January Mixtape

13 songs of inversion clearing goodness. Enjoy.

1. The Rebel Set – Trails! [hidden volume]
2. Helens – Just Like Pet Sounds [self]
3. RUMTUM – Good Places [self]
4. L’Orange – Rest Like Pollen [self]
5. MF DOOM – Charnuska [high times]
6. Palmas – Sweet Water [lost colony]
7. Emma Russack – My Own Friend [spunk]
8. Cub Country – You Want It All [them are good]
9. BADBADNOTGOOD – In Your Eyes (feat. Charlotte Day Wilson) [innovative leisure]
10. GABI – Distance Makes Me Disappear [self]
11. I Am The Polish Army – David Bowie [self]
12. The Staches – Total Commitment [bongo joe]
13. Uranium Club – Who Made The Man? [fashionable idiots]

Sam’s Top 23 Songs of 2016

(Sequenced for flow – not ranking – purposes.)

Tyvek “Choose Once” (In the Red)
My single of the year, from my album of the year. So raw, so good.

Mass Gothic “Every Night You’ve Got to Save Me” (Sub Pop)
Family Sing-Along Song of the Year honors go to this raucous doo-wop jam.

DIIV “Under the Sun” (Captured Tracks)
Shining down from a shimmering crack in the clouds that hung over 2016.

A Tribe Called Quest “We the People…” (Epic)
I could have chosen any of a half dozen tracks off this album but this here’s the anthem, get your damn hands up.

Francis and the Lights w/ Bon Iver “Friends” (KTTF)
Alan Parsons meets auto-tuned R&B meets, well, Bon Iver.

KAYTRANADA “LITE SPOTS” (XL)
Half this song is impossible to dance to; the other half is impossible not to dance to.

De La Soul “Royalty Capes” (AOI)
I wish this album had been more fulfilling than my anticipation of it, but there are some real gems amidst the scattershot experiments. This one’s about why a guy can’t find vintage De La on any of the streaming services.

Homeboy Sandman “Heart Sings” (Stones Throw)
Homeboy Sandman w/ I Am Many “Real New York”
(Stones Throw)
Sometimes he rhymes slow, sometimes he rhymes quick.

Beach Slang “Spin the Dial” (Polyvinyl)
“I was born at the bottom
But I never belonged
I’m hardly ever right
But I’ve never been wrong”
Could’ve been ripped straight from Paul Westerberg’s notebook.

The Men “Dreamer” (We Are the Men)
What you’d imagine to be playing anytime a parent pounds on their teen’s bedroom door and yells, “Turn it down!”

The Radio Dept. “Committed to the Cause” (Labrador)
A slinky statement of a song with hints of Prefab Sprout and St. Etienne.

Parquet Courts “Steady on My Mind” (Rough Trade)
Mmmn, Velvet-y.

Grandaddy “A Lost Machine” (Sony)
Man, this album can’t come soon enough…

James Blake “Love Me in Whatever Way” (Polydor)
That laugh track makes this even more heartbreaking than your average James Blake song.

ot to, not to w/ Noah Smith “Regretta I” (Other People)
Listen very closely.

The xx “On Hold” (Young Turks)
I know their 15 minutes of fame should be long gone, but that Hall & Oates sample…

Sonny & the Sunsets “Needs” (Polyvinyl)
The album where Sonny fell in love with a drum machine and made some goofy babies like this one.

Sunflower Bean “I Was Home” (Fat Possum)
Critics fawned over their debut but I found most of the album kinda boring. That said, this single is some transcendent psych rock amazingness.

Terry Malts “Used to Be” (Slumberland)
Terry Malts has been to me in the early 20-teens what The Wedding Present was to me in the early 1990s – completely durable and indispensible.

The Intended “Don’t Wait Too Long” (In the Red)
Rollicking goodness from Detroit’s garage (or basement, as the case may be) scene.

Leonard Cohen “It Seemed the Better Way” (Sony)
I’m a man of faith but after a year like this one, I get it. I really do.

David Bowie “Lazarus” (ISO/Columbia)
As my grandmother was bedridden and dying of cancer she’d ask my mom to open the curtains so she could watch the birds in the tree outside her window. When I first heard the bluebird line, I crumbled into a sobbing mess. Bowie gave until the very end…ain’t that just like him?

