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Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

is the company stalling?
we had what we wanted: your eyes…”

SOHN – Signal


Like an unmoving body of water, Signal begins. Calm and calculated, first, the waves move slowly. Then, like an animal’s head piercing calm waters, SOHN’s voice comes in. Still, there’s barely any unsettling. The stormy weather SOHN sings of takes place inside of him. The song mimics that apparent composure some of us spend our lives perfecting.

Signal, wave across the water for me.”

That’s all he’s asking.

There are moments in my life I’ve convinced myself I’m not waiting in the dark. A signal from another was all I longed for. But really, it wasn’t. I thought it was just a sign but what I wanted was for another to carry me. Expectations are usually larger than what we convince ourselves we need.

Give me shelter, please.

Let me be the man I wanted to be.”

As though some sign from another is what would allow me to fully be. As though I needed your permission. As though you’d ever give it to me. The mere thought that I’d need you to do anything, means the “me” is gone. It means there’s no agency.

Signal’s soundscape manifests that acute loneliness that encapsulates when you’re waiting on someone else. When you’re waiting on someone who you might even know will let you down. But still, you wait. Because…

We each have our reasons.

Placing trust in another so often fails us. So why do we try again and again to believe? This time it’ll be different. This time it’ll be how it’s meant to be. And the song matches this hope as it swells periodically.

The thing is, it’ll never be how I want it unless I make it so. Unless I believe in myself to create the actions I want to see through.

In the track’s last moments, the music builds, revealing a deep frustration with this current state of being: one of wanting and not receiving. It’s SOHN’s desperation to become what he wants to be. The wave calls him out of his waiting.

Oh I’ve been travelling, waiting for a moment of peace.” 

Don’t wait, just be the peace.


Coolwater Set – Dubs Up (Feat. Problem and Whitney Phillips)

In this day and age I REALLY appreciate songs like this. Yes, because it’s a great song, but also because it makes me feel better about my early onset “get off my lawn” mentality about modern hiphop. When I’m questioning my fast developing grumpiness, a song like this reminds that it’s ok to dislike 95% of what passes as hiphop these days.

But that’s a tangent for another time, and it’s a Saturday so there aren’t too many annoyances stacked up yet. Right now it’s all about this lovely Coolwater Set slow-burner that reminds me of so many songs, moments and memories of my teen and college years. There’s something so special and unique about genuine funk-inspired west coast hiphop. To me, this song is what west coast hiphop has and always will sound like. From Egyptian Lover to Kendrick Lamar, the “Dubs Up” philosophy and style is the common thread between all of it.

“Under the bright city lights, nothin but dubs in the sky”

Building on the momentum of “The Coast,” “Dubs Up” proves that CW have an extremely diverse understanding of west coast music, LA culture and how to keep classic styles sounding relevant. They have a knack for connecting the dots between traditional hiphop vibes and the modern styles that will carry the genre into the future. And here, it all equals one helluva bouncy, feel-good song. Shit, maybe i’ll even let some of these new kids hang out on my lawn for a few more minutes.

Pretty Sister and Dragonette (Feat. Tobtok) – Galactic Appeal

Pretty Sister and Dragonette’s Martina Sorbara belt out “we got galactic appeal” on their new song’s hook, a statement that definitely isn’t wrong when listening to the Tobtok-produced joint. With the combination of the artists’ soulful vocals and its ultra-poppy, electro-tinged instrumentals, it taps into all the makings of a chart-topping smash in 2016.

Besides how utterly massive it sounds, the most notable aspect of the song is how absurdly summery it feels. It might be September and Corona Lights will surely soon be replaced with various takes on pumpkin spice, but “Galactic Appeal” makes it seem like everyday should be spent at the beach with the sun blazing down, no matter the time of year. While it’ll take some accelerated global warming for most of the US to make the vibes right, we’re duly rewarded out in California, where the water never begins to freeze over and comfortable warmth reigns year-round (Oh, it’s under 70 degrees? I’ll fix that real quick by driving 30 minutes west!).

And hey, even as pumpkin spice makes way for eggnog in the wintertime a few months down the road, “Galactic Appeal” will sound just right out here. There’s no denying that living out on the West Coast is a blessing, and after hitting repeat on the song over and over again, I’m counting my blessings.

DROELOE – Shibuya

The artwork of DROLOE’s “Shibuya” evokes rather specific mental imagery when I spin the track, its red neon lights exuding the tensions of nightlife that are echoed within the music itself. Beginning with an airy lead-synth that quickly becomes distorted into a rough translation of its former being, the percussion kicks off to light-speed. Its resulting drop provides a tough, thunderous low-end with a carousel of hi-hats surrounding its now-warped synth, one that seamlessly transitions into a much more positive affair as the song reaches its elated peak in its second half.

The give-and-take relationship of nightlife’s surface and its complimentary underbelly materializes with the audible work now fleshed out to compliment its visual representation, a place where the backroom-dealings that prop up the party threaten to flow over into the dreamworld above, a safe-haven where emotional connections of love and lust are made amidst flashing lights. All the pieces are in place for a surrealist nightmare to break loose, yet just as quickly as the possibility emerges, it subsides.The opposing forces bend but never break, allowing the dream to live on, the red neon lights flickering onward.