🎧 Songs of the Week #24: Flying on the floor, I'm a disco plane
📅 February 25 - March 3, 2023: Featuring Channel Tres, Tensnake feat. Cara Melín (LP Giobbi Remix), Noizu & Westend feat. No/Me, ALRT, and K.Flay (pluko Remix)
Welcome to week #24 of the Steel Orca Songs of the Week.
The snow continues to fall in western Canada, much to the delight of the local skier and snowboarder population. The best is being on the email lists of these ski resorts and being reminded of the snowfall they’re getting but being unable to go because of work or family responsibilities. That’s just the best.
On that note, Clara Beth (the Steel Orca’s illustrious photographer) reminded me that it’s Griz Days in Fernie this weekend (March 3 - 5). Griz Days is Fernie, BC’s annual winter festival, which celebrates the Griz, a mountain man raised by grizzly bears, which the locals say is responsible for bringing Fernie’s legendary snow to the valley every winter.
From the Tourism Fernie website:
“Many years later, a group of intrepid ski tourers were boot-packing on the peaks of the Lizard Range in the midst of a heavy snowstorm. When they stopped for breath, one of the men glanced up at the peak they were climbing. There on the very summit, stood a fantastic sight. A man with shoulders six feet wide, carrying a musket eight feet long. The bulk of the man's estimated 300 pounds was made to look even more awesome by the bristly, grizzly coat he wore. A bearskin hat was pulled down shadowing his eyes. As the skiers watched, the man aimed his giant musket into the clouds and fired, causing blankets of snow to fall from the sky above. This delighted the skiers who loved that special brand of powder snow.”
If you’re interested in checking Fernie out (and I would encourage it; it’s small but a world-class ski town), this weekend is one to mark on your calendar as a three-day party. Everyone is always concerned about the quality of the snowpack and “when should I go to get the best powder?” but that’s such a crap shoot with Fernie (or anywhere) that this would be the weekend to go to see the town at its full potential. And if you are so lucky to be there when it gets hit by a big dump, well, good for you. Enjoy. In that case, my advice is don’t do what I usually do and stay up all night partying, watching the Griz Cam, excited about the snowboarding I will do the next day. That’s a mistake. Be responsible and go to bed early.
(Last minute weather update from Fernie: “It puked all day yesterday- epic snowstorm! Thanks, Griz!”)
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Here are the songs for the week of March 3, 2023 🏔️.
▶️ Youtube Music: Songs of the Week #24
I will be honest and say this is a weird one for me. I like all these songs, but they all have a different vibe (or a wildly different genre). The first two songs are heavy on the piano, while the last three take us on a journey from bass house to tech house to future house (where we can make our future home).
Bass to the future. Buckle up.
Channel Tres - All My Friends
Release Date: February 24, 2023
Spotify Plays: 191,174
Plays Per Day: 47,794
Label: Channel Tres Inc., under exclusive license to RCA Records
Genre: Dance / Electro Pop
Origin: Compton, CA 🇺🇸
To me, Channel Tres is “Exhibit A” of how there is too much music in the universe for me to consume, and it’s impossible to keep up. This is the first I had ever heard of him, but then when you read his Spotify bio (granted, he probably writes it), it turns out he’s becoming a bit of an underground force:
“For the last two years, Channel has toured the world to sold out arenas, and found fans in everyone from Elton John to Tyler the Creator.”
Hailing from Compton and equal parts DJ, producer, rapper, and singer, Tres has quickly gained recognition for his unique sound that fuses elements of house, soul, and funk and his unique style and energetic live shows. He first gained attention with his 2018 debut EP Channel Tres which features the standout single Controller. Since then, he has released a string of well-received records and collaborated with various artists in the electronic music world.
This song is the final one on Tres’ new EP Real Cultural Shit, released on February 24, 2023 (man, I’m cutting edge now). It’s always interesting to see which songs on an album are the most popular by the number of streams. Spoiler alert: This song isn’t close to being the most popular song on this record by a factor of 10. It’s a fact like that that makes me think I will be a DJ at some point in the future.
Tres has what I think is an attractive hook - he’s from Compton and can rap, but he’s doing it over house music with, to paraphrase him, a bit of a George Clinton approach. Even the album cover is androgynous. It makes sense, given the disparate worlds of rap and house music. But I do think that it’s a hook that people are going to gravitate to. I’m a fan.
