How they Was Rappin’ in 1994

94rapcollage

ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists centred upon 1991, 1992, and 1993 respectively!

I hope two weeks was enough time for all of our Spotify (@Spotify) streamers to fully digest our journey into ’93. Now that we’re just about set to take a look back to 1994, our trek comes with both good and bad news:

A bit of a disappointment as I had planned on integrating some lesser known faves of mine among the hits from the year. Nevertheless, I’m quite pleased with this playlist and still managed to incorporate a few overlooked cuts. Due to the aforementioned absences, we’ve pared the list back down to 35 tracks (from 40) which got us right back to around that familiar 2½ hour mark that’s served us so well up to this point.

We’re also back onto our #WaybackWednesday shit for this week – happy hump day! 🐫

nas1994

The best rapper of 1994 (according to Complex) : NAS

If not for Spotify‘s unfortunate limitations and related licensing standoffs, these classic cuts would have also been included:

da Bush Babees – Ambushed

Extra Prolific – Like it Should Be

Kurious – A Constipated Monkey

Native Nuttz – the Nativez Are Restless

Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth – the Main Ingredient

Scientifik – Criminal

In your opinion, did I miss any other significant tracks from ’94?

What do you think of these rap chronicles thus far – are you digging the playlists? Have a favourite playlist so far between 1991 and 1994? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for listening!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1995! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1993

93rapcollage

ICYMI: Check out our previous entries/playlists centred upon 1991 and 1992, respectively!

Back again with a new retrospective rap playlist for all of you Spotify (@Spotify) streamers out there, this time with a focus upon the landmark year of 1993. So much good music came out at this time that I had to bump the playlist up from 35 tracks to 40. This makes this iteration approximately 20 minutes longer than its predecessors – I doubt the heads will complain!

Subsequent to my 1992 post going up, I made the decision to move all future installments away from #WaybackWednesday in order to position them as #ThrowbackThursday posts going forward. However, upon awaking to the horrific news of Chris Cornell‘s (@chriscornell) unfortunate passing last week, I instead spent the previous Thursday reminiscing to Soundgarden‘s (@soundgarden) unbelievable back-catalogue for the majority of the day (as well as several more thereafter). Another once-in-a-generation talent gone far too soon. R.I.P. 💔

Now, the last thing I want to do is turn this into a somber post when I’ve got such a badass playlist on tap for you. So grab some headphones and take a trek back through one of the most solid years ever in hip-hop!

snoopdogg1993

The best rapper of 1993 (according to Complex) : SNOOP DOGGY DOGG

Again, due to Spotify and the unfortunate limitations presented by its catalogue, we’re missing a few key inclusions taken from the following critical albums:

Akinyele – Vagina Diner

De La Soul – Buhloone Mindstate

Funkdoobiest – Which Doobie U B?

Illegal – the Untold Truth

Mobb Deep – Juvenile Hell

the Roots – Organix

Tragedy Khadafi – Tragedy: Saga of a Hoodlum

It’s also a real shame Spotify doesn’t have the remix to LL Cool J‘s (@llcoolj) “Pink Cookies” (as seen below). The original is tight but this beat here cooks… 🔥

In particular, of the albums above, it really sucks to see that Akinyele album missing from the Spotify catalogue – in my opinion, it’s arguably the best complete production that Large Professor (@PLargePro) has ever put out. More people need to hear it – it’s now out of print but still holds up!

On the other hand, I prefer the album version to the above Illegal track more than I do its video counterpart. Go figure.

One way or another, at 40 tracks deep, I feel this is a thorough playlist that does a fairly comprehensive job overall of covering the key highlights throughout the entirety of year.

Really hope you dig this trip back to 1993 – a milestone year for the genre! If you enjoy it, please be sure to click to ‘follow’ the playlist!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1994! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1992

92rapcollage

In continuation of my blog about How they Was Rappin’ in 1991, I’m back again with a new playlist to cover some of the best hip-hop tracks out of ’92!

Similar to its predecessor, this playlist sits at 35 tracks and clocks in at exactly 2½ hours in duration. Click below to enjoy this aural time capsule on another fabulous #WaybackWednesday!

redman1992

The best rapper of 1992 (according to Complex) : REDMAN

Sadly, due to Spotify (@Spotify) and the limitations presented by its catalogue, there are some especially significant absences here, most notably:

Dr. Dre – the Chronic

Diamond D & the Psychotic Neurotics – Stunts, Blunts & Hip-Hop

Da Lench Mob – Guerillas in tha Mist

Hard Knocks – School of Hard Knocks

In spite of these omissions, I still feel this playlist provides a comprehensive look (and listen) into the landscape of hip-hop, back as it existed in 1992. Please let me know your thoughts on these in the comments below – hope everyone is digging the series so far!

