About a month ago I decided to try a little project. I contacted some of my favorite blogs and artists and asked them if they would submit a song for a mixtape. There were two rules:
1. It had to be their favorite song of the past few months.
2. I had to be able to make it available for download.
The response from everyone was both immediate, and enthusiastic, and as the submissions came in, I can honestly say even the high expectations I had were blown away. I’ve been listening to it on repeat for about a week and am still stunned by the quality and cohesiveness of it. It’s become the soundtrack to my summer.
A little aside on the artists and bloggers who contributed to this:
Each one of these people spends time and effort to make sure that everything they put out is of the highest quality. Never compromising in their goal to be the best at what they do.
For the bloggers this means they don’t just throw mp3 after mp3 at you in the hopes that one hits, but treat each post with the dignity the artists they are representing deserve. They sacrifice their time to ensure that they bring the very best that they can find everyday, with little to no reward other than knowing they are bringing attention to artists that they love. I would recommend you check everyone of them out, as I do everyday.
For the artists it means they’re out there everyday, Never resting, constantly driven, hustling to be the best at what they do, and succeeding admirably in that goal. Please visit their website/bandcamp and take full advantage of the music they have to offer!
So there’s that.
This was so much fun, and the result is just so good, I plan to make this a seasonal event. Which probably excites me even more than you, as getting my favorite bloggers to make me a mixtape I can put on blast for each upcoming season excites me whether anyone else in the world downloads it or not.
I’d also like to add a very special thanks to Mack Slevin of Flashing Red Lights who created the artwork, Adam of Incubator(US)/Rraaiillss for allowing me to premiere the first song off his upcoming record on this mixtape, Teen Daze for allowing me to include “Driving Home From The Beach (The Feeling Of)”, and my beautiful, intelligent, ever patient editor Lori (because in the end, all mixtapes should be made with a member of the opposite sex in mind).
So please, enjoy, and spread around these tracks however you’d like. If you repost them, I’d appreciate it if you take they time to point out the blog, or artist that submitted them.
Now, I am proud to present:
We Get By… With A Little Help
1. Houses “Endless Spring” Selected By Teen Daze
I first heard this track on a mix that my friend Dave, over at Stadiums and Shrines, made called “Random Rainbow Vol. 2”. I was honored to have one of my tracks featured, considering how much amazing music I was surrounded by. This mix exposed me to Baths, Blue Hawaii, Neon Canyon, Foxes in Fiction and one of my new favourites, Houses. “Endless Spring” had me completely hooked; the production quality had the exact vibe that I’ve been trying to get with my Teen Daze stuff. A hazy, sun-drenched feel, with nothing but good vibes.
~ Teen Daze
2. Pao Pao (Feat. Prizes) “Liberia” Selected By The Road Goes Ever On
From the newly established Double Denim Records comes a brilliant split between Blackbird Blackbird and Paopao. Among the tracks on the record is Paopao’s “Liberia,” a lush gem with the voice of Hari Ashurst of Prizes gently layered on top of the pulsating, airy synths below. Pre-order the 7” from Double Denim here.
~ The Road Goes Ever On
3. Coma Cinema “Only” Selected By Dylan Of Kumon Plaza
Mat Cothran is a genius. He’s a great friend, a great musician, a great label owner, and he really deserves the best.
It was difficult for me to choose a song for this mixtape, but I knew right from the start it had to be a track off the recently released Coma Cinema album, “Stoned Alone”. I’ve had this album on repeat lately, and I highly recommend everyone out there give it a chance. It leaves me deep in thought and I feel as though I can really connect with Mat through his minimalistic style, and emotional lyrics.
“Only” is one of the tracks off the album that has really stuck with me. After a long day, I always find myself coming back to this perfect track, and it seems to fit my mood perfectly every time.
~ Dylan Of Kumon Plaza
4. Pandit “Artichoke” Selected By Life Aquatic
Pandit gifts the world with this smooth tropical wonder. Consisting of oft incomprehensible vocals that seem to reverberate everywhere accompanied by a multitude delayed guitar samples and a drum beat that sounds slightly out of place but gives the track a driving momentum.
