Continuing our expansion of original content, Under The Gun Review presents its latest column, Sounds Familiar, dedicated to trawling the world and web for the latest remixes, redos, and reminiscent bits that our newest columnist Julia McAlpine finds appealing. Be prepared for some diversity in your music library. The songs may not be new, but they will be different and worth a spin.
If you have a remix or cover that you would like to see featured here, let us know! Write email@example.com with the subject “Sounds Familiar” and we’ll take a listen!
The trend your ears are about to witness was unintentional — it seems I really gravitated towards female vocals and mellow beats this week. I’m blaming the changing weather and the fact that I was out of town for a bachelorette party (just feeling the girl power, what can I say?). But I’m sure these tracks will appeal to anyone looking for some momentary relaxation.
Poliça – “Lay Your Cards Down” (Allure Remix)
I hadn’t heard of Poliça until I was driving this weekend with my chic friend Lauren who was visiting from San Francisco. She only had to play Poliça’s “Dark Star” for a few seconds for me to know I’d found my newest obsession. And lo and behold, Poliça has a Dark Star Remix EP. This remix of “Lay Your Cards Down” is my favorite of the bunch, as it enhances the ethereal vocals of Channy Leaneagh and gives the song a muffled sound reminiscent of Summer Heart. Check out the radio edit of “Dark Star” that also appears on the EP – the girl power lyrics “ain’t a man in this world who can pull me down/from my dark star” has coaxed me into donning vampy lipstick and leather boots this week.
School of Seven Bells – “How To Love” (Lil Wayne Cover)
I was skeptical of this cover at first. I seem to be incapable of taking anyone who has an affinity for grillz and/or uses “Lil” as an honorific seriously. But how do I feel about School of Seven Bells? Yes, please. I’m sure Lil Wayne means the thoughtful lyrics of “How To Love”, but his genre stifles any genuine message behind this ballad, making it come across as more of a ploy to widen listening audiences and cross “song not about hos” off the to-do list. This stripped down version of “How To Love” is heartfelt and raw, allowing the lyrics to take precedence. Hearing this song performed in a different genre is starting to make me think that maybe grillz aren’t so bad after all.
Jessie Ware – “Night Light” (Wild Beasts Remix)
If I were to use one word to describe this song, it would be “slinky.” I love what the UK’s Wild Beasts have done to this track, giving it that sultry night-life feel to highlight Ware’s soulful vocals. “Night Light” has been a popular remix option lately, and this is definitely my favorite version. But if you’re looking for something to dance to, give the Joe Goddard version a shot (he’s in Hot Chip, so he’s got his groovin’ down)!
Serena Ryder and the Beauties – “The Funeral” (Band of Horses Cover)
I love Band of Horses’ “The Funeral” as is, but this version is even more heartbreaking if that’s possible. Ryder’s voice almost cracks with sadness, and the song has a really empty sound, leaving the listener alone with the vocals. I overplayed the Band of Horses version back in the day, but this new version is reigniting my love for the track. It may also produce tears. Just a heads up.
First Aid Kit – “Winter Is All Over You” (Baauer Remix)
The folksy sound of Sweden’s First Aid Kit is a favorite of mine, and putting a chill electronic spin on “Winter Is All Over You” gives the song a fun little makeover. Something about folk with an added beat just gets me (can all of my folk albums come with corresponding remix versions? Thanks). Seeing as First Aid Kit is cold-weather appropriate to begin with, this short and sweet track is a pleasant addition to a rainy day playlist.
That’s it for this week! Julia is off to scrounge the Internet for cat shirts.