Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and the same holds true in music. In a medium defined by sound, it’s a little bit of silence that often makes the difference. This truth is evidenced in the discography of Andy Polk, an up-and-coming singer-songwriter and Syracuse attendee. Polk is getting love from the notable Jeremy Zucker’s camp, and for good reason, as his freshly minted debut album ‘anyway,’ showcases a natural flair, and a deliberate understanding of how to make a song pop. The album is top-to-bottom solid, but ‘Timeline’ is undoubtedly the signature track of the second half. Carried by a xylophone-esque lead which drops the listener off into a river of bass, Polk plays with silence expertly as he interjects with truthful and perceptive lyrics. Distorted guitar slides and a sparkling background synth round out the powerful ensemble.
It’s hard to say where we go from here. Dutch duo DROELOE’s “Sunburn” feels like the magnum opus of a sub-genre that originated with Flume’s game changing “Tennis Courts” remix. It’s hard to imagine more character being squeezed out of the big ambient saw chords that have spawned such a following. Hard to picture a more poignant vocal track (thanks Nevve), a better married bass line, or more creative vocal chops, all while retaining a catchy melody and that “Tennis Courts” character. If anyone can continue pushing this nearly tapped sub-genre it’s these BitBird label upstarts, but how is anyone’s guess.
‘Am I coming out of left field?’ Portugal. The Man’s front man asks in the opening stanza of “Feel It Still” the popular indie band’s chart-topping song. For fans of the original, the cosmic bass and ensuing massive kick do, indeed, come out of left field.
For fans of Flatbush Zombies, an easy listening track built around singing and plodding guitar plucks is an interesting departure from an often harsher, more stripped down sound, defined by dense lyricism.
However, the well documented psychedelic leanings of both the Brooklyn based Rap triad, and the Alaskan native *whatever you call this*
make this a union that isn’t too far from home.
There’s no doubt it’s a winning combination. The original track benefits greatly in its tuned down transition from shrill to chilled, and Meechy Darko’s gravelly vocals and dense rhyme schemes thrive when given the space to breathe over a scenic backdrop. Fingers crossed that both sides pursue the avenues this collab has unearthed.
*Sourced from Portugal. The Man’s incredibly thorough Wikipedia
Attention is a curious thing, simultaneously capable of being fully engaged and light years away. Renown Australian DJ Dirty South’s “I Swear” remix encapsulates this phenomena perfectly.
While the track’s frantic piano keys and driving bass take one to frenzied heights, hauntingly sung and poignantly written lyrics tether us to reality. The ultimate effect is that of being in the eye of the storm, fully immersed and yet somehow impartial.
An interesting allegory can be found in the experience of the festival-goer. Within the bounds of concert attendance there are a range of occurrences, some talked about, others often not. One that falls in the latter category has a unique and powerful makeup; difficult to encapsulate, except by a precise description of its circumstances, and a roundabout explanation of its nature. The phenomena in question is brought on by a combination of factors born both within and without the individual to whom it occurs.
The first criteria is the availability of a powerful stimulus, in this case music, capable of evoking emotions strong enough to overcome any personal barriers against intimacy. The second criteria is the presence of, and membership within, a crowd. It is vital that the individual not only be amidst a delirious group, but count themself among its ranks. The final criteria is close to the heart of the phenomena itself, and is the inner catalyst. It is the sudden and startling realization that one is not alone, that what is taking place is beautiful, and that it ought to be caught for posterity.
The culmination of these criteria places one at a crossroads, both at the heart and the extremities of the group. An enigma, engulfed in the emotion, but momentarily motionless, playing the observer.
That’s how the song makes me feel, anyway.
Primitive man made fire by rubbing two sticks together. For Tiedye Ky, all it took was a frank ocean acapella and enough bass to drown Kodak Black*. The Philadelphia up-and-comer infuses soulful vocals to deliver one of the bangers of the summer – with extra mash(-up). Stick around till 1:50, and the track takes on new life with the introduction of a synth that sends the smooth ensemble over the top.