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ACTIVE CHILD"Playing House (feat. How To Dress Well)"

Active Child mastermind Pat Grossi just delivered on the promise of a "this aint no bedroom record".  ”Playing House”, the first taste of upcoming debut album You Are All I See, features the like-minded upper register of lo-fi crooner Tom Krell.  Celestial synths skip across a heavy bass roll, while angelic multi-tracked howls beckon for emotional clarity.  I think we should all prepare ourselves for the earthquaking power of You Are All I See, out August 23rd on Vagrant.



07 June 201130 notes

We made it guys!  The final 10 songs from my favorite tracks of 2010 compilation.  I’ve provided a brief excerpt that somewhat details what/how I feel when I listen to each song.  I hope everyone will enjoy these songs as much as I have over the past 12 months… looking forward to more fantastic music next year!  It’s been a great one… catch ya on the flip side!  Happy New Year!


10. GRUM: "Through The Night"

Bright neon synths paint the distant landscape — twinkling city skyscrapers organically powered by winding strips of highway and traffic signals — a comforting vocal glow whispers in your ear to “drive straight through the night”, and you believe every word.  Your hands grip the wheel, the engine revs, and without a second thought a cathartic four-on-the-floor backbeat reels it’s fearless head… sending you careening through the starlit night.


09. ROBYN: "Dancing On My Own"

Electrifying tonal pulses spark to life as Robyn’s vocal sass slowly succumbs to a full spectrum of jealous and courageous emotions.  Robyn reminds us to enjoy those unplanned moments of ecstasy and to above all things live for ourselves.


08. TWIN SHADOW: "Slow"

An industrial drum machine huffs and a gritty bass line spins the rusted cogs of this weathered piece of new-wave pop.  George Lewis, Jr. croons against the cold melodies and breathes enough heartache to fog the windows of any strained relationship.


07. THE-DREAM: "Yamaha"

A greased homage to late 80s R&B pop — curtains of sparkling synth chords, airtight rhythm snaps, and a soaring trademark vocal swag that is certainly responsible for many late night backseat romances.


06. MENOMENA: "Dirty Cartoons"

A sauntering vocal melody is effortlessly wrapped in acoustic syncopation, steel drum and bari-sax accents, tinkering piano sonics, and an earthy bass organ.  But when the vocal theme becomes engulfed by exhalations of supplemental harmonies and an enchanting tambourine pulse, your eyes close and you dream of home.


05. CRYSTAL CASTLES: "Not In Love (feat. Robert Smith)"

Sharp and angular, “Not In Love” is teeming with foreboding synthetic melancholy.  Robert Smith earns himself this year’s best “featured” artist attachment with his pained vocal delivery — the titular phrase is tightly clenched, gasping for air with every passing chorus.


04. JAPANDROIDS: "Younger Us"

Buzzing guitar chords rub against each other like sand paper, bounding drum rhythms soften the edges, and a rapidfire shout-a-long vocal anthem infect your brain.  But when those 5 seconds of reverbed anticipation fill the air at the 2:22 mark, you’re reminded of simpler times, those moments of late night, character-defining introspection shared with friends.


03. ONRA: "High Hopes (feat. Reggie B)"

A purple-hued vocal loop lights the fuse on this trunk-rattling, R&B infused dance grind.  Reggie B’s voice is soulful and sultry, igniting sexed-up emotions and delivering them on a rhythmic bass thump from the heart.


02. ACTIVE CHILD: "When Your Love Is Safe"

A beautiful web of synth flourishes fly into focus as Pat Grossi’s angelic musings on promised honesty flutter between feelings of friendship and love.  However, beware, the inescapable chorus melody enters your ears and flows throughout your nervous system, influencing all romantic impulses to fruition.


01. DOM: "Living In America"

Without question my favorite track of the year is the rallying whimsy of Dom’s “Living In America”.  A criminally infectious collection of vibrantly swirling tones, cool splashes of sun-kissed guitar pop distortion, and the ebullient charm of that breezy chorus melody.  ”Living In America” will intoxicate you, forcing you to roll down your car windows, recklessly throw your hands in the air and exclaim: “It’s so sexy!!!”  Couldn’t agree more.


30 December 201018 notes

So today wraps up my favorite EPs of 2010.  I’ll be back Monday with more listology, including my favorite albums and tracks of the past year.  If you can’t seem to wait that long for more music, then check out the ongoing 25 Days Of Winter Mixtape feature.  I hope everyone has a great weekend and drinks plenty of eggnog…   I know I sure will.


10. D/A/D - Super Motives EP

"Mastered Motives"

A network of galactic synth pulses inject enough fuel to power nearly 30 minutes of rocketing keytar solos.


09. PARIAH - Safehouses EP

"Crossed Out"

Dubbed-out electro shuffles are wrapped in enough soulful vocal loops and bass warbles to feed a small underground dubstep nation.


08. FREDDIE GIBBS - Str8 Killa EP

"National Anthem (Fuck The World)"

Heavy bass thumps with taught 808 ticks are smeared over Freddie’s thugged vocal accelerations, and did I mention the chorus has 2010’s most infectious whistle melody? — swag.


07. GAMES - That We Can Play EP

"Strawberry Skies (feat. Laurel Halo)"

An otherworldly presence of glowing 8-bit musical textures that paint a tropical landscape of lush jungles and ancient obsidian pyramids. 


06. THE WAR ON DRUGS - Future Weather EP

"Comin’ Through"

Beautifully rugged folk-rock with vast amounts of sticky guitar noodling, quivering vocals, and Americana-inspired sonics.


05. WEED - Down In The Valley EP

"Release Party"

Fizzy melodic hooks, thunderous drum beats, and buzz-saw guitar grinds.


04. CLIVE TANAKA Y SU ORQUESTAJet Set Siempre 1°

"I Want You (So Bad)"

Technically not released as an EP, this 8-song cassette packs in enough exotic flourishes to get any party ready for dancing, or romancing.


03. ACTIVE CHILD - Curtis Lane EP

"When Your Love Is Safe"

Angelic vocal harmonies, rich layers of synth, and plenty of intricate harp picking make this release 2010’s best offering of classical new-wave pop.


02. DOM - Sun Bronzed Greek Gods EP

"Living In America"

Pure and simple unadulterated guitar pop.  Massive melodic hooks with witty and brash vocals — reckless abandon never sounded so good.


01. GIRLS - Broken Dreams Club EP

"Heartbreaker"

San Francisco’s Girls have romanced sadness and distilled it into a perfect blend of velvety guitar licks and bubbly vocal hiccups.  Bedroom pop doesn’t get much better than this.


10 December 20109 notes

ACTIVE CHILD

"I’m In Your Church At Night"

From the essential 2010 Curtis Lane EP out now on Merok.  Also, if anyone has a copy of the limited Sun Rooms EP that they’re willing to sell, then hit me up!


24 November 201017 notes