Skip to content

Alicia Keys – Fallin’ (starRo Remix)

I always imagined time travel would be more like a dream – just a little different than you remember, just a little slower than real time. Travel with me back to 2001. Napster gets shut down. Alicia Keys spends six weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 with Fallin’. Oh, and the first iPod is released.

Fallin’ is just one of those tracks you never forget. It’s just the right amount of all the right ingredients – soul, rhythm and truth. But then we add in a little starRo, and he hits it just right. He flys in with this helicopter-esque syncopation but maintains this downtempo groove that builds in intensity and complexity. The beat pauses only to accentuate Keys’ most vulnerable vocal moments, killing it mainly at 2:15.

starRo is Shinya Mizoguchi in real time and real life, but his music is this escape into an alternate reality. It doesn’t really matter where or what it is. Just know that it exists.

Alicia Keys – Fallin’ (starRo Remix)


EMPT Classics: Florence and the Machine – Swimming

Some music should never be forgotten…

That’s why we’re starting our new classics series to bring back some of the great songs and moments we were living when we heard them. Florence sounds so passionate on this, she expresses the bittersweet emotion of forgetting what love is because of a love gone wrong with so much life and romantic vigor you can’t help be completely overtaken while listening. This has and continues to be one of most popular posts here and for good reason, it’s an incredible love song/piece of art. Re-enjoy.

__

I was out doing my usual record shopping and ran into the limited edition box set of Florence and the Machine’s critically acclaimed album Lungs. I thought thought to myself, I already have this so I don’t need this but then I saw a song on the 3rd disc that I didn’t recognize, the song was called Swimming. When I got home I did some research and found out this version is actually the demo for the much lighter and pop-minded Swimming Song. This version is dark, passionate and powerful, it totally justified my purchase.

Your songs remind me of swimming,
Which I forgot when I started to sink
Drank further away from the shore,
And deeper into the drink.

Sat on the bottom of the ocean,
A stern and stubborn rock
Cos your songs remind me of swimming,
But somehow I forgot…

Something about this song makes me think of people who lose touch with who they are when they get older. The so-called “real world” is a dangerous place because it can make us feel like we have to do things that don’t fall in line with our disposition. In my opinion, that’s one of the worst things that could happen to someone because then you just become a zombie, going through the motions emotionless, everyday single day waiting to get out of work to live – the wackness.

This jam is dedicated to you and your boys
And if you knew what I knew, then you’d kill that noise!” – MC Shan (1987)

In this song Florence realizes that she’s lost touch with who she is but when she hears this special song it wakes her up and reignites that fire. This is an incredible song, I’d love to write more but there’s just too much to do, enjoy.

Florence and The Machine – Swimming

Originally posted on March 17th, 2011


St. Lucia – We Got It Wrong

Brace yourselves, the dog days are coming and it looks like they’re bringing an army with ’em. You’ll be needing some armor to cool off with and beat the dogs away. If I were you I’d keep this track as a secret weapon. St. Lucia, the Brooklyn based musician, seamlessly marries elements of his home country (St. Lucia if you can believe it) and New York cool. Synths soar over island beats and cloud your thoughts with a summer haze. It’s energetic in its sublime quality.

I don’t quite remember how I came to know this artist, but I don’t plan on letting him go that’s for sure. We Got It Wrong is pure summer. The lightness of the track has a liberating quality to it…perhaps it’s the horns that pop-up from time to time in this 5 minute island adventure. I don’t really mind the temperatures heating up – I’ve got St. Lucia to take me away when I need it; now you do too! Sit back and enjoy the ride.

St. Lucia – We Got It Wrong


Taken By Trees – Dreams

The beginning of this particular song plays like a dream that I’m watching the recap to.  Glimpses of different scenes in a love affair that was written out of a fantastical storyline.  One that has me thinking back to a time when things were fairy-tale like in a dream of my own.  A time when the air temperature didn’t matter, the crimes happening all around us didn’t take place, and all I could see were her eyes and her smile in front of me, no matter if she was really there or not.  The color of everything around us was picture perfect.  The snow was whiter than any snow any human has ever seen― flawless like her skin.  The sun was the brightest orange you could imagine.  Not the color orange, but the fruit; all the same.  If we had been in the caribbean then the sky was as blue as the water there, and both without a ripple in sight, even when our naked bodies dipped inside to be wrapped with the essence of the earth’s life.  In this dream, our nakedness represents the ability for both of us to hide nothing from one another.

A friend of mine said today:

A true relationship is when you can tell each other about anything and everything.  No secrets, no lies and no excuses.”

In this dream, both of us were escaping from past lives that we no longer yearned for.  We both had learned the valuable lessons which one is meant to learn and take from every experience, and, we were both ready to find a utopia full of blissful surroundings, experiences, energies, and most importantly, moments.  Moments filled with the kind of love that you see in the trailers for love stories.  A lot of kissing, a ton of intimacy, beautiful smiles, sensual touches―soft whispers.  Black and white images of  moments captured from a storyline deemed “timeless”.  Moments in the sand where two bodies simply laid embracing one another as if they knew a secret that no one else on the planet could ever see, know, or understand.  A secret that’s only meaning was simpler than the act of laying there and staring into the sun-filled sky.  The secret that says that love is all that matters here―on this planet, that is.

