Saturday Mix: Sylvan Esso, James Blake, and House of Cards


Saturdays, who doesn’t love ’em? Everyone breathes in deep, exhales the hells of the week and gets ready to party their ass off or sit their ass on the couch. Here’s a mix for either adventure.

Yes, I’ve been watching House of Cards. It’s taken every fiber of my being to keep off the roof of my apartment, bellowing my enthusiasm and dismay at every passing chapter. Everyone, including POTUS, got Frank Underwood as their Valentine. Political drama geeks swoon. But I managed to pull myself away from Netflix for two things: shopping at the newly opened Zara downtown (a sweet post coming from that adventure) and gathering this week’s worth of cool-ass music to share with you.

If Sylvan Esso doesn’t strike your memory with much force, it’s probably because the duo have only released an EP. But in the past few weeks they’ve announced an upcoming debut album and released the first single off the album, the minimal and retrospective “Coffee.” The lyrics recount childhood memories with sweet, darkly-tinted rhythms. Darkness becomes delightful in James Blake’s performance on BBC Radio 1. It’s a warm combination of scarce beats, fuzzy feedback and R&B. At one point he’s chastised by the DJs for not playing something more upbeat. Clearly, they don’t get “It.” Picking up the tempo is Yumi Zouma, a kind of HAIM-but-better dance beat that exemplifies the cool chic-as-fuq practice of getting ready for the night. The mix rolls in more guitars and psych-rock from Ex Hex, The Tills “Holy Roller,” and more.


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