A Songdrop Mix Tape | April 2014

Just like this time one month ago, I've picked 5 songs each from my Songdrop collections of YoutubeSoundcloud, & Bandcamp gems, I've assembled them all in an order that tastes good in the ears, and I've embedded all 15 songs in the player below (and if this here blog is not somewhere you like having open long, you can go listen over on Songdrop, or you can even download the Songdrop app and listen on the little computer in your computer that also makes phone calls).

So press play on the beautiful opening track by PHOX and let it run until the beautiful track my Myriam Gendron finishes thing off (I promise, there is a lot of really nice stuff that falls in between those two lovely bookends).

And while you're listening, remember to remember: music makes all our lives a bit more bearable, but the continued making of that music requires all us listeners to give a little love back (whether that be by buying it or even just spreading the word or letting the artist know… anything beyond secret appreciation is much appreciated).


Benjamin Shaw - Goodbye, Cagoule World

If you're already a fan of Benjamin Shaw —if you've already been infected with the Pox, if you're a self-identifying rumfucker that has spent even a portion of a summer in a box room staring at the ceiling and hoping for another cabernet— then this album doesn't require much selling. Just knowing that Ben has been sitting in his bedroom with his headphones on cooking up a new album, and that this new album is officially out today, well… that's all the information any Shaw convert should need.

It's you non-converts that probably need some extra persuasion. Because, like anything Benjamin Shaw, he puts up a few walls and musical scarecrows to keep the casual passerby from getting too close, too easily. The opening track goes 4 minutes before it lets you in on the brilliant and not often heard relationship advice of “isolation = longevity”, and you probably won't hear the next couple tracks that follow on any ‘Now! That's What I Call Music’ compilation. But If you're willing to commit, if you're willing to keep following that “Blackpool'r that's been struggling in London for longer than he'd like to remember” voice down the layered with noise and dread and heart and static and dry english humour rabbit hole… before you know it, you'll find that you've been transported into Benjamin Shaw's head, à la Being John Malkovich. But don't worry, by the end of it you won't be spat out of some New Jersey turnpike… you'll probably just wake up on a park bench somewhere (or find that you've missed your bus stop).

Goodbye, Cagoule World is the perfect combination of everything that Ben has been practicing / experimenting with in his music over the years… and it just so happens that what he's been practicing / experimenting with is how to make an album that can briefly highjack the listeners reality; something that pulls them into his worldview, straps them in his shoes and has them temporarily walking around ol' London town with B.S. tinted glasses. And he's really nailed it on this album.

So go put on your headphones and prepare yourself to spend the next 29 minutes in Benjamin Shaw's world. It's an interesting and unusual and strangely familiar place to be (just don't forget the sun screen, he burns easily).



My Week In Review - April 13th - 19th

It's Sunday again… but not just any Sunday, it's both Easter and 4/20. Which, if you think about, it was probably when Easter fell on 4/20 that the whole rabbit hiding chocolate around the house to mark to the son of a god coming back from the dead tradition first began. Also, it's another edition of 'My Week In Review'… so start scrolling and clicking and kill a little bit of your day with some of the things that I killed a bit of my week with.

Alright… meet you back here, same time next week. But remember… if you follow HI54LOFI on Twitter / Tumblr Facebook, you'll be able to catch most of the above type things in real time. Which means this weekly recap will become a reminiscing thing, and who doesn't like to reminisce?



Four From My Bandcamp Collection - 15

It's Saturday again, so if you've been here before, then you should already know the drill. But if it's your first time here (welcome & shame on you) then what you'll find below today is something that happens every Saturday on HI54LOFI: I've gone over to my Bandcamp Collection and picked out 4 albums that I think are totally worth your time. So give them a listen and then maybe, just maybe, add them to your own collection (it is Record Store Day after all… and isn't Bandcamp kind of the world's best record store?)

Short and sweet (there are songs longer than this entire EP) and so perfectly lofi, this is exactly the sort of thing that will always end up on repeat in my headphones. Favorite track: sharp attack (stupid facts).

Song, By Toad —both the blog & the label— is one of the good ones. This sweet label sampler is just one piece of evidence that supports the previous sentence (check their website for even more pieces). Favorite track: Virgin of the Birds - Ilona You Should Still Be My Vampire Attendant.

I always go in to listening to a Swedish band expecting it to sound lovely. This EP reinforces that positive stereotype. Favorite track: A Silver Line.

There are little winks to Chad VanGaalen on here, and that ain't a bad thing. Favorite track: memorial ten count.

Hope you find the time to give all 4 a proper listen, cause if you do, then the next logical step would be thinking about adding them to your own collection (if they're not already in there). And then remember come back next week for the exciting continuation of this weekly feature (or you can check out / follow my Bandcamp Collection and stay one step ahead of these posts, if that's your bag).