::: July 15 – 21 :::
Since it’s summer and The Giggs is on break, we wanted to find another way to share the best new Alternative music we’ve discovered. Thus, The Stereo 8 Mixtape. Each week Aly and I will both choose 4 of our favorite (mostly) new jams to add in to an 8-track mix tape with Side A (Aly’s picks) and Side B (Sydne’s picks). Mixtapes. Just like ye olden days. Enjoy!
SIDE A: Aly
1. “You’re Still A Mystery” – Bleachers
Bleachers’ debut album, Strange Desire, came out last Tuesday, and it’s a hole-in-one. It was hard for me to pick a favorite off of the album, but eventually I decided to go with “You’re Such a Mystery”. Lyrically, it’s my favorite off the album, cleverly referring to other Bleachers songs and providing the phrase the title of the album came from (“followed a dream and a strange desire”). It represents the album quite well, pulling each aspect of the album together and letting the song flourish in what becomes apparent as Bleachers’ signature sound. Strange Desire is one of the most cohesive albums I’ve ever heard, with running themes and introductions. Other songs on the album, “Who I Want You To Love” in particular, are better from a composition point of view, but “You’re Still A Mystery” truly showcases Strange Desire as a whole.
2. “Oblivion”- Bastille
This is not a new song at all, but it is Bastille’s newest single. Strangely, it is the first Bastille song I ever heard, and still holds the spot of one of my favorite Bastille songs of, if not my favorite. The lyrics are so simple, but ridiculously beautiful. The music video for this song officially came out today, and since the song is so special and meaningful to me, I found the music video to be semi-disappointing. If you haven’t heard this song yet, get to it. Right now.
3. “It All Starts Here” – Magic Man
My personal favorite off of Before The Waves, Magic Man’s debut album. The song croons of wanting more, not being afraid, and going for whatever you want with everything you have. I love this song because of the lyrics, and this is the perfect song to drive around to late at night. Before The Waves is packed full of beat-heavy, creative songs, but “It All Starts Here” does a great job encompassing the idea of the album as a whole in one song.
4. “Lucy” – Trampled by Turtles
Ok first and foremost, how great is that band name? Top 10 in my favorite band names ever, for sure. Second, they’re from Duluth, Minnesota, which due to the fact that my favorite book series takes place there, makes me even more partial to this band. Most importantly, they’re great. They have a slightly Bon Iver sound, if Bon Iver’s sole purpose in life was not to put people to sleep and make his lyrics impossible to understand. “Lucy” is my favorite on the album, with it’s simple lyrics and incorporation of violins. The composition of each song is highly crafted, making this album a musical masterpiece. If Strange Desire hadn’t come out this week, this would’ve been my favorite album of the week.
SIDE B: Sydne
5. “Oh Well (Live from T in the Park)” – Haim
BBC Radio 1 has been replaying some of the best clips from T in the Park last weekend, and this is one I’m glad they were able to record live as there’s no studio recording of “Oh Well”. Este (bassist) did the same shtick for this song when I saw them in Salt Lake – the “I’m gonna take you to the HAIM home” and they do an awesome jam session. (Her speech is cut out of the video below, but Zane had the unedited version.) Baby HAIM (Alana) provides the vocals, and Silent HAIM (Danielle) the face-melting guitar solo. It’s a bit of a bummer to realize they perform the jam session exactly the same way every time, but they just do it so well that who really cares. HAIM TIME!
6. “One Thing” (Cover) – Hozier
Hozier first debuted this cover, I believe, a few months ago when he played it live at Maida Vale Studios for Zane Lowe. He performs it live to great fan reaction, and now we have a great video of it! Who woulda thunk a white giant of an Irish dude could rock Amerie’s R&B superjam, “One Thing”. Wow. Orchestra and all. Look forward to Hozier’s debut album (artwork by his Mom – isn’t that the cutest!) sometime this fall.
7. “Shut Up and Dance” – Walk The Moon
The release date on Walk The Moon’s sophomore LP is still unannounced, but I’ve now heard four of their new songs at live shows – “Different Colors”, “Money”, “Sidekick”, and this one, “Shut Up and Dance”. It’s gonna be a great second album from what I’v heard. What I love about this song is that it has the typical Walk The Moon indie-pop sound but has a few moments where it sounds like an old-school guitar, glam rock song. Just a few moments though – not too much.
8. “Killer Bangs” – Honeyblood
Female rockers! Yeah! Honeyblood is like a fledgling Deap Vally – both rock bands comprised of only a guitarist and a drummer. Having listened to their entire debut album though, I never found it lacking with just two people. So all you bands out there with more than 5 people (Magic Man, Young Kato, Hozier, Fun., etc.), stop showing off! Just kidding. Honeyblood’s reverb guitar rock (or what they call “crunch pop”) sounds easy and unworked in its minimalism.
Honorable Mention: Honeyblood’s song “Super Rat” where they refer to a guy as the “smartest rat in the sewer”. Hehehe, good one.