Fennec – “R.I.P. City” (Album Review) (2015)

Who are you? Are you really from Western Sahara? Who do you consider your influences? Why can’t I find anything about you on the internet? Why don’t more people tune into your music? The world may never know. Reveal yourself, Fennec!

Fennec, you’ve done it again. By the way, I can find very little information about you on the internet. I’m assuming you’re a female, because of the pictures that I found on both Facebook and Twitter. I know nothing about you. You’re an enigma.

And you’re an enigma whose music BUMPS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR WONDERFUL BEATS.

Recommended if you like: Jaime XX, Disclosure, SBTRKT

“Let Your Heart Break”, her 2014 release (Spotify Link), overpowered many of my work-outs and drives home. “R.I.P. City” (Spotify Link), her 2015 June release, is doing the same. Each song is so different from the next. I’ll likely never get all the names down, or remember which ones are my top tracks, but I know that Fennec’s albums are essentials for me. I’d probably include both her albums in my top 50 albums of all time. That is how much I I appreciate this artist.

Dear Fennec, you deserve recognition, so come out of the shadows. I’ll spread the word about you as much as possible. I think there should be more music like yours out there, but I want you to be famous for it first. Or maybe fame is something you’re avoiding? I DON’T KNOW! GIVE ME A SIGN!

Fennec – R.I.P. City – Full Album | Spotify Link

My favorites from “R.I.P. City” (How did I choose these as my favorites? I loved the album as a whole):

Fennec – God Amongst Men | Spotify Link

Fennec – Mazzed | Spotify Link

Fennec – Arsenic Sleep Mask | Spotify Link

Fennec – Cultist Queen | Spotify Link

There’s a lot of audio recording of people talking, including that opening track, which at times can be a drag (did she really have to make those excerpts so long? We get the idea; get to the music). That’s really the only downside I can say about this album. Like I said, each track has its unique identity and each is special in its own way. Each track flows into the next nearly seamlessly that at times. I’ve listened to this album at least 5 times since I’ve discovered it came out, and I go to the gym enough that this will be a go-to album (along with “Let Your Heart Break”) to listen to while running or doing my strength work outs.

As you can tell, I’m very passionate about this album, and this artist. So on a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 9.1/10. It’s comparable to Jaime XX’s “Colours,” which also came out this year.

The Chainsmokers – Roses ft. ROZES (2015)

The Chainsmokers, a duo from NYC, known for their 2014 single #Selfie, which reached #16 on the US charts and #11 on UK charts.

The Chainsmokers – Roses ft. ROZES (2015) | Spotify Link

Man, I have been posting a lot of this synth-pop electronic music featuring strong female vocals (see Tei Shi, Mr. Little Jeans).

This one again, this track starts subtle in the beginning. You almost don’t see the drop of massively sick beats that comes up later on in the song. It ever so slightly starts to build up in the bridge, until you hit the refrain, which BUMPS SO HARD. It’s the type of song that you blast in your car with windows down, pumping your fists at the cars going by. Later on, it has that synth sound similar to the one used in Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” which this artist uses it sparingly enough to be perfect.

Again, this one is impossible not to move to, or at least bob your head around to as you write blog posts late into the night. It has simple enough lyrics to sing along to as well. Honestly, it’s got all the requirements to succeed as a pop song, I believe, and I wouldn’t mind if this one made it to the mainstream. I don’t think I’ll tire of it too soon. Hopefully this track makes it up there on the top charts, so that I can hear it more often when I tune into the radio.

Rozes, the female vocalist on this track.

Mr. Little Jeans – “Waking Up (Turbotito Remix)” (2015)

Made this discovery right after the the Kraak & Smaak song I posted the other day.

This remix is a completely different reimagining of the original by Mr. Little Jeans (Spotify link). The original is definitely worth listen-to, but I much prefer this remix. The original is much slower and has a little more soul to it, but the Turbotito remix is what stirs the desire within me to dance.

Mr. Little Jeans – “Waking Up (Turbotito Remix)” (2015) | (Spotify Link)

The beats fade in and out at the perfect pace and great use of Monica Birkenes’ blurred vocals. I had the pleasure of seeing this Norwegian singer live at one of KCRW’s events on the pier over the summer. At the time, she was a little flustered by the size of the crowd, and fumbled over transitions and some of the performances of her song, but her cute and quirky disposition allowed the audience to sympathize with her and bear with her difficulties. I’m sure at this time, she has gained much more experience, and given the chance, I would love to see her live again, if just to see her growth as a live performer.

