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July 23, 2009

"Warm Heart of Africa" (ft. Ezra Koenig) - The Very Best

via Green Owl

Unofficial hiatus is officially dunzo. I don't think I've ever gone this long without blogging, but rest assured because I don't intend on staying away any longer. A lot of things have been going on in my non-Made a Blog life, but I managed to sneak away for a weekend of music at a little event called Pitchfork Music Festival. In between eating Giordano's stuffed pizza and gawking at hipsters native to my home state of Illinois, I managed to catch a bit of music. Experiencing the Flaming Lips' ridiculous stage show was unforgettable, but I had to sacrifice catching The Very Best, aka Esau Mwamwaya and Radioclit, who went on at roughly the same time at another stage. And, because I was in Chicago, I also missed the show at Le Poisson Rouge. So, I've missed half of their rare U.S. shows in July, which is a shame because their forthcoming album Warm Heart of Africa is one that is bound to end up on some top of '09 lists.

On The Very Best mixtape released for free last year, we heard Esau singing over remixed versions of Vampire Weekend's "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa and M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes." It's no surprise that Ezra Koenig and M.I.A. make appearances on Warm Heart of Africa, nor is it shocking that Esau and Radioclit know how to make their guests sound good. "Warm Heart of Africa," the first released track, is an infectious song that's guaranteed to brighten up a rainy New York summer day and will have you singing along in no time. Ezra Koenig's voice perfectly complements Esau's and the beats of the song, perhaps because we are already used to associating Ezra with his band's so-called "Upper West Side Soweto" sound. "Warm Heart of Africa" is really just a small window into the tremendous album. It's no secret that I'm a fan of Passion Pit, but I have to admit that their debut full-length Manners was unfulfilling and sort of fell flat on its face in some places. Thankfully, we have The Very Best's Warm Heart of Africa to fill in the gaps as my favorite dance-y album of the year thus far. I even like "Rain Dance" featuring M.I.A., and that's a huge deal because I find her to be mostly unbearable.

Warm Heart of Africa will be released later this fall on Green Owl. Make sure to listen to "Chalo," which is my current favorite. I hope The Very Best add some more U.S. dates soon.

Warm Heart of Africa (feat. Ezra Koenig) - The Very Best


Josh on July 23, 2009 at 11:53 PM said...

Sounds like all 18 or so thousand of us missed out on The Very Best for the Flaming Lips. Pitchfork has consistently been one of the most accessible festivals in my opinion and its awesome to have it in Chicago. What performance was your favorite?

mimi on July 24, 2009 at 12:12 AM said...

Definitely, I always like coming home for it. I also like the Chicago crowd more than the one here... I've seen most of the bands before, so I would have to say Japandroids was my fave that was new to me. Beirut would probably be my #1. Wasn't it cruel when Owen Pallett joined them onstage, and they DIDN'T perform "Cliquot?" Shattered my heart. What did you think?

Josh on July 24, 2009 at 12:21 AM said...

Ahhhh I missed both of those bands! Beirut was on at the same time as Matt and Kim and we had been at the front at stage B for The Antlers and Bowerbirds. I missed Japandroids because of the Walkmen and m83, too. My favorite was probably Frightened Rabbit actually. I hadn't had a chance to see them the other 2039402 times they've played in Chicago because I'm down in Champaign for the summer. Hopefully Japandroids will be down here sometime since they're now signed to Polyvinyl.

mimi on July 24, 2009 at 12:28 AM said...

I got there too late to catch Frightened Rabbit! These guys told me to check them out awhile ago : http://adnproject.blogspot.com/

Saw the Antlers again as well. Hospice is just way too depressing for me to get through, though I've read that it's well worth it.

The Walkmen, I'm a huge fan of You & Me and I've seen them a couple times. Heard their set at P4K was pretty killer.

Yes, UIUC? Didn't Walter Meego form at UIUC?

Josh on July 24, 2009 at 12:46 AM said...

Yeah Hospice was a little too tame, I did like In the Attic of the Universe from a couple years ago though. Walter Meego did form at U of I, just like a bunch of older bands and then some newer ones like Snowsera. For as big of an indie crowd as there is here, the number of decent bands coming out of it is way too small.

canvas picture on November 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM said...

Thanks a lot for sharing.

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