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[new] HAIM – “Gasoline” (67bpm)

Three sisters make up the Los Angeles based band HAIM. I like the production on this track. Terrific multi-part harmony. And it’s nice to hear something that isn’t so quantized, auto-tuned, and polished to the point is has no organic life left in it. It sounds a bit you’re listening to them play it live in their living room. I’m digging it!

[fav] Little Daylight – “Mona Lisa” (128bpm)

This is a really good pop tune from a now defunct band from Brooklyn called Little Daylight. They split up and two of their members formed a new band call Me Not You. They’re worth checking out as well. I really like Nikki Taylor’s vocals. She has a pure tone and good articulation. And there’s never ever any vocal fry which is delightful.

[fav] Little Dragon – “Paris” (153bpm)

This is my favorite track from Little Dragon’s 2014 album “Nabuma Rubberband.” It has a soulful vocal perofrmance, touching lyrics, and excellent arrangement and production. Normally, an emotional song like this would be a down-tempo ballad. I like that they took it up-tempo and made it thump. They’re a good band. I recommend checking out their other stuff.

[new] Joy Oladokun – “Bad Blood” (79bpm)

According to her website, when Joy Oladokun was 10 years old, she saw a video of Tracy Chapman singing and playing guitar and was inspired. She’s really created something beautiful with “Bad Blood.” It’s got a really pleasing blend of guitar, mandolin, piano and bass. Her voice is natural, soulful, full of dynamic range, enhanced by gorgeous multipart harmonies at just the right times, and not stepped on by excessive processing. She also doesn’t have one millisecond of vocal fry which is wonderful! I’m looking forward to hearing more from her.

Of course, when I saw the song’s title was “Bad Blood,” I couldn’t help but think of Taylor Swift’s Bad Blood. Oladokun’s is 79bpm in the key of A, and Taylor Swift’s is 85bpm in the key of G. Hmmm… that’s only a 6bpm and two semitone difference. I couldn’t help it; I fired up my DJ app and did a quick mashup. Enjoy. 🙂 (I hope Joy is not offended.)

[new] Katy Perry – “Daisies” (122bpm)

I like this record, but its producers, The Monsters & Strangerz, made a mistake. The chorus consists of two parts. The first is more subdued and Perry sings in her lower register. For the second part, she repeats the melody an octave higher and really lets it rip. That second part is a tour de force, but it’s dispensed too early and too often. The repeated chorus is copied and pasted throughout the record and by the time you hear it for the fourth time, it’s been run into the ground. The first three choruses should have remained toned down, each a little different from the other in some way. The song’s finale is when you unleash the more intense chorus. When re-listening, it would create some anticipation and it would leave the listener wanting more instead of being tired of it already. BTW, quite the turd of a music video.

[new] Buscabulla – “NTE” (94bpm)

Groovy wallpaper to put on while you do some house cleaning or invite friends over for chips and dip. “NTE” stands for “No Te Equivoques” which means, “Don’t get it wrong.” I like the video too. They’re performing right along the water. It reminds me of when I was in Cozumel watching a band play at this bar. Here’s a pic:

Turns out it was shot in Aquadilla, Puerto Rico, not far from Cozumel. I guess the warm waters of the Caribbean make a nice backdrop for a band.

[new] Chord OverStreet – “What You Need” (70bpm)

When done right, Vocoder harmony is a really great sound. Imogen Heap’s Hide & Seek is the quintessential example. Chord OverStreet’s implementation is different, but really well done. The dreamy guitar with the attack removed, (a la Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,”) creates a fantastic atmosphere. I appreciate that he leaves nice pauses between the phrases in the chorus. Most popular music today doesn’t have the courage to take a moments like this, moments to let things breath and sink in. Claude Debussy is quoted as saying that “music is the space between the notes.” Glad to see that they decided to be patient and not rush through it. The chord choices are interesting and not just the obvious ones to go with the melody, and the multipart harmony in the bridge is a nice bonus. I would have liked the bridge to go a little further than it did.

This does fall under the category of “Pathetic Guy Song.” I would advise any guy who feels this way about a woman to seek therapy. You’re in for some really bad times.

When I saw the actual lyrics, I was disappointed. I liked what I thought I’d heard better:

I can take the losing sleep,
There’s pills to help anxiety,
I would take the mess you leave,
If I could give you what you need