Covers Music

Ellie Goulding — Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)

The dog days of summer are here, and New York City is literally a melting pot drenched in sweat, watery air conditioning units, and the chances of having a good hair day are slim to none. It’s not even 9 AM as I sit in my little house 34 stories up sipping the life out of my morning cup of coffee, and the haze has already begun to accumulate around the buildings I share the sky with. “Happy Monday,” I imagine the weather saying, “I’m going to try my best to make you as sluggish as possible — pack an extra shirt before you leave for work.” Cue to me pouring myself another cup of joe, and turning this track up.

When it comes to actually taking the time to evaluate every decision you’ve yet to make in the 24 hours ahead of you, or the ones you have made in the hours that have passed, I tend to lean heavily on the mind-over-matter method of thinking. If you imagine something (albeit worldly plausible), it can come into fruition — or at least seem like it. If a song like Goulding’s richly raw cover of Alt-J’s “Tessellate” awakens some kind of belief in you, then I say go for it — it certainly helps me.

A couple weeks back, while I was home for a weekend escaping the city, I decided to revisit Ellie’s soundcloud page. I hadn’t been in a while (which felt like a sin being such a massive fan of her’s). I, of course, played her newest single “Burn” over and over again, and when I finally decided to move down the selections, I came across this gem. Only Ellie could take a track that’s been stripped down, and strip it down some more. Her delivery is spot on: sexy, sultry, and there’s a veil of knowing innocence in the lightness of her voice. I love what she does with the electronic productions on her albums; she’s one of the few artists who use auto-tune and synths as instruments over enhancers (if you doubt that I urge you to watch any live performance she’s done, you’ll hear why). But it’s tracks like this that add a little brava to her oeuvre. Ellie can do sexy, and this is her calling card. That sax? I mean, please. It’s on point, and it deserves every bit of your sweltering Monday blues. Get lost in it, and return a little more chilled out than you were before you pressed play.

Here’s to a new week.

Ellie Goulding — Tessellate (Alt-J Cover)



Empire of The Sun – I’ll Be Around

I think I’ve finally realized why New York City is called The City That Never Sleeps. We’re always searching for the next big thing, the next break, the next trend; one foot in the door, and even when we’re out to dinner with friends, we’re constantly watching out the window because something in you believes that something more exciting might pass by and can’t possibly miss it. Living in New York City is like living in Twitter — even instant coffee isn’t instant enough. Those of us who went to school here have hardly had a break in over four years: college, internships, part-time jobs, find an apartment, more college,  land a full-time job before graduation, graduate, and then what? Continue moving forward with that job because it’s all you know how to do, move. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love this city and can’t imagine living anywhere else, but if you’re not careful, you’ll lose your head. The word “break” stresses you out more than a deadline because deep down you know you’re going to have to deal with yourself for once and not some silly 9-5 business and manic boss. You learn to think for yourself here, but you don’t really know how to confront yourself. It’s a paradox, really, and one that I’ve chosen to avoid.

This is only a recent decision, though. You know when you sense that something’s going a little haywire, but you’re too busy to address it? The smart person slows down, the New Yorker masks it with more things to do — “bettering” themselves when really, we’re running on a track destined to crash into ourselves in due time. So, I left — for a weekend. Returned home, and getting my head back on. I hesitate to use the word “roots” because of it’s cliche and wannabe romantic sound, but it’s kind of like that. One thing that this track does is bring together the vibes of my musical roots and mixes it with the future and the now. I’m not particularly keen on Empire of The Sun, but when I like a track of their’s, I tend to love it. “I’ll Be Around” is a mellow, summer jam without the haze. There isn’t a sense of laziness to it; the beat is light and floats through time and space, gets under your skin and invigorates your drive. It grounds you but keeps your head in the clouds — which is, the best place I think one can ever be, especially in a town like New York.

Empire Of The Sun – I’ll Be Around

Music Remixes

Ciara – Goodies (BORGEOUS Remix)


A whirlwind of a week is ending with a whirlwind of a weekend. My 9-5 has me covering the New York City leg of Electric Daisy Carnival and last night’s stages were fire, and tonight’s lineup is even more impressive. Calvin Harris, Thomas Gold, and Afrojack are capping off the festival and I feel so honored that it’s apart of my job to experience this.

Today’s track is a lil’ bit out of the EMPT norm, but it’s so appropriate for this weekend. Think what you want about EDM, but it’s not going anywhere. The electronic festivals are filled with some crazies, but the DJ’s get it. They know a good drop goes down best with lights and pyrotechnics  I talk a lot about soundscapes and the worlds music takes you to, and the DJ’s at these kinds of events make those dreams realities. Walking through the Day-Glo masses and neon rides, you know you’re in New York City but you’re not at the same time. You’ve left the city behind for a day and entered a musical Oz that’s just as colorful with just as many oddities only there’s no yellow brick road. The spirit of the space is alive. It’s throbbing, and it doesn’t discriminate. Bros mix with uptown girls; Texans dance alongside kids from Vermont; democrats and republicans cheers their glowing drinks. Okay, so maybe the latter is hopeful thinking but you get what I’m going for.

