Friday, January 01, 2016

Choice Cuts: Franklin Avenue's Favorite Tracks of 2015, Part 1

silverlakechorusalessiacaraalabamashakesgrimes

In no particular order, I've selected the favorite tracks from 2015's playlists for our fourteenth annual Choice Cuts end-of-year mix. The first four:



1. Overboard -- The Silver Lake Chorus

Ben Lee wrote and performs the solo in this song, from The Silver Lake Chorus-- which "performs choral arrangements of indie music." Yeah, I know, sounds so very Silver Lake-y. But Ben Lee knows how to craft an infectious pop tune, and this is one of them -- attached to a striking multi-part chorus. (Thanks to TSLC for correcting me -- that's not Ben Lee doing the solo, but one of their talented members!)



2. Wild Things -- Alessia Cara

I've been listening to a lot of top 40 radio toward the end of this year, and during a recent drive up to Sacramento, Alessia Cara's "Here" was in heavy rotation. I was drawn to the song's sample -- Isaac Hayes's "Ike's Rap II," which was the core of one of my favorite tracks of the 1990s, Portishead's "Glory Box." Cara's voice is remarkable, and "Wild Things" is a fantastic follow-up.



3. Don't Wanna Fight -- Alabama Shakes

Brittany Howard does it again -- that raw grit in her voice as she screams, "I don't wanna fight no more!" is powerful.


4. Flesh Without Blood -- Grimes

Claire Elise Boucher, better known as Grimes, has a sound that one magazine described as an "alien love-child of Aphex Twin and ABBA." I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but this song is.

The next four tomorrow!

Also on Franklin Avenue:

Choice Cuts: Franklin Avenue's Favorite Tracks of 2015, Part 2

Choice Cuts: Franklin Avenue's Favorite Tracks of 2015, Part 3

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