WARMER MIXTAPES #322 | by Aaron Hodges of Holy Spirits
1. The Microphones | Mt. Eeire
I've been listening to this album, The Microphones' final one before switching over to the Mount Eerie moniker, very frequently for the past year. It has been my go to record for when I am trying to fall asleep. I study it. I'm in awe of it. It's a wondrous masterpiece. Generally, I don't like to skip around the album much because I don't think it works so well that way, but I do jump ahead to this one pretty often. The lyrics are so palpable and beautiful, at times fun while still being daringly poetic and apocalyptic. The music, as a piece, is a shape shifting beast that keeps you on your toes. The song blooms and changes very distinctly four times over until the sound of static becomes rain and, before you know it, you've drifted away to meet the Universe. Phil Elvrum always impresses me with how he does whatever the hell he wants with a song and makes it work fantastically.
2. Scott Walker | Farmer In The City
I got into Scott Walker a little while ago because I watched the recent documentary on him, which is worth watching. This song is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard. Ever! The glorious heights to which he takes the strings and his singing is devastating. I've not much else to say about Farmer In The City. It's perfect.
3. Angels Of Light | All Souls' Rising
This song is just bad ass and if it were an animal it would fuck you up into pieces. Michael Gira's vocal delivery and layering of hoots and howls is a dark shadow thrashing about on your bedroom wall, slowly gaining in dimension. There is something tortured and creature-like about the character he seems to inhabit in this track. I love the track's fearlessness in utilizing repetition to build focused intention. This is kind of a tie between Kosinski (also from the same album by Angels Of Light), but I had to go with this one. Is that a harmonica with tablas? Yep!
4. Chad VanGaalen | After The Afterlife
This song triggers in me the feeling of wanting so badly to be with someone and adoring them but knowing that it will never work out. That is a deep, aching and melancholic feeling and one that is complex and difficult to move past. The track has a lovely outro that I find very creative. Also a beautiful recording job by Chad VanGaalen himself. Very warm with a really nice drum sound.
5. David Bowie | Always Crashing In The Same Car
Of course we're all told that Davie Bowie is the man. But, it took me some time to realize this. I didn't start really delving into his catalogue until about a year and a half ago. This song is sexy and strange. The odd lyric refrain (always crashing in the same car) somehow makes sense as a kind of unshakeable déjà vu where life's disappointments seem to keep repeating themselves. I feel weird when I listen to this song. I'm not sure if I like the weird feeling it gives me, but I certainly am impressed by it.
6. Destroyer | Bay Of Pigs
The first time I heard Destroyer was at a house party when I was 21. The wonderful Notorious Lightning was playing. I was talking to someone and then they said excuse me but I love this song and I have to go sing it. That person walked away and I followed them and found that all these people were sliding themselves up against the wall in a hallway, bracing themselves up above the floor by pressing their backs against one wall and extending their feet out onto the other. They were all triumphantly singing the ending chorus and being really absurd. I was smitten. Anyway, this song is so cool and fun! Destroyer is fucking sleek on this track. I love the way the song wanders into a kind of enchanted discotheque sparkle-spa, all the while you're not sure where the lyrics are taking you but you know you like them (whatever the hell they're about). The construction of this song is so exciting. I get jealous thinking of how fun it must be to make whatever you want in the way that Dan Bejar has with this track.
7. The Venus in Furs | 2HB (feat. Thom Yorke) (Roxy Music Cover)
This has been a favorite song/cover of mine for a long time but I just keep listening to it still. I will confess that I prefer listening to this version over the original Roxy Music version. Sorry guys. I think this is some of Thom Yorke's most elegant singing. Maybe it's cause he is taking on something not his own, but whatever it is it works great. I don't remember when I first heard this song but I remember thinking that the drums were so great and dynamic. I'm impressed with how this song can take an instrumental break from it's initial hook and still successfully find it's way back to the beginning of the song and finish it off so splendidly. Again, the ever changing drum work in this track is god damn awesome. Words don't express my meaning, notes cannot spell out the score. You said it Bryan Ferry.
8. Townes Van Zandt | Be Here To Love Me
The slide guitar and the flute are what make this song for me (besides Townes singing). This is a fun song. There's a real coziness to it. I love Townes Van Zandt and I like to think of this as one of his best songs. He can really shine without his sadness if he wants to. Yet, singing just hold me and tell me you'll be here to love me today sometimes gives me a note of that sadness. Perhaps love was never enough for Townes.
9. Gil-Scott Heron | New York Is Killing Me
Gil please quit smoking crack all the time so that you can get better and keep making great stuff like this. New York is not killing you, crack is, dude! I heard Gil a few years ago but his importance didn't click with me at the time. As for many people my age, this record opened the door and I've since rediscovered his older work. On this track - really interesting contemporary electronic production pared with an aged and traditional bluesy kind of delivery. Such a wonderful combination. Hear those looming synth keys in the background once the females really start joining in on the chorus? They're kind of scary. There's a formidable quality to this song that I find complex and interesting.
10. Fennesz | Transit (with David Sylvian)
Whoa. Such great sounds on this one! And David Sylvian could put The Hulk to sleep with his golden voice. I love the changes that Fennesz takes you through all just with clicks and hiss, space, tone and charged air. There is a kind of sonic aggression to this song, while the lyrics somehow are gentlemanly and delicately considered. The whole thing is so fantastically calculated. How'd they do it? A very engaging and interesting collaboration.