Regarding tour dates, he’s currently playing a European tour, with most of the shows selling out. I might be late to this party, but check him out and let me know what you think in the comments below.
Tensnake - Antibodies featuring Cara Melín (LP Giobbi Remix)
Release Date: July 2, 2021
Spotify Plays: 18,105,610
Plays Per Day: 29,877
Label: Armada Music B.V. under exclusive license from True Romance
Genre: Dance / Electro Pop
Origin: Hamburg 🇩🇪 | Amsterdam 🇳🇱 (Oregon 🇺🇸)
Instagram: @tensnake | @caramelincara | @lpgiobbi
Before I get into details about the individual artists and why I like the song, I want to say that I’m shocked this song has over 18 million listens, and I hadn’t heard of any of these people before this week. I guess that’s the nature of this newsletter (and the point of it), but that goes back to what I had said about Channel Tres above - there is so much music out there that a significant global artist can not hit your radar. What a time we’re living in. (Similarly, I had no idea who Bad Bunny was until last week.)
Tensnake (née Marco Niemerski) is a German DJ and producer recognized for his unique blend of classic disco and house influences with modern production techniques. Born in Hamburg, Germany, Tensnake gained international attention with his hit Defected Records single Coma Cat in 2010, which helped establish him as a significant figure in the global dance music scene (though I don’t get the appeal of that song at all). Since then, he has released critically acclaimed music and remixes, collaborated with other artists such as Nile Rodgers and Jacques Lu Cont and performed at major music festivals worldwide.
Cara Melín’s Spotify Artist profile has almost 900,000 monthly listeners but only 926 followers. From what I can tell, she also doesn’t have much of an internet presence beyond her Instagram and Facebook, which are pretty small in follower count. However, this is also the most prominent song she has on Spotify by far.
This seems like another one of those scenarios we’ve seen in previous issues where the talent, star power, and even industry recognition (beyond this, she has also collaborated with Bob Sinclar and Ferry Corsten, for example) are all there. Still, the marketing is not (or doesn’t seem to be). Fair enough, though, because she kills it on this song; not everyone has to be Taylor Swift.
LP Giobbi (née Leah Chisholm Giobbi) is an American DJ, pianist, and producer based in Los Angeles, California. She is known for her vibrant DJ sets, energetic live performances, and empowering musical style that blends elements of house, disco, techno, and pop. Giobbi began her music career as a classically trained pianist before transitioning to electronic music upon graduating from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Regarding tour dates, Tensnake and Cara Melín don’t have any upcoming shows, but LP Giobbi’s star is burning bright, and she will be everywhere in 2023 - check out her dates here.
Noizu & Westend - Push To Start featuring No/Me
Release Date: February 24, 2023
Spotify Plays: 81,407
Plays Per Day: 20,352
Label: Insomniac Records
Genre: Tech House
Origin: Los Angeles 🇺🇸 | New York City 🇺🇸
Instagram: @noizusound | @itsthewestend
Twitter: @noizu | @itsthewestend / @callmeNoMe
Noizu (née Rudy Lauryn) is a producer and DJ known for his unique blend of house and bass music. He first gained recognition in the scene with his track Lasers in 2017. Since then, he has released numerous successful tracks and remixes, including collaborations with fellow electronic music artists Malaa, Tony Romera, and Chris Lake. He has also performed at major music festivals and events, including Electric Daisy Carnival, Coachella, and Tomorrowland.
Originally from New York City, Westend is a producer and DJ who made waves in the music scene with his 2018 track Clubble. Since then, he has continued to create successful tracks and remixes, frequently collaborating with other electronic music artists like CID, Kyle Watson, and John Summit. Westend's music is known for its catchy hooks, driving basslines, and upbeat energy, making him notable in the house and techno scenes.
No/Me, the vocalist on this song, is an Israeli songwriter and artist based in Los Angeles. Initially signed to Republic Records early in her career, her first single, Consistent, landed on the coveted FIFA videogame soundtrack. However, after spending the lockdown “foraging fruit and growing her garden,” she shifted her focus to writing for other artists while continuing to release her music independently. Before this song, she released a single, Big Train, in November 2022 with Avi Snow and Cairo.
The obvious comparison is that this song feels like Noizu and Westend’s take on Technologic by Daft Punk. Not only does the beat sound like an updated version of that song, but the chorus of this song is “push to start it,” which could be overlaid on “technologic” - they have the same amount of syllables and general cadence. So I have to assume this is a bit of an homage to our favourite robots, one of which has a new album coming out (it’s not what you think). Anyway, it’s good.
