Most mixtapes are tied together with a cohesive theme, some on the topic of love for a special someone, others with fury for that bad day. Some mixtapes are lush with clever wordplay and focus on connections in the lyrics, titles, and hooks of songs. We make mixtapes to wake us up, to bang our head to at parties, to celebrate a change in season, to commemorate a break-up, or dance to while cleaning our house. I considered all these options while piecing together complex lists of tracks and sifting through records searching for songs that would convey a sought after message. Finally, while speaking to a friend about my dilemma, he offered a simple solution “People just want to listen to awesome music,” he said, “put together a mixtape with new jams you enjoy and don’t worry about the concept.” So this mixtape is to you friends, treasure these thirteen tracks knowing that I’ve spent the past few weeks dancing in front of the air conditioner, lip-syncing on the bus to work, and vacuuming the house wearing only underpants to.

To those personal friends I share music with regularly and are away for the summer, I miss your presence and your concert update text messaging is appreciated, I look forward to many future iPod swaps, coffee house exchanges, and shout-out-loud new release celebrations. To those readers I haven’t been fortunate enough to meet yet, if you enjoy Ca Va Cool and find yourself twisting and shouting to this bunch of tracks know that we’ve already made the first step to a super-best-friendship. So whether it’s a bad day, a blossoming romance, or just a picnic in the sun, remember to spread the love and share, because sharing is caring. Without further ado, Ca Va Cool says cheers to friends, summertime, and awesome music.

Download | Dear Friends Mixtape

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— , August 7, 2010    2 Comments

It should be quite clear to anyone who has been following my mixtapes over the last year that I suffer dearly from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). While I’ve tried many a remedy, the only medication that seems to work is a carefully constructed playlist which bridges the transition from one season to the next. So what you’ll find in this installment of my seasonal mixtape series is a trip through the denial of the season’s change to a few songs that sound like the early Winter months, some that echo the deepest doldrums of January, and a few sweet tunes to welcome Spring along. Thank you for allowing me to spread my med-cin with you all once again.

Download | The Soul’s on Ice Mixtape

1. Jonathan Boulet – A Community Service Annoucement

Jonathan Boulet came onto my radar a few months ago when Kanye West took a break from blogging about uncomfortable but aesthetically immaculate lounge chairs and scantily clad video ho-fessionals, long enough to plug Boulet’s video for ‘A Community Service Announcement’. The video is justifiably sick, playing like a game of capture the flag gone horribly wrong, though I have no idea how it, or the song’s lyrics and title, relate. Boulet’s first album is making its rounds in Australia, and will likely see the light of day sometime up-over, this year.

2. Empire of the Sun – Without You

Staying in Australia, and propelling the denial of Winter along, is ‘Without You’, my favorite track from Empire of the Sun’s – now old – debut. Drawing comparisons to MGMT, Empire of the Sun have been everywhere as of late, showing up on Jay-Z’s Blueprint III last year and getting a shout-out on HBO’s Entourage as being Jamie-Lynn Siegler’s favorite band, which really begs the question “is Entourage the new ‘OC’?” in terms of it’s music referring power – and is Jamie-Lynn the new Marissa Cooper, in that leaving the show may find her as an actor out of work (via St. Vincent). Think about it.

3. Gorillaz – On Melancholy Hill

The ever-secretive and animated Gorillaz have a new album out this Spring, and this is my favourite track on it. The track is mellow synthpop that can be read as a commentary on over-consumption and materiality leading to doldrums, or simply as a jam that can be jived to no matter what you’re feeling. I prefer the latter. Dance now, deal later.

Continue Reading ‘Souls on Ice’ Mixtape »

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— , March 30, 2010    10 Comments
Photograph by Yuula Benivolski

Photograph by Yuula Benivolski

The twenty albums included in our Best Albums of 2009 list can only cover so much of the music we’ve enjoyed, so to share some more of our favourites from the past year, we present the Ca Va Cool Mixtape for 2009, just in time to close off the year. As always, we thank you for reading and hope you stick around in the new decade. Happy new year.

