Eclectic pop jazz orchestra Pink Martini is releasing their latest album, Je dis oui, on November 18th via Heinz Records and we’ve got a new song to share with you. “Pata Pata” is a classic South African song first performed by the legendary Miriam Makeba. The tune was so important to her, being both a feminist and anti-apartheid song. Of the song, bandleader Thomas Lauderdale says “I’ve loved this song for years. When it debuted, it was widely seen as a feminist statement against apartheid. When we were recording this, our Greek trombonist Antonis Andreou was whistling along, and I said, “That sounds incredible!” So I had him record the whistling and I think that it really makes the song!” It’s a rollicking and infectious number sure to create a party atmosphere. Somehow, Pink Martini always work their special charm to make their music irresistible.
Latest Blog Posts
Detroit quintet Handgrenades are on the cusp of releasing their sophomore album, and song for song, it’s one of the strongest underground indie rock releases of the year. In some ways, Tunnels is more an alternate debut album than a successor to 2012’s The Morning After. There’s a new lineup, with singer-songwriters Nick Chevillet and Andrew Pawelski and drummer Joby Kaslowski joined by fellow songwriter Jesse Shepherd-Bates and keyboardist Joel Sanders. Largely absent are the prior album’s Motown and Beatles emulations, traded in for a more nuanced and esoteric approach influenced by the likes of Radiohead, the National, Jeff Buckley, and Ryan Adams (one song even lifts an Adams lyric). Reflecting the change, the band has nixed the “the” prefacing their name and have ceased capitalizing the “G” as well.
London’s Izzy Flynn is an artist on the rise as her blend of electronic, electropop, soul and jazz is mesmerizing. Flynn trained formally in jazz music at Leeds College of Music and she has toured the world accompanied by the Abstract Orchestra, supporting Mos Def, De La Soul and Afrika Bambaataa. Flynn has a new EP, Faith, coming on November 18th and we’ve got the title track to share with you today.
“Faith” builds slowly with a strong sense of movement and direction as spare instrumentation showcases Flynn’s deeply affecting voice. More electronic elements enter the scene, as do additional voices and the chorus is revealed as the full musical accompaniment fills in. Flynn says, “the track involves a lot of layered textures and heavy synth/arpeggiated chords.” It’s beautiful composed and stunningly performed. Fans of FKA Twigs, SOHN, James Blake, and Jessie Ware are sure to find Izzy Flynn completely irresistible.
We’re doing something a little different here with this year’s Halloween playlist. No “Monster Mash” or the typical fare. Instead, we’re setting the mood for an adult Halloween with a set of complex electronic music that evokes fear, dread, worry, paranoia and even existential angst.
Play the pop tunes early, if you must, but then settle in to the dark of the night with a fine drink or bud and prepare to get tripped out with these unsettling beats. With this list of disquieting sounds, we’re also highlighting music from some of the very best electronic albums of the year (Ital Tek, Ash Koosha Kuedo, Antwood), nestled in with some old favorites (Underworld, Flying Lotus, Orbital).
Brooklyn electrofunk, synthpop duo French Horn Rebellion recently released their new album, Classically Trained, another slice of upbeat, funky and fun tunes. Speaking of “fun”, French Horn Rebellion recorded a tribute to Weezer—a band that greatly influenced the pair—by recording this cover version of “Buddy Holly”, which appeared as the second single on Weezer’s 1994 debut, Weezer (The Blue Album). French Horn Rebellion’s version has got the funk and big beats to drive home its mega pop melodies. A great bit of fun on this most fun of days, Halloween.