Dots & Dashes’ First Transmissions of 2014: 1–5.

Dots & Dashes’ First Transmissions of 2014: 1–5.

And so, we conclude our First Transmissions of 2014 feature, with a final five. Not the most original, nor noteworthy of ‘Listmas’ concepts, sure; although that’s not to say it holds no relevance. Or we’re hoping it isn’t, at any rate… Anyway, now seems as appropriate a time as any to dish out a number of special mentions to songs that, although they didn’t quite make the proverbial grade, made this year a whole load better (from an auditory angle, if not a more general one also) than it might otherwise have been. And those are, in no particular order, Teen Mom’s Naked In The Eyes Of My Love, Gold-Bears’ For You, Lusts’ Sometimes, Diamond Mind’s Better Alone, Sunrise Device’s Dark Passenger, Home Clouds’ In The Past, Natalie Prass’ Why Don’t You Believe In Me, Braves’ Losing You, High Drags’ Hot Hot Summer, Day Wave’s Nothing At All, California Carpool’s Daydream, Cooper Keller’s Ms. Belle, Good Morning’s Don’t Come Home Today, To The Wedding’s Come On, Tülpa’s Gray Between Us, and Fake Laugh’s Freely. See? Didn’t we tell you it proved really tricky to whittle these down this time? It did; it really did, although if those aren’t enough to tide you over until the new year, here are what are subjectively, the very best First Transmissions we stumbled upon throughout this…

5. Superbloom, Always with My Friends

What he (Rhys Gall, Superbloom) said: “Always with My Friends comes from making decisions out of love; for others, it creates good health when listened to. Superbloom hopes that Always with My Friends can remind people that making decisions out of love is always better than making decisions out of fear…”

4. azul toga, Bedroom #2

What he (Jon Clowdus, Azul Toga) said: “Bedroom 2 was a track that I recorded with the help of my very good friend, Eleanor Kompaire, who provided the high-pitched vocals to the song. I didn’t think too much about making the song (in that it felt pretty natural), but I know that when I recorded the track, I wanted to make something that was somewhat reactionary to the music that I had been hearing from other Portland bands; I felt really inspired to do something that felt more intimate. So I hoped to make something that sounded like it came from a bedroom, rather than an effort put forth by five or six people…

“I tried to do both the high and low vocal parts on the song, before I realised that I needed the help of a friend, which is when Eleanor got involved. It was her first recording experience, and I had a lot of fun working on music with a so close a friend. I think her voice sounds lovely, and I hope that the song conveys a feeling of ethereal drama…”

3. EKKAH, Last Chance to Dance

What we said: ‘Rebecca [Wilson] and Rebekah [Pennington] have seemingly ensured they’re sure to resonate with those itchy of foot, fidgety of demeanour and maybe, just maybe, the masses, too.’

2. (exitpost), Eve

What he (Kenneth Herman, (exitpost)) said: “Eve came together around Christmas of last year (hence the title, ‘Eve’). At that time I wasn’t really thinking about making an album, but I wanted to try making something a little slower. I was listening to a lot of J Dilla and Clams Casino at the time, and considered working on a track I could maybe send to a rapper at some point. Like most songs, it came together very quickly without much forethought…

“Eve is pooled entirely from samples of my mum’s old Japanese records. I wanted to do a track that was made entirely of samples, but eventually guitars, electronic drums, and synths snuck their way in. I never found a rapper, but maybe one day my mum will rap over it at the very least…

“I played Eve live for the first time last year, and a girl shouted: ‘This is the kind of song you make love to your woman to!’ And that’s when I knew it was gold, Jerry!”

1. SALES, chinese new year

What she (Lauren Morgan, SALES) said: “Chinese New Year was written during a period of transition for us – shortly after our first release, we were living in different cities. The song gets a lot of character from the classical guitar, which has often been mistaken for a ukulele. I was listening to a lot of Hall & Oates and Jordan [Shih] had been listening to The Strokes. A pop-rock banger that people knew the words to was lurking within us, waiting to jump out of our bodies and run free. It’s our first, and hopefully not our last singalong. Anyway, we had a lot of fun writing it, and we are thrilled that people are having fun listening to it…”

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