At the end of every Vanderbilt academic year, on the verge of finals, anticipation starts to boil over for the annual Rites of Spring music festival. Recent years have seen EDM juggernauts, hip hop stars, and stadium rock bands alike take their shot at Alumni Lawn glory. So what has The Music Group brought us this year? We asked WRVU DJs for their favorite tracks from this year’s Rites artists, and here’s what they had to say.
“Deep house” is kind of a catchall term for laid-back, slower-paced house music using live-sounding instruments. The genre is a contrast to electronic dance music characterized by manipulation, distortion, and “bass”, and features jazz solos, string loops, tropical drums, alongside other sounds plausibly produced by physical objects. This list is about some of the memorable instruments that pop up in deep house tracks, and also serves as a countdown of my personal favorite tracks related to the genre.
6) Omar-S — “The Shit Baby” (2013)
Instrument Featured: Piano
In the middle of Omar S’ modest 2013 album Thank You For Letting Me Be Myself comes the unexpectedly fun piano jam-out “The Shit Baby”. For the uninitiated deep house fan this track is a great place to start: it starts with hi-hat/hand-clap triplets and a standard background bass kick, before someone hops on the keys for an impromptu crowd-pleaser.
RIYL: “Plastic Dreams”, pre-programmed keyboard beats + mad keys playin’ skills
It’s hard to believe it, but 2015 is already a fourth of the way done. It was not a light musical quarter by any means: in the past month we’ve seen high-profile releases from Sufjan Stevens, Kendrick Lamar, Death Grips, and many more. But what tracks stood out above the rest? We asked our staff to tell us a little bit about their pick for favorite song of 2015 so far. Read on for their selections, and be sure to check them all out in the Spotify playlist at the end.
Dan Deacon — “Feel the Lightning”
“Feel the Lightning” by Dan Deacon makes you do just that — feel an electrifying force pass your entire body. It is the perfect mixture of upbeat and hypnotic, catchy but complex, and successfully maintains the typical “Dan Deacon vibe” of collectively bizarre, yet intriguing electronic music.
In retrospect, Twin Shadow/George Lewis Jr. always belonged on a major label, though this wasn’t obvious at the time of his 2010 new-wave-revival debut, Forget. On Forget, retro guitars and a lo-fi drum machine kept Twin Shadow grounded in New Order’s more restrained brand of new wave instead of something flashier. Also like a New Order single, nearly every song on Forget reached for lasting vocal melodies. Songs like “At My Heels” and “Slow” were slick ‘80s style exercises in part, but the striking vocalist and memorable choruses left the lasting impression. Twin Shadow’s next album Confess (2012) honed in on these features and jettisoned potential distractions. While some missed the relative subtlety of Forget, this kind of pop music can benefit from directness. The intoxicating “This isn’t loooooove” on “Run My Heart”, “Five Seconds” with its “can’t get to your heart…”, “Golden Light”: Confess blew relationship feelings into massive proportion. If Forget is the Breakfast Club kids developing meaningful ‘80s connections, Confess is John Cusack in your yard with a boombox.