Select Sundays: The Roosevelt Blues

Bamboos frontman Lance Ferguson, also known as Lanu, is a Kiwi but the greatness of this song needs no translation. Try it late at night overlooking a bay while sitting on a dock. Try it mid-day while eating a York peppermint patty. Try it at early evening karaoke. Whatever you do, just try it.

The Roosevelt Blues - Lanu

Driving At Night

I love a solid house music track. Driving at night is by far one of my favorite times to listen to house music, and 'driving at night' has recently hit my list of songs to drive to at night.

The percussion, the synths, the mellow yet danceable beat keep you moving.  The mid song breakdown almost transforms the song into a different song, in a good way. The chord progression is impossible to resist whether you're on the dance floor or your butt is in the driver's seat. Enjoy!

Driving At Night - Jeremy Glenn
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Jeremy Glenn

La Familia

Last night I went to see Thao Nguyen and Mirah perform a joint show.

This is one of the first songs that I noticed from Mirah, something about the soft string-sounding instruments in this stripped down song about the direction of a relationship stood out for me. I also like the rhyme "if we sleep together would it make it any better?"

La Familia - Mirah
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Better Off Without You

There's so many aspects of this song that make me smile. I hear the bass and drums right up front, which I love. Her voice is singing lyrics that you'd figure would come from someone sad, yet there's a positive aura in her tone. Other things that I find myself gravitating towards are the simple 1,2,3 of the kickdrum, the male background vocals during the chorus, and the flutter of electric guitar and keyboard jams that fill the background. There will never be enough songs about breakups.

Better Off Without You - Summer Camp
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Summer Camp


Something about this song makes it stand out to me, though I haven't quite put my finger on what exactly.  If I were to describe the track to you, it would come off as rather generic.  I understand that being unique is hardly the qualifier of a good song, sometimes sticking to the formula returns great results. Trafalgar is great results. It's a high energy journey with aesthetically pleasing sounds building and breaking. I enjoy the vocal sample at the end, it's just snuck in there you'd never know it existed. Enjoy!

Trafalgar - The M Machine
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The M Machine


I cannot get enough of the beginning guitar portion of this song. The slightly imperfect sound from old rusty strings accompanied by the sound of calloused hands sliding up and down the fretboard grazing the strings as they glide feels even more rustic accompanied by the perfectly timed and pitched drum machine.   The song evolves into a beautiful symphony of acoustic and electric. For me, the rest of the song is good, but the beginning is great. Enjoy!

Seasondeux - Youngteam
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Upon first listen, I thought she was singing "paradise".  Until I got a load of the song name, and gave it a closer listen. The song has an 80's electronic feel but with a modern aura. As the song begins, you have no idea where it's going to go, until the synths kick in.  Her soft airy vocals, the epic breakdown, and the somewhat unconventional percussion instruments (for a dance music track of this nature) make this song stand out. Enjoy!

Paradigm - U-Tern
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Select Sundays: Heat Wave

The Eastern Seaboard is getting slammed by record temperature highs and cities are melting away. What better time to introduce an infectious track that captures the moment? Some young guys sampled the hook from some old gals and created a modern day version of a classic. I personally prefer the 1960s girl group version, but either will do for staying cool. Assuming your electricity is still running...

(Love is Like a) Heatwave - Martha & the Vandellas
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Martha & the Vandellas

Heatwave Feat. Mac Miller - Chiddy Bang
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Chiddy Bang


I was immediately hooked by the percussion of this song. The pounding kick-drum, the sprinkler sounding high-hat, and the unpredictability. The vocals and background vocals were the second thing that stood out to me on this track, it's ambient and light while having tones of darkness and melancholy. And, I love the introduction.

Blow - Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross
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Dawn Golden and Rosy Cross

Midnight City

This song has the ability to fill a room and grab your attention. You're no sure if you're hearing vocal samples or electronically produced sounds, or both, but you know that you feel it. M83 has created a song that feels epic, yet again.  I never expected to hear a saxophone join in, but anything is possible these days. Enjoy!

Midnight City - M83
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Adrien Mezsi produces a solid remix (or reboot) of Ellie's already great track, 'Lights'. There is something magical about Ellie's voice over a solid dance beat. This one in particular has strong dance floor energy, with dramatic builds, breaks, and vocals. Enjoy!

Lights (Adrien Mezsi Reboot) - Ellie Goulding
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Ellie Goulding | Adrien Mezsi

The Rip

If witches are real, this is how I imagine they sing while brewing up spells.  Granted, I don't really envision an acoustic guitar or synths and drums along with witches, so it stops at her voice.  I love hearing the unexpected rapid crescendo of electronic sounds and drums mid track, it is what made me want to listen to the song for the second time. Enjoy!

The Rip - Portishead
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Can't Stop

It has been proven that this catchy track will turn any wall-flower into a dance floor mayhem machine, I've seen it. Dragonette's catchy lyrics with Martin's catchy production come together to create a grand slam song for your electronic rock and roll dance floor needs. There's nothing heavy here but the beats, and it works. Enjoy!

Can't Stop Feat. Dragonette - Martin Solveig
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Martin Solveig | Dragonette

Select Sundays: Carousel

On this special Sunday, Hope Solo and the rest of the U.S. soccer team faces off against Japan in the World Cup finals. We're here to celebrate their athleticism with this soft and delicate track from Sydney Wayser, who probably didn't grow up playing too much soccer herself but will still pair/contrast nicely with the action on-screen. Listen to Hope tell the story of how she got a wicked scar.

Carousel - Sydney Wayser
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Sydney Wayser

Until We Bleed

Mikael has really showcased the erie and melancholy lyrics of this song. The double vocal filter effect adds further depth and dimension to Lykke's already emotion packed lyrics. Of course, nothing brings the drama harder than a few string instruments allowed to stand alone front and center. Besides a simple synth this stripped down version is vocals and cellos, and in my opinion works perfectly. Enjoy!

Until We Bleed (feat. Lykke Li) Mikel's Cello Version - Mikael Karlsson
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Lykke Li | Mikael Karlsson


It took me about 5 listens to notice that this song had violins.  I can't get her past the dark and smokey singing lines like "I feel safe in the darkness". The percussion on this track walks like an oversized elephant carrying a load twice it's mass. I'd be scared if this song was played at loud volume in a pitch dark room, well maybe. Enjoy!

Purple - Crustation
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Hearing her mysterious voice singing "all these things about me you never can tell" really makes this song stand out to me. The Innerpartysystem remix really adds a strong and bold 4-on-the-floor beat to an already rockin' song. The electric guitar synth at the top of the breakdown moves the crowd, it makes me want to jump up and down.  Finally, a shout out to the sounds of coins (I think) falling to the ground, it's somewhat of a Pink Floyd like "money" element. Enjoy!

Whirring (Innerpartysystem Remix) - The Joy Formidable
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The Joy Formidable | Innerpartysystem

Jemmy Twitcher

I'm not sure what the sample of this song is, but I've been singing along "ridin'".  I love the classic drum and bass sounds near the 1:30 mark, which you can't miss.  The high energy horns along with the peppered sound effects allow this song to project a bit of light instead of being the typical 100% dark dnb track. And a special mention of the breakdown mid-track, this song begs to be played at loud volume. Enjoy!

Jemmy Twitcher - Parker
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Atlas Hands

This soft and melodic tune takes me right on into the week with a steaming cup of coffee and morning mist type feel. I love the rough yet smooth texture of Benjamin's voice when he says "I will remember your face". The touch of female vocals towards the end really tops it off for me.

Stripped down songs consisting of vocals and a guitar has been done plenty -nothing new here. But when you know when something is good, and Atlas Hands is good. Enjoy!

Atlas Hands - Benjamin Francis Leftwich
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Benjamin Francis Leftwich

Select Sundays: Quiet Town

I'm a sucker for sweet acoustic guitar songs. And what's sweeter than a song about lazy afternoons and the grocery store down the street? This track is the perfect blend of easy going lyrics, a soft yet driving beat, and a melancholy violin. Or maybe it's just wistfully mournful. (Plus there's whistling!) Josh Rouse is from Nebraska so he knows a thing or two about the beauty of small towns.

Quiet Town - Josh Rouse
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Josh Rouse

Breathe Me

I love how two completely different elements meld together in this track.  Sia's beautiful and whispery voice and the soothing piano, are hit by a firestorm of electronic lasers, drums, and atomic bass bombs.  Somehow the dueling elements combine to create a great dubstep remix of what is a beautiful original track. I especially like the breakdown that occurs around the first minute mark, the quiet before the storm. Enjoy!

Get Away From You

I normally don't expect this sound from Martin Solveig, but I sure as hell welcome it! I love the "do do do do do doo doo doo" electric guitar chorus in this song. It's got a great Britpop-Rock-Garage sound and a simple message: "I'd rather get away from you". Rock on, enjoy!

Get Away From You - Martin Solveig
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Martin Solveig

Fade Into Darkness

With just the right amount of vocals, piano, synths, cheese, pop, energy, and party potential, 'Fade Into Darkness' has had me dancing in my chair all day.  This is an all around club anthem, from the DJ friendly intro to the high energy peaks. The vocals have grown on me, at first I wasn't sure if I was digging the chorus, now I sing it in my head on the way to the kitchen. Enjoy!

Fade Into Darkness (Alex Prigenzi Vocal Mix) - Avicii
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Avicii | Alex Prigenzi

Glass Jar

Synths, arrhythmic percussion,  ambient sounds, and alien spaceship noises slowly crescendo from the muttering of "it's everything time" far past your initial expectation for a build up. Expect things to pick up near the 4:00 tick, but they don't even start cooking until after the 6:00 mark. It almost feels as though Gang Gang Dance members got together and said "let's just jam it up" and pushed record.  I love the vocals, and high energy that the song erupts into towards the back end of the track.

Do yourself a favor and set aside 12 minutes today to sit back and listen to the glass jar. Enjoy!

Glass Jar - Gang Gang Dance
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Gang Gang Dance

In The Sunshine

A B and The Sea hail from San Francisco. I live in SF, and know very well that we rarely have days where you can feel the feeling that this song conveys so well. Let your hair down, slap your shades on, go to the beach/park/backyard and open your cold beverage of choice with this song on. Enjoy!

In The Sunshine - A B and The Sea
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A B and The Sea

Select Sundays: A New England

Punk folk music is totally new to me but I kind of dig this track. And what could be more appropriate for this Independence Day weekend than a song from the United Kingdom? Billy Bragg's demo tape initially got no response from the record industry but by pretending to be a television repair man, he got into the office of an A&R guy. And then, in order to get some radio play, he rushed to bring food to a DJ after hearing that he was hungry on-air. What a go-getter!

A New England - Billy Bragg
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Billy Bragg

All of the Lights

The horns at the beginning of this song get me every time. I spent the mid 90's going to high school and buying hip hop albums. It wasn't until college that I discovered electronic music.  Chris Cab's Remix/Cover is a fun concoction of both.  With a hint of analog sounds as well as digital, a bit of hip hop, and bit of that dubstep-y sound this song pumps me up.

All of the Lights (Remix Chris Cab Cover) - Kanye West
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Kanye WestChris Cab