Elastic Heart – Sia

I love the way that Sia transmits the power of emotion through her art. Elastic Heart is an incredibly visceral portrayal of a struggle with inner demons. The song is great, but in casting a pair of immensely talented performers in Maddie Ziegler and Shia LeBoeuf, she was able to create something really special. 1.1bn views later here we are…

P.S. when this video came out it created a decent amount of controversy. A grown man and a young girl in a cage in nude-coloured outfits – sure. But it is worth taking the time to understand it – you can watch a making of video in which Sia explains her intentions here

RAW – KiNK

Okay, a little preface before I get to describing RAW. I’m a big fan of KiNK. He is super creative; capable of making original, inventive house music that is also super listenable. You can find some of my favourite tracks of his, here and here.

Anyway, this isn’t one of those tracks. This just has a short and simple vocal sample (“RAW”) and a piano chord progression that is about as straightforward as they come. Each drop is telegraphed. All things told, there’s nothing creative about this at all. B-side fodder.

BUT, catch you in the right mood, and it bangs.

Together – DJ Falcon & Thomas Bangalter

The opening sample begs the question;

A time has come to make a decision. Are we in this thing alone, or are we in it together?

And the rest of the track leaves the answer in no doubt.

This is the kind of track that stares straight into your eyes, grins and tells you it loves you. It grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you about until you giggle. It’ll dance down the street by your side. Yes, I needed this.

Bonus podcast: Together was Erol Alkan’s peak time pick, at his fictional last ever gig. That is the premise of Tiga’s podcast Tiga Presents: First/Last Party On Earth – he interviews big-name DJs about their craft, and what they would play during their last ever set. Think Desert Island Discs for DJs. Worth a listen.

Meri Sun – Midnight Runners

Okay, this is about as obscure as it gets – credit to Ben Gomori for the find.

Midnight Runners are, in their own words, ‘Indonesia based Bandung bred DJs, producers, record label owner, graphic designer & music enthusiasts’. Meri Sun is on the compilation Bhangra Selection Cuts No. 2, the follow up to the wildly popular (maybe) Bhrangra Selection Cuts.

Anyway, what you need to know is that it fuses strong 80s disco camp with East Asian vibes and ends up with something tasty af.

In the Sun – Jesse Bru

This is Jesse Bru doing something very simple, very well.

A drifty piano chord, a little vocal sample, a little horn, a skitty little drum line and a little bass. That’s all it takes to create some blissful, sun-drenched good vibes.

Just look at the happy little fella!

You can find more of my favourite Jesse here, or if piano house is your thang, then I’ve got whole playlist sorted for you. You can thank me later.

Me & My Heart – Christopher Port

When this first came on I wasn’t so excited. The intro feels a bit disjointed – over-tricksy, over-sampled. Too Future Classic-y.

But after a while the threads begin to come together and what this track really hangs on is the strength of the main sample*. The bass underlines it, and the synths bring out the flavour. Sing it with me, “Me and My Heart, we’ll make it, we’ll make it through”.

* It’s Demi Lovato!

Record Packer

Did you know that the gaming industry is bigger than film and music combined? Crazy huh?

Well Omar S has clearly done his homework, because he has gone and made a game. It’s called Record Packer, and you can play it online, for free, right here. Oh, and the soundtrack is dope, obviously.

Best of 2020

Happy New Year music fans. As ever I’m pumped to bring you a load of new music this year, but before I do, let’s have one final post on the cursed year that was 2020. Here are my most played tracks of the year courtesy of Spotify. You’ll find some new ones, some old ones, some quick ones and some slow ones. Pop it on shuffle and enjoy.

Quick note – as ever there are a couple of albums on here that I’ve rinsed for chilling out. So expect some abrupt vibe changes. You’ve been warned.