Wolf Colony

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As much as I hate to admit it, I am human and occasionally experience emotions. I typically hate rom-coms, love stories and happy endings so I really appreciate a song that can sum up feelings without sounding like a sappy love song. Those are a dime a dozen and typically get old ridiculously fast. This is a love song not for the masses. The One by Wolf Colony sounds a little darker than my usual tastes, but the lyrics are actually quite sweet.

If I had to choose an artist that’s most similar to Wolf Colony I would probably say Depeche Mode, although these guys certainly occupy their own unique space in the musical world. There’s an 80’s feel to it, mixed in with a dash of synth-pop and electronica. Their debut album, Unmasked, comes out in March and I’m certainly looking forward to more of their unique sounds.

Forrest Gump

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Forrest Gump song has been stuck in my head since New Year’s Eve. It’s the kind of song that grows on you, and over time becomes a genuine favourite. I find myself listening to it over and over again trying to figure out exactly what the lyrics imply. After weeks of listening, I’m still not sure. Is this a thinly-veiled expression of Ocean’s sexuality? Is it an ode to a movie that everyone on the planet knows and loves? Maybe it’s both, or neither… either way, I love it. Regardless of sexuality, everyone who has cared about someone else can relate to it. Unrequited love is can cause some serious pain and anxiety, and I think Forrest Gump sums it up perfectly without being one of those depressing Adele-style breakup anthems. It’s always nice to hear something a little different from the rest.

Frank Ocean has been kind of MIA lately, and songs like these have me wishing he’d release some new stuff. This song is off of his 2012 release, Channel Orange for which he received a whole slew of awards. Since then it seems like he hasn’t done a whole lot in terms of releases other than a couple of teasers online. Hopefully 2015 will be the year because I can’t wait to get my hands on some more.

I didn’t have much to choose from and opted for a random YouTube lyric video because I don’t think his live performance at the Grammys really does the song justice.

Tei Shi

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Tei Shi is a name I recognize due to the vocals she contributed to Glass Animals’ Holiest, which is another track I have been loving lately. I did some SoundCloud exploring and came across her latest single, Bassically. It’s quite the gem and has been a regular contributor to my work commute playlist for the past week or so. While it’s obvious that Tei Shi has a unique style and some killer vocal chops, I must admit I did not know much about her. It turns out she’s lived all over North and South America which explains her versatile and unique sound. I came across a description of Tei Shi’s musical style as “sensual bedroom pop” and I would say that’s pretty much spot on. Songs like Basically make you feel confident and sexy. Who doesn’t need a little more of that in their lives?

Purity Ring

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I have been in love with Purity Ring for years now. From the moment I first heard Fineshrine on indie88 I knew they were something special. Their sound is so unique and their lyrics are always insane. I immediately picked up their debut album, Shrines, and played it like crazy. I am so excited to hear the new stuff they have been putting out and am so pumped for their next album. Begin Again is classic Purity Ring right down to the crafty lyrics. It’s the perfect after party tune, and how great is it when you find an amazing act and they turn out to be Canadian?

Rescue Song

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Today was one of those days where I spent a solid twelve hours feeling like a total train wreck. I woke up still feeling tipsy from the night before and about five minutes before I had to leave for work. I spent the first half of my shift trying to wake up and the second half wishing I could go back to bed, only to be followed by an exceptionally long and drawn-out work meeting for my second job. If only I could have been rescued somehow from my twelve hour work day… Hence, Rescue Song. I am in love with the RAC version of this Mr Little Jeans tune. It makes you feel like you are floating away to your happy place. Who could argue with that?

Sober

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Childish Gambino just released a new video for a song off his Kauai EP that I’ve been loving for quite a while, Sober. This song has a really fun melody which sounds especially good when paired with Donald’s sweet RnB-esque vocals. I am well aware that the lyrics are a little more serious in nature than they sound, but I can forget all my troubles when I get in to it with this one. As good as the song is, this is not the reason for the post. The video is.

There’s something about this video I can’t quite articulate that makes me like it so much. It’s set up like an teen rom-com when the main character meets the girl of his dreams. He spots her from far away and can’t help but make his move. Because I’m imagining this show being filmed in the early 90’s, it makes perfect sense that he decides to express himself through dance in order to woo his woman. Everyone danced unprovoked and in public in the 90’s, right? Cheesy TV was rampant in those days.

What makes this video so interesting is that it’s not at all sweet and cute. Childish Gambino straight up looks like a crack head. He either had a damned good team putting makeup all over his face to make him look like he’d been through hell, or he actually has been through hell and someone should assist him. He’s completely fixated on this stranger and quite delusional. She actually moves tables because he makes her so uncomfortable but this guy doesn’t take no for an answer. He tries again, with a little more success, but still loses in the end. Even though it’s blatantly obvious that he’s off his face on something, it’s kind of cute to watch him put his heart on the line. It’s also disturbing and mildly unsettling. I’m experiencing so many emotions. I love a video that makes you ask questions and stays in the back of your mind for hours.

