An Ode to Leap Years (& Laneway Festival) [SotW Feb 2016]
Earlier, I envisaged starting this post by wishing everybody a happy leap year. Then I scrapped the idea. It seemed like a strange entrance, especially given my ignorance around its principle, purpose and place.
All I know is that an extra leap day happens every four years and is undoubtedly one of the strangest days in the Gregorian calendar. Yet, it’s for this very reason I find myself appreciating it so.
A leap day is a scarce commodity, as infrequent as the World Cup, Olympics, many democratic elections. It’s not a retail scheme to get us to spend more money. It’s not a day with a political agenda. Nor is it redundant. It simply is. And what could be better than that?
Flume headlining the 2016 Laneway Festival in Melbourne [Picture: Laneway Festival Facebook]
LCD Soundsystem – Christmas Will Break Your Heart
They’re back! LCD Soundsystem are back!! Their (slightly belated) Christmas present to the world was this great single and the announcement of a new album. It was one of the best pieces of news I’d heard in awhile and certainly one of the best ways to usher in 2016.
And oh how I’ve missed you; like the warm caress of a lover you haven’t seen for months, the hues of a crimson sun setting over a tranquil beach, the taste of an ice-cold cider passing over parched lips during an afternoon festival session; I’ve missed you. Welcome back James Murphy and co.
Thundercat – Them Changes
If I still wrote events down on a paper calendar, I would’ve circled Sat 13th Feb in bright red marker pen. Like a kid waiting up for Santa, I was giddy with excitement for this year’s Laneway Festival, an annual festival with humble origins now being held in major cities across Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
For the Melbourne edition, the organizers practically closed down Footscray, where four stages were erected and an eclectic lineup belted out some great sets; I particularly enjoyed Flume and Grimes.
Earlier in the day, Thundercat played an awesome set. Behind the backdrop of a sun-drenched, late-afternoon twilight, the virtuoso bassist played a mixture of funk and jazz, showing off his mad, much sought-after skills that have brought him to prominence, like guest spots on Kendrick Lamar’s acclaimed To Pimp a Butterfly and Kamasi Washington’s anomalous The Epic. He appears destined for big things.
Hot Chip – Need You Now
Sharing the same name as Cut Copy’s catchy song (on 2010’s Zonoscope), Hot Chip have served up a delightful tune off their latest album. When I first took the time to listen to this album the other day, I asked myself why it took so long. I’ve always liked Hot Chip, ever since their “Over and Over” and “Ready for the Floor” days. “Flutes” was another amazing track and this is up there in terms of melody and enjoyment. Hope you think the same.
Death Cab For Yeezy – New Workout Plan//Title and Registration
Strewn beneath the rubble of craziness that is Kanye West; his crumbling empire of excess and egregious egotistical self-jingoism only Donald Trump could surpass; the overblown album Life of Pablo, in which he compares himself and his reality TV wife to Mary and Joseph and forces us to ask which Pablo he’s referring to (as though we care); the album’s botched release (I mean, Tidal, really?); his pestilential Twitter rants and much more, Yeezy has gone from provocateur to half-baked psychotic.
During this tornado-like mayhem, a six song EP surfaced on Soundcloud under the moniker Death Cab for Yeezy. The mystery surrounding the release – a mashup of Death Cab for Cutie and Kanye West – not only illustrated a producer with a good ear but also the stark contrast between the upbeat appeal of mid-noughties Kanye and the fragmentation that has consumed his later work. Even with Kanye’s signature braggadocio, the mixes sound fresh and vibrant. Getting your hands on the EP is the tough part, although not for the internet-savvy I’m sure.
Thanks for reading folks. Next month will feature more great artists…Wild Beasts and Perfume Genius among others. In the meantime, check out last month’s Song of the Week post, dedicated to legend David Bowie or my top albums of 2015.