Skip to content

Day Fly – Do You Need Me

Do you need me? The way that I need you? The answer to that question is unfortunately no; I know you’ll never need me again. On that fateful day you made it clear as my tears rained down like the summer storms that plagued that season. I opened myself up and you slammed the door shut. I never saw you again but I saw you in my thoughts and in my dreams. I held you in my arms, kissed you like I kissed you in the woods where youthful dreams ran wild, and then I woke up.

You’ve moved on, I’ve moved on, but I can’t help wonder what if…what if I didn’t shut down? What if I tried to revive what was left? What if I told you I was home? I’ll never know, but I’ll forever chase the feelings I felt on the spring days where the sun shone down and I was complete.

Day Fly’s intricate r&b, saturated with the warmth of its buzzing production and passionate vocals, has brought up a well of thoughts that I haven’t tapped into for quite some time. It’s a song that will undoubtedly connect with listeners beyond this one lonely soul, so join me in this exploration of emotions and hit play below.

Michael Mason – Evil Presence (ft. Sophie Meiers)

If there’s an evil presence on Michael Mason’s new single, it feels more like a succubus or siren of the sea rather than a traditional savage. From beginning to end, the track is utterly intoxicating, its sonic embrace slowly pulling you in closer and closer. The array of synths is disorienting at points while Sophie Meiers’ declares “I came to create my own hell, now you’re all under my spell”, a notion that’s impossible to disagree with as she self reflects: “evil presence in my soul.”

While not lyrically similar, the mood her and Mason create reminds me of Fever Ray’s “Triangle Walks”. Dark, melodramatic, and deceptively infectious, it creeps into the subconscious. Just like the album artwork, a figure with nothingness in place of its eyes stares into your soul – good luck breaking away from its grasp. It demands you replay “Evil Presence” again and again. You oblige.

Billie Eilish – Watch (Xie Remix)

All you need to hear is her vocals to understand that Billie Eilish is a star in the making. Her voice is especially ripe for remixes, a notion that rising producer Xie takes full advantage of on her interpretation of “Watch”. It maintains the indie-pop ethos of the original while adding a clattering electronic element that transitions it into future pop territory. Its breakdown of a hook is especially enticing as it glitches through chopped up vocal samples that accelerate atop a halftime instrumental.

While the line “I’ll sit and watch your car burn” isn’t exactly uplifting, Xie’s remix is a feel-good track down to its core. It’s one of those songs that makes me want to lay outside and soak up every ray of sun while it plays from a bluetooth speaker nearby. I’d say December isn’t the best time to have this daydream, but hell, I live in Southern California – it’s beach weather year round! Time to start packing my bags for a nice little day trip to the coast in the near future!

deelanZ – Authenticity

I love a good rock track with a gritty edge, so it’s no surprise that I’m digging deelanZ’s newest. It has elements of a throwback to early ’90s grunge rock, don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and all, which brings back memories of hearing The Smashing Pumpkins on the radio on repeat and walking down the street, headphones on blasting “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. Like any era relegated to the past, there’s something mystical about those days that’s difficult to replicate authentically. Sure, you can check off all the genre-based boxes, but there’s an intangible vibe that transcends quantification.

“Authenticity” is one of the rare songs that channels that intangible vibe, the ghosts of grunge’s past coursing through indie rock of the present. It feels like a flannel-wearing mallrat anthem for pacing around your suburb’s stomping grounds while brimming with confidence that it’s your turf. Light a cigarette, inhale, and look around at the monotonous wasteland you inhabit. Exhale and think about how you’re going to get out of this town to carve your own path. Throw your cigarette butt on the ground, stomp it out, and put your headphones on. Press play on “Authenticity”.

Kaizen – Bloom

“Bloom” feels like a nostalgic haze where your wildest dreams can come true. The lead-synth has a hypnotic groove that’s complemented by keypad sounds one instant, an existential interview sample the next, exuding a feeling of the terrestrial and the beyond in the same breath. The sense of wonderment is wonderfully overwhelming as it leads to a place where mental images aren’t even conjured. Instead, it’s sonic sensory overload from a track that hints at exponential bliss.

It specifically reminds me of when I’d lay down on a hill in my hometown’s park and stare up at the stars. It was always a beautiful sight that would inspire thoughts about my place on Earth and my place in the great beyond. It’s been impossible to recreate those moments in my adult life for extended periods, although they do come in short excerpts, like when I look up at the moon and think about the Earth’s hold on a celestial object, or when I hear songs like “Bloom”.

Bleach Baby – This Is For You

Want to hear a groovy house tune that sounds tailor-made for festival mainstages? Look no further than “This Is For You”. It’s apparently the debut release from a project with no information around it other than backing from Armada Deep, but who needs context beyond the music? I can already see an Ultra crowd bouncing up and down in unison, fireworks going off and flame columns shooting up into the night sky, absorbed by the sounds and not concerned with the magician behind the curtain.

