WARMER MIXTAPES #486 | by Andrew Clark [Future Trends]
1. Harold Budd/Brian Eno | An Arc Of Doves
A few years ago my friend Isaac put some music on my iPod, exposing me to many artists I had never heard of. One of these was Brian Eno. He shared with me the album Music For Airports. I was captured by his ability to tell a whole story with just a few notes on the piano, this opened me to a completely new style of music. From there I found another album by Brian Eno, The Plateaux Of Mirror, that he did with Harold Budd. It is a beautiful painting of orchestrated compositions that take you somewhere else. This song gives the best representation of the album as a whole.
2. Empire Of The Sun | Without You
Empire Of The Sun is one of my favorite groups playing music right now. They perfectly blend the refined and tailored structure of timeless Pop hits with the over indulgent glamour of 80's Music. They remind me of movies I grew up watching like, The Neverending Story, Legend, and The Princess Bride. Ones that have crazy fantastic stories but are mostly just ridiculous, in the best way. This song is a real gem.
3. M83 | Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun
Before The Dawn Heals Us was one the first albums I was exposed to during high school. I grew up fascinated by Space and Science Fiction, a lot of which came from reading Orson Scott Card books such as Ender's Game and C. S. Lewis' Out Of The Silent Planet. But this album hits home in every way for me, it moves as one orchestrated piece that takes each listener on a unique adventure through wonder, beauty, and chaos. I remember listening to this song for the first time while driving home in a thunder storm. I could barely see the road but this song was so beautiful I didn't care.
4. Nat King Cole | Paradise
If there is a voice that I could listen to for the rest of time it would be Nat King Cole. He carries such character and personality in his voice that he could sing without any music and you would feel like an orchestra was playing. But this dark and seductive song shows off the beauty of both his voice and the accompanying arrangement. I first heard this song while listening to The Nat King Cole Story on vinyl at my parents house in Cincinnati. I then asked my dad why he had never showed me this stuff before. He was holding out on me.
5. MGMT | Congratulations
I really enjoyed listening to this album because it felt like all the pressure from wanting people to like your music and trying to make something that people would take seriously was removed and they just wrote an album they wanted to listen to. In that vein this song gives a nice glimpse into their thoughts on being a band, and closes the album.
6. Sufjan Stevens | Age Of Adz
This song is epic in every aspect. From the soaring choirs to the trumpeting keyboards it gives an explosion of sound to the vision that Sufjan is sharing. I love the blend of Electronic Music with orchestra arrangements creating a composition that is simply Experimental. It delivers chaos and beauty side by side in an unfiltered fashion.
7. David Bowie | China Girl
David Bowie has written so many great songs, but this is one of my favorites. With its mixture of funky walking bass lines and flashy guitars it just feels so good. I didn't listen to any David Bowie until recently my friend let me borrow his Platinum Collection. I don't know why it took so long, but it ended up being the perfect time to hear him. There is just a timeless feeling to his music that makes it seem as though he wrote the songs this year.
8. Air | Ce Matin-Là
Air is a bands that never disappoints you. No matter what mood you are in they are able to bring you under the spell of their timeless undefinable music. Most of the music they write ends up being instrumental, but that term ends up having a great deal of baggage attached to it, so I think it is better to describe it as a soundtrack to Life. You never need any context as to where you are in this story they are writing, you just enjoy the scene they have placed you in. This song is a perfect example of that.
9. Mew | Saviours Of Jazz Ballet (Fear Me, December)
Mew has a hugeness that is hard to capture in recordings. They are one of the few bands I have been able to see live. I saw them play at the Pitchfork Music Festival a few years ago and their performance overwhelmed me in every way. It was one of the loudest shows I have ever seen, and everyone in the band was so good at what they were playing. This song shows a little taste of the enormous sound that Mew delivers.
10. Ray Noble & His Orchestra | The Very Thought Of You (with Al Bowlly)
I found the music of Ray Noble through downloading the soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. And with a little more digging I ended up find this lovely tune. This song takes you back in time with the warm swing of young love and childlike endearment. You can't seem to remember anything but the very best of every girl you were ever infatuated with as a child. But more than that it displays a way of writing songs that has a loose fluidity to it that allows you to listen to it over and over without losing any charm.