Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dance Your Pain Away

Song: Dance Your Pain Away
Artist: Agnetha Fältskog
Album: A

Here's some straight-up Nu Disco that sounds a bit retro for your hump day.  And it comes courtesy from none-other than ABBA legend Agnetha Fältskog, who returns after a nine-year break with her fifth English-language album A.  Fältskog spent eleven extremely successful years with ABBA, and worked on solo career throughout the 80s.  She took a break from music throughout the 90s into the new millenium and has released an odd record here and there since.

Friend and reader Harley points us toward "Dance Your Pain Away," a pretty infectious, if goofy, disco-tinged dance track that I really love.  And when the "Nothing he got nothing he got nothing he got nothing on yooooooouuuuu, on you!" part comes in toward the end, you're unmistakably taken to the wonderful world of inescapable ABBA-esque hooks.  Sublime.  The biggest of it's kind since the very end of Gaga's "Americano," with the "Don't you try to catch me, don't you try to catch me" bit.

Unfortunately, "Dance Your Pain Away" is an anomaly on A, which is comprised almost solely of drippy, Adult Contemporary-with-modern-production ballads, that admittedly are part of Fältskog bread and butter.  I get it, but the thought of a former ABBA member bringing a full album of "Dance Your Pain Away's" in her early 60s would be quite noteworthy... and straight up enjoyable.  Oh well, this one will just be on repeat.


Dance Your Pain Away

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Song: Drew
Artist: Goldfrapp
Album: Tales of Us

With each new album, Goldfrapp expand what will be their legacy; a string of cohesive albums that each have their own unique sound and mood, all within the range of really pretty good to jaw-drop amazing.  From the trip-hop of their debut Felt Mountain, to the hard electro of Supernature, onto the psychedelic folk-tronica of Seventh Tree and the 80s revivalism of Head First.  But what to make of their latest, sixth album Tales of Us... it's certainly cohesive like their past work, but also their most downbeat... making Seventh Tree feel like Supernature in tempo.  Seriously, that's how slow it is.

Like Bjork's Vespertine, Tales of Us comes after mostly beat-driven works as a bit of a WTF? girl.  I'm still in the WTF stage at this point, but my hope is that the charms of Tales of Us begin to shine through the haze of unmet expectations and confusion the way they did with Vespertine, which I consider one of Bjork's best records.

Truth be told though, Tales of Us is even more of a departure, an album for early winter mornings, piano-based ballads and light acoustic guitar accompany story-songs, each named as a single name ("Drew," "Anabel," "Thea," etc. except track eight, which is simply "Stranger.")   Their trademark electronic production really only comes into play with middle track "Thea."  Who are these people?  What "tales" are being told here?  This begs for true sit-down lyrics-in-hand listen.  I haven't done that yet, and I'm currently just a couple clicks above "meh" at this point.  Things can change.

But Goldfrapp have given me too much joy not to spend the time with this.  It's a mood record, but they are songwriters at heart, and I have a feeling these songs have more layers to reveal.  There's a lot of things Tales of Us is not... but it is gorgeous.  Something Goldfrapp have never stopped being.


Tales of Us Preview

Monday, July 29, 2013

Ralph Macchio

Song: Ralph Macchio
Artist: Annie
Album: The A&R EP

Just a couple months ago we got a new Annie single out of nowhere, with rumours of a possible new album, or a new EP in the future.  Well, after the Xenomania-produced stand-alone single, Annie has teamed up with one of her best collaborators Richard X... and they've made a full five-track EP called The A&R EP. (get it?)

And, it's really really bloody fantastic.

I've been enjoying new track "Hold On" for a couple weeks now, but the full EP was just released on iTunes in the UK (Avail in US on Aug. 4th) early this AM and it boasts five absolutely killer songs.  My only complaint is that it's not a full album... but I'll stop complaining, because this is that good.

"Back Together" and "Hold On" remind me of material from her debut Anniemal, hovering around the space of her crowning achievement "Heartbeat."  "Ralph Macchio" is goofy, bubbly brilliance with a cute 80s reference that might help the song, and Annie, get some much-needed extra attention.  Finally "Invisible" and "Mixed Emotions" push things a bit further musically... all I want it more.

None of these tracks are on Spotify yet, but in the meantime you can check out the below WeCast Annie Playlist, the new tracks will be added when available.

Enjoy.  I certainly am.

Ralph Macchio
Hold On

Friday, July 26, 2013

Could You Be Loved (RAC Remix)

Song: Could You Be Loved (RAC Remix)
Artist: Bob Marley & The Wailers
Album: Legend Remixed

A remix album can go very wrong, very very quickly, and when it comes to remixing a "legend's" songs, and especially their biggest songs, it's bound to go South... but in a nice turn of events, the new Bob Marley compilation Legend Remixed get's it right for the most part.  Rejoice!

Produced by Ziggy Marley, Stephen Marley, and Jason Bentley, the album takes a slew of top-quality remixers and gives them Bob's biggest material to re-work in their style.  It's mostly cohesive, and feels like a lot of thought, and love, was put into the end result.

