Best of the Blogs: Sunset in the Rearview

 

Every week we invite some of our favourite bloggers to get involved with Last.fm and write a guest post. It’s a great opportunity to hear something new from some of the most celebrated tastemakers in the blogosphere, this week we’ve invited Sunset in the Rearview to get involved.

Sunset in the Rearview is a music blog that features mainly indie-rock and hip-hop. Founded by Lydia Simmons in 2008, as a vessel for sharing great music, the blog has steadily evolved into a collection of new music, reviews, interviews, news and more.

We asked Lydia to give us her three choices. Lydia has clocked 26969 scrobbles since December 2008, which on average is 16 tracks per day! Find out what she’s listening to here.

Over to Lydia with her three picks:

The Lumineers – Flapper Girl

With an opportunity to introduce the readers of Last.fm Originals to new artists, I feel I should cover really obscure artists! But when you have a song as beautiful as “Flapper Girl” by recently renowned band The Lumineers, it’s hard to resist writing about it. Beyond the beautiful simplicity of the tune, there’s a story within the lyrics that paints a picture for me every time I hear the song. I would argue that it’s romantic, though I am sure there are some out there who would criticise me for that choice. After all, Wesley Shultz admits in the chorus that he left the girl and now just wants her back. Okay, sure. Call it what you want, but the outright realism in this beautiful folk piece is what makes it so romantic. Love isn’t perfect; it’s not always pure. But if you find a lover who can say ‘Cause if you ain’t behind my door, Then I ain’t got a home anymore,’ I think you’ve found something special.

The Lumineers are filling holes for me these days that Mumford & Sons dug. I’ve become a bit disenchanted with Mumford & Sons’ attempt to create an anthem out of every song they write. The Lumineers have a similar folk rock sound, but there’s something simpler to it. The vocals aren’t overproduced; the songs come out seeming natural and effortless. It’s easy to believe that The Lumineers are your friends from the next town over, just performing in a local bar. Drummer (and mandolin player and singer) Fraites sums it up well: “We’re not reinventing the wheel or doing anything that different, the songs are super simple. The ideas themselves are very simple ideas. Anyone who can play an instrument can play a Lumineers song. I think there’s a cinematic aspect of our music that I really like.” That’s about all it took to tug at my heartstrings, and “Flapper Girl” seems to do it best.

T0W3RS – Scout/

I’ve again found something strikingly beautiful in the simplicity of a song. I’ve written in the past about why piano pieces in songs capture my attention, and it certainly proved true in “Scout/” by North Carolina band T0W3RS. This is a perfect example of a band exploring music and pushing genre boundaries to the point where it’s hard to classify it as anything other than experimental and alternative. It’s fuzzy and mysterious, but it gives us a glance at the future of music. As T0W3RS evolve, I hope they continue that path forward without turning back, because if they’re defining what music will become, we’re all in luck.

Chance The Rapper – Prom Night

Chance The Rapper reminds me a bit of Childish Gambino. He’s got a unique voice, he’s incredibly poetic, and he’s willing to say whatever crosses his mind. His energy is infectious, and his story is an interesting one. Chance The Rapper seemed to emerge only after being suspended from high school for 10 days. He then spent those days creating a mixtape, conveniently called #10Days, on which he proved that he doesn’t need education to succeed. It’s all in good taste, though, which is part of what draws me to it. He tells the story of being suspended for smoking weed off campus, and on “Prom Night” in particular, tells how he got a mouthful from teachers for making a mixtape and not completing school. “Graduation night teachers Ferris Bueller’d my name/ You made a mix tape? Good job, I hope you get a good job.”

Though he calls his teachers out several times on the tape, Chance’s demeanour throughout the whole mixtape is alluring. He keeps a positive attitude throughout, and rather than bashing his teachers the whole time, he tells us about his grandmother, his friends, his hometown, his mother…it’s as though he’s invited us into his life for ten days. And each time the mixtape ends, I go back to song 1 and listen to his story all over again. Between his voice, his rhymes, his tales, and his beats…I’m absolutely hooked. Keep your eye on this young’n; he’s onto something big.

Find out what other bloggers are listening to here.