Archive for January, 2016

LRDC #THIS Week New Music Playlist 1/26/16

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Welcome to this week’s installment of LRDC. We have some great, new tracks for your listening pleasure. First up is from the soulful Aquilo, who I’ve featured on our lists a couple times now. This UK duo is known for their beautiful, airy vocals and soft, yet heavy hitting orchestration. “Calling Me” absolutely picks up where they left off on their breakout single “Good Girl” and is a piece of art as it swells and builds using a simply plucked guitar to tie it all together.

Next up we have a solo track from Vampire Weekend’s Rostam titled “EOS” and it also comes with some sad news. Today, we’ve learned that Rostam will be leaving Vampire Weekend after finishing work on their upcoming LP (working title is “Mitsubishi Macchiato”, which is craaaay). Either way, I’m excited to hear about that LP and also to have some solo work from him. This song is very pretty and is recorded as if it was performed in a massive concert hall. It’s haunting and intimate, but still familiar and approachable. Apparently, in the song he’s actually referencing a photograph taken in India and the song is recalling a certain place and time.

For me, only a few bands have been able to follow up a killer debut single with hit after hit. I like to cover up-and-comers, but the fact of the matter is that some of them will fall into the backdrop, it’s the sad reality of this MP3 world. HAERTS is one of those bands that has fought hard and produced music that lives up to the expectations of excellency I hold them up to. A couple days ago, they released a quick three song EP called “Power / Land” and it was reallllly difficult for me to decide which song to feature on this week’s list. All three are strong , even the middle track entitled “Interlude,” but “Turn It Around” kept ringing in my head for the rest of the day. The vocals are remeniscent of Karen O to me with touch of rawness, yet still a little sophomoric. The beat and synth are characteristic of the rest of the stuff they have put out and no fault to them for this, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I absolutely love how infectious everything about this song is.

Downtempo Synth darlings, Prince Innocence call Toronto their home and I’ve featured their song called “I Don’t Care.” It’s the kind of song you would expect in a high-end retailer. It has a great sound that is really well put together and they in this track they tell you exactly what they think when you call them “pop.” They remind me a bit of a brighter Massive Attack with vocals playing seamlessly off of minimalist, yet interesting, synth.

GIRL POWER!!! All female punk outfit Bleached are back with an upcoming full length and we have one track from that entitled “Keep On Keepin’ On.” It captures a bit of 80’s Punk as well as some of the fuzzy 60’s surf-rock vibes while being approachable with some pop influences. It’s a feel-good song that has a driving beat keeping you tuned in for the entire four and a half minutes.

A sequel to his “White Privilege” released in 2005, Macklemore broke the internet last Friday when he released “White Privilege II.” It stirred up emotions, both positive and negative. Many threw shade at him that he’s basically shooting himself in the foot. Say what you will about “The Mac,” but he sings about stuff that matters. He’s advocating in this song about using your voice for those things that do matter and when you use your voice, make sure it is authentic. Truly words we all should live by regardless of our influence on others. To be honest, this track spoke to me because I’m a white male who doesn’t harbor hate in my heart for people of different races or for the police. I fall into the category that he is rapping about. Perhaps those who are criticizing the song aren’t necessarily the intended audience. This track is best enjoyed while reading the lyrics, so you can find those here.

Making their third appearance on LRDC, High Highs is back with another new track called “How Could You Know.” I must be fan-boying hard for these guys because I have loved all three of these tracks so much. This one reminds me a bit of Ariel Pink for some reason and other bands that I realllllly can’t get off the top of my tongue. I think I like High Highs so much because if I were in a band, this is exactly the sound that I would go for. Keep it up, guys!

Let’s hit up this week’s very honorable mentions:

Kiiara“Feels” – Please do yourself a favor and click that link and listen to this song. I have to say that this song drops the F bomb a few to many times (not “Feels”), but it’s really quite pretty. She has a bit of a hip hop vibe with a track that sounds like it’s on a relaxation tape and some 808s thrown in.

Flume ft. Kai – “Never Be Like You” – I’m going to request one thing of you tonight. I know you’re going to like this song, but please abstain from seeing Flume live or any other DJ live for that matter. They’re only going to let you down unless you’ve heard that said DJ kills it live (i.e. go see Major Lazer or A-Trak), because 99% of DJs just press a couple buttons and jump around. So save the $50 and enjoy this track where it is truly meant to be enjoyed, wherever you are right now listening to it in all of it’s produced glory.

