Everyone in the U.S., we’ve made it past Thanksgiving and dealing with family questions about our careers, life decisions, partners, et. al. It also means we are one holiday down and that much closer to Christmas (Left Bank is going full holiday season just you wait). In celebration of November coming to a close, I’ve put together a round-up of tunes that I’ve discovered this month. Enjoy!
Shangri-La Kids- “Oakland”
We’ve all wanted to trade in our East Coast lives, all-nighters and cocaine for the ‘better’ coast version of Brooklyn: Oakland. Dream-meets-surf pop band Shangri-La Kids has given us an ode to this great town (which, let’s be honest, we will probably never move to no matter how many times we complain about the subway and how ‘over’ New York is). “Oakland” is catchy as hell, featuring smooth vocals and a bass line that is made for dancing. Listen to the second single off of Shangri-La Kid’s upcoming debut album Visions.
What I love about Jettes is their ability to get the momentum in the place going within a few seconds of their track starting. Their new tune “Traces” features ethereal vocals, a quintessential surf rock guitar, and lyrics that are so catchy that you find yourself playing the track over in your mind even after the song has ended.
The band is a long-distance platonic love affair between Gurr’s Laura Lee and Melody Connor. What started out as a musical internet friendship fully developed when Connor finally packed his bags and moved from Seattle to Berlin (both cities I would kill to live in at some point in my life). Stranded on Laura’s couch, the two wrote their EP debut made of grungy rock ’n roll songs.
Traces is about just wanting so leave so bad that you end up making all the wrong decisions. Triggered by the plane hijacking in Seattle in August 2018, we wrote the song to capture a feeling of ‘well shit now it’s too late to turn around’.
The whole process of recording and mixing happened in Frankfurt, Germany between Laura’s extensive tours with Gurr; and, the video was made in the back of her tour van while driving through the US.
P.S. Laura, save a spot on your couch for me!
They also released “Hockey Smile” which is so surf-punk badass it physically hurts.
Johnny Something – “Cherry Tree”
When your parents ask for a “cool band” (or a track) to listen to this holiday season, give them this killer new tune from Johnny Something. It’s got all that sexy Depeche Mode flavor that they (and let’s be honest, you as well) like, but it’s also undeniably made in this decade. Layered with vocal effects, synths, and backing drums, “Cherry Tree” is that bedroom-pop meets dark wave track that you didn’t know you were missing.
While the tune is seemingly upbeat, the lyrics are a bit headier: it’s a song about how people can die very suddenly, and how you should tell those around you how you feel just in case they aren’t around to hear it.
The next time you have a party in your house, or want to school your parents and younger siblings on music worth listening to, this is it. +1 for the good message in it.
Paco Versailles – “Shangri La (Tone Ranger remix)”
If you can’t tell, there is a theme to this here playlist. Equal parts uplifting and danceable, the November playlist is also wrapped in celebration–its the end of one thing, and quickly evolving into the beginning of another thing yet to come.
Tone Ranger reinvigorated the hell out of this tropical track (original here) with a magnetic, dance-inducing energy. Taking me back to May of this year, when I was dancing on the beach in Bali to tropi-house music like this, “Shangri La” and the Tone Ranger remix is truly aural sex.
Let you hair down and lose yourself in this idyllic soundscape.
Beige-À-Coeur- “It’s only ghosts here”
Admittedly, this track should have made it up on Halloween but you know what? It fits so much better on my best of November playlist. Which has quickly turned into a dance playlist as well. Who can complain with that?
The Montréal-based band Beige-À-Coeur has made dancers out of us with their new track “It’s only ghosts here.” Featuring Fanny’s sweet and roaring voice—reminiscent of NYC artist Firehorse—blends well with Firas’ 80’s sounding guitars and keyboards. What you get then, is an ’80’s-inspired tune fit for Baby’s All Right or Le Pop-Up du Label after hours. It’s very similar instrumentally to Agar Agar, who I can’t get enough of, but don’t get it twisted, Beige-À-Coeur makes a sound that is all their own.
You almost expect to be handed a glass of champagne while listening to this tune. That’s my kind of track.
CONDORE – “Boring”
CONDORE has created a track that is best served in a drama or indie film. The track features sopranic and ethereal vocals, angelic harmonies, and a piano interlude that makes you feel something deep inside. It’s wrapped in innocence, with lyrics that are far from naivety; the juxtaposition is overpowering and beautiful.
The Belgium-based band steers away from making a track that fits in the ‘indie rock’ or ‘mainstream’ bucket of a record store, but rather makes something that is moving; they don’t care about labels, they want something that makes sense. And that’s what you get with “Boring.” Listen to it below.
Odd Relics – “Black Holes”
This new track by Odd Relics goes so damn hard. Fueled by borderline hip-hop vocals and a chill house beat, “Black Holes” has the right BPM to wake you up and finish whatever you need to get done before this next week of work.
The musical project of Florida-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Brian Squillace, Odd Relics keep themselves busy with other musical projects, breathing in fresh energy into their own tunes. Squillace keeps himself busy as the drummer for Sub Pop recording artist Yuno and one half of the indie-pop duo LANNDS. So, by the time you hear an Odd Relics track, it’s well produced but also fun—can’t deny you guys a breath of fresh air. Listen to “Black Holes” below.