Music Writing

Flying Lotus – Parisian Goldfish


Another brushfire belches acrid smoke
into our lungs.
The city stained with ash,
gray as the sky.

Last time fourteen young men were swept up
in the blaze and killed in an instant.
The town held a candle light vigil.
Oxygen, in the end.

Red sun setting, mirrored in flames
that creep up, floor by glass-paneled floor.
From the top of the hill, the city burns,
before night’s coolness fades all to silhouette.

Poignant films are planned,
imbued with misplaced resonance
that no one is looking for.
Based on a true story.

These are the facts, or, most of the facts.
The rest we enhanced for entertainments sake.
What really happened, guess we’ll never know.
Just appreciate the artistry.

From pulp to press to printout,
curling waves of bleached wood
cut fresh from the soil
some miles away.

Clouds hang mixed with residue,
a roiling mass, a vortex turning.
In the eye of the storm a woman dances.
Doesn’t she know?

Careless how quick we forget
after the darkness has passed.

Infinite sky, space;
Hurtling out into blackness expanding
and disappearing over the event horizon,
lit by flares of gas and dust.//

Flying Lotus – Parisian Goldfish


Little Animal – Everyday


Traditionally, a one-man band is a type of street performer or novelty act, a guy who straps a bunch of instruments to his body, and plays them all at the same time. Hands, feet, teeth…anything goes.

In some respects, most classical composers were one-man bands. They just didn’t have the technology to produce music, and employed entire symphonies to be their hands and feet.

If you can play guitar, you’re sexy. If you can sing, same. If you can do both…

Recent years have seen a number of solo visionaries come to the fore in rock music. Kevin Parker of Tame Impala writes all of the band’s songs, sings every song, and plays all of the instruments on record. Same goes for Gotye, Tune-Yards, Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and Dave Grohl on the first Foo Fighters album.

Casual fans never know. It’s not like you can tell. But once you know, your appreciation level rises. The music is suddenly far more interesting.

Enter Little Animal, the one-man project of 22-year old Parisian Romain Blatter. His post-Phoenix pop rock blends elements of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, The Strokes, Damon Albarn and winds up as the perfect soundtrack for an informal dinner party or car commercial.

Little Animal is still very underground. So, yeah, you’re cool for knowing about him.

EMPT – we make you cool.

Little Animal – Everyday


Magic Man – Paris


What could possibly be more comforting than waking up and turning on a track like Magic Man’s blissfully-nostalgic track “Paris?” I can’t think of anything except for say waking up next to your lover and playing the track; maybe you’re listening to it over a cup o’ joe. From the moment the piano bounces its way through your ear-drum, the synths chime in, and the drums mosey on in, you’re senses are awakened and your ears are alive with a springy buzz.

But now sweetheart, listen to the way I
Cannot forget a single day I
Spent rolling all around the room with you.
It’s just a fantasy, taking over like a disease
Pull me out of this I can’t breath
It’s burning through my chest.”

The story here is one that seems appropriate for a Saturday. It’s about a lost relationship; one that lives inside his head rather than manifesting itself in real, tangible life. Throughout the track he reminisces on the things he should have done, should have taken note of, been keen to — things I’m sure we can all agree are close to impossible to do in the throes of infatuation. I often struggle with living between the life-is-right-now-do-what-the-moment-calls-for type of mentality  and the tomorrow-is-very-real-plan-for-that kind of mindset. In relationships, you have to walk the wire between the two. You walk above shoulda’s and aught to’s and skirt around dealing with the reality of the situation. Which leads me to question whether or not we ever fall for someone or if really we ironically fall in love with the ideas of the days ahead we can spend with someone. I’m slowly becoming an optimist and because I woke up happy and I’m excited to see this new, more honest type of thinking working in ways I was hoping for but not expecting I’m going to argue the former. Although, it could very well be I am in the thick of infatuation and I can’t see beyond it. Perhaps I’ll wake up one day and sing this tune to the name of New York (which doesn’t hold as much romanticism as Paris does, does it?).

No matter. I’m just going to keep this track going, get day-drunk off its joyous synths and  Foster The People meets Passion Pit vibes. Magic Man describes themselves as a “triumphant synth rock band.” They could not be more right. They’ve found the triumph in an emotion that could have easily lent itself to a morose, mopey tune; which gives me hope that something good can exist even in life’s rawest moments.

Magic Man – Paris