Songs, songs and more songs #46: Love Level, Kartell & Tim Atlas, José González, Lauren Auder, Will Stratton

Are you frazzled? L

Is life too intense and too full-on for you to collect your thoughts and think about what it all means, if it in fact means anything at all?

Then sit down and listen to these five tracks which offer you not only lyrical introspection and thoughtfulness but a chance to musically wind things back and let your heart, soul and mind take a breather … and maybe, just maybe, find yourself in a better place aftewards.

At the very least, you’ll have five beautiful new songs to make your days that bit more perfectly chilled, and that can’t be a bad thing.

“Why You Left” by Love Level

Love Level (image courtesy official Love Level Instagram page)

Aimee Van Der Kruik and Juliana Ebert from Aussie duo Love Level, who hail from Gold Coast, Queensland, have just release their debut EP which includes three beautiful tracks including “Why You Left”, an ethereally lovely sounding song that belies its emotionally intense subject matter.

“Writing ‘Why You Left’ was a super personal experience for us. There were so many emotions and feelings we both had, and both wanted to express that when we came together to write, the song just fell into place so fast. We brought the song to our producer, Callum MacDonald of daste., and practically finished it in one session.

“For us this song is about dealing with the sudden loss of a friendship and not fully understanding where things went wrong, or why you lost them. It’s about accepting that they’re happy without you but also the bittersweet feeling that comes with holding onto the good memories you had with them.

“We’d like to think this song is the closure we never got.” (Acid Stag)

Longtime collaborators according to triple j unearthed, it’s highly likely we’ll be hearing a lot more from Aimee and Juliana who are described on the same site as a combination of “the earworm melodies of Clairo, the atmospheric nature of The Japanese House and the gentle vocal style of BROODS”.

“Stay” (feat. Tim Atlas) by Kartell

Kartell (image courtesy Soundcloud)

There is a delicious smoothness to “Stay”, a collaborative track from Paris-based producer Kartell and Los Angeles based singer, songwriter and producer Tim Atlas, that sweeps up and into in the most luxuriously gorgeous way possible.

If the song sounds pleasingly retro, there’s a reason for that as Kartell explains.

“This very personal track was composed in just a few hours, it all came very naturally. It embodies a lot of nostalgia that I am constantly looking for in my music. This helps me to project these suspended moments that make the magic of a memory.” (Acid Stag)

As nostalgia goes, “Stay” combines the very best of then and now, inspired by the past but not enslaved to it, described by Hauméa Magazine as “without a doubt the most polished track of [Kartell’s] EP [Daybreak] with “warm voice of Tim Atlas mingles perfectly with a groovy, indie melody largely supported by the basslines of Kartell”.

“El Invento” by José González

José González (image courtesy official Twitter account)

Now this is now you return with your first new music in six years!

Getting himself a name in 2003 with his dreamily bouncy (quite literally if you watch the clip) accoustic cover of The Knife song “Heartbeats” which was used in a Sony Bravia ad, José González has returned to please our ears with the delightfully lovely track “El Invento”, inspired by the birth of his daughter, which is the first ever Spanish language track for the Argentinian-Swedish singer-songwriter.

“‘Every now and then I try to write lyrics in Spanish – this time I succeeded! I guess talking to Laura in Spanish every day helped,’ he explained. ‘I started writing ‘El Invento’ around 2017 when she was born.

‘The song is about the questions – who we are, where we’re going and why? Whom can we thank for our existence? Historically, most traditions have invented answers to these questions. Thereof the name of the song: The Invention (god).'” (NME)

“El Invento” had its debut at the 2020 Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies with the accompanying clip filmed at his home in Sweden, its relaxed vibe perfectly match the soothing of this lushly-chilled song.

“Heathen” by Lauren Auder

Lauren Auder (image courtesy official Lauren Auder Facebook page)

How good is “Heathen”, a track from transgender British-French singer-songwriter and record producer Lauren Auder?

Well, the artist, who was in the UK but raised in France from age of seven by her music journalist parents, has described the track, according to DIY, as “my favourite song I’ve ever worked on” which is as good an accolade as you could ask for.

The song is about “‘longing for a test run before life proper [and] Learning to accept that all we get is a 9-month-long bomb shelter before you’re very much in the world.'” (DIY)

Employing music both sweetly laidback and darkly intense, “Heathen” is a most stunningly beautiful clip that matches the ever-escalating goosebump-inducing majesty of this most remarkable of tracks.

“Tokens” by Will Stratton

Will Stratton (image courtesy official Will Stratton Facebook page)

American singer-songwriter and composer Will Stratton who was raised in New Jersey, has created an ethereally piece of perfect guitar pop in “Tokens” drawn from his upcoming album The Changing Wilderness which releases 7 May 2021.

The music is stripped back but intensely affecting and luminously beautiful and is an evocation of the way time moves in and around us.

“Tokens is a song addressed to the fraternal twins, the most frequent subjects of songs since songs were created: time and love. The afternoon that I was writing it, the weird weather we were having that summer was on my mind. I was thinking about how my perception of time is so tied to my perception of the changing seasons, and consequently, how my perception of time hasn’t been quite as sharp as it once was. I was also thinking about the ending of one of my favorite movies, the 2014 Paul Thomas Anderson film Inherent Vice. The way time shimmers and shifts in that movie is fascinating to me, verging on hypnotic, and I was trying to evoke a little of that feeling in this song.” (Northern Transmissions)

Recorded along with the rest of the album in the artist’s home studio, “Tokens” is one of those songs that immersively subsumes you, taking you away from where you are to somewhere altogether welcomingly different and soothing your soul as it does so.

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