While aimlessly scrolling through SoundCloud today, I came across a wondrous surprise: An interesting and beautiful new release from Majical Cloudz! Now, “Savage” isn’t necessarily ‘new,’ as frontman Devon Welsh has been playing the track shows for majority of the year, however, if you haven’t seen them live, you’re in for a treat. The track also didn’t make it onto 2013’s emotionally driven LP, Impersonator, making it even more rare of a release.
On Welsh’s blog, he exclaims, “Many people have asked me on Tumblr and Twitter what this song is called and when it will be released, so here it is! … Happy to be releasing it! It’s been fun to play it live over the past year.” He continues to explain that he’d rather not delve into the details of the song, “…ultimately what the song is ‘about’ is less important than how and why it is meaningful for you when you listen to it,” Welsh says. “It’s about letting go of a relationship as it changes and the emotions that go along with that.” Enjoy:
The times are a’ (finally) changing: Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down by the Supreme Court today & Proposition 8 is gone! – An extremely momentous and historical victory in the LGBT rights movement. These are exciting and fitting times, especially since San Francisco Pride is this weekend. President Obama said it best in his speech following the moment: “When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”
With that, I present to you some righteous jams to celebrate history, victory, equality, and most importantly, love for all:
Majical Cloudz – I Do Sing for You
Psychic Twin – Unlock Yr Heart
Bibio – You
Disclosure – Help Me Lose My Mind feat. London Grammar
Today, I don’t have any plans to stay up until 4 am, drink cheap booze, eat copious amounts of meat or breakfast tacos and race around Austin, TX to watch 2,000+ bands play on a bridge, some steps, in a bar, church, garage, house, backyard, or in a burger joint… it’s weird. SXSW is officially over.
Although the mayhem of a music festival is utterly exhausting, it’s also rejuvenating in the sense that you fully submerge yourself into the deep end of a music-worshiping pool. At SXSW, you’re surrounded by thousands of bloggers, musicians, music industry folk, podcasters, writers, celebrities, and most importantly, but simply, fans. During these 6 whirlwind days, you’re immersed amongst a concentration of people who all share the same love and appreciation for music as equally as you do. It’s refreshing.
The festival exposes you to so many surreal opportunities, chances, music discoveries, and connections that you’d most likely never experience otherwise – It’s a truly magical experience. With that, here are 8 phenomenal highlights from SXSW 2013:
K-X-P at the Karma Lounge + Bob Boilen (Creator and Host of NPR’s All Songs Considered)
Helsinki’s goth LCD Soundsystem trio, K-X-P was absolutely electrifying and their performance was by far my favorite of the SXSW experience. Donning goth gear in the form of black capes and studded leather dresses, K-X-P pulsed long, intensely dark synth and heavy beats throughout the bar at 1 am. I also spotted Bob Boilen from NPR’s All Songs Considered in the room and introduced myself, as I’m a big fan. Quite extraordinarily, Bob mentioned me in his podcast that night, and coco stereo in his SXSW wrap up – Truly an honor! You simply never know who may rock out next to at SXSW!
K-X-P – Melody
Empress Of at the Hype Hotel
12 pm is early by SXSW standards, but it was Empress Of‘s first appearance on the festival circuit and it was well worth the price of a little lost sleep. Empress Of is not only adorable, but possesses a magnetic voice and purges raw, refreshing talent that made her performance appear seamless. Her voice quavered when introducing herself, but she happily bounced along to new electro-pop gems we were all eager to hear, as she currently only dons three. Humble, yet extremely talented, Empress Of stole the hearts and ears of many.
Empress Of – Don’t Tell Me
M for Montreal /Arbutus Records Showcase at the Swan Dive
I could write a novel’s worth of blog posts purely about this showcase as I never left, and it was 7 hours long! The lineup included Mac DeMarco, Sean Nicholas Savage, Majical Cloudz, Pat Jordache, Blue Hawaii, Doldrums, and Braids. If it wasn’t already obvious that Montreal is kicking serious ass in the music realm, it should be now.
Though Mac DeMarco, everyone’s favorite goofy crooner/rocker isn’t an Arbutus Records artist, he is from Montreal and a dear friend to these musicians. This was the 3rd time I’d seen DeMarco (who was still wearing the same garbs) at SXSW, and not purposefully, he just seemed to be everywhere. However, this was by far his best performance, as he seemed to be in true bizarro form amongst friends. At one point mid-performance, DeMarco scrambled up a wooden beam and began swinging from the ceiling rafters which throughly pissed off venue owners, yet pleased the crowd to no end.
Mac DeMarco – Ode to Viceroy
The intriguing, ever-ecclectic and highly talented singer/songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage got on stage with just a keyboard and a microphone. He took his shoes off, swayed his hips, sang his best hits and the audience melted, or maybe that was just me.
