Better late than never: HypeMachine treasures of 2013

Phew. Let me emphasize on that: PHEW. We’re halfway through the second month of 2014, and I have not had much time on my hands to post anything here. That does not mean that the thought didn’t cross my mind, which it did, and the thought told me I should post some musical diamonds of the preceding year found through the HypeMachine. As mentioned in a previous post, last year was a great year for me in many ways. It was the first year where I really started using the website, and it has been an awesome experience thus far. So, without further ado, lets get started with this list. I present to you the 20 best favorited song of 2013.

20. Max Frost – White Lies

Witty, funny and fresh are all words that fit the first single from the Austin, TX based producer and songwriter Max Frost.

19. Sekuoia – Evenings

With a clever use of samples and subtle percussion, Patrick Alexander Bech-Madsen AKA Sekuoia manages to bring forth a dreamy, late-night ish soundscape.

18. Anna Kendrick – Cups (Jellosea Remix)

Jellosea transforms Anna Kendrick’s Cups into a mellow, laid back track with low pitch vocals and a nice and easy beat-progression. Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

17. Shy Girls – Second Heartbeat

Affection materialized as soundwaves, Shy Girls deliver a creamy and equally dreamy pop track, tailored for lovers.

16. Tove Lo – Habits

Unlike the aforementioned track, Tove Lo’s Habits is about moving on from lost love. The track features a slightly more up-beat tempo and is adorned with the swedish singers youthful voice.

15. CitySyd – Rejsefeber

Rejsefeber, in danish meaning being nervous before a journey, is the perfect summer tune. Ever more perfect for the danish summer.

14. Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home (RAC Remix)

RAC (Remix Artist Collective)’s remix of Home makes the song more modern in sound by incorporating synth beats, however still managing to preserve the old folk sound. In other words, it does great justice to the original.

13. Tomas Barfod – November Skies (Feat. Nina Kinert)

https://soundcloud.com/itsindoorsoutdoors/tomas-barfod-november-skies

An electronic pearl unlike anything I’ve heard the preceding year in danish music, Mr. Barfod’s November Skies is very well produced, huge in sound and features enchanting vocals by Nina Kinert.

12. NONONO – Down Under

Soothing vocals combined with playful melodies, NONONO’s Down Under is a must-have addition to your late-summer-evening-playlist.

11. HAERTS – All The Days

https://soundcloud.com/haertsmusic/all-the-days-haerts

Epic  and heartfelt, All The Days should probably be higher on this list, but it’s just so damn hard to choose. This song evokes strong nostalgia for me.

10. London Grammar – Hey Now

Cracked the top ten! A band that I have mentioned a couple of times before on this blog, London Grammar should probably have had more songs on this list if I hadn’t decided to only post one song per artist. I can highly recommend their 2013 debut album If You Wait.

9. Say Lou Lou – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards (Tame Impala Cover)

I once read a YouTube comment calling the music of the two australian born swedish sisters “sad-girl-club-core”, or something amongst those lines. I’m really bugged that I didn’t write that down, since it was both suitable and fun.

8. Keep Shelly In Athens – Recollection

I continue the list in the stylistically same vein as the above, only with slightly more electronics. On KSIA’s Recollection, the band incorporate somehow affectionate samples coupled with a smooth, female voice for your listening pleasure.

7. Ghost Loft – So High

Being one of those bands that release a couple of great songs and then disappear, there is ever more reason to enjoy this chillwave piece.

6. Solange – Losing You (Cyril Hahn Remix)

On C. Hahn’s remix of Solange’s Losing You, the Vancouver-based DJ puts emphasis on the experience of losing someone and gives the song a way more dark feel. Clever work with the vocals plus a total instrumental rework makes it a stand out track.

5. Passenger – Caravan (Kygo Remix)

Kygo was certainly a remixer to watch in 2013 and even more so in this year, and this song was what got me convinced. He alters Passenger’s Caravan into a cascade of colorful melodies along with a smooth-as-fuck beat.

4. Destiny’s Child – Say My Name (Cyril Hahn Remix)

As described in #6, Mr. Hahn likes to take songs into a dark direction, which is also evident on this remix of Destiny’s Child. The guy must be some sort of magician, ‘cos this is hella good.

3. MS MR – Think Of You (RAC Remix)

Think of You by MS MR gets revamped in this highly danceable version by RAC. So awesome. And that chorus! YES

2. Goldroom – Embrace (MyKill Remix)

GOTTA DANCE EVEN MORE TO THIS ONE. I MEAN, SHIT, LISTEN TO THAT BASSLINE. AND THOSE VOCALS. SHIT I THINK I JUST WET MYSELF THIS IS AWESOME

1. Toro Y Moi – Still Sound (Vindata Remix)

https://soundcloud.com/vindata/toro-y-moi-still-sound-vindata

Phew. At #1 already? Grab a glass of whatever and enjoy the view (if you have any) on a sunny day to this song. Wait, what am I saying, if it’s sunny outside, you should go to the park and blast this song at max volume. Fuck the haters, and especially everyone else who’s probably trying to enjoy the outside as well, because this song is a true gem; but I dont have to tell you, since you’ve (hopefully) already pressed the play button!

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Hit the highway: roadtrippin’ tracks

Some music is more fitting for driving than other. For example, I find ambient music hard to enjoy while driving, because there are so many details that get lost. And just as I exclude ambient from my driving playlists, some people may find heavy metal profoundly distracting (that does not even necessarily have to be behind the wheel). In this post I want to feature some music that I feel works for me when driving long distances.

