Over on Instagram, I’ve been using Stories to share songs I dig at the moment, although of course it doesn’t let me go into any depth whatsoever.
So I’m offloading some of that here and changing the format of Good Music. (I was careful to name this series “Good Music” from “Album of the Month” since I knew I’d probably end up wanting to change things up all over again at some point. I wonder if that’s just the nature of blogging about music...)
Album: Gabriel Gundacker – Unofficial Wii Sports Soundtrack
Comedian-musician Gabriel Gundacker of Zendaya is Meechee fame released a collection of tracks that he wrote as “hypothetical Wii Sports songs”. Every track captures a lot of what makes Nintendo music so fun: soft layered synths, soaring melodies, quirky MIDI instrumentation, accordions – he gets it all. Nintendo should seriously consider hiring this dude. (Then again, we wouldn’t be getting projects like this…)
You can download it for free (or whatever price you want) via his Bandcamp page. I’ve had it downloaded for a few days now. It’s great to throw in the background while working, while exercising, while doing just about anything. It’s guaranteed to not just lighten your mood, but shoot it right through the roof. 8.5/10
Live Performance: Muse – Hungry Like the Wolf
I really try to find an out with this band, I swear… then they come out with gold like this.
The band’s in-your-face style and songwriting is a point of contention for a lot of people, but I think one of the few undeniable things about them is that they make stellar covers. (Case in point, if they fancy your interest.) Admittedly, they don’t add a lot to the song, but what they do add – sharp guitars, chaotic breakdowns, glimmering arpeggios – takes this Duran Duran classic to another level.
You can listen to a different recording of this cover on Spotify.
Album: Takuda Kuroda – Rising Son
Once in a while, I come across an album that operates right on my frequency and becomes an instant favorite – Rising Son by Takuya Kuroda is one of those albums. (Nice seeing you again.) The marriage of funk-inspired grooves and crisp production, especially for a contemporary album, makes this a really palatable album for first-time jazz listeners. Highly recommended as a palette cleanser as well. 9/10
I feel acoustic ballads are a lost art. Ever since rediscovering Coldplay’s Parachutes, I’ve been seeking out similar songs that explore the same atmosphere – songs that give you the feeling of being alone by a fire in the woods for eternity.
I came across Kaki King’s Everybody Loves You, also a debut album. It’s completely devoid of vocals and features only acoustic guitar. I feel it’s less like Parachutes and more akin to Coldplay B-sides like I Bloom Blaum and Careful Where You Stand, which manage to sound even more bare than Parachutes and are excellent in their own right.
Below is a short playlist I compiled featuring my favorites from Everybody Loves You and other stripped-down ballads.