Emika: Wicked Game
Not since Soul Clap's muffled edit of "Wicked Game" in 2009 has the classic Chris Isaak track felt so fresh. In a sneak peek at her forthcoming album, Dva, Czech-born, Berlin-based singer Emika released her own version of "Wicked Game," filled with echoey electronic spirals and vocals that are as sexy as Helena Christensen half-naked on a beach. A preview of the classically trained musician's sophomore album on London label Ninja Tune shows there are plenty of original songs to also get excited about.
Jason Molina: Captain Badass
Late Monday afternoon news broke about the passing of 39-year-old musician Jason Molina. Originally from Ohio, Molina performed under several monikers over the years, each gaining him a cult fan base wholly devoted to his ability to deliver raw observations about life to the tune of equally compelling guitar riffs. New Yorker editor Ben Greenman perhaps sums it up best by stating in a heartfelt article, "He occupied the margins because the center was abhorrent." While his entire catalog is worth an extensive listen, "Captain Badass" feels like an appropriate way to salute this highly talented artist.
Laid Back: Sunshine Reggae
As the sun finally shone over NYC on the official first day of spring last Wednesday, warm vibes greeted the city calling to mind the opening lyrics to Danish duo Laid Back's 1983 hit "Sunshine Reggae." As we wait for the rays to give us "just a little smile" so we can bust out of our offices and head out to the beach in warmer temps, kick back and enjoy this hilarious video rife with classic '80s nostalgia.
Jed Nayef: Freaks
The Guardian's music aficionado Paul Lester made a bold move in comparing rising NYC star Jed Nayef to that of the man on everyone's lip right now (and always), the legendary David Bowie. There may be some semblance of sound, but more likely what the two have in common is their ability to channel eccentricity into a ubiquitous aspiration. In "Freaks," Nayef tenderly talks about being a "strange mother fucker" over a bevy of synths, maracas and steel drums, for a song that is as twisted emotionally as it is musically.
Kendrick Lamar ft. Jay-Z: Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe (remix)
While this souped-up remix of Kendrick Lamar's "Bitch Don't Kill My Vibe" posted to SoundCloud at the beginning of the week, it makes for the ultimate Friday anthem. This Good Kid, M.A.A.D City album hit has been on repeat in our office and elsewhere since slapping the airwaves last October, and it seems Jay-Z loves it as much as the next person when he surprised the Compton rapper with his take on it. Lamar then added to it, and the result is nothing short of hip-hop perfection.