It’s another diverse week for the staff as we bring you some tunes ranging from trip-hop (Massive Attack) to hardcore (Cerce) to an old fan favorite from Brand New. So check them all out and let us know in the replies what you all have been jamming to as well.
John’s Pick: “Ms. Jackson” – Outkast (Jean Tonique remix)
Been an Outkast fan since I was young, though this song actually wasn’t one of my favourites by them. This has suddenly changed. A few days ago a friend of mine turned me on to this remix. Just listen to it, it really takes the track to a level I never thought possible, especially the keys on the hook. It’s got a disco feel along with some new-school funk to it. Check it out, and then check out Jean Tonique’s other work – it’s spectacular.
Joe’s Pick: “Angel” – Massive Attack
How fitting that I’ve been jamming Massive Attack’s album Mezzanine for the past week. In honor of Valentine’s day (or rather, the weekend of), I present you with the opening track “Angel,” one of the best mood-setting songs to enjoy with that special someone. Starting out with a slow seductive beat and Horace Andy’s smooth vocals crooning, “you are my angel/come from way above to bring me love.” Then the drums and a heavier guitar come in as he repeatedly chants “love you” and it all culminates to make a swirling, epic six-minute tune to play while the two of you are having a night to remember. (Disclaimer: this song is also perfectly enjoyable if you’re single.)
Jacob’s Pick: “Walk Like A Gentleman” – Eye Alaska
Eye Alaska is a band that ended too soon. With songs that would work as well set to film as in a live setting, the band created rich atmospheres that allowed Brandon Wronski’s voice to soar. Although we now have Roy English to hear that voice, I’d kill to see Eye Alaska again. This song in particular has always struck me as being particularly great, so an extended listen of the band’s material earlier this week made for an easy choice. From start to finish, the group nails every element, from expansive sounds to more restrained moments, riding a massive chorus like few others can and expressing personal thought through relatable lyricism. I could listen to this song every day and never tire of it.
Alek’s Pick: “Degausser” – Brand New
It seems like every time I’ve gotten in my car this past week there’s been one song that’s shown up on shuffle. That song is “Degausser” by Brand New. I don’t know if it’s been stalking me, but if something’s going to stalk me I’m okay with it being this song. “Degausser” starts off quietly, switching back and forth between two simple chords before kicking into a groovy, smooth verse. The song rocks you side to side and is accented perfectly with Jesse Lacey’s rising and dropping vocals. But where this song goes from good to great is the chorus. It breaks from a quiet jam into a powerful burst of energy, complete with yelled vocals and a memorable riff. After the short chorus the song immediately falls back into its comfortable groove. A few cycles later and you’ve just completed one of the most satisfying musical journeys I’ve ever heard.
Jason’s Pick: “Weary” – Cerce
I wasn’t familiar with this band until recently, but their self-titled EP that came out a few months back is a doozy. This track in particular is seething with angst and pummeling guitars, and is a hardcore fan’s dream in terms of creating and sustaining energy. You need to hear this band.