Public acts of altruism often feel strongly calculated: are they just a means to court viral, sustainable goodwill? By Britt Julious.
Can’t believe this happened. I celebrated with pizza and champagne last night (as one does). Here’s my New York Times debut for “Room for Debate.” I wrote an opinion piece on celebrities and public acts of social activism.
He was before me. He was weak. He was standing. He was on his knees. He was weak. He was asking for forgiveness. He was crawling. He was weak. He crept forward. He kept creeping. He kept. He was weak. His head was a weight and his body was a burden and he was weak. He wrapped his arms around my waist. He placed his head upon my waist. He wanted to speak but he was weak. He looked up and I said nothing.
Nashville-based BASECAMP’s EP came out nearly a year ago and I can’t believe I slept on it. I’m obsessed with everything on it, from the soulful vocals to the isolating production to the smart, slightly haunting melodies. It’s a perfect treat in transition to the fall.
I’ve always gone back and forth with Josef Salvat’s singles. Some songs I adored immediately and others never caught on with me. But this latest single, “Shoot and Run,” is a lushly-produced epic of yearning and frustration. It is hard not to love.
A nice little slice of noisey, electronic, shoegazey goodness from Sweden. The build-up is more than a minute long, but it’s worth it. Parts of the song actually remind me of a lighter, more accessible Crash Course in Science, a band that was so weird and formative for me a couple of years ago post college. There’s something in the way a flush of noise can accurately capture one’s state of mind. I’m not feeling settled. I’m feeling antsy.
"A Monument to Everything" by Kindness featuring Busiswa (Robyn & Royksopp cover)
The minimalism of the instrumentation in this Kindness rework of Robyn and Royksopp’s “Monument” highlights how commanding and compelling the original truly is, from those first few melodic notes to the surreal lyrics. As well, I love Kindness’ ability to find and elevate most perfect grooves to their highest levels of perfection.
It will amaze you how much everything before does not matter. You will find a potent strength in yourself and your ideas and you will wonder how you ever got on without that singular surety of yourself. You will take a big deep breath and you will feel it completely and instantly. The air will fill your lungs as it should and you will keep going as you should, as you know you can, as you must.
There will be many stumbles along the way because that is how life works. But now is a moment of clear definition: the before and the after. Before you wondered who you were. After, you are sure of who you are becoming. It is not perfect and you are not there, but that clearer, refined something is better than that murky, insecure nothing.
"Feel of Love" by Tensnake and Jacques Lu Cont featuring Jamie Liddell (Kaytranada edition)
I love the original (because I can hear that Jacques Lu Cont touch instantly), but this Kaytranada edit is quite captivating as well. The structure of the song stays relatively in tact and Kaytranada instead adds a perfect and simple drum. Of course I love it. I’m easily won over like that.
Literally nothing better than starting your day with this one. I find SOPHIE’s musical progression to be so strange, yet good. I’ve been obsessed since I heard “Ooh” on a Dazed Digital monthly playlist (BTW still waiting for that full-length) and he’s transitioned from uber-feminine girl group-like pop to this mix that is at once childlike, poppy, and glitchy madness.
What really makes this track for me is how it feels so organic, as if completed in one quick take (but that one quick take was captivating and instantly memorable). Also! The combination of voices which include the ever-talented Paul White as well as my personal fav, Jamie Woon. It’s a perfect, strange nighttime jam.
Two Thursdays ago, I sat in section 340 of Soldier Field. I was there to celebrate the New Queen, the Queen Bey, Beyoncé. Around me were women and men of various ages and races. I sat alone, separated from my friends, but was pulled into a circle of black women around me.
"How long have you all been friends?" I asked.
"Oh, we’re not. We just met," said an early twenty something woman next to me.
We had all found each other and were united in our admiration if the woman before us.
I used to think Beyoncé was just a symbol of control, of perfection. And in some ways, that is still true. But she is also a symbol of possibilities, of the multifaceted possibilities of how I can look and act and be as a woman, a black woman. She is strong and weird, smart and divine. If these things are a matter of control then so be it. She has created a world for herself, one in which she can be herself, one in which she is taking back herself from the world around her.
On December 13, 2013, she released her latest album, a self-titled work that was equally sensual and structured, salacious and sad.
Released with no warning, it was a triumph, a moment of self actualization, a woman defining herself. Bow down, she said. Bow down, I said.
The wait has been worth it. Absolutely. No question. Kate Boy are true masters of synth pop and they should be bigger than everything else out now. This new track is just another brilliant chapter in a series of brilliant chapters. Sharp lyrics, ridiculous chorus and melodies, perfect and danceable synths, and that indescribably epic spirit that only they can achieve.
(PS You haven’t experienced Kate Boy until you’ve seen them live. Truly. It is is a life changing experience.)
The sort of listless, floaty sound of early afternoons in summer. Once I left the farmers market on Sunday, I spent an hour walking around Logan Square and Wicker Park with this track on repeat, soaking up the idea of summer that I so wanted to exist this year, but was (chillingly) out of my grasp.
What begins as a soft, yet somber piano turns into a collection of samples and layers, from cooing vocals to synthetic strings to cold and steady drum machine beats. It’s a lot and from anyone else it would be too much and yet this collaboration sounds complete and the end product is ultimately compelling.
This is a quiet little stunner. There’s no showy production or vocals, but the steady rhythm is warm and comforting. Truly, it’s the kind of song you immediately like and as you continue to settle with each of its elements – the precious melodies, the memorable guitar lines – that like turns into a deeper devotion.
Barrett recommended MUNA to me and I’m enjoying their brand of quirky, unpolished pop rock. Makes me feel like I’m 12 years old again. All of the less tracks on their more perfect EP felt familiar, like the familiarity of 80s and 90s aesthetics HAIM.