Mix: Best Songs of February 2013

Mix: Silent Shout Best of February 2013

1. Sally Shapiro & Electric Youth – Starman (Radio Edit)
2. Prince Innocence – Golden Hour
3. Purity Ring – Grammy (Soulja Boy cover)
4. Kids on TV – Dazzler
5. Magie – Plante Morte
6. Fan Fiction – Tila Tequila Ascends to the 12th Dimension
7. Rakam – Long Island Beaches
8. Me and My Rhythm Box – Male Models
9. Great Valley – Dream Phone
10. Moon King – Appel
11. Jamaican Queens – Water
12. Pick a Piper – All Her Colours
13. DJ Koze Feat. Caribou – Track ID Anyone?
14. Humans – Possession (Beta Frontiers remix)
15. Betty & Veronica – Ghostrider
16. Holobody – Place to Be (Nick Drake cover)
17. AroarA – #11
18. DenMother – Black
19. Apparition – The Watcher
20. Majical Cloudz – Kisses Like a Girl (Sean Nicholas Savage cover)
21. Zach Phillips – Cry (Johnnie Ray & the Four Lads cover)

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Pile of Best Albums: Rakam – Stranger Things Before

Rakam_360_360 Rakam – Long Island beaches
Rakam – Ocean liner

Perhaps the most enjoyable thing about Rakam‘s Stranger Things Before is how easy it is to imagine it never leaving the bedroom it was clearly created in. It could fairly be described as an attempt at pop music, but it exists in a space carved out entirely by its own gleefully freewheeling invention, and seems motivated exclusively by the giddy realization that there need not be a limit to what form that invention takes.

The New Wave DIY disco strut of the album’s only French language song, “Le Jazz dans la Rue,” is buoyed brilliantly by Marc-André Roy’s exaggerated cool-guy croon, reaching peaks of impassioned warbling that recall a Francophone Patrick D. Martin only to be interrupted by a surprisingly delicate Casiotone harpsichord arrangement. Another standout, “Long Island Beaches,” is about as close as Rakam gets to a plausible love song and veers into slightly more typical synth pop territory, albeit with some spastic drum machine programming and another run at a “baby’s first Bach” harpsichord interlude. The album’s instrumentals are consistently excellent, especially the wonderfully developed “Ocean Liner,” which owes equal debts to Brian Eno and 8-bit video game soundtracks, and shades its own complexity with its charmingly understated lo-fi sound and more than occasional missed notes. That juxtaposition is probably the greatest strength of Stranger Things Before, as it allows Rakam to maintain a level of intimacy while simultaneously being as wildly expansive and imaginative as they care to be. Stranger Things Before is available on RAKAM’s bandcamp.

This post first appeared as part of our New Zero Canada column on Berlin’s No Fear of Pop.

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MP3: RAKAM – Long Island Beaches


RAKAM – Long Island beaches

We wrote about Rakam‘s Le Jazz Dans La Rue a little while ago and in the interim we’ve not stopped listening to their excellent album, Stranger Things Before.  Because we want everyone to love them forever and always, and get all up in their bandcamp buying their album, I’m posting another gem.  This one features madcap falsetto, some daring drum machine programming, and is notable for featuring the lyric “I had to swim in the river of Mountain Dew” and somehow still being the most plausible love song on the record.

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