An artisanal batch of recent tracks that deserves to be heard (and seen). This 3rd hand-picked playlist features recent tunes by trip-hop/electronic collective Massive Attack, reflective singer-songwriter Galapaghost, and soulful electronic pop duo Silk Drops.
Curated by Jen Dan
Massive Attack – “The Spoils” (feat. Hope Sandoval)
(Nearly?) everyone’s favorite trip-hop/electronica group is back after a bit of a hiatus since 2010’s Heligoland album (and remix EP Atlas Air, and a limited edition 12” in 2011). This past January the collective dropped the 4-track Ritual Spirit EP with one song that featured the return of Tricky. The act has been trickling out singles since then; “Come Near Me” feat. Ghostpoet, “Dear Friend”, and “The Spoils” feat. Hope Sandoval.
“The Spoils” received the deluxe cinematic treatment August 9th with the unveiling of a music video directed by Australian director John Hillcoat (The Proposition, The Road, Lawless) that showcases mega-watt actress Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth, Blue Jasmine, Carol) and her manipulated facial likeness.
Massive Attack is in its element on “The Spoils”, stringing out the laid-back, clacking and light thudding beats and enveloping the tune in soft synths diffusion and extended, rising symphonic strings. Sandoval sing-talks in a delicately plaintive, hushed tone the heartbreaking lines, “I don’t really even know her / but I hope that she comforts you tonight.”
Galapaghost – “Science Of Lovers”
Austin, Texas-residing singer-songwriter Casey Chandler records under the interesting moniker Galapaghost and like a wandering spirit, he’s traveled from his native Woodstock, NY to Italy and currently Austin in his musical journey. Chandler sports a degree in music production, has toured Europe and North America with John Grant in 2010 in support of Grant’s album Queen Of Denmark, released debut album Runnin’ in 2012, dropped second record Dandelion in 2013, and has now followed up with his 3rd album, I Never Arrived, this past January.
Lead single “Science Of Lovers” is a contemplative number chock full of Chandler’s signature perceptive lyrics and subdued vocals. A smattering of punched typewriter keys fades out with the introduction of mellifluous acoustic guitar lines and Chandler’s haunting, drawn out vocals. Lightly ticking, wooden percussion, reflective piano notes, a measured beat, and occasional strokes of electric guitar accompany his musings about the hidden nature of relationships. He questions whether it’s better not to know if someone truly loves you or “…is it better to be alone.”
Silk Drop – “Your Paradise”
Bravura beat blender Subaqueous, AKA Isaac Cotec, has joined forces with captivating vocalist Heather Cheraki as Silk Drop, a neo-soul/electro-pop project that twines down-tempo electronics with strands of pop and R&B sonics. The duo has released its debut EP, Traces, August 9th and “Your Paradise” is a standout track, an aural aphrodisiac of slowly bending grooves, globular dropped beats, sharply radiating synths, fluttering percussion, shivering violin strings, and sensual vocals from Cheraki. Paradise, indeed!