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OurStage on 8tracks: Stargazer

If you’re the kind of person who appreciates the great outdoors, or just likes to look at life with a touch of whimsy, then this week’s playlist is just for you. Intern Frankie shares her love for soft, lilting melodies and organic lyrics with these tracks from folk artists across the globe. We can just imagine OurStage artists Prattle On, Rick, Really Old Airplanes and Kory Murphy sitting around a bonfire with the Fleet Foxes and Bowerbirds, playing their instruments under the stars…

Stargazer from OurStage on 8tracks.

SoundTrax: Beachside Bonfires

In the age of the playlist, everyone has access to collections of songs hacked together due to arbitrary similarities. But what does that accomplish other than aid our forever shortening attention span, while making the idea of an “album” obsolete? SoundTrax is here to provide you with playlists that are more thought out, but still provide you with that instant gratification.

This week we’ve put together a soundtrack that will let you escape your daily grind, dig your toes into the sand, crack open a Corona, chat with friends and smell like a chimney for the next three days. Catchy choruses, funky rhythm sections and campy lyrics hightlight this playlist, so sit back and enjoy.

SoundTrax: Beachside Bonfires from OurStage on 8tracks.

OurStage band Bronze Radio Return kicks things off with their feel-good vibe, and when the whole band starts singing together during the hook you won’t be able to resist. Dispatch picks up where Bronze Radio Return leaves off and pushes the tempo just a bit, before The Kooks rattle our nerves with an infectious hook and incredible arrangement. Mumford & Sons are the epitome of campy, sing-a-long rock-n-roll, so how could we not include them in the power slot of this soundtrack? Get Back Loretta and Ivory Drive have totally different styles, but both manage to infuse a sense of funk and a breath of life into the second half of this playlist, sandwiching indie-dance-rockers Foster the People. Finally, Dave Matthews Band closes us out with a summer classic from ’96.

OurStage on 8tracks: Blue Sky Ambience

Here at OurStage, we like to think of ourselves as music lovers, first and foremost. We’re always searching for the next big thing, and new ways to share our discoveries with all of you—from OurStage artists to mainstream music and beyond. But with all the different styles and personalities here at our office, we were hard-pressed to create just one playlist to show you what we’re made of. Instead, we decided to bring each of our music tastes to the table through this bi-weekly playlist on 8tracks.com.

Blue Sky Ambience from OurStage on 8tracks.

This week, intern Wake keeps it cool with his playlist Blue Sky Ambience. Featuring the ambient creations of OurStage artists Music2Motion and Sinopsys, this mix also includes tracks from the likes of Aphex Twin and Kaskade. Take this collection with you on a swanky international flight, or just use it as background music to study for an upcoming final. Either way, sit back, relax and let the music take you on a journey.

OurStage on 8tracks: Best of What’s Around

Best of What’s Around from OurStage on 8tracks.

We sought to provide you with only the best music for this Friday’s 8tracks playlist. Chris Pureka, Bronze Radio Return, Stepdad and Blondfire have already made it big in the OurStage scene, and side by side with radio hits like Gotye and the Black Keys, this playlist is sure to get you pumped. Besides, you know you’re in good hands with our Vice President of  Community and Artist Relations, Kristin, behind these tracks. So what are you waiting for? Press play and get ready for the weekend!

SoundTrax: Summer Road Trip

The summer road trip has become one of the most clichéd coming-of-age events in our society, but for good reason. Sunshine, fast cars, convertible tops, best friends, better tunes—what more could you ask for? The journey has come to embody the carefree, driving-with-no-destination vibe that a lot of us strive to emulate in our daily lives (mainly because there is something incredibly appealing about jumping in the car with three of your best friends right after senior year graduation, and booking it cross country just for the hell of it). But as we all know, good music is paramount to the success of an excursion. And SoundTrax is here to provide just that, but as much as we embrace the cliché, this will not be your typical sing-along road trip (we did that already).

There is a growing movement in the EDM world pushing away from the heavy bass sounds popularized by Skrillex, and instead embracing the French-touch that seems to have all but disappeared in recent years as Justice and Daft Punk have faded while Rusko and Bassnectar are booming. The sound features a heavier focus on melody, and a retro touch in terms of sound design. The movement is picking up steam so rapidly that there doesn’t really seem to be a star (like Skrillex for dubstep). There’s not even a solid genre title yet, and with influences ranging from French house, to Chi-town disco, and LA pop, the music is constantly morphing and pushing forward. We’ve put together a list of some of the funkiest, youngest producers out there right now. So grab some friends, pick your favorite summer destination and jam-on, cosmonauts.

SoundTrax: Summer Road Trip from OurStage on 8tracks.

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SoundTrax: Silently Sleeping

In the age of the playlist, everyone has access to collections of songs hacked together due to arbitrary similarities. But what does that accomplish other than aid our forever shortening attention span, while making the idea of an “album” obsolete? SoundTrax is here to provide you with playlists that are more thought out, but still provide you with that instant gratification.

