synth

Christine and the Queens

Christine and the Queens

I'm gonna keep it simple on this one. First, hot knowledge bomb for you. Her name is not Christine. It's Héloïse Letissier, which may be the most French name I've ever seen, and I keep pronouncing it in a truly awful French accent in my head over and over. I'm talking Steve Martin in The Pink Panther bad, here.

But never mind that. Brass tacks: "Tilted" is one of the best songs I've heard in a long, long time. Thick and round and warm and then she does the spoken word in French and...::sigh:: I want to wrap myself up in this song and stay there. It's synth-y heaven. "Paradis Perdus" I love for the Kanye "sample". She really does justice to it and since she sings the rest of the song in French, of course I adore it even though I have no idea what it means. I understand the lyrics are from a '70s French song of the same title, but I wouldn't understand it any better on the original recording, so this is just gonna be a CatQ song for me.

Tilted
Paradis Perdus

Where to find Christine and the Queens:
Twitter: @QueensChristine
Website: christineandthequeens.com

PS: I feel like I'd be remiss if I didn't also point you to the video for "Tilted". It's kind of an avant-garde pop-n-lock modern dance showcase, and it is mesmerizing and wonderful and I keep watching it:
Tilted (Official Video)

Honestly if I ever moved like that I'd probably need to see a doctor.

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