The Knocks “Comfortable” - http://youtu.be/kuxSMGbLqqw
It felt right to start this week’s mix with a song that speaks to the philosophy of BearSKN. We are all about comfort here. Given, none of the underwear worn in this video clip looks particularly comfortable. They should have consulted us! I am a huge fan of The Knocks. I saw them open for Dragonette a few years ago. They put on an energetic show, mixing live vocals and instruments with samples. “Comfortable” is the title track to their latest EP. Highly recommended. They also very generously offer a lot of free downloads on their soundcloud page. Here is a link to one of my favorite remixes by The Knocks, which you can download for free: https://soundcloud.com/theknocks/haim-if-i-could-change-your.
MNEK “Every Little Word” - http://youtu.be/x1MmHm4Wusc
Okay, so I like this video, but this kid seems like a punk. I find the distorted “Do you fuck to this shit?” vocal rather annoying--BUT the beat is a sick ‘90s throwback, and he’s got vocal chops. So I’m trying to withhold judgment. Check out my other favorite MNEK track, “Hold On,” his collab with up-and-coming DJ/Producer Duke Dumont, and see if you don’t agree (sorry, this one’s not a free download): https://soundcloud.com/dukedumont/duke-dumont-feat-mnek-hold-on
Chromeo “Jealous (I Ain’t With It)” - http://youtu.be/RhmUnk454MA
Chromeo are a pair of cheesy, slick bastards who occasionally come up with a brilliant track. This is one of them. It’s their catchiest number since “Needy Girl.” And despite the fact that I find the level of camp inherent in most of their music to be just too much to handle, I can’t deny that I find them both kind of hot. Also, this track is unstoppable. Enjoy.
Wild Beasts “A Simple Beautiful Truth” - http://youtu.be/JOIYLIgOY1Y
I have been in love with Wild Beasts for a long time. There is just something about that voice that sticks with you. Their latest album, Present Tense is both sparse and spacious. This video reminds me of New Order videos from the ‘80s, which only makes me love them more. There’s also some great remixes of this song available. I am especially a fan of the East India Youth remix: https://soundcloud.com/dominorecordco/wild-beasts-a-simple.
How to Dress Well “Repeat Pleasure” - http://youtu.be/ZTkGTfsMRYE
So I dig me some white boy, sadcore R&B. How To Dress Well, is a beautiful, mopey mess. This is probably his most upbeat track to date, and it’s also my favorite. He previously collaborated with indie darling Active Child, and released a buzzworthy first album. This is one of the first tracks off his upcoming sophomore album, and I am taking it as a step in a less dreary, more exciting direction.
Future Islands “Seasons (Waiting On You)” - http://youtu.be/1Ee4bfu_t3c (Letterman)
This performance… WTF? Okay, with that out of the way, let’s talk for a second about how great this song is. Pretty great, right? Seriously, go listen to the studio version, and while you’re at it, listen to the rest of the Future Islands back catalogue too. Okay, now back to this performance. Two things: 1) What is up with that guttural GROWL at about 3:09??? 2) Except for that moment, I absolutely adore this man now. He feels every word and every moment of this song. And he is SO EXCITED to be on Letterman! And does he remind anyone else of Marlon Brando, like a lot?
Slow Club “Complete Surrender” - http://youtu.be/eCtHncEMLVg
I was never a big Slow Club fan until I heard this single. They always felt like a sort of sleepy Postal Service wannabe act to me. But this song lives in the magical place between Belle and Sebastian and classic disco. It is chock full of drama. You can just feel it in those strings! I am a huge sucker for swelling strings in my disco-pop. I hope you enjoy.
Chet Faker “Talk Is Cheap” - http://youtu.be/aP_-P_BS6KY
This sexy, bearded Aussie gentleman caught my attention first with his collabs with Say Lou Lou and Flume. So cute, and such a sexy voice! PS—he also does a solid cover of “No Diggity” that is worth looking up.
Kelis “Rumble” - http://youtu.be/1yzucesoYtI
I don’t know about this whole food show she’s got going, but I think Kelis is on the right track musically. I loved her club-ready album Flesh Tone, but this effort is all sexy, food-inspired. Motown tunes Okay, so “Rumble” may not sound so food-inspired, but to give you an idea, my other two fave are “Cobbler” and “Jerk Ribs.”
London Grammar “Nightcall” - http://youtu.be/OZYw0MQp_fI
I had a lot of struggles figuring out the final track for this week’s mix. I almost gave it to Robyn or Sia, but I went with the more mellow, Twin Peaks-ish vibes of London Grammar. If you’ve heard anything from them, it is probably their single “Strong” which is on the rise in the US, but their debut is already a huge hit in the UK. The vibe of their debut album, If You Wait, is very minimal. Think Goldrfrapp in Felt Mountain-mode, only with less orchestration. It’s a beautiful album. But if you miss the beats, have no fear. There are a plethora of London Grammar remixes out there on the interwebs, and here is a link to a free download of one of my favorite unofficial mixes of one of their other singles, “Hey Now”: https://soundcloud.com/stevemits/london-grammar-hey-now-mits-1