It’s hard to feel alone while listening to a song whose ethos is so obviously communal in nature. You can feel the passion of electronic music coursing through the veins of “This Is For You” with each and every passing second, like PLUR is encoded in its sonic DNA. The days of making kandi and sweating it out on the dance-floor before hugging it out with all my friends during high school are coming back to me! “This Is For You” is obviously a song crafted with love and honesty in mind which simply can’t be faked or conjured up, so I’ll be revisiting this one soon.

Jai Wolf – Indian Summer (Kasbo Remix)

It’s a hell of a task to remix a song near and dear to over 45,000,000 listeners, much less being the only artist to deliver an official remix after the seminal electronic cut dropped two years ago. That being said I can’t imagine anyone better to do the job than Kasbo – he’s a young talent whose work is able to exist in the EDM space while maintaining artistic substance. Rather than feeling like tracks prepared to be readily added to club mixes with maximalist drops, he delivers songs that are crafted with care that makes each and every second important.

His “Indian Summer” remix continues that trend by creating just over four minutes of pure unadulterated bliss. It feels like the soundtrack to a vital moment in someone’s life as they reach a beautiful peak much like the mountains on the album artwork. Even on a normal work day like today it improves my mood and makes me feel like I’m participating in the greater good of a harmonious world. This is a track I’m gonna be listening to again…and again…and again…

Pablo Nouvelle feat. Lulu James – Wired

I’m always down for a visceral house tune that winds through atmospheric, dance-floor driven bliss. Pablo Nouvelle’s newest is just that as it conjures images of sparse strobe lights piercing a dense fog hanging over the sweaty masses of a club. Each person present contributes their interpretation of the song’s rhythm to a greater collective of bodies moving in unison to the beat. It’s a no brainer for Armada to back a track that checks off all the boxes of an essential house offering: a smoky vocal topline, pitch perfect percussion, and an exquisite blend of ethereal synth touches sprinkled throughout a gritty synth at center stage.

Excuse me while I continue to rave about “Wired”, but it’s seriously a song that reminds me of why I have a genuine passion for house music. There’s no other genre that can make me move in my seat on command and immediately welcome its part human, part machine embrace. I can get lost in the music for hours at a time, where eight minute extended cuts feel like mere moments in a state of extended bliss. I have a playlist for those occasions, a playlist that “Wired” is now a part of.

Saukrates – Season 2

Saukrates, Soxx, Big Soxx – he’s a man of many names, and with that, comes many talents. Behind the mic and boards alike, the forefather of Toronto hip-hop defined the sound of a region with the rejection of major labels and a blast from the underground (read: The Underground Tapes). Upon claiming his rightful throne, he quietly aligned his heir apparent via the introduction of Drake to OB OBrien – the pop and rap landscape hasn’t been the same since those two connected, and with that, the waves of Saukrates’ influence can be felt across decades.

That being said, I’ll try to not minimize Saukrates’ talents to so few words as I digest his newest creation: Season 2. The man is a storyteller who weaves tales of romance and heartbreak (“Fever”), pride and probity (“Jays Fitted”), all into a potent mixture of bars and wonderfully sung vocals. He’s adept with each word he spits, turning lines into pure poetry with vivid imagery attached to each and every syllable: “You think your bitch is bad, my lady such a sweet disaster.” As always, Soxx also has a finger on the pulse of old heads and new heads alike as he taps Kardinall Offishall and SonReal respectively for a set of hometown features that make the record feel like a true Toronto celebration.

On Season 2, the golden era of hip-hop, past present and future, is alive and well. Big ups to Big Soxx.

AWAY – Honest To Gød (feat. Charity)

Lowly Palace has a knack for singling out producers with exponential potential, one of the most obvious being AWAY. I’ve been obsessed with his debut single “Sleepwalker”, a production that grinds introspective melodies from London Thor into dust with a contorted synth of a hook. His follow-up, “Honest To Gød”, is a fitting follow-up that dives into the depths of sonic pathos as Charity’s vocals swirl through a minimalist haze before she declares “I’m addicted to the pain.” On cue, the song collapses into a glitchy, effects-soaked bottom.

Beyond the sounds of “Honest To Gød”, I find myself considering the line “I’m addicted to the pain.” I like to think of myself as someone who pursues happiness on all fronts, but there are times where I experience moments of pain that I allow to slowly spread across my day until I wallow in them. I don’t think it’s masochism by any stretch, but I subconsciously find something enthralling about melodrama, like a music video character staring out a rainy window. There are days like today where I start off strong, but a fleeting moment of sadness turns into an evening of unnecessary introspection. I think I’ll give “Honest To Gød” one more listen before I snap out of it.