It's that time of the week again when we recommend some beautiful music to you.
Tears by Health
Many people don't realise that good music can often be found in video games. Whether it is the haunting and awe-inspiring Halo theme, the song 'Ezio's family' (better known as the Assassin's Creed II theme) or the songs on the radio station in any Grand Theft Auto game, you can always find good music in good games.
And one such brilliant game series which has consistently made some great and memorable music is the Max Payne series. If the first Max Payne game gave us the main theme song for the series which we all love, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne had the moving song 'Late Goodbye' by Poets of the Fall.
However, most people don't know about the song 'Tears' in Max Payne 3 performed by Health. To fully experience the beauty of this song, you need to play the game.
Imagine this song playing in the background while you, as Max Payne, are shooting at a horde of enemies at an airport terminal. And that too in bullet time.
Midnight in a Perfect World by DJ Shadow
Do you know about those moments of panic that hit you on a lazy Sunday afternoon when time just refuses to slow down and slips within your fingers, throwing up questions you don't want to answer? Questions like ‘what am I doing here’ and ‘where am I going to’. Imagine if someone could put a soundtrack to that sentiment. Like your thoughts transcribed to music.
That someone is Josh Davis, better known as DJ Shadow, and that song is Midnight in a Perfect World, the first single from the American artist’s first studio album Endtroducing.
Endtroducing, released in 1996, is an album like no other. That phrase is overused but holds true to fact in this case. It was the first full album in the history of music to be composed entirely of samples. Guinness can testify to that.
So is Midnight in a Perfect World — composed almost entirely of samples. The song samples Baraka, Pekka Pohjola, Organized Konfusion, David Axelrod, Meredith Monk and Marlena Shaw and comes out standing on its own with a clear identity. It's to DJ Shadow's credit, who not only is a master of his craft and a traditionalist (Davis isn't one of those DJs who play at Tomorrowland and Sunburn, throw up their hands in the air a lot and put out bad EDM songs, the thumping beats of which can be heard in every club/pub/bar today), but he's also someone who has encyclopedic knowledge of music. Davis has a personal collection of over 60,000 records. One can safely say he has a brilliant ear for music.
And that shows in Midnight in a Perfect World — the amalgamation never sounds jarring; chaotic maybe, but never uncouth. In fact, it’s astounding how it's stitched together so perfectly. Who would've thought that music from different sources could be cut together to evoke a string of emotions that co-exist in chaos. And somehow it connects to the chaos inside our heads. The song has no words, but it speaks to you.
That might sound comforting, but Midnight in a Perfect World is anything but. You won't find your answers in that song. It will only make your questions louder. But isn't it time you heard them already?
Affection by Cigarettes After Sex
There is a strange and inexplicable intimacy that prevails in the music created by Cigarettes After Sex. Perhaps that intimacy is melancholy. Cigarettes After Sex can be best described as a marriage between ambient pop and alternative rock. Their dreary and monotonous drums set the pace of their songs — mellow, sad and haunting.
Affection is dreamy and hits all the right notes, mostly, it is a song for late nights spent wondering about the one who got away, and the one who could never be.
Raastey by Coshish
If you dig progressive rock, Coshish will take you no time to get hooked on to. This Mumbai-based (brownie points) Hindi prog-rock band (brownie points x 2) has a limited portfolio, but that thing they say about quality over quantity holds true here. Having said that, scour YouTube and you will find a lot of renditions of their songs sung across various venues in different styles.
Raastey is from their maiden concept album Firdous and touches on themes as wide as unity in diversity, acceptance, equality and so on. The vocals start only after a 45 second musical intro. One of the best things I love about this song is that it gives a dedicated time segment for every band member to showcase their musical chops, with Anish's guitar solo and Hamza's drum magic to look out for. Vocalist Mangesh impresses with his range going from the mellow rock ballad-esque during the verse to the high octane chorus segment.
Yes, there is a music video accompanying the song, but you would rather want to watch the band Coshish performing. After you are able to wean yourself away from the original song, try giving the unplugged version of Raastey a try. You will be confused as to which is a better version.
Often by The Weeknd (Kygo remix)
Kygo and The Weeknd are probably the two best words you can put together into one sentence. The Weeknd's original song 'Often' is so good by itself, that you wouldn't trust yourself alone with it. It's smooth, sexy and a good personal jam, if you were ever looking for one (you should). And Kygo is just the cherry on the cake. This 24 year-old remix genius adds some pace to otherwise stoner's song. Some of you have probably heard Kygo and The Weeknd separately, but put them together and they're the best combination since chocolate strawberries. Trust us.
DemiTour by Petit Prince
In the forever tsunami of music, it is rare to stumble upon a song with such transportive quality. Think of a place or a time in your life (we recommend a good one) while listening to this song and with every passing note, you'll sink deeper into the recesses of those memories.
Riddled with a sense of melancholy and nostalgia, this a perfect song to contemplate, and perhaps even an escape in your mind.
Be Right Back, Moving House by Ghostpoet
Tags: Lou Reed, narcotised, f sharp minor rap, despondent strings, baritone lament, Play It Again Sam records, Mercury Prize, love's labours lost, sweeping strings, subterranean London trip hop, sandpaper tone, AKA Obaro Ejimiwe, melancholia, jouncing snare, and before all else: David Bowie.