Listening | “Fjäril” from Meadows

At the time of this blog post I am listening to ”Fjäril” from Meadows’ The Emergency Album.

Meadows bio from Spotify:

Born and raised in the small town Söderköping on the east coast of Sweden, the finger style guitarist and songwriter Christoffer Wadensten have traveled the world the last couple of years. Playing clubs, festivals, living rooms and theaters around Scandinavia, Europe, UK and USA. In autumn 2016 Meadows released his home made debut EP ”The Only Boy Awake.” In April 2017 the title track of the EP was featured in the Netflix series ”13 Reasons Why,” which brought him into millions of living rooms.

Oldenburn Internetzeitung in Germany described Meadows as ”In the jungle of the many songwriters, he is an exceptional artist. He just knows how to captivate his audience,” and Nerikes Allehanda in Sweden said, ”The humble but confident presence creates a connection to the audience that is…let’s say: amazing.” Based on listening to just Fjäril alone, I cannot disagree.

Fjäril translates to ”butterfly” in the English language. I did not look this up until after I had listened to the song many times, and learning the translation of the track name, it made such sense.

Meadows’ finger style of guitaristry is perfect for this, and he wrote this song so much for his style, by my reckoning. As you listen to this 1m 45s journey you’ll hear his fingers flutter across the strings.

The song starts out with a beautiful flourish of notes that changes tone back and forth, ending with some harmonics. Taking a slow, somber, and reflective turn, he slows down. The mid section of the song is lower in pitch, more deliberate, and contemplative. Around the one minute mark, the tempo increases and the flourish of notes returns. The flutters. The buildup to the end of the song has such forward movement, and delivers you directly to the completion of the song, which slows down and ends on a resolved note.

From an audio standpoint, the track is quite literally just guitar. No percussion, no samples, no vocals, and no other instruments. And it doesn’t feel the least bit lacking. Meadows manages to fill the track so fully with just his guitar. The detail and texture in the recording are nice as well, with the listener able to discern the movements of his fingers across strings and carefully pinging harmonics, but without any scratching or other unwanted artifacts. It is simply beautiful, moving, smooth and skillful guitar.

If you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon listen, look for further than ”Fjäril” from Meadows. You won’t be disappointed.

Happy listening,

~ Griff

 

 

Listening | “The Girl (Color Source Remix)[feat. Cozi Zuehlsdorff]” from Hellberg

I recently did a screen recording to show some friends my desktop customizations I did using Rainmeter and Wallpaper Engine (perhaps I will create a post about that on this blog later). The background music that was playing in the video was Color Source’s remix of The Girl (featuring Cozi Zuehlsdorff) by Hellberg. A friend sent me a text message asking what the song was because it was so good–I agree!

Color Source takes a decent song and makes it absolutely fantastic. The Girl starts off with slow, calm ocean waves crawling up and down the shore. Soft synth and clean vocals enter about twenty seconds in, with a simple rhythm following shortly after. Over the course of the next minute, the song builds elements by layering percussion and additional sound samples until the verse transitions to the drop–which is…hard to describe, but great.

The song slows back down for another verse round before building again. All 4:09 of this song is great and it remains among one of my favorites in my library.

Color Source is the stage name of Daniel Kim–dance, electronic, and future bass remix master–who is signed to Monstercat and Simplify and is most well-known for this track and his Terms and Conditions track featuring Ashely Apollodor.

If you’re looking for an electronic track to groove to featuring a great vocalism, nice rhythm, and a pretty good drop, this might just be the track for you. Give the snippet a listen above or find it on Spotify.

Happy listening,

-Griff

Listening | “Almost Like Being In Love” from Red Garland

“Almost Like Being In Love” is the fourth track on the album Red Garland’s Piano. This 4m 50s track has a bit of a lower-fidelity feel with the record white noise in the background, the that does not detract from this gem of a song.

Red Garland’s Bio from Spotify:

Red Garland mixed together the usual influences of his generation (Nat Cole, Bud Powell, and Ahmad Jamal) into his own distinctive approach; Garland’s block chords themselves became influential on the players of the 1960s. He started out playing clarinet and alto, switching to piano when he was 18. During 1946-1955, he worked steadily in New York and Philadelphia, backing such major players as Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young, and Roy Eldridge, but still remaining fairly obscure.

