the xx

2017 in Review: Ricky’s Favourite Songs

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horrors

Here are my favourite songs. I listened to a lot of songs this year due to a decrease in managerial responsibilities at work (less meetings = more time to listen to music). Anyways, here they are.

Young Fathers – Only God Knows

A song that’s featured on the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack, this track from Young Fathers is so good I had to double check to make sure it wasn’t a famous cover. With it’s relentless beat and uplifting sound, “Only God Knows” is a pulsating track that’s further enhanced by the use of the Leith Congregational Choir. When Danny Boyle says this song is the heartbeat that drives his movie, you can totally understand it.

Paramore – Rose Colored Boy

Catchy as hell pop song. I can’t say I heard a Paramore song before this year, but I guess they went through some changes and now sound like an ’80s pop band. Good for them, good for me.

Carly Rae Jepsen – Cut to the Feeling

The only song Carly Rae Jepsen released this year (I think), but really with a track like this she only needs to do one a year. Another really catchy pop song – CRJ has a knack for writing these. It’s irresistible so why try?

Sundara Karma – She Said

Who said Brit pop is dead? Every few years some band comes along that clearly has listened to too much Brit pop. This year it’s Sundara Karma, who is doing their best to revive the sound that brought us so many big and memorable bands. “She Said” is one of the many single worthy songs on their album and it features all the things you expect – a big hook, guitars and attitude. Don’t sleep on this band.

The XX – On Hold

What a fuckin’ great song. By now everyone has probably heard this already, but it’s a magnificent song that highlights the three members of the band at their greatest powers. Simple melodies, amazing vocal work and Jamie XX’s on point production. You wouldn’t have figured this song could come out from the band when they delivered their Mercury winning debut record and that in itself bodes very well for this group as they get bigger and bigger in the future.

Alvvays – Dreams Tonite

A perfect lullaby that hits all the right nostalgic notes. The warm fuzzy feelings you get from listening to this song are a perfect way to counteract the harsh reality that is the world today. I was curious how Alvvays would top their debut record and this song was a great start.

The Horrors – Something To Remember Me By

My favorite song of the year, I wrote about it already here. It’s so good.

Little Cub – Too Much Love

One of those songs where you don’t think of much at first but then you find yourself listening to it over and over again. I really like the synthesizer in the chorus. It’s a low key jam.

Alex Cameron – Stranger’s Kiss
I love duets for some reason and this one with Angel Olsen is the best of the year. Read more about it here

Ratboy – Laid Back

Yes this sounds like a Jamie T song, but that’s not always a bad thing

What were your favourite songs?

For a full list of songs, look below!

Concert Review: The XX, May 23, Echo Beach

Posted on by Ricky in Concerts | Leave a comment

The xx forever

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Man, The XX were awesome on Tuesday. It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since I’ve seen them live, but they have improved a lot since I saw them on a bill with Hot Chip. In town to promote their excellent new album I See You, The XX played a super fun, confident and epic set that basically screams “we should headline festivals now”. As everyone has noted already, this rendition of the XX seems happier than the previous moody version and maybe we all bought into that narrative but the show they put on essentially became a full on party.

It’s amazing to see how good Jamie XX’s production is. Even if he’s behind Romy and Oliver on the stage, there is no mistake that his influence has grown within the band as his status grows. The dude turned “Shelter” into a dance tune and added additional depth to each song. As excellent as their albums are, The XX are actually better live, which is hard to believe. Highlights for me included “Infinity” (one of my fave XX songs), the dance version of “Shelter,” the set closer “Loud Places” and the encore, which consisted of “On Hold,” which is as close to a stadium anthem as you’ll get with the XX. Just for good measure, they also played “Intro” in the encore as well.

It’s been seven years since I last saw the XX. There’s no way I will wait that long again.

Remix Song of the Day: The XX – Intro (Kenny Burke Edit)

Posted on by Ricky in Remixes, Song of the Day | 1 Comment

Remember The XX? Yea you do. You were crapping your pants all over them two years ago, how dare you forget. The instrumental introduction to their Mercury Prize winning debut self titled record was a fantastic bit of music that seemingly declared ‘you are about to listen to a great album’. The bit of music has been used as intro for many fascinating things since it’s been released, including this especially effective introduction to the amazing reality series about the Penguins/Capitals on HBO called 24/7, watch this:

Now having listened to that, did you ever think .. man, I wished that version was slightly longer?

If you ever did that, then today you are king, for your wish has been granted.

Kenny Burke’s remix of “Intro” is an eight minute slow burning remake of the XX intro, and it’s slick and smooth. Check it out.

XX Song/Cover(s) of the Day: Jonquil – Infinity / Holly Miranda – Crystalized / OMD – VCR

Posted on by Ricky in Covers, Song of the Day | Leave a comment

Jonquil

Toronto – Can you believe The XX made their monumental debut over two years ago? How incredible is that? While we anxiously await their sophomore record, here are some covers to satisfy your needs.

This first one is by the band Jonquil, who I have written about quite a bit lately. It’s probably because I like them. I actually used another photo for this post at Paul’s insistence. Their version of the song Infinity adds a little more beat and a little sleaze into it. I heard them play this live in Austin and it was pretty cool.

Next up is singer songwriter Holly Miranda. This foxy lady is also in the band Jealous Girlfriends, a band I think Wade once took me to for a concert. This version of Crystalized is pretty similar to the core, maybe even a little more stripped down than you would imagine.

OMD, SXSW 2011, March 18, 2011 21.jpg

You know your music is pretty special when legendary bands such as OMD cover you. This version of VCR retains most of the XX essence, only if the song was sang by Andy McCluskey.

Alright, that’s it. Have yourselves an XXcellent weekend! (lame)