January 3, 2013

Sound Bites: Free Energy, Skrillex and the xx

Free Energy's "Girls Want Rock"

Philly party rock revivalists Free Energy’s long awaited second effort Love Sign is knocking at 2013’s door with a January 15th release date. It’s the first album the band will put out on their very own Free People label, and with early listens “Electric Fever,” its Recommended first single “Dance All Night” and “Hangin'“ being nothing short of power pop perfection, all signs thus far have pointed to Love Sign being one slick sophomore success. "Girls Want Rock" continues the graffiti jam session with a roll-down-the-windows chorus, forcible even if it's the middle of winter. Luckily, the dudes are heading out on tour in the coming month to keep things chill indoors for you.

Skrillex's "The Reason"

Somewhere in the back of many of our heads, as much as we tried to ignore it and were afraid to admit, we knew that divisive brostep banger maker Skrillex was bound to make something we’d actually kinda like. It probably shouldn't come as any surprise, seeing that the half-haired ex-emo wunderkind has trumped refined sounds from the artsier side of the dance and electronic spectrum by bringing Grimes out on a railroad tour across Canada, name-checking Justice and Burial during interviews and swooning the Pitchfork crowd by signing experimental freak folks Hundred Waters to his OWSLA label. The newly-released Leaving EP clues the world in that Sonny Moore is taking serious notes from the masters instead of effortlessly dropping way harsh bass beats and letting it wobble around for a few minutes. So is Skrillex for real, or is this just a case of when a mainstream act jocks and commercializes the innovations of the little guys in the underground? Find out for yourself by checking out "The Reason" below, or download the entire Leaving EP when you sign up for Skrilex's newly-launched subscription series The Nest.

The xx's "Sunset (Jamie xx Remix)"

The xx's Coexist unfortunately took home the dubious distinction of being named AwkwardSound's Most Overhyped Album of 2012 due to the fever pitch buzz leading up to what was (let's face it) a pretty big snoozer of a sophomore slump. The band's stylemaking producer Jamie xx luckily has stepped up to the plate to awaken some of those sounds from the minimalist R&B pop caskets which they lie in a remix of "Sunset," previously only available as part of an iTunes-exclusive EP released before the holidays. The listen flaunts Jamie XX's penchant for '90s house beats without straying too far from the xx's whispery romantic formula, leading AS to wonder what could have been.

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