~ Life Aquatic
5. Indian Jewelry “Excessive Moonlight” Selected By Adam Of Incubator(US)/Rraaiillss
If you’re currently shopping for a band to soundtrack your next vision quest - let me turn you onto Indian Jewelry. My pick for this mix is “Excessive Moonlight” from their latest release entitled “Totaled”. This is the song I’d want to play on repeat if ever I found myself wandering through the Mojave at night.
~ Adam Of Rraaiillss/Incubator(US)
6. Nightlands “Suzerin (A Letter To The Judge)” Selected By Head Underwater
I wish I could say this was my original find but it is not. My blog-bru Mark of yvynyl, was given this album from his friend, a Philly resident and journeyman bassist Dave Hartley. Nightlands is a solo project of Dave’s.
Upon the first 30 seconds of listening I thought of Kurt Vile/Panda Bear, then when the powerful self-harmonizing vocals came in CSNY came to mind. At this point the goosebumps have started covering my body. This is one of the more liberating things I’ve listened to in a long time. I am so stoked on this album. I really can’t recommend listening to this song enough. If you’re hooked I suggest even more that you listen and buy his entire album over on bandcamp, http://nightlands.bandcamp.com/. He’s asking for $5 for it but I gladly paid $10 for this amazing album. It has easily perched its self into my list of top albums of this year.
~ Head Underwater
7. Lord Huron “The Problem With Your Daughter” Selected By Rollo And Grady
Lord Huron = Fleet Foxes with a pulse.
~ Rollo And Grady
8. Keep Shelly In Athens “Cremona Memories” Selected By Boy Attractions
Beaches, warm weather, summer sunsets: these are all things I think of when listening to Keep Shelly in Athens. They’re an up-and-coming band from Athens, Greece, and for fans of jj, Air France, or practically any act on Sincerely Yours, this is right up your alley. Put this on your iPod and blast it full volume while driving: it’s magical.
~ Boy Attractions
9. Incubator(US) “Blanket Fort” Selected By Dead As Digital
I twist deeper into my sleeping bag, and reach to turn on my flashlight. As it sputters and shines, I catch the light and turn it to shine through some old slides I found in the attic, projecting the images onto the blanket ceiling. As my eyes slowly drift shut, I drag them back open, determined to have the picture projected above as the last thing I see. A picture of a kid on a bicycle, with a smile lighting his face.
In my dreams, I want that kid to be me.
I rest my hand against my couch cushion walls, and feel their safety pulse through my body, and fall asleep with this picture in my mind, and this song in my ears. Reviving flat lining memories by beauty alone.
This is the first track of Incubator’s upcoming record, and after hearing this, I remain convinced it will be one of my top releases of the year.
~ Dead As Digital
10. Everybody Yay “Knowing” Selected By Katie Pierce
The sounds these two young guys from Richmond, VA create seriously blow my mind. A mixture of Animal Collective and Yeasayer, a little pot, a little acid. I cannot give these guys enough kudos for their efforts.
~ Katie Pierce (Of Jack In The Pocket, And Heavy Percussion)
11. Gobble Gobble “Cat Eggs” Selected By Smoke Don’t Smoke
Cat Eggs is abrupt, glitchy, and honestly and “demonic” as Cecil Frena puts it. Seems a lot of bands are getting better and better with time, and GOBBLE GOBBLE is no exception. Cecil comes from a line of hardcore bands, and this track displays that and the romantic “get to know you” feel that his album Neon Graves has. This song instantly connected with me I think because the artist is accessible, and more importantly has decided to make music within community. The ultimate gift.
~ Smoke Don’t Smoke
12. Weed “Quilt” Selected By Stadiums And Shrines
“Quilt” hit me faster than anything has in a long time. The song is a classic build-up and blow-up, but the rare kind that goes for it all in one fit, and somehow comes out alive. I can’t stop reliving these fives minutes, feeling a tower of fuzz hopelessly collapse. It’s a missed train flying by your fuck-it moment of acceptance, a montage of family vacations on fast forward, a sprint from the cops – high on fear and smirking adrenaline. Simply evoking, and addicting.
~ Stadiums And Shrines
13. Teen Daze “Driving Home From The Beach (The Feeling Of) Selected By Mikey of Blackbird Blackbird
Perfect for any time, night or day, teen daze continues to provide us hungry listeners with another relaxing, dreamy, and sunny pop gem.
~ Mikey Of Blackbird Blackbird
From All Of Us, With Love, To You.