for consumers of music: artists time up some of their best releases with the sale of the tickets to grab people’s attention and thus the depths of winter are full of songs that may well become summer jams. I’ve collected some of those for you below.

We start off with the energetic, happy electronica that I (and hopefully you) have come to love. Louis the Child has graciously presented us with another hit, Griz and Gramatik teamed up for a funky banger, and Pluto continues his journey to the stars with a hard-hitting remix of Yeezy and Future. We briefly flirt with some high-BPM bass of the “future” and “drum and” varieties before settling into some poppy, yet crisp house music and light trap. Trap music’s low BPM provides a smooth transition into some chill electronica and alt-rock – the focus here is on the calming bass and the emotional vocals that make this my favorite part of the playlist. The calm vibes eventually give way to house, and then rap, and then, inevitably, bass house, techno house, and full-on disgusting trap music. You know this part of the playlist, insanely aggressive but fantastic in the right context. The last part of the playlist is less eclectic than usual – you can think of it as a toned-down version of the start of the playlist. These songs aren’t any worse, they’re just a bit less energetic and more scattered across the vibe spectrum. To go out with a flourish, I have some funky house and alt-rock for you in the last couple of songs. Be sure to like and repost on Soundcloud if you’re feeling the set. Enjoy!

Vibe Guide:

  • 1-15: Energetic electronica
  • 16-19: Pop house
  • 20-24: Chill trap
  • 25-40: Chill electronica and alternative
  • 41-44: Electronica with rap
  • 45-47: Bass house
  • 48-51: Techno house
  • 52-58: Trap
  • 59-74: Electronica
  • 75-86: Funky house
  • 87-95: Ambient electronica and alt-rock

Ideomotor – We Can’t Work

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Helsinki-based duo Ideomotor have released their latest track “We Can’t Work” and the alt-rock vibes are strong on this one. Classic guitar riffs combine with fantastic production quality to create an emotional, but clean vibe akin to The National. This track is a journey, check it out below!

ARIZONA – Cross My Mind

It’s been about seven months since A R I Z O N A released their string of hit singles including the intense “Let Me Touch Your Fire” and exuberant “Where I Wanna Be”. Now the New Jersey native trio is back with an upbeat alternative rock song that is both catchy and well-produced. Check it out below, and look out for more high-quality music from these three.

OP-EX: The Strokes – Future Present Past

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The Economix welcomes Marta Poplawski thoughtful friend and vibe connoisseur, for the second installment of the OP-EX series. This is a segment where Economix readers can get outside perspectives on some of the best music out in the world today. Enjoy Marta’s take on The Strokes’ new EP:

The Strokes need no introduction. Albums like Is This It and Room On Fire revolutionized the world of angsty, garage rock as we know it. While the band has been quiet since its release of Comedown Machine in 2013, rumors of new work surfaced as the band was announced a headliner of Governors Ball. Yesterday, The Strokes first released a single off this rumored EP, and then hours later (surprisingly) streamed the whole work on Spotify. (embedded below).

The EP consists of only three songs (and one remix by the band’s drummer), yet it seems to be just enough to show that The Strokes are as good as we remember. For long time fans, it brings back memories of their oldest and most identifying work – a simple yet intoxicating riff, intertwining guitars, and concise, meaningful lyrics (“Untame me, its not my midlife yet”). We even hear Julian Casablancas ad-libbing a bit, adding to the effortless effect of the whole thing.

While it at first may appear like any other Strokes album, the band challenges their style, adding layers to the EP – they play around with the use of bass, ranges of vocals, even adding psychedelic elements. Pay close attention to this detailing, especially in Moretti’s remix of “OBLIVIUS”, that adds depth to an already intense song.

The EP leaves you wanting more, of course, but it suffices. If you’re a dedicated fan like myself, enjoy. If you’re a new listener, I encourage you to explore the evolution of their older works. The Strokes have yet again shown that they remain on top for a reason.

BONUS: Check out this video of The Strokes discussing just about anything but their work…

Stephen – Start A Fire (feat. In-Q)

Stephen is exploring his sound a bit and it’s pretty damn nice. The beginning of this song is an ambient buildup that wouldn’t be out of place in the beginning of an action movie trailer. Then, out of nowhere, all goes silent and a calm baritone voice spits a spoken word verse over a classically Stephen electric guitar riff. Eventually Stephen makes a vocal appearance and guides us into his latest bumping electro-rock chorus that’ll be on repeat for the next few days (especially because of how short the song is). Enjoy below.

TORCHES – Future

LA-based indie-rock group TORCHES have released their latest single and it’s a hypnotic bundle of layered vocals and bittersweet guitar riffs. For some reason this type of energetic, synth-influenced alt-rock always makes me think of high school summers listening to bands like The Naked and Famous. There’s a sense of youthful warmth, but also of regret. See what I mean by giving it a listen below.

Cavalry – Everything

Beautiful acoustic guitar riffs and soothing baritone vocals characterize Cavalry’s latest release, titled “Everything”. The general vibe reminds me of an early Coldplay song – think Parachutes or A Rush of Blood to the Head. The song is a slow buildup of energy and marked by increasingly bold electric guitar chords and passionate vocals. Enjoy below.