Holiday Mondays don’t typically throw me off that much, but this past one really did. It feels as though the weekend just happened, and now we’re about to embark on another one? Not that I’d ever complain about such a glorious occurrence, but it is making my reality feel slightly off balance. That sentiment can certainly be felt in my picks for you this week as each one contains some factor to make it seem not quite of this world.
Washed Out – “Face Up”
Washed Out delivered one of the most satisfying full length records of last year, Mister Mellow. It was their first for Stones Throw which has likely always been their spiritual home. Clearly that wasn’t quite enough content for the span of less than a year though, so they’ve gifted us with the extra chill new single “Face Up” as part of Adult Swim’s always excellent annual Singles Program. The production manages to convey both icy and sultry vibes which pair nicely with the lyrics that detail all too familiar ambivalent feelings about leaving a relationship that has clearly run it’s course.
Ssion feat. Ariel Pink – “At Least the Sky is Blue”
The grandest of hat tips belongs to fellow KCRW DJ Mario Cotto for putting this one on my radar. What a stunner. A balearic masterpiece with lyrical nods to Roxy Music, 10cc, and most explicitly Neil Young whose “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” is borrowed to propel the song to it’s feverish climax. Honestly though, it’s worth getting into this track for the video alone which I can only think to describe as an elegantly surreal trip. Given Ssion’s pedigree though, that shouldn’t be surprising. *Warning* There is mild, brief nudity in the video so depending upon where you work, this may not be safe for it…
C.A.R. – “Strange Ways”
I’ve been obsessed with this song, and a few other C.A.R. tracks (primarily those on the Pinned Up remix collection) for several weeks now, but had not yet bothered to do my research on the artist. Two very important things to note that have made me fall even more deeply in love with this project: 1 – C.A.R. is the work of a female producer named Chloe Raunet. 2 – C.A.R. stands for “choosing acronyms randomly.” Clearly I must figure out a way to become her new best friend. While I work on that, you can enjoy her haunting, addictive, synthpop treasure “Strange Ways.”
(Ariel Pink carousel image: Dustin Drew, Washed Out header image: Sam Prickett)