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1993! 🎤

Click here to follow me on Spotify!

How they Was Rappin’ in 1991

91rapcollage

Rap music is the best.

Moving forward, I’ve decided to curate some Spotify (@Spotify) playlists specific to the most integral years of hip-hop, starting with the year of 1991.

Unfortunately, there are some significant gaps in the Spotify catalogue. Due to this, I was unable to include cuts off landmark albums such as De La Soul‘s (@WeAreDeLaSoul) De La Soul is Dead, Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth‘s All Souled Out EP, Tim Dog‘s iconic Penicillin on Wax, Godfather Don‘s HazardousWords from the Genius by the Genius / GZA (@theRealGZA), and From Pyramids to Projects by Two Kings in a Cipher. And in spite of its divisive reputation, it would have been nice to have had the option to include a track off of Big Daddy Kane‘s Prince of Darkness.

Nevertheless, at 2½ hours long and 35 tracks, hopefully the playlist below provides you with a comprehensive look into how the hip-hop landscape was operating back in ’91.

qtip1991

The best rapper of 1991 (according to Complex) : Q-TIP

NEXT UP: How they Was Rappin’ in 1992! 🎤

🎼 #GuelphMusicClub: Best of 2016

imback2017

Yep, it’s true. Phoenix from the ashes and all that good stuff…depending on your opinion of this blog, I suppose. Either way, I’M BACK.

But, yeah, I’m dreadfully late this year with my best of 2016 recap but I don’t feel too bad about it this go around. In fact, does it bother anyone else that most major music publications and review sites/blogs tend to have their year-end lists published near the top of December? That means that albums released at the very end of the calendar year aren’t even available to be considered if their roundtable discussions are taking place throughout October/November. And I always thought it was dumb to see year-end lists incorporating items from the year previous – DUMB.

Guess that’s just the reality of the world these days. There is a heavier emphasis placed upon being FIRST than there is to produce thoughtful and considered reviews. I mean, I know I’m just talking about critical opinions here (which have always been worthless, mine included) but the age we live in has allowed for poseurs like Anthony Fantano to proliferate and position themselves as musical authorities – LOL! My apologies to his corny azz followers… 🙄

In regards to my own recap, this year, I chose to go with the same format employed as last year, only this time, I thought I’d throw a few extra categories into the mix.

Nowadays, the #GuelphMusicClub seems to have transformed into more of an annual tweet-up at best but I would encourage you to click the link above to peruse some of the other contributions if you’ve yet to do so. Those of you who have kept up with THE CLUB over the years are surely aware of the diverse and eclectic array of tastes weaving throughout its contingency. Definitely worth the perusal! I have no doubt you’ll be introduced to a ton of great stuff!

2016 was also a tough year for the #GuelphMusicClub in the sense that it marked the end of Sound in My Memory. If I’m not mistaken, Rob was one of the originators of THE CLUB (alongside Aaron Dale? 🤔) and his candor will certainly be missed.

In fact, a lot of the blogs have fallen off, mine included. This year, several individuals from THE CLUB decided to primarily share their best-of picks through Twitter. With that being the case, I sincerely hope I’m able to retain your attention throughout this post…

.. ’cause it’s been a minute since I’ve been here and I’m about to go OFF! (no Skintastic)

youready

LET’S DO THIS!!!

FYI: Everything “ranked” alphabetically

Go to the next page for the TOP ALBUMS of 2016

#GuelphMusicClub: Best of 2015

itsbeenawhile

Hey all.

Hope everyone is having a nice start to the new year and was able to enjoy their holidays. Speaking of the holidays, it was something of a surprise to see the revival of the #GuelphMusicClub at the end of last year. The decision to resurrect THE CLUB was made in order to discuss our respective favourites of 2015 and I really enjoyed reading through all of the entries. Times passes so quickly nowadays that I had nearly forgotten how eclectic and varied the tastes of the group actually are.

I also appreciate its return because it gives me the opportunity to resurrect this dead ol’ thing and CHAT SHIT (GET BANGED?) about my favourite musical items from 2015. Given that we’re getting towards the end of January now, I’ve already slacked so hard that I’m just going to dive right into it.

Bear with me as I indulge myself..

