Search results for: Gems

Music or Misery? Listen to New: Clare Maguire, Haim, Rudimental, Judson Claiborne & GEMS

Clare Maguire

Clare Maguire

What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?- High Fidelity

Clare Maguire, the young British singer-songwriter with a voice reminiscent of Stevie Nicks has released a new single, “Paper Thin.” It’s a brooding, somber, soulful and beautiful gem laced with keys and Maguire’s delicate, enchanting sound – An excellent track if your misery needs company:

Clare Maguire – Paper Thin

The LA-based sisters that make up Haim have done it again – Released yet another ridiculously catchy pop song you just can’t hate. I’m still debating what the lyrics actually mean. Did she cheat on him? Regardless, the “new” single (the track has been around for a while, but they finally created a fine-tuned studio version) is already blowing up blogosphere, and it’s well-deserving. the The trio have yet to release a full-length album, but each new single creates even more hype than the last. Enjoy:

Haim – The Wire

UK dance quartet Rudimental has been giving electro-pop brothers, Disclosure a healthy dose of competition. The group released their album, Home in the UK earlier this year and it’ll soon be hitting US streets in August via Big Beat Records. According to BrooklynVegan, Rudimental has collaborated with “choice vocalists like Sinead Harnett, and even more interestingly, Angel Haze, they’ve also got a track with Internet Explorer commercial soundtracking dude Alex Clare,” and of course Ella Eyre as heard below in the upbeat and infectious track, “Waiting All Night.” Have a listen …and tell me that you want me:

Rudimental – Waiting All Night ft. Ella Eyre

Judson Claiborne is an indie-rock-pop-folk band hailing from Chicago. They’ve been compared to Beck, Rufus Wainwright, and on last.fm someone tagged their music: “makes good goddamn hibiscus rose hip tea.” So, you know, it’s gotta be good. “Neo-Pagan Lovesong” is a romantic new number that can be found on their recently released LP, We have Not Doors You Need Not Keys.

Judson Claiborne – Neo-Pagan Lovesong

GEMS, the Washington D.C. based couple who’ve been taking the dream-pop spotlight by storm (and filling the hole in your heart you have reserved for ‘old’ Beach House sounds) has released yet another “gem.” “Sinking Stone” is a dreamy and nostalgic track, one in which front woman Lindsay Pitts delicately and somberly coos the chorus, “Could you ever love me again? I need to know…” successfully crushing your heart.

GEMS – Sinking Stone

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Introducing New Dream-Pop Duo: GEMS

GEMSA little more than a week ago, the loveliest, dreamiest sounds landed in my inbox. Within that one week, new Washington D.C. duo, GEMS, has charmed, endeared and won over the hearts and ears of the music blogosphere. Gaining serious traction with just two beautiful and haunting tracks, “All I Ever,” and “Void Moon,” GEMS (Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John), spent October in an empty North Carolina beach house recoding their beginnings.

“There was something about being near the ocean this past October (in a gray, deserted beach town) that offered some sort of clarity of reflection in a particularly dark time in my life,” says Pitts.

“Our lives and our relationship and our music are totally wrapped up in this weird and powerful and sometimes very confusing way.”

Keep your eyes and hears open for more to come from GEMS. Until then, stream them on SoundCloud or Bandcamp, and give them a follow on Facebook.

GEMS – All I Ever

GEMS – Void Moon

Sociopathic Jams & Gems

It’s Mother’s Day and to end it with an ironic bang, I bring you these child psychopath jams and gems that go hand in hand:

1) This fresh jam about nihilism and sociopaths is paving its way to the top of the popular charts on Hype Machine as we speak. The track and entire Slow Rainbow tape is available for free at bandcamp.

LIL KIDS – Nobodies

2) This eerie NY Times article about child socio/psychopaths was just published this weekend:

Can You Call a 9 Year Old a Psychopath?

