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Music

Jaymes Young – Habits of the Heart (Sufjan Stevens Remake)

Whether it’s the opening bit where you sense the faint sound of steel drum-esque tones, or the distorted opening words, “I can’t say no, it’s ripping me apart” you should feel this. I recently read about a condition called auditory agnosia, the neurological disorder where you do not have an emotional response to music. I thought about this as I listened to the words of this song. They are sexy and they cut hard.

I’d rather be alone. But you are fermented in my bones. Oh the habits of my heart.

The music continues and cuts in, drops off where his vocals are left to graze your skin. And then they add in some keys and the sound of a familiar break down recalling a ’60s rock song with the lingering strum of chords.

It’s ripping me apart. You get too close. You make it hard to let you go.

One common complaint we have all had in music is that it is too much at times. Too sexy. Too dark. Too dumb, really. But this song. This song defies that. A cover from Sufjan Stevens sung by the talented Jaymes Young, the song is dark and actually has words that are riddled with sex and regret and defeat. Avoiding the “and I was like, babyyy” for a more grown-up love song. But this is the stuff where you know you are either afflicted with (the worst condition I have learned about to date) auditory agnosia or you immediately are affected by the words and music style at hand.

When the popular playlist we are all too familiar with starts calling out, “I’m going down – timber” and is somehow mashed-up with a few verses of, “drunk in love“, it’s refreshing when you realize there are musicians that are still able to produce music that answers to a number of things: the animalistic call of wanting sex and love, making you sound interesting if you are caught singing in a hushed voice to this deep track as you walked back from your lover’s dwelling. Keep playing gentleman, for today is a dark day and even a dark song can bring a silver lining when you give it substance. We are starving for smart, insightful ballads to become anthems, and this can be one for you.

Jaymes Young – Habits of the Heart (Sufjan Stevens Remake)

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Music

M∆de in Heights – Skylark Interabang!

There are some songs that you listen to passively. They resonate with you, but only for the three minute or so time mark after which they dissolve into the atmosphere. Then there are songs that resonate through your whole body and when the track ends you dissolve with it. Some songs become an extension of yourself and the catharsis is transcendental. These tracks hit you in just the right spots at just the right moments. Often it’s a surprise and catches you off guard – just when you think you’re merely listening to music you become it. This track, from Seattle based duo M∆de In Heights, is one of those tracks.

Kelsey Bulkin’s ethereal vocals float over an exquisite sample of Sufjan Stevens’ “Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland” and Blue Scholars’ DJ Sabzi’s production. The track begins simply by sampling Stevens. Bulkin tip-toes her way in as Sabzi toys with the production beneath her. The Sufjan sample here is done with taste and honors the track rather than abusing it. I had a thought while listening to this that Sufjan and Kelsey should team up for a few duets, their sounds melt together in a delicious sonic concoction. Anyway, I digress.

Call you up on my celly, just to hold me down
Tiny knots in my belly when you come around
Ah ah ah ah didn’t mean to get so carried away.”

I think it’s safe to say that what Kelsey sings about is a feeling we’ve all had. You meet someone, they pique your interest, they show you attention and you like that because you perhaps haven’t had this kind of interest in a while. You both are blank canvases figuring one another out while simultaneously creating your own image of you for them. All of your intentions are good, but in the process of learning the other person you lose your sense of self. I came across a wonderful quote yesterday by Ernest Hemingway that reads, “The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.” Like Bulkin says, you don’t mean to get carried away but sometimes you do. This track embodies that sensation: the mixed up independence, the odd needy feeling you have, and how it can drive you mad. Sabzi gets it at the 2 minute mark where Stevens drops out and the track plows through you (put on your headphones because you’ll need them to feel it, trust me).

Listen up! Here’s to catharsis and good tunes.

M∆de in Heights – Skylark Interabang!

Categories
Music

Welcome to The Decade

I believe he’s too humble and shy to admit it, since it don’t need more attention than it already gets, but it was EMPT’s first birthday last november, n the sneaky site thought we wouldn’t notice. Properly set up with a spanking brand new server, EMPT has been bigger than ever, but smaller than it will be tomorrow.

So in honor to both the new year and our “EMPT is WE” philosophy, we write this post. I asked people from all over the globe to write a short review of their New Year’s eve experience in order to give you, the sine qua non of EMPT, a post lived by the people, written by the people and enjoyed by the people. Here is the result:

Daft Punk – Around The World (Kid Dub Remix)

Many of the people I emailed to write for this post replied the same thing: I didn’t do much on New Year’s. It was quite low key. Several messages along those lines lead to a personal epiphany: Are we finally reaching a moment in evolution where youngsters value the relaxed company of family and elderly relatives over a messy dressy tits-up celebration? Well, in my case, I’ve hit that point.
I’ve spent most of my “vacation” working my tiny penny-sized ass off for the epic cause that is our upcoming company. This meant I had less, if any time left to spend with my family. This being the case, I cancelled my trip to Acapunk (Acapulco for the layman) and decided to spend New Year’s with the family. A relaxed fire lit night with my grandmother and Co. has definitely been the most chilled celebration yet. Before my cousins dragged me out to a lush lounge party, that ended up being my cousin-in-law drinking me into a coma, I got a sober chance to warm up the heart beat by bobbing my head to what I believe is the best, if not the only, proper remix of a Daft Punk hit. Just when you thought Around The World could not get any better than their Alive version, in comes Kid Dub and drops his flapping fish. The dynamics of this song are damn straight crazy. I remember when I was leaving JFK airport, I was dancing my way across the terminal to this tune. Hope it has the same effect on the rest of the family.

As the clock ticked its skinny ruthless hand to twelve, my family and I shifted endlessly between two TV broadcasts: the official countdown from El Angel, Mexico City, and MTV2, showing the revolutionary 15 min. music video to Thriller. What a better way to end the year than to enjoy one of the King’s many gems! Well, in mexico, grandmother has shotgun over everything. So obviously, the final seconds focused on the official count down. Have it your way granny. In any case, ’twas an epic countdown all in all. Enjoy – JCOS, Cuernava, Mx.

Daft Punk – Around The World (Kid Dub Remix)