August and Everything After

30 Aug

August is the dying days of summer – hold on to that feeling! This month’s playlist is all about memory, looking back, looking forward, and living life. Cliché, catchy, covers, new and old, wanting to be different, wanting to belong. So just do it!

  1. Grouplove  – “Itchin’ on Photograph”. Back during Xmas 2011, Unsung turned you onto this very special band via their breakthrough single, Tongue Tied….at the time they were “an entire house party in 3.5 min, including that little hint of melancholy as the room clears and people go home.“ Their second single is an edgier affair that showcases lead singer Christian Zucconi’s range and gusto. I’m a sucker for a clapping and a good mid song kick-in and this one has ‘em in spades. Just don’t ask me what it means to be a itchin’ on a photograph or scratchin’ on a thermostat. Also check out their latest single “Ways to Go”.
  2. Arctic Monkeys – “I Wanna Know”. A swaggering sexy confessional stomp from Sheffield’s finest about that age old issue – The Drunk Dial. It’s been fun to watch these lads grow up and embrace their place amongst rock’s finest. Could their new album AM be their breakthrough in the US? Stay tuned for an Unsung breakdown next week.
  3. Alkisti Protopsalti  – “How You Remind Me” (Greek Version) . 1o days ago, I heard this on a bus from Athens to Alonissos and it took me a second to place it. Greeks have this very weird affection for some things Canadian. I always find it interesting what songs translate to other parts of our globe, and Nickelback’s first (and undisputedly, their best) hit certainly has a universal appeal. But something about the Greek language provokes passion and anthem; maybe it’s the economy, the Balkan powder keg, or all that sweet sun. Chad Kroeger, remember when you weren’t Avril’s sk8r boi?
  4. Lorde – “Rulers”. Hype surrounds this New Zealand teen, groomed by the star maker machinery  since the age of 13 to be the next big thing. Enjoy her before the tweensters do, along with her novel take on the rap-pop game.
  5. Grimes – “Genesis”. If you are listening to this playlist on your headphones without watching the videos, do yourself a favour and switch over and get little visual pleasure. Grimes is from Vancouver and the hipsters have known about her for ages; she is their dancing synth-messiah. But the straight-up weirdness of this video, a fun romp with swords through California, belittles the tender soul and hypnotic rhythm of this track. For something brilliantly different, check out her major label debut, Visions.
  6. Janelle Monae  – “Primetime”. A solid R&B banger that recalls vintage Toni Braxton and Whitney.  If you’ve never heard of Monae, watch this first and be prepared to be electrified. Her ambitious major debut was a concept album about her turning into a robot in the future. Yeah. Who knows what her new album, out in September, will concoct?
  7.  David Gray – “Money (That’s What I Want)”. The annuls of time will record that the White Ladder album was one of the millenium’s classics, a rudimentary melding of machine beats and tender folk, since evolved and aped over and over again. If you’re like me, you’ve lost track of David Gray, the bobble-headed voice overshadowed by the eclipsing power of a colossal debut. But this cover has to be one of the all-time greats, far better than the Beatles’ version, because it interprets Chuck Berry in a different light and adds a whole lot of soul. Enjoy.
  8. T- Rex- “Buick McKane”. How awesome would this song sound live in concert, drinking, doing drugs, stealing money, having sex, or just walking down the street? Rock and fucking roll. What every Oasis song aspires to be.
  9. Beady Eye – “In The Bubble With A Bullet”. Speaking of Oasis, unless you are an Oasis freak like me, you may not know that they broke up for good after one final back stage dust up involving insults about wives and busted guitars. In the fallout, brother Noel went onto a successful solo career, and brother Liam took the rest of the band and formed the oddly named Beady Eye. The rest is history. Beady Eye are mostly middle of the road and middling Brit-pop, struggling to remain relevant, still trading on the legacy of their forbearers. But this song, hidden and obscured as a UK only b-side, is an absolute gem (like most Oasis b-sides used to be), a folked-out romp that would have been at home on Rod Stewart’s classic ‘Every Picture Tells A Story’. Gawd, I miss Oasis.
  10. Kings of Leon – “Wait For Me”. Yeah, I know, you’re probably sick of Kings of Leon and are ready to lump them into the Nickelback / Bon Jovi bucket of overplayed and obvious ever since “Use Somebody” and “Sex On Fire”. But don’t, as Unsung will argue next week. This is gonna be their next single, and their next album is gonna be massive. If you haven’t pledged and pleaded to a loved one to be straight and honest and true, to be open and intimate, no more messing around, no more pain in the rain, next time, this time –  just like the messed-up self-professed drinker Caleb promises on this Downbound Train, you probably aren’t living life. Isn’t that all we can ask from a song? Til next time. Winter is coming, get ready.
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One Response to “August and Everything After”

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  1. Coffee Cup Reading: Return of the Conquerors of the World | UnsungPresents - September 9, 2013

    […] hearing them. It seemed like the end of respectability and relevancy for Kings of Leon. But if the first two singles from new album ‘Mechanical Bull’ are any indication, the boys are back in all their foot […]

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