A Quick Word from the Authors:
Can you imagine the Grammys being your sole reference for all that happened in music during 2013? Well, no, neither can we – although it does provide a decent snapshot of the radio stations' top trends. If you turned on CBS last Sunday night after a year of slumber, you'd be convinced to believe that disco is coming back, hip hop has finally lost the long-fought battle of severing itself from pop, and just like the scientific evidence that females are developing at an alarmingly younger rate, 17 year olds can seemingly rule the world.
But let's take a step back and look at what they ignored: the fall of dubstep within the mainstream, the rise of popularity within progressive EDM in every facet of music, and maybe most importantly, the fact that major labels are being challenged by independently represented artists who are now capable of overtaking the market share. Subtext: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis going the label-less DIY route while raising a hypothetical middle finger at all the haters. (We just made up this imagery; so don't take to Twitter to heckle them about our irreverent POVs.)
So how does this affect us indie darlings? Well let's just picture the musical landscape as earth, and all the millions of songs like snowflakes – which, while all original, are all also struggling to stand out from the masses. Indie is scapegoat of differentiation, individuality and bucking the trends of yore – and oftentimes the least recognized. And I guess that's where little blogs like ours act as their safety nets, transporting these precious tracks down the roads less traveled, and into the speakers of readers like you.
Which brings us to the news you've all been waiting for as we vented the above, very much paraphrased version of "life's not fair!" The mysterious Burial has finally revealed a selfie providing everyone with visual evidence that he is actually a human being and not an android being controlled by artists such as Four Tet, etc. Lorde also makes the cut (God, we're so mainstream) covering James Blake's standout 2013 track "Retrograde" at a homecoming show in New Zealand. Lastly, everyone's favorite emotional mastermind Elliot Smith makes an appearance as some new EDM-esque tracks surfaced – after lying dormant since their creation right around Y2K.
Now for the beautiful musical snowflakes that we have so skillfully and gently caught for you this glorious winter's day.
- Aaron Thomas & Anna Murphy
The Bees Knees
We don't make you work to separate the milk from the cream
The Tryptophan: Blood Orange - "On The Line" (Star Slinger Edit)
The Kindle: Lincoln Jesser - "Certainty"
The Pasture: BANKS - "BRAIN" (Prod. by Shlohmo)
The Indie Gift Basket
- The Pasture Less is more -- slow-churned nights need a soundtrack too, and relaxation is underrated.
- The Kindle represents a peak of accessibility where the masses will be drawn to the raw energy exposed throughout.
- Lastly, in The Tryptophan indie gets plugged. What ups the ante more than experimental electronics and synths?
Drawing from hushed textures the intersection between folk and translucent melodies can surprisingly be seamlessly navigated. So kick back, chill out or fall asleep – but be sure to stream the easy-going tracks below for the epitome of mellow. Highlights from Mikky Ekko and Banks.