Noizu is currently on tour all over the United States. For Westend, you’ll have to hit up either Florida or Mexico. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any live dates for No/Me.
ALRT - Air Drums
Release Date: February 24, 2023
Spotify Plays: 6,649
Plays Per Day: 1,662
Label: NRG Records
Genre: Bass House
Origin: Los Angeles 🇺🇸
ALRT (née Irad Brant) is an Israeli-born producer/DJ now based in Los Angeles who began making waves in 2018. Drawing inspiration from the electronic dance scene of the 90s and citing acts like The Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, and Daft Punk as inspiration, ALRT notes that “no genre is off limits” and is known for his unique sound that incorporates elements of house, dubstep, trap, hardstyle, and old-school rave.
When I look at ALRT’s website, the first impression it gives off is this is a true producer - front and center; he has his “Indigo Production Suite,” 16 sample packs, and a “Start to finish House track” video course for sale. He also has a Free Stuff page with free music production samples and tools you can download. He is as savvy a businessman as he is a producer.
This song was almost the song of the week - and only got usurped at the end of the week before publishing (I even had to rearrange this post). I love this song - it reminds me of the old-school electronic music of the ‘90s, as ALRT intended. He nailed the sound and vibe.
Your next best bet to catch ALRT is on his first-ever headline tour in Japan from March 17 to 20.
Song of the Week 🙌
K.Flay - It’s Been So Long (pluko Remix)
Release Date: January 20, 2023
Spotify Plays: 172,207
Plays Per Day: 4,416
Label: Giant Music
Genre: Future House
Origin: Wilmette, IL 🇺🇸 (Hollidaysburg, PA 🇺🇸)
K.Flay (née Kristine Meredith Flaherty) is an American singer-songwriter and rapper from Illinois. Her music blends alternative rock, hip-hop, and electronic music elements, with introspective and personal lyrics exploring themes of self-reflection, mental health, and relationships. K.Flay began her music career in the early 2010s, releasing several EPs and mixtapes before signing with a major label and releasing her debut album, Life as a Dog, in 2014. She has gained a reputation for her energetic live performances, often accompanied by a live band, and has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe.
I have a special place in my heart for K.Flay because I got married around the time she was getting big (releasing her songs/mixtapes with Vanic, which I loved). So as you can imagine, I took an active role in the playlist at my wedding, which included a decent number of those songs. Someday I’ll write a wedding post where I’ll go through that playlist (I still have it on a hard drive somewhere). Anyway, I can’t hear K.Flay and not think back to that point in my life now.
pluko is the stage name of Sam Martinsen, an electronic music producer from the United States. He gained popularity after releasing his debut album, sixteen, in 2018, which featured a unique blend of electronic, indie, and hip-hop elements. The album was well-received by critics and listeners alike and showcased pluko's talent for creating immersive, textured soundscapes. Since the release of sixteen, pluko has continued to refine and expand his sound, releasing a string of singles and collaborations that showcase his versatility as a producer.
I originally heard of pluko the same way I think many people did, from his collaboration with pronouncedyea, Feel the Fire. The weird thing about that is that, due to what I assume is a licensing/distribution issue, the original song Feel the Fire is not on Spotify, but the Feel the Fire (Remixes) are. MEMBA’s remix is by far the most popular, but I got into this song initially by way of the Bronze Whale one. Check that out. That song absolutely rules. One of my top ten ever, for sure. (Small aside, “Steel Orca” is not ripped off of “Bronze Whale,” but I’m not sure I will ever stop feeling guilty about the similarity, especially considering how big of a fan of Bronze Whale I am. Make sure you check them out.)
In more recent times, pluko has hit my radar as one of the more prominent musicians on the web3 scene, where he has dropped several of his recent tracks as NFTs via sound.xyz. I am interested in joining the music NFT/blockchain/crypto scene. Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day. I need to sleep sometime.
As I said above, Air Drums was the original song of the week, but then this song is so catchy that it took the top spot late on Wednesday night. Congratulations to K.Flay and pluko both. A prestigious honour, to be sure, but a deserved one.
K.Flay and pluko both have tour dates coming up. You can find K.Flay’s here and pluko’s here.
That’s it for this week from all of us here at the Steel Orca.✔️👋
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I'm really enjoying your writing and now I've got a playlist of liked songs that is great. Thank you Mr. Orca.