5 Songs We’re Shazaming This Fashion Week

Fashion Week = clothes, yes, but you’re missing out if the only app you’re opening is Instagram. Breaking away from the camera for a few seconds to switch on Shazam yields a whole other creative wealth and will help build the perfect playlist for remaining calm and energized running from one show to the next. So our top five downloads so far this season? (In no particular order):

While waiting for Karolyn Pho to start // Warpaint’s “Love Is To Die”

Closing out Thom Browne’s ecclesiastical show // OMD’s “Sister Marie Says”

At CFDA Incubator designer Nonoo’s fall show // Phantogram’s “Fall In Love”

Marissa Webb gave us two to download: Robi’s “On Ne Meurt Plus D’amour” (which we heard at at least one other show)

and Au Revoir Simone’s “Love You Don’t Know Me”



Free Download: The Luxuriously Smooth ‘Dedications’ Mixtape

Great news: your one-stop summer mixtape has arrived. Dedications, presented by pop duo Kisses (whose latest album, Kids in LA, we’ve already gushed about) was for the show Art Laboe Connection on freestyle LA beacon 92.3 FM. And while the typical mixtape means one producer exerting control over the whole, Dedications is assembled track by track from musicians the world over, each of whom insert a shout-out.

Who wouldn’t want a glimpse into the smooth sounds favored by Erika Spring of Au Revoir Simone (she goes with Sade) or Swedish maestro Jens Lekman (the truly chill “Our Love,” performed by Jennifer Lara)? This is like having your barbecue tag-team DJ’d by some of the coolest people in the world. And nowhere else are you going to get Explosions in the Sky’s “Your Hand in Mine” compiled with Cyndi Lauper’s “True Colors”—but still, it all manages to hang together, fading from purple drank to pop balladry and back to funk again. Sure beats sweating over your own playlist. 

Brooklyn Duo Tanlines Close Out A Successful And Buzzy Year

For Tanlines, 2012 will go down as a monumental year that opened and closed with equally epic New York shows. Back in April, the euphoric rhythms of the Brooklyn-based alt-indie duo—who had just released Mixed Emotions on True Panther Sounds a couple of weeks prior—may as well have served as invisible puppet strings. Each chorus and bridge conducted the fluid movements and raised hands in the room, while “All Of Me,” “Yes Way,” and “Green Grass” united one happy, hustling crowd underneath the fractured light of the Bowery Ballroom’s disco ball.           

“We started off the year with that tour in April, and that show at the Bowery Ballroom was a big moment for us,” recalls Jesse Cohen. “There was a lot of love. It started the whole year on a good foot that really propelled us.” Since then, Tanlines have gone on to play a handful of festivals and put their passports to good use, meandering through the country while playing for small rooms or thousands of people depending on the day. Sometimes people danced, sometimes people didn’t, and most of the time (as we’ll get into below), Cohen and his cohort, Eric Emm, disagreed about whether or not any given set was a great one or a bust.

One thing the pair will likely concede is that their upcoming engagement at Webster Hall is set to match the Bowery show for its energy and encouraging vibe. Before taking the stage on 11th Street, we asked Cohen to take us through the past year in order to get an unfiltered look at what 2013 may have in store for Tanlines.

What’s your relationship like with Mixed Emotions as a pivotal body of work for you guys? Have your feelings towards your debut record changed?
I think all of the songs have grown since the album came out. It feels like its just getting better and better, you know? It feels like every time we play somewhere there are more people who know the music. I think the more we play the more confident we are, and I think we’re getting better. We’ve done some festival shows now which was a new thing. I think playing live has been a huge part of this project, and I’m really happy with that.

What’s a concrete set list choice for you, a no-brainer pick to kick off a show with?
We open some shows with an almost acoustic version of “Rain Delay” which is totally different than the album version. It’s kind of a quiet and intimate way to start the show. I’ve been happy with that. We stretch some things out and make them longer than they are on the album. Playing live was kind of a big surprise for us, actually—before this album we were just kind of making songs and putting them on the Internet. It’s only when we started playing live and people liked us that it really pushed us forward. I think we were better live than we expected to be. On paper, we’re just two guys making live electronic music—that can be pretty boring. One way or another, I think we’ve stumbled onto something that works, and I’m really happy about that.