FYI: Everything “ranked” alphabetically

TOP ALBUMS OF 2015

Drake – If You’re Reading this it’s too Late

drakeIYRTITL

I can’t lie – I listened to the shit out of this. Also, I realize that it’s not technically an album but the line between album and mixtape has become so blurred that I’m not sure the distinction even matters anymore. No real radio singles on this one – just a lot of great beats from a primarily hometown / in-house cast, including Noah “40” Shebib (@OVO40), Boi-1da (@Boi1da), and PARTYNEXTDOOR (@PARTYOMO) – 19-year-old Mississauga native WondaGurl (@WondaGurlBeats) even grabs a few production credits. 🇨🇦 🍁

It was an eventful year for Drake (@Drake) considering his beef with Meek Mill (@MeekMill), the Quentin Miller (@Quentin__Millerghostwriting accusations, and his surprise collaboration tape with Future (@1future), but beyond it all, I won’t deny it – I dug this tape big time and have no shame about openly being a fan of da 6 God.

 

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Failure – the Heart is a Monster

failureTHIAM

Given that Failure (@Failure) had, in hindsight, become critical and indie darlings since disbanding in ’97, it was a bit of a shock to see the Heart is a Monster absent from so many year-end lists. Having been name-checked by everyone from A Perfect Circle (@aperfectcircle) to Paramore (@paramore) over the years, their space-rock influence has since been felt throughout a variety of genres.

Post-Failure, each member went on to partake in a multitude of projects: Ken Andrews (@andrewsken) became a sought-after producer and pursued a solo career while also playing in the likes of ON, Year of the Rabbit, and Digital Noise Academy; Greg Edwards primarily became known for his work in Autolux (@autolux) but was also involved in the short-lived supergroup, LuskKellii Scott (@kelliiscott) played with Blinker the Star and Veruca Salt (@verucasalt), among others; and, of course, Troy van Leeuwen (@troyvanleeuwen) is well-known for his involvement with Queens of the Stone Age (@qotsa) and the aforementioned A Perfect Circle.

Most reunions are shit and almost all reunion albums are even worse but this one turned out to be a wonderful exception to the rule. Nearly 20 years after the fact, it picks up right where Fantastic Planet left off and that point is only reinforced by an intro track entitled, “Segue 4” (Fantastic Planet had three “Segue” tracks of its own).

I was weary of this one due to how beloved FP is but it easily became one of my favourite and most listened-to albums of 2015.

 

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Ghost – Meliora

ghostMELIORA

This album really blew my away because I have been talking copious amounts of shit about Ghost (@thebandGHOST) for quite some time now. I felt their music was so over-the-top in its cheesiness and their costume gimmick made them look like some lame Slipknot (@slipknot) for grown-ups type thing…but this latest album is pretty undeniable.

I’ve seen a number of publications denoting “Cirice” as one of the songs of the year but the one that really changed my opinion on them was “He Is“. I see now that while the band are certainly cheesy, they are self-aware in doing so and happen to write songs with incredible pop sensibilities. It’s especially impressive seeing as they are, at their core, a metal band.

I still have yet to go back and revisit their previous two records. I’m curious to see if my negative opinions of Opus Eponymous and Infestissumam (which I particularly loathed), will have changed since falling so hard for Meliora…but I’m not ready to return and investigate just yet. Until I am prepared to do so, I’ll continue to enjoy the melodic sermons of Papa Emeritus III.

 

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Seinabo Sey – Pretend

seinaboPRETEND

I became familiar with Seinabo Sey (@SeinaboSey) through the FIFA 16 soundtrack. For those who don’t know, the FIFA series (@EASPORTSFIFA) compiles incredible soundtracks for their games year after year.

The album’s title track, “Pretend“, is featured in the game and it quickly grabbed me with its poppy, electro-soul grooves. I spun it enough that her then-upcoming debut album would become one of my most anticipated. This track also inspired me to look into some of her previously released singles such as “Poetic“, “Hard Time“, and “Younger” – all of which were eventually included on Pretend.

Seinabo Sey, a native Swede 🇸🇪  of part-Gambian 🇬🇲  descent, incorporates a wide array of influences and has an absolutely outstanding voice! She’s one of my favourite new artists and I feel she’s one to keep an eye on going forward.

 

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Tuxedo – Tuxedo

tuxedo

Man, I fucking loved this album.

I have never been a big fan of Mayer Hawthorne‘s (@MayerHawthorne) solo output but I have always loved Jake One‘s (@JakeUno) beats and this collaboration between the two just does it for me.

