A year ago, the day before Valentine’s Day, I went to an Unknown Mortal Orchestra show and fell in love. Not with the band though, I already loved them long before. I fell in love with the guy who happened to be standing next to me. As strangers standing in the crowded, smoke-soaked venue, we found ourselves both happily singing and dancing to our favorite Unknown Mortal Orchestra song, “So Good at Being in Trouble.” Little did I know, this song would become the preface for our entire relationship… or should I say, him.
“Hey, what’s your name?” he turned to ask me. I smiled, debated his age and narrowly eyed his thick mustache and Hawaiian shirt. I laughed, entirely intrigued. “Did you catch Wampire before this?” I replied. “I was running late and missed them.” “No,” he said, as he bobbed up and down to the music, vigorously shaking his shaggy hair. “I was outside chugging Tecate.”
From that moment on, we shared an endless number of laughs, adventures, learning experiences, “I love yous,” and unfortunately more frustration, heartache and tears than should’ve ever appeared, especially in less than one year. Our relationship ebbs and flows went from timid reluctance, to comforting companionship, overwhelming highs and hope that falling in love can invoke, to disappointment, hollowing sadness and the heart-wrenching discovery of some incredibly damaging lies. Who could use a Tecate now (or five)?
A year ago, I made a Valentine’s Day Mixtape full of (you guessed it) Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Rhye, How to Dress Well, Sean Nicholas Savage, Blue Hawaii and more. Much has happened in life and music since then, so to keep the tradition alive, I bring to you yet another sinfully sweet Valentine’s Day mixtape. Let’s just say, Unknown Mortal Orchestra didn’t make the cut, and probably won’t for a very long time. However, yesterday, the day before Valentine’s Day, I went to another show (Sónar Music Festival to be exact) and once again, stood next to someone I love — This time, a very dear friend, fellow nomad, and former housemate from Ireland who met me in Iceland to help soothe my wounds with majestic scenery, the Northern Lights, a blue lagoon, expensive booze and of course, new tunes. So here’s to another year of love, or your attempt to heal from it:
I’ve been posting like a mad woman as of late, but there have been so many amazing music discoveries, new bands and smooth jams, that it simply can’t be contained. PLUS, I’ll be out of town next week, so I’m stockpiling you with goodies to hold you over until then. The theme of this week is ‘smooth as buttah’ featuring 4 soulful bands/producers with even smoother jams that have soothed, grooved and gladly intruded their way into my ears and brain waves.
Youan is an up-and-coming 22 year-old UK producer behind seriously exquisite dream-pop house music. Know Your Name is a beauty of a jam filled with warm, romantic vocals and synthy hues. Blast this jam through your ear buds at work, on an early-morning commute, or wind down to it at night; It cancels out clutter that constantly filters through our minds at all times. Youan recently created and debuted a downloadable 8-track mixtape, Let’s Slow Things Down to Sixty Seconds an Hour (featuring Know Your Name) on his Tumblr… or, you can stream it on Soundcloud.
Youan – Know Your Name
ON AN ON is a triangle of Chicago-based band members who were left down and out when members of their former band, Scattered Trees, flew the coop. Because the show must go on ‘an on,’ and the band still had studio time scheduled, the trio banded together, changed names, recorded with Dave Newfeld (Broken Social Scene, Los Campesinos!) and the indie rock band was born. Good things do come from getting dumped. Their debut album, Give In is due in January and Ghosts is their beautiful and powerful debut jam. Can’t wait to hear more.
ON AN ON – Ghosts
Tomas Barfod is a Danish producer, more well-known for his drumming career with WhoMadeWho. Going solo, Barfod released an LP, Salton Sea, this spring and the electro-pop jam, November Skies (featuring Swedish vocalist, Nina Kinert), is arguably the most addicting of the lot:
Tomas Barford – November Skies feat. Nina Kinert
S O H N is a Vienna-via-London, (yet another) up-and-coming producer who will be debuting his album and jam, The Wheel, in November. The Wheel is a trippy beat with smooth, soulful vocals that leaves you eager for more:
S O H N – T H E WH E E L