I am a dj. Listen to it.
I am a dj. Listen to it.
Chain My Name - Poliça
Earlier this year, we asked: “What is it that makes Poliça the hottest underground chillwave/indie electro-pop act around currently? Unlike their contemporaries such as Washed Out and Small Black, the textures and ambiance are much less lush. Poliça has a hard edged sound to them, a bit of an industrial influence.”
That’s an apt descriptor of Poliça’s sonic identity. They take elements that would normally be relaxed and pretty, and they turn them into a grimy, rough hewn jam that sounds like it’s performed in an oil change garage. Everything on “Chain My Name” is a bit over-driven. Compare to the previous song on this list, “The Mother We Share”, and you see the differences magnified. Where most electro-pop is interested in fluffy coatings and light hearted fun, Poliça is obsessed with strife and toil.
The proof is in the pudding, or more accurately the lyrics. Filled with rape allusions, there’s something off about the verses of “Chain My Name”. On the chorus, Channy Leaneagh wails: “So are we made to fight all our lives/Chain my name beside you”. It seems as if she’s resisting not only a sexual encounter but the institution of marriage itself, making the mild rape imagery much more interesting, instead of just playing it for shock value. Finally the truth comes out at the end of the second verse. “Don’t make it easier on me/I can’t be trusted with love”. So perhaps the struggle here isn’t sexual, and it isn’t even emotional resistance to a partner. It’s Leaneagh begging her partner to stop loving her, and free himself from her. The self loathing inherent in such a theme is fairly astonishing, in that it’s handled with such tact.
And knowing what we know about Poliça’s lyrics, the darkness of their sound comes into full view. The brilliance is that it’s all quite hidden in layers of subtext. The song is written as a pop song, but it’s in actuality a fairly gothic one.
GENRE: Chillwave, Indie Pop, Electronic, Synth Pop, Goth Rock
- Josh Loney
Chain My Name is number 47 in Tune O’ The Day’s 50 Best Songs of the Year countdown.
Welcome to the first meeting of the HTGifC, a place where I post all the cool GIFs I have. Because I need a place where I can find them.
I directed this. Watch it.
What happens when you ask someone to “watch your stuff”?
Starring: Grace Pappalardo, TJ Kelly & Phil McGuigan
Edited by: Michael Cauchi
Directed by: Josh Loney
Crew: Gavin O’Mara
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I directed this.
Can we all agree the Haim love is completely unwarranted.
Medusa - Gems
Gems has been a rising artist to watch ever since their debut single “All I Ever" was released last year. Since, they’ve appeared at SXSW and dropped a slew of tracks on Soundcloud, none available for download, of course. (Seriously, you can’t even buy this shit.) I’ve noticed that this is the new model for building buzz for up and comers, and even if it works it’s pretty remarkably frustrating. Luckily, there are plenty of computer programs of questionable legality that can solve lots of availability problems.
Anyway, I’m not trying to encourage piracy. I’m trying to encourage someone to listen to “Medusa” and then tell me it’s not one of the best tracks of the year. Recently Steve Hyden wrote a great article about the gentrification of indie rock. Essentially, Hyden thoroughly dissects the death of the genre, in that it’s neither very independent, nor is it even rock much of the time. “Medusa” fits in this category, easily slotted as a result of this generation’s goofy affinity for eclectic, blatantly populist choices. It fits the bill, but it actually creates something with the modern underground pop aesthetic it utilizes.
I don’t think all dream pop or indie acts are created equal. Haim is pretty not special and I can’t fathom what people are losing their shit about. Didn’t The Bangles pull the same musical shenanigans 25 years ago? The point is that for every overrated sissy band like The 1975 or Haim there is an equally good act waiting to be discovered. You want 80’s style pop-rock that’s actually well made? Listen to some fucking Beach House, you pansies!
I’m going on tangent after tangent here, so let’s wrap this up. Gems kicks ass. It’s pretty simple. This song has a catchy subwoofer hook, hypnotizing vocal lines and gorgeous textures throughout. It’s dark, it’s etheral, it’s large in scope. It’s everything that should and could be done with indie rock’s gentrification and it’s a crime that more people haven’t heard this wonderfully weird mish-mash of a song. The lyrics are poignant and depressingly evocative. I’m rushing through the analysis because A. I wasted time venting about Haim, and B. We’ll definitely be getting more in depth with this song later, seeing how it’s automatically earned a spot on my “50 Best Songs of the Year” list.
GENRE: Dream Pop, Indie, Pop, Chillwave
I just saw “Flashdance”. I’d never seen it, and honestly I wasn’t missing much. It’s kind of boring, the story is cliche and the music cheesy. But I will grant that the film has some famous dances. Note I say famous dances, not good dances. Some of this is just the fact that ’80s dancing is reprehensibly goofy, but more so is the fact that director Adrian Lyne doesn’t really know how to properly imbue a dance sequence with the sort of energy they require. Sure, the strip tease scene makes a bit of a splash (get it?), what with it’s silhouetted choreography, but it still is fairly uninteresting. Great dancing is great dancing, but it’s not all that’s required to make a great dancing scene. In fact some of the best dancing scenes feature relatively unspectacular dances.
Anyway, this got me thinking about movie musicals. I’m a big fan of the genre when done properly, and I abhor it when done improperly. Unfortunately the latter is usually what we get with song and dance numbers. So, because I’m bored, I’m going to rank the ten greatest dance numbers that cinema has ever given us.
There are a couple rules, in the interest of giving a fair shot to movies that don’t star Gene Kelly. Each movie can only have one scene on the list, otherwise “Singin’ In The Rain” and “On The Town” would take up five of the ten spots. I’ll have some honorable mentions, just so my dear readers can view these scenes.