i’ve been having an affair with electronic music for almost a decade now, cheating on my first true love, folk music. it doesn’t feel wrong though – electronic music is the younger, hotter babe i take out on the dancefloor, but folk music is who i’ll always come home to. folk, indie, bluegrass, country, gospel; i probably shouldn’t lump them all together, but all have been a part of my life in the same way. they’re my roots, in a weird way, the first kinds of music that really got me connected to music. and for that i owe them a lot. they’re genres i’ve always loved and always will. i might not be listening to dance music years from now, but i know for sure that folk will always be part of my catalogue. montreal in particular has a very special folk scene, heralded by a group of young up-and-comers who have the soul of a 90 year old. so, of course, this post – part of the 10 montreal series – was an absolute necessity. roots.
sam smith is another artist i featured in my “artists to watch 2014″ post, but another one that is so good, i felt he deserved his own music monday article. a british singer/songwriter with electronic tendencies and really weird hair, smith gained early notoriety when he collaborated with disclosure on “latch” last year. and of course, because disclosure has the midas touch right now (aka everyone is up on their dicks, literally) sam smith has blown up.
in 2012, brooklyn-based composer rebecca brandt released a 14-track album called numbers & shapes. composed and orchestrated for 30+ instruments, the album is beautifully, astoundingly multi-layered. if part of the magic of music is taking the listener on a journey, brandt is a shaman. “i’m generally inspired by the people around me, who are doing some amazing things and producing all this beautiful, creative stuff,” brandt tells me of how the album came about, “i feel like i have to keep up, and that pushes me.” she might see it as keeping up, but as far as i’m concerned, she’s setting the pace. last year, brandt got together with the green village‘s greg edgell – a founding member of the now-defunct jersey-based creative studio called green villain (who, although no longer affiliated with greg or the green village, provided the imagery for this post). the concept? to rework the album with an electronic mentality; a project that would take 14 different artists over a year to create. the result? numbers & shapes: revisited.
“i believe most people are inherently good. they just need an opportunity to show that goodness.” colm wilkinson is standing at the edge of the stage in toronto’s princess of wales theatre. still in costume, wilkinson has just finished a one-off charity performance as the bishop in new rendition of les miserables. the crowd is silent, listening.
i discovered wet the other day when branchez, the creator of every guilty pleasure track i’ve ever loved, posted a remix of their song “don’t wanna be your girl.” both are admittedly more than slightly pop tinged (to the point that i initially wondered if it was taylor swift on vox), but i can’t help but be lulled into some weird dreamy, driving down a country road at sunset kind of haze by the song’s lovely production.