As promised in the previous edition more importance would be places on Indie music. It’s a slightly old song for the indie fan, considering the amount of new indie music that is being constantly released, but “Wish I Knew You’ by the Revivalists is a perfect song to start the indie exploration. The New Orleans based band has a very elaborate set up: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboard, Trumpet, Saxophone and Pedal Steel. The sound is typical indie with the lasting simple lyrics and intricate ensemble of a variety of instruments. I highly recommend this song and the band!
Next is Tame Impala. It is fairer to give musical credit to front-man Keith Parker rather than the whole band itself. Its dynamics are complex: as a touring band there are four members; however, Keith Parker plays, records and edits all songs alone. He is known for his musical genius – his ability to play several instruments and be a perfectionist producer. Since his first major hit in 2012, “Elephant”, Parker has collaborated with several big names in the music industry including Mark Ronson and Mick Jagger (who is, in my opinion, the greatest front-man in all music history). Elephant was part of the album “Lonerism”. It brings out the same moods that are experienced from overridden riffs by Cream and Jimi Hendrix, EXCEPT (there’s always an “except” when it comes to Indie Music), there’s major synthetic modern twist. But don’t get me wrong – the usage of electronic media completely complements Tame Impala’s individual style. 3 years later, in the album “Currents”, more importance has been given to the electronic means of making music. “Cause I’m a Man” and “Let it Happen” are prime examples. Easy drum beats are matched with synthesized guitar tones and then heavily reverbed to form a distinctly unique style. The lyrics are also catchy and tend to stick in your head. Yet, the most recent release – “Currents B-sides” – is an EP that does not live up to the high expectations that have been formed of Tame Impala. The music is not bad, but it requires a very acquired taste. The songs are slow paced and dreamy, with extremely simplistic lyrics.
Nonetheless, Tame Impala remains a severely underrated name, definitely deserves more recognition.
JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE! Stepping out of his comfort zone, the universally loved 37-year-old of former boy-band fame recently dropped a new album – “Man of the Woods”. “Morning Light”, a collaboration with the amazing Alicia Keys, is not like anything Timberlake has done before. How typical of Timberlake to be so atypical! He may have tried something new but he still hasn’t let go of his love for heavy beats with his signature high pitched voice. “Filthy” and “Sauce” don’t go too far away from his “S*xyback” roots. A lot of the songs in the album are aligned with the trend of including bits of electronic music in mainstream pop, but Timberlake still hasn’t failed to showcase his vocal prowess. It’s a different and interesting album that’s very hard to describe. I urge you to listen to more than one song before you form your opinions of it as there is just such a variety in the styles of music.
PS- Timbaland STILL holds a place on the list of artists in the album.
And finally, not a single artist but an entire genre- Nu Jazz! As the name implies, the genre of music is essentially jazz music, with a modern twist. Produced electronically, mostly with hip-hop style vocal samples, I thought Nu Jazz would be a unique area to explore. NUJABES is often regarded as the DJ that made the first Nu Jazz music. NUJABES was a Japanese DJ from Tokyo, who unortunately passed away in a traffic accident in 2010. His demise was greatly mourned and several DJs from all over the world paid their respects by releasing tributes. NUJABES is known for the his heavily layered music, although the individual components are often extremely simple. However, when all the different sounds come together, they form a true work of art, often regarded as music for the soul. I admit that this genre of music may not be for everyone, but even if you don’t like it, is an amazing experience to understand the mastery in the layering of the different sounds to create melodies.
This edition feels incomplete with out the inclusion of the Black Panther soundtrack, but I suppose you know all about that anyways! Who doesn’t love Kendrick?