By EILEEN CECONI
One of my favorite things about the end of year is reading all those end-of-year music rankings. Just like everything else I do, I read these lists alone in my room and usually complain while doing so (seriously Pitchfork, why is Kill for Love by Chromatics only #8 on your list of The Top 50 Albums of 2012?). One of my favorite albums of 2012 that did not get much love with these end-of-year lists was Woman by Rhye. A swirling, emotional album, critics hailed Woman as a foil to the overt sexuality of modern pop music. The duo combine strings and damped drumbeats with lead singer Mike Milosh’s Sade-like vocals. It’s an incredibly sensual album that uses lines like “I’m a fool for that shake in your thighs.” The most popular track off that album, “Open,” was released as an anonymous single several months before the album. This is another track that has just been remixed over and over by some really prominent producers: JT Donaldson, Bondax, SOHN and Ryan Hemsworth. They’re all great, but I think a lot of credit is due to Rhye for creating an original, powerful track that still leaves room for producers to make it their own. Tucked among the plethora of remixes is one by an up-and-coming producer, Felix Snow.
Snow is my most recent musical obsession. While his solo work needs some fine-tuning, his collaborations are OUT OF THIS WORLD. He’s worked with Farrar, SZA (if you’re not listening to SZA by now, drop whatever you’re doing, play “Julia” and look at pictures of her piglet) and most recently Gallant. Gallant is this new artist from Los Angeles that I unfortunately don’t know much about. However, they include their Snapchat name on their SoundCloud page … Anyways, Gallant is definitely a breakout artist, and their song, “Manhattan,” is one of the best things I’ve heard this year. Slightly reminiscent of The Weeknd, “Manhattan” combines falsetto with some really dope production courtesy of Felix Snow. Unfortunately, this is not a remix, so while I’m not officially featuring this song, I’m strongly urging you to listen to it and have your mind blown.
As I mentioned before, I’m not super crazy about Snow’s solo work (yet). I think his best work is definitely with SZA and Gallant, and thank Lorde (#pun) there’s plenty of that. However, his remix of “Open” is also pretty great. It pulls out the intro a bit and adds some reverb. There are also these little pops (I’m not sure what they’re called or what kind of device created them) that annoyed me at first, but now I totally think they work. The majority of the original is kept intact, and Felix Snow just tweaks it to match his style. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s a pleasant rework from the beginning of Snow’s career. I’ll admit some of the other remixes of “Open” are definitely stronger, but give this one a chance and keep an eye out for Felix Snow and Gallant in 2014.