Some Picks for End-of-Fall Listening

I’ve been so busy blogging over at Sound Of Boston (we just debuted the new domain/site design!) that I haven’t kept up my posting here, so I thought I’d put together a short list of some awesome jams. I didn’t mean for this post to have a theme, but all of these songs pretty much fall under the genres of electronic or electro-pop, so I’m just gonna roll with it and call it a day. I’ll be covering a different genre or two next time!   

“36” by Kwes

Honestly, I’m not fully convinced that this guy isn’t James Blake. The vocal similarities between the two are uncanny. Same accent, same inflection, same dripping soulfulness. I almost feel bad comparing them because one, it’s lazy, and two, Kwes is probably really sick of being called “James Blake-esque.” But at the same time, these guys are playing in the same space, and it’s going to be hard for Kwes to break free from that label, no matter how talented he is. Comparisons aside, though, this song absolutely rules.

“D&T” by Letherette

I’m calling it: This British electronic duo is about to blow up. They put out their debut self-titled LP earlier this year and haven’t generated a ton of buzz yet, but I’m rooting for them all the way. This song, “D&T,” is really only a taste of the sleek, funky, and even hip-hop inspired electronica of the rest of the album. I’m completely hooked.

“My Friends Never Die” by ODESZA

Much like Letherette, I think that Seattle-based production duo ODESZA is on the brink of something big. Especially with their newest EP My Friends Never Die, they’ve proven themselves masters at warping and layering sounds to create incredibly textural tracks that can very well put you in a trance.

“Hold My Breath” by Holy Ghost!

I am really not into ’80s music. Like, at all. With a few exceptions, it is the one decade whose musical output I straight up can’t stand. But wait! There’s hope. Holy Ghost!, an electro/synth-pop band from Brooklyn, has done the unthinkable; they’ve managed to make the ’80s palatable to me. I guess it’s not really surprising given that they work with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem (they’re signed to Murphy’s DFA Records), but man, major props to these dudes. I recently saw Holy Ghost! live in Boston, and you can read my review of the show here!

“Life Round Here” remix by James Blake ft. Chance the Rapper

Speaking of James Blake, he and Chance the Rapper recently collaborated to remix “Life Round Here” — definitely one of my favorite songs off of Blake’s Overgrown (2013). My first reaction was WTF JBLAKE?!!!, but then I actually listened, and yeah, OK, of course it’s great. Arguably better than the original track, even. I’m actually really intrigued by how Blake draws from the hip-hop world in his music (see: RZA rapping on “Take a Fall For Me” and the Big Boi sample on “Every Day I Ran”). It’s great that he’s trying to bring two separate music communities together — and even better that the final products always feel so smooth and organic.