Weekly Staff Picks #1


kssu staff pick

Welcome to KSSU’s inaugural weekly staff picks! This is where our DJs pick their current favorite song and artist from recently released music. We will feature 5-6 songs that are currently on our radar. Stay tuned every week to see what we pick, maybe your favorite track will be selected.

 

Staff Pick 1: Lucy Morales

Boss Selection – Wouldn’t it be wild, Volume 1

Boss Selection is the moniker for the seasoned world wide producer Sunny Levine. With Quincy Jones as his grandfather, he certainly is no stranger to living up to large expectations. Under Boss Selection, he has produced a mixtape inspired album with 12 different artists successfully using crowdfunding for all the costs. My personal favorite from the album is “wouldn’t it be wild” featuring Orelia. It’s an unboastful chillwave like track that becomes infectious without even being conscious about it. It’s the best kind of song to pop into your car to relax after a long day.

 

Staff Pick 2: Jerel Labson

Kanye West – Ultralight Beam, The Life of Pablo

Of course this has to be somewhere on the first KSSU’s Picks Of the Week! Hearing this first track play at the Yeezy Season 3 fashion show really set the bar and got me ready to hear the rest of TLOP. The instrumental is beautiful. The occasional drums also really get me going. Having The Dream, Kelly Price, and the choir literally taking us to church was amazing to hear. Chance the Rapper’s verse was possibly the BEST verse on the album as well. Donnie Trumpet backing the second half His flow and biblical references (“Got my ex looking back like a pillar of salt”), just DOPE. I could go on, but I have no more words. Just listen to it. One more note… Can I consider this as a Christian song??

 

Staff Pick 3: Cole Nelson

Stone Sour – Love Gun, Meanwhile in Burbank

My song of the week comes from the album Meanwhile in Burbank… by Stone Sour. Released in April of 2015, this album features hard rock covers of classic rock and metal artists. My favorite out of the album is their rendition of KISS’ classic song, “Love Gun.” Stone Sour’s version features heavy use of a grunge sounding guitar along with a strong drum line while still retaining that classic rock/disco vibe that KISS is known for. “Love Gun” is one of the better covers of a song I’ve heard recently and recommend it to those who like the original tune with a bit of a kick to it.

 

Staff Pick 4: Angelina Rios

Bomba Esteré – Soy Yo, Amacer

Bomba Esteréo is a Colombian band that formed in 2005. With the recent release of their new album Amacer, the track Soy Yo is nothing short of excellent. With a catchy beat, its traditional Colombian instruments have a contagious effect and it’s hard to resist dancing in your chair. This track represents respecting and accepting one another for who they are. While the band does not wish to conform to one genre of music, they can best be described as having an electro base with Cumbia and dance elements as well.

 

Staff Pick 5: Anne Thorp

Daughter – New Ways, Not To Disappear

Daughter is the name of a three-person, London-based indie rock group, together since 2010. Their EP ‘Not To Disappear’ came out in 2014, and this March they start an already mostly sold-out North American tour in major cities across the U.S. and Canada. New Ways is the first track of the EP, and soundly embodies all that is good about the entire album. It’s moody, the vocals ethereal, with an edge of grit in the guitars and drums that speaks of the kind of disjointed, worn cynicism modern life frequently brings. It reminds us, as singer Elena recites, that sometimes we all feel we need new ways.  

 

Staff Pick 6: Claudia Rivas

Charlie Hilton – 100 Million, Palana

Charlie Hilton, lead singer for Blouse,  released her debut solo album Palana on January 22 via Captured Tracks. The album was produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait. The album includes “100 Million”, which I’ve been playing on repeat for much of this week. The track was produced by, the band Woods’, Jarvis Taveniere. The song features vocals and music by Mac DeMarco. The track sounds folk-like, similar songs by Beach House and She & Him. Hilton’s vocals are much like Zooey Deschanel in this song, light and dreamy. Lots of simple guitar chords and settle drum background occur as well. Reminds me of a tune that would play at a modern Woodstock, hippie festival. It’s a song that will keep most fans of this type of music in a good mood.

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The Ting Tings at Harlow’s: Musings on a live performance


 

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Now I’ve loved The Ting Tings since 2008, that fateful year of high school in which they released perhaps their most well-known song, “That’s not my Name.” You know this song. I know you know this song and you know what else? You love it, everyone loves it! We have all been Charlie Day in the scene from Horrible Bosses, rocking out alone in their car singing “They call me Stacy!” However, for me there was always a nagging feeling I somehow shouldn’t be listening to something so radio friendly. This of course was bull. I’ve done some growing up since then and come to realize that good music is good music. Whether its on top 40 radio, college radio, underground radio, Satellite radio, AM radio, FM radio, the HAM radio in your parent’s basement, or translated into trucker speak and hollered over CB radio. I’m thankful for this realization because without that epiphany I would have robbed myself of countless hours of Ting Tings inspired car raves, their killer new album Super Critical and the one hell of a live show they put on this past Saturday at Harlow’s.

The Ting Tings proper consist of  lead vocalist, guitarist and cowbell banger Katie White and drummer, lead guitarist, vocalist Jules De Martino and each of them nailed this performance. White brought the exact level of energy, if not more, to the live versions of tracks as she did on the studio versions. Delivering  the lines of hits like “Shut up and Let Me Go”  with the same attitude as if it were the first time they had played them. De Martino proved equally able to live up to the powerhouse expectations that inevitably come after making such a mark on the pop music timeline. He was not only solid on every rhythm he laid down but also managed to inject some new beats into their well-known hits; hereby delivering the nostalgia audiences love, while simultaneously bringing new life to a modern pop classic.

The final thing I enjoyed about this performance was their addition of a turntablist to their touring line-up. With a two piece electro pop band like The Ting Tings there is bound to be a level of sequencing needed to pull off the same sort of sound they achieved in the studio. What the addition of a third member did was allow White and De Martino to focus on playing their instruments and interacting with the crowd, while also bringing a human touch to the tracks in the form of various one shots, scratching and subtle transitioning. The quality of this choice and skillfulness of their chosen DJ became exceedingly apparent with their final song of the night, “Hands”. In which they took the mild elements of EDM present in the song and ratcheted them up to 11, going on several extended dance grooves all worthy of closing a set at any hip dance club you can think of.

Overall, The Ting Tings put on a quality performance that I enjoyed thoroughly and you might too, should you get the chance to see them before their tour is over. Should you not get that chance listen out for their new release Super Critical and listen in for it on KSSU.com.