In a week where I've been able to experience very little but sunny weather, cold beer and good times and it would be hard to come up with the dark, edgy playlist that I'd like, so instead here are some of the best feel good, emotionally uplifting songs I've been playing this week! Here are some tunes that might just put a little spring in your step, or help you relax in your gardens over the next little while.
Lemaitre - Cut To Black
Coming from a time before the mainstream decreed it was cool to listen to jazzy, funk referencing electro (ie, the release of 'Get Lucky'), Lemaitre are a Norwegian production unit that construct, warm, soulful electronica with enough swing to get you dancing away. Cut To Black is a particular stand out favourite of mine filled with soft, tinkling keys and wurly electronic pianos and loose vocals that are just as suitable for your barbecue evenings as late night hazy clubs. Like liquid champagne, only smoother!
Sublime With Rome - Panic
It's not that I'm not a fan of Ska, it's just that beyond a few basics I've never really got into any of the bands in a big way, so the inclusion of this song is a nod to quite how much I love it. Perfect for skating, parkour or any of those other youthful activities that take place in cities, the song alternates heavy, brash guitars in the chorus and a more groovy, brass peppered set of verses. Brisk and diverse in equal measure, Panic is a perfect antidote to any gloomy, grey cityscapes, injecting a burst of colour and fun.
Ellie Goulding - Burn
As with Icona Pop last week, this is very much a feel good hit that will inevitably grace the covers of many, tasteless mix CD's, but these associations distract from what is underneath a special song. From the very first deep chords and Ellie's floating voice the song develops in a tantalising manner; culminating in a vast chorus that relies on the strength of the melody, with Ellie's voice garnishing the instrumentals with a little extra twinkle. There will be monster DnB remixes of these, and although drawing her away from her folky beginnings, this is Goulding at her finest.
Drumsound & Bassline Smith - Clap Your Hands
Often better known for their bass heavy, dance floor bangers, this is a refreshing old school tune from some of the UK's best producers. Based around music hall vocals and opening on nothing more than a crunky piano rhythm and claps, the song builds with a lively beat and rich lead synths that progresses onwards and upwards. Even the half step switches feel uplifting, every pad and line of melody tends to drive the song forward, with a breakdown halfway that leads to a renewed sense of motion. Proof that swing and drum and bass need more bonding time, definitely worth a listen.
The XX - Sunset (Kim Ann Foxman Edit)
With a little slice of indie electronica to usher in many a lazy evening, adorned with a glowing adaptation of their classic artwork, this is about as current as a song could be. Replenishing the original with deeper kick drums, ambient layering of soft pads that intertwine with the quriky, off kilter bassline and melodies, it proves that 2013 could be a remarkable feat for electronic music. The reflection on 90s garage, and rejection of the loud, abrasive nature of some more modern EDM is bringing emotion back to electronica, creating art through audio.