Welcome, welcome! This week, we have tracks featuring feminine MAGICS! First up is a track by a European artist called Dee (I think Dee is currently in Berlin).
I listen to several dozen tracks each week, some I don’t connect with, others get me after a few sections, and a few grab me from the first sound. “Trigger” hooked me right away. The opening synth is unapologetic, the chopped-up ambient vocals have me leaning forward in my seat (reminding me of something I heard and loved in the 90s…perhaps on an Eiffel 65 album), and then Dee’s clear and confident vocal comes in and the deal is sealed.
The structure of this track is strong – verses have a theoretically sound repeating melodic theme (featuring slight variations by the third repetition) that ramps up into a prechorus with increasing melodic/emotional tension (due to new intervallic jumps and higher melody notes), then breaking into a satisfying chorus featuring a melodic theme that repeats notes in sequence for the first time, which is a lovely change for the ear. Most importantly, this vocal is believable and emotionally connected.
Keeping the love fest going, the vocal track on “Trigger” allows some of the noises of home recording (check out 0:09-0:10 on the word “tensions” and you can hear the breath hit the diaphragm of the mic), while also allowing for the excitement and clarity of pop production. Many recordings these days are so crystal clean they feel almost sterile, and the sounds informing us a person (not a machine) made this music are cut out. Most sounds do need to be cut for clarity’s sake and ease of listening, yet Dee has managed a track that keeps the warmth and intimacy of (what is likely a) home recording while making a fantastic pop track. Kudos all around!
Dee’s vocal also reminds me in a way of Imogen Heap (who I absolutely adore). And the vocal chops in the bridge section sound like something that would fit right in with tracks from All I Want.
Lastly, Dee – whose music is self identified as pop, alternative, experimental, Moon worship, and menstruation magic (YES!) will come out with a track every full moon. Thank Goddess!
Now we dig into a some mystical sounds from USA artist, Zaliza.
This track takes me to nighttime, winter, and the blue light of the moon. Not sure what the climate is like where you are right now, dear reader, but I can tell you that it’s h-o-t here in the southwestern part of the USA.* “Little Raptures” is a welcome breath of coolness in the heat of summer. I also very much enjoy the imagery of the lyric:
I was left alone making angels in the snow.
It evokes so much (loneliness, abandonment, cold, introspection) without relying on these words. To me, it’s a wonderful example of “show, don’t tell.” The tones, vocal delivery, and poetic imagery, capably encapsulate all we need to know.
Next up we have a track from Indonesian artist, Kai Mata. This track is sunny, groovy, and contains wonderful lines to repeat to yourself:
I just want to take a chance
today is gonna change tomorrow
I know this isn’t what I planned,
Where I go, love goes.
I go where love goes
How timely and encouraging! I think I’ll be playing this one on repeat – and not just for the poignant lyrics either. The arpeggiated guitar plucks land delightfully behind the beat, which is held down by sharp strums on beats 2 and 4. This makes a catchy groove for Kai’s endearing voice to sit in. And on a personal note, Kai Mata is out there promoting equality and visibility for the LGBTQ+ community via her music and public persona (for more on that, check out the rest of her Bandcamp). Where Kai goes, love goes!
And to wrap up the minimix today, we have a dreamy track by USA based, Haiva Ru.
“Swim” (which I would very much like to do, thank you very much for asking) contains harmonics, tender vocals, great sound design, innovative percussion (like “snare” hits created from knocking on a guitar and the fantastically analog sounding kicks), a live string player, and relaxed grooves. What a sonic treat!
So much of this track feels analog to me (interpret that word however you like) while also evoking a modern/electronic sensibility I really enjoy.
/////////////////////////////////////////////// <— this is from a cat
Given that a cat is trying to finish this blog-post and crying for lunch, I’m going to sign off now. Thank you for spending this time with me. As always, it’s been a pleasure and I hope you enjoyed minimix #6!
*I was informed recently, by a wise and self-declared radical woman, that in the USA, we refer to ourselves as Americans, which we are – however, America spans from Canada to Mexico with the United States is in the middle. So, in order to be more specific and inclusive (regarding the connotation of America), I am using “USA based” and other words I find to describe what often is referred to as American and America.
P.S. If you came here because you saw the cover I made of “Southern Sun” by Paul Oakenfold and Carla Werner, this is one of my favorite version of that original track (which is chalk full of lady moon magic! The lyrics – especially the first verse feels like a benevolent spell or something):