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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/20

by Alexis Stephens | 34 days ago
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Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Italy vs. Costa Rica

Italy

Mario Balotelli is master of any domain that he walks into. Italian experimental darkwave duo JoyCut have a great theme song for Balotelli and the rest of Italian team in “Dominio”:

Costa Rica

Darkness is a familiar vibe to Costa Rica’s Colornoise. Their poppy, post-punk opus “Button” doesn’t thematically tie into the World Cup, but it rules:

Match 2: Switzerland vs. France

Switzerland

Switzerland played it cool all the way to a last minute victory over Ecuador last week. Deetron ft. Ben Westbeech’s “Rhythm” has the laidback soulful house vibe that complements a patient, pragmatic team:

France

Starz Angels “Take a Risk Tonight” keeps the tempo up beat and has a very different message for Les Bleus:

 

Match 3: Honduras vs. Ecuador

Honduras

Rock musician Eduardo Umanzor released “Cantemos Juntos” in support of the Honduran team. The video is super cute. Look at the adorable little children in their adorable oversize uniforms:

Ecuador

Ecuador’s Fabrikante performs a vocal “beat-boxing style” that is related to Afro-Ecuadorian music traditions. The colors and sound layering in the video for “Chanteoma” have a visceral effect making you feel rooted to the earth and ready to defend your ground:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/19

by Alexis Stephens | 35 days ago
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Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Colombia vs. Ivory Coast

Colombia

Kali Uchis reps her home country of Colombia, but in a way that reflects the cyclical nature of pop culture. Her gangster look is a nod to Latin American street culture, but also to some of her influences (Amy Winehouse, M.I.A., Snoop Dogg, and Gwen Stefani) who interpreted (or appropriated) chola style in different ways. Her foggy doo-wop song “What They Say” is a good message to Los Cafeteros not to listen to those who underrate how far they can go:

Ivory Coast

“Tu Es Dans Pain” means “you are in pain” in French. Ivory Coast is gonna be channeling Kiff No Beat today, for sure:

 

Match 2: Uruguay vs. England

Uruguay

I don’t have particularly high blood pressure, but this World Cup has been giving me chest pains. For this match, how about a couple of warrior anthems, since it’s do or die time? Dinimata & La Swing Factory’s “El Renegado” gets me in the mood for a death match:

England 

Meanwhile, Evian Christ’s “Waterfall” is fit for a battle on a more intergalactic scale:

Match 3: Japan vs. Greece

Japan

Shinichi Osawa’s “Breaking Through the Night” is one of those tracks that gets me pumped up about life during a nice, long workout. Perfect for stoppage time in a clutch situation:

Greece 

It’s pretty obvious, but I love a good double meaning. This game isn’t going to be played at 4:20, but Fever Kids’ “Holding Grass” is a good anthem for The Pirate Ship:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/18

by Alexis Stephens | 36 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Australia vs. Netherlands

Australia

Although the Socceroos showed promise in their loss to Chile, The Netherlands are looking pretty terrifying. Maybe the indie dance pop of Olympic Ayres will help the team to “Take Flight”:

The Netherlands

The music of the “Dutch Adele,” Caro Emerald, is as bold and grandiose as the Oranje. Take a listen to ”I Belong to You”:

 

Match 2: Spain vs. Chile

Spain

After a disappointing opening loss to The Netherlands, Spain is looking to activate a plan B. BFlecha can show the way with “βeta”:

Chile

The message of Los Bunkers’ “Si Estas Pensando Mal de Mi” is “If you’re thinking badly about me, keep it to yourself.” Think good thoughts about #CHI!

