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Music

Stephen Marley – You’re Gonna Leave

The time between Christmas and the New Year is like purgatory. The big night is just far enough away that getting excited for it seems silly. You’re too exhausted from the meals, candy, and drinks to do anything (despite you’re incessant inner dialogue that you’ll hit the treadmill to undo the holidays). Sitting with a book and relaxing sounds nice, but for whatever reason relaxation in today’s day and age is a foreign concept. The constant pressure to do something, to be active, to get up off your butt is exhausting. What else is there to do, though, in this interim period? I’m here to say, it’s a-o-k to just chill. I’ve got the right track to accompany you.

The other weekend I crashed at my friend’s apartment down in the Financial District. After the whole Sandy issue, her apartment was back and running and decked out for the holidays. Having worked well beyond the healthy limit to meet deadlines, we decided to reward ourselves with a proper weekend. In the morning we cooked brunch and her roommate turned this track on. At first I wasn’t paying attention to what was coming from the speakers, but then I heard a familiar melody. I couldn’t quite place where it was from until I made the roommate turn it back.

Sandpaper kisses, paper-cut bliss
Don’t know what this is, but it all leads to this
You’re gonna leave her.”

If you’re an avid fan of The Weeknd, you’ll recognize these vocals from “The Birds, Part II” off his Thurdsday mixtape. They come from Martina Topley-Bird’s exquisitely quiet track “Sandpaper Kisses.” Both The Weeknd and Stephen Marley have sampled her song in ways that keep the mood of the original but work in each artist’s respective intention. In Marley’s case, his reggae tale parallels the story Topley tells. However, I’m not sharing this with you because of the stories. I’m sharing this track with you because of the vibes it gives off. I’m not much of a reggae guy, but this track epitomizes the word “chill-out.” Both Topley and Marley’s vocals blend well together and the drum beat is smooth enough to keep you awake but calm enough to sooth. To me, this isn’t reggae. It’s a fusion of soul, hip-hop, and reggae.

I’m a firm believer that music is the ultimate mood setter. Turn this track up, kick-back, close your eyes and let the sounds wash over you. There’s only a couple more days till we can party and celebrate again. We better rest up. What better way than with some solid tunes.

Stephen Marley – You’re Gonna Leave

Categories
Music

Diplo – About That Life (feat. Jahan Lennon)

Good vibes. Good life. Good morning. The first 10 seconds of this track and on will have you feeling elated all day long. This is Diplo’s first single from his to-be-titled late 2012/early 2013 release (it’s his  first full length LP in eight years…). Given that little fact, I am more than okay with the direction this album seems to be taking. This track is hazy afternoon bliss and a perfect companion to getting ready for the day.

Jahan Lennon’s woozy falsetto skims over Diplo’s 60’s summer-esque production (do I hear a little bit of a Beck influence, too?) to create a sonic concoction that goes down real smooth and takes over your body in waves.

I step outside
I slip and slide
I don’t know why
I’m about that life.”

I’m sitting with a hot cup of coffee, some breakfast, and  a good book beside me playing this track. Sunday has always been a day to regroup, refresh, and “begin again.” I don’t like to go out Saturdays because of the standards I hold Sundays to. Something about waking up early on a Sunday has a nice ring to it. It’s certainly an ideal and a goal that’s not met week after week, but it’s the process of working towards Sunday that’s honorable. This track only adds to the downtempo ambience Sundays should lend themselves to. Work hard, but keep it light. Lennon’s “la-de-da’s” aren’t there just for kicks, they’re emphasizing the good life; the easiness is living well; the comfort in liking what you do. There are other songs out there about the “good life,” but this track sounds like the title. There is nothing pretentious about it. No lyric about earning a bunch of money, spending it all on drugs and girls, no designer name drop; it’s about finding yourself a lover, keeping your feet grounded but your thoughts free. What more could you ask for, really?

I woke up this Sunday and decided that instead of asking to live a good life, I have to believe that I can. There’s no use in sitting around asking for things when the real and honest good things come from believing you can and doing it.

It’s a new horizon, now I know who I am.”

Diplo – About That Life (feat. Jahan Lennon)

Categories
Music Remixes

Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix)

 

I don’t think RAC can do any wrong to a song. The collective has done their magic again to Two Door Cinema Club (who has a new album dropping real soon) and it’s nothing short of wonderful. The original sunny song has gone a fierce shade of red. It’s a hot track guys. I don’t know what it is about Alex Trimble’s voice (or Florence Welch’s for the matter (see the Spectrum Remixes EP)), but it easily jives with a neo-disco beat. His falsetto – which sounds boyish and fun on the original accompaniment – soars over the RAC’s bouncy bass and hip key-board melody. When this track comes on and I’m walking somewhere, my step matches the beat and life’s all good. It’s an easy walk with the bass giving me a little extra strut, but there’s nothing pretentious about it. This song is a plain feel-good tune, man.

If I were making a playlist for someone, this would be the first song on the track-list. The quick crescendo of the synth into a piano chord as Trimble’s youth-filled voice tells us we can make good things happen is a fine introduction to a playlist. Hand-claps and a melodic guitar picking over a smooth RAC beat makes for a solid track. Turn this track up and let RAC get into your bones and shake your shoulders, cooly bop your head, and lift you up a little. Whether a new track comes next or you step away from your music (why you would do that I do not know), this track should make you feel a little more confident you can “make something work.” If anything it’ll have you feelin’ good vibes the rest of the day.

Cool.

Two Door Cinema Club – Something Good Can Work (RAC Remix)