So many different things happened in the world of music this year that instead of making a limited “best-of” list, it’s better to take a look at things one month at a time. Just as we previously highlighted January 2010’s happenings, here is a look at the next month in music history.
Superbowl XLIV‘s half-time show is helmed by the Who. The National Anthem was performed by Carrie Underwood, marking the third straight year that a former American Idol contestant received the honor.
The music video for “Rad Anthem”—the debut single from new electronica group Rad Omen (which features, strangely enough, Peter Dante of Every Adam Sandler Movie Ever Made-fame)—has been making the viral rounds all year long. And for those who’ve ever wanted to experience life in the fast(food) lane, it’s pretty much the best video ever. Just trust me on this one. Enjoy.
Balancing between dance and pop has become a popular line to walk and no one does it better than the latest Danish export, When Saints Go Machine. The electronic four-piece matches their electronic sound with classical instruments and moving lyrics. After gaining some recognition in Denmark, the band is ready to take on the world. Their first single, “Fail Forever”, is a haunting commentary on how we, as a society, never really say what we think; someone asks how you are and you say fine, when in reality that is hardly ever the case. Recently XLR8R posted “Fail Forever” and it quickly became the top rated and most downloaded MP3 on the site.
Check out the video for “Fail Forever” below and keep an eye out for When Saints Go Machine’s EP in January 2011 and a full album later in the year.
The brainchild of producer Derek Vincent Smith, Colorado-based Pretty Lights have built quite a reputation on the live festival circuit. With appearances at Bonnaroo, Rothbury, and the 10K Lakes Festival, they have become one of the premier electronic music experiences of the moment. As described by Smith himself, Pretty Lights “gives the people what they want; electro organic cutting-edge party rocking beats that fill venues with energy and emotion and send dance floors into frenzies.” And if you’ve ever been to one of their raucous live shows, you know they aren’t kidding.
They are also quite prolific in the studio, having released three full-length albums and a trio of EPs over the past few years (all of which are available as free downloads on their website). Their new video for “Future Blind”, from one of their 2010 EPs, Making Up a Changing Mind, is a colorful, fixed-perspective melodrama between a couple who apparently have a lot in common with Peter Parker. The song itself is excellent in its own right, its laidback groove and spectral keys lulling you into a chill, downtempo hypnosis.
Pretty Lights recently released its third EP of the year, Glowing in the Darkest Night, and have a couple of year-end shows lined up at the Congress Theatre in Chicago, 12/30 and 12/31, with Major Lazer and Holy Fuck supporting.
Jarvis Cocker has always been a busy fellow, what with his various solo and Pulp endeavors and appearing in Harry Potter and Wes Anderson flicks and the like. But with the Pulp reunion still months away, how are we supposed to tide ourselves over in the meantime?
Fret not, friends. Cocker has lent his laconic vocal stylings to the new single by French duo Discodeine (a.k.a., Pilooski and Pentile, producers extraordinaire.)
“Synchronize” is pure sexy Eurodisco, with Cocker’s contribution nothing less than a beat-heavy, nerd happy come hither. The combination is clearly designed to get people moving their midsections in as suggestive a manner as any given dancefloor will allow.
But don’t take my word for it. Download the radio edit yourself and be transported into the swanky hidden pied-à-terre in the darkest corner of a Parisian discotheque.
“Synchronize” is out on DFA Records on December 6.