Bastille, “Bad Blood”
You know things are looking up for US radio when the apocalyptic destruction of a city can become a bona fide hit. Such is the case with London’s Bastille, and their omnipresent earworm called “Pompeii.” Anchored by frontman Dan Smith and his alluring, distinctive voice, their debut reveals there’s even more charms up their sleeve – albeit charms that are rooted in atypical allusions to Greek mythology, the Bible, and David Lynch (one of their best tracks here is called “Laura Palmer”). Musically, booming male choirs, luscious strings, and muscular tribal percussion abounds, rounded out with slight electronic flourishes. And whether Smith is singing about animosities (the title track) or his childhood (“These Streets”), he gives every song a sense of urgency and importance. And when he pleads on “Flaws” that “There’s a hole in my soul / Can you fill it?” you know he’s not afraid of raw emotion. Somehow, his pathos and darker lyrics feel completely enticing and almost whimsical. One listen to the sing-along chorus of “Things We Lost In The Fire” showcases that dichotomy. Though it’s a solid album loaded with stadium-ready melodies, these sleek, grandiose songs start to feel a little same-sounding by around the halfway mark. But if you like modern pop artists like Coldplay, Keane or Snow Patrol, Bastille will work a charm.
Sam Sparro, “Infinite”
Though we’re headed in to the colder winter months, there’s something about Sam Sparro’s latest that feels like a magical summer breeze. Yup, this talented, out Aussie with the big pipes sure knows how to turn out an infectious house track for maximum dancefloor spins. And like its title, you’ll wanna play this on repeat. This is taken from his fab new “Quantum Physical Volume One” EP.
Jagwar Ma, “Come Save Me” (Andrew Weatherall remix)
The ’60s-sounding down under trio dropped one of the best singles of the year so far with this bewitching, psychedelic jam. And much like the work he did with Primal Scream, Weatherall fiddles with the knobs to add some hippie shake beats for the clubs, while keeping the meat ‘n’ potatoes of the song intact.
John Type, “Electro Disco Mashup”
It’s exactly what it says on the tin — a mega 22-track blend featuring Daft Punk, Queen, Chic, Michael Jackson, The Police, KC & The Sunshine Band and more, and it all pounds hard with fierce electro beats. File this under floor-filler.
SOUND & VISION:
Steve Hefner, “Halloween Horror Classics Megamix”
Seeing as it’s almost Halloween, I would be remiss in not featuring this. Though this mix and video is almost six years old, it’s still pretty much the pinnacle when it comes to all your favorite horror movie music and samples. Download it here.
DJ Paul V. has been offering up his alternative/electro beats on dance floors since 1982, most notably at LA’s Dragstrip 66. He’s also an accomplished blogger and author of Born This Way: Real Stories of Growing Up Gay.