I'm a bit behind on posting my summer tunes this year but better late than never! I can't think of a better one to start with than this glittering gem from Puro Instinct. You can always count on them to deliver dreamy tunes that make your heart flutter like bumping into your crush at the Mall in front of the 5.7.9.
Poppies charm and disarm with their bold beauty: one that belies the complex reality of how humans have used the potent and often lethal chemicals they hold. They are a symbol of remembrance of wartime sacrifice and as the source of the deadly heroin that constitutes Afghanistan's main export (albeit, obviously a black market) & funding sources for the Taliban and other extremist groups in the region. The poppy is so many things to so many people; it can't help but make a compelling and fascinating subject.
N.B.: I created this in tandem with the game-changing digital painting app, Procreate, on the iPad. The intuitiveness of the interface and the degree of control that one has over the tools within the app is as close to real painting and illustration, as I have ever encountered. I would go so far as to say that for digital painting, it highly exceeds Adobe Photoshop, and it has a smaller learning curve than Corel Draw. If you are serious about illustration and find most digital tools to be a useful but tedious necessity, I can't recommend it enough for digital painting. You still will need Adobe CC to manipulate your work for professional use, but conveniently, you can easily export to psd from the app.
Full disclosure: this one is super catchy and will make you want to dance . Without feeling like a throwback, something about it makes me want to listen to some of the songs on Primal Scream's Screamadelica or Happy Mondays or Stone Roses or other madchestery acid house tinged tunes of the early 90s. The love-everyone-positive sunshiny lyrics contribute to that sentiment, I suppose. All I know for sure is I'm failing miserably at resisting the strong urge to hit repeat every time the song ends. Hashtag Infinite feedback loop.
Obviously, the perfect song to herald Independence Day weekend In the good ol' U.S. of the A is a j-pop-tinged electroromp by a young, iconoclastic Canadian bedroom synth maven. Duh! Actually, we still have a ways to go before living up to the testament of the Declaration of Independence, but it's reaffirming to know that we are making progress towards ensuring that's not just a bunch of pretty words on paper, but an accurate description of how life is for all in this country.
Upbeat but chill, which helps the mind unwind in these tumultuous, muggy, and steamy days.
This woozy psychedelic melody featuring Melody's Echo Chamber is an excellent guilty-pleasure for trippin' la lumière fantastique.
BTW, the ï with the umlaut or dieresis in Moodoïd, sounds like 'ee' in English. Ergo, it's pronounced Mood-OH-eed. It's good to know things like that so when you're trying to sound all savvy and cool, you actually DO sound all savvy and cool.
It's not really Summer without Elizabeth Fraser's chimeric soprano trilling over Guthrie & Raymonde's ethereal confections lulling you into the warm glowing bliss. It's the sonic equivalent of the sunlight beaming down on your face while a sudden cool wind blows through simultaneously.
Summerhead (1993). Included in last year's Summer Vibes playlist.
Lazy Calm Remix by Baron Von Luxxury (2012)
Cover image: Flowers by William Eggleston
This song reminds me of ambling about with no particular destination, in the company of the souls that are dearest to you; simply aiming at having an unforgettable and moving experience. To me, this is the heart of what Summer represents to so many of us, along with actually having the time to actually live and enjoy life. Also, banjo!
This year instead of just posting the link to the latest installment of my annual summer playlist, I'm going to share some of the tunes individually on here, because it seems more fun that way.
DoP: Yûharu Atsuta
Preceding Malle's «Ascenceur pour l'échafaud» as well as Truffaut's «Les Quatre cent coups» by two years, Early Spring foreshadowed the move towards the intimate, quotidian microcosmic film narratives that would become the keystone of the European "New Wave" cinematic movements of the 1960's; effectively washing over the traditional storytelling styles and themes; and moreover, quintessentially redefine the quality of acting, the type of stories told, push the boundaries of the medium and renew the visual presentation of mainstream films from then on out. But every fire has a spark. And watching Early Spring as well as other later Ozu works, it doesn't take much to see that they provided many sparks of brilliance that helped feed that nascent, revolutionary fire.
The use of gaze, how it is averted, how it is cast, is outstanding in its complexities and how beautifully it's used to add another layer of narrative and emotional conveyance. The phrase "subtle yet palpable" best describes these visual cues. It's a thing of beauty, like witnessing an harmonious, impromptu dance, or a seemingly-perfect asymmetric composition. Yasujirō Ozu is one of my favorite directors and Early Spring is a good example as to the stories he chooses to tell and how he chooses to tell them that is so special and touching in the beauty.
N.B.: Running commentary captions included. May contain spoilers.
Still great several years in... Not that it has ever left my awareness, of course. Never forget & Always ask the tough but important questions. And, don't forget to dance, which makes evetything worthwhile.
A few good tunes currently in heavy repeat mode. Take a listen or two, and you're sure to find something that stimulates you or sets your heart a flutter as much as mine.
