Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of Pittsburgh’s finest music writers joins me (Cindy Howes) on the Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Patrick Bowman sharing his favorite song and favorite album of 2015.
In case you missed, it here's what Patrick played:
Jamie XX, "SeeSaw" Feat. Romy Croft - Jamie XX, producer/mastermind behind British electronic rock outfit The XX, dropped his debut full-length solo effort In Colour in May to wide critical acclaim. The album bounces around with some different styles, but almost always, there's a chilly, particularly English melancholy coloring his sonic palette. "SeeSaw" featuring fellow XX member Romy Croft, is, for all intents and purposes, a new XX song, but it's probably Jamie XX's most dynamic and emotive song to date. He builds the track simply, with a breakbeat sample followed by percolating arpeggios of synth before Croft comes cruising in with her sensually cryptic lyrics; lyrics that sound more like she's forcing herself to feel something after some smoldering passion has withered away. One of my favorite tracks of the year.
The Alabama Shakes, "Sound and Color" - The Alabama Shakes' first album, 2012's Boys and Girls, was an above average retro-soul rocker that was, above all else, a showcase for lead singer/songwriter Brittnay Howard's incredible talents. But Sound and Color, the group's follow up released in the spring of this year, is a massive leap forward in vision and execution, allowing the group to maintain their sonic identity and influences while charting a bold, confident new direction full of limber, unexpected melodies, risky compositions, and an overall futurist soul vibe. The album's title track (and track one) is an otherworldly and beautiful song that shows what Sound and Color is trying to do in miniature: the humming organ/xylophone opening and proceeding relaxed instrumentation, Howard's dream-like lyrics, and unusual song structure, it all makes for a seriously immersive listener experience.
Every Wednesday at 9:13 am, one of WYEP’s trusted music experts joins me (Cindy Howes) on The Morning Mix to play a couple favorite new songs and share some insight. Today we welcome Sarah Wardropfrom WFUV in New York!
In case you missed, it here’s what she played:
Jamie xx, "Loud Places" - Producer and DJ Jamie xx (a.k.a. Jamie Smith) doesn't shield his solo work from his band The xx, in name or in his choice of collaborators. In fact, his bandmates Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim both appear on his debut solo album, In Colour, which is due out June 2nd. On this song, Romy's voice adds to the hypnotic and subtly uplifting sound, and brings us this great lyric: "I go to loud places, to search for someone to be quiet with."
Jason Isbell, "24 Frames" - Following up his standout 2013 album Southeastern, songwriter Jason Isbell is set to release Something More Than Free in mid-July. If this song is any indication, his writing has only gotten better, finding that artful (and efficient) balance of simplicity and depth. With hooks that grab your ear and lyrics that reveal new meaning with each listen, this song hit me the same way "16 Days" from Whiskeytown did.