Posts tagged ballad

Fade Into You (Mazzy Star Cover)

"Fade Into You (Mazzy Star cover)" by Maximo Park // Too Much Information (Out Now // 2014)

Apparently, this little gem slipped past me upon it’s initial release a couple of months back . No matter, it’s never too late to fall in love with a new song. Maximo Park is most well known as a post punk / art rock band that makes frenetically paced songs with killer melodies. Perhaps it’s knowing their usual sound that makes this gem feel so different. Eschewing the jagged, playful guitar work of previous songs, the band’s take on Mazzy Star’s modern classic, “Fade Into You”, is a haunting acoustic beauty with a slightly ominous undertone. It’s really pretty incredible to hear. Personally, I haven’t really kept up with band beyond their debut, but hearing this, I’m wondering what other excellent b-sides they might have floating around. 

JJ - "All White Everything"

"All White Everything" by JJ // V (Out 8.19.14)

JJ has a tendency to shift styles with ease - often mixing electro, hip hop, dream pop, and ambient pop to varying degrees of success. The merging of genres doesn’t really apply here as their new song, “All White Everything”, takes the shape of a gorgeous melancholic ballad. It sounds like a lullaby for the lonely. It’s certainly a song that you’re going to want to spend some time with alone. Highest recommendation. 

"No One Ever Loved" by Lykke Li // The Fault In Our Stars - Soundtrack (Out 5.19.14 via Atlantic)

It’s been a great couple of months to be a Lykke Li fan. It seems that barely a week hasn’t went by without a new track, or a new video, or a soundtrack contribution, and now even after the release of her stunning new album, I Never Learn, we still get one more treat in the form of “No One Ever Loved”. The track is featured on the soundtrack for the forthcoming film, "The Fault in Our Stars". The sweetly melancholic ballad is a lovely track. One that would fit well into the dark world of I Never Learn. Definitely something worth checking out.

"Drive All Night" by Sharon Van Etten // Originally by Bruce Springsteen

This is sort of a perfect cover. Bruce Springsteen's “Drive All Night” is already a heartaching beauty, but stripped down to just a piano and vocals - Sharon Van Etten manages to match (or even surpass) the power of the original. As part of the AV Club’s “Pioneering” series, Van Etten (a New Jersey native) picked a perfect song for her style and she does a tremendous job making it her own. 

Kevin Drew "Mexican Aftershow Party"

"Mexican Aftershow Party" by Kevin Drew // Darlings (Out 3.18.14 via Arts & Crafts)

After the stunningly beautiful “Good Sex”, Kevin Drew set the bar pretty high for what to expect on his forthcoming solo album, Darlings. Cut to a month or so later and he drops “Mexican Aftershow Party”, and I’m feeling nervous that he couldn’t possibly compete with the previous single, but lo and behold - for all it’s strange, electronic rumbling - “Mexican Aftershow Party” is a different, wonderful, and altogether successful follow-up single. A low, harmonic, electro-hum pulses beneath distant drum machine samples as Drew opens the song with a sort of speak-sing that oddly reminds me of the opening of Prince’s “Purple Rain”, but once the track picks up it’s steam and the lush, electronic atmospherics layer on alongside horn-like synths - the ballad opens up and reveals itself to be another triumph. Original and vague and lovely as can be. I can’t wait to hear the full length.

Small Black - Lines of Latitude (ft. Frankie Rose)

"Lines of Latitude (ft. Frankie Rose)" by Small Black // Real People EP (Out 4.1.14 via Jagjaguwar)

I love it when my favorite artists stay active. Small Black released one of my favorite albums of last year and they’re already back with news of a follow-up EP, Real People. To celebrate the announcement, the band has released the first single from that forthcoming release. “Lines of Latitude” is a gorgeous, slow burn, synth pop ballad that features backing vocals from the always fantastic, Frankie Rose. It’s a wonderful track that finds the band treading some gentle, melancholic waters that shows a side of them that hasn’t really been seen as of yet, and it’s a knock out.


"Shame" by Mas Ysa // Worth EP (Out Now via Downtown Records)

Mas Ysa (Thomas Arsenault) has been picking up plenty of worthwhile buzz as of late for tracks like “Why” and “Years”. Now that the Worth EP (which contains those tracks and more) has been released, that doesn’t mean the praise needs to end. “Shame” is another track from the release that manages to take the power of his ballads and inject an intense, percussion-heavy house beat into the mix. The quiet intimacy of the song’s first half, shifts into a propulsive rush that takes the track straight to the strobe lights of the dance floor, all the while maintaining the power that makes Mas Ysa an artist to watch. Highly recommended for fans of Majical Cloudz and M83.

"Perfect Day" by Twin Shadow // Originally by Lou Reed

George Lewis Jr, aka Twin Shadow, recently add a fourth installment to his Under the CVRS series on YouTube.This time around, he chooses another melancholic ballad, but this one is a timely tribute to the late, Lou Reed. Lewis tackles the classic, “Perfect Day”, keeping it fairly tight to the original, with the exception of a mid-track addition of a slow mo, electro beat/pulse. It’s a great take and another chance to remember Reed, so it’s a definite should-watch. 

"Silent All These Years" by Twin Shadow // Originally by Tori Amos (Under the CVRS 3)

George Lewis of Twin Shadow is continuing his new Youtube series, Under the CVRS, with a pretty cover of the classic Tori Amos track, “Silent All These Years”. George has already done stellar versions of 10cc's “I'm Not in Love” and Springsteen's “I'm On Fire”, so it’s not surprising that he tackle another slow burn ballad - in fact, this latest might be his best yet. That’s hard to say, though as he’s yet to misstep. The track is once again accompanied by high contrast video of the artist performing. Definitely good stuff.