Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Blur – Under the Westway

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Something happened when Damon Albarn broke up with Justine Frischmann way back when. He became depressed and started writing some of his most emotionally introspective music which was a stretch from his usual analysis of English middle-class culture. He then travelled to Africa where he did a lot of mind-altering drugs and met his new partner who he has since had a daughter with. This change transformed Albarn into one of the most prolific songwriters, collaborators and producers of anyone in British music over the last ten years. His work included Gorillaz, The Good, the Bad and the Queen, Rocket Juice and the Moon, and side projects dealing with hip hop, various African music projects, and scoring two operas.

The Westway is a 4km section of elevated highway in the neighbourhood of North Kensington in London. It was built in the early-1970s to ease congestion away from the downtown core but in doing so it disrupted the community and brought concrete and crime. Picture what downtown Toronto may look like today had the proposed Spadina expressway been built around the same time.

“Under the Westway” however, is reminiscent of mid-90s Blur albums “The Great Escape” and their self-titled release that followed as it’s a gloomy tribute to a night in the neighbourhood. “Doing one eighty still standing at last call / When the flags coming down / And the Last Post sounds / Just like a love song”.

The second track “The Puritan” is similar to what you might have heard on “13” with its loud, distorted guitars, backed by a catchy synth beat.

Look for Blur to perform these two songs when they close the London Olympic ceremonies this summer.

Song of the Day: Electric Guest – Troubleman

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LA duo Electric Guest has had their share of supporters and detractors, mainly because of the connections of band member Asa Taccone to his brother, Jorma one of the Lonely Island members. OBVIOUSLY this connection help lead the duo to mega producer Danger Mouse and obviously this connection help set them on what was a supposed path to greatness (most probably thought they’d be like the other LA band from last year, Foster The People). Well, so far it’s July and their tracks aren’t on every radio station out there so that hasn’t quite happened (yet).

Their debut album Mondo is a mellow chill out affair and yes, Danger Mouse’s influence is every where. Some parts sound like bits discarded from the Broken Bells record, but whatever, the man obviously knows what he is doing. The album sounds good.

Troubleman is one of the tracks off the record, it’s 9 minutes long and it’s one of those nine minute tracks where you don’t notice it’s nine minutes. It’s got nice harmonies, catchy melody and a really chill vibe. I feel like I should be walking along a highway, lost and hopeless, somewhere in the Southwest while listening to this song. I don’t know why. Have a listen.

Song Of The Day: The Antlers – Drift Dive

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There’s nothing better than two things I love bleeding together. Enter The Antlers’ Drift Dive. The newly released single off the upcoming EP Undersea, set for release July 24th, and currently available for pre-order. Drift Dive is a melodic and dreamy track with soft vocals. The Antlers are masters of themed music, as you could probably tell by the acclaimed album Hospice, which still brings tears to my eyes and tears to many around me when seen live.  I’m actually an avid scuba diver, and listening to this track makes me think of being in the water on a dive, floating along with the fish. So kudos Antlers. Not sure if you’re divers as well, but you’ve captured the experience beautifully in song.

Song of the Day: PNAU – The Truth

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While we were all being distracted by Empire of the Sun and their shenanigans, Nick Littlemore, one of the two main collaborators of EOTS managed to put out a new record last year with his other band PNAU. I am disappointed to say that I didn’t know about it til this year. I’m slipping, man. Anyways, I was listening to the always excellent (if a bit poppy) Triple J 100 mix this weekend and this track caught my attention.

The Truth was one of the singles off Soft Universe, PNAU’s latest record. The track’s got a pulsating synth line and a rousing chorus that is dance floor ready. It’s incredibly catchy and the only downside to this song is that I feel like it’s one of those tracks they are going to play in one of those American Idol montages where they show all the contestants bursting into the room after they got picked to be in the final 10 or whatever it is they do on that show. It’s that uplifting despite it’s completely not uplifting lyrics.

Check it out