Dreams from Taken By Trees is quite simply a living and breathing moment of perfected love.  It is an orchestrated love story for the ages told by the strings, and the angelic vocals that massages your shoulders into a deep sleep and places you right into a dream world that you will never want to wake from.

When souls bare naked for one another they are there to give back all of the hope that one another has lost for the world, and for love.  They are there for one another to show each other that true love is sometimes found in the least expected corners of the world, and in forms that one could never truly see before.

True Love is your soul’s recognition of its counterpart”

What happens when the dream ends and you have to awaken?

I have no idea, but if I awaken from it some day, then I promise I will tell you all how the dream ended.

No one will believe us when we’ll tell them what we’ve seen
But baby I need ya, and no it’s not a dream.”

Taken By Trees – Dreams

 


Chllngr – Sun Down Feat. Coco O

Combining elements of dub and R&B with a nocturnal aesthetic, Copenhagen-based producer CHLLNGR (aka Steven Jess Borth II) is one of the freshest sounds to emerge so far this year. Today he debuts his upcoming album’s centerpiece “Haven” on Pitchfork which they call “chilling, goosebump-inducing”. The album’s title track utilizes ghostly african rhythms and cavernous pads to coil around Borth’s indistinguishable, yet hopeful-sounding intonations.”

That’s so F*&cking right on!  When I first heard this I thought it was going to be some dope hip-hop track but it turned out to be a dope dub/R&B track, what!!!??  I have found myself waking up with this stuck in my head the past few days, trying to figure out the perfect time to post this, but what better time than now before I get something else stuck in my head.  Chllngr is definitely a producer to watch out for because his sounds are unreal, I feel like I am in some sexy dungeon when I listen to this track especially.  The horn effect is my favorite, calling for all the sexy night crawlers to come out and play, love it!  All his other tracks are off the chain as well so you should check out his Soundcloud if you’re diggin’ this track as much as I am.

Coco O from Quadron is nothing less then spectacular, her vocals sound great on just about anything and who would of thought, just yesterday we posted Lauryn Hill and she happens to be one of Coco’s inspirations, and I personally completely hear notes of Lauryn Hill in Coco’s vocals, wow!

While Coco’s inspiration springs from a life well-lived (“leisurely bike rides and good drinks”) she credits Lauryn Hill’s classic Miseducation and Sade’s elegant lyrics as being at the center of her formative music years–“I used to say ‘I grew up on breast milk and Sade’”, Coco quips.”

This song has Dub/R&B love written all over it from the music to the vocals, couldn’t be a better combination for any day of the week in my opinion. This track gets me pumped and feeling sexy while sittin’ here in my pajamas, so press play and enjoy this as much as I am!

Chllngr – Sun Down Feat. Coco O


Noisettes – That Girl

Gosh I’ve been waiting for Noisettes to come out with a new track for ages! I’ve been a fan of this musical force for years now, I guess it was in high school where it all began though. I remember falling hard for the edgy lead vocals of Shingai Shoniwa because at the time there was truly nothing else like that on the music sphere. At least nothing that caught my attention in such a way.

Now the group has returned with this adorably catchy old school vibe of a track, and I couldn’t be more in love. For me, they’re definitely on the same level in terms of energy and talent as The Heavy. I guess the reason the two match each other in my mind is because they’re doing really similar things with music right now: working off the foundation of an older sound but revamping it and making it their own. The argument can be made that all sounds are taken from classics, and re-manufactured into something new, but I would actually argue against that. There are musicians whose sound truly strives for something else. It looks forward, rather than working off the successful waves of what the foundation has created. This means that risks need to be taken, and that sometimes leaves listeners disappointed. But when it’s done right, when the right amount of talent and honest soul is put into the music, the final product is fabulous.

But this is a conversation that I am constantly having, one that has several levels of complexity, where no answer is necessarily right. The fact that we even address this notion at all, is part of what makes music so beautiful. The language that not everyone can speak, but one that everyone can discuss.

Anyways, enjoy this charming little track from the Noisettes. Perhaps we all know the subject matter of this song, too. I know that it’s rang all too true in my life as well as my friends lives as of recent: the best friend we’re in love with. It hurts, and it doesn’t go away because we just want to stay being friends with them. They’re fun to be around, and they’re so perfect for you. It’s such a bittersweet feeling and subject matter, but Shingai Shoniwa and her band mates throw a sweet little tune to it, so we almost don’t realize how much it sucks to be that best friend.

That girl’s in love with you
That girl’s in love with you
I know that you’re too blind to see
I know that it’s so plain to see
That girl’s in love with you so madly.”

Reminisce. Wallow. Breathe. Laugh.

Most importantly, enjoy!