SNBRN ft. Nate Dogg – “Gangsta Walk” – Nate Dogg (RIP), I wish you could have heard this song because it absolutely slays. SNBRN turned a pretty dark, chill song into a club BANGER and it does just that.

That’s it for this week, enjoy the list y’all!

-Greg

LRDC #THIS Week New Music Playlist – 1/19/16

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Welcome to this week’s installment of our New Music Playlist. Boy do we have some treats for you with some of the freshest 2016 tracks from the most exciting emerging acts and established indie artists. Let’s kick it of with a surfy, smooth jam.

Plastic Flowers – “Lucy” – Greek (Now UK based) dream-pop outfit, Plastic Flowers has been releasing music fuzzy dream-pop (think The Radio Dept.) pretty much non-stop since 2011. His most recent offering came last December in the form of a 5 song EP. This is the opening track (of that EP) and I think it’s a perfect track to open up this week’s list. This guy is killing it, especially since it’s unlikely English is his first language.

Keys N Krates ft. Ouici – “Love Again” – For a stint of my life, I got really big into the EDM scene and I’m disappointed to say I’ve never heard of KNK. But I can say with absolute certainty, they will not soon be forgotten by me or anyone else. This song “Love Again” hit’s soooo hard, it’s pretty much impossible to not see it be the next “Lean On” or the like. The only thing I don’t like about it is it clocks in below three minutes. Hopefully the hip hop world will pick this one up and add their own spin on it as the beat is pretty much the sickest thing I’ve heard this year so far.

Mansionair – “Second Night” – In a world where The Weeknd is taking over with his sick R&B beats and falsetto, we have to imagine that more than one man can rule this territory. If anyone else can come in, three piece Mansionair are the men to go to. This group has a softness and intensity that turns any of their songs into the best love songs you’ve heard in a while. Now the second song I’ve featured on LRDC, these guys are most likely going to show up a couple more times if they continue on to kill it.

Manila Killa ft. Joni Fatora – “All That’s Left” – Blurring the line between mainstream EDM and deep house and throwing in some smooth jazzy keys with Skrillex-esque synth samples. This track is just the shizz and I can’t get enough of it.

Gosh Pith – “K9” – HEAVY HITTAZ. Detroit duo, Gosh Pith have put together this raucously smooth track (yeah, that doesn’t make sense…until you listen to it). There is a ton going on in this track from the dub-breakbeat 808s & hi-hats to the soulful vox making this about as unique as the group’s name. I’d love to get deeper into their libraries of influences, because it’s evident that they’re drawing from multiple sources to create this sick track.

Princess Century – “Domestic” – How can a song named domestic sound so foreign? It’s a trick question since this solo act is out of Canada, but it almost sounded like a remastered Kraftwerk b-side. Princess Century is the name Maya Postepski has chosen for her synth-heavy side project from the Canadian synthpop group, Austra. Despite clocking in at just under 8 minutes, this track keeps you locked in the full time. A great track to drive the Autobahn with or just focus on whatever project you have at hand. Solid showing from this killer electronic powerhouse of a woman.

Teen Daze – “Célébrer” – This goes to show, Canada can hold their own as a major contributor to the indie electronic scene. Teen Daze being another prime example of this. This funkadelic dance mix will give is the perfect song “to celebrate” to. It’s great fun and you cannot deny how infectious it is.

Brothertiger – “Beyond the Infinate” – Brooklyn solo project Brothertiger is the outlet for a man known as John J. to share his passion for electronic art in the form of music. The track I’ve selected is the opening to his most recent LP “Out of Touch” and is a glorious synth-pop anthem. This kid reminds me so much of one of my favorites of the genre, Skyler Spence, but it turns out Brothertiger may have been producing music a bit longer, with tracks dating back to 2011. Also, with a new song out this week called “Like Water” you may very well see John J. on another upcoming list!

School of Seven Bells – “On My Heart” – Basically if a SVIIB song comes out, you better believe it will be on this list! This one dropped this weekend and it feels so good to get another peek at this upcoming (and last) LP. Aside from Alejandra Deheza’s trademark vocals, this song resembles much of the music we’ve been loving from CHVRCHES with some great synth samples and a driving beat. KEEP IT COMING ALEJANDRA!

