words by Scott Lucey
SBTRKT – SBTRKT
This was one happy find on the new arrivals shelf in studio A. It looked interesting. I put it in, listened, and first thought it was comparable to my fav, Little Dragon. Happy coincidence again, “Wild Fire” (the third track) features Little Dragon. It’s electronic, it’s soulful, and somehow, it’s undercover and though good in the day, it feels like night life music. Another great track worth checking out is “Pharoahs”.
Little Dragon – Ritual Union
Happy coincidence continues. Little Dragon is set to release their new album this week. You can find streams to some of their tracks on SoundCloud. The album may be their best yet, drawing on sounds from video game guilty pleasures and interwoven with quirks that I think are planted for the headphone lover. “Nightlife” is their hot single, but also check out “Crystalfilm”. The album title track, “Ritual Union” is also in the running for #1.
Ford & Lopatin – Channel Pressure
Such a fun album, sounding just a bit like the 80’s, but certainly unique enough not to be contrived — it put a big smile on my face when a caller to the station was so happy to tell me that the song I just played (“Emergency Room”) was amazing and that even this guy’s twelve year-old son liked it, a rare father son moment of shared musical enjoyment. Amazing! Thinking about that, it’s likely this album for one generation might remind you of theme show tunes to prime time TV shows like Night Court, and for a much younger generation, this album might sound futuristic but also sincere and certainly fun. My favorites = “Emergency Room” and certainly the track “Too Much Midi.” Watch out for what will be catchy choruses stuck in your head all day.
Washed Out – Within and Without
This album is full of summer jams of a specific variety. Not so much the ‘driving 100 mph with your head out the window’, but something more caught up in slow motion, perhaps mists of water soaked in rays of sun. Washed Out is quite mellow but positive and sun-soaked. This album is certainly a begging to end album. As relaxed as it is, there are just enough beats for me not to be afraid of using the word jams. I like the track “Before” — it’s got the beats, it’s got the samples, and it’s pleasingly soft. Other good tracks include “Soft” with an uptempo pace, and the lead-off track “Eyes Be Closed”, which I might say is an all in one package for this band.
Make it a point to check out these albums and your summer will be that much better! Go radio!
Tune into Scott Lucey’s ‘Digital Dumplings in Analog Gravy’ show every Wednesday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.