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Music

Broken Bells – Holding on for Life

Whoever had the idea for The Shins James Mercer and prolific producer Danger Mouse to get together…give that person a fucking medal. Broken Bells, their collaborative project, has released two fantastic albums, described by Rolling Stone as “left field pop” and by the guys as “experimental, but melodic too.”

“Holding on for Life,” off their new album “After the Disco” is the band’s best song yet. Mercer channels his inner Bee Gee’s, delivering one of his most powerful vocal performances of his illustrious career, while Danger Mouse harkens back to his Gorillaz production days, blending a pseudo-Asian synth line with a grunge guitar bridge straight out of nineties Seattle.

Both of these artists have made careers out of coaxing a positive feeling out of songs with troubling subject matter. At first listen, “Holding on for Life” feels like a fun LCD Soundsystem style dance-rock track, tugging at your marionette strings and getting your body jerking in that special indie way. But then you hear the minor notes, the noisy dissonance, the abstract exploration of loneliness. You almost feel bad for your initial happy reaction.

But not for long. The point of Broken Bells seems to be that it’s ok to smile when life isn’t going so well. It’s better to dance in front of your mirror than to mope in your room alone, even if you’re alone either way. Barry Gibbs and Elliott Smith can coexist. This song allows us feel the weight of the world without getting crushed. It encourages us to make eye contact with that beautiful stranger. To take the chance and worry later. Because if the world is falling to pieces around us, we may as well open our mouths to see how it tastes.

Broken Bells – Holding on for Life

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Music

Slow Magic – On Yr Side

I’ve been listening to this song since August, it kept me company in my walks home from the office. To listen on a good volume made not only the scenery better with a perfect soundtrack, but it also helped me construct these visions and directions of my personal and professional life—this is my business as usual on these walks home. To drift away in these thoughts and mental visualization and planning is important to me, and it’s one of the things I enjoy most about living in this city of Bogotá. This is that kind of music, the type that not only lets you think about other things, but it actually helps you do so; in spite of the vocals which are so perfectly placed throughout the track that they never get in the way of you and your thoughts.

When I listen to musical creations like these, my hope for newbred good music reinstates itself. Slow Magic’s experimental electronic music —just like SBTRKT and alike— is the foundation of a new kind of imaginary pop; the future of electronic music one might think.

After the 1 minute mark it picks up, and the percussions, a single bell that carries the same dose of reverb as the handclaps is some of the melodically addictive part of this one. Since the beginning of time there’s been music for everything in life. This type of music is for those times that are a bit more special. Get this song and keep it  at all times. Trust me, it’ll come in handy.

Slow Magic – On Yr Side

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Music

Grails – Acid Rain

Ok, before you take a listen, make sure you have some time to spare since this is an 8 minute song and will require full use of your laying back capabilities. These guys fall under my space rock genre for very apparent reasons.  Their album, Doomsdayer’s Holiday, is one the most musically ambitious projects I’ve come across in a long time. It barely has vocals, no mainstream appeal and most of the songs are painfully slow. Yet it still manages to have an extremely epic and adventurous feeling. Very impressive. Not sure how many will have the patience for an 8 minute instrumental rock song but this is some very creative stuff.

Grails – Acid Rain

MP3