Twin Limb – “Don’t Even Think”

A good song often has a good hook. Twin Limb won me over by making their chorus into this separate entity, different from the synthesizer soaked verses. The chorus is quiet, slow, and heavy-footed. The lead singer, MaryLiz Bender, drags on the repetitive words, “don’t think about it,” giving weight to each word. She uses the least amount of air as she falls off each note, and then on the last line, it’s almost as if she can’t muster enough energy to sing “About It.” New album is titled “Anything is Possible and Nothing Makes Sense” out on Friday, November 13.


In light of “Throwback Thursday or #tbt” which involves posting something that has nostalgic value, we at RunTheMill wanted to turn this popular convention on its head. This weekly posting will share a song that is either ahead of its time or attempts to push us out of our comfort sound zone.

Artist: Jack Grace

Song: “Hills”

In “Hills,” the Auzzie musician Jack Grace, isn’t looking to calm your nerves. He is trying to leverage our sensibilities and take advantage of our penchant for normal pop musical structures. The song begins with a seemingly innocent voice alongside bass, but the song is immediately distorted into a glitchy despondent place. Time builds this tension until it is released when we enter the piano section. That familiar verse is paired with silky jazz chords that make the wait worth it. Have a Happy Fourth of July!

Jeff Buckley -“Everybody Hear Wants to Love You (HAERTS Cover)”

Twenty-nine pearls in your kiss
A singing smile
Coffee smell and lilac skin
Your flame in me

No one sings like Jeff Buckley, nor can anyone reach his emotional depths. But lead singer of HAERTS, Nini Fabi, seems to understand the stakes of covering a Jeff Buckley song. Drenched in HAERTS’ classic 80’s orchestration, the cover does a great job at going in a completely different direction, separating the chorus from the minimalistic, dreary verses. The chorus blossoms into a shimmering idea, but never speeds out of control. Compare the versions of each song below:

The Arcs – “Stay in My Corner”

Taking a page from the seductive bluesy vibes of Alabama Shakes, Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach is working with a cohort of musicians under the name The Arcs, releasing this track via NPR’s website a day ago. The empty rhythmic swing was the first thing that my ear targeted, and if you pay close attention, you can notice the creative and intricate turns of the bass player, Nick Movshine, who is most famous for his work with Amy Winehouse and was heavily featured in the sensationally catchy “Locked Out of Heaven” by Bruno Mars.

Album review: Jamie xx – In Colour

Dance music is joyful. That’s kind of obvious. What’s less apparent is the melancholy that lurks below the surface. On the lead single from In Colour, Jamie xx reminds us of this: “I go to loud places, to search for someone, to be quiet with, who will take me home.” As Hua Hsu points out in his New Yorker review: “It’s a gorgeous reminder of why some people go out in the first place: so they never have to go out again.” Dance music is ultimately an escape, and anyone who’s experienced the live-for-the-moment highs of clubs is well-aware of how fleeting and manufactured the ecstasy feels the next morning. Our selective memory keeps us going back, but there is an understanding these moments are unsustainable.

Those competing strains of vibrancy and melancholy are ever-present in Jamie xx’s debut. The album is aptly named – the soaring synths and signature steel drums blanket the album with life and color colour. Gosh sounds like a buddhist meditation for ravers, and The Rest is Noise is simply euphoric. But these gorgeous soundscapes are matched by a self-aware quality that provides depth behind the joyful noise. It’s not dark so much as honest. Stranger in a Room acknowledges the familiar feeling of isolation in a large crowd, and Hold Tight sounds more like the hangover than the party. He doesn’t dwell in these moments but rather he weaves them into the narrative. 

Jamie xx’s music is immediately accessible yet complex enough to demand repeat listens. That’s a rare combination that I believe only great acts are able to achieve. He does another thing the greats have a knack for: bridging past and present sounds, while forging the future. A reverence for old-school British rave culture dovetails with zeitgeisty moments like the surprisingly cohesive Young Thug feature on I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times). Then on songs like Loud Places and Gosh, Jamie carves out his own space, creating sounds that already feel like touchstones the next generation will be compelled to reference.

I like this album by the way.

In Colour is now streaming as a visual album via iTunes.