The xx – Intro (Brain Melody Remix)
The xx have a unique talent for taking minimal elements and building haunting, pulsing soundscapes. Their songs are so spare, I wonder what alchemy makes these tracks sound bigger than they are. Producer Brain Melody goes one step further – he fills out this instrumental monster hit with ambience and pushes it to its limit without destroying the original feel of the track. I have no idea how he does it but it sounds gorgeous. Have a listen.
Phosphorescent – Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly) (Live)
Singer/songwriter Phosphorescent’s searing Song For Zula was one of our favourite tracks of 2013. This live performance of his song Nothing Was Stolen (Love Me Foolishly) is totally different from his previous hit. There is no buildup with this one, it just takes off and keeps going to greater heights driven by the delicate hit of a tambourine, an organ, and a piano. The harmonies are also aces. Now I really want to watch him live!
The Piano Guys – Ants Marching/Ode To Joy
“4 guys, 3 minutes, 2 cellos, 1 piano” is how this song is described on their YouTube page. I’d say it’s greater than the sum of its parts. I didn’t listen to Dave Matthews Band that much when their music came out, so Ants Marching is not overplayed for me, and I can still enjoy it. This one makes it to the playlist because it’s just so much fun.
Ella Henderson – Ghost
British singer Ella Henderson gets points for singing in a vocal range that is not high pitched and cutesy which is so rare in pop music these days.
Calvin Harris – Blame (Sondrio Remix)
Australian producer Sondrio kicks things off with shimmering pads and goes into a wide open mix to let the vocals shine on this remix of Calvin Harris’s hit Blame. If you have a need for a dancey song this week, this one should do well.