Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Apache Relay's "Power Hungry Animals"

I recently went to see the heartwarming flick The Way, Way Back, and although it took me a little bit to get into, I was really moved by the last 30 minutes of the film. Not only because the story wraps up wonderfully, but because the triumphant ending is matched with the absolute perfect song.

I won't spoil the ending, but I will say this, few things thrill me more than excellent music supervision; songs that are perfectly paired with a television or movie moment. It's not news to anyone that music enhances every life experience - evoking emotions and feelings that might otherwise not arise without a complementary sound. So, when I heard this youthful Apache Relay anthem set to the storyline - and I got butterflies in my stomach - I was hooked.

I promise you will be too - just listen for that powerful build to kick in.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

New Music: St. Lucia's "Elevate"


In the vast sea of new synth-pop, it can be hard to wade through the junk and land on a real gem. However, if you limit your wading strictly to Brooklyn synth-pop crew St. Lucia's discography, it's safe to say you can't really go wrong.

Whether it's one of their notoriously crafty remixes or a dreamy retro-sounding original, if I stumble upon a ridiculously addictive synth ditty without realizing the artist - chances are it's usually some piece of St. Lucia's magic.
On "Elevate," the first single from the outfit's forthcoming fall album When The Night, lead singer Jean-Philip Grobler has actually never sounded better - channeling a young Sting with his handsome and skilled vocal that surfs over the glittery keyboards. The melody, upbeat like an 80s film anthem and just made for summer, is impossible not to repeat after one sparkly listen through. As maybe St. Lucia's best single yet, I can't wait to hear what the rest of the album has in store.
Look for When the Night on October 8, 2013.


Monday, July 29, 2013

The Prettiest Trampled By Turtles

I really can't get enough of this song. For the past two weeks - whether on sunshiney strolls or rained-in evenings - this beautiful banjo ballad has been at the top of my playlists. Duluth band Trampled by Turtles, known for their bluegrass live shows and rootsy rock anthems, have been a favourite of mine for a long awhile - and I'm always surprised at  how (relatively) below the mainstream radar they've flown during a time when contemporary folk has flourished. With six albums and a handful of truly memorable singles, they have this admirable ability to pair poetic stories with classic Americana instrumentation and really melt hearts.

This is one of those songs that, lyrically and melodically, you can't go wrong with. I dare you to dislike it.

Friday, July 26, 2013

TGIF: Newest Portugal. The Man

On another clear, blue skied Friday, when I just so happen to remain achey with a summer virus, this song and all of its breezy psychedelic glory has been one of the only saving graces of my week. Outside of soaking up the sunny new Eddie Sharpe album, all week I've been riding the wave of Portugal. The Man's clearly Danger Mouse-produced rock jam off Evil Friends, titled "Plastic Little Soldiers." Despite many back-to-back spins, it's hard to grow tired of the addictive George Harrison-esque guitar or quick transition into folky harmonies and uppity rock beats.

With producer Danger Mouse on board, of Gnarls Barkley and Broken Bells, the rock band have transitioned from typically talented American rockers to the best and most colourful versions of themselves. This song feels good, from start to finish - and the fact that the band is full of hunks doesn't hurt either.

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

New Washed Out: "Don't Give Up"

This summer has been sweetly decorated by little leaks from Washed Out's newest electro-daze album Paracosm - a release that's sounding just as fit for beach life and boardwalks as his 2011 debut.

On the breezy "Don't Give Up," chillwave mastermind Ernest Greene breathes that "even though that we're far apart, we've come so close and it feels so right, don't give up" over one of his dazzling  pacified beats. Pulling your headphones on with one of Greene's songs, which all drip with the same warmth and synth sparkle, is a beachside escape from the chaotic city that I'll take any day.

Check out the Discovery Channel-ready new video for "Don't Give Up" - and look for Paracosm in its entirety on August 13.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Summer Songs: Youth Lagoon's "Daydream"

This weekend was a calm one after being plagued with a sore throat last week. It basically consisted of lots of slow walking, relaxed socializing, music buying and sun-sitting to try and beat the summer cold out of me before it ruined anymore warm days. In the wake of this lingering sickness and surrendering my laptop to a technician for two weeks (sigh), I read plenty of books and spent a lot of time staring out from my balcony with a glass of wine. I find it hard to wind down most of the time - and be fairly inactive during a period of healing - but when I've got none of my regular distractions around and have loaded up my phone with tonnes of new music, sitting quietly actually isn't that bad at all.