Match 3: Cameroon vs. Croatia

Cameroon

Cameroon and Croatia haven’t yet become football or music powerhouses, but they both have some jams. Cameroonian rapper Sadrak deserves more shine for “Le Gars De Yaounde”:

Croatia

Pips, Chips & Videoclips have been holding Zagreb, Croatia down since the early ’90s and the recently released “Trubač” is happy, sincere Balkan rock:

 

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/17

by Alexis Stephens | 37 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Belgium vs. Algeria

Belgium

Stromae is the best. If you are thinking “What’s a Stromae?” you should probably check out 10 Reasons to Know Who Stromae Is Right Now. The Red Devils have the only soccer anthem that will still be pumping in my headphones in August in “Ta Fête.” Check out the darkly funny short film Stromae made to announce the anthem:

Algeria

Let’s transition from a high-budget global superstar to just some fans showing their favorite team some love. Here’s “Viva Algeria” (set to Don Omar’s massive hit “Danza Kuduro”):

 

Match 2: Brazil vs. Mexico

Brazil

The World Cup is literally all fun and games, but the security, living wage, and equity issues protesters are drawing attention to are real and deserve to be taken seriously, especially after the tournament is over. São Paulo-baced emcee Emicida has recently released a gorgeous anthem that celebrates the religion of futbol in Brazil, without endorsing FIFA or the World Cup. Check out “Obrigado, Darcy (O Brasil que Vai Além)”:

Mexico

#BattleMundial is taking a fairly weird turn today, since this pick for Mexico might be aggressively anti-soccer. Shadowy Mexico-based “netlabel” New Weird Latin America has released an ill World Cup mixtape featuring Fatima al Qadiri, Evian Christ, and others paired with visuals of violent hooligan fights.

Match 3: Russia vs. Republic of South Korea

Russia

Pompeya is one of the chillest Russian tropical disco bands out there (okay, maybe the only). Their video for “Power” is about a young man finding expressing his swag. May the Russian team also find theirs:

South Korea

K-pop group AOA show their love for Korea’s team with the effervescent “We Are The Reds”:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/16

by Alexis Stephens | 38 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Germany vs. Portugal

Germany

Germany’s chart topper Zedd has a message for Cristiano Ronaldo in “Find You”:

Portugal

Buraka Som Sistema’s “Bota” (or “boot”) was chosen by Adidas to be the soundtrack to their Samba Collection cleats for the World Cup. It’s not hard to see why; the Afro-Portuguese kuduro track featuring Brazil’s Karol Conka is a banger:

Match 2: Iran vs. Nigeria

Iran

Iran is not predicted to go far in the tournament, but the team will still play with heart and try to prove haters wrong. Our favorite Iranian rapper Yas teamed up with Tech N9ne earlier this year for a track that encapsulates positivism and diplomacy lurking beneath the competitive spirit of the tournament. Check out “Sound of Unity”:

Nigeria

Keeping things uplifting is D’Banj with “Top of the World.” Here’s his comment to us about why music and football go so well together, “I am a huge football fan and I see music and football as providing entertainment to millions of people around the world. When I perform at a concert or watch a football match you can feel and see the passion that it generates. This is because music and football are both played with the heart.”

Match 3: Ghana vs. USA

Ghana

Wiyaala kinda killed it as far as 2014 soccer anthems are concerned with “Go Go Back Stars Goal”:

United States of America

Nonetheless, there’s no love lost between USA and Ghana. Set in Brazil, Michael Jackson’s video for “They Don’t Care About Us” is the epitome of how underrated USA’s team must feel:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/15

by Alexis Stephens | 39 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Switzerland vs. Ecuador

Switzerland 

The Dewars are an American band who have an appreciation for the role that Switzerland had in world history. Like the mighty alps, the Swiss have a great defense. Let’s see how that fares against La Tri:

Ecuador:

Yeah, no spiel. Delfin’s “Vamos al Mundial” speaks for itself.

Match 2: France vs. Honduras

France

France is in a pretty good position going into this game. Owlle’s advice is “Don’t Lose It”:

Honduras

For Honduras’ team, here’s a little Garifuna flavor with Aurelio Martinez’ “Yalifu”:

Match 3: Argentina vs. Bosnia and Herzegovia

Argentina

Footballer Carlos Teves won’t be playing for Argentina’s team this year, but his cumbia villera track”Bailando Cumbia” has the home brewed flavor to cheer on The White and Sky Blue:

Bosnia and Herzegovia

This is Bosnia and Herzegovia’s first time to play in the World Cup ever. Here are some of the nation’s upbeat contemporary vibes with Mladen Tomic’ “Physical Level”:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/14

by Alexis Stephens | 40 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Colombia vs. Greece