Tuxedo (@Tuxedo) tastefully blend the perfect combination of disco and funk with a sprinkling of 80s sensibility. These guys have produced an album of unbelievably catchy, feel-good, danceable tunes. They had been teasing the project as far back as 2013 and the full length turned out better than could have been expected. A purely addictive record.

Top 3 songs (in alphabetical order):

  1. Do It
  2. the Right Time
  3. Roll Along

P.S. “Do It” was one of the songs – and videos – of 2015.

 

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TOP EPs OF 2015

Big Grams – Big Grams

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Phantogram (@Phantogram) and Big Boi (@BigBoi) had already displayed their chemistry on the latter’s most recent solo album, 2012’s Vicious Lies & Dangerous Rumors, and after also having connected on a personal level, decided to team up for a collaborative self-titled EP.

A tight and concise listen that wraps in less than 30 minutes, Big Grams (@BigGrams) are clearly having fun crossing over into each other’s worlds. The EP includes a couple of great features from Run the Jewels (@runjewels) and 9th Wonder (@9thwonder) and one not-so-great pairing with Skrillex (@Skrillex) to close the record out.

Aside from the underwhelming outro, every other track on here hits and the overall replay value remains high.

 

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Kaleida – Think

kaleidaTHINK

John Wick is a silly movie starring Keanu Reeves as a guy who gets revenge on some bad dudes for killing his dog or some shit. However, the portion of the flick that really stood out for me was the violent club shootout scene juxtaposed against Kaleida‘s (@KALEIDAMUSIK) calm and serene “Think“.

After re-watching the scene about four or five more times, I immediately began to look into the band, of whom there was very little information available online at the time. Shortly thereafter, it would be announced that Lex Records (@LexRecords) – who I’ve been a big supporter of throughout the years – had signed Kaleida to a deal. The female duo play a very minimalistic style of synthpop that incorporates a uniquely haunting vocal style. They have dropped a couple of other fantastic songs prior to and since the release of the Think EP (“Picture You“, “Detune“).

Definitely one of my “ones to watch” for 2016.

 

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RATKING – 700-FILL

ratking700FILL

Quietly impressing with their 2014 debut, So it Goes, RATKING (@RatKing) are turning heads on the NY underground, having already attracted some impressive co-signs – just ask their engineer, Jay Z affiliate, Young Guru (@Young_Guru). They have a somewhat jarring, off-kilter style, incorporating a punk aesthetic that has much in common with alternative hip-hop acts like Dälek (@daleknwk), for example.

Saying that, Wiki (@wikset) is flat-out one of the more interesting MCs to pop up in the last few years and plays well off of Hak‘s monotone, sing-songy style, and SPORTINGLIFE‘s experimental beats.

So it Goes is a bit more streamlined than its predecessor and I imagine that makes it a little easier for the first-time listener to digest. They won’t connect with everyone but I consider them to be one of the most refreshing rap groups currently on the come-up.

 

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Will Haven – Open the Mind to Discomfort

willhavenOTMTD

Lots of nostalgia involved with this pick. As great as this EP is, a big part of the reason why I included it is because it inspired me to go back and revisit Will Haven‘s (@willhavenband) amazing back catalogue. This is the kind of ‘metal’ band I like – simple, droney, doomy, and heavy. I think one of the reasons I became so disinterested in metal in general was because it started reverting back to an overemphasis on speed and technicality – the hallmarks of the cheesy 80s. WHVN are still doing the one-note riffing with odd time signatures, and to me, it sounds as good as ever.

I won’t say that Will Haven were ever known for their superior production values but the recording quality of Open the Mind to Discomfort does leave something to be desired. That is a very minor complaint, however – the EP should be a visceral experience and the raw production certainly helps to emphasize this. A nice surprise from a record I really had no actual expectations of.

 

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Your Old Droog – the Nicest

YODnicest

Even though it’s been a while since I’ve written a new entry, I’ve spent a lot of time discussing Your Old Droog (@YourOldDroog) in the past here so I’ll keep it brief. This EP demonstrates how much Droog is beginning to come into his own. A punchline master with an obvious love for 90s hip-hop, his wordplay is improving and shares much more in common with Big L than the likes of a Big Sean (@BigSean).

Droog dropped another EP in the first half of 2015 by the name of Kinison, which was also great, but wasn’t quite as sharp as the Nicest, in my opinion. For those of you with a love for the golden age who are still sleeping on this dude, 🔴 STOP ALREADY 🔴!

