TEN SONGS WE WERE COVERING TEN YEARS AGO
Okay, so you caught us in a Iie.
We weren’t totally around in 2009. At least not in the same capacity. We had a different name and a different brand. We were still listening, though. Oh boy, were we listening. The head honcho wanted to rebrand into a record label (who runs JUST a blog? pshaw) and didn’t think artists would want to sign to a label named BitCandy. I mean, it was a different time. That name DID sound cool in 2008, we promise.
We’re hitting the big ten year anniversary of a landmark music year, and that’s been making us all kinds of nostalgic for a simpler time. Back when Pop was pop-- nothing more complicated than that, Indie ruled the airwaves, chillwave was a thing, and EDM was just at the start of its meteoric come up. So in honor of the end of the decade (2010 -2019), we’ve decided to look back on the last one for a We Are: The Guard (or BitCandy lol) blog revival Time Capsule.
We’ve decided to write these as if we were in 2009 and not 2019. Swear they’re not just copy and pasted from our website ten years ago. Like you could prove it if you even knew how.
ANIMAL COLLECTIVE - MY GIRLS
Those Animal Collective boys might have just struck gold. Sure, we’ve been with them since day one, but it’s so much nicer to have a song that we can actually play for our friends without them going ‘wtf is that noise?’ and turning it off. “My Girls” is, finally, some noise that works. Like really, really. Maybe the world just caught up to the future that was Avey Tare, Panda Bear, Deakin, and Geologist. Whatever the case, Animal Collective have created a psychedelic masterpiece, full of swirling noise, harmonic madness and a hook that can’t get out of your head I think we’ve found out generations Pink Floyd, y’all.
PHOENIX - 1901
Oh wow. Phoenix came back with record four and a whole hell of a lot to prove. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart sees the french four-piece (or quatre-piece) prepping to take over stadiums. Name a band working today with the ability to write a song as catchy as “1901.” You can’t, because it’s not possible. The song kicks off with a guitar part so retro that it would feel straight out the sixties or seventies, if not for being swooped in with a very modern sound. It’s as if The Strokes got a clue. These guys were writing memorable songs before this record, but it seems like they’ve really skyrocketed their songwriting here. If “1901” isn’t the song of your summer, than you’re doing it wrong.
THE XX - CRYSTALISED
We’ve never heard of these young kids from London before, but they’ve got a powerhouse sound. This feels like the emergence of something huge, but I can’t really put my finger on it, because I wouldn’t know how to genre-qualify this if I tried. Indietronica? Actually, that works pretty well. Did I invent a term? Will they still use that ten years from now. Lead singers Romy and Oliver alternate moody vehicles, backed by a simple, calming beat from Jamie xx. There is a muted energy to this, sensual whispers in the nightclub, commanding you to go home with them. I wouldn’t say no if they came knocking, that’s for sure.
NEON INDIAN - SHOULD HAVE TAKEN ACID WITH YOU
Hell yeah, we’re living in the time of chillwave, a sound that will never die. My friends all tell me Washed Out is the band that’s going to change the world, but I have a feeling they’ll be maligned to a tv show theme song or something like that. Neon Indian’s “Should Have Taken Acid With You” is the anthem for the lofi heartbroken, with its dreary static sound capturing the moment that is now. People haven’t really been talking a lot about acid lately, but now that frontman Alan Palamo mentions it, LSD seems like a pretty good idea. Maybe we should all start taking acid and see where the world takes us over the next decade.
GRIZZLY BEAR - TWO WEEKS
Fuck. Hell, is this the song of the year? This might just be the song of the year? I’ve had people telling me about Yellow House and I didn’t listen. But then when Johnny Greenwood told the world that Grizzly Bear was his favorite band, of course I perked up. THE Radiohead, man. They know what’s up. Veckatimest is a pretty solid album, with its big bigs and its low lows, but holy hell does “Two Weeks” stand out as something transcendent. I expect big, big things for this band. Perhaps the next Radiohead? Who knows. All I do know is that this song is on repeat in my headphones and I don’t think it will ever be possible to get enough of Edward Droste’s voice or those hypnotic keys.
CALVIN HARRIS - READY FOR THE WEEKEND
What? It’s a fun and catchy little electro jam. Not everything has to be super serious, all right? We’ve been playing this tune around the office every Friday at 530PM. Our boss is getting kind of sick of it, but who cares. Screw the man. This is the perfect song to pump you up for a weekend out. Let’s all go get drunk on Four Lokos (editor’s note: have those been invented yet) cause we’re gonna live forever. Calvin Harris is a scrawny little Scottish Producer/Singer with one of our favorite tunes of the year. I can’t really imagine him having much of a career after this, but it’s definitely fun for now. One hit wonder, maybe? Don’t really care. Loving this song, loving life.
MATT & KIM - DAYLIGHT
Got some indie dance in my punk rock and I like it. This track is a rip-roaring party for just two people. Matt and Kim have the kind of sound that’s really hitting right now. It’s like we’re all too hip to go completely punk rock, but there’s some fun in listening to music inspired by the sound. The Brooklyn duo are having so much fun making music that’s infectious. I want to party with these two, follow them around on tour, hell jump off a bridge if they told me to. “Daylight” might just be the most positive song we’ve heard all year. The world is good right now and ain’t nothing going to change that. Matt and Kim know its only up from here. 2009!
TAYLOR SWIFT - YOU BELONG TO ME
Cute little country pop song. Catchy. Lovely. What more do you need. Sure, it’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, but we’re so guilty over it that we can’t help but cover it. If you can’t admit this song is pretty wonderful, then there might be something wrong with you. We’ve got a feeling about Swift. She sounds like the voice of every young girl in America, and we’re here for it. I mean, when’s the last time there was a song we liked whose target demographic is sixteen-year-olds. I know we’re not covering too much pop music right now on the site (indie! 4 lyffe), but this one’s been stuck in our heads for weeks and it would be a shame to not give it a little bit of cred push. Turns out Swift wrote this one herself. Pretty cool if you ask us.
SLEIGH BELLS - CROWN ON THE GROUND
What the HELL is this? Scuzzed out guitars blowing a whole through my speakers with a chick pop powerhouse screeching along. This feels like the cheerleader captain and the bad boy getting together and absolutely destroying the battle of the bands in your highschool. Marshall stacks blowing away Mr. Trilby's hair-piece. Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller have graced the internet with the absolute heaviest pop music I’ve ever heard in my entire life. This is like if the dudes in Pantera were really into Tiffany. I can’t even wrap my head around this one. Don’t know if everybody is going to like this one, but it’s certainly for us.
THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS - HEADS WILL ROLL (A-TRAK REMIX)
Yeah yeah yeah, we already been digging on the Yeah Yeah Yeahs single … It’s great. Karen O is a powerhouse, but it’s all starting to sound a bit samey isn’t it. That being said we’ve really been feeling this electro-tinged remix from A-Trak. This track POPS off at the dance party. So if you want to get your friends jumping around, make sure to put this one in your ipod shuffle. I know we’ve been covering a lot of the middle section of the Venn diagram that is indie and dance music, but we’ve just been feeling it. Maybe this is a transitional time for We Are: The Guard. Who knows what will come next.
Anybody remember Carles?
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From deep within the murky depths of the Los Angeles River emerged a creature: 50% raver, 50% comedian, 10% Robotcop. Kurt Kroeber doesn’t own a dog, operates Soundbleed (the world’s only dance party comedy talk show rave), and is down to party with you. Come up some time and say “Hey dude!” But definitely make sure to casually drop the secret Illuminati password.