We know that we’ve prepared you thoroughly for Halloween weekend with costume ideas, mixtapes, and graveyard tours. But what about the dull slog that is the beginning of November? Three weeks and change until Thanksgiving seems like an eternity when you’re picking candy corn our of your teeth and glitter out of your hair. Might we suggest our mixtape this week to warm your bones and soothe you out of your sugar coma? Right click + save as to download the individual tracks, or scroll down to the end to get the whole shebang at once.
Why yes, that is Robert Smith from The Cure singing on the newly ramped up “Not in Love.” His voice is basically perfect for the glitchy, new wave electronic sounds that Crystal Castles produces in torrents. Plus, it’s nice to have one of those fantasy music mash-ups we dream about actually come true.
We’ve been fans of Fujiya and Miyagi for a while now — their last album, Transparent Things, is excellent — and so we’re looking forward to their second album, Ventriloquizzing, due for release in January. If this track is indication, we can expect more of the same entrancing and subdued dance-rock.
The beginning of this song sounds like the riff in The Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy,” but that’s not even the best part. Things get even more fun when Lykke Li brings her supple Swedish voice into the mix, and the combination is almost criminally catchy. This is the kind of song you want playing behind you as you make an entrance into a party, kids. At least if “Green Onions” isn’t cued up.
This track, the first single from Fiasco’s upcoming album, samples Modest Mouse’s “Float On”–it ends up sounding kind of like a rap version of the song. Which isn’t a bad thing, necessarily–you just might do a double take when it comes on the radio. Fiasco’s got swagger, and the rapping chops to blow Kanye out of the water, if he uses them to the right effect.
After we slept for about three solid days post-CMJ, we recovered and reassessed. Dominique Young Unique was one of the best discoveries we made — she has awesome outfits, sass in spades, and a pretty foul mouth for such a young’un. “Show My Ass” makes a great party jam, but it also shows off Dominique’s flow, which is appealingly unpolished. Her voice has the roughness and urgency of Lil Mama on “My Lipgloss” but she’s much less subtle about the whole thing, and she has a long-haired dude with a Casio behind her instead of a host of producers.
This disco-infused reworking of MGMT might not be totally well-chosen — we can think of other MGMT tracks more in need of a good tweak — but producer Erol Alkan turns it from mellow beach soundtrack to mellow dance jam with the aid of some funk guitar.
This is the sort of spooky, buzzing track that you might want for a goth party or as the soundtrack of a short film about the life of David Bowie. FuzZ, the first artist signed to Squeak E. Clean of N.A.S.A.’s new Spectrophonic Sound label, is actually a misleading moniker. There are lots of sounds in here, but fuzz isn’t one of them — more like blips and bloops and the sort of noises you wish that lasers would make.
Look, we admit it. Despite it all — the Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen collaboration, the bizarre pop ballads, the choice of Hurley as the face of their new album — we still have a soft spot for Weezer. This track, off the upcoming rarities album, Death to False Metal, reminds us of why we liked Weezer in the first place. They replicate an earnestness in this track that can only come from trying and failing to be Kiss.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. was another CMJ star, transcending their silly, ungoogle-able name with their breezy folksy jams. Some are harmonic, some lean towards the electronic. Some are more laid back than others — like this track, a sort of mild and pleasant stroll of a song. It’s like spending a meandering day at a lake.
Swedish indie poppers the Concretes are back with a new album full of sweet, refreshingly simple melodies. “Good Evening” is quieter and sparser than most of their previous works, a little bit Abba and a little bit Air.
Photo credit: Gerry Sibell