Matisyahu, “Live Like a Warrior” (Tune In Crew Remix)
The way this remix adds atmospherics to an otherwise straight ahead dance/pop song is tasteful and doesn’t overwhelm the essence of what Matisyahu intended. I’m not much of a fan of his music, but I’m just lovin’ “Live Like a Warrior” remixed by the Tune In Crew. Sometimes remixes have a tendency to strip away the elements that make a song shine – leaving only a dense soundscape of audio textures. The Tune In Crew keeps things melodic, and kind of cinematic, as they build in the parts to give “Live Like a Warrior” a weightiness that’s not present in the original.
Tess Henley, “Daydreaming”
Tess Henley is a Seattle singer/songwriter who has a real lush R&B song on her hands. The arrangement of “Daydreaming” has echoes of Corinne Bailey Rae’s music, but Henley’s voice has more depth and she doesn’t resort to arpeggiated vocal gymnastics to prove her chops. Rather, she sings it straight and lets the emotion of the song flow from her soul — rather than adorning her vocals with calculated embellishments that suggest the singer is more in love with her voice than the object of her affection in the song. “Daydreaming” is doing very well on iTunes and Henley is carving out a substantial fan base in Japan. So, it won’t take much of a push for Tess Henley to go from “Seattle singer/songwriter” to star in short order.
I’ve been reading books about sound recording, and one of the things that’s missing in many of today’s music is space. Volume levels are pushed to the clipping point, layers of ProTools plugins are used to “sweeten” the mix, and because we’re talking about computers here, there’s a kind of sterility to the overall experience. Well, here comes Falling Off Maps — a British band formed in 2009 in Nottingham. These guys took their time with their music, and it certainly shows in “The Redeemer.” The song builds on a rather nice acoustic guitar riff and transitions into an uptempo, but sort of dreamy number that hooked me right away because they seemed to shun modern recording techniques in favor of giving the song space to breathe.
From first listen, you’d never guess that M8ME are from Russia. Their sound has a very contemporary American alternative rock vibe, and because their native accents aren’t even present on “Forever,” you may mistake them for a North American group. However, let’s set all that aside and focus on the music. “Forever” is alt rock pop to its core. There’s nothing on this song that you wouldn’t hear on alternative rock stations nowadays — and that’s not a criticism! Rather the execution of the song, the production, and the lyrics all point to a much more established sound than what this is from the band: their debut effort.