Most people who have a drivers license and ever tried to drive for longer periods of time, have probably experienced the subtle sensation of a good driving song. The tag ‘driving songs’ does not describe a specific genre, but really depends on your driving style, and, of course, your taste in music. Speaking of driving style, you probably have heard those cars with the enormous speaker systems charging down the road while the bass is powerful enough to kill your grandma. I would call this particular driving style the douchebag, and often this is associated with either the genre hip-hop or some sort of harsh electronic music with at least 140 beats per minute. While I have nothing against these genres, I prefer different ones for covering long distances.

1# Perry O’Neil – Wave Force
Genre: progressive trance / house
Time of day: sunset/evening/night
*Suited for very long rides!

This song must be over 10 years old now. Still above awesome. It’s like as if it hints at the countless adventures that await beyond the horizon.
If you like this song, you might also like this and this

2# Cinnamon Chasers – Luv Deluxe
Genre: electronic / synthpop
Time of day: all around the clock

Don’t miss out on this one if you’re crossing borders on four wheels with your friends, it’s just pure feel-good. (also, awesome video clip)

3# Chase & Status – Time (feat. Delilah)
Genre: drum ‘n bass
Time of day: evening/night

Drum ‘n bass is a perfect genre for when you’re on the road, simply because the pace is fast and thats also how you’re driving on the highway. Mix some sweet vocals in there and you have a perfect blend!

4# Lips – Everything To Me (Christian Strobe Remix)
Genre: retro-house / electronic
Time of day: sunset/sunrise

This Chr. Strobe remix of Lips is dreamy, catchy and fresh. Blast this out your speakers on a sunny day for maximum auditory pleasure. Just don’t forget the shades.

5# Carbon Based Lifeforms – Interloper
Genre: chillout / downtempo
Time of day: sunrise / early morning

Featured on the album of the same name, the track Interloper is perfect for that early morning ride. And you often have to start a journey early, so this is perfect for when the fog is still covering the land like a blanket.

 

 

Tracks of the moment #1

Yesterday the indie fellas Mansions on The Moon gave a heads up on facebook about their new song, Full Moon, which is a pleasant arrangement of retro-style synth chords and smooth, echoing vocals. The sound feels a bit 80s, and it’s really just going right in your head and stays there. Have a listen:

(are these guys soon releasing a full length?)
EDIT: while it ain’t a full length release, they have a new EP coming Oct. 14th, yay!

Cyril Hahn played in Copenhagen last week @ Rust, and I did not make it to the gig, which I am so bugged about. Especially since I’ve heard from friends that it was a really great set. So, recently I’ve been spinning his remix of Solange’s hit single Losing You, and I really can’t seem to get enough. Hahn amplifies the theme of losing, transcribing the song into a track with a darker atmosphere and deep bass, aswell as changing the pitch of the vocals, which I just think this is a great yet simple foundation for a nice, almost hypno-like track. Get on it:

Tracks worth the penny #1

Bam. I do not often purchase single tracks digitally. Partially because I like complete physical albums, partially because I know that close to none of the spent money go directly into the pockets of artist. That is, of course, if we’re talking about the iTunes store – Apple takes like 33% of the revenue per track. Which is why I prefer to buy the music directly from the artist. However, this is apparently not always possible – some artists distribute their digital material exclusively through iTunes – what a shame! Anyway, this post is not about the iTunes store or the music industry, I’ll save this topic for a later post.

I will on the contrary devote this post to the recent digital purchases I have made. There is a total 3 of them, and these tracks have totally been worth the penny.

 

Track #1 – Professor Green – Remedy (featuring Ruth Anne)

OUCH. What a track! This one hits really hard. Professor Green is a rapper from England, who has just released his second album which features this song. The album is entitled At Your Inconvenience, and I might just listen to the whole thing at a later point.

Speaking in terms of genres, the instrumental of the track is definitely some hard-hitting drum and bass of the finest kind, combined with the wicked rhymes of Green. His rhymes are accompanied by the vocals of Ruth Anne, which fit really well into the song and make the chorus insanely addictive. Together, they deliver a remedy for the ordinary weekday: make no mistake, this is a real weekend tune.

Fun fact: i first heard this song on YouTube, and I kept coming back to it – which eventually made me buy it. However, the bought version sounded not quite like the youtube version – the mixing was completely different! So I’ve been sticking with the YouTube version.

Listen below:

 

Track #2 Sub Focus – Out The Blue (featuring Alice Gold)

This tune was a pleasant reunion with UK-based musician Nick Douwma aka Sub Focus. So far, Sub Focus has only released a self-titled debut album back in 2009, and now recently a few new tracks. Maybe this means that there is a new album in the making, which would be awesome news, because I really like what I am hearing. Sub Focus plays electronic music which can be categorized as mainly drum and bass, yet there is also some dubstep here and there.

The track in question is without doubt a real ear hanger. I’ve had it on repeat ever since I bought it, and I’m enjoying every bit of it. The melody, the rhythm, the beautiful vocals of Gold – everything plays so well together. While the aforementioned song was more of a weekend type a’thing, I actually think I would categorize this more as being a festival tune – I can totally see Sub Focus setting up an awesome atmosphere on the Arena stage at Roskilde Festival.

Listen below:

 

Track #3: Spose – Gee Willikers

While the first two tracks were from the electronic/drum and bass department, this one’s from a rather different part of the music spectre. Spose is a rapper from Maine, USA, and his song Gee Willikers comes off his third studio album, The Audacity!. In the song we get the idea that Spose is a laid back, unpretentious and honest guy; not trying to be the hardest dude, while also making a bit fun of himself. This turns out to be persistent with his style if we look at his other songs (for example the song I’m Awesome, which appears to actually be more or less a parody of himself).

The song is therefore delivered with a sense of humor, which makes the lyrics even more memorable and enjoyable to listen to. The accompanying music video emphasizes this fact, as we see Spose doing some business with the Easter Bunny and Santa.

Listen below: