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“Beat/Melody Driven”Music That Has Informed Our Songs and Our SoundGuest Playlist:Dark Side of Light

Updated: Apr 26

photo credit: Eden Tyler

Disclaimer: We are not going “deep cut” on anything here. We want this playlist to be fun, easily digestible, universal, and listener friendly.

1• “Pull My Strings” - Dark Side Of Light

I was originally hesitant to add our music to this great “legacy” playlist but was asked to, so here’s, “Pull My Strings.” It was the first song that Grant and I made together that felt magical and it kind of set the bar for everything moving forward. The response from this one has been really heartwarming. Grateful for the praise.

2• “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” - Roy Ayers

This neo-psychedelic 1976 title track heavily informs our beats, our sense of arrangement and frankly, all the rest of it. One of the best productions, ever, period.

3• “Kill All Hippies” - Primal Scream

The band that introduced “Rocktronica” to the world in the early 90’s with their debut record “Screamadelica”, REINTRODUCED themselves a decade later, with their answer to the early 2000’s European (and frankly terrible) EDM invasion of America, with the disruptive dance masterpiece, XTRMNTR.

4• “Good Vibrations” - The Beach Boys

When the Beatles heard this record, they got worried about their place in music and upped their game. The result was Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. That is all.

5• “Alfonso Muskedunder” - Todd Terje

Holy smokes this song is burning hot. We call ourselves a “beat driven” project and aspire someday to, ourselves, achieve this level of “beat driven-ness.”

6• “Hammond Song” - Whitney

Grant and I were literally discussing covering the Roaches original when this came out. Once I heard their amazing version, I realized there just wasn’t a point- there was nothing further that needed to be played, arranged or sung here.

7• “One Love” - Massive Attack

When I heard this for the first time, my perception of what we could do with popular music changed. This slowed down, drugged out, heavy lidded, monotonously melodic, version of hip-hop hooked me from the first few bars.

8• “Waltz #2 (XO)” - Elliot Smith

A heartbreaking, excessively melodic, pop song, built around a child-like beat that brings to mind images of the “Cymbal Banging Monkey Toy” none of us actually grew up with. Shows where you can take a song DESPITE a beat. Although, pretty sure he’s using it here for its haunting simplicity. This song is a teacher.

9• “Lust For Life” - Iggy Pop

Send Bowie and Iggy to Berlin to “get cleaned up,” and get Pop’s greatest solo track. Period. Hunt Sales’ iconic beat picks me up, throws me against the wall and DEMANDS I dance.

10• “So Good At Being In Trouble” - Unknown Mortal Orchestra

This band is composed of REALLY talented musicians who just might be able to pull off some serious prog rock, but thankfully, they never do. No matter how complex their musical parts get, it never feels forced and you don’t realize how well they play until you see them live.

11• “Fitzpleasure” - alt-J

Sometime in 2012, I was partying at a friend’s house and he just HAD to show me something. It was the video for “Fitzpleasure” and, for me, indie rock, and the idea of an accompanying “music video” would never be the same again. Taking abstract arrangements, broken beats and that BASS to the top of the pops!

12• “Moist” - Dark Side Of Light

The keyboard riff or bass riff, so to speak on this one, makes me smile every time I hear it. It’s intrinsic “warped“ almost comically messed up tone and shape, hits me as something akin to being “perfectly imperfect,” which I like to think we all are. Then come Grant’s thundering drums which ARE perfect, so there you go.

13• “Sound And Vision” – David Bowie

What do you get after 5 years of obsessing over Black American music on a diet of only cocaine and milk? The Thin White Duke’s most focused project and the aforementioned lead track. Brilliant post-pop album, and my favorite song therein.

14• “The Less I Know The Better” - Tame Impala

Sorry, not sorry. I was into this band before they went “Yacht Rock” and like them more now. This BRILLIANT, sexy production, and its amazing pop art companion piece video, make me smile every time I encounter either.

15• “Police And Thieves” - Junior Murvin

No DSOL playlist would be complete without a track produced and co-written by the Mighty Disruptor himself, Lee “Scratch” Perry. A musical revolution was spawned by this genius and, if we ever, someday, come within 1% of where he took music, we’ll die happy.

16• “Yesterday” - Swim Mountain

Great drum sounds and hyperactive beats with layered psych-pop vocals immediately please the ear. More Brits should move to LA and make records.

17• “Summer Breeze, Pts. 1 & 2” - The Isley Brothers

When we covered the song, we did some subliminal throws to this beautifully rendered and very schmaltzy, vocal heavy version. Let’s see if you pick up on them when you listen to ours ;)

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Playlist Link: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1IPNeT5f54NIcKe1TNX7j9?si=cbf68d38f42b46dd

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