Download | The Ca Va Cool Mixtape 2009

01. A.C. Newman – Submarines of Stockholm
02. Yeasayer – Tightrope
03. Dog Day – Happiness
04. The Very Best  – Warm Heart of Africa feat. Ezra Koenig
05. Think About Life – Havin’ My Baby
06. Beirut – My Night With the Prostitute from Marseille
07. Tegan and Sara – Someday
08. The Thermals – Now We Can See
09. Timber Timbre – Demon Host
10. Engineers – Song for Andy
11. You Say Party! We Say Die! – Laura Palmer’s Prom
12. The Drums – Let’s Go Surfing
13. Fanfarlo – Luna
14. Julie Doiron – Nice to Come Home
15. Kurt Vile – Freeway
16. Freelance Whales – Ghosting
17. Japandroids – Young Hearts Spark Fire
18. The Raveonettes – Last Dance

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— , December 31, 2009    1 Comment

Kings of Convenience

Where did all the birds go? And more importantly, where did all the skirts go? Fall is probably the most confusing time of year for me. While a part of Summer’s celebrations linger on, Winter’s doldrums are also starting to set in. While I haven’t become a total recluse and curled up into hibernation mode via cable TV and hot cups of coco just yet, I did pass up an opportunity to grab an ice cream cone by the waterfront in favor of a rerun of How I Met Your Mother last week, and I love the Harbourfront! Things aren’t looking good. I’m cold and contemplative and in search of soul food. I think I might either have H1N1 or schizophrenia, and I blame it on the damn season. As I do with all seasons, I’ve put together a mixtape that I hope might capture some of these feelings, and help you cope with them by enabling your transition from synth-filled Summers to Bon Iver-filled Winters. And Fall, I only ask of you, be kind.

Download | The ‘Fall Be Kind’ Mixtape

01. The Hood Internet – Anyway You Want (Ducksauce vs. Consequence)

The Hood Internet, who were featured prominently on my Summer in Synths mixtape, have continued on their sweltering streak with at least a couple mashups this Fall which have made me want to bust out the sandals and have a MuchDance. On ‘Anyway You Want It’ they take a mediocre (at best) song by Consequence and Kanye West, speed up the vocals and place them over one of the most infectious beats of the year from Ducksauce. Ducksauce, by the way, is a project to keep an ear on the grindstone for. A collaborative effort between Armen Van Halen and DJ gold medalist/Kanye’s on-tour DJ/Chromeo’s brother, DJ A-Trak, they’re inevitably going to be making fire together, and their first video is proof in the pudding.

02. Think About Life – Havin My Baby

One of my best friends told me recently that he’s starting a new playlist entitled Happy Songs and that this song was the inspiration for it. Escape the fall of Fall, share a hug with a friend and dance your face off to this infectious Avalanches-meets-TV on the Radio style banger from Canadians Think About Life.

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— , November 11, 2009    10 Comments

The Big Pink

Seasons heavily affect the kind of music I listen to. For a few summers now I’ve turned to synth-driven electro, rock and pop to guide me through a variety of romps, walkabouts, dance parties, swims and trips. Synths feel like bright happy colours. I don’t really care about their rampant over-usage of anything and everything from indie to hip hop these days. They still make me giddy and amplify my summer experiences more than either Bang or Olufsen could. In this vein I’ve put together a playlist of lovely synth-esque music which I hope will be a nice companion to your Summer adventures.

Download | The ‘Summer in Synths’ Mixtape

01 | Gold Panda – Quitters Raga

One of the most interesting songs of the year so far, Gold Panda sample the distinct sounds of a sitar and fuse choral raga chants with gimmicky DJ chops and skips over top of a steady hand clap rhythm. It’s world music gone nutty, and while it may not be the best song to play at a party, it’s a nice headphone banger.

02 | The Big Pink – Dominos

“These girls fall like dominos,” Robbie Furze repeats on the British duo The Big Pink’s fourth single – wishful thinking, at least for this guy. The song’s got anthemic qualities and is sure to help the band blow before disappearing into Much Music’s “One Hit Wonders” territory. Good luck Big Pink, and thank you for this song that Blink 182 and MGMT are somehow both going to wish they’d made first.

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— , August 12, 2009    11 Comments