Noisettes – That Girl


Ghost Beach – Been There Before

Nothing signifies “feel-good” music more than Been There Before by Ghost Beach these last few days.  The song’s splashes of tropical weather sounds and harmoniously busy synths sprinkled on top with Josh Oceans vocals, which are delivered both with perfect cadence and hypnotic melody, provide an instant fix of anti-depressant for just about any soul.  This naturally uplifting vibe courtesy of the wild mesh of synths along with the overall island feel the song carries makes it hard not to listen straight through, over and over, and not feel good about life as it is right here, right in this very moment.

Been There Before is that song that comes barging right in when you’re just about exhausted with everything else in your playlists and completely saves the day, if not the year.  It’s a tune that won’t ever get old even if it does see major commercial success.  A perfect percussive provided by very clean ‘slapping’ drives the bass to drive you, as the hard hitting overall drumming keeps you rocking from beginning to end.  Right from the very moment the Nintendo like sounds come blaring out your speakers at the start of the song you instantly know that this will be a sonic ride you won’t regret taking―over and over and over.

Some call it  Tropic-Pop, Power-Pop, Tropical-Electro, whatever; we over at EMPT simply call it great music.

Ghost Beach – Been There Before


Gossip – Perfect World (RAC Mix)

Gossip has the indie rock/punk vibe down to a “T”.  Sometimes I listen to bands like this and it gets to be a little bit too much for me because you can tell they are trying way too hard, but Gossip has been in the mix since 1999 so they made the punch right before the millenium when music started spiraling into a different dimension.  Gossip’s singer Beth doesn’t have that over powering scream that some rock artists can have, she has a nice range with almost a country twang without feeling like country music, basically its really engaging to listen too.  I thought the video of the original was really tuned in with the all around vibe of the track, sometimes the videos can be a complete tangent but this one stays on track even with RAC’s Remix.

RAC never seems to fail, giving the Perfect World it’s electronic/rock twin that caught my attention in the first couple seconds.  RAC has more complexity dabbling in everything from television, film, video games, you name it, he has probably dipped his hands into it.  I always get excited about in original track mutated into something even more special, enjoy!

Gossip – Perfect World (RAC Mix)


Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind

Take me downtown
Tonight I want to forget
I want lights to blind me
I want peace, want to disappear.”

What is it about dance beats paired with a narrative of lost love that makes songs like this so good? I came across Niki & The Dove this weekend and at thought that Fever Ray had released something new. But the farther I got into the song the more I started to hear the distinctions between the two Swedish groups. This song was poppier; it managed to sonically carry a melancholy tale through the air with its beat that doesn’t give up until it reaches the end. You can hear the anguish in Malin Dahlström’s vocals. Her high-alto raspy voice sounds like a howl when she reaches the chorus begging the DJ to just play the damn song so she can forget her lost love for a bit. Dahlström’s delivery had me wanting to hold her and let her go at the same time. I listened to it once and had to listen to it again because I, too, wanted to get as lost as she was.

Songs like this track – dance-y break up songs somehow make the situation seem bearable. Robyn’s, “Dancing On My Own” comes to mind as I sit here racking my memory of other similar tracks. That song (which I happen to believe is one of the most underrated pop songs to exist) captures the unrequited love perfectly, but instead of singing it over some mellow guitar or low-fi electronic production, it’s set to a beat that lets the listener (and artist) shake whatever negative feeling they got brewin’ out. Niki & The Dove do the same thing in this track. Why bother relishing in some longing when music and a little swayin’ with your eyes closed to the beat is the best remedy? A DJ can be your doctor. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all experienced this desire for someone else only to find that they don’t feel the same. When that moment comes and you want to get lost (hell, even if you just want to let go for four minutes) turn this track up and just go. Trust me, by the time you get to the break down half-way in and Dahlström is “oh-oh-ing” you’ll feel as light as the track.

Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind

Bonus: Get your good headphones ready, I’m including Jakwob’s excellent remix of this song. It’s darker and more hypnotic than the original. A heavy bass-line and synth melt together to create a lush euphoric track that pulses through your whole body.

Niki & The Dove – DJ, Ease My Mind (Jakwob Remix)


Purity Ring – Amenamy

It’s the most cherished day of the week for the music lover – Tuesday. Go on, get excited. After releasing their first single way back when in January 2011, Purity Ring is finally ready to present their full length album Shrines. Their popularity has been building after quietly emerging and releasing a track here and there.

Finally reality struck and tour dates were revealed. After watching them go above and beyond what I expected, the duo that is Megan James and Corin Roddick made me fall in love all over again. Roddick is casual and lean; James is a strikingly beautiful, five-foot-something lady with a lot to say. Roddick quietly grooves on a custom built instrument that drives both sound and lighting while James‘ charming, yet seductive voice spouts lyrics that are rhythmically personal and alliteratively poetic.

Some shattering find for this candor to die
Plug up your wormholes and give them, to feeders and spirits be freer 
and freer and broil and toil and foil dies
Scallop the breastbone, roll in toll and grow old the long winter in it 
Think not what the season will become
Breathe truthfully at the garden glen, that grew masterfully over your withering son.”

Amenamy is just a piece of this whole sensation that Purity Ring has built. I recommend getting the album and finding your own sensual groove.

Purity Ring – Amenamy