I met Pete in a pub on my first night in New York. Pub? Bar? I’m not sure what I’d actually call it, but I’d just checked into the mother of all hostels and a very chatty australian girl asked if I wanted to borrow her hair straightener before inviting me out for a drink with ‘a group of people’. So we went somewhere that served very cheap alcohol and friends were made.
Pete and Noah became my friends in New York and I’ve never seen Pete since. His words are like a drug however, and I can easily spend an afternoon living vicariously through him and his exciting adventures (what do you do exactly Pete?).
The only other real thing I know about Pete is that he loves music. He makes and mixes music. And he is here with us all today (from London!) to introduce us to some of his latest favourites.
So, I’ve put together some songs that have been in my ears recently. They may illuminate me, my mind, or at least my temperament in regards to where it is now; like the flash of a camera, perhaps even bleaching my image a little and picking out some faults that I’d rather not admit to myself.
This is hard.
I am attaching a graph to go with this mix. It illustrates the lack of continuity throughout the selection. Erratic moods? Perhaps.
Interesting results from the graph though, if you are to believe it, apparently the faster the music, the less you think about it. According to me, hungover on a Sunday morning.
1- Final Fantasy: This is the dream of Win and Regine
I had no intention of including Montreal based tracks as some sort of weak poke in the ribs to either you or Ivan, but there are two in here.
A loop pedal, a violin, and an honest voice, this man has worked with so many amazing musicians, and contributed to so many records that when he makes his own you know it’ll be nutt’n but GOOD. A song for his two Arcade Fire colleagues this one, its a sober singalong, and that’s why I put it on this morning.
2- Leonard Cohen: The Future
The groove, the backing vocals, the lyrics. Pretty much everything about this song makes me want to run my fingers through my hair and squint into the distance whilst sipping something from a bottle. It oozes the wisdom of a man who only knows the world so well because he’s never ever committed to something properly, aka ‘absolute dude’.
3- Debruit: Nigeria What?
Words do not. They can’t. All I want to say are terribly weak adjectives, one’s like ‘bouncy’. Pathetic. Loads of fun this chewn though, wrap it round you and spread something on some toast.
4- Panda Bear: Take Pills
Totally dreamy. The first couple of minutes of this tune wash over you in a sun drenched, late afternoon mess. They almost wash over you enough to alter the way you feel about whatever it is you have been thinking about and however it has been making you feel for the past however long. Then one of the sweetest vocal lines rolls through the door and you feel like you’re back at school again, uniform half off, caring about all the things you no longer care about anymore because they are “trivial” or because they don’t make any money for you.
Its a shame, because if we were as happy as this vocal line, then we’d probably recognise what the really trivial things are, and the fact that most of them involve money.
5- MachineDrum: The statue
This album is stalking me. I hear this track in my sleep. Some of the effects inside this track make me think of sunburn (the good kind), and in its entirety, it makes everything I’m doing feel BIG. Be it pouring a glass of juice, sipping a glass of juice, walking onto a bus, they all feel BIG when these percussive sounds etc are tumbling around in my head. Truly nice. Truly storming for the Summer of 2011.
6- Venetian Snares: Szamár madár
I couldn’t put any classical music on to this list. If I were to, everything would have collapsed and I would have woken up in November. Luckily, this tune is not only an absolute gem, but it also samples one of the best pieces of cello music ever written, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto. (Listen to that if you can’t be bothered with your heart anymore and you’d rather just pull it clean out of your chest and wash it in tears).
It may well be a little heavy on the percussive side, but if you drag your ears towards the orchestra//soloist samples, you begin to feel hugely relaxed. It gets me every time, the expectation that my beaty heart inside is going to make me want to turn the music off, only for it to be overruled by my head and ears and their obsession with all those sounds going on inside.
7- Enablers: And last night?
Nothing could ever go wrong when a Bay area band decide to collaborate with a poet. Experienced guitars, patient drums, and stories spun by a voice born for story telling. Thanks to all those involved.
8- Seekae: 3
Quite simply one of the most beautifully crafted songs you will hear this year. A blend of noises taken from across a huge sonic horizon, sat down together and all told to get along and play nicely with one another.
There is a nostalgia to this tune that is truly genuine, I don’t know where it comes from, but when I hear it I am elevated and forced to never ever consider anything mildly negative or fearful. How a song can capture the sentiment of being reflective and full of love, whilst also being an absolute BOOMER is beyond me. This pulls it off though.
9- Tropics: Moves
I know little of this man. I know he’s a man, and he’s young. I’ve only heard a few of his tracks, though this morning one of them came on, and so he has been included here. I know it’s Winter where you are, right? But the shimmery, synth pop from a person recording in their bedroom may well warm those goosebumps of yours. Nice keyboard sounds nestle between a myriad of beats and niceties, allowing you to drift around and get on with whatever you’re doing feeling a little bit more smiley. Very much a Caribou thing going on, spose it ain’t no thang to have more of that though.
10- Of Montreal: Lysergic Bliss
Nothing more than a masterpiece this song. I love it all. The vocals, the harmonies. Everything. Too much of a feel good track. Playful, but in no way twee. Not to me anyway. It is bold, and very honest, I like that.
11- Portico Quartet: Dawn Patrol
These Scottish people know exactly what they are doing, and that’s all we can ask for. They really ought to be writing soundtracks for movies that don’t get shown in multi-screen theatres. Maybe they are? The double bass on this gets me everytime. Every.single.time. When it begins, when it returns. Every.single.time.
12- Joni Mitchell: A Case of you
Pretty much included only for the line “Just before our love got lost you said I’m as constant as the northern star and I said, constantly in the darkness where’s that at? If you want me I’ll be in the bar”.
Joni Mitchell, not soppy, too cool to be soppy. This song allows you to look at all those things you think are so fucking serious in your life, take a step back, apply some salt, laugh a little at them, and then step back towards them and keep on giving.
13- Mogwai: Kids will be skeletons
More people from Scotland. Call it “post-rock” call it whatever. Mogwai absolutely kill it every time, have done for years now. I remember being bought a ticket to see them for my birthday a long long time ago. It was enchanting. I don’t think I blinked from start to end, and still managed not to have dry eyes. Never melancholy, but always ready to cushion you as you sink into oblivion for whatever reason.