This month’s music discovery blog is brought to you by one of our newest Music Supervisors, Pete Greenberg! On his off days, Pete dedicated to his small vinyl release label that celebrates some of the great artists of the Northwest who have released some phenomenal albums. Our playlist is all new and has been handpicked by our entire music team to get your summer officially started!
This month, I selected songs that have caught my ear recently–in the way that great songs just sort of come to you when you’re not really expecting it. Having been a Frightened Rabbit fan for a while, I kept Mastersystem on my radar, and was curious as to how their debut album would distance themselves from their respective associated bands (Frightened Rabbit, The Editors, and Minor Victories). Their track “The Enlightenment” does an excellent job of illustrating a more angular shaping. Hatchie’s “Sugar & Spice” was just one of those songs that once you hear it, it bounces around in your head, pleasantly enough and to the point where multiple listens never seem to dull its shine. As for Commuter’s “Young Hearts,” it’s such a nice moment to be reminded of a song that you haven’t thought of years (decades?) yet loved so much when it first showed up. Might also have something to do with my unabashed love for the Karate Kid movie but, in any case, here you go…
Track: The Enlightment
Mastersystem released their debut album earlier this year and their tune, “The Enlightenment”, is a stand-out track that connects the listener to a driving energy that, as it intensifies, pushes out to a point where it feels like it could all fall apart at any moment. And as the song starts to conclude, the refrain “All is lost, all is lost” is hauntingly shouted over the outro (which is sadly, made all the more poignant by Hutchinson’s sudden and recent passing) leaving behind a mixture of angst, despair, and frustration in its wake. It’s a brooding beast of a song that punches in at just under 3 minutes, demands your attention, and if I’m being honest, has had me air drumming at my desk on more than one occasion.
Track: Sugar & Spice
Hailing from Australia, singer-songwriter, Harriet Pilbeam, better known as the dream-pop act Hatchie, has crafted an amazingly endearing tune with “Sugar & Spice.” Fitting in with the likes of poppier M83 and Cocteau Twins (in fact Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie has already remixed another one of her songs). The song weaves through what feels like summer breezes, and roller-skating afternoons, all the while blending toe-tapping day-dreaming with the rough spots in relationships and where they went wrong. Perfect for sunsets and road trips.
Website: Dave Merenda
Track: Young Hearts
With the renewed interest in the Karate Kid series due to YouTube’s recent smash show Cobra Kai, I found myself reminded of Commuter’s “Young Hearts” and what an enjoyably infectious tune it is. Written by songwriter Dave Merenda (whose writing credits include collaborating on Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”) the song carries itself perfectly with an 8os New Wave synthpop-vibe and positions itself neatly within the likes of Howard Jones, Thompson Twins, and Naked Eyes. There’s an earnestness to this song which is what I think makes it so compelling and I can’t help but wondering if this song should have made a bigger impact than it did when it came out in 1984.