“Anne is a strict disciplinarian, she said, particularly with Michael, who she worries would otherwise simply run wild. She mentioned an episode of “Criminal Minds” that terrified her, in which a couple’s younger son was murdered by his older brother. “In the show, the older brother didn’t show any remorse. He just said, ‘He deserved it, because he broke my plane.’ When I saw that, I said, ‘Oh my God, I so don’t need that episode to be my life story down the line.’ ” She laughed awkwardly, then shook her head. “I’ve always said that Michael will grow up to be either a Nobel Prize winner or a serial killer.”

Happy Mother’s Day!

Punk Rock! Burgerama III Music Fest Announced: 3 New Mac DeMarco Jams + Black Lips + Hunx & His Punx

Burgerama IIIYou’re familiar with Burger Records, right? They’re the Orange County-based independent record label that loves to write EVERYTHING IN CAPS and use an inordinate amount exclamation points!!! That, and their charming, eccentric and eclectic, grungy/punk/garage/power pop rock artists also make them the quirkiest record label out there. LA Times said it best by stating the label focuses on “Trashy punk with a bubble gum streak.”

Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard, members of the power pop band, Thee Makeout Party, formed Burger Records back in 2007 and have since transformed it into a blooming, audacious label, record store, and various punk rock music fests. That said, they’ve just announced the sweetest lineup for their 2-day Burgerama III music fest, March 22-23rd. The only downside? It’s in Orange County. Whomp whomp (Sorry, OC folks). If you’re in the mood for sunshine, freeways and outdoor malls, a road trip may be in order. Otherwise, I’m bringing a lil bit of Burgerama to you:

Mac DeMarco is everyone’s favorite goofy crooner. The fun-loving, Viceroy smokin’, ripped jeans wearin’, guitar slingin’ Canadian has been on what seems like a never-ending whirl-wind tour since the release of his second album, Marc DeMarco 2, back in October 2012. As hoped for, the dude’s got some new tunes that are due out in April of this year and he gave CKUA a glimpse into his forthcoming album with three lovely new tracks, “Treat Her Better” (song below starts a 4:13), “Salad Days” (starts at 8:18), and “Let Her Go” (listen at 11:30). Enjoy:

Mac DeMarco – Treat Her Better, Salad Days & Let Her Go live at CKUA

Topping Burgerama’s bill is the infamous 4 piece Atlanta-based rock group of misfits, Black Lips. Their forthcoming album, Underneath the Rainbow, was recorded with the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney, and is due out March 18 via Vice. According to bassist Jared Swilley, “it’s roots music.” Here’s a glimpse with the release of one track, “Boys in the Wood” and it’s as smooth as ever. They’ll be “extensively touring all six inhabited continents in support of the new record” including the SXSW circuit this year, as well as Austin psych-fest in May (okay, now let’s discuss a road trip!)

Black Lips – Boys in the Wood

There’s no way I could talk about Burgerama and not include a Hunx and His Punx jam – the epitome of punk and bubblegum. They’re the San Francisco-based “Queercore” garage punk rock group made up of Seth Bogart (formerly of the gay pop group Gravy Train!!!!), Shannon Shaw (from my faves: Shannon and The Clams) and Erin Emslie. They released their 4th album, Street Punk back in July of 2013 and it’s rippin! Sadly, the entire album is under 20 minutes long (I suppose you can only scream for so long), but it’s filled with quickie 30 second raging gems like, “Everyone’s a Pussy (Fuck You Dude)” and “Don’t Call Me Fabulous.” Listen to up your punk cred:

Hunx and His Punx – You Think You’re Tough

Hunx and His Punx – Bad Skin

Coco Stereo’s Top 50 Tracks of 2013

Coco stereo's top 50 tracks of 2013This year has been one full of new friendships, experiences, and unexpectedly, love. It’s also been a year full of disappointment, self-doubt, and a healthy dose of heartbreak –  Sounds like a year well spent. However, if there’s one thing that remains consistent, it’s that coasting along with us through the ebbs and flows that is life, there is music. So to celebrate the ups, downs and in betweens of 2013, I present to you 50 of the best tracks that have been with us through it all.

