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

Ra Ra Riot

College campus heroes Ra Ra Riot and Vampire Weekend have been buddies for years. Ra Ra spent ’06 and ’07 opening for Editors, Art Brut and Tokyo Police Club. The release of their debut LP got delayed after their drummer, JR Pike, died last year. His untimely death inspired the song “Dying is Fine,” which is probably the band’s most interesting song yet. Vampire Weekend on the other hand has been all over the place this year, including here. Both bands are typically categorized as “Indie Rock/Pop”, although I’m going to have to check with Sabrina to make sure they’re not Lo-Fi / Math Rock with a hint of Twee. Given this, it came as a surprise to me to hear the sound and style of the new project Discovery.

Rostam Batmanglij (the brains behind the VW sound) went to his buddy Wes Miles (lead singer of Ra Ra) and told him that he wanted to make an EP that sounded like a collaboration between The Album Leaf and T-Pain. The baby of this collabo is the “Discovery EP” which can be heard on the pair’s Myspace page. Rostam has Wes singing through an auto-toner on one song, uses fatter synths than DJ Toomp laid down on Kanye’s Flashing Lights on another track, while dropping poppy romantic lyrics like “Oh baby baby baby babe, how long am I supposed to wait, I think about you nightly, can you tell I’m nervous every time you speak?” over sweet sweet electro-pop beats.

The three track EP is sweeet and features three songs that I can’t download anywhere. So head over to the Discovery MySpace page and enjoy.

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— , April 6, 2008    5 Comments