5 personally curated tracks to plug into. A mix of old and new from a large swath of genres that are in my current heavy rotation. Sound off below in the comments and shout out any artists you want to hear more of in the future. Enjoy!
Le1f: Air Max
Caught a performance on a SXSW and was impressed. Checked him out on Soundcloud and was enthralled. Syrupy thick and flamboyant. Live he is charismatic, energetic and engaging with a delivery that is rapid but controlled. His mind seems to move so fast ahead that the words are old news by the time they leave his mouth. Like every great artist, Le1f appears to be several steps ahead of the audience but has managed to slide along the line of leaving them behind.
I’ve followed them for years and have seen them live several times, on one occasion hugging and unabashedly professing my adoration to their equally intoxicated and embracing frontman Lajon. Earning their rep as a phenomenal live act foremost, this track’s intro features a surprising technical metal figure. The verses are deliberate and unyielding but give way to a bright and melodic chorus. As the song progresses it becomes very emblematic of Sevendust with the call and response sections that translate so well live. An aggressive celebration, paradoxically joyous in its anger.
The Rolling Stones: Gimme Shelter
An exemplary and hypnotic intro worthy of an entheogen. It becomes a wonderful display of Keith Richard’s subtle songwriting as it quietly builds to a tension that releases for the first verse. Tasteful and poignant rhythm provide a perfect bed for Mick Jagger’s expansive vocals. A brooding response to the turmoil of the Vietnam era, it is the perfect piece for when you feel walls closing in on you.
Man Man: Head On
Upbeat and staccato with a melody that evokes the older R&B/Soul of songs like “Stand By Me”. This track takes the notoriously experimental Man Man into the realm of pop. Catchy and indelible, it is a departure from their trademark off the wall burlesque but a fine entry point for folks new to the band.
Nine Inch Nails: Copy of a
Uptempo and at times frenzied, with faded vocal echoes that decay rapidly. Haunting feedback changes to a lightly distorted chorus that affirms and silences the noise. The next verse cycles in and out of phase as the cacophony of layered sounds continue. Trent Reznor is a masterful sequencer and is constantly adding interesting sounds to chew on and this new album is no exception. Headphones recommended for maximum aural pleasure.