Darken Her Horse / Austra / Jonny Puma's best of 2011

I was introduced to Austra last year by some friends who loved their “Beat and the Pulse”, which is a fantastic song full of pulsating synths and piercing vocals. I can say the same thing about this song, which coincidentally comes from the same album from 2011, Feel it Break. I’ve been listening to “Darken Her Horse” all day today, and the refrain gets me every time. It’s so terrifically hauntingly beautiful that it hurts.

Apparently, Jessie Ware performed at Popaganda this summer, but I somehow missed her. What a shame! I love this video mainly because of its beauty and simplicity. Side note: to an extent, her voice (and music) reminds me of Alicia Keys. Anyway, I would love to hear more of what she has to offer.

Jessie Ware, “Wildest Moments” (2012)

Escape! (from The Hours Solo Piano) / Philip Glass / The Orange Mountain Music Philip Glass Sampler Vol.I

I was just browsing through my music collection and stumbled across this song. I didn’t think that I owned anything by Philip Glass (and I certainly hadn’t seen the film The Hours when I acquired this in 2011), so I am quite curious about how it came to reside in my iTunes folder! But regardless, this is a beautiful piece by a wonderful and talented composer. 

Reflektor / Arcade Fire / Reflektor

I haven’t been the Arcade Fire’s biggest fan over the years (although their song “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” really captured my heart last summer), so I was beyond pleased when I heard this song a few weekends ago. A re-listen cemented it in my head as a great song. No, not just great, but soul-rocking and emotion-riveting. Yes, it’s that good, all seven-and-a-half minutes of it. 

Apparently this song came out in 2010. My only question is where was I and how did I manage to miss it?! Her new album is pretty good, but I think this song is actually her at her very best.

Janelle Monae, Tightrope (feat. Big Boi) 2010

Get Some / Lykke Li / Wounded Rhymes

Today is one of those days when all you want is something comforting to listen to. After listening to that, you need something to kick you in the butt and get you out into the open. This is that kick in the rear.

My Woodkid obsession continues. I’m posting this mainly because it meshes my two current obsessions (one deliberate and the other one not so much… try and guess which is which). I can’t get enough of Woodkid’s voice- he could really sing just about anything and have me absolutely entranced.

A little more Woodkid for today. This song is amazing, and the music video is also great. Artsy, bleak, strikingly beautiful- it’s all there. I also love the prominence of the organ and it’s central position at the front of the church instead of up behind everyone in the loft. Nice detail!

Iron / Woodkid / The Golden Age

I love Woodkid. I don’t think I’ve written about him yet on here, but if I have, he’s well worth the repeat. I first heard his stuff on a music blog, but it was a remix by SebastiAn (which is pretty awesome), so I didn’t really get to experience him in his purest state.

I later found this song on a video clip about last year’s Red Hook Crit Milan (also, pretty awesome) and after finding out that it was Woodkid, I instantly started listening to the rest of the album. It’s pretty terrific, if I do say so myself. Lots of orchestration and full, swelling melodies combined with a soulful voice. Nothing is lacking. 

Another Guy / Travis / Another Guy

Travis, aka my most favorite band EVER, released their latest album sometime last month. They’ve been off the radar for a while, pursuing other projects and taking care of their respective families, so I was extremely happy when I found out that they were releasing new material.

The music video for this song in particular is great, really harkening back to their The Man Who days (the “Slideshow” video in particular). This is also a solid song and full of that angst that Fran has always been so good at setting to music. I just purchased the rest of the album, so we’ll see if it is as great as I’m hoping it’ll be.