Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What we're listening to: Master of My Make-Believe by Santigold

I'm still catching up on music from last year, so I'm just now listening to Santigold's album Master of My Make-Believe, which was released last spring.

Drawing obvious comparisons to M.I.A., Santigold is less aggressive in her style and delivery, but still has something to say. Her influences are abundant and eclectic. Karen O. and Nick Zinner of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, were quite involved in this record, from Karen O.'s vocal and writing contributions to Nick's handling of guitar work on several tracks. Diplo, Switch, Q-Tip, and Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio, among others, all produced at least one track. She also mentioned in an interview that she gains visual inspiration for her live shows from artists such as David Byrne and Bjork, but I would go as far to say that she is influenced by them musically because those two artists come to mind when I hear Santigold's record-- it has that worldly and genre-bending vibe to it.

Two tracks in particular stand out to me: "Disparate Youth" and "This Isn't Our Parade." They're nothing alike. The former is more straightforward and perhaps her more representative sound, the latter is laid-back and as close to a ballad as she gets. Track 9, "The Keepers," has a bouncy beat, but damning lyrics. It's all about the contrast. A great record for repeated listens because different elements come forward each time. This disc would be perfect for parties.

Side note: "Disparate Youth" is featured in the current Honda commercial.