Kraak & Smaak – “My Synths are the Bomb” (2011)

October is the worst month. Except for the fact that it ends in Halloween. October is the month where there are no breaks from your students. I took a day of this past week and spent the whole day at home, in bed sleeping (except for the part where I went to the doctor’s office. In my line of work, you need a good break a few times a month. So excited for November and December’s breaks.

In late September, I kept a journal. A hand-written journal, not unlike the ones I kept since I was in second grade. I haven’t updated that in a month, and I feel that large portions of my life will be lost in my memory if I don’t log them. It’s hard to keep up with all the things that I would like to do, including updating this music blog. I spent the last few weeks instead painting again, and reading some books that have been sitting on my bookshelf (Kindle’s broken for good; boo hoo!).

That being said, i have a lot of music to unload on you. A LOT. I’ve been plowing through tracks, artists, and albums. It’s a hunger that won’t be satiated.

I’m starting with this track that has such a driving energy to it that it’s perfect for almost any situation. Driving late at night, or early in the morning for a quick pump-up, in the gym either running or doing strength training, meditating, etc. It’s soothing and exciting at the same time. Though they mainly do remixes, I’m looking forward to hearing more original music from this Dutch trio.

Kraak & Smaak – “My Synths are The Bomb” (2011) | Spotify Link

I can’t not “move it with” and I don’t think I’ll tire of this track soon, despite its repetitive nature.

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Roadrunner (1976) #tbt

Recommended if you like: Television, The Fall, Flamin’ Groovies

Throwback Thursday this week is actually something that I discovered recently, but it is retro and #tbt worthy. Here’s some indie retro music:

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – Roadrunner (1976)

It’s got that reckless and rushed quality that I love so much about proto-punk music. You don’t have to think about it too much, and you can tell the artists are just having fun with it. It’s catchy, easy, and fun-loving. Though its sounds like a lot of stuff coming out of the UK at that time, Jonathan Richman is actually born and raised in America. The Modern Lovers were put together in Boston, Massachusetts. Their producer from this song, Johnny Cale, was formerly of The Velvet Underground, and you can definitely hear the influence. It’s just 2 chords, garbled lyrics, and shouts from the back-up vocalists. It also reminds me a little of the stuff Patti Smith put out on “Horses,” which came out just a year before this single.

Anyway, enjoy!

“Pulo, Pulo” – Jorge Ben (1970)

World Music Wednesday? Should I make that a thing? I guess this also counts as a #tbt, but whatever! Guess I’ll post world music on Wednesdays from now on. Or whenever I feel like it. If you have issues with it, then start your own music blog and do your own thing.

This one comes from Brazil. It fits into MPB, or Música popular brazileira, but also aligns with tropicália and samba rock. I want to listen to more of this genre, but it’s hard to know where to start. Suggestions anyone?

Pulo, Pulo – Jorge Ben (Spotify Link)

Simply stated: this song makes happy. I bob my shoulders up and down and shimmy, especially when I’m driving down the street trapped in my car. I don’t know too much about this and I forget exactly where I found this particular track, but I’ll definitely be doing more research on this artist. He’s a big name in the world music community, and I especially love stuff from Latin and South America. So keep your eyes open for more of this!

“Aftergold” – Big Wild

Thank you, Spotify Browse. I officially love you for introducing me to this song. “Aftergold” bumps so hard it might be a permanent favorite of mine. It was love at first listen. This track is so funky, sticky, and jazzy, that while listening, it’s like I’m possessed and can’t stop moving. I loose control of my body. It’s got the right amount of all sorts of genres in it. It has that world music influence that I’m so into right now, especially when it’s mixed in with the electronic chill genre that’s becoming so popular these days.

“Aftergold” – Big Wild (Spotify Link)

Those handclaps, melodic, tinkling wind chimes and bird-like-call vocals. The strings and and percussion instruments… there is so much going on this song that I love that it’s hard for me to decipher everything that I’m hearing. The refrain, I guess you’d call it, hits you with each beat. It combines so many elements and sounds, that it seems like it could be world music, but it’s hard to determine what region of the world this one would come from. I’ll try not to understand this one. I’ll just enjoy it.

I couldn’t find very much on the web about this artist. He’s only got a few singles on his profile, so I’m guessing he’s a brand new artist. (I’m gonna guess that it’s just one guy mixing tracks. I think somewhere on the web, I saw that it was just one guy.) I can’t even find where he’s from.