As much as we love music’s belters and crooners, I often feel that not nearly enough attention is given to instrumental pieces, at least in the mainstream industry. In the classical world, instrumental music is viewed as the highest art form there is. But this playlist focuses on instrumental music for an entirely different reason; sleep. I find it increasingly difficult to fall asleep to music with vocals, especially if I happen to know the lyrics. My mind latches on to certain words, and even when I try to concentrate on sleeping, I inadvertently find myself humming the hook a few minutes later. So, for this weeks edition of SoundTrax, we’ve picked eight instrumental tracks that will help slow your breathing, calm your heart rate and shut your eyes. Don’t let the bed bugs bite, kids.

SoundTrax: Silently Sleeping from OurStage on 8tracks.

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SoundTrax: Cop Chase

One of my favorite cinematic chase scenes is the climax of the ‘99 remake of The Thomas Crown Affair. You can check out the scene here. Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” layered over the quick-cut shots make for an incredibly fast-paced and tense foot chase through the MET. The claps that never seem to line up, the playful piano melody, Nina’s powerful vocals and the frantic video editing all add up to a beautifully executed piece of cinematic art.

There’s no doubt that the music plays an integral role in providing the needed tension, and directors have burned through hundreds of musical styles looking for the “perfect” chase music. While I don’t think you can get much better than Pierce Brosnan’s calculated mayhem in the MET accompanied by the lovely Nina Simone, we’ve compiled a playlist of the some of the most adrenaline pumping music out there.

This week at SoundTrax, we’re throwing you a bit of a curve ball by juxtaposing two seemingly unrelated genres into one collection; the head-pounding, alternative rock of some great OurStage bands and the bumping electro-house from some of my favorite national producers. The styles of music lend themselves to something a bit more fast paced than a foot chase, so make sure to have your getaway car ready before you rob the bank.

SoundTrax: Cop Chase from OurStage on 8tracks.

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SoundTrax: Back To The Future

Is it just us, or does it seem like the ’80s are about to make a comeback? Juno synths have started to creep into even the most cookie-cutter radio pop music, “vinyl warmth” and “tape hiss” are becoming more and more prevalent in digitally-recorded music (where those things shouldn’t exist) and John Hughes movies have seen a huge sale increase (we joke). This all points to a simple foregone conclusion: the hipsters are bored with the ’90s and have begun the cultural depletion of earlier decades.

So for all the forward-thinking trendsetters out there, we have some tunes you should check out. In this edition of SoundTrax we highlight some of the most retro-sounding electronic artists currently out there. This music almost serves as a counter-culture to the hard hitting electro-house and dubstep that is all the rage these days. It stems from the same principles; danceable beats, melodic synths and attention to song structure, but lacks the immediacy of electro-house and the brashness of American dubstep. What the music lacks in attention-grabbing, in-your-face noise, it makes up for in charm.

This is music that sounds like it’s being played from a cassette you left in your glove box all summer (not that I know how that would sound, I’ve never listened to music off anything other than my iPod, of course). Some of it is a modern take on the classic disco sound, while other tracks have more of an ’80s synth-pop vibe.

SoundTrax: Back To The Future from OurStage on 8tracks.

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Metal Monday: Dark Empire Go From Refuge To Ruin

Many bands and albums in the music world often fall into one of two categories: sounding familiar or sounding new and exciting. Long time OurStage metal band Dark Empire started out in the latter category, but with their new release (titled From Refuge To Ruin) they’ve moved more to the former. While they aren’t offering anything that’s particularly new, they are doing a lot of very familiar things extremely well. I reviewed Dark Empire’s last release Humanity Dethroned a while back (Spoiler: it rules), and they’ve since parted ways with the vocalist, which really shows.

Find out why after the jump!

SoundTrax: Shower Stall Rock Star

This week, we’ve compiled a list of our eight favorite sing-a-long tunes to let the rock star living inside all of you shine. In typical SoundTrax fashion, I’ve done my best to avoid falling into a specific time frame or genre. These are all songs pulled from my personal library that I can’t help but belt out whenever they come on shuffle. While I would probably avoid some of these songs like the plague in my everyday listening, I’ll be honest: There is only so many times you can listen to Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” without feeling the urge to join in on the chorus.

Pivotal scenes from Almost Famous and Risky Business highlight the healing power of a sing-a-long (and how much fun it can be to rock out in your skivvies). The “Tiny Dancer” sing-a-long from Almost Famous is a personal favorite that I feel perfectly illustrates the spontaneity and sheer joy that can come from singing a well-known tune with your buddies.

For those of you who don’t feel comfortable belting out your favorite songs at your local karaoke night, the shower is often the only venue where you can truly express the vocal prowess you have. If you can’t sing, we ask that you don’t let the acoustics of your bathroom fool you: please keep the singing contained to the shower. There’s no need to terrorize the innocent patrons who didn’t realize it was karaoke night at the bar, or your kids sitting in the back seat of the minivan,

So grab your hairbrush, but please refrain from stripping down to a button-up and tighty-whities, and rock out to this playlist of rad sing-a-longs.

SoundTrax: Shower Stall Rock Star from OurStage on 8tracks.

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