Wild Tonic Monthly Mixer: May 2011
Summer is almost here. I can tell. All the tunes I’ve compiled for May’s mixtape have melodies that are as sticky as we will be this coming season. Plus, that electro touch on a handful of these tracks make a nice cool splash in my music library.
Whereas last month’s mixtape was heavy on the indie rock jams, this round of songs are especially for those who enjoy some major synth candy, along with remixes that either touch on chillwave or call out to the people on the dance floor. Of course, I’ve thrown in some great new local tunes in the bunch as well.
Here’s a quick rundown of the locals who earned a spot on the mixtape:
yOya – Alex Pfender and Noah Dietterich are taking a slightly different approach to “folk-tronica” than Ellie Goulding. They’re going for more intricate and less flashy. I’m a sucker for harmonies in falsetto and yOya pushes all the right buttons when it comes to accenting their guitar-centered songs.
Fol Chen – To this day, I still consider Fol Chen to be one of the most eccentric bands from L.A. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: They’ve stuck with me ever since I saw them perform a cover of Mariah Carey’s “Emotions” at the Echo just after they got signed to Asthmatic Kitty. Their songs always have a fun, playful bounce to them and even after recruiting the very shy singer-songwriter Simone White, their take on the Sufjan Stevens song sounds like something Freezepop could have released in 2006.
Big Black Delta – I’m amazed at how different solo projects can sound from a band’s body of work, and Mellowdrone’s Jonathan Bates continues this trend for me. The first two words in his new moniker seem appropriate with songs such as “Huggin & A Kissin,” because his sound is both dark and marvelous. I saw him perform with his two drummers at the Satellite during the holiday weekend, and I was completely blown away by how much star power the guy had. Big Black Delta is highly recommended for those craving a fresh take on electro-rock.
Skull Tape – This group, who first made my radar because of their cover of Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair,” has finally put out some music (along with another fun music video). If the vocals on “Crop Circle” sounds familiar, it’s because this is the new project of The Mae Shi’s Brad Breeck. He’s still spazzing out, but most importantly, he’s still writing great hooks.
Fool’s Gold – The most eclectic supergroup to recently form in L.A. will return with a new album in August. Although they’ve shed a few members and decided to sing all their songs in English this time around, they’ve still maintained that world music flavor with new track “Street Clothes.” It’s a major jam but “Surprise Hotel” will continue to be up there for me in regards to my favorite summer tracks courtesy of Fool’s Gold.
Love Grenades – Elizabeth Wight looks like the model who broke free from a tasteful, vintage, pin-up poster, and started singing electro-pop tunes with a sultry voice to boot. I have nothing but props to give this woman. She’s one gorgeous gal who knows how to throw a dance party.
Walter Meego – Former Chicagoans are back at it with new album “Wondervalley,” and after seeing them headline the Bootleg this past weekend, I’m wondering why they aren’t bigger than they currently are. Justin Sconza’s got a peculiarly distinct bright tone that darts in and out of the heavy synth lines he concocts – and these electronic components are not for the faint of ear either. Some of the riffs in these Walter Meego songs are a bit out of this world – tempo and rhythmic wise. After taking in a show from these guys, you fall deep in to a synth coma from taking in too much of a good thing.
Grab the latest Wild Tonic mixtape below and enjoy!
- Friendly Fires – Blue Cassette
- yOya – Lovers On
- Fol Chen – I Walk ft. Simone White (Sufjan Stevens Cover)
- Big Black Delta – Huggin= & A Kissin
- Skull Tape – Crop Circles
- Fool’s Gold – Street Clothes
- Other Lives – Tamer Animals
- Ellie Goulding – Heartbeats (The Knife Cover) (Cosmonauts Grechko Edit)
- Love Grenades – Pressure
- Walter Meego – Starlight
- Austra – Lose It (Diamond Rings Remix)
- High Highs – Flowers Bloom
- Asobi Seksu – Perfectly Crystal (Beach Fossils/Spirit Animal Remix)
- Bon Iver – Calgary
- Washed Out – Eyes Be Closed