Sean Nicholas Savage – Lonely Woman
Blue Hawaii‘s performance was by for the most surprising and mind-blowing for many. The duo filled the white washed venue with pulsing synth and Raphaelle Standell-Preston’s sweet, melodic, falsetto voice strikingly resembled Grimes. The crowd danced hard, especially Devon of Majical Cloudz who was front and center.
Blue Hawaii – In Two
With a drummer and two keyboard/synth backups, Doldrums ferociously played his hypnotic, experimental electro beats (out of a suitcase), belted lyrics while crowd surfing with ease, and placed a dance inducing spell over the entire audience. Never had I seen such a massive conglomerate of pulsating, jumping and gyrating humans at SXSW. Everyone in the audience completely lost themselves in the music and it was incredible to witness/experience. The energy was at an all-time high.
Doldrums – Egypt
The most endearing aspect of the showcase, however, was witnessing the camaraderie, support and love each of the Arbutus and/or other Canadian artists showed for each other. I also spotted DeMarco obviously, as well as Born Gold and Mozart’s Sister amongst others. The entire venue was filled to the brim with artists who watched, cheered and danced harder than most to their fellow musicians’ music.
Rhye at the Pitchfork Day Party
I had the guilty pleasure of proving multiple people wrong at the Pitchfork Day Party, by exclaiming “Rhye‘s a guy y’all!” when many were smacked with the realization that Rhye is indeed a man. I mean, his name is Mike Milosh and he owns that dreamy, silky, seductive and sultry voice. Rhye explained that he and his band, including a phenomenal violinist and trombone player, had just flew in from Berlin and were on their 40th hour of being awake. Yet, they still played an astonishing set of what Milosh referred to as sexy “night time music” during broad day light.
Rhye – Open
Girls Names at the Flamingo Cantina
Though their faces were quite complacent, Girls Names rocked long and hard, and not an eye could pry away from their quint essential post-punk Brit rock, (they are from Belfast, after all). There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary, crazy, or gasp-worthy necessary to make this a successful set, Girls Names simply provided steady, hefty, refreshing rock n’ roll.
Girls Names – Hypnotic Regression
Ólafur Arnalds at Peckerheads
I was completely unaware of this ambient Icelandic group/producer until my good ol pal, Bob Boilen had suggested the show. The bar, rightfully named Peckerheads, was clamoring with noise from happy drunkards and thumping beats from below, but Ólafur Arnalds urged people to take a seat and enjoy the beauty he was about to embark upon us. Accompanied by an intense violinist and cello player, Ólafur’s soothing, melodic and beautiful instrumental music quieted the crowd and made people exclaim, “wow.”
Ólafur Arnalds – Only the Winds
Giraffage on the Exploded Drawing Party Boat
I somehow managed to start day 1 of SXSW, typically the tamest of all, in the most blissful way. A crowd of people piled onto the Exploded Drawing double-decker party boat and we floated down the river into the sunset, all while sipping on cucumber/kale margaritas and dancing to the seriously sweet beats of 10+ DJs. Giraffage, the moniker of San Francisco-hailing producer, Charlie Yin, had the quickest, and most nimble fingers of them all, and he induced everyone to jump up, and all the ladies to get down.
Giraffage – Close 2 Me
Parquet Courts, Merchandise & Destruction Unit on Pedestrian Bridge at 3 am
Granted, this was technically a Chaos in Tejas event put on by BrooklynVegan, but racing to watch indie punk rockers Parquet Courts, Merchandise and Destruction Unit rock hard on a bridge at 3 am seemed so utterly SXSW. The bridge was literally rockin’ while the crowd was rollin’ into each other during a frenzy of excited mosh pits that lasted well into early morning.
Parquet Courts – Stoned and Starving
In the effort to make this wrap up reasonably succinct, out of the 50+ bands I managed to see, other stand out performances included: Baths, DIANA, Autre Ne Veut, Mozart’s Sister, CHVRCHES, Austra, Ryan Hemsworth, and MØ. And while everyone in attendance may be missing SXSW already, it’s never too early to plan for next year. Until next time, adios Tejas!
The anticipation and chaos for this year’s SXSW music fest in Austin, Texas (March 12th-17th) continues to grow at great lengths. The amount of parties, new bands added, RSVPs, lineups and showcases consistently flow in at alarming rates; and it certainly isn’t over yet. The increasing excitement is contagious and overwhelming, especially when you envision just how much amazing music (and people; 60K to be exact) will embark upon the Tejas capital, and all at once.