That changed when he became a member of the classic Miles Davis Quintent (1955-1958), heading a rhythm section that also included Paul Chambers and Philly Joe Jones.

After leaving Miles, Garland had his own popular trio and recorded very frequently for Prestige, Jazzland, and Moddsville during 1956-1962.

The pianist eventually returned to Texas and was in semi-retirement, but came back gradually in the 1970s, recording for MPS (1971) and Galaxy (1977-1979) before retiring again.

~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

Upbeat piano, laid-back percussion, and moseying bass keep your attention in what has become one of my favorite songs to enjoy while writing or studying. It is a very playful song that will lift your spirits and put you in a good mood. Its…almost like being in love!

Happy listening,

~ Griff

 

Listening | “Nighttime” from Re:plus

“Nighttime” is one of the fourteen tracks on the album Ordinary Landscape from Re:plus (stage name for Hiroaki Watanabe, a Japanese pianist, trackmaker, and sound producer).

Let’s talk about the track. The first ten seconds open with a semi-intricate beat. Staccato and cut piano melody enters over the next twenty seconds; after that, though, the piano becomes legato (smoothed out) while the beat continues. Female vocals enter and become a staple of the song for the remaining three and a half minutes. The song has intriguing and mystical lyrics;

So I’ll be a fleeting sound, a lightray out on the water…
And I’ll know his secret name, and tell him about the nighttime.
So I’ll be a fleeting sound, a lightray out on the water…
And I’ll know his secret name, and tell him about the nighttime.
(Ooh, sweet family…)
(Ooh, sweet family…)
The gentle accent pulls you in…
With secrets that I know were true.
The gentle accent pulls you in,
With secrets that I know were true…

-MetroLyrics

At 47 BPM (by my manual estimation), the combination of beat, rhythm, and lush piano melody, and mystical vocals is airy and telling of some allegory. “Nighttime” is just one of several songs on Ordinary Landscape that fit this description. This track in particular feels introspective and offers a solemn yet caring mood.

Much of this album is hard to describe, so it is best to give it a listen and let me know what you think! You can hear a snippet of “Nighttime” at the top of this post, or find the complete album on Spotify. What do you think about this track?

Happy listening,

~Griff

Listening | “Formed by Glaciers” from Kubbi

“Formed by Glaciers,” by Kubbi is an entrancing blend of sounds. The artist’s simple Spotify biography “transcendental nostalgic” is highly accurate. While much of the album Ember is rather upbeat and chip-tuney (a great thing, I might add), “Formed by Glaciers is a wonderfully calm and retrospective track…

“Formed by Glaciers,” by Kubbi is an entrancing blend of sounds. The artist’s simple Spotify biography “transcendental nostalgic” is highly accurate. While much of the album Ember is rather upbeat and chip-tuney (a great thing, I might add), “Formed by Glaciers is a wonderfully calm and retrospective track.

The final track on Ember, this song is 7 minutes and 38 seconds long, and every second of it is composed perfectly. It’s like something out of a surreal and epic movie.

The beginning of the track is quiet and contemplative with no percussion, but only soft and simple piano. After a minute and a half, some simple and deep percussion takes foot. The succeeding minutes build additional instrumentation atop each other and very gradually grow in volume until they break for the calm before the storm. This little process occurs in several small segments until the song reaches its apex at around 6:30.

The Ember is primarily instrumental, “Formed by Glaciers” has mystifying vocalization that floats above the instrumentation. Organic sound effects such as wind and water are also heard, particularly when listening with higher quality devices such as in-ear monitors and/or high fidelity devices.

Ember

The parent album of this track, Ember, is a beautiful and comprehensive album that will satisfy nearly any mood you find yourself in. Happy, sad, rushed, apprehensive, or retrospective, you’ll find something for your state in Ember.

You can find Ember and much of Kubbi’s other music at KubbiMusic.com or on Spotify.