To accompany the top 50 tracks, here are a few musical highlights to round out our nostalgic look back of the year:

Note: All tracks are in alphabetical order (‘cus ranking them is just something I’m not into). Also subscribe or have a listen to the entire playlist on Spotify. Enjoy:

Active Child – Evening Ceremony
Angel Olsen  Sweet Dreams
Austra  Home
Autre Ne Veut – Play by Play
Banks  Waiting Game
Baths  Miasma Sky
Bibio – À tout à l’heure
Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough
Blue Hawaii – Try To Be
Braids – In Kind
Chromatics  Looking for Love
Chvrches  The Mother We Share
Diana – Born Again
Disclosure  White Noise feat. Aluna George
Empress Of  Hat Trick
FKA Twigs  Water Me
Fyfe  Lies
Gems  Sinking Stone
Haerts – Wings
Haim  The Wire
Helado Negro – Dance Ghost
Jackson Scott – Evie
James Blake  Life Round Here
Jenny Hval  Mephisto in the Water
Jessie Ware  Still Love Me
Josef Salvat  Every Night
K-X-P – Magnetic North
Keep Shelly In Athens – Recollection
Lorde  The Love Club
Majical Cloudz – Childhood’s End
Mortar & Pestle  U.V.
Mozart’s Sister  Mozart’s Sister
Museum of Bellas Artes  Abyss
No Joy – Hare Tarot Lies
Phosphorescent  Song for Zulu
Psychic Twin  Dream State
Pure Bathing Culture – Dream the Dare
Rhye  Open
Sean Nicholas Savage – You Changed Me
S O H N  Bloodflows
Still Corners  Berlin Lovers
Summer Camp  Fresh
Teen – Carolina
The Holidays  Voices Drifting
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good at Being in Trouble
Vampire Weekend  Step
Wet  Don’t Wanna Be Your Girl
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan  Lamia
Young Galaxy  New Summer
Yuck  Rebirth

New Delicious Psychedelic Jams: Quilt – Tired & Buttered + Arctic Shark

Quilt - Held In SplendorGet ready to trip out. Boston hailing psych-dream-pop-folk rockers, Quilt have released two new trippy tracks: “Tired and Buttered,” and “Arctic Shark.” Both tracks can be found on Quilt‘s forthcoming sophomore album Held in Splendor.

Since Quilt emerged in music scene back in 2009, and released a debut LP in 2011, Anna Fox Rochinski, Shane Butler, and John Andrews have continuously succeeded in ‘patching’ together a magnificent conglomerate of equally upbeat, rockin’, spacey, catchy and dreamy sounds. The results are splendidly out of this world.

Held in Splendor will be released via Mexican Summer and is due out Jan 28th (US) and Feb 14/15th (EU/UK). Until then, enjoy gettin’ wavy on these gems:

Quilt – Tired & Buttered

Quilt – Arctic Shark

Sounds of Sorrow: A World-Wide Roundup of Sad Breakup Songs

High-Fidelity-John-Cusack-miseryAside from maybe death, there’s nothing as painful, soul crushing and gut wrenching as a breakup. A breakup certainly emulates the feeling of death when the black pit of despair you’ve suddenly been thrust into wraps its cold, unforgiving fingers around your heart and mangles it until you’re gasping for air, feeling empty, desperate, delirious and broken.

The only logical way to “cope” with the pain, of course, is to (no… not jump on OKCupid), but drown your sorrow in the sounds of ridiculously sad songs, and there are plenty of ’em. And since “everybody hurts,” I asked people of various ages from across the globe (San Francisco to New York, Australia to Germany) to spill their number one sob-song. If you’re going through a breakup (big hug), know someone who is (‘cus we sadly all do), or you just wanna be a sad sap, turn up these depressing tracks and force yourself to ‘get on with it.’

It’s no wonder we’re all such a mess, is it? We’re like Tom Hanks in Big. Little boys and girls trapped in adult bodies and forced to get on with it.  ― Nick Hornby, High Fidelity

*Note: Some of these songs were just like a stubborn ex-lover; too damn difficult to work with. So I’ve compiled most into a Spotify player and the few tracks that just didn’t want to work things out are linked.

