Tag Archives: Chamakay

2013 Tracks Of The Year – #15 – 11

10 Dec

Tracks of 2013 - 15-11

Hello and welcome to part three of our countdown of the 25 tracks this year that we loved more than any other. Parts one and two (where we listed the tracks that took the number 25 – 16) are here and here, and below we reveal who made it into the Top 15 and came oh so close to breaking the Top10.

But before that, as is customary, here’s a quick reminder of the random rules we have imposed upon ourselves. Feel free to skip this bit if you have already read it on the other posts.

The song doesn’t have to be an actual single and while that may seem a bit of a cheat, there’s a good reason behind it. We are looking at tracks that were released in one capacity or another over the last 12 months so that amazing album tracks will also be considered. We must note though, if a track was released online this year but will become a single next, then it won’t be included. The only other arbitrary rule we have implemented is, one song per artist.

Ok, let’s crack on with songs 15 – 11. Enjoy.

#15 Velvet Two Stripes – “Fire”

While it may seem that the majority of the music we have loved this year has been floaty light and dreamy or full on bright coloured electro-pop, we have still been prone to the odd moment of rocking, and that’s where the ladies of Swiss trio Velvet Two Stripes come in. “Fire” could, we said, be the soundtrack to a Jason Statham starring actioner, all cut scenes and bad-ass walking while the track (and numerous incidental items in the background) explodes around him. Sara wields her guitar like a weapon of mass destruction, letting fly with grinding, wailing licks that could bring a city to its knees and “Fire” is a bluesy riff driven slice of ka-boom that will stir heart, mind and anywhere else that could do with some life injecting into it.

#14 Violet – “Where The Wild Things Grow”

Back in February, we fell hard for a demo from Pixie Geldof’s Violet, properly hard. So much so that the haunting and delicate string arrangement and deep, languid vocals of “Where The Wild Things Grow” has lingered on rotation ever since. While we continue to wait patiently for a fully mastered version that thus far hasn’t come, we remain bewitched by the demo’s rich, soaring beauty and more Lana than Lana sensibilities. It is simply gorgeous.

#13 Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

In the Kindness directed video for “Chamakay”, the lead single from the second Blood Orange album, Cupid Deluxe, Dev Hynes can be seen busting out some old school Michael Jackson-esque moves in a variety of locations. We totally get why. It’s hard to listen to the smooth, soulful melodies without feeling compelled to indulge in a little armography and leg flickering yourself. Featuring the sultry voice of Caroline Polachek from Chairlift, “Chamakay” channels Terence Trent D’arby, D’Angelo and “Liberian Girl” crooning MJ into slow jam R’n’B grooves as a sexy sax sound disguises the heaviness of emotion within. Like Polachek’s vocal, the track is alluring and exotic, like the silhouette of a belly dancer seen across a smoky room, undulating and mesmerising all who are lucky enough to cast their eyes upon her.

#12 Ms Mr – “Fantasy”

Featuring Lizzie’s now trademark husky vocals, “Fantasy” saw MS MR embark on something bigger and more vibrant than their previous tracks. Painting from a broader palette, the result is a wonderful explosion of pop sound and colour; it’s effervescent and infectious. The drums are incessant, driving pulsating rhythms that evoke memories of Florence and the Machine but while never losing any of that glorious MS MR darkness and intrigue. “Fantasy” is a tune that should be sung loudly while dancing to wildly.

#11 Dancing Years – “Here’s To My Old Friends”

Our first exposure to Leeds based five-piece Dancing Years came in the form of soaring orchestral beauty and watercolours of emotion and sentiment. Their debut single, “Here’s To My Old Friends” plucks at the heartstrings, especially of those older listeners whose friends are no longer seen as often as they might like. Like reading an old diary or looking through an old photo album, it’s full of warm remorse, happy memories that bring a smile to your face and a tear to the eye. Like watching the sun set on the last day of summer, it’s plaintive and beautiful and as the sun finally falls, the violins rise and let out a mournful, yearning cry for a time that is gone but will never be forgotten.

Later on today we’ll reveal who made it into the Top 10 and then tomorrow, it’s the Top 5 and our favourite track of the year!

Watch: Blood Orange – “Chamakay”

16 Sep

Blood Orange Chamakay

Last week, on our blog birthday no less, the world was treated to an eagerly awaited new track from the musical Chameleon that is Dev Hynes. We like to think it was a little birthday present for us here at Alphabet Bands, but obviously we know the truth.

Continuing in his most recent incarnation as Blood Orange, Dev has somehow found time amongst all the writing and producing he does for a legion of other musicians to record a new album, Cupid Deluxe, which, if it is half as good as Coastal Grooves, could well end up as one of the year’s best.

“Chamakay” features the sultry voice of Caroline Polachek from Chairlift which combine and cavort with Dev’s own which here channel Terence Trent D’arby, D’Angelo and “Liberian Girl” crooning MJ.

Smooth, soulful melodies, slow jam R’n’B grooves and a sexy sax sound disguise the heaviness of emotion within. It’s a bit like a solo walk by a contemplative moonlit lake seen from a distance; a beautiful voyeuristic peep into the uneasy realisation that the rose tinted memory of the one that got away still haunts the heart.

Like Polachek’s vocal, the track is alluring and exotic, like the silhouette of a belly dancer seen across a smoky room, no doubt performing some of the smooth moves Dev himself is seen busting out in the video (which was directed by Adam Bainbridge, aka Kindness, and which you can see below).

”Chamakay” is out now on iTunes and ‘Cupid Deluxe’ is, according to Dev, coming soon.

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