electronic

Lights

Lights

So, I don’t know how listening to music works for all of you. Everyone kind of ingests and internalizes these things differently. For me in particular and in service of this particular narrative, I’ve got this one little alcove in my mental musical taste pavilion set aside especially for a certain kind of electronica that I cannot trivially define with a genre boundary. This Department of Lovely Electronica, it has a kind of continuously listening spidey-sense steadfastly monitoring the musics that enter into my ears ever vigilant for the undefinable hallmarks of what it needs. The things that tie these artists and songs together is some nebulous thread determined entirely by this abstract processor but when I find new ones, I know I’ve found them, and a little figurative bell rings and I am compelled to listen to them on repeat for a month. Lights and her most recent record, Little Machines: ding. Ding ding ding. Ding.

Ding.

The best thing about this album is the synth work. It’s gorgeous. It’s vintage-y, almost Casio-keyboard at times, but it’s always gorgeous. Airy, ragged, mellow, jarring, low-fi; synthetic in the very best ways. The other best thing about this album is the beats which can only be defined as phat, punchy drum kicks and tight bass lines with a driving, compelling quality that engenders a deep need for the song to continue. A further best thing about this album (you see what I did there, the whole album is amazing, everything is the best, why are you still reading) is the vocal work. Lights covers a gamut from intimately personal to rave dance commander, which is non-trivial in and of itself, but her sharp highs and lightly affected texture are perfect to the point of bespoke for the music. Little Machines is the complete package, batteries included.

And so we come to the time. The best and worst time. The time of the choosing. I can’t do this album any true justice here. These are great songs. The album is great songs. Go get a copy and listen to them all.

Portal
Same Sea

PS: The brilliant header image on this post came from: Wittefini
Beautiful shot. If I took ten thousand pictures at a concert not one of them would come out like that and it’s one of many great shots in the set. Check it out.

PPS: One thing you can’t see in that photo is that Lights has some really outstanding ink. I’d encourage you not to take my word for it and see for yourself.

Where to find Lights:
Twitter: @lights
Website: music.iamlights.com

The Bird and The Bee

The Bird and The Bee

Part 1 (in a continuing series): Please Clap Your Hands. The Bird and The Bee are crazy good. How could they not be? Brilliant production/instrumentation from the well-traveled Greg Kurstin (No kidding: Sia, The Flaming Lips, Kylie Minogue, Beck, Rilo Kiley, and Jane’s Addiction) and swoon-worthy vocals by perennial crush-inducer Inara George come together in a magical tropicália-infused electronically-augmented ear-gasm that just does not quit. At times evoking shades of Jem, Frou Frou and Bitter:Sweet, at times eschewing comparison, The Bird and The Bee deliver one thing consistently: quality.

I realize there’s a lot of material out there. I realize that. I’m digesting it in chunks. Currently I can be found weeping openly in public over the concept that Please Clap Your Hands has been out there for nearly two years and I’m only now experiencing the joy. If you see me crying, reader, just turn away. Seriously, this EP is patently outstanding. Just listen to that Bee Gees cover and try to convince yourself you don’t need it.

Polite Dance Song
How Deep Is Your Love

Rebecka Törnqvist

Rebecka Törnqvist

Rebecka Törnqvist, my Swedish crush. Melting Into Orange is a very unique album. Her mix of light electronic and jazz is novel enough, but with her bell-clear voice piercing the mix with just the right touch of reverb, there’s not much to dislike. I’m finding it difficult to present anything close to a representative sample of the album, so I just posted two I like. You should also listen to Wit Waltz, Cuckoo and The Poachers, if you’re serious about the process. If not, then, you know. Don’t, I guess?

Quick point of order, all Amazon has is the import of this album, no MP3s. Far be it from me to advise you against buying from Amazon, I love those guys, but Rebecka’s own site has MP3 downloads, although they aren’t particularly cheap either. Anyway, linkage:
http://www.rebeckatornqvist.se/

I Wanted This To Be Your Song
Tell On You