Courtney Barnett – “Three Packs A Day” – What I said above also applies to CB. With her authentic (and sometimes self deprecating) lyrics and simple chords that makes for great coffee shop music, she pretty much can do no wrong in my eyes! This track dropped out of no where for me, as her last LP is still in heavy rotation for me and still sounding very fresh. Also, just wanted to say that it sounds like she is enjoying some mid-90’s 3EB by the sound of the intro riff of this new song. I just love it!

Quilt – “Roller” – Hearkening back to psychedelic rock of the 1960’s, Quilt has a way of taking you back to an era that even they weren’t alive during. They have elements of greats like The Beatles, The Beach Boys and The Monkees. They’ll capture your heart from the first dancing bass line.

Highs – “I Do, Do You?” – Another Canadian act, Highs is a quirky indie-pop foursome full of choppy guitar riffs and gang vocals. Their sound reminds me a bit of Local Natives with female vocals, and if you know me at all, you know that that’s the highest possible complement I could give a band.

Savages – “Adore” – I can’t lie, I’ve heard this song about 10 times today either on satellite radio, on this playlist, or live on KCRW. These guys are really getting a ton of recognition on their singles prior to their full length “Adore Life” coming out. It sounds a little counter-intuitive, but this song is so much louder than it actually is. It’s very intense, yet a bit muted. The vocals swell in and out along with the choppy, reverbed guitars. As I found out today and you can probably imagine, this song is much louder when performed live and it sounds amazing.

Choir of Young Believers – “Perfect Estocada” – I wanted to feature this Copenhagen group again because I think they’re truly making unique music that breaks away from the typical indie stereotype. Granted, they should be considered under that umbrella, but they also blend so many different styles of music to sound very worldly. Ample drums, vocal reverberation, and Spanish guitars…you’d think it would sound familiar, but I really can’t say I’ve heard anything like this.

Lushlife ft. CSLSX & Killer Mike – “The Ecstatic Cult” – I saw that there is another collab between CSLSX & Lushlife and after that last track a couple weeks ago, I was hooked on these guys together. Throw Killer Mike in the mix who has been absolutely slaying the scene with Run The Jewels. This song has a great cohesiveness to it despite all the different elements coming together. Soft synth textures play off a playful, bouncy beat and provide the perfect background for smooth flow from the two rappers. Top work.

Had to end on a high note. I hope you enjoy this week’s list.

-Greg

LRDC #THIS Week New Music Playlist 1/12/16

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

So after a slow week of track releases last week, we’ve come back in full force this week. I have so much new music for you, I can’t even contain it. This week, I’ve actually decided to switch up the style of how I post as well go through a track by track analysis of each song on the playlist. Feel free to let me know how you feel about this. Here it goes.

RJD2 – “Piece of What” ft. Jordan BrownRJD2 is an act I truly regret not following more after hearing this track. He hits hard with a genre bending romp through dozens of instrumental textures that is a bit of the blues, jazz, and some hip hop. It’s refreshing to hear an electric track that produced in a way that really respects music and isn’t just orchestrated to build up to the next, bigger drop. This, coupled with Jordan Brown’s soulful pipes, makes for a song that is not sounds like it could have been produced in just about any decade between the 1950’s and today.

Islandis – “Home” – Not necessarily a new track, but most likely new to you. This chill-wave song by the Sydney Indie duo Islandis is elevator-music smooth, but has some great poppy hooks much like Penguin Prison, a favorite of mine. I’m eagerly awaiting new music from these guys and with a single such as this, I wouldn’t be surprised if they started popping on a college radio station in a town near you.

David Bowie – “Lazarus” – This week has been truly devoted to all things Bowie and remembering all of the ways he has touched us and the world of music as a whole. This song in particular is quite a gripping one as it was obviously written with Bowie’s own mortality in mind. A gifted artist and truly a legend, you will be missed. My prayers go out to your family and rest in peace, my brother!

