The Octopus Project, an Austin-based experimental pop group, released their sixth studio album, Memory Mirror, in March of this year. With some help from producers Dave Fridmann and Danny Reisch, the album mixes experimental electronic sounds with catchy pop melodies. To celebrate the new album and their sold out multisensory (including indoor rain!) album release show tomorrow in Texas, the band compiled a Talkhouse playlist full of memorable tracks, both new and old.
-Keenan Kush, Talkhouse Marketing Manager
This playlist represents our collective musical interests pretty well, and I think one thing that ties it together is a sort of surreal approach to sound. These songs all have weird, heightened sonic elements that are at least as important to the music as the proper composition sounds that songs couldn’t really live without. That’s the fun stuff!
Mr. Oizo – “No Tony”
I love pretty much everything Mr. Oizo makes. My favorite stuff of his is equal parts absurd and amazing. “No Tony” is the perfect blend of the two — a hot jam with ridiculous vocals. I can’t get this song out of my head. How could you not fall in love with a song that has the line “Pianoforte sucks!?”
Francois de Roubaix – “Les Amis”
Francois de Roubaix was a French composer in the 60’s/70’s who died tragically in a scuba diving accident(!?!). He made about a thousand soundtracks in his short time in this world (mostly recorded out of his house) & this is one of my favorite tracks. The back and forth between the man’s voice and the child’s voice is super weird. So good!
Ennio Morricone – “Guerra E Pace”
Everybody knows Ennio Morricone from his zillions of rad scores, but I don’t hear folks talking about this song as much. Why?!! It has everything you need — badass drums, chanting unison vocals, catchy melody. I could listen to this on repeat forever.
The Tammys – “Egyptian Shumba”
The Tammys were mostly known for being the back-up singers for Lou Christie (“Lightnin’ Strikes”) in the early 60’s, but the stuff they did on their own was a million times better. This song is so bonkers!!! It sounds like they made it while they were all possessed — screaming the whole time. Side note: This mix is crazy. The left channel is mostly vocals & the right channel is mostly the backing tracks. Nuts to listen to on headphones.
Rita Lee – “Amor Branco e Preto”
Rita Lee was in Os Mutantes until she was kicked out in 1972, but not before she made a couple of solo records with Os Mutantes backing her up. She’s gone on to become wildly famous in Brazil in her own right — selling 60 million records! This song is from her second record and has my favorite keyboard solo ever.
Brenda Ray – “Starlight”
This is the only Brenda Ray song I know, but holy smokes it’s great! Whispered vocals over space dub. Perfect!
Family Fodder – “Film Music”
I’m a sucker for French people singing in English. I don’t know why. This song is tops! I first heard it in a mix from Pattern & Shape (check it out!). The chorus will be stuck in your head for weeks — “Film music. It’s empty. It pleases me. Come and see!”
Michael Stearns – “Planetary Unfolding”
Ok, this is actually a whole record made into one track, but it’s best experienced this way. I love to put this on & just zone out — driving, jogging, cleaning, whatever. It’s beautiful. I don’t know much about Michael Stearns, but have listened to this record hundreds of times.
Adriano Celentano & Raffaella Carrà – “Prisencolinensinainciusol”
I love the lyrics on both of these [next two] songs, in pretty different ways. Especially the [King Geedorah] line “The hour is upon us, it’s bananas”…that sticks with me!
King Geedorah – “Fazers”
The surreal sonic elements in these two for me are the vocals, specifically the lyrics, which handle sound-of-words vs meaning-of-words in two pretty different ways. In the first one sound wins in a total shutout and it’s awesome. The second manages to be just as disorienting, but by being so super specific with meaning that it’s dizzying to try to follow. And the words sound incredible together, the man is one of the great alliterators of all time.