::: January 1 – 18 :::
While I’m abroad in Paris, The Giggs will continue sharing the best new (mostly) Alternative music via the Stereo 8 Mixtape – a blog Aly and I write bi-weekly with 4 tracks from me, and 4 from Aly. But we haven’t got around to that yet, so to keep things fresh, here’s a little Extended Play Mixtape (EP Mixtape) – 6 tracks I’ve discovered during my first week here in France. Enjoy! – Sydne
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1. “Now You Know (acoustic)” – Olivver The Kid
Olivver The Kid can do no wrong. Most recently, he has reproduced “Now You Know”, a touching song from his B-Sides tape. Though the original has a fuller sound with echoing vocals and an electric guitar melody, his acoustic version replaces the guitar with piano and acoustic guitar for a more muted, melancholy sound. Concerning this song in particular, Bryan Sammis says: “today marks one year./ one year / since I’ve talked to 4 of my best friends./ one year since I lost my job./ one year in a prison of my own solitude./ one year since I wrote this song./ here’s to this year.” In case you didn’t know, Bryan Sammis was the ex-drummer of The Neighbourhood who has moved on to more beautiful, honest pastures. Now You Know.
2. “Bamboo” – Hinds (fka Deers)
My first show in France was Hinds (formerly known as Deers) at this tiny little venue near me called Pop-Up du Label. I came in halfway through the show, the room was steaming, and the ladies in the band had huge smiles despite the heat they were making. The crowd was engaging with them sometimes in three different languages (French, English, and Spanish as the band is from Barcelona). They’d finished the set and honestly had no more songs to play, but the crowd demanded an encore! So, they replayed this one, “Bamboo” to appease the people. What defines Hinds’ sound is the apparent demo-like quality, slurred lyrics, and surf ease. Be sure to catch Hinds on their first U.S. tour (whenever that may be) for a fun show with this all-female band.
3. “Sportswear” – Rat Boy
This song gives out some neo-Beastie Boy vibes: quasi-alternative sound with the guitar, and quasi-hip-hop with the manner of singing. (The band qualifies their sound as “Grime Punk Hip-Hop”. Works for me.) NME has named Rat Boy one of the 50 bands to watch out for in 2015 so…I guess consider this your warning.
4. “Worry (Live at BBC Radio 1’s Future Festival 2015)” – Jack Garratt
While listening to BBC Radio 1’s Future Fest this past week, this live performance struck me as the most passionate of the 2-hours worth of material. Then after they released the video, I realized that Jack Garratt had played EVERY instrument on this song LIVE: keys/synths, guitar, electronic drum kit, and vocals, and still managed to have one of the most meaningful performances of the night. Congrats to our beardy Jack Garratt! Check out the feat of a live performance below.
5. “The Rain” – Oh Wonder
Oh Wonder (fka Wonder Wonder) is a London-based writing duo that has been and will be releasing one song/month for a year. This is their 5th month/release, and though their aesthetic is clear (octave-based vocal harmonies, smooth jazz electro) we’ve already heard a breadth to their sound. As an aside, it rains in Paris. All. The. Time. Sunny one second, misty the next, and then you’re drenched. So I’m sick of being wet, but I’m not sick of Oh Wonder. Check in with them on the first of every month to see what they’ve put together!
6. “Fossils” – Circa Waves
We’ve only gotten a few songs from Circa Waves so far, one of which is their latest single, “Fossils”. It’s upbeat per usual, guitar-driven, and catchy. “I’m a long way from home”. Yup I feel that. Their debut album, Young Chasers, is on the horizon if this catches your fancy. Oh man, and it turns out they were ALSO nominated as one of NME’s bands of 2015. So (again), watch out for British lads, Circa Waves. (I mean it a bit more sincerely this time.)