Empire of the Sun just released this mega bomb of a song called “Wandering Star” which made the soundtrack to the new Dumb and Dumber 2 movie. And usually when you mix an amazing band to do a song for a horrible movie, you get a horrible song. To the contrary sir! Everything Empire of the Sun touches is absolute gold. Lucky for us the byproduct of a crappy movie was not a horrible soundtrack.
This song could not make me feel any more depressed and sad on the inside. But isn’t that what music is supposed to do, make you feel something. I mean I get that people love EDM music, but there is just a lost of substance in music sometimes.
CHVRCHES continues their year of domination in the indie pop scene with a new feature in the new The Hunger Games: Mockingjay soundtrack. Days after being released, the song “Dead Air” has reached the top of the Hype Machine popular page. The song was first performed as “Richard Pryor” at Austin City Limits and has been gaining traction ever since. The upbeat song follows the same 80’s synth pop standard CHVRCHES is known for, but the lyrics have more of a rebellious and fighting tone than their usual songs. CHVRCHES join Kanye West, Miguel, Tove Lo, Charli XCX, Major Lazer and more in the Lorde curated Mockingjay album.
Other CHVRCHES songs :
For every lover of synthpop/electronic pop, the “Drive” soundtrack was probably one of the best things to come out in 2011. The original soundtrack, written by ex Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Cliff Martinez, was a masterpiece of its own with such fitting songs like “I Drive” or Kavinsky produced “Nightcall“.
Now BBC’s Zane Lowe is honoring the movie by rescoring the soundtrack with some of the biggest indie artists of the previous year. Already released are contributions by CHVRCHES and Bastille. The other artists featured on the rescore will include Jon Hopkins, The 1975, Baauer, Banks, Bring Me The Horizon, Eric Prydz, Laura Mvula, The Neighbourhood and ZCC. The rescored version of the movie will premiere in the UK on the BBC television network on October 30 at 10pm. Although many are calling foul on the rewrite of one of the best movie soundtracks made, one can’t help thinking of how epic the movie could be if Zane Lowe flawlessly pulls it off.
CHVRCHES song “Get Away” has already made a splash debuting on the top 10 of the hype machines daily charts. “Get Away” could have easily been on the original soundtrack, with synthpop sounds that hardly deviate from the original CHVRCHES style.
The Bastille track “The Driver” is an electronic rock ballad that falls in and out of moody/dark to heavy/loud.
I got the opportunity to chat with LA’s emerging electronic indie pop trio, Wildcat! Wildcat! about their debut album “No Moon at All“. There were laughs and chuckles, but Wildcat! Wildcat! are a band that is serious about their music. Their first single “Mr. Quiche”, features a break dancing cat and a sick layered background beat. They had the opportunity to open for Alt-J and Portugal. the Man’s headline tours. The group consists of Michael Wilson (Vocals, Keys), Jesse Taylor (Vocals, Bass) and Jesse Carmichael (Vocals, Drums).
Huy: What were your inspirations for the songs on “No Moon at All”?
Michael: It essentially came down to what came right as a unit. Ever since we started playing, we wanted to make a full length album that you could play from start to finish that wasn’t based around one or two big songs. We wanted each song to have its own inspiration and own driving forces. But overall, the songs all fit together and have a movement that felt really good to us.
Huy: How was it working with such a big name like Morgan Kibby of M83?
Jesse C: That was rad, she was really great. We met up with a bunch of producers and we would walk away thinking this was cool but maybe we need to find the right fit. We met with her and we walked away thinking she gets it and we thought she would do a good job with what we are trying to do. She was great to work with and being big fans of M83, you have the moment where you go this is really rad because we like and respect a lot of the stuff that she has done before. The White Sea record was great. She’s such a nice person and wasn’t intimidating, so she was a good fit for our personal dynamic.
Michael: One of the things we were drawn to the most was her passion for the project. A lot of people we were meeting with were looking at it very objectively and thinking they knew what they wanted to do with the record before we even got to the studio but she wanted it to be a good experience, for us in the studio and after the studio. It was nice because she didn’t cut corners and didn’t tell us our time was up in the studio. She was game and always willing to spend more time than needed to make us feel comfortable. That was a huge relief for us, since the business nowadays is about pinching pennies and we needed to find someone just as passionate as we were and it just kind of blossomed and was really complimentary.
Huy: Holloway is one of the most epic tracks I have ever heard, how did you guys come up with the song and what does the Holloway represent?
Jesse T: It’s actually a prison.. It’s about a place of being stuck for awhile and you could do whatever you want with your time. It could be dark and scary but you can figure things out. In history, it was a women’s prison but I don’t know if it exists anymore.
Huy: What age did each of you get started in music and what inspired you to start?
Jesse C: Started playing drums when I was 10 or 11. I kind of got groomed early on as a kid and had a private rock drum set and was aware of it. In 6th grade I finally started playing the drums.
Jesse T: I played the keys when i was in kindergarten, and convinced my parents to switch to guitar in junior high, but everybody played guitar so I had to switch to bass.
Michael: I still don’t play anything.. Just poke around with the keys. Just kidding, I grew up playing piano.
Huy: If you guys had your pick, which TV show would you want your music to be featured on?
The SuperBowl? Greys Anatomy. Adventure Time. Scandal. House of Cards. How to Get Away with Murder. The Walking Dead. The League. Friday Night Lights.. Well I guess Explosions in the Sky got that. Some TV shows you would want your songs on but some are just a good fit for it. I mean our music could fit onto any TV show, in the right situation. For instance, when we got our song placed on American Idol, we were kind of wondering what they would want with our music and where would they put it. They put it at the time when everybody was getting kicked off and crying, so it was perfect. It was just really funny.
Huy: What is your favorite song at the current moment?
Cashmere Cat – Kiss Kiss (Lido Remix)
Bibio – Dye water Green
YG – Bompton
A$AP Rocky – Multiply
Huy: What was you craziest moment on tour?
Michael: Our van broke down on this tour and we had to cancel one of the dates, but everybody pulled it together and we figured it out.
Huy: Have you ever had your own song stuck in your head?
Michael: Yeah, mostly during the writing process. After writing, it becomes so saturated. It’s normal to not think about it that much, but when you do that’s when you know you like it, when you want to hear it again.
Jesse C: I get other versions of the songs stuck in my head. Each song has different versions of it.
Jesse T: Yeah, I get the demos that never made the cut stuck in my head all the time.
Huy: Do you guys ever listen to your own music in your leisure time?
Michael: For sure, of course! Especially when you give yourself some space, you kind of get surprised by it, then you come back and it could be really nice. Once we made a full length record, it was such a completion and I came back liking songs for different reasons. Choosing parts you like about it and letting it have its own life outside of me wanting to control everything.
Huy: Alright, final question, have you ever met a wildcat before?
Jesse C: I have a cat, she is very wild. Yeah, she could cut somebody up pretty good.
Michael: I met some students from Arizona State.
Jesse T: My cousin saw a puma once.
Having seen them once before, Wildcat! Wildcat! went on to put on one hell of a sold out show at the Bottom Of the Hill in SF. The crowd was moving and singing along line by line to every song. Wildcat! Wildcat! are surely moving on to big places, especially with such a solid debut effort.
Other songs on “No Moon at All”: