Guest Segment: themostindietastic

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A Colorful Mix: A Journey of Home

By: Kelsey Kahla

Before I ramble on about the wonderful underground/indie artists included in this mix, I should probably show some credentials so you, as a reader, believe that I’m not full of crap. I’m not. I am a twenty-one year old college graduate, and when asked to do a guest blog, well, I ran upstairs to tell my mom like I had just been offered a job or something. But really, writing has become more of a passion in my life than I ever thought it would become, writing about music specifically. I was the Music Director for two years at my college’s radio station (a big shout out to some of my best friends over at WPPJ!) and I discovered more unsigned artists than I ever thought I would. I am also a mix tape artisan, which sounds so beyond pretentious, but I have multiple friends force me to create themed mix tapes for them, and I love it more than I probably should. There’s nothing better than on a rainy day, playing a “Rainy Day” mix. So hopefully, you enjoy this guest blog and hopefully you’ll check out my own!

This idea for the mix tape came to me when I was listening to an artist that eventually made it on the list, Foreign Slippers, and her song “Green Jacket”, I had been driving a lot today and noticed a lot of indie artists use colors, but not just colors as a description but as a way to reveal experiences in relationships and the idea of ‘home’. And while I wanted to keep the theme of this blog site relevant I stuck to mostly unknown names–but I had to throw in a few bigger ones because the songs just fit so perfectly.

My main goal of this theme was to make the playlist as lush as colors are, with a sweeping motion throughout to create not separated tracks, but a whole “journey” through each song. There’s nothing worse than when you’re listening to a quieted song and then next some punk song comes blaring on. Most of these songs are full of dream-pop/singer-songwriters but they have created music that doesn’t bore the listener to death.

Starting with hip-hop singer, Why?, and if you don’t know this band, stop reading this and listen to everything. While he may be considered hip-hop, he’s more of a poet, with a piano backing up his creative words, he croons “Should our heroes hands be holding this blackest purse? Mom, am I failing or worse? Mom, am I failing? What should these earnest hands be holding?” While the beat is peppy, the lyrics are somewhat triggering of emotions that everyone has felt at one time or another. Why? starts the journey of the colorful mix and sets the bar high but, let’s continue on.

I love how “Indigo” by Yawn jars yet smoothly transitions as the next song. Much more in the realm of indie afro-beats, while the lyrics are harder to understand, it’s mostly about the music–full of head bobbing beats and strange noises–Yawn creates interesting music that moves through the motions of the songs they create, much like color on an easel.

A song I’ve been wanting to put into every mix that I make, “Rose Wallpaper” is truly a great song. Weird electronic beats that at times overpower the song, but then hold back to show the repetitious rhythm, it’s Caithlin de Marrais’ voice and lyrics that eventually take the song. Former front woman of Rainer Maria, her voice is soft yet comforting despite the pleas throughout the song. She eases into the music without fail, she controls where the song is going to continue on to and keeps it, never letting the music dominate.

While neon may not be a “color”, it has forced its way into our palate. As has Armistice, a wonderful supergroup of Coeur de Pirate, Jay Malinowski, and Mariachi El Bronx–full of that sunshine indie pop that warms everyones heart–it also takes on some old western style guitars, almost making the song nostalgic in itself. Even the lyrics harken back to a time–full of poetry and adventure with a modern day twist on it–the words seem to have come from a novel and so easily fit into the music Armistice has created.

Young Prisms, mmm. They make me feel like I can float–it’s that type of dreamy, lo-fi shoe gaze that is barely audible, but it makes so much sense at the same time. Hence the song, “Floating In Blue”, they have created that environment and make it believable to the listener, and honesty in music is worth so much more than auto tune and overly processed music.

I just wrote an extremely long blog about my new founded love for Foreign Slippers, a Swede and a beautiful singer who makes my heart melt. One of the more indie-pop oriented songs, I’ll quote my own blog. “her songs are refreshingly new with repetitious melodies that evolve into a whole other being during a 4 minute song and while sometimes the songs linger they complete the whole story of the song, specific rhythms may change, but it always returns to the beginning but is never the same and it takes a real musician to be able to accomplish that.”

Bringing it down to a more quieter beginning, White Sparks by Animal Kingdom remind me so much of bands like Age of Rockets and Sigur Ros, with that sharp intensity of flowing music, some have compared them to early Radiohead, and it’s not too far off. Absolutely controlled but with hooks and creative rhythms throughout the song, it’s a joy to listen to a band that can keep everything contained yet still manage to make an impact.

Finally, Voxtrot, a band that has unfortunately broken up (and they took my heart with them), but a band that will always be listened to. Blood Red Blood is one of the greatest songs in my opinion, with hooks and anthemic lyrics that make me shout them every time the song shuffles on my iPod. Full of guitars, foot stomping drums and ever ranging vocals, the lyrics “I’m just trying to do my best, I’m not afraid of life, I’m afraid of death, build my love in the things I say, you’ve gotta lift your face to the breaking day”. Enjoy that.

Hopefully you haven’t found me too pretentious, I just really enjoy good music, and sharing said music with everyone. I am a hipster, hear me roar. If you are on tumblr, so am I–follow me: http://indietastic.tumblr.com/. And of course, it would be a pleasure if you would check out my blog where I post about artists mostly unknown: http://themostindietastic.com/

List of songs in mix:

1. This Blackest Purse-Why?

2. Indigo-Yawn

3. Rose Wallpaper- Caithlin de Marrais

4. Neon Love-Armistice

5. Floating In Blue-Young Prisms

6. Green Jacket-Foreign Slippers

7. White Sparks-Animal Kingdom

8. Silver Streets-Boy

9. Blood Red Blood- Voxtrot


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