Recently we delved into high-energy music here at Press Shuffle. We’ve taken you from the enthralling rhythmic trance of dance and electronica to the backbeat-driven intensity of rock and roll. This week, though, we’ve decided to give ourselves a bit of a challenge. We’re redefining the meaning of “energy”. We’re taking you from the high spot we left you off last week and giving you a smooth landing.
Acoustic music has been generally associated with low-volume situations, and therefore lacking the power and energy of other electronically-enhanced music. It’s also garnered that connection due to the popularity of the so-called “Unplugged” shows that many bands have been keen on since the early ’90s. Not many bands can make an electric-turned-acoustic song carry the emotional weight and power it originally had; acoustic in popular music has become synonymous with watered down and simplified. The allure of acoustic music lies in the raw nature and intimacy of the performance. Of course, the energy that this music conveys to the listener is completely different to that of rock and club music; you won’t see anyone jumping to the beat of the music or throwing horns to the performers. But it can be just as intense. So, let yourself be immersed into this playlist, and feel the vibe. We guarantee you’ll feel light and happy by the time this playlist is over.
“Something Better” – Eclectic Approach: The positive groove emanating from this band is palatable. Eclectic Approach’s talent is widely known here at OurStage, but not necessarily for their acoustic side. This is a band definitely worth checking out, for they live up to their name.
“Here’s To You” – Patrick Thomas: A seasoned songwriter is apparent in any song, as is the case with Patrick Thomas. Drawing inspiration from his years on the road, his album Build Me A City presents a refreshingly honest window to the hardships that the life of a working musician brings.
“Complicated Rhythm” – Bella Ruse: Is that a typewriter? By golly it is! It’s been stated before that this author has a soft spot for happiness-infused folksy duos and their feelgood, lovey-dovey lyrics, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this incredibly talented act is included in this list. Besides, singer Kay Gillette’s vocals are so invitingly playful that she draws you deep into her musical world in mere seconds.
“You Can’t Hide” – Benny Tetteh-Lartey: Hailing from Edinburgh, Benny possesses more than a unique talent. He also has his instrument, a “combuitar” (as he calls it), which combines three necks resulting in eighteen uniquely gauged strings. The textures he is able to accomplish with this instrument are reminiscent of traditional Indian music, Spanish folk guitar and, of course, our iconic western six-string.
“Martial Riesling” - Carl Hauck: Few times do you hear production this captivating in such an essentially simple song. The layers added by the female vocals and the horns take the song to another level after the chorus, and it just builds from there. An excellent starter to Carl’s album.
“Something Insanely Clever” - Ellen Cherry: Ellen Cherry’s incredibly soothing voice is but one of the highlights of this track. The contrast between the rhythmic guitar strumming and the ethereal texture of the strings give the song’s form a perfectly cohesive structure and just the right amount of tension it needs.
“Thin Jacket” – Christy Hays: With a tinge of country in her voice and her guitar, Christy Hays has brought her music all the way from Tennessee to Alaska (literally by car!). Her lyrics display a degree of storytelling experience that only one who has lived the life on the road can have.
Have any tunes in particular that you care to share? Disagree with any of the picks? Want a theme in particular to be Shuffled? Let us know by dropping a comment!
Listen to previous Press Shuffle playlists over at 8tracks.com.