SIDE A:
Emily, 23, Los Angeles: My Blood – Ellie Goulding
*Greg, 24, San Francisco: Sun Was High (So Was I) – Best Coast
Max, 24, Germany: This is Letting Go – Rise Against
Freddy, 25, England: Eskimo – Damien Rice
Kayla, 25, Ireland by way of Boise, ID: It doesn’t Matter Anymore – Linda Ronstadt
Jessica, 26, Ireland: Ever – Team Sleep
Kevin, 26, San Antonio, TX: Walk On By – Dionne Warwick
Stuart, 26, Scotland: It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue – Bob Dylan
*Ashley, 27, Los Angeles: Oh! Darling – The Beatles
Naomi, 28, San Francisco: Stormy Weather – Billie Holiday
Inelen, 30, Italy: I Love it (I Don’t Care) – Icona Pop
Kyle, 30, NYC: I Don’t Believe You – The Magnetic Fields
Matt, 30, Salt Lake City, UT: Ms. Jackson – OutKast
Brandon, 31, West Valley, UT: Stop Me June (Little Ego) – Kent
Ryan, 31, San Francisco: January: The One with “Kid” – Local H
Elisa, 31, Italy: Mi Sono Innamorato Di Te – Luigi Tenco
Emma, 32, San Francisco: Tous Le Garcons Et Les Filles – Francoise Hardy
Amanda, 33, San Francisco: Think of You – MS MR
Hyunmi, 33, South Korea: If I Were a Boy – Beyonce
Michelle, 34, San Francisco: Love Will Tear Us Apart – Joy Division
*Magnolia, 34, San Francisco: Recall – Susanna & The Magical Orchestra
Anthony, 35, Australia: Psychic Returns – Nedelle Torrisi
Sam, 35, Brooklyn: Get Me – Dinosaur Jr.
James, 39, San Francisco: Concrete Wall – Zee Avi
*Lana, 41, San Francisco: Nunca – Volován
*Clarice, 45, San Francisco: In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Tom, 63, San Mateo, CA: Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe – Kendrick Lamar

 

coco stereo’s picks: SIDE B
Always See Your Face – Love
Don’t Tell Me – Empress Of
Feels Like We Only Go Backwards – Tame Impala
Give Out – Sharon Van Etten
Hood – Perfume Genius
Losing You – Solange
Love Me Like You Used To – Class Actress
Pale Blue Eyes – The Velvet Underground
Sinking Stone – Gems
So Good At Being in Trouble – Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Still Love Me – Jessie Ware
Tell a Lie – Farao
Waiting Game – Banks
Water Me – FKA Twigs
We Hit a Wall – Chelsea Wolfe

Oakland Represent! Oaktown Music Festival Contest Picks + Winners

Shannon and the Clams

Shannon and the Clams

There’s an interesting contest and event called the Oaktown Music Festival which showcases and celebrates musical talent hailing from the other side of the Bay Bridge. San Francisco always seems to steal the Bay Area music spotlight, so it’s refreshing and exciting to see some Oakland representation.

The contest is put on by local Oakland venue, Awaken Cafe and entertainment production company, Oaktown Indie Mayhem. The first round of the contest began with an online song and video contest in which bands were nominated and voted upon by judges and the public. This year, there were supposedly 2,100 submissions and 30 band finalists selected. The final round of winners (see below) were selected by a jury (musicians, writers, marketers, producers, etc.) and have been given the title: “Best of Oakland.”  The winners will be headlining the Winners’ Party/Concert on November 15th & 16th at Awaken Cafe, and are also given recording time at Fantasy Studios, along with other perks.

Below are hand-picked, highlighted (and alphabetized) winners and finalists – Some beloved, some newfound joys, and a couple of wacky gems ranging from groovy funk, whimsical folk, surf/punk/psych-rock and “chill pop.” I’ve included commentary on any of the bands I’ve actually seen live; hopefully more so in the future.

My boyfriend, an Oakland resident, (does this mean I get some Oakland street cred?) introduced me to Bells Atlas. We saw them play an insane debut album release show back in June at The New Parish in Oakland. They have a huge and loving Oakland/Berkeley fan following, which was easy to hear and see why. They’re an extremely talented, vibrant, groovy, funky group.

