SXSW Song of the Day: Nick Hakim – Bet She Looks Like You

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If you hear this in real life and find that you can resist immediately reaching for a song-recognition app, I applaud your lack of curiosity. All that occurred to me was that at any given moment this song could fade and my eyeballs would be burned-in with “GIVENCHY” in 72pt Times New Roman for the following 24 hours. Use of the words “dope” and “chill” will be banned for fear children might become allergic to their hipster/hippie parents.

Nick Hakim manages to impress even while singing a scant total of 80 seconds in “Bet She Looks Like You” from his debut album Green Twins. When your voice is that clear and determined, repetition isn’t needed to make yourself heard. It’s definitely a minimal style that immediately places one into a sugary melancholy. For a whole album, perhaps not, but transience into a sticky-gooey-sad place has never sounded more appealing.

Song of the Day: Penguin Cafe – Cantorum

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The stop-animation film Mary and Max gets me every time. As simply as closing my eyes, I can see that yellow, post-it plastered ceiling, and Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s Perpetuum Mobile would waft in automagically through imaginary ears. It’s amazing how far music that literally goes nowhere indefinitely can take you.

The name Penguin Cafe has been revived by the late Simon Jeffes’ son, Arthur. The new Orchestra is distinctively more emotive, in contrast to the intentional austerity of the original. “Cantorum”, a cut from their forthcoming new record The Imperfect Sea, pushes that emotional edge still further. Over 7 minutes, it first builds a bleak North Sea soundscape and then sets violins sailing across it. Some have called it uplifting, but I would call it defiant. And I defy you not to listen.

Song of the Day: Lita-Ruta (Shugo Tokumaru)

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Shugo Tokumaru has done it again. While he is certainly no novice at mixing and cutting unrelated pieces of sound into a cohesive whole, this one takes the cake up to Everest. Each second that you waste on predicting its direction is one second less spent appreciating its wonderful, irregular tempo and tonality. Multiple streams of variations staggers amongst unexpected accompaniment and support vocal. For all his whimsy, Tokumaru has always managed to sound triumphal. Here, the main vocal is suitably joyous but there’s just a hint of insouciance. Yes, he probably doesn’t give a damn whether we understand his vision of the musical cubist equivalent. It might as well have been in Japanese – it wouldn’t dampen the spirits anyways.

SXSW Song of the Day: Youngr – Out of My System

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Youngr is so young he don’t even got a wikipedia page. Based off the research I have done and the video below, Youngr is a multi-instrumentalist who likes to perform his music all by himself, which means either

a) he hates people
b) he does not trust people to play is music
c) he enjoys multi-tasking
d) he has no friends

Either way, it is very impressive to do all this stuff by yourself, but it takes a village my man.

Anyways, this song “Out of My System” is a song I would classify as “At a bar, on a beach at sunset” music. It’s chilled and relaxing but has a little groove to it that’ll make you bob your head. It’s enjoyable.

Youngr plays the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 on Saturday 18th March

To be honest, everything at British Music Embassy is pretty good. Check it out bitches.

Here is the link to the British Music Embassy