To contribute to the ever-growing hype, here is a compilation of (40+) absolute must-see acts/bands at this year’s SXSW. Granted, no one’s ever gonna see ’em all (one can only hope!), so these top 6 absolute must-sees are ones you should seriously kick yourself if missed:
p.s. coco stereo will be representin’ in full force at SXSW, March 7th-16th – Let’s get our dance on together!
As a toast to Sean Nicholas Savage, the eccentric pop artist and vital key to Montreal’s continuously growing music scene, Arbutus labelmates and Canadian cohorts have compiled a 17-track compilation covering Savage’s songs. The collection, entitled: Taste of Savage – His Pupils Sing His Music features Doldrums, Majical Cloudz, Mac Demarco, Mozart’s Sister and more – All of our favorites in one!
According to Arbutus, the tracks, “ranging from anthems to obscure gems – are anthologized on this release. As the first act ever to release on Arbutus, a community has developed surrounding Savage, his songwriting, charisma and his social philosophies.
It is a true honour to present such a mix of genre and creative thought – and this is what’s captivating about the compilation. A group of artists brought together not by genre but by circumstance: a shared home, one which Savage represents as a primary character in the Canadian music scene.”
Stream Taste of Savage below, and download all 17 tracks over at Arbutus:
Taste of Savage – His Pupils Sing His Music
If you haven’t heard the phrase, “A friend of Grimes is a friend of mine,” (now you have), the concept, however, shouldn’t be foreign to you. It’s only natural that an influential band or producer you love, most likely has musically inclined friends that you will also love. In the case for Grimes, the indie-electro “It Girl” not only has amazingly talented pals, but she outwardly expresses her love or support for said friends and their music, (Myths, Elite Gymnastics, and d’Eon to name a few). This in a sense, puts Grimes’ talented friends on the map (even more so). It may not be fair to say this is all of Grimes’s doing, as these are bands we (may) know, who have made names for themselves, but when Grimes brings her pals on tour, collaboratively creates music with them, or simply chatters away with them via Twitter, she puts these bands on people’s radars. Experimental-electro Montreal producer, Devon Welsh, aka Majical Cloudz falls into this category.
Majical Cloudz’ latest single, “Turns Turns Turns,” is a dreamy, emotionally-driven beauty of a track based on a 2-note loop. The trippy video (as seen below) premiered on Gorilla vs. Bear today. The track will be found on Majical Cloudz’ forthcoming EP, Turns Turns Turns, out December 3rd via Arbutus (US) and Merok (UK). (Yalls also remixed Turns Turns Turns found here.)
Majical Cloudz – Turns Turns Turns
Dan Casey, the (seemingly normal) Berkeley, CA hailing DJ boy also known as Yalls, has given us an entire download of his remixes (25 jams total!) – four of which have never been released. Are you great, or the greatest Dan Casey? The compilation includes remixes of Blackbird Blackbird, Majical Cloudz, The xx, Monster Rally, CHVRCHES, Giraffage, Teen Daze and more. I’m severely addicted to his Friendly Fires – Hurting instrumental remix (previously unreleased). Get the free download here and listen now! Thanks Yalls!
Here’s the tracklist:
1. Abadabad – Park Slope (Yalls Remix)
2. Arrange – When’d You Find Me (Yalls Remix)
3. CHLLNGR – Datter (Yalls Remix)
4. Churches – Save Me (Color Controller Remix)
5. Friendly Fires – Hurting (Yalls Instrumental Remix)
6. Giraffage – Moments (Yalls Remix)
7. Gracie – Southern Place (Yalls Remix)
8. James & Evander – Come Around (Yalls Remix)
9. Monster Rally – Moonglow (Yalls Remix)
10. Majical Cloudz – Francisco (Yalls Remix)
11. Majical Cloudz – Turns Turns Turns (Yalls Remix)
12. MondreMAN – Fancy (Yalls Peer Pressure Remix)
13. Monster Rally – Moonglow (Yalls Remix)
14. Monster Rally – A Voice / Big Sur (Daniel Sex Jr. Remix)
15. Naytronix – Baby Don’t Walk Away (Yalls Remix)
16. Parentz – Big (Yalls Remix)
17. Put Away (Yalls Remix) – Seatraffic
18. Middle Wave (Yalls Desecration) – Some Ember
19. I See a Void (Yalls Remix) – Sonny & The Sunsets
20. 72 Bus Stop (Yalls Remix) – Squadda B
21. The New Balearic (Yalls Remix) – Teen Daze
22. Grande Gordo (Yalls Remix) Vacation Dad
23. Angels (Yalls Bootleg Do Up) – The xx
24. Kingston Gates (Color Controller Remix) – Zoos of Berlin
25. Another 1 Goes Down (Yalls Bike Lake Remix) – 100s ft. Hollywood Squadda & Shady Blaze