What I’m Listening to

Here are a few choice songs I’ve been listening to recently. All more or less new with the exception of the Cut Copy throwback. I’m especially fond of Chess. This song takes you places:

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Jamie xx – Loud Places

Jamie Smith and Romy Madley-Croft have a history of making subdued, commanding songs as The XX. With Loud Places they reunite as individuals collaborating on a sound that reaches for new heights. The lead and backing vocals are nothing short of perfection and it sounds destined to be a festival epic. But Loud Places eclipses the hackneyed anthem fare with heartfelt sincerity both in terms of sound and substance. The ex-couple play off each other with their respective talents, the melancholy vocals competing against a triumphant electronic backdrop. The result is glorious.

Tobias Jesso Jr – BBC Radio 1 Session

As BBC host Zane Lowe notes, the music opinion/critic-sphere has spent the last several months showering Tobias Jesso Jr. with unabashed praise. And for good reason, as thus far Jesso has yet to disappoint. It’s great to see someone so talented get their break, but there is a downside – this outpouring of support could shroud an otherwise great album in hype. Sometimes, it’s best to let the music speak for itself:

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FUTURISTIC FRIDAY

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.

Not much time. Off for President’s Day Weekend. But this will be stuck in my head.

Father John Misty – I Went to the Store One Day

In his previous life, Josh Tillman was a singer-songwriter who produced above-average but relatively straightforward folk. Five albums deep, the former Fleet Foxes drummer seemed entrenched in his craft. That was until the 2012 album, Fear Fun, when Tillman recast himself as the prophetic rock-god Father John Misty – an outlandish character that, despite serving as an alter-ego, has proven to be thoroughly authentic.

The majority of Father John Misty’s work has been a stark departure from the J Tillman catalog. But with “I Went to the Store One Day” he returns to his quieter folk roots, and with stunning results. In this song, Father John considers the first encounter he had with his wife, Emma (seen smiling at the end), who he approached at random outside a convenience store one day in Laurel Canyon. This chance meeting sets in motion a life planned together – marriage, daughters, old age, death. “I never thought it would be so simple,” he sings.

The new album, I Love You, Honeybear is out this week.