This weekend, I couldn't get enough of Youth Lagoon's 2011 album Year of Hibernation - one that I was all about upon its release, but forgot about until recently. This weekend, it really was the perfect album to remember. While the sun continued to shine like it has, but with a new cool breeze that swept the city yesterday - Youth Lagoon's spacious and mesmerizing electronic ballads sounded better than they ever had before. "Daydream" and it's dreamy, sunstreaked vibe won the weekend.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Tunes: Beck is Back


On the heels of his incredible "Sound and Vision" Bowie cover, and five years after Modern GuiltBeck has released two new singles to build anticipation around his highly anticipated forthcoming album. The alt-rock icon has been fairly hush about the details of the release, and whether or not these delectable leaks will make it on - but either way, they're two very satisfying treats to wait with.

On "I Won't Be Long," a spacey ballad that resembles the ambient production and drone vocal moments from Broken Social Scene's Kevin Drew (and features a line from Kim Gordon), Beck juggles edgy and pretty with his downer social commentary and always-gorgeous pipes. "Defriended" has just as many atmospheric beats and sampling tricks, but as always, Beck doesn't go the full ten yards into electro-city; he still gives the spotlight to his coined acoustic strums and echoey voices.

Whatever it is and whenever it comes, hopefully the album sounds a lot like these.


img via

Monday, July 15, 2013

Amazing New Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

Monday blues? Me too.

Lucky for us, I've found the cure. I can't think of a better way to inject a little sunshine into the start of your week than to stream the beautiful forthcoming Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros self-titled. A little more anthemic, just as jangly and extra honest and instrument-packed - Alex Ebert's kooky caravan collective have never sounded better.

Kicking off with "Let's Get High," Ebert's token drawl is croaky and powerful over the 10-person gospel vocal and soul-rock stomp - shrieking "I need your love" while horns zip and tambourines break in the background. Concluding with a bluesy slow-down, the team insists "everyone love" in a slow family chant and a yesteryear-rock guitar whines in the background. If this song isn't summer, and if this song isn't love, I'm not sure what is.

Later in the album, Ebert channels melancholy doo-wop on the profound "This Life" - his pained growl milkier than ever. On this track, I became more aware than ever how wrong I was about this band the first time I heard "Home"; addictive as it was, I thought it had the fixings of a one-hit wonder. Two albums later, one of the best shows I've ever seen and now songs like this - real, heartbroken revelations carried by hearty instrumentals and breathtaking harmonies - it's crystal clear this band isn't going anywhere. Only up.

Have a sunshiney week. Grab the album on July 23.

Friday, July 12, 2013

TGIF: Alunageorge's "Bad Idea"

With the much-anticipated July 15 release of Alunageorge's Body Music - which has been pushed back, and then pushed back again - comes yet another delectable single from their growing collection of upbeat indie-R&B. The same ingredients to the duo's other break-up odes and dance jams can be found in the hasty "Bad Idea" - namely Aluna Francis' sugary childlike voice cascading over George Reid's keyboard wizardry of beeps, zonks and zaps. Lighter than some of the dub-thumped singles they've released previously, "Bad Idea" hasn't lost an ounce of infectiousness or AlunaGeorge distinction - and is just one more bubbly example of what the fashionable pair think the single life should sound like.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Citizen Cope

Throwback and a half! I feel like all brooding kids listened to soulful troubadour Citizen Cope for the duration of a few rainy days in their youth. Popular throughout the early millennium, Clarence Greenwood's rootsy blues - in the form of emotion-packed anthems "Sideways" and "Let The Drummer Kick - ruled indie airwaves and college dorms during the wave and reign of adult-contemporary artists like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson and John Butler.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

New Band: In The Valley Below


I almost always trust a new Arts & Crafts signing. The Toronto record label just inked with In The Valley Below, a duo comprised of Jeffrey Jacob and Angela Gail that pieced together out of grunge-rock bands they jammed with in LA. On deciding to team up, they said the on-stage chemistry was magnetic - pulling them together to create dueling boy/girl vocals over atmospheric and brooding pop-rock.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Throwback Thursday: TURF Throwback Playlist

I've been terribly MIA this week in more ways than one. On my glorious five day mini-vacation, I've barely answered my phone, hardly checked emails, set zero alarms and, most shamefully, ignored blogging and writing. Interestingly enough, the other daily to-dos were easy to ignore - but in the five days spent not sharing sounds, I was dying to pop on here and post a few songs. That doesn't really surprise me, though.