Monday, September 30, 2013

Top 10 M83 Songs

M83 at the Hollywood Bowl - Sept. '13
One year ago, I posted a list of my favorite songs by my favorite band, M83. It was the first (and only) time I posted about music on this blog, and I was amazed by what happened. My Top 12 M83 Songs list lived on. A year later, it still attracts a fair amount of new readers and commenters who all share in my love for the electronic wonderment that is M83.

The only reason I wrote that post was to convey how important M83’s songs have been to my own filmmaking. Their tracks have been a lush well of inspiration. I’m continually impressed by their sound, and so very thankful for their ability to cultivate my creativity.

Last weekend, I saw M83 perform at the famed Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. It was more than a concert, it was an experience, and it motivated me to update my list of my favorite M83 songs. I have yet to hear an M83 track I didn’t love, but these are the 10 that absolutely floor me. Happy listening!

Honorable Mention
We Own the Sky
from the album Saturdays=Youth
I plan on updating this list once a year, and you can always expect to see “We Own the Sky” appear as an honorable mention. Why? Because it was the very first M83 song I heard. Summer 2010, standing dazed and confused at a house party. Out from the speakers comes a trippy electronic rhythm backed by a thunderous bass line. I was forever hooked.

10. Midnight City
from the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Because it never gets old. I can’t not move to it. As soon as that initial bruuuuum hits, I’m completely taken away. “The city’s my church/it wraps me in the sparkling twilight.”

Yep, that’s damn right.

9. Gone
from the album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
This song was made for a science fiction film. In fact, I’m stunned it hasn’t been featured in a movie before – it has such a big, cinematic quality to it. And then, as if frustrated by its own melody, it completely goes off the rails, screaming and ranting and raving, all while remaining huge.

8. Don’t Save Us From the Flames
from the album Before the Dawn Heals Us
Another insanely catchy track, in which we start big, evolve into smooth, and soar into the clouds again. An enormous and important and awesome song.

7. Raconte-Moi Une Histoire
from the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
Because I’ve never heard anything remotely like this. The highlight of the Hollywood Bowl show was watching the girl from this song perform it live. When she was done speaking, she bobbed gleefully all over the stage, as any little girl would. Bliss.

6. I Guess I’m Floating
from the album Before the Dawn Heals Us
It’s difficult for me to explain the weight of “I Guess I’m Floating.” In just two minutes, it takes me on a journey of longing and self-discovery. I want to follow the gentle pace of this track, wherever it may go. (Note: this song is used perfectly in Drake Doremus’ Like Crazy.)

5. Run into Flowers
from the album Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts
“Give me peace and chemicals, I want to run into…”

Heavenly.

4. Wait
from the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
A deeply personal song that has affected the past year of my life significantly. I borrowed its title for the name of my next film. I can’t wait to show you what this song has inspired me to do.

3. Coloring the Void
from the album Digital Shades Vol. 1
First of all, Digital Shades Vol. 1 is my go-to writing album. When I’m writing, there’s a very good chance I’m listening to that album on repeat. Its highlight track must be “Coloring the Void,” a repetitive and rhythmically gorgeous song. It just keeps growing.

2. Outro
from the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
From the moment I first heard “Outro” I knew there was something in me that was irreversibly tied to it. It sunk its claws in me and kindly whispered: “Go, create, now.” I used the track in the trailer for my short film, Earrings, and I remain very proud of the mood that this great song helped achieve.

Here’s the trailer for Earrings:

1. Intro
From the album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming
As far as my tastes go, “Intro” is as big and stunning as music gets. I wonder if I’m a skilled enough writer to articulate the power that this song has over me. Maybe a poet will help me dictate my love for “Intro” into words someday. For now, I’ll just listen again, and again, and again.

Hand on my breast
I’ll keep you warm
Hail

16 comments:

  1. I'm planning to do the same w/ NIN as I'm going to see them later this month as well as write a new beginner's guide to NIN as the one I wrote in 2009 to celebrate their 20 years I feel isn't up to snuff. It's hard when it comes to making lists like this about a band you love and you change your mind all the time.

    BTW, what did you think of the new M83 song w/ the Killers? I haven't heard it nor seen the video. I like some songs about the Killers though I think they try way too hard to become the next U2 and I was really annoyed by Brandon Flowers' comments at Lollapalooza as I watching the stream waiting for NIN to play. At one point, I was getting very annoyed and impatient where Brandon was saying "so does everyone have their dancing shoes" and I responded by saying "No Brandon, I got my ass-kicking shoes waiting to fuck you up!"

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    1. Definitely hard to write about a band you love. On any given day, my list of favorite M83 songs could change. Just depends on the day. Hope you dig the NIN show, I'm sure it'll rock ass.

      M83's presence is very sparse on that Killers track. I dug it, but didn't download it or anything. I like The Killers' first album, but nothing of theirs since.

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    2. Oh it's going to fucking rock. This is going to be the 4th time I'm going to see that band but once again, in a very different line-up. Hell, I'm already excited about the light show they're doing... here's a bit of a teaser: http://youtu.be/hsPEliW2uUU

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    3. Ohh that's awesome. You're going to have a blast.

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  2. That's a fine list of tunes! At first, I didn't care for their album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming (2011), but you convinced me to give M83 a second chance, and I'm happy I did. It does grow on you. From your top 10, I especially dig 1 and 2, haunting stuff. From that record, I also love "Reunion"

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    1. Glad you dig the list! Really happy to hear that I helped motivate you to give Hurry Up, We're Dreaming another listen. I really love that album. "Reunion" is an excellent track. I also love Mylo remix of it.

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    2. That's a catchy remix, thanks for sharing!

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  3. Love it. I dig M83, but I'm not familiar with all of their work. The inspiration you get from them is what I get from College (of Drive fame). Their songs always flood me with images like no other band. I might actually do a top 10 list of their tracks. :)

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    1. I need to scope out more of their tracks. I welcome any recommendations you have!

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    2. Well, I posted my list on the blog. Maybe you'll find something there you like! ;)

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  4. M83... for whatever reason I struggle to get into their studio albums, but holy hell do they kick ass live! Saw them while they were touring behind Saturdays = Youth, and they blew me away. Would love to see them again. I can only imagine how great that Hollywood Bowl show was.

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    1. Oh man, it was fucking revelatory. A great, great show. Always a pleasure to see your favorite band live, you know?

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  5. This list matches a lot more closely to mine then what your previous list did. The emotions that Anthony Gonzalez captures in his huge soundscapes are one of a kind. I have not found works that rival "I guess I'm floating", "Outro", "Wait", "Couleurs", "You, Appearing", "Colouring the Void" etc.

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    1. Yeah I definitely like this list more than my previous one. I wonder what my new list would look like? Definitely have to have something from You and the Night on there. But anyway, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I adore every song you mentioned here, and I'm so happy you took the time to share your favorites with me.

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