As far as electronic music is concerned, do you ever feel like you’re subscribing to a genre that you don’t fully identify with? How do conversations about genre go between you two?
I think that most musicians wouldn’t want to give themselves a genre—you want to feel free to make whatever kind of music you think is interesting. We’ve really tried to put our personalities at the front of the project so that people really get to know us and trust us when we make the music that we want to make. When we did this album, “Green Grass” was a rock song, and there are songs on Mixed Emotions that are upbeat and songs that are kind of downers. It’s important to us to have all of those on there. I don’t know what genre it is. I just let people who write about music decide. I think that one thing that comes through is the mix of stuff that’s on there. There’ll be a song that’s got a 4/4 electronic drumbeat with a country guitar line. The mix of stuff is what I think is important to the music, a mix of happy and sad and different styles. The mix is what I’m interested in doing, and that’s definitely part of who we are. We listen to a lot of different kind of music, and I think there’s a sense of humor and sadness to it.

What’s the anatomy of a great dance song for Tanlines?
One thing I believe in is that the worst vibe you can present to an audience is “Why aren’t you guys dancing more?!” How many times have you been somewhere where someone’s like, “Why aren’t you dancing?!” and you’re like, “I just don’t feel like it and dancing is only fun if I feel like doing it!”, right? We’re not really thinking about it that much. If a song works because it has an up-tempo beat, then that’s what that song becomes. If it works without us dropping beats, that’s what that becomes. We don’t talk about writing dance music; we just try to write interesting pop music. No part of the goal of the band is to make people dance—it’s to write good songs that people like listening to for as long as possible. We don’t think of ourselves as a dance act; we think of ourselves as alternative indie songwriters who use a lot of the same instruments that people who make dance music use. I don’t even like the genre name “dance” because I think there’s an expectation for how you should listen to it—if you’re not dancing to it, it means that something is wrong. Like I said, I don’t want to do that. We play great shows where no one is dancing, and great shows where everyone is, so you’ll always feel something. That’s really the goal: you make something to help people feel something, and that can be a lot of different things that are all equal.

Do you approach your collaborations and remixes the same way?
When you listen to our remixes, most of them aren’t danceable at all—they’re just sort of, like, songs. The Au Revoir Simone remix that we did, we slowed it down and did a half-tempo thing that turned out to be a cool song by a, like, fictional band. Our approach there was to write new music that would stand on its own. year.

If you could single out one hallmark moment from all of the shows you’ve played this year, which one would it be?
We did the F Yeah Festival in Los Angeles, and it was one of the best shows we’ve ever played. Something just happened: everything lined up right, it was the right time of day, we were in the right mood … I’m not sure what it was. Usually, when we finish playing a show, we walk off the stage, and I’ll say to Eric, “Hey, that was great!” and he’ll say “THAT WAS TERRIBLE!” Or he’ll say “That was pretty good!” and I’ll say “No, it was terrible.” We walked off the stage at that show and we were both like, “That was incredible.” It felt great. was when we felt that we can do this, that we can walk up without much preparation and play for thousands of people and everything will sound great, and people can walk away from us going, “That’s a really good live band.” That day felt like a turning point for us.

What are you looking forward to the most in this homecoming show?
I really hope that it feels like a bookend to the Bowery show, going into Christmas and the New Year. We’re slowing down with touring and stuff, so I hope it feels that way—I hope it feels like a bookend to something that started a long time ago. I hope that it propels Eric and me to the next stage, which we’re going to start writing soon.

Follow Hilary Hughes on Twitter.

