Coming off the back of a pretty amazing week at Download Festival, with three days of fantastic bands, great times and a lifelong reminder not to drink Buckfast, I thought I'd try and force myself into regularly writing more blog posts, (though a major interview is in the pipeline)! So here, after a week well and truly getting my metal on are a few things I've discovered, rediscovered and just generally been inclined to blast out whilst commuting and working this week, hopefully there'll be a few things you might enjoy!
Great Skies - Don't Want U
As fashionable as it is to claim that once an artist makes a breakthrough from the underground, you've always been a fan, I'll unashamedly say that a week ago I hadn't ever heard of Great Skies. So his inclusion on here is down the instant appeal of his first major release, which develops a deep, ambient sound with soft melodies and vocal samples. Filled with rich, warm basslines, the song simmers without ever becoming brash or overstated, its soulfulness is what makes it such a delightful listen. Expect more good things from this guy soon!
Faithless Feat. Dido- Feelin Good
Unlike my previous entry, Faithless have been around for years and write their hits well! Progressive, building in with a variety of layers and some groovy basslines over skittish hi-hats and early 90s references and Dido's soulful vocals, the song slowly develops and sparks. The arpeggiators and cowbells warm you up slowly before some clever vocal manipulation, leading into a spaced out lead riff constructed both for muddy festival grounds and late night club rooms. Hints of Acid, Techno and House all permeate the sound, creating an amalgamation within a single, balanced song.
Skindred - Death To All Spies
Fusing two genres together can often lead to disastrous results, so if nothing else, Skindred's combination of Reggae and Metal has to be admired for it's musical mastery alone. But songs like Death To All Spies prove that they don't just draw on ideas but actively create a new vibe, filled with thrashing drums and dramatic guitar riffs, over which Benji Madden demonstrates his considerable range of vocal talent. The breakdown is filled with raw power, offset against the subtle menace of the quieter sections of the song. A fantastic live band, Skindred never fail to impress.
Major Lazer Feat. Amber - Get Free
I've heard many iterations of this song, from Andy C's relentless DnB remix to a deep, dark trap interpretation by Yellow Claw, but the original provides a refreshing, laidback approach that feels, (whisper it quietly) closer to the mainstream than anything Diplo & Co. have yet produced. With ambient synth lines and delicate vocals invoking a distinctly electropop vibe, this is a song for 4am, staring bleary eyed at a summer sunrise, Corona in hand. It's evocative and gentle, bringing a more chilled side to the Major Lazer sound.
Kid Cudi Feat. Crookers - Day N' Nite (TC Remix)
The original is a cracking piece of dance music, guaranteed to get a club moving and begs the question of whether remixing it can actually add anything. Although little overblown at times, TC's reworking pays homage to the original whilst cranking the energy up even higher, accelerating the vocals and riffs before dropping into frantic, fervent breaks, that plays around with the rhythms and samples to let the best bits of Crookers's synth lines direct the track.