RUMTUM

RUMTUM | Mora Tuga | 3hive.com

RUMTUM | Mora Tuga | 3hive.com

Mora Tuga is the imaginary world that RUMTUM (sometimes known as John Hastings) created through drawings as a kid. A graphic novel that he wasn’t able to finish as a kid has now been completed through his new LP of the same name. Like RUMTUM’s drawings and illustrations, his music is created very much in the same way, as layers upon layers of guitars, percussion, synths and more play and bounce off of each other with precise intent.

Mora Tuga is clearly a labor of love. I highly recommend getting lost in it. Give “Hemispheres” (below) a spin – it’s a perfect peek into the world that RUMTUM has created.

Mora Tuga is available now on vinyl through the fabulous Wax Thématique Records – you’d be a fool not to get a copy of this on vinyl. If vinyl is not your thing you can get it digitally from RUMTUM’s Bandcamp page. Please enjoy.

RUMTUM – Hemispheres from Mora Tuga (2016)

Ladyhawke

New Zealander Pip Brown, AKA Ladyhawke, has made some changes in her life over the three years since her last album’s release. She gave up drinking and focused on getting healthy. This new found health is clearly evident on her newest sunny, electro-pop release Wild Things.

Album opener ‘A Love Song” (below) is packed with bright tones and throbbing synths – a real pop gem that’s sure to get a dance party started, even if it’s only a dance party for one.

Wild Things is out now and available from Polyvinyl Records. Check it out.

Ladyhawke – A Love Song from Wild Things (2016)

Howard

Brooklyn-based quartet Howard released their debut album, Religion, at the beginning of 2015. For their follow up EP, Please Recycle, Howard has completely reworked songs from Religion (with no additional tracking or anything else, mind you) to create a fantastic departure from their debut. The results, Please Recycle is 5 songs of electronica gold, reminiscent of artists like Four Tet and Tycho.

Give “Plastic” (below) a spin, it’s a great example of the entire EP. Please Recycle is available now via Fashion People, I highly recommend it.

Howard – Plastic from Please Recycle (2016)

Howard FB

Radiation City

Portland-based Radiation City recently dropped their third LP and first with Polyvinyl Records. Synesthetica is a hook-driven, electro-pop gold mine – the deeper you dig into the album the more rich stuff you find. Check out one of many standout tracks “Milky White” (below) for a taste.

Synesthetica is out now and available in all formats from Polyvinyl.

Radiation City – Milky White from Synesthetica (2016)

Radiation City FB

Pillar Point

Scott Reitherman is back with his second album as Pillar Point, Marble Mouth. Recorded at Kevin Barnes’ (of Montreal) home studio, Marble Mouth is an electro-pop masterpiece with of enough throbbing bass and synths to make any fan of 80’s electro drool. Check out the sun-soaked “Dove” below for a taste.

Marble Mouth is out on January 22 through Polyvinyl Records, it’s a must have for your record collection.

Pillar Point – Dove from Marble Mouth (2016)

Krisp

Miami quartet Krisp blend elements of electro-pop, chillwave and some good old rock and roll to create a throwback of sorts to the new wave sounds of the 80’s.

Check out their super-tight, dance-pop single “167” below (named for it’s BPM), it’s the most upbeat track from their new album, Sonic Monarch, and one of the best from it.

Sonic Monarch is out on January 15 via Gummdrop Records.

Krisp – 167 from Sonic Monarch (2016)

Krisp FB

Lasso

Lasso is the solo (mostly) project of Tucson multi-instrumentalist/beat maker Andy Catlin. He covers about every genre imaginable throughout his seven release discography, including psych, pop, electro, hip hop, pop and rock. His newest release, Into The Lasso, is a kind of groovy, psych-pop meets hip hop beats hybrid. Check out the Money Mark-like album opener “Pepper”, it’s a great example of what this guy can do.

Into The Lasso is available now from Lasso’s bandcamp page. While you are there be sure to check out his other releases, you will not be disappointed.

Lasso – Pepper from Into The Lasso (2015)

Club 8

Swedish duo Club 8 celebrate their 20th anniversary this month and they’re kicking things off with their ninth album, Pleasure, due out the 20th of this month. Club 8 began as a bedroom, twee-folk band with a knack for dropping in a few beats and knob-twists to taste. Based on the two songs I’ve heard from this new album, the band is putting a heavy emphasis on club. No longer the exception, dance beats are now the rule. For their 20 year celebration Club 8 is moving the party from their house to a nightclub—hitting the lights and getting down!

Public shout out to my man Todd for keeping the ‘hive alive! I dig his picks and I’m geeked to have him on board! If you’re keeping track at home, I haven’t posted here in over two years. Sad but true. Thanks for stopping by!