FYI: In Español castellano, "sentí" is the 1st person past participle of the verb "sentir" meaning to feel, and in some contexts to care. "Mentí" is that same tense, but of the verb "mentir", meaning to (tell a) lie.
Sentimenti also refers to feelings or sentiments, in Italiano. The name of the playlist is a little play on all of those terms, reflexivity and mirroring, and the sometimes deceptive nature of emotions. Syntax matters, I suppose.
I tried to get what I 'see' in my head down as quick, inaccurate, sloppy expressions while waiting for precious French dyes to arrive and confined to 'rest' due to a silly cold.
Because I was trained in illustration only, I don't really know how to use only one medium to express color, texture, line, depth, etc. Here I used Staedtler color pen and Pelikan gouache palette.
This is not necessarily to be taken as a sign of things to come. It's mostly sharing the process and the prettiness of colors.
Outerwear silhouette inspiration. Early 60s magazine illustration by Coby Whitmore.
There's plenty of wonderful examples of Whitmore's post-war, stylish, melodramatic & inspiring work.
Initially, I had no intention to share this playlist but it's got so many wonderful upbeat tunes, tempered by serene and chill moments... It wouldn't be any fun to just keep it to myself!
There's some of the usual suspects here along with some perennial faves and new discoveries. Mainly, this is intended to be a preview of the albums that will be my companions through the month of August as I toil away the days. All this in preparation of a really cool happening taking place in October. Let's just say I'm going all OUT for it... But while I chip away at the grindstone, nothing transports me like some great music. It soothes my anxieties and de-stresses me unlike anything else.
I know you also work your fingers to the bone, I mean it's how most of us get by these days. But don't forget to do yourself a favor. Treat yourself to some really awesome music and maybe a nice piragüa de frambuesa (puertorrican raspberry sno-cone), or some bourbon butterscotch gelato, or some bing cherry pie. Enjoy them by yourself, or, if you're so lucky, with those special souls who make your heart a little warmer and your smiles a little wider.
Plane Babe by Yuko Yuko
Midsummer Air by Georgian Waters
Give Me Your Love by Gateway Drugs
Let Me Down Gently by La Roux(George FitzGerald Remix)
Strange Attraction by DIANA
Neon Love by Claire
Trust by Sin Cos Tan
The Road I Know by Azure Blue
Across The Sea by The KVB
Lines of Latitude by Small Black ft. Frankie Rose
Edo Method by The Bilinda Butchers
Komorebi by Craft Spells
Last Boss by No Joy
Iroquois by Cemeteries
Reflexions by Xeno & Oaklander
Goon by Brett
Feels Like Love by HTRK
April's Bathroom Bummer by Devonté Hynes
Going Back To Strange by Still Corners
The Best Thing (Electric Youth) by Life Model
Now We Are Sixteen by Thumpers ft. Summer Camp
Hospital Bed (Demo) by Jigsaw Puzzle Glue
Love Stories by Little Daylight
Play it below or access it via this link exclusively.
Playlist cover image: Molly Ringwald portrait by the iconic photographer Sheila Metzner.
A perusal of her site proves how influential and incredible her work has been through out her over 40 year career.
All images by Sheila Metzner
MLVP 2: Maybe Bae Be
This second video playlist is not-so-lil’: it’s brimming with some of my favorite synthy and gazey tunes that just happen to be great for these literally and figuratively torridly steamy days of midsummer.
Like the previous one, feel free to play either in the order I’ve chosen, or, throw caution to the wind and let those randomizing algorithms shake things up for you.
I can vouch to the repeat-worthiness of each and every one of these so having listened to them more times than I care to ennumerate here.
Instructions for use: Scroll down to embedded viewer. Play. Enjoy thoroughly. Repeat.
“Neu Chicago” by Clive Tanaka y su orquesta
“Balance” by Future Islands
“So Smart” by Indoor Voices
“I Never Learn” by Lykke Li
“Pale Moon” by Wymond Miles
“Love Fade” by Tamaryn
“Crazy For You” by Slowdive
“All Of Us” (Beat Connection remix) by Painted Palms
“Baptism” by Crystal Castles
“Wasted Summer” by Stumbleine
“Ocean” by Cousins
“Hunting For Pearls” by Iamamiwhoami
“Half Mast (Slight Return)” by Empire Of The Sun
“Julian” by Say Lou Lou
“Time Is On Our Side” by Azure Blue
“Fight The Vice” by Midnight Echoes
“Les Automates” by College
“Fight The Vice” by Midnight Echoes
“Les Automates” by College
“Pegasus” by Gems
“All The Days” by HAERTS
“Never Let Me Down Again” by Depeche Mode
“In The City” by Chromatics
“Prophecy Theme” by Brian Eno
“88mph” by Teeel
“Not In Love” by Crystal Castles & Robert Smith
“ELLI” by Dirty Beaches
“Cannibalism” by Cloud Cover “
Golden Dreams” by Deux
“April’s Daydream” by Devonté Hynes
“Fine Friend” by Pale Saints
Trouble watching the embedded player above?
You can always play it from here.
If you missed the first MLVP: Check it out here.