on the musical horizon

So, despite the surprising gravity of yesterday’s post, I’m already back to my frivolous hobby of writing about shit that makes me all giddy inside with excitement and other fun shit. Naturally, this post’s culprit is once again music, seeing as the next few weeks are shaping up to be filled with excessive amounts of musical indulgence. Be it via album purchases or live shows, I legit am incredibly “hyped” (major use of quotation marks) about how swell my #recentlyadded playlist will be after finals. Ahhh, finals. I seriously feel like I can’t even go a day without thinking about the impending doom that lays ahead in a number of days.

Oh well, whatevs.

Thankfully, seemingly to distract me from the urgency of my need to study, I currently have 4 new albums on my musical dashboard (Tumblr reference, #leduh). Though 2 have already been released, 1 has already been leaked, and another is still a couple of months of away, the simple prospect of being able to have a jam sesh in my bedroom when all four CDs are in my possession is enough to keep me going.

Hence the “hyped”-ness, bro.


7.4.13 (2)

Rhye – Woman

So, I only really found out about the sublime musical pairing that is Rhye a few weeks ago when a song of theirs randomly appeared on my SoundCloud dash. Again, it was the typical case of “Oh shit, they’re actually really good! Like really good! Now why did it take me so long to quit lazying around and realize that?” Though the above formulation is nothing more than a polite depiction (read: void of vulgarity) of my actual thought process when such an occasion arises, the fact remains that I’m dumb, and you should never, ever, like ever sleep on good music.

Like ever.

If I were to be put to the challenge of describing Rhye, I’d give up instantly. Not because their sound is so complicatedly hipster and all that pretentious shit, but because I ain’t no damn Pitchfork writer, and thus I can’t really form cohesive thoughts when it comes to #totesamaze music. Alas, today I’m feeling surprisingly courageous, so might as well give it a shot!

Because I’m currently previewing this album on iTunes (seriously, how amazing is the “preview all” button?)(#n00b), I can safely say that, for me, Rhye represents a more cheerful expansion of the now-hipster concept of alt-R&B. Naturally, I say cheerful, because Woman is thankfully bare of any of the trite late-night-and-sex-filled melancholy that many an alt-R&B artist harbor (*cough* The Weeknd *cough*). Instead, the harmony between the soulful cadence of Mike Milosh (yup, it’s a guy!) and the blissful melodies crafted with his partner in crime Robin Hannibal evoke wistful vibes of romantic optimism. I wish I could say more on the technicalities of the sublime music that composes Rhye’s debut Woman, but shit, I can’t, so I’ll just stick to big words. All in all, Rhye’s Woman is a graceful, delicate creature crafted with nothing less than the finest care and the most tender love.

What. A. Beaut.


7.4.13 (3)

Vondelpark – Seabed

So, Vondelpark is a band that has majorly been on my musical radar for the past I dunno, year or so? Since I first heard their excellent and totes #swoonworthy “Camels” all the way back during the summer of ’12 (yes, last summer) on Viva-Radio, I immediately realized that there was something completely unique and fascinating about them and their superb sound. Despite the fact that the UK music scene is currently filled to the brim with a plethora of musical acts that all possess (i.e. try to imitate) that iconic James Blake-esque (more on him later!) sound, to be frank, they’re totes missing the point.

Like, not even close.

Vondelpark, on the other hand, presents this signature melancholia in a novel manner that arouses sentiments of lazy, sun-filled nostalgia. Seriously, it seems I have a major penchant for music that just makes me yearn for summer so I can leisurely lay outside on the grass and take in the bounty of the Sun’s rays. Thankfully, Vondelpark’s Seabed does exactly that. Honestly, I’ve been looking forward to this album for so long (psshh, not even a year) that now that it’s finally been released, the only way that I can fully appreciate it is in that aforementioned manner. I mean, how else is one suppose to be washed away by the melodious combinations of rhythmical guitar notes, serene bass lines and peaceful vocals?

Obvi not, seeing as that was a rhetorical question.


7.4.13 (4)

James Blake – Overgrown

Though this yet-to-be-released album has already been leaked, I’m gonna go ahead and pretend I didn’t know seeing as I don’t want that triste reality to ruthlessly devastate the intense anticipation with which I’ve been eagerly awaiting James Blake’s second album Overgrown. The same thing happened with his debut eponymous CD back in ’11 (let’s pretend that wasn’t just 2 years ago), and my decision to forgo the temptation of the leak made listening to the entire album after its release so much more of a thrilling, emotional (yes, emotional), and memorable experience.

I mean shit, it’s J Blizzy we’re talking about!

With that said, I don’t know how else to describe James Blake other than he’s the fucking shit. Like, for realsies, this dude has got some major talent, so much that he spawned a legion of genre-imitating musical acts that are unable to match his steez. No but seriously, James Blake is really good, like really really good. I was legit so moved by his first CD that I dedicated an entire article to it in my homemade fashion magazine aloof (wooo #shamelessselfpromotion). I mean, seeing as that was my first foray at pretentious, pseudo-Pitchfork music writing, that’s seriously saying something.

Without a doubt, James Blake is the master of sublime silence. Only he can use emptiness in such a manner that shocks, intrigues, and finally gets the listener clamoring for more. Quoting King Lear once more, there’s just something about how poetic the “nothingness” in James Blake’s music is. Though the silence is exactly that, utterly void of any sound, you can’t help but get the sensation that there’s something beautiful lurking behind that hush.

Like bro, I’m so “hyped” for April 9th tho.


7.4.13 (5)

Mount Kimbie – Cold Spring Fault Less Youth

So, ya like, if I said I’ve been waiting for Vondelpark’s debut since last summer, then I’ve been waiting for Mount Kimbie’s follow-up to their smashing debut Crooks & Lovers for my entire life. Like no joke.

All exaggerations aside, I have been eagerly awaiting this release for legit the past two years. I’ll always remember that one December night of ’10 (obvi I relish feeling nostalgic) when I first watched the video for “Would Know,” and fell in a deep and passionate love with Mount Kimbie. On initially clicking “Play”, I truly had no idea I was getting myself into such an long-term relationship with a group I barely even knew. However, now I know how wise I was to trust my instincts by letting myself fall head-over-heels for Mount Kimbie’s genre-defining take on the contemporary style of electronic music otherwise known as “post-dubstep.” Though that term is totes dead, my love for Mount Kimbie sure as hell isn’t.

Ahhh, there’s just something about how they’re are able to mold melodic basslines and hypnotizing synths into a dreamlike state of surreal bliss. Like a a true reverie, you wish their music would never end.

Either that, or they’re just really fucking amazing.

Though at first I was reluctant to enjoy “Made to Stray,” man did it grow on me, fast. Unexpectedly, its crescendo transformation into a full-fledged dance track rapidly crept onto me, and has yet it relinquish its grip. I can’t say I’m complaining though. The track is stellar, and makes me that much more excited for what I’m sure will be another stupendous release.

May 28th, please come sooner.


For any of you who are interested, Rhye, James Blake and Mount Kimbie will all be performing in Montreal in the coming weeks! To say I’m stoked out of my mind is an understatement, but I’m guessing you already knew that.

Rhye will be performing next Sunday, April 14th, at Le Cabaret du Mile End, at 8pm!

James Blake will be performing on Monday, May 6th, at Metropolis, at 8pm!

Mount Kimbie will be performing on Tuesday, June 4th, at SAT (Société des Arts Technologiques), at 8pm!

Clearly, Vondelpark needs to get their shit together.


One thought on “on the musical horizon

  1. Pingback: rainy days and white shoes | the aloof hipster

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