Music: Au Revoir Simone, Phoenix, Grizzly Bear

Au Revoir Simone, Still Night, Still Light (Our Secret Record Company) Brooklyn’s answer to Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis replant their hauntingly personal, bittersweet roots on the follow-up to 2007’s creepy-sweet The Bird of Music. Their third album is a symphony of sterilized electronic sounds brought to life by an intimate encounter between these three Fates and their keyboards. Despite the odd bramble of blunt confrontation (“Trace a Line”), Au Revoir Simone skips through the wet grass of ethereal romanticism (“Tell Me”), proving that they are still alright and, yes, still feather-light. — Garrett Pruter

A-Trak, Infinity+1 (Thrive) On his latest release, Kanye West’s go-to turntablist puts together a mixtape fitted for the highest echelon of the genre. Instead of revisiting previously explored (and exploited) tracks, the album spans everything that will (or should) be post-dance-pop anthems over the next two years, from the likes of Holy Ghost, Gonzalez, Kid Sister and Soundstream. A-Trak’s remix of MSTRKRFT and rapper N.O.R.E.’s “Bounce” is an electro-funk-driven, cowbell-addled banger worthy of the rowdiest of hipster house parties, while the post-disco sheen of a Midnight Juggernauts track (“Shadows”) opens the album’s second half with surprisingly mature pacing and depth that will captivate even the most ADD-riddled mash-up fans. — Foster Kramer

The Horrors, Primary Colours (XL Recordings) The Horrors are no longer masquerading as a riotous assembly of suburban mall goths — heavy on theatrics, light on context or coherence. Emerging from two years of whereabouts unknown, singer Farris Rotter elevates the band to fearful heights with fetching vocals on “Mirror’s Image,” the album opener. His mellifluous, pensive tremor on “I Only Think of You” is flat-out haunting. And with Portishead’s Geoff Barrow as producer, the Horrors finally get the chance to show off their true, evocative colors. — Eiseley Tauginas

Pet Shop Boys, Yes (Astralwerks) If the Pet Shop Boys have spent the second half of their career protesting too much against the “sultans of sardonic” tag they’d been branded with early on, perhaps they no longer care what anyone thinks. Three tracks into their ninth album, vocalist Neil Tennant has already sneered a number of caustic mini-diatribes including, “Too much of everything is never enough,” and, “I want to live like beautiful people.” Both songs exude the weariness of a seasoned cynic. Yes is surprisingly shock-free, a Xenomania–produced masterstroke of glittering, lavish, yet searingly melancholic disco-pop, Tennant’s lyrics fixed on that crazy contretemps called love. Pet Shopaholics, rejoice.  — Ken Scrudato

Grizzly Bear, Veckatimest (Warp) If this Brooklyn quartet were made up of writers, they’d be novelists. Veckatimest, Grizzly Bear’s follow up to 2006’s Yellow House, continues their narrative of wintry experimental rock without skipping chapters. The group risks little and takes their art sound to even sparser territory, sticking with the subdued, tone-downed melodies of their earlier recordings. Freeform layered over strong sonic structure prevails throughout, with the exception of “Two Weeks,” the most radio-friendly — and least polarizing — of the bunch. — Stephanie Laemoa

Camera Obscura, My Maudlin Career (4AD) Camera Obscura has always produced happy music for depressed people, and on their fourth studio album in nearly 13 years, this wonderful sonic contradiction holds. My Maudlin Career provides the same mellow fare with added wistfulness. On the first single, “French Navy,” Tracyanne Campbell’s delicate vocals combine with brilliant instrumentals for navel-gazing loveliness that deserves every comparison to Belle & Sebastian that it’s bound to get. Even in the face of heartache (“James”), tracks are warmed over by eternal optimism, all in the name of love — and with help from an overworked, tinkling triangle. — Delia Paunescu

Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenixs Phoenix (Glassnote) The only thing wrong with the new Phoenix album — and it’s a big deal, trust — is that there aren’t more tracks. Although they’ve been criticized in the past for a lack of cohesion on their earlier albums, this time around, the French four-way soars into outer orbit with an incredible mix of buoyant vocals and Sunday afternoon synth led by clean-cut crooner Thomas Mars. Hey, Beethoven, you might want to roll over—this one is an instant classic from start to finish. — Anam Mansuri
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The Interventionist: Refreshing Fashion for New York’s Nocturnal Set

Holly GoNightly is back from her hiatus (not rehab, like the rest of yous) with a fresh new series to add to her nocturnal adventures. With a little help from Matt Levine’s The Eldridge, and a society stylist intervening in the wardrobes of some stylish ladies, she pulled off a major feat (and fete). Here begins a style study of six ever-seen girls about town.

