The promotion for Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories was innovative, but it’s certainly rivaled by the mysterious roll-out for Boards Of Canada’s first album in seven years, Tomorrow’s Harvest. The first preview of new music came via six single edition 12″s released on Record Store Day that went from a crate-digger’s goldmine to being sold for the price of one of Diddy’s children on eBay. Yesterday, more music from the Scottish ambient duo was unveiled a la Kanye West on a screen in Tokyo. Check out the footage below.
One of the things I remember most from this year’s SXSW isn’t a particular artist, a showcase, or party. It’s a Daft Punk billboard.
At Berlin’s Night + Day Festival over the weekend, the xx invited Jessie Ware, their peer in warm, poised, inward-looking London club music, to the stage for something very cool. Over the track from Jamie xx’s “Sunset” edit, they fused together two circa-2000 rave classics: Modjo’s “Lady (Hear Me Tonight)” and Stardust’s “Music Sounds Better With You.” The xx handled the “Lady” hook, while Ware sang the everliving hell out of “Music Sounds Better With You,” and the whole thing just sounded awesome. The Berlin crowd, bless them, knew both hooks well enough to sing along. Watch a prettily filmed, pristinely recorded video of the performance below.
Brooklyn’s People Get Ready are about to digitally release the Zelda Maria EP, a follow-up to their 2012 self-titled debut. “Zelda Maria” was the album’s second single and the EP that it is being re-released on will sort of function as a companion piece to understanding the band’s process as musicians and performers, including demos, remixes, and instrumentals. For the title track, the group has crafted an experimental visual, heavy on movement and image-manipulation. The dancing was choreographed by Guggenheim Fellow Tere O’Conor, while PGR founder Steve Reker worked with video artist Ty Flowers to edit the images. Check it out below.
The 17th Annual Webby Awards went down last night at Wall Street’s cavernous Cipriani’s. Hosted by Patton Oswalt, the ceremony featured a performance by Tanlines, who played their song “All Of Me,” as well as the presentation of awards to the previously-announced winners, including Frank Ocean and Grimes. Ocean was unable to attend, so he accepted via video while Grimes’s was given to her by a fawning Fred Armisen. Watch Tanlines’ performance and check out Ocean and Grimes accepting their awards below.
For Beacon’s track “Drive” from their debut full-length The Ways We Separate, the BTW alumni enlisted 10lbs. Pictures to create a smoky, dark clip. But instead of crafting something run-of-the-mill, they drew from another genre’s tropes. Says Will Joines of 10, “I was interested in taking elements of a R&B video and making something darker and more mysterious. The goal was to suggest and imply while leaving room for the audience to insert their own story and ideas.” Check out the video and fill in the blanks below.
Oh hey, new Daft Punk! The French robots spent so many years putting together the immaculately crafted new album Random Access Memories that it only stands to reason that there would be material left over. And a Japanese edition of the album has a bonus track, called “Horizon,” that points in a couple of the directions the album could’ve gone. The track is a meditative, instrumental, half-acoustic reverie that recalls nothing so much as Daft Punk’s onetime French contemporaries Air. It’s awfully pretty, if entirely baffling, and you can stream it at the No BPM Limit Tumblr.
Last year, the Los Angeles singer and producer Julia Holter released Ekstasis, an album of gauzy and elliptical and weirdly comforting experimental pop music. That LP turned out to be very valuable in helping some of us slow down and breathe and chill the fuck out from time to time. Later this summer, she’ll follow that album up with a new one, her first proper studio effort, called Loud City Song. And now she’s shared the slow, warm, beautiful opening track “World” in the form of a flickering, elusive video from the director Rick Bahto. Watch the video and check out the album’s tracklist below.