Spring Cleanin’ Tunes

The Weeknd – What You Need

A cool track by a mysterious band and their mysterious-sounding mixtape – which I highly recommend checking out. It’s moody, atmospheric and perfect for riding home with somebody after a night on the town. The smooth vocal and minimal, yet effective beat hooked me like a fish – I didn’t find it overwhelming on first listen, but it stuck with me and I kept finding myself going back to it; it’s the highlight of a great mixtape. Hope it sticks with you also.

Radiohead – Codex (Mojib Remix)

I still haven’t listened to the new Radiohead all the way through – probably won’t either – but damn, this is a lovely track. The piano suggests Knives Out – by a mile my favorite Radiohead tune – but the guitar and bells push it out further, into a more etherial place. At times it sounds like the soundtrack to a depressing movie about Texas. At other times, like Sigur Ros decided to make a dance record. All over, though, it’s a great remix, one that makes the somewhat ponderous original more engaging.

Cadence Weapon – Baby, I’m Yours (Feat. Shad)

Holy shit, this mixtape was great. It’s nice that Drake is getting Canadian hip hop some attention, but for my money Cadence Weapon and Shad are the two best MC’s in Canada right now – and this track has them both at the top of their games, just killing it. And while Cadence is solid on this track, Shad pushes it over the top, packing his lines with jokes, a shoutout to Steve Nash and somehow not tripping over some tongue twisters. Oh, and he rhymes Adidas with fetus. Considering this mixtape is worth whatever you want to pay, it’s a hell of a bargain.

Purity Ring – Ungirthed

Sounding a little bit like Crystal Castles, but less frantic, Purity Ring’s Ungirthed is a nice slice of electro-pop or chillwave or whatever other made-up label you’d like (it was fun listening to CBC Radio 3’s Grant Lawrence try the same thing). It kind of makes me think of a middle ground between CC and slower, more melodic acts like Washed Out. But it’s not really either one: there’s bursts of droning bass (love that bass snyth) and a drum track suggesting a dance song, but the rest of the song doesn’t go there; at the same time, it’s not as melodic and pop-oriented as Washed Out and their slower-paced ilk sound. I can’t really place where it’s supposed to sit, which I’d like to think suggests more about this band’s strengths than my shortcomings as a writer. They’re easily my favorite new act of 2011 and I can’t wait for an EP or full-length.

Holy Ghost! – Do it again

A great, highly contagious tune which doesn’t suggest maximum volume, but almost demands it, Do it again is a knockout. On a dime, it shifts from 80’s pop – Men at work in particular – to a vintage dance record, complete with synth handclaps and a drumroll that pans across your headphones. It’s a great, fun, obscenely dancy tune. I’m eagerly anticipating this album.


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