🎧 Songs of the Week #18: If you're going to run, run fast, as this will only buy you time. And I have an eternity.
📅 January 14-20, 2023: Featuring Millbrook feat. Nova Sky, Sad Money, Tipper, Cool Customer, and Doom Flamingo
Welcome to week #18 of the Steel Orca Songs of the Week.
Happy Lunar New Year! As a result of the upcoming holiday, I have been deep diving into the Chinese Zodiac. For those that don’t know, 2023 is a year of the Rabbit (specifically, Yin Water Rabbit).
I found the website YourChineseAstrology and the Wikipedia entry on Chinese astrology helpful in learning about this. Basically, the Chinese Zodiac breaks down like this:
A 12-year cycle associated with 12 different animal signs:
Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig;
Five elements are delineated by Yin and Yang (determined by the last number in your birth year). Even numbers are yang, and odd numbers are yin:
0 or 1 - metal;
2 or 3 - water;
4 or 5 - wood;
6 or 7 - fire;
8 or 9 - earth.
For example, Brad Pitt and Michael Jordan (both born in 1963) are water rabbits. The latter has not been lost on Nike’s marketing department, which already has a very nice shoe planned for release as part of its forthcoming “Year of the Rabbit” collection.
Personally, without revealing my age (figure that out yourself), I’m a wood rat, and when I read the personality and horoscope descriptions, they seem spot on to me. That being said, despite my saying last week, “I’m not a particularly superstitious person” (what a crock, I guess), I’ve always enjoyed astrology and zodiacs and horoscopes and all that stuff. So assuming you don’t take it too seriously, it’s fun, and there’s something to it, given how accurate the personality descriptions seem.
I mean, if the moon can affect the entire ocean, why wouldn’t it affect me? I’m mostly made of water! I’m not better than the ocean!
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Here are the songs for the week of January 20, 2023 🐰.
▶️ Youtube Music: Songs of the Week #18
So I figured out the additional metric that would indicate how “popular” a song truly is: to break down the number of plays over the length of time the music has been out. The point is that plays that are further from the point of the release date get weighted slightly heavier with each day that passes. So based on that equation, The Dark Side of the Moon probably ends up as the greatest album of all time.
Yes, I get it, capitalist record industry executives; I understand you already thought of all this. I’m not saying I invented it. I’m saying it would be a good metric to add, given what I already have.
I’ve never seen it, but I’m assuming that the Spotify artist dashboard has something similar already set up. It would be a no-brainer, and based on playing around with their API, any half-decent developer would be able to work this out pretty quickly.
Anyway, it’s a quick playlist this week (coming in at just under 16 minutes long), but it’s pretty good and relatively eclectic. The Song of the Week is something else - a throwback to my childhood. I hope you enjoy it. 新年好
Millbrook - Instincts (featuring Nova Sky)
Release Date: June 18, 2021
Genre: Dance/Electro Pop
Spotify Plays: 301,068
Origin: Luxembourg 🇱🇺 / Berlin, Germany 🇩🇪
Instagram: @millbrook_music / @novaskyofficial
First of all, I would like to indicate that Nova Sky looks to have only an Instagram and not a Twitter, so that isn’t just my mistake. If anyone finds a Twitter handle for her, let me know.
Millbrook is one of the more recent successes (I’m saying 2021 is recent) from Deadbeats, the label started and owned by (fellow Canadians) Zeds Dead. Millbrook’s career began taking off during lockdown, starting in his hometown of Luxembourg playing for his friends before quickly rising to acclaim from drum and bass fans across Europe. With a degree in music production from BIMM Institute Berlin, his formal training has seemed to help thus far.
Nova Sky (real name Megan Ashworth) is a vocalist and songwriter from Berlin. Unfortunately, beyond her Spotify for Artists page (as well as her Instagram), I couldn’t find much information about her. She also co-wrote another great song with Millbrook, Choices. I encourage you to check that one out too.
At the time of writing, Millbrook has no tour dates listed. From what I can tell, Nova Sky doesn’t play live, at least recently, if at all. So you’re out of luck there.