WeCast remix favorites found here include RAC, Thievery Corporation, Photek, and Beats Antique.  Z-Trip, Bright Lights, and Jim James also appear, but it's the Ziggy Marley & Stephen Marley mixes that make the majority, along with Bentley, that also adds to its cohesive nature.  I marvel how easily it could have gone off the rails.

The secret no doubt is that there aren't any way left field reworks here.  The originals are highly respected, so if you're a Bob fan, and enjoy remixes, this has the possibility of being a home run for ya.

Mostly though... when you're taking some of the best songs that have ever been written as your base, it's hard to really fuck it up.  That said, there are some unfortunate uses of Dubstep, (Stephen!) and Roni Size, who is given "I Shot the Sheriff," uses his trademark drum and bass style that sounds as dated as it did... ten years ago.

All in all though, this is a solid collection of good remixes to amazing, classic song.


Could You Be Loved (RAC Remix)
Buffalo Soldier (Stephen Marley Remix)
Album Preview

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Throw

Song: The Throw
Artist: Jagwar Ma
Album: Howlin

Friend and reader Melanie introduced me to this AMAZING new album you need to hear at once.

Jagwar Ma are a rock three-piece from Sydney, Australia and Howlin is their debut that was released earlier this year.  It's a mix of Girl Group-ish/Beach Boys harmonies, electronic beats, irresistible grooves, and a slight Brit "Madchester"sound.  It's a touch psychedelic, and balances an old-and-new sound rather remarkably.  Listen to this!

This record, like yesterday's highlighted album Pollen by Wave Machines, was one that slowly creeped into my consciousness.  The record sounded good, and I was putting it in the day's playlist day-after-day for a while.  The melodies grabbed hold, the transcendental grooves washed over me... sold.  I realize though that I don't know these tracks by song names just yet.


The Throw
Come Save Me
Man I Need

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ill Fit

Song: Ill Fit
Artist: Wave Machines
Album: Pollen

While there isn't anything as attention-grabbing and pop as "I Go I Go I Go" from their debut album, I've been digging Wave Machines' follow-up, Pollen that was released earlier this year quite a bit.  It's been a slow build for me, an odd, experimental record that has the band experimenting with many layers, spacy sounds, etc. Pollen gives me a little of Yeasayer.

Nothing jumps out initially, but this was one I just kept putting on and listening to, and its charms slowly revealed themselves.  First single "Ill Fit" is probably the catchiest, and yet also fits in (irony!) with the rest of the album.  Give it a chance.


Ill Fit
I Hold Loneliness
Counting Birds

Monday, July 22, 2013

I Won't Be Long

Song: I Won't Be Long
Artist: Beck
Album: I Won't Be Long

I didn't realize it had already been over five years since our last Beck record, '08's Modern Guilt, which is incidentally, the longest he's waited in-between albums.  But it was also the end of his contract with Geffen, and his first time he was out of being under a contract since he was 20... some seventeen years.  So I suppose the break was totally deserved.  Regardless, the man is back... and I'm quite excited.

Beck plans to release two album sometime this year, a One Foot in the Grave-style "self-contained" acoustic record, as well as true follow-up to Modern Guilt.  In the meantime, he's dropped two stand-alone singles.  "Defriended," a vaguely psychedelic, experimental track came out in mid-June, and earlier this month saw the release of "I Won't Be Long," a more straight-forward, groovy, and airy track.

"Defriended" didn't do much for me to be honest, but "I Won't Be Long" quickly got under my skin, and I was reminded just how much I loved this man's music... and missed it.  And then he released a fourteen-plus minute "extended" version of the song... epic.  SOLD.

No news about these albums or if these tracks fit anywhere in them.  So we'll have to wait.  In the meantime, check out this Beck playlist of WeCast's favorite tracks:


I Won't Be Long

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Right Action

Song: Right Action
Artist: Franz Ferdinand
Album: Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions

One of my favorite bands returns, after quite a long break in between records!

Scotland's Franz Ferdinand have just announced the release of their upcoming fourth album; Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions on August 27th.  They've just released two tracks from the album as promo; "Right Action" and "Love Illumination."

Both new tracks pop with that good 'ol Franz charm, and while neither join the heights of "Take Me Out" or "Do You Want To?," having them back just sounds so right.  I think I need a bit more time with them.


Right Action
Love Illumination

Monday, July 01, 2013

It's You

Song: It's You
Artist: Duck Sauce
Album: It's You (single)

Another infectious track from the NYC-based DJ duo Duck Sauce, AKA Armand Van Helden & A-Trak.  They're three-for-three with their last A-Sides, "Barbara Streisand," "Big Bad Wolf," and now this.

"Wolf" was best known for its outrageous music video. (see below) The video for the bouncy "It's You" goes less outrageous and more "fun."  You could almost describe it as "cute."

I've read of no plans for a full-length album, but it seems unlikely or at least a long way off given their non-prolific single-release history.  No matter... they keep breaking these fun little gems out they'll be all good in my book.


It's You
Big Bad Wolf
Barbara Streisand