We first wrote about Carlos Castaño a couple of years ago, in which we said he sounded like John Mayer – and got an email in return, saying he doesn’t like him except for his Continuum album. (It is a good album.) He’s released several albums and has worked the live circuit all over the region – most notably performing at the Singapore Grand Prix in 2014 – but after taking a year off, he returned a couple of weeks back with his new album Scratch. Today, he picks the five songs he can’t live without, and yes, they’re completely different from the music he performs – but, in his words, “a lot of our songs start with grooves and I almost always pull from hip-hop to get it with master drummer boy Michael Gemina.”
From my nascent time directly observing the local indie scene, April Hernandez is one of its quiet yet most effective workers. While she does a bunch of things for other artists, you more likely know her as TheSunManager, whose music bursts with an effortless optimism. On Friday she will release her first full-length debut, Worth, and we’ve taken the chance to ask her about the five songs she can’t live without. Her selections have actually surprised us – and it’s a good thing, we must add.
We were feeling adventurous, so, we figured, why not get a foreign act for The Five Songs I Can’t Live Without? We thoroughly enjoyed Swiss-Japanese duo Tim & Puma Mimi’s new album, Der Die Das, which dropped last Friday (and which we wrote about exactly a week ago), so when the opportunity came to get them involved in this thing, we said yes. On this installment they talk about the five Japanese songs (see, there’s a theme, even) they can’t live without – and which has clearly informed their music.
Perhaps it’s a bit of poetry, or, if you’re looking at 2016 as the year that made so many people sad, it was just being cruel. George Michael died on Christmas day at age 53,6 on the day one of his signature songs, “Last Christmas” – a sad song, for sure, but a jolly-sounding one nonetheless – gets a lot of play. Of course, that wasn’t his only popular song: he was the force behind some of the biggest pop hits of the 80s and 90s, and continued to create music until just recently. So, with the words “the very next day, you gave it away” ringing in our heads, we find ourselves diving into George Michael’s work.
Here we are again – the end of the year, or at least the end of our year here on earthings!, as we take that long holiday break to recharge, or whatever passes for that these days. And it’s been a busy year, or perhaps because we found ourselves juggling a lot of things on many fronts – lots of changes off screen, and a bunch of new features on screen. But I digress. Here we are again – the end of our year on the blog, which means I trot out my ten favorite songs of the year – not a definitive list by all means; just a reflection of what I’ve liked, considering that I seem to have listened to less new music and more K-pop these past few months. So, here’s the list, arranged alphabetically as always. [NB]