 

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TOP SONGS OF 2015

the Chemical Brothers – “Go” (feat. Q-Tip)
from the album, BORN IN THE ECHOES 

I’ve never considered myself to be a massive fan of the Chemical Brothers (@ChemBros) but this collab with Q-Tip (@QtipTheAbstract) was hard to ignore. It isn’t the first time these two have worked together but it is certainly the best time! Great song and video.

 

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the Game – “100” (feat. Drake)
from the album, THE DOCUMENTARY 2 

Cold beat + hot flows from the Game (@thegame) and Drake = addictive track. Really not much more to say about this one. Lyrics are a little funny but it’s not really about that here. Get into it.

 

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Kendrick Lamar – “Alright”
from the album, TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY 

I know Kendrick Lamar‘s (@kendricklamar) new album was somewhat polarizing, despite its near-record number of Grammy nominations. The only reason I chose not to include To Pimp a Butterfly on my best-of list of albums is because I find it’s not an album you just throw on at any given time; in my opinion, it’s more of a record that you have to be in a particular mood for in order to sit down and absorb it.

You could make the case that “Alright” isn’t even the best song on the album and I may even be inclined to agree with you. However, I feel it’s the only track that stands on its own outside of the context of the rest of the record – it works as a single. And I believe that’s a big part of the reason why many were disappointed by the album. That is, it didn’t have those big radio singles on it the way good kid, m.A.A.d. city did.

Overall, I do feel To Pimp a Butterfly was (by far) one of the year’s best albums and I wore this track out in a big way.

 

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Raury – “Mama”
from the album, ALL WE NEED 

Just an incredibly sweet song. I really feel this is up there with the all-time “mom” tribute songs out there. Raury (@Raury) is an interesting cat and weaves in and out of several genres with the greatest of ease. I didn’t really buy into the hype after he dropped Indigo Child last year but I have gotten fully on board with All We Need.

He still has some rough edges that need to be smoothed out but this kid looks poised for big things in the future. By far, one of my favourite songs of the year.

 

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Tennis – “Mean Streets”
from the album, RITUAL IN REPEAT

Tennis (@TennisMusic), the husband-and-wife duo from Colorado, released their most recent full-length album, Ritual in Repeat, back in 2014. However, it was re-released as a deluxe version in 2015 and “Mean Streets” was included as one of the bonus tracks.

I’m not sure how you’d classify this group – they’re sort of like the modern incarnation of a surf band. This particular song is fun and catchy as hell with the video being just as awesome. Great album in its entirety, too!

 

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BEST NON-2015 STUFF OF 2015

** I wanted to add one last section to this blog entry – the best stuff I listened to in 2015 that wasn’t released in 2015! **

COCTEAU TWINS

Discovering Cocteau Twins in 2015 has been life-changing. As far as I’m concerned, they’re right up there with all the greatest shoegaze acts. I listened to these guys like crazy and have fallen in love with every entry into their discography. My only regret is having not discovered them sooner. In particular, Heaven or Las Vegas is a masterpiece. Highly recommended for those who aren’t already aware.

 

*     *     *     *     *

CODE ORANGE

Similar to what I’ve already stated in regards to why I enjoy groups like Will Haven, Code Orange (@codeorangekids) just know how to keep things simple. Heavy, straightforward metal/hardcore doubling as a nod to what was going on during the 90s and early 2000s can be a lot of fun. Which isn’t to say they sound outdated! These guys are all in the early 20s and I guess I get an unusually big kick out of the fact that they wear Nine Inch Nails (@nineinchnails) and Fear Factory (@FearFactory) shirts.

The thing that really got me into this band was through watching their live videos on YouTube – pretty insane stuff! I still haven’t investigated their albums outside of I Am King (aside from what has been featured in their live performances) but I plan to get onto that soon.

Sidenote: these guys are produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge (@Convergecult).

 

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the DOPPELGANGAZ

Despite the fact that I was into each of the Dopp Gang‘s (@TheDoppelgangaz) 2015 releases – Rhyme Over Beats, Parts Unknown, and Beats for Brothers, Vol. 3 – I found myself mostly revisiting their older output, particularly the Lone Sharks project.

These guys have got to be one of the most underrated groups in rap and have also managed to remain as one of the most consistent. GANGAZ!

 

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iamamiwhoami

iamamiwhoami‘s (@_iamamiwhoami_) 2014 audiovisual project, Blue, spent a ton of time in my rotation last year. It doubles as a great watch on YouTube as well with every song being accompanied by a music video. Water is heavily incorporated into the theme which makes for a very soothing and ethereal listen/view.

