(Super Late) Best Singles of 2011 – M83, Yuck, Sabrepulse, Eric & Magill, The Joy Formidable

I’ve had this fucking post sitting in the queue since before new years and I just lost interest in the futile act of writing, so it sat. Though we’re now into shorts weather here in Atlanta, it’s still not too late to celebrate a few of the best songs of last year:

M83 – Midnight City

I do love this song, despite a few major complaints.

1. Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming and much of M83’s catalog in general suffers from a bit of Manic Pixie Dream syndrome. The faux vintage haze of idealism gets under my skin after a while.

2. That fucking sax solo. I think this single is amazing, right until the worst trend of 2011 slaps me in the face…and still it deserves a place on the list.

‘Midnight City’, when it works, showscases the spacey soundtracks to adolescent daydreams they’ve nearly perfected over the years. Despite the melodrama, the highs are dizzyingly high. See also: Kim & Jessie.

Sabrepulse – Close To Me

Probably the best man in Chiptunes, expanding his sound into a more polished realm. Worthy of repeat. Click the graphic above and buy the album. Keep some money in his pocket so that he can continue to evolve his sound. Plus, the download comes with a few great remixes.

Yuck – The Wall

Nostalgia for the 90’s doesn’t really appeal to me, as I suffered through most of the highs and lows of that decade. Despite leaning heavily on the playbook of many early 90’s staples, Yuck manages to create something simultaneously forward looking and seeped in the right notes of the past.

Phantogram – Don’t Move

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3oAif29JfkQ

Eyelid Movies was one of my very favorites of 2010 and this cut off their newest EP holds great promise for what’s to come. Shaking off a touch of the gloom, “Don’t Move” remains moody, yet catchy and just the right tempo for swaying along.

The Joy Formidable – Whirring

This song reminds me, in all the good ways, of the stomp and harmony of Pretty Girls Make Graves, all while offering a meatier, layered guitar sound. Ritzy Bryan’s pummeling coo floats perfectly above the noise, just as Leona Marrs & Andrea Zollo’s voices did in PGMG.

Eric & Magill – You Make It So Good

I don’t usually find this kind of indie-psych-folk at all appealing, but there’s something amazing tucked into this hypnotically mixed song. The spiraling blend of vocals and crisp drums just sinks in perfectly. However, I can’t make heads or tails of the video.

Stream All Those I Know on Eric & Magill’s bandcamp

LAKAIROMANIA – new skate video from Spike Jonez & Ty Evans

I’m not much of a skate video fan, but when I do watch, I like them to be high concept…or just blooper reels of people taking handrails to the nuts. The clip above is Lakai’s LAKAIROMANIA and it’s a great example of the former. It’s an awesome bit of slowmotion fire porn, with folks grinding gasoline soaked rails. As their submission to the Transworld Skateboarding 2010 Skate & Create competition, the short blows the other entries out of the out of the water. Featured in the video is Ima Robot’s ‘Ruthless’, which like some of the music in Lakai’s other clips is suitably moody.

In researching this video, I discovered there’s a common thread in the other skate videos I’ve enjoyed over the years. LAKAIROMANIA is directed by Ty Evans and produced by Spike Jonez. The last skate video that caught my eye happens to be another Lakai production:

From 2007, Fully Flared is another type of slow motion porn, this time full of awesome explosions. Directed by both Ty Evans and Spike Jonez, it keeps things interesting by sticking the skaters in what looks like some potentially hazardous sitiuations. The score this time is M83, a band which if you pair any of their songs up with slow motion video, the result will be seeped in excess gravitas.

Going back one step further to Yeah Right,the first skate video that caught my eye happens again to be directed by the pair of Evans and Jonez. In the set piece of this one, they remove the rider’s boards via greenscreen. The result is strangely dreamy, people just gracefully scooting along on nothing.

The film’s intro scene is also interesting, shot at around 100fps from close-in on the board. From that angle, you get a peek into how the feet work on a double kickflip. Awesome.