our five favorite songs of the week!
YouTube comments usually make me mad (if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything!), but this one, about Daughter's new track "Smother," couldn't be more spot on: "Put it on repeat, fall asleep, have splendid dreams, wake up to a beautiful song." Yes. Thank you. I will. I first saw the London electric-folk trio play at SXSW this past March and I was mesmerized by their haunting, ethereal ballads and singer Elena Tonra's sweet, vulnerable voice. "I'm sorry if I smothered you," Tonra intones at the end of this heartbreakingly gorgeous track. Apology not accepted. ELLEN CARPENTER
Yoann Lemoine might already be your favorite artist without you even realizing it. Not only has the Paris native directed music videos like Drake's "Take Care," Lana Del Rey's "Born to Die" and "Blue Jeans," Mystery Jets' "Dreaming of Another World," and Yelle's "Ce Jeu," but he also helped with a series of roughs for Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette and shoots editorials for publications like Vogue. Now he's giving new meaning to the term Jack of All Trades with his solo music project Woodkid and his song "Iron" off of his 2011 EP of the same name has me obsessed and eager for more. With its tribal beats and powerful brass melody, he has a cinematic sound akin to Patrick Wolf and a vocal tonality not unlike Kings of Convenience, but with a uniquely dark and bittersweet quality all his own. Check out his video for the single (which he directed, naturally) and prepare to be amazed as you watch Agyness Deyn run alongside an owl, a rearing white horse, and a pair of wolves. CAITLIN SMITH
Portland, Oregon-based duo Pure Bathing Culture make dream-soaked pop music that perfectly matches their name: Listening to it is like diving head first into a soothing pool of rippling guitar riffs and gently lilting vocals. "Gainesville" features drum-machine beats tiptoeing under an ever-so-slightly psychedelic guitar (with plenty of reverb thrown in for good measure) and the just-decipherable lyrics of a ghostly Versprille, whispering about a town in northern Florida. The whole thing sounds like an advert from the '80s for a cheesy all-inclusive resort, as sung by a grown-up version of Beach House. And I mean that in a good way. Obviously. KATE LOFTUS-O'BRIEN
When I woke up this morning, smelling of chlorine and Tecate after a pool party that turned into a stumble between Williamsburg's bars and late-night eateries, all I wanted was a Vitamin Water and some therapeutic, soothing music. Once the decidedly calming new album from the xx had played through on the office stereo (thank you again, Ellen), it was time to find some more tunes, and I can't imagine many better, in my current state or any other, than Kodaline's "All I Want" (worry not—it's nothing at all to do with Offspring). Although the name sounds like that of a drum and bass DJ from Amsterdam, Kodaline is in fact a four-piece from Dublin and this beautiful, beautiful song, deceptively simple in the manner of Coldplay or Mumford and Sons, comes accompanied with one of the more thoughtful and touching videos I've seen in a long time (I don't really want to describe it here, please just watch it). Maybe it's the hangover, but it had me in tears. LUKE CRISELL
It might be the twilight of summer but in the world of Sub Focus, it always seems to be July on the terrace of Space in Ibiza. This instant post-dubstep hit is the third cut from Sub Focus's forthcoming album, and by far the best we've heard so far. Melodic and anthemic, the track swells and teases with stabs of bass before crashing into a full-on dancefloor smash, with uplifting lyrics soaring over a typically addictive and nuanced Sub Focus wall of sound. Excuse us while we find an illegal download of this, put it on our ipods, and run that little bit faster than we did yesterday. LC