There is a moment in Noah Baumbach’s While We’re Young where Duke Dumont’s remix of the Haim song “Falling” plays. The film is a model ship in a bottle: an older generation of creatives begin to hang with a younger hipster generation at the looking glass of sorts that is gentrified New York City. It’s a delicate and intricate situation that occurs in a microcosm at once parodying the thing itself by scaling it down and beautifying it.
While that may be an oversimplification of what the film’s about, it’s an analogue of electronic music itself too. Songs such as this remix of “Falling” are themselves oversimplifications: an original track boiled down to a glaze of vocals and its barest rhythm overlaid with juicy beats and melody.
It’s worth repeating, for it never wears on one, but something simple can yield a multitude of results. The simple is often transparent and direct. It’s the stuff of pop songs and twelve-bar blues. And as the above song demonstrates, demonstrably potent. Enough to get this kid off his high horse and admit the goofy remix is just plain old good.
What happened to Lauryn Hill? D’Angelo? Haunted by the sounds of old ghosts – Peter Frampton – and the new stalwarts – Frank Ocean – they faded from production and into record collections. Perhaps the music industry, the upkeep of being a star, was too much. Better to take the road less traveled than the red carpet one too many times over.
Nevertheless, their sounds live on in the likes of Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment. The group: Donnie Trumpet, Nate Fox, Peter Cottontale and Chance The Rapper. They’re from Chicago and best friends, not unlike the Fugees and Odd Future before them. Their latest single “Sunday Candy” builds on the variety of talent and sound from their debut, “Zion”. It’s a fun song, wonky, and self-aware; tinged with a young persons’ cynicism. A new kind of blues. Something for the Internet age.
My apologies for the delay, folks.
It’s Bastille Day on Monday. Today, let’s celebrate some of the sweetest and smoothest Francophone jams. This one’s for the Frenchies.
The only distance between Revin Goff and The Growlers is geographic. Ireland to California, they’re all singing the blues. Goff’s winnebago jangling sound makes excellent use of electronic leaps and bleeps. The Growlers on the other hand, sound as if they lived in an attic, recycling the sounds of 1972, concocting a chemistry of sounds for today’s ears and tastes.
What appeared to be a sonic gulf – a lonesome kid behind a laptop and melancholic balladeers – is bridged by the reservoir of the Internet. Blues, we recognize them when we hear them.
English singer Nao, together with upstart producer A.K. Paul (brother to the sublime Jai Paul), have produced a track that’s in equally parts lush and tropical. “So Good,” a title which defies much elaboration, bursts with scrambling guitar riffs which alight your senses like phosphorescent pop rocks of yore.
If it’s Friday, then it’s “So Good”.