Prinze George – “Speed Demon” ft. ESHOVO – DC Metro Natives (from Prince George County) Prinze George have teamed up with DC rapper ESHOVO to create a truly gorgeous song. “Speed Demon” breaks through to tell you to truly live in the moment, enjoy your surroundings, and notice the people around you. A message we can’t hear enough if you ask me. This song is actually so much larger than what it is on the surface, merely a smooth jam to listen to as you study. It’s serves as a reminder and even a tool to “slow it down”.

Holy Esque – “Tear” – It’s pretty hard to imagine a band that captures more of a rawness in such a beautiful package than Holy Esque. Producing an entrancing soundscape and mismatching it with vocals that seem the product of three packs a day really is quite an amazing thing to listen to. I liken these guys to a bit more cerebral and musical King Krule (but both are great, obviously, especially given the latter’s adolescence).

Pinkshinyultrablast – “The Cherry Pit” – And the Grammy goes to the artist with the coolest fricking name: Pinkshinyultrablast! This Russian four piece truly nails the dream pop genre with thunderous, fuzzy riffs and airy vocals. Seeing as these guys have been around since 2007, it’s clear they have worked out the kinks and it’s no surprise that their sound is so honed and mature. Do yourself a favor and put them on your radar.

Yeasayer – “I Am Chemistry” – You know what I say to Yeasayer? I say YEA!!!! This song took me by surprise because it’s not really like any of their previous stuff. It’s not that it’s watered down so much as it is just more approachable for the casual listener than say “Ambling Alp.” This song has a ton going on, which is your biggest sign that it’s Yeasayer with a full choral breakdown in the latter half and a synth solo. It’s fun and dynamic and I love it.

Birdy – “Keeping Your Head Up” – This girl Birdy has an amazing quality, she can channel her inner Florence Welch and completely tear the house down. This song soars and it was pretty much fate that it was released on New Years Day this year. What better song could send you into the best year of your life.

dvsn – “Hallucinations” – This song is best enjoyed with a nice set of headphones or some great speakers. I can tell you I missed a lot before really getting intimate with this track. The beat in the back is so playful and it plays very nicely with falsetto vocals that are smooth as butter.

Wild Nothing – Reichpop – We get another new track off of Wild Nothing’s upcoming LP and it’s truly something to marvel over. The marimba to open out the first part of the track launches into playful “Wild Nothing-esque” guitar riffs, and it’s totally perfect. The vocals totally take the back seat to the orchestration of the song, and I like that. Jack Tatum is not normally known for his commanding voice and this song affords the opportunity to get swept up in the music.

Brazilian Girls – The Critic – This sound reminds me so much of STRFKR. In my mind, this is pretty much the highest complement I can pay to a band. This little romp of a song is BRAND NEW from this international group that has been categorized as reggae, electronica, jazz and most strikingly, bossa nova. Everything about this track is just so much fun including the 60’s surf rock shred to end it out.

Bear Mountain – Badu – Another fun track, this Canadian solo act (Ian Bevis) also likes to cross genre lines with brass and loads of drums. This guy truly needs to go places, the world needs to hear his music! His covers are also worth the price of admission and are reminiscent of Tycho (ISO50). Take note, world, Bear Mountain is coming!

St. Lucia – “Love Somebody” – Come one everyone…snap along…it’s okay. St. Lucia will serenade you with dancing synth and give you the perfect to send over to the love of your life. Or you can cry yourself to sleep because you’ve been single for years…either or though really. Just rest assured, frontman Jean-Philip Grobler and crew will certainly light a fire under your ass as they demand “go find somebody to love”.

Porches – “Be Apart” – The 80’s are in full swing, guys. From St. Lucia to Porches, can you tell that synth is king? The sounds we are hearing from the electro-pop genre are some of the easiest tracks to put in heavy rotation, though. There is something to be said about making a powerful song that sticks with you and really strikes a chord. Making a sophomore appearance to our list, I look forward to sharing more Porches tracks with you in the future!

Wet – “All the Ways” – Closing out strong guys, this song will really leave you in a good place. You won’t be wet…unless you’re walking in the rain…but this song is about as infectious as any song that we saw in the late-1990’s and early-2000’s from the boy & girl band craze. It’s not a surprise they were able to secure some tour dates with the royal hitmakers, CHVRCHES. I am excited to get these guys on this list and can’t wait to get into their other tracks.

