Thursday, February 14, 2013

Music Spotlight – Favorite Music of 2012: Part 2

Crystal Castles – Wrath of God
Wrath of God is off Crystal Castles’ album Crystal Castles (III). The electronic track engages the listener enchanting them with its great driving danceable beat, courtesy of Ethan Kath. Alice Glass’s vocals also have a bewitching siren-like quality. Her lyrics carry a strong political message of cruelty in the world. Yet, even with bleak tone, the song is still beautiful as well. Available for download: here

Danny Brown – Grown Up
Grown Up is a non-album single. Danny Brown had a great 2012, appearing on a ton of other people’s albums (plus his album XXX has really started to catch on). He could very well be one of the top hip hop artists of 2013. Party Supplies provides the track with a fantastic beat that is very catchy and fun. In addition to the beat, Brown’s lyrics are strong as he raps about his youth in a very relatable manner (the song also has a brilliant music video, see above). Available for download: here

Dusted – Pale Light
Pale Light is off Dusted’s debut album Total Dust. The Canadian duo of songwriter Brian Borcherdt and producer Leon Taheny capture a wonderful sound with the track. It has a folk sensibility but played through an electronic echoy reverb that gives it a uniqueness and great aesthetic quality. Its soft manner seems to momentarily disguise its power and allure. Available for download: here

Ellie Goulding – Anything Could Happen
Anything Could Happen is off Ellie Goulding’s album Halcyon. Like a number of artists on this list, Goulding had a breakthrough year in 2012 – both with her new material and her chart climbing single Lights. Anything Could Happen (produced by Goulding and Jim Eliot), the lead single of Halcyon, is probably the best pop song of the year. It just grabs the listener right away, and Goulding’s singular voice just soars. Available for download: here

Family Band – Rest
Rest is off Family Band’s debut album Grace & Lies. The Brooklyn duo of visual artist Kim Krans and metal/thrash guitarist Jonny Ollsin make an unlikely pairing for such a sad, dark slow song. While Night Song is a better single, Rest just has a foreboding power to it that seems to entrance the listener. Krans’s voice is transfixing while Ollsin’s guitar is sheer and grim (and quiet). It is the kind of folk music that one might play after the world has ended – looking out across the wasteland. Available for download: here

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