Bells Atlas – Loving Your Down (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Video) 

Emily Moldy – My Own One (Won: Best in Show – People’s Choice)

Fever Charm – Magazine

Minute is 4-piece of good lookin’ boys and their good lookin’ musical toys. I saw them play a packed show at The Stork Club in Oakland and it was a sweaty good time. Occasionally a trombone was thrown into the mix and people commenced to dance up a storm. They also did a cover of Keyboard Cat just for kicks and I nearly went insane with excitement. This is one of their dreamier, psych-inspired slow jams:

Minute – Adrift

This year I saw Shannon and the Clams play at Burger Records’ Burger Bugaloo Music Festival in Oakland, and as an opener for Sonny & The Sunsets in SF. They’re one of my favorite Bay Area acts to see live and they always steal the show! The rippin’ three piece look and sound like something out of the movie Hairspray, and their jams are so damn catchy. I obsessively listened to their latest LP, Dreams in the Rat House, for a good three weeks.

Shannon and the Clams – Rip Van Winkle (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Song)
[audio http://www.hardlyart.com/mp3/ShannonAndTheClams_RipVanWinkle.mp3]

The Tambo Rays – Take That (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Song)

Tin Cup Serenade – Sunny Oakland Day  (Won: Honorable Mention for Best Song)

We Became Owls – Suitcase (Won: Runner Up for Best Song)

Ride this Soul Train! NEW: Lady + Nightmares on Wax + Lulu James

Lulu JamesSometimes you need some seriously sweet, soulful, groovy, get-down, funky jams to reassure you that everything in life will (probably) be all right. Luckily, I’ve come across a slew of new groovy jams that’ll get you vibin’ in no time. So let’s cut to the chase:

George Evelyn is the house, trip-hop, electro producing Brit behind Nightmares on WaxHe’s back with a new EP, Feelin’ Good, and it’s FUNKAAAY!  “Be, I Do” a single from the LP will have you hooked for dayz, and there’s a psychedelic video to match featuring behind-the-scenes tour and studio footage. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the listening addiction you’re about to ensue:

Nightmares on Wax – Be, I Do

Lady is the smooth, 60s soul-inspired, modern R&B group and moniker of Nicole Wray (who, at 17 was the first person signed to Missy Elliot’s Goldmind Records) and Terri Walker. However, as BrooklynVegan recently reported, Lady lost a lady and Walker is no longer part of the group, as she’s working on a solo album. But, the show must go on, and though Lady is minus one, Wray is currently on tour belting out soulful gems from their recently release self-titled debut album. Now ride this soul train… c’mon ride it:

Lady – Tell the Truth

Lulu James is the 21-year-old, Tanzanian-born, UK-based vixen who packs a punch with her powerful voice. Her latest sultry, pop single “Sweetest Thing” embodies her self-proclaimed “21st century soul” sound. The funky break-out artist is also supporting Ellie Goulding in October during her UK tour – Now that is sweet. Have a listen:

Lulu James – Sweetest Thing

Listen to NEW Hype-Worthy Electrotastic Band: Nothankyou

NothankyouThere’s a new hype-worthy electrostatic synth pop band worth getting giddy over y’all! So who are they, and what’s their deal?

Nothankyou is a new project/collaboration consisting of indie-popper Tom Vek, and Dirty Projectors’ Olga Bell (also formerly from Chairlift) Whadda combo! According to Moshi Moshi Records, to which the duo is signed to, Vek and Bell, “met” on Myspace several years ago when, as Vek explains was “a window of about a week when I was speaking to people over social media.” The two kept in contact through out the years, but “eventually, inevitably, they found themselves at the same Creators Project party in Brazil.” Funny, I inevitably and randomly run into people at parties in Brazil all the time too! The result of the two is pure bliss in electro-pop form.

The pair recently released two gems, “Know Yourself” and “Oyster” which will be released August 5th as a limited edition 7″ vinyl and download. If you’re eager for even more of Nothankyou’s addicting sound, the duo states “…more may come, especially if you are polite and firm.” Until then, have at it! Stream “Know Yourself” and “Oyster” below – Yesthankyou!

Nothankyou – Oyster

Nothankyou – Know Yourself