What Quark Is Listening To In…June 2014

Wow, sunlight…must be summer. And now there are clouds approaching – definitely a British summer. With that in mind, we have another host of the fruits of various musical labours for you to choose from and listen to.

There are uplifting pieces, designed to make you forget the fact that England are *already* out of the World Cup, pieces to make you psyched for the upcoming Tour…a generally eclectic selection.

Once again, here is the Spotify playlist:


Quark June 2014

The 1975


Olivia’s pick – “Girls” by 1975

The Manchester-born band triumph in this unique upbeat song which is perfect for the summer. In no time at all you’ll find yourself singing alone unable to escape the catchiness of the song. Enjoy!


Juliet’s pick“Sambadream” by Carlinhos Brown & DJ Dero 

What even is football? For Brazil, it’s a way of life. For anybody blissfully unaware, a month of tears and cheers has launched onto every inch of our lives, emanating from the tropical streets of Rio de Janeiro. I could have picked this eponymous track, but instead I’ve chosen a deeply Brazilian-flavoured samba sensation, also released in a World Cup year. In December we happened across a samba band playing in the street in Edinburgh – hearing the sounds merge and interact with each other, a rich mix of timbre from drum to whistle, is a live experience I recommend to everyone. Last month marked the 20th anniversary of Ayrton Senna’s death, so, in as non-cliché a way as possible, this choice is dedicated to the memory of the most popular and talented Brazilian I can think of.


Pareesa’s pick“Cavity” by Hundred WatersHundred Waters

After stumbling across their single “Boreal” last year, I had a hunch that Hundred Waters would be ones to watch. Ambient sounds, shapeshifting time signatures and tempos, and a simmering beat form a ghostlike, eerie atmosphere. But just before dropping into its chorus, the song lets out a wail, ratcheting up the tension. Suddenly, the song morphs into something different, casting the listener into an intense and disorientating experience.


Daniz’s pick – “Mirrors” by Justin Timberlake

The production has Timberland’s paw-prints all over it – more so than any other song on The 20/20 Experience. With a great use of a string section, “Mirrors” feels much more earnest and mature than JT’s past songs without compromising his trademark slickness.


 Tanvi’s pick – “Starlight” by MuseMuse

“Starlight”‘s ambition and scope matches its astronomical theme. The whooshing synth arpeggios during the bridge add a futuristic zing to the track. Matt Bellamy’s absolute commitment to belting out every note, dogged groove and cheesy lyrics (“All the souls that would die just to feel alive”) means it threatens to hurtle straight past operatic rock and explode into overblown camp. Still, Muse are at their best when there’s a whiff of cheese.


Nayana’s pick – “Magic” by ColdplayColdplay

After the dense and sprawling pop of Mylo Xyloto (or whatever it was called), Coldplay have pared down their sound and adopted a clean yet sleepy aesthetic for their sixth album, A Sky Full Of Stars. On the lead single, the muted lead guitar and haze of the reverberated piano and rhythm guitar are soothing. The infectious hook and soft, neat production also keeps it warm and accessible.


Christine’s pick – “Lost In The Light” by BahamasBahamas

I don’t know how to describe it – it’s very calming though.


Eve’s pick – Roses” by Cherry Ghost

Cherry GhostThis melodramatic semi-romantic-cum-spine-shivering number comes from Cherry Ghost’s debut album, and is sort of a musical manifestation of their name; it has musical ‘red’ and vibrant parts twinned to a lyrical, ghostly theme.


Grace’s pick – “New Lands” by Justice

Unlike the Daft Punk-inspired grooves and carefree attitude of their Justicedebut album, †, the tracks off Audio, Video, Disco take
inspiration from progressive rock. “New Lands” is no exception, blending prog-rock with electro.



Replacement for the Philistine

Once again, we’re replacing our philistine contributor: this time with not one, but two new Swedish alternative releases. The leading single from Lykke Li’s third album I Never Learn, “No Rest For The Wicked”. Beginning with a simple lullaby piano melody, it rises into a emotionally charged chorus where the narrator comes to terms with her role in her lover’s downfall.

Meanwhile, “Let Go”, the closing track from Little Dragon’s LP Nabuma Rubberband, isn’t as tethered to the band’s poppy foundations as before. Having eschewed their clean, immediate melodies and beats for shimmering waves of synthesisers, the result is a celestial slice of dream-pop.

 Commentary by Pareesa Tai, Juliet Armstrong, Olivia Tierney, and Christine Zhu.

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