After traveling my ass off to distant though awesome places, I am back in L.A. for the summer. Appropriately, I was listening to this on the way home:
Why You'd Want To Live Here - Ben Gibbard
A tribute to my hometown. Ripped this from a live set Ben did for All Songs Considered over at NPR. An amazing live set, it's online for free, download it on iTunes from the All Songs Considered Podcast if you're a fan, even if you've renounced Death Cab (especially after they sold a song to the Twilight soundtrack...).
(also grab this)
This EP was posted about two and a half months ago at the WEDIDIT Collective (arguably one of the most "with it" places on the interwebs), and I've returned to it regularly since then. LandLord is a collab between GroundIsLava, a badass producer and WEDIDIT homie, and Jake Weary (credited here as just "Weary," I think) who I have yet to research but I promise a post at some point. As far as I can tell, GroundIsLava produces and Weary sings, but don't quote me on that.
Anyway, some of my favorite beat music jams are vocal tracks (RobertaFlack by Flying Lotus, Ooops by Hudson Mohawke [a more mainstream song than most beat music but similar vibe to LandLord] and everything 0. does), so to hear these guys on this EP combining all the glitchy, hip-hoppy production of the beat music movement with really killer, soulful vocals, really makes me happy about music nowadays. These guys have said that "future r&b" is pretty much what they're going for here, and I think they NAIL it.
COP THIS SHIT!! (also it's free)
The Upside - Landlord
My personal favorite track. Great synths, thick beat, and AWESOME vocal production (the same can be said for pretty much the whole album). PLUS it comes with a catchy chorus, guilt-free! "I'm so down for you, down, til the ceiling's the ground..."
The other tracks on here are great too. "Animal" is fierce and ominous, another killer chorus with nasty-ass vocals. "The Upset" has this awesome 8-bit feel over a stuttering beat and bassline, and these wobbly square synths that these guys seem to love so much. And there's instrumentals too, for those of you who like your boom-bap without too much vocal saturation ("Airport Security Sabbatical" and "Bluetooh Narcotics"), though I'm all for it.
P.S. All Songs Considered has an awesome series called "You've Never Heard....[album name]?" where they ask young interns to review classic albums. Pretty neat to hear fresh perspectives. God I love NPR. Check it.