Electronic music more than ever shows us that it isn’t just about what sounds good to the ear. If you analyze every single sound in Phantogram’s ‘Fall in Love,’ you’ll miss out in the beauty of when it all comes together. Listen to her voice and let the beat fade into the background.
For the last two years I’ve tried to theme our best remixes, mashups & covers of the year off other noteworthy remakes of that year. 2011 was “uninspired by Glee” (specifically it’s mashups). 2012 was a tribute to Anna Kendrick and her remixing ways in Pitch Perfect. And finally for 2013 we go with a more genuine pick. Our hat goes off to Willy Wonka and Chipotle’s remake of its most memorable tune with an accompanying video that’s just as wonderful if not more. It really puts the art in advertising this year.
For the last two years we’ve also usually had a mix of remixes, mashups and covers. However, this year the mashups have fallen to nearly nothing, but the covers have flourished. Remixes are still on top for 2013.
The only thing more difficult than writing is categorizing these damn top 2013 lists. I messed up our last 2013 favorites, the lady vocals, so I thought I would clarify this list for all of us.
A few years back this would have been called, “Indie to R&B,” in fact it was, but the latter has flipped producer-side and is more accurately classified under electronic for us this year.
While this is obviously intended to be centered around indie & pop music, including alternative & folk, genres are hard to pin down, especially to one or even two nowadays. So to give this list a more accurate, less appealing title, the music here is centered around a vocal-bases.
Like rock before it, indie & pop have become rock’s sliding scale contemporaries, putting the singer smack out in front. Which compared to electronic goes back to a composer or producer-bases, like jazz and classical before it.
And yes, there are elements of electronic, jazz & disco on this list, which is why I had to go on this rant in the first place.
I’ve wanted to make a mix of lady vocals ever since I first heard Birdy’s, and finally 2013 has given us more than enough. So for our first best music list of 2013, we get a mix of beautiful singers with producers who deserve half the credit. From pop to garage and disco to rap, you may not love them all, but you better find at least one.
I thought Shy Girls would’ve had girls in it, but his voice is lovely enough. Plus, I’ve had my fair share of females this year, as you’ll soon see (best of 2013 list).
For the remix, Saux gets on this, making ‘When I Say I Love U’ feel like a symbolic day dream you can only picture in the movies. Really brings out those MJ highs Shy Girls breathe out.
Panda’s new delight is a big house beat that brings one of the best builds of the year. So good the drop couldn’t keep up. Unlike their ‘Eighty Nine‘ track, which was done so damn different. Both tracks are recommended with headphones, as per usual, but more especially.
Love it when a good remix introduces me to a good original. Cherokee makes a smooth house mix with Darianna and FKJ tops it off subtly with an abstract, tuned up remix. Both are a pleasure to listen to simply because of Darianna’s voice. Once again I hope a vocalist like her keeps with the pace in pairing up with producers like these two.
Since the first edition of our favorite SoundCloud Educators & Storytellers, we’ve grown to love such shows as Blank on Blank, StoryCorps & The Story Colliders even more than before. And better yet, we’ve found plenty more to talk about.
Our list of favorite podcasts range from lost interviews of famous peoples to the most up to date panels in music tech. Not every show will be for everyone, but I guarantee you’ll find one you’ll be listening to for life. I’m sure I’ll be listening to at least a handful of these until they broadcast no more.
Starting to think Method Records may be my new favorite label. With their most notable release of the year, ‘Together‘ sports some notable names including Nile Rodgers, Disclosure & Sam Smith. But before all that, they gave us Lxury’s ‘J.A.W.S.’, which I’m now coming to find was co-produced with Disclosure.
Disclosure is all over the place and that’s a key to creativity. They know the art of collaborate as their past pairings like Lxury can corroborate.
Rarely do I keep going back to the same musician and consistently post everything they put out. I crave novelty and vocals especially tend to dry up fast. Bordeaux, however, is one of a few exceptions.
In my favorite single off his latest side project, Warm Space, ‘Rust Lovers’ takes that voice I love so much and puts it into a very warm piano piece. The other two tracks are still a good taste of Bordeaux’s style & voice, but I love the lyrics in ‘Rust Lovers’ most. Not necessarily just for the meaning, but what his voice brings to it too.