Anyway, Ciara. Yes, Ciara. She’s been gone for a minute, but she’s coming back (fingers crossed — I’m a major CC fan). Way back in 2004, C dropped “Goodies” and brought her raspy soprano and killer dance moves to the music scene then suddenly disappeared. “Ride” and “Like A Boy” were fantastic, but never received the praise they deserved. “Goodies,” is her gem, though and BORGEOUS straight kills it with this remix. Turn this mix WAY up. The bass will floor you, and the whistle will get into your body and have you doing moves you never thought you had. This is a jam. It’s a filthy sexed-up Diplo-esque beat that will leave you fiending for more when it’s over.

It’s Sunday after all, and you probably have things to do, but let go today. Tomorrow you’ll be productive, but today you’re going to live. Press play and thank us later.

Ciara – Goodies (BORGEOUS Remix)


Mayer Hawthorne – Designer Drug


Last night I tried a little Adderall.
It was working for a while
until I thought about your smile.
I got that fire Cali medical,
but it never gets me high.
Baby only you know why,
‘Cause darling
You, you are
my designer drug,
and only you
aan help me,
and I can’t get enough.”

The first time I heard Hawthorne spit out the first lyrics to this track in his effortless falsetto, I clapped my hands and yelled, “Yes!” The frankness of this whole track is infectious. Everything from the funky soul beat to the running bass line, and of course Hawthorne’s tongue and cheek story. There’s some seriously good vibes pulsing through this track. It’s like the music is getting lifted by its own sound, and we’re just getting contact high. Tracks with as much groove as this often rely on nostalgia for that extra oomph, but Hawthorne uses his inspiration wisely. He doesn’t appropriate or rip-off his musings, he takes their precedent and makes something completely his own. He’s a creator in the truest sense.

I read an article yesterday about that very idea and it’s presence in pop music today. The article focused on Beyoncé, a polarizing artist if there ever was any, and how she’s more of a canvas than creator. It made some solid points and references the blatant inspiration rip-off’s she’s done for videos like “Countdown,” “Single Ladies,” and “Get Me Bodied.” Now, don’t get me wrong here. I’m apart of the Beyhive, my friends and I sat at our computers each morning of the Mrs. Carter World Tour presale tickets (only to find they sold out in seconds each time), and I’m living for her latest track snippets. Artistry and entertainment are two different fields, though, and Bey falls into the latter. Which is fine. It’s great, in fact. We need personalities and performers like her to showcase brilliant choreography and imagery that would have otherwise gone unknown in the underground. That’s what pop is for. We also need to consider musicians like Mayer Hawthorne, too. They’re work is the original stuff that will undoubtedly provide the ballast for future pop.  You just so happen to be in the know and can point out his influence when you hear something on the radio in the months ahead. You’re here because you’re a creator in your own right and believe in taking what’s been done and spinning it all your own. You get high off of making things, learning, and listening. The mainstream isn’t a bad thing, to be appropriated isn’t a bad thing. It’s an honor, in my opinion.

Anyway, I could go on but this track sums up what I’m trying to say. The lyrics might not, but the sounds and vibrations it’ll send through your body do. That’s the sign of true music artistry, really.

Mayer Hawthorne – Designer Drug


Vibes – New Light

They say wanting something bad enough is all you need to make it happen. That that hunger is more important than anything else, even love, preparation or academics. Yearning for that new light and always being one step away from it. Almost, but not exactly there. We’ve all been there, or at least know someone that has.

But let’s not get too deep, because the Vibes collective’s debut single is nothing but good vibes and a helluva catchy tune. I discovered Vibes after looking into G Templeton & Alex Slavin‘s One Look.

They say that this is pool party disco but I can’t seem to not feel the heavy 80’s influence from the synth work to the vocal nuances of a time where singing was more than enunciating words but actually feeling them. The song’s hook and chorus are so catchy that I dare you not to find yourself singing them in your head after the first play.

“Then I stepped to left,
you stepped to the right
You shook your hips a little,
Puckered you lips a little.
Then I stepped to the right,
You stepped to the left.
You looked into my eyes,
Said you look different.
 And sometimes when you arrive, you disappear.
Sometimes no said answers ring in through your ears.

I said, oh, baby.
I’ve been waiting
For a new light
To shine down on me.”

If their debut single is this fun, I cannot wait to see what they have in store next. It makes me look forward to their forthcomeing EP Animal Spirits.
I am officially dubbing them: the next nudisco-eternal-summer-vibe band.
Vibes – New Light