Tag Archives: 2013

Nick Mulvey – Cucurucu (2013)

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The singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey is a founding member of the band Portico Quartet. ‘Cucurucu’ was his fourth release after leaving the group in 2011 to go solo. It features on his first studio album First Mind, which, like the work of Portico Quartet, also received a Mercury Music Prize nomination. Mulvey has previously revealed that the song’s title is a meaningless noise a child would make, but to these ears, the salsa-infused sound has more to do with the time he spent studying music in Havana. A salsa infusion as it would be sung by Ian Brown, that is.

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Daft Punk – Lose Yourself To Dance (2013)

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Featuring the well placed vocals of Pharrell Williams, ‘Lose Yourself To Dance’ is a celebratory disco track off Daft Punk’s 2013 album Random Access Memories. The YouTube video is the glitter ball on top. Have a great weekend.

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Woodkid – I Love You (2013)

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French music video director and neofolk artist Yoann Lemoine is better known to some as Woodkid. His track ‘I Love You’ features on the autobiographic album The Golden Age. You will have to forgive him the indulgent video, that sport of what he does and has done for Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey’s …

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Tobias Jesso Jr. – Just A Dream (2013)

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Based out of North Vancouver, Tobias Jesso Jr. started playing piano in his spare time while working for a moving company. During this time, he wrote his first ear-catching song ‘Just a Dream’. Girls bassist JR White took note and produced his ensuing album Goon with with Patrick Carney of The Black Keys and John Collins of The New Pornographers. The rest, as they say, will be history.

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David Bowie – Where Are We Now? (2013)

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For an artist who created several showstoppers in a 50-year career,’Where Are We Now?’ was perhaps his most unexpected track since 1969’s ‘Space Oddity’. Bowie chose to break a decade-long silence by releasing this strange and haunting single on 8 January 2013, his 66th birthday. Bowie – pop’s greatest star – shone brightly to the end.

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Izzy Bizu – White Tiger (2013)

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Izzy Bizu

Not strictly a 2015 release this one, because the recent buzz around Izzy Bizu’s 2013 song ‘White Tiger’ is due to a fresh pressing of the single as a precursor to her debut album A Moment of Madness – expected out in the first half of 2016. Listening to it again, you can understand why the re-release – pop hooks galore and a smart jazzy vocal treatment creates a sound that just bounces along. She’s from Barnes, SW London too – a voice’s throw from my manor.

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Ásgeir – King And Cross (2013)

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Ásgeir

Well before you say it, there is more than a touch of Justin Vernon about Ásgeir’s ‘King And Cross’. There is something about those cold northern latitudes that brings about the ethereal – Ásgeir Einarsson is an Icelandic singer-songwriter. In 2013, he released the long player In The Silence on One Little Indian. ‘King And Cross’ was the first single and a strong start. Stay warm.

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Jon Hopkins – Collider (2013)

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Jon Hopkins

Jon Hopkins was born in Kingston and raised in Wimbledon. I was born in Wimbledon and raised in Kingston. But that’s not where our dissimilarities end. After studying at The Royal College of Music as a teenager, he was collaborating with Brian Eno by his mid 20s. I’ve already blogged about his delicate folk sounds with King Creosote on Diamond Mine. A couple of years, there was quite a change of speed on his own work Immunity, released on Domino Records. ‘Collider’ is a model track off the album – electronica all elegantly mixed in with the dark murmurs of Lisa Elle and a schizophrenic visual accompaniment.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2013

2013 …

Samuelsounds

Just catching up on my back catalogue and in no particular order …

Metronomy – I’m Aquarius

Boy & Bear – Southern Sun

Liam Hayes – Rock & Roll

Ninetoes – Finder

Arctic Monkeys – Do I Wanna Know?

Vampire Weekend – Step

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Chance The Rapper – Everything’s Good

Daft Punk – Get Lucky

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Honourable mentions also go to: Portugal. The Man for ‘Plastic Soldiers‘; Pharrell Williams for ‘Happy‘, Brazos for ‘How The Ranks Was Won‘; Junip for ‘Line Of Fire‘; Phosphorescent for ‘Song For Zula‘ and Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle for ‘Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails

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Phosphorecent – The Quotidian Beasts (2013)

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Phosphorecent 2013

‘Song for Zula’ may be the signature track on Phosphorescent’s 2013 release Muchacho, but the 7-minute + ‘The Quotidian Beasts’ is a harder rocking number. And within it, Matthew Houck is able to convey a dark slice of americana. “She laid her claws all upon me and she found me a glass/I know I’ll be up early, I mean you drew me up bad/And the beast came upon me, I guess it wasn’t so bad.”

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James Blake feat. Chance The Rapper – Life Round Here (2013)

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James Blake and Chance The Rapper

Chance The Rapper collaborated with James Blake in 2013, the same year that Blake received universal acclaim for his long player Overgrown. Together they produced an alternate version of Blake’s ‘Life Round Here’. It’s got touches of unmistakable Chance, and so, I like it a lot.

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Portugal. The Man – Plastic Soldiers (2013)

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Portugal. The Man 2013

‘Plastic Soldiers’ is a much more poppy sound than the last Portugal The Man track featured on this blog. 5 years and 4 albums after 2008’s Censored Colors, the Alaskan band had teamed up with producer Danger Mouse. The result was 2013’s Evil Friends. After a slow start, the opening track sparks into life with snare and handclaps and some wobbly synthesiser, which all neatly offset John Gourley’s despondent lyrics. At one point, it sounds remarkably like a Polyphonic Spree number. Have a good week.

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Disclosure feat. Aluna George – White Noise (2013)

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Disclosure

Keeping it brief today, but Disclosure’s track ‘White Noise’ was the second single from the duo’s debut 2013 album, Settle. The track’s nostalgia for early house music benefits from a modern production desk.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2013

Just catching up on my back catalogue and in no particular order …

Metronomy – I’m Aquarius

Boy & Bear – Southern Sun

Liam Hayes – Rock & Roll

Nick Mulvey – Cucurucu

David Bowie – Where Are We Now?

Vampire Weekend – Step

Arcade Fire – Reflektor

Chance The Rapper – Everything’s Good

Daft Punk – Get Lucky

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And in a particularly strong year, honourable mentions also go to: Ninetoes for ‘Finder‘; Portugal. The Man for ‘Plastic Soldiers‘; Pharrell Williams for ‘Happy‘, Brazos for ‘How The Ranks Was Won‘; Junip for ‘Line Of Fire‘; Phosphorescent for ‘Song For Zula‘; Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle for ‘Somehow the Wonder of Life Prevails‘; Asgeir for ‘King And Cross‘; and the Arctic Monkeys for ‘Do I Wanna Know?‘.

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Future – Honest (2013)

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Future

Ever since his debut album Pluto, Future has employed a brand of hip hop that is emotional and wobbly. But with the help of some smart Auto-Tune production and a healthy dose of vocoder, the Atlanta rapper makes it work. Spin magazine calls him “fearlessly soft”. Future thinks that he’s just being ‘Honest’. It’s the title track of his sophomore album.

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