I have absolutely no idea if this is what drugs do to your brain, but I would imagine they don’t make you not delusional. My completely unqualified observation is that addictive personalities manifest in many ways, including unhealthy fixations on certain individuals. I believe that is what we are witnessing here. Or, I could be completely off the mark. One YouTube commenter noticed that the time on the clock doesn’t change from 9:30 and thinks Gambino hallucinated the entire interaction. We may never know.

Cults

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I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy the Evening Commute playlist on Spotify and things have not changed since. I was listening to it while prepping for work on New Year’s Eve and came across a couple of tunes that have been stuck in my head ever since. One such song is You Know What I Mean by Cults. I’ll be honest and admit that I know every little about Cults, but I have had the chance to check out a couple more songs via YouTube since discovering this song and I’m impressed. The other songs I’ve found are a little grittier but good nonetheless.

Check out You Know What I Mean:

P.S. I’ll warn you that this video is an odd one, but that certainly makes it interesting.

Salad Days

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No one could ever accuse Mac DeMarco of being boring. He’s got quite the reputation for putting on entertaining live shows. During his show at the Danforth Music Hall in November he crowd-surfed his way to the back of the venue and proceeded to climb up in to the balcony, only to be hassled by security for his antics. Apparently they didn’t realize he was the man himself. I’ve yet to experience him live myself but that’s a goal for 2015.

He put out an album in 2014, Salad Days, that critics and music fans everywhere went nuts for. I have been getting in to the title track over the past week. It’s got a retro, beachy feel to it that makes me feel a couple degrees warmer in this ridiculous cold spell.

This is not an official video, but still good for a listen.

Top 100 of 2014: 10-1

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I have finally made it to my top 10. It was exceptionally hard to narrow it down with these next ten tunes because I love all of them. In reality, they are pretty much all tied for number one.

10: Chet Faker- 1998

9: Born Ruffians- Needle

8: Beyoncé- Drunk In Love feat. Jay-Z This is exactly what you would expect, every drunk girl’s anthem for the past twelve months… and probably the next ten years. We just can’t get enough of Queen Bey. Also, it’s been nearly a year since Bey and Jay performed this at the Grammys and I still have the image of her killer body burned in my brain. That wet, sultry hairstyle inspired a million long bobs this year; it made it’s mark on pop culture.

7: Arkells- Leather Jacket This is another tune that has reached anthem status for me. There isn’t a single flaw.

6: Hozier- Take Me To Church

5: Kanye West- Blood On The Leaves For at least half of 2014 I would drive in circles around the beautiful (disgusting) city of Hamilton and play this song on repeat. This is the perfect way for me to get my anger out. I know Kanye is kind of a spectacle but that’s part of why I love him. There’s a reason he gets away with it; he’s that good. Please, Yeezus, let 2015 be the year I finally see Ye live!!

4: Sam Smith- Stay With Me The one that made us all fall in love…

3: London Grammar- Strong I had the pleasure of seeing this performed in the flesh and it was an instant goosebumps-inducer.

2: Half Moon Run- Full Circle

1: Vance Joy- Riptide I felt like this was an obvious choice. I fell in love the first time I caught this one on the radio and had to play it about a thousand more times that night before I could fall asleep. Nearly a year later, I am still in love with this happy, sweet little tune. I had the pleasure of seeing Vance Joy twice in 2014 and both times I would say that hearing Riptide was like a cathartic experience. There’s something magical about an entire field full of people falling nearly silent to hear the same song, and all singing along when it counts.

Top 100 of 2014: 20-11

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We’ve made it in to the top 20! This is the home stretch.

20: Disclosure- Latch feat. Sam Smith This song has actually been out for a while but it got big this year. It’s no secret why it took over the radio… it’s amazing.

19: Big Data- Dangerous feat. Joywave

18: Flume- Holdin On

17: The Knocks- Classic feat. Powers Their remix game is strong, but who knew their originals could be so damned good?! I need more.

16: St. Lucia- Elevate

15: RAC- Ready For It feat. St. Lucia

14: Duke Dumont- I Got U Another Grammy nominee that knocked it out of the park in 2014.

13: Odesza- Say My Name feat. Zyra One of my biggest regrets was missing Odesza at Osheaga. I won’t let it happen again. The entire album, In Return, is unreal.

12: Bleachers- I Wanna Get Better The first single released off of Strange Desire was a perfect intro. This is the song that got me hooked. It’s another breakup gem.

11: The Griswolds- Mississippi I believe this song is from 2012, not 2014, but who cares?! It’s still unreal.

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