Thank You For Tonight (feat. Eliza Young)
Artist: Sam Lachow
Album: Brand New Bike
Released: January 1, 2011
This rapper begins his nostalgic track with trademark smooth vocals, which he proceeds to layer over rhythmic percussions, rich keyboard cadences, and mesmerizing saxophone samples. He paints an evocative scene—“Green eyes sitting over red lips/Cigarette smoke drips up thick”—while maintaining his work’s characteristically playful tone —“I don’t know what I’m doing/But I know I’m having fun,/ And I don’t know where I’m going/ But I hope you might want to come.” Young proceeds to steal the show with her smoky chorus, concluding one of the most soulful tracks on the album.
A Long Midwinter
Artist: The Horde and the Harem
Album: A Long Midwinter
Released: February 2, 2012
The Horde and the Harem features multiple vocalists taking turns crooning about winter coats, fine clothing, and how “The snow kept falling, such a chill to our hearts” in this noteworthy track. Over a harmonic pairing of keys and guitar strums, the song builds itself up and finally concludes in a sorrowful, melodic cadence. How a band from the Pacific Northwest could so accurately describe the specificities of the Montreal college student winter experience, we will never know.
I Want You
Album: Summer’s Gone
Released: September 6, 2012
This young electronic duo mixes choppy, seemingly erratic cries with metered synthetic snaps in this bright track. Twinkling electronic echoes saturate the song from beginning to end, evoking promising images of the energy of youth and the highs of summer, despite what the album’s title may otherwise suggest.
Artist: Hey Marseilles
Album: Lines We Trace
Released: March 5, 2013
Hey Marseilles employs a full symphony—or so it feels—in “Elegy.” These indie rockers expertly balance string work and drumbeats, which supplement their warm, melodic vocals. As the song progresses, its high-arching instrumentals and unanswered lyrical musings lead into a hopeful conclusion that makes you feel as though you’ve been transported out of winter, through spring, past summer, and into fall—all in slow motion.