It’s that time of year again. It’s freezing outside, and you’re wishing you still lived on the West Coast — or that you had more money in the bank to start planning a warm weather getaway. Plus, the ever-present Fashion Week (read: month) is looming around the corner. You are not a happy camper. Put those chirpy feel-good songs on the back burner until summer and give in to absolute depression and introspection. These dark gems on this week’s playlist will warm your little black heart and give you something to think about other than seating assignments and RSVPs.
1. “Chase the Tear” by Portishead (above)
Portishead released “Chase the Tear” in December to benefit Amnesty International in support of International Human Rights Day. It’s moody and full of deep synth pop. Great song for a great cause.
2. “Your Powers are Magic” by Apache Beat
The most recent single from Apache Beat, “Your Powers Are Magic,” is chanty, moody and a perfect vehicle to show off lead singer Ilirjana Alushaj‘s sexy, some would even say banshee-like vocals. Definitely check out their live show next week at Glasslands in Williamsburg with Telepathe and Boy Crisis. Join me at the show and RSVP here!
3. “Frost” by Salem
By far the gothiest of this bunch and one of my new favorite bands; this song fronted by female member Heather Marlot is a perfect mix of her haunting vocals and snare haziness. She was also at their live show and was the hottest thing with a dangling cigarette for 50 miles, and that’s saying a lot for Williamsburg.
4. “Islands” by The xx
Everyone loves The xx. Crystalised was the big hit of 2009 and the album and single seemed to be on everyone’s Best of 2009 lists. Islands is my favorite song on the album, following the same formula with interchanging boy and girl vocals that meet up for a beautiful duet during the chorus.
5. “I Remember” by Yeasayer
Yeasayer’s new album Odd Blood is due out next month and “I Remember” is one of my favorite tracks from the new disc. It’s slightly more upbeat than the rest of these songs but still goes with the flow of the playlist and allows me to mention that Chris from Yeasayer will be our guest DJ on January 28 when our weekly party Whipped at Butter returns.
6. “Shallowtears” by Light Asylum
I just recently found out about this Brooklyn duo and have since seen them perform live twice… in one week. Lead singer Shannon Funchess‘ deep voice and wide vocal range mixes perfectly with Bruno Coviello‘s genius electronic instrumentation.
7. “We Want War” by These New Puritans
Hedi Slimane tapped these post-punkers to do the music for his Fall 2007 Dior Homme runway show, and their debut made the rounds among the fashion crowd. “We Want War” is from their new album Hidden and includes choral chanting, drum work that sounds like marching, and the sounds of knives sharpening.
8. “Colouring of Pigeons” by The Knife
The lead “single” from The Knife’s new album Tomorrow, In a Year is an 11 minute operatic piece of amazingness. The studio album which comes out in February after the duo perform their new opera live in Europe is influenced by Charles Darwin’s, “The Origin of Species.”
Matt Kays is a fashion publicist at Seventh House in New York representing such brands as Charlotte Ronson, Benjamin Cho, Erickson Beamon, and Issa. He is also one half of the DJ duo matt+maia with Maia Wojcik. Their Thursday night party, Whipped at Butter, which won the Paper Magazine Nightlife Award for “Best New Party” starts back up next Thursday, January 28, with special guest deejay Yeasayer.