Thanks y’all for hanging in there till the end! Have a great week,

-Greg

 

LRDC #THIS Week New Music Playlist 1/5/16

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Happy New Year Everyone! With the holidays and a lapse in new music being released, I took a bit of a hiatus, but WE’RE BACK and I’ve compiled a healthy amount of sick tracks to start your new year off right! A quick note that most of the songs featured this week are not brand spanking new, but many of the artists will have releases coming out in the first part of the year.

The first track this week I found poking around the music charts on Spotify this week. It’s from Swedish producer Danrell and Swedish singer Småland and called “Hostage.” It’s hard to escape how catchy this song is, which is how it’s been able to break through and gain some traction. This track is a study in minimalism with a simple yet airy beat, but tho song as a whole sounds complex and orchestrated. There’s no doubt a ton of production behind it, but it certainly makes for the smoothest of jams. Let’s keep in that same mood, but float over to Los Angeles electronic group, Goldroom. According to the interwebs, this guy is pretty popular, so apparently I’m late to the game. The track “Pacific” is Goldroom’s most recent offering and it seamlessly blends trance-inducing waves of textures into prominent Caribbean drums. A perfect track to teleport you out of the doldrums of winter.

I find songs of love are often my favorite and electronic music has continually been exploring way to express love through deep bass and soaring leads. The next track has neither of these things (except for the end, okay!), but it also does not come off as cheap; rather it comes off very authentic. After doing some research, I found Echos has actually covered this track “All I Want” which was originally performed by a bloke named Dexter Tortoriello (or probably better known by his artist name of Dawn Golden). The song could drive anyone with empathy to tears, and to me, that’s what a great love song does. Tears of joy, tears of loss, tears of want, just tears of emotion. It’s a powerful thing, and something to admire within the electronic world.

Okay, so electronic music isn’t your shtick? Well, I haven’t forgotten about you. How about underproduced lo-fi? Yeah? Perfect, so let me present to you “Mixer” by Nap Eyes. I’m guessing these Canadian rockers capture the live sound so well that they just record their honest-to-goodness tracks in one take. Straight out of the 60’s, these guys are a real trip and they probably put on one of those shows where you never realize quite how loud the music is until you hear it live.

To be honest, until I put them on this week’s list, this is probably the first time I’ve ever heard The Besnard Lakes. I know they’ve been around for “like forever,” and while I’ve heard of them, I never got to listening to them. I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t have them through my adolescence, much like the first time I appreciated Fleet Foxes (far too late). This  song, “The Plain Moon”, is a…brash…track with oodles of rough guitar riffs and overlapping vocals, and I love it just the way it is. With many layers of echoed-out vocals and a consistent crash of instruments, it just sounds like a cacophony that just somehow works in perfect harmony. Don’t believe me..give it a listen.

Let’s get to this week’s other featured tracks:

Public Memory – “Ringleader” – I may abuse some words on here. I’ll be the first to call myself out on this, but when I say this track is haunting, I mean that in every sense of the word (and in the best sense of the word). I mean I’m actually going to be hearing tambourines following me around and that creepy little jingle @1:10!!! All that said, I freaking love this in all it’s “no mom, please leave the nightlight on tonight” glory

Lushlife, CSLSX & I Break Horses – “The Waking World” – So I had a friend in college who was pretty in tune with the new music pulse and he introduced me to CSLSX in 2009. I’d all but forgotten them before I found this track. There is a ton going on in this track, but none of it bad. Lushlife offers up his lyrical prowess, CXLSX kills it with the electricity, and I Break Horses softens it all up with her dreamy, shoegaze.

Port St. Willow – “Ordinary Pleasure” – This ambient music outfit is the solo project for Portlandian Nick Principle (great name right?). Diving into the first few seconds of this track, you’ll begin to feel a calming feeling throughout your entire body. A feeling where all care melt away and nothing is harsh except for the discordant orchestral sounds you hear as you drift in and out of consciousness. Woo, almost lost it…

Ra Ra Riot – “Absolutely” – WAKE UP!!! Okay, so in my opinion Ra Ra Riot has been flirting with the line between “indie” and “pop” and I think they’ve decided which side they want to stand on with this track. Not a bad thing, just an observation. It’s “Absolutely” a pick-me-up song and I like that RRR has always found a way of sounding cheery without being too flowery like you experience with the rest of the indie-pop world.

Have a wonderful week,

-Greg