::: August 11 – 18 :::
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. “bad_news” – Bastille
Why the underscore? I don’t know, but it’s still a good song. This isn’t my favorite Bastille song I’ve ever heard, in fact I’d say it’s on the lower end of the ones I love, but it’s still damn good. Bad_news is much more electronic than the songs on Bad Blood, sounding much more like a song that belongs on their mixtape, Other People’s Heartache. Does that mean their new album will be more electronic sounding? Does that mean they’re working on a new album? You could speculate for days, but only time will tell.
2. “Tongues” – Joywave (feat. KOPPS)
This song is so ridiculously catchy that I guarantee it will be used in either an iPhone, or car commercial soon. It just has that sort of viral sound that works perfectly. Joywave is featured on Big Data’s song “Dangerous” and between these two hits, it looks like Joywave has a knack for picking songs that are going to go far.
3. “Habits” – Tove Lo
It took me a while to decide if I was going to do this song or not, but then I decided to go for it. Let me start by saying, I don’t know if I like this song. “Habits” is a song like so may others that I really don’t want to like, but that is so catchy and well produced that it snuck into my subconscious. I am allowing myself to add it to this mixtape only because it is on Alt Nation. Side note: am I the only one who thought Miley Cyrus was singing during the chorus? Eerily similar voices.
4. “Home” – Dotan
How many more songs do we need about going home? I had to put a cap on songs titled home until this one came along. The music video may be what makes this song, challenging the idea of what home actually is. The song has a strong drumbeat which keeps it interesting and alive. Dotan is a Dutch singer who is barely breaking in the U.S, so I’d say keep your eyes (and ears) on this one.
SIDE B: Sydne
5. “Keep It Sacred” – Olivver
While The Neighbourhood seems to be falling off the map (what happened to that touring album they promised the world back in December?), their ex-drummer Bryan Sammis aka Olivver, has suavely emerged on to the alternative scene. Every couple of weeks, Olivver has been releasing a tasteful new track, and every single one seems to satisfy a different genre. His latest release, “Keep It Sacred”, is a sweet little track (somewhat reminiscent of Lana Del Rey’s “Ultraviolence”) where Olivver asks to keep love sacred in the face of abuse and violence. Olivver’s latest only leaves me wanting more. Check out the video below.
6. “Two Weeks” – FKA Twigs
In a recent statement to The Guardian [HERE], FKA Twigs set shit straight about her genre: don’t call her Alt-R&B simply because she’s mixed-race. Rather, she finds her music to be more akin to punk or even classical. Now we’ve got that sorted, I have no idea how I would describe her; she’s completely innovative and inescapable. You’ve just gotta experience the Twigs.
7. “These Nights” – Sea Swallowed Us Whole
Warped Tour came through Utah a couple weeks ago, and Aly and I ended up there for X96, coordinating band interviews. I met tons of nice dudes from bands I’d never heard before (and a few dicks as well). Inevitably, having been introduced to all these new bands, my taste has turned Warped – I’m feeling a bit more on the edgy, emo, raw side. One of the great bands I met was Utah locals, Sea Swallowed Us Whole. They totally started off the conversation on the right foot when we began discussing R&B influences in their music and why The Weeknd is the bomb (even though he’s also a sexist asshole). Their self-titled debut EP manages to straddle the hardcore/rock scene from which they were borne and emerging pop and R&B influences brought in by their new vocalist, Chris Gibbons (who, I might add, may be one of the most outgoing, happy people I know, screaming vocals be damned.) The entire EP is pump-up music, but I didn’t really feel anything until I got to “These Nights”, a track where they succeed in merging a rock sound with something of that R&B feel, I guess. It takes you to that dark well from which you derive power – the power to act in defiance of authority and negativity. To realize your dreams.
8. “Let It Go” – James Bay
I heard this song a few weeks ago on Zane Lowe, added it to a playlist, then promptly forgot about it. iTunes, however, sparked my memory when I saw that this song was FOR FREE this week. In a month where calm, folky, Australian Vance Joy has been topping the alternative charts with “Riptide”, and cutie pie popstar Sam Smith is still sitting pretty atop the Top 40, it’s a good time for blues-pop artists such as James Bay. “A hopeless romantic track” as some random hipster commented on soundcloud. So I guess…if you’re looking for a song to cry yourself to sleep with, you’re welcome.