New York Fashion Week ended in ashes what seems like years ago, and with New Yorkers returning from the far off fashion festivities in Milan and Paris, so many of us are staggering about the city looking a bit peaked. Fashion overload, along with the shows, after parties and after-after parties, has bred fashion rehab- the intervening sobriety of mending marginalized cocktail conversations, curing jet lag, eradicating new addictions (Marc Jacobs spring bags for one) and, more importantly, restoring sapped closets.

While some of you are just returning from Promises Residential Treatment Center, we decided to play doctor on the wardrobes of some of our favorite nightlife denizens. You know these girls; Annabelle Dexter-Jones with her lax down-town cool, Dabney Mercer, the apposite of UES élan, Lisa Salzer with her Spartan canvas dripping with Lulu Frost jewels, Nicole Fiscella, the prep school gossip girl, the discerning Annabel Vartanian, and the retro thrifty trio of Au Revior Simone. Not that our subjects needed much of an intervention, their polished, carefully cultivated personal style jumping from their Patrick McMullan shots. We instead wanted to invent a ‘what if ‘situation, a sartorial Trading Places of closets in which we tempted our subjects to step outside of the box (and stylist, and personal shoppers, and favorite stores) to experiment with some key fall fashion trends, the likes of which they wouldn’t normally think to wear- from Moschino to a custom-crafted J. Mendel cocktail dress.

What was supposed to be an innocent one-on-one shopping experience with six of our favorite party hoppers advanced into a full fashion affair. Wine and couture brought the girls out to the elusive members-only Eldridge for an exclusive photo shoot. With Kristian Laliberte acting as a stylist, Gradient Magazine’s Matt Fried behind the lens (and diligently trying not to reveal too much of the Eldridge’s clandestine design), we managed to convince the girls to shimmy into gainsay garments. Those that were in the upper 70’s found themselves in the deep LES. Our favorite prepsters were suddenly scenesters. The product of our intervention? Their opinions were swayed, the Eldridge outed, if only a little, and we’ve got six fashion fairy-tales to pair with our nightlife narratives over the next few weeks. Like your AA meetings, we’re wondering if their new looks will last.


Our Subjects of Study:

1. Annabelle Dexter-Jones: Admits to ‘not brushing her hair,’ this au natural beauty is often found on carpets everywhere wearing her favorite Charlotte Ronson T (her sister is the fashion talent) and Chuck Taylors.

2. Nicole Fiscella: As Isabel, usually seen as Blair Waldorf’s back up in Gossip Girl, this elegant fashion player is no minor character. Though usually captured in school skirts and oxfords, the former model is up for trying anything, with a little push of course. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, and she did it.

3. Dabney Mercer: The perfectly coiffed (ringlets, blond) perfectly cuffed and cosseted, the stylish younger sister of Tinsley Mortimer is always in the spotlight for her gilded image. Here she ventures into something tougher, still gilded (just on a gold floor).

4. Lisa Salzer: The talent behind Lulu Frost, and the elegant neck oft seen under the gorgeous neckwear, Lisa tells me she is into a simple silhouette for fall: ‘little blazers and jeans.’ But the girl looks so good when she glams it up.

5. Annabel Vartanian: This ginger haired beauty usually pairs elegant lines with her fiery hair, but the poised heiress was eager to break her standard.

6. Au Revoir Simone: Erika Forster (vocals/keyboard), Annie Hart (vocals/keyboard), and Heather D’Angelo (vocals/drum machine/keyboard) confided that stylists always put them in the same thrift store looks during shoots. Not much of a departure from their usual pared down panache, the three showed up in simple day dresses and sandals: left in cocktail numbers and jewels.

The Interventionists:

7. Kristian Laliberte, Stylist: Controversial? Maybe at times, but his brash honesty pairs nicely with selecting clothes for the ladies often seen on his arm. Here he roughs the girls up a bit, forcing even his most stylish of arm candies to try a new trend.

8: Matt Fried: Photographer The brains behind the beauty of Gradient Magazine, Matt came on board to capture the girls’ reactions to their tested attires