Archive

Posts Tagged ‘electronica’
24 Nov

Week 237: “You Got Me Singing” by Frank Eddie

freddeakin

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Soundcloud.

Singing is good for you. Study after study tells us so: from reducing the risk of heart disease, to fighting Alzheimer’s, to boosting the immune system…singing is clearly giving laughter a run for its money as the proverbial best medicine.

And yet, most people rarely sing. Or worse, they actively avoid it. They make jokes about what a terrible voice they have. They shy away from any sort of public singing by saying things like, “you don’t want to hear me sing, trust me!” or “I only sing in the shower.”

Okay, fine, singing in front of people is different from singing alone. (Unless you’re an elf.) But there are plenty of ways, beyond the classic shower-singing, that you can add singing to your day. Some suggestions:

  • Try humming. It’s more covert than all-out singing, so you can get away with it in crowded places without people noticing. It’s like tip-toeing with your voice.
  • Karaoke: Find the closest bar that does it. Find three friends. Enjoy.
  • Caraoke: Roll up the windows. Turn up the volume. Enjoy.
  • Sing what you see. Sometimes when I’ve got the house to myself, I narrate what I’m doing by singing it. “I’m going to boil some water, soooo I’m filling up the kettle…” Making coffee is way more exciting when it’s a musical.

And if you’re not so good with lyrics, just imagine that you and two imaginary friends are backup singers on this great track by Frank Eddie.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The plucked guitar. If the laid-back atmosphere reminds you of Lemon Jelly, that’s because Frank Eddie is the anagrammatic alter-ego of Lemon Jelly co-founder Fred Deakin.

2. The percussion is understated. Rather than using a big crash cymbal every few bars, he throws in a triangle instead.

3. The vocals. I’m not sure where Deakin found the sample, but this lady sounds like the type who’ll sing her way up and down the aisles of the grocery store, regardless of how many stares she gets.

Recommended listening activity:

Practising your diva hand movements.

01 Sep

Week 225: “Outta My System” by My Morning Jacket (Washed Out remix)

My-Morning-Jacket-Outta-My-System-Remixez-y-Friendz

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Amazon.
iTunes.

A mandatory part of growing up is having a mind-blowing conversation with a close friend or two, typically while lying on your back looking at the stars. This conversation is likely to include some or all of the following statements:

“What if the whole universe is just happening inside a single drop of water?”
“Ever wonder why you’re…you?”
“It’s mathematically impossible that there aren’t other life forms out there.”
“I think that God is just, like…everything. But also nothing.”
“What is money, anyway? Everybody should just be able to take what they need.”
“Imagine if that star just blew up right in front of us right now?”
“What does the universe look like from outside the universe?”

This remix, by Washed Out (aka Ernest Greene) captures the innocent magic of such conversations perfectly. Try to remember where you were when you had your own youthful philosophical sessions, and imagine yourself there while you listen to this song.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. The crickets.

2. The vocal samples, filled with deep thoughts that just make you want to let your mouth fall open slightly and say, “whoa.”

3. Rather than re-state the whole song, Washed Out focuses on the first lyrical line, and loops it. I like it when remixes do that; it’s like taking a painting you already like, and magnifying one corner to really notice the details.

Recommended listening activity:

Imagining who you would be if your parents had never met.

24 Mar

Week 202: “Haiku” by Stefano Guzzetti

Marc Atkins Image

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bandcamp.

Mister Guzzetti:
Italian pianist
And sound designer.

When he was a kid
He saw Kraftwerk on TV
And his mind was blown.

His own work reflects
A blend of electronic
And classical styles.

This song may be short
But like a haiku it proves
Beauty can be brief.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. Arpeggiation.

2. Lots of space between the notes.

3. The sustain pedal.

Recommended listening activity:

Watching a tree branch
That waves ‘hello’ with the breeze
And waving right back.