I can’t say enough about this album and it turned me into a major fan of this excellent singer/producer duo.

 

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JEMINI the GIFTED ONE

I’m not sure what it was that brought Jemini back into my rotation but I found myself listening to a lot of his shit again for whatever reason. His collab with Danger Mouse (@dangermouseHQ) was dope – 2003’s Ghetto Pop Life (oh look, there’s Lex Records popping up again!) – but it’s the Scars & Pain EP from 1995 that I’ve been giving the most burn to.

What ever happened to this guy⁉

 

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Thanks to all who managed to get all the way through this entry. I may have been overcompensating due to the year+ of inactivity on this blog. White Catholic guilt, etc.

Hope everyone enjoyed the read! Any thoughts? Share your best-of 2015 in the comments – I’d love to hear them! And don’t forget to check out all of the other great #GuelphMusicClub year-end lists!

kittywave

Bye for now!

#GuelphMusicClub: Top 5 Songs of 2014, Pt. IV

Happy 2015!

I don’t know about the rest of you but my holidays were jam-packed.

Got nowhere near seeing every person I had hoped to…

things there's never any time for: hair washing, studying, getting into Stanford, etc.

Things there’s never any time for: hair washing, studying, getting into Stanford, etc.

Nevertheless, here we are entering the new year and I have yet to wrap up my latest installement for the #GuelphMusicClub.

So, let’s get on with it then!

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kimbra

How many of you are familiar with New Zealand’s, Kimbra (@kimbramusic)?

Those of you who are were most likely introduced to her as the featured artist on Gotye‘s (@gotye) Record of the Year (2013), “Somebody that I Used to Know“, otherwise known as one of the most irritating songs of all time.

But don’t expect more of the same when it comes to her own material.

The Kiwi has shown a knack for the experimental since the beginnings of her career, pumping out genre-bending compositions that make her a tough artist to pigeonhole.

Dipping her feet into everything from jazz to indie-rock to disco and just about everything in between, her chameleon-like abilities tend to result in projects that avoid establishing any one particular “comfort zone”.

And yet, when it comes to her latest record, the Golden Echo, what else can you refer to it as except for a fucking fantastic pop record?

Kimbra - the Golden Echo (2014)

Kimbrathe Golden Echo (2014)

When you take a look at its all-star cast of songwriting / feature collaborators, Kimbra‘s eclecticism becomes immediately clear and apparent.

The likes of Daniel Johns of Silverchair (@Silverchair) fame, Matt Bellamy of Muse (@muse), Mark Foster of Foster the People (@fosterthepeople), Thundercat (@Thundercat), Bilal (@Bilal), and John Legend (@johnlegend) all receive credit for their contributions.

If you get into the deluxe version, the diversity expands even more so with Jonas Bjerre (@jonas_bjerre) (!) of Mew (@mew), Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (@ORLProductions) of the Mars Volta (@themarsvolta), and Ben Weinman (@dillingerescpln) of the Dillinger Escape Plan all showing up by name in the liner notes.

And though they were left off of the album, she even collabed with Flying Lotus (@flyinglotus) and Dave Longstreth of Dirty Projectors (@DirtyProjectors) during the creation process.

Not to be overlooked, the production quality on this project is bar none.

Overseen by the famed Rich Costey (@RichCostey), the album also contains the fingerprints of top names such as Fraser T Smith (@FraserTSmith), Dave Tozer (@DaveTozer), Matt Morris (@MattMorris), John Hill, and Keefus Ciancia.

She displays an ear-to-the-ground credibility by enlisting Mystery Skulls (@MysterySkulls) as well as (in my opinion) one of the most overlooked producers in rap, M-Phazes (@Mphazes), to handle a portion of the board work.

In spite of the impressive roster, it is Kimbra and her boundless vocal range that shines and subsequently dominates your attention here.

Whether she’s being fun and upbeat or soft and sultry, the huge and often dreamy melodies captivate while you travel through her tumultuous pop journey.

It should also be noted that she herself is credited as a co-writer and co-producer on every track which is doubly impressive considering she is rubbing elbows with a who’s-who of the industry.

A truly unique talent, Kimbra turned me into a big fan of hers in 2014 and I can’t wait to she where will be going next.

My no. 2 song of 2014 is “Miracle“.

Awesome video, too.

Kimbra – “Miracle”
from the album, THE GOLDEN ECHO  (2014)

I’m rising up. Sometimes, I want to get away. And from the moment I met you, I’m ready to fade. I ran into a brighter day.
– Kimbra, “Miracle”