Colombia

Yesterday, The Netherlands really pounded home the idea that no team is assured a place past the group stage. Hopefully Colombia’s Los Cafeteros can take a cue from goth cumbia group La MiniTK Del Miedo and attack Greece’s team with intimidation that says, “Yo soy la muerte”:

Greece 

Greece can keep it cool by adopting the attitude of electropop group Keep Shelly in Athens in “Oostende”:

 

Match 2: Uruguay vs. Costa Rica

Uruguay

Musically, this is the battle of the sunshiny Latin American nu-disco. Sante Les Amis is up for Artist of the Week this week, in part, because of the timely release of their song  ”Brasil”:

Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Patterns know a thing or two about winning Artist of the Week. Their video for “Sunny Days” makes us laugh heartily, but mostly it’s a hardcore jam. Costa Rica’s team might be hoping for sunnier days after battling Uruguay today:

Match 3: England vs. Italy

England

UK House has already won the World Cup of our ears. The Three Lions might have a tougher time in the World Cup of futbol, but Subb-an gives them the beats to be up to the challenge with “Say No More”:

Italy

Mario Balotelli is the most exciting player in the world. If each player got a walk-on song a la baseball, The Bloody Beetroots’ “Out of Sight” would be a very good pick for him:

Match 4: Ivory Coast vs. Japan

Ivory Coast

The world pretty much deplores the official FIFA World Cup anthem by Pitbull and JLo. The “peoples” anthem has become Magic System’s “Magic In Air” featuring Moroccan singer Chawki. Hopefully the uplifting anthem has sunk in with by the Ivorian players:

Japan

Japanese rapper AK-69 is a study in perseverance and inspiration. His track “Start It Again” is exactly the type of mentality the Samurai Blue will need today:

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 41 days ago
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Thank some higher power that it’s Friday! Which also means it’s time for our next Artist of the Week poll. You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote and choose the best of of this week’s featured artists. Choose from:

Sante Les Amis

Sante Les Amis music has all the makings for one of those euphoric Volkswagen car commercials — syncopated handclaps, whistling and feel good electro-rock music. Hailing from Montevideo, Uruguay, Sante Les Amis is a five-piece whose music feels familiar, but different enough to be memorable. Most of their songs are sung in Spanish and reveal a plethora of influences from reggae to punk and disco, creating a bombastic dance fusion we can get on board with.

Cakes Da Killa

Cakes Da Killa dons a pink flower crown on the cover of his 2013 mixtape Eulogy a la Chiara di Blasio. The image projects an air of royalty and chastity when ironically the Jersey-based rapper is all about raunch, real talk, and the turn up. Rap might start off as a type of defensive mechanism for many aspiring artists regardless of background. As Cakes explained in a recent interview, “I started rapping as a joke in high school just to make fun of straight guys, and then it sort of just become a running joke that now I get paid for.” 

White Lung

Given how long it’s been since aggressive, unforgiving women in music have met favorable recognition by both music critics and radio stations, listening to White Lung is much like that first gasp of air when surfacing from a warm, muddy decade of sexist repression. The band has been circulated widely on CBC radio, honored at Canadian Music Week Indie Awards, and racked up tour dates from Europe to Australia. And yet throughout their ascension into international stardom, they remain true to their feminist fury, most especially in their third upcoming LP, Deep Fantasy.

Jetta

Back in the day, the largest section of the cavernous spaces of music megastores like Virgin, Coconuts, or HMV was “Rock/Pop.” Like a frigid puff of air emanating from an automatic sliding glass door, singer/songwriter Jetta is a cooling, comforting rock/pop presence. Her powerful voice and guitar-driven melodies hearken back to a simpler time when you didn’t need an insane gimmick or niche to grab anyone’s attention.

Melanie De Biasio

A decade ago, Melanie De Biasio suffered from a pulmonary infection that disabled her singing voice for a year. Fortunately she recovered and was able to record No Deal (Play it Again Sam), an intimate collection of sparse soulful jazz that is as discreet as it is engaging. The classically trained Belgium-born artist, who will tour with Eels this summer across Europe, harnesses a less-is-more attention to jazz that remarkably comprises of only voice, percussion, piano and flute. 


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