Sad Money - High Enough
Release Date: August 13, 2021
Label: Ultra Records, LLC
Spotify Plays: 613,184
Origin: Los Angeles, CA 🇺🇸
This song is interesting, as it’s pretty popular (almost twice as popular as the last song), but I couldn’t find much information on what Sad Money (real name Mikhail Beltran) has been up to the previous year or so.
His Instagram indicates that he’s making music and occasionally playing shows, but with a song this good, I imagine he would be more prominent. Not sure. Previous collaborations with Kaskade and Felix Cartal would also have me believing this.
As you might expect, I couldn’t find any tour dates for Sad Money. However, here’s hoping he’s still getting out there, as he obviously has talent and had some momentum going over the last few years.
Tipper - Groundscore
Release Date: November 2, 2022
Spotify Plays: 140,046
Origin: London, England 🇬🇧
Ok, I think many people who listen to electronic music and consider themselves fans probably are shaking their heads at the fact that I didn’t know who Tipper was before this, but I didn’t. Now I do - that’s the point of me writing this weekly.
Tipper, real name David Tipper, is one of the OGs of the electronic music scene, having started DJing in the London nightclub circuit in the mid-90s. His first vinyl EP was released in 1997- almost 30 years later, he is still going strong, and his music is as relevant as ever. His longevity is impressive, but Carl Cox is still around, so everything is relative.
This song demonstrates that he hasn’t lost a step - it’s expert production with expert scratching on top. Dave Tipper is at least twice as good as most other DJs from a technical perspective. A true master of his craft.
Unfortunately, Tipper didn’t have any tour dates listed at the time of writing.
Cool Customer - In Your Face
Release Date: June 17, 2022
Label: Cyclops Recordings
Spotify Plays: 119,891
Origin: New York 🇺🇸
Another recent Deadbeats signing (though this song didn’t come out on the Deadbeats label), Cool Customer (real name William Allocca), is a young producer whose debut EP Word to the Mother was released four months after this track was released as a single. With recent support from PEEKABOO, LSDream, and Subtronics, it feels like 2023 is the year Cool Customer could jump to the big time.
I like this song as it’s pretty heavy on the wubs (this should be played loud), but it also has some hip-hop sprinkled in, as well as some Pretty Lights-style piano samples.
If you’re so lucky to be there, you can catch Cool Customer at the Brownies & Lemonade Rare Breed Takeover at the Republik in Honolulu on January 28th. He will also be at Red Rocks with Ganja White Knight in early May. You can buy tickets for that show here.
Song of the Week 🙌
Doom Flamingo - Domingo’s Drive
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Label: Doom Flamingo
Spotify Plays: 258,871
Origin: Charleston, SC 🇺🇸
Have you ever been to hell? I have. I can assure you that it is quite… unpleasant. I don’t have to take you there if you just return what belongs to me.
The first time I heard this song, I dismissed it. It was another one of those synthwave songs ironically trying to sound like all of the movies and video games of my childhood. My childhood is not your source of irony, Doom Flamingo. Is my life a joke to you?
Upon further listening, however, this song is excellent. It’s intricate, well-produced, and multi-layered, but Doom Flamingo also knows what it’s going for, so they go heavy on the guitar solos and 80’s drum machine beat.
The other thing that’s awesome about this song is that while this is so well-produced as to suggest that it was all just made on a computer, Doom Flamingo is a six-piece band, so this was all played by the musicians themselves. Consider that when you listen to this - from the 2-minute mark to the 3-minute mark, just as an example, they transition from a guitar solo to a keyboard solo to a saxophone solo seamlessly. The sax solo then takes us to the song's end. This song takes you on a real journey, and other than the voice-overs at the start and end of the song, it’s an instrumental. It’s a real accomplishment.
And that’s not even accounting for the nostalgia it makes me feel. It reminds me of The Golden Child or Beverly Hills Cop, but that's probably based on how much I watched those movies as a kid. I haven’t watched either for a while, so not sure if they still hold up. Glad Eddie Murphy is back out and making jokes, though, as I’ve always been a fan.
Anyway, great song, but an odd duck compared to what I usually pick. Seems like that kind of week.
Doom Flamingo is currently touring the United States. You can find their dates and links to buy tickets on their website here.
That’s it for this week from all of us here at the Steel Orca.✔️👋
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that doom flamingo track is so, so good! happy lunar new year to you too <3