There’s nothing quite like listening to depressing music when you’re utterly depressed, am I right? Sometimes you just need to brood deep down in the depths of your sadness and certain music allows you drift, soak and immerse yourself in those dark murky waters to the point where you feel strangely comforted. Now Ricky Eat Acid‘s recently released LP, Three Love Songs (via Orchid Tapes) isn’t all sobs and sorrow. It’s beautiful, calming, intriguing, alluring, unique but certainly swirls around topics like heartbreak and loss – the perfect melancholic music.
In a recent interview with Vice, Maryland-hailing Sam Ray, the 22-year-old behind the moniker Ricky Eat Acid, had quite a lot to say about who he thought would/should be listening to his music, “I would hope that cool, chill people listen to it, but I guess we’ll see. Maybe like, alt dads. Or really fucking depressed single moms.” Regardless, the album is an interesting journey from each song to the next. Songs like, “it will draw me over to it like it always does,” grow and progress into immensely beautiful compilations filling your need for tracks to ache to. psst… there’s a free download of the whole thing, too! Now, that’s not so sad. Enjoy:
Dream-pop from Tokyo? What’s not to love! Tokyo is such a surreal, bustling, beautiful and magnetic city. Add ambient music to the mix and it’s like experiencing your own Lost in Translation, Bill Murray not included.
Mayuko Hitotsuyanagi is the (now) Berlin, Germany residing, Kyoto/Tokyo native and girl behind the moniker Cuushe. In 2009, her psychedelic, ambient dream pop sounds recorded in her paper-thin Japanese apartment caught the ears of Tokyo record label Flau. Now, as Pitchfork stated in Cuushe‘s recent LP review, “The imprint was a good place for Cuushe to hone her restrained style, and it nabbed American performers Julia Holter and Motion Sickness of Time Travel to remix her work last year.”
Following last year’s success, Cuushe has recently released a soothing, dreamy, whispery second full-length album, Butterfly Case (which you can stream on Spotify). Have a listen below, and watch her latest video for “Lost My Way,” which premiered on Gorilla vs. Bear this morning.
Cuushe – Sort of Light
Cuushe – I Love You
Roberto Carlos Lange aka Helado Negro is one of the most magnetic and magical performers to see live. There’s nothing crazy or outlandish about his sets, but his voice is whimsical and romantic and his eclectic, ambient, electric beach jams from space have a way of moving your hips and locking you into a cloud of dreamy musical bliss.
Helado Negro‘s 2013 LP, Invisible Life has been a serious staple of constant listening pleasure since its release in March. As luck would have it, Lange has been hard at work and recently released his latest EP, Island Universe Story Two (which you can buy here, and on cassette!) via Asthmatic Kitty Records. At the beginning of August, Lange tweeted out a list of 50+ artists and songs, all of which were apparent influences when creating the EP, some of which include Stevie Wonder, Ice-T and… Eddie Murphy? Interesting choices, especially after you have a listen. The new EP is full of crazy beats, exotic synth and fuzzy, dreamy vocals that’ll make you scream for more Helado Negro aka black ice cream.
Stream Helado Negro‘s new EP on Bandcamp or Spotify and be sure to catch the man in action. He’s currently on tour along with Javelin, Spiritualized, the Breeders, John Cale, Big Boi, Suuns and The High Highs.
Helado Negro – We Will You
Helado Negro – Enters
For all you recording and sound engineering aficionados, here’s a mini documentary by Weathervane Music showing behind-the-scenes footage of producing/recording a Helado Negro song. (Watch even more videos from this recording here).
I’ve been on this bedroom “night-time music” kick (as Rhye likes to call the genre), where you should either be getting into bed while listening to it, or just waking up. Luckily, there’s been a plethora of recently released silky bedroom jamz. They easily ease the need to swoon for smooth. Here goes:
LA-based Pat Grossi, better known as the ambient electro dream-pop artist Active Child, put himself on the map with his compelling 2011 debut LP, You Are All I See. Now, Active Child is currently working on his Sophomore album and just released his amazingly beautiful and intense track, “Evening Ceremony.”
While Grossi’s been working away on his album, he reached out to his Facebook audience for ideas: “Thank you all for the considerate feedback on the album. some really beautiful and sincere comments in there. glad to hear we’re all on the same page ; )) there are a few interesting collabs in the worksss.” The feedback obviously worked in Active Child‘s favor:
Active Child – Evening Ceremony
Fyfe is a hype-worthy 23-year-old London-hailing new kid on the blog/block who’s been blowing the blogosphere up and away with three extremely strong debut tracks. Paul Dixon, the boy behind the ballads, has an impeccably unique voice/sound and endearing lyrics that’s giving many an itch for more. Listen to “Lies” from Fyfe‘s debut EP, Solace, which you can stream on SoundCloud:
Fyfe – Lies
SOHN is the Vienna-via-London up-and-coming producer who made waves with his EP, The Wheel, back in November. Luckily for us, he’s just released another emotionally-driven and achingly smooth R&B influenced jam with some seriously sweet beats. Have a listen to “Bloodflows” now:
SOHN – Bloodflows
Wintercoats is the moniker of James Wallace, the Melbourne, Australia-hailing multi-instrumentalist who some don a “master of ethereal delicacies.” Wintercoats‘ track “Halogen Moon,” which can be found on his forthcoming EP, Heartful (via Cascine) is a perfect example of one of those delicacies:
Wintercoats – Halogen Moon
Now, you wouldn’t typically associate “remix” with “smooth,” however, last week, Hilly Dilly posted this gem by Nym, local San Francisco producer. Icelandic singer-songwriter, Emiliana Torrini has what NPR dons, “Iceland’s warmest voice,” and Nym‘s take her track, “On the Sunny Road,” brings it to new heights. The track can be found on Nym‘s latest album “Trembling in the Stone.” He’s also donating all proceeds from the album, which you can listen to on bandcamp, to secular charities, named quarterly by the Foundation Beyond Belief – Nice guy!
Emiliana Torrini – On the Sunny Road (Nym Remix)
Yeeehaaw! It’s officially official: coco stereo‘s goin’ to SXSW! In a series of amazing (and in some cases, extremely lucky) events, everything seemed to come together oh so perfectly and I will be in Austin, Texas for the Interactive + Film and Music festivals. So now that universe has aligned in my favor, I present to you a plethora of new jams from hype-worthy bands:
James Blake, the 24-year-old London-based, “post-dubstep” electro producer has been blowing the blogosphere away this week with his return. Blake recently released an amazingly smooth, crooning, falsetto-hinged and emotionally driven new track, “Retrograde,” which debuted on BBC Radio 1. His sophomore album, Overgrown, is due out April 8th. Listen and watch the video for “Retrograde,” James Blake‘s dynamic return to the music realm:
G3NESIS is a brand spankin’ new and thoroughly addicting female rap/hip-hop group consisting of Kelin Kaardal and Genesis Mohanraj (formerly of Juice). The Vancouver-based duo don just a handful of tracks, “Yes Daddy” being their newest and strongest of the lot, and I’m already eager to hear more.
G3NESIS – Yes Daddy
It’s no secret that people have gone ape-shit crazy for the UK hailing electro-pop trio, CHVRCHES, since their conception merely 6 months ago. The group only dons (now) three songs, their latest track, “Recover” found below, yet their fairytale story of Indie stardom is still going strong and they’re headed to the US. They’ll also be playing with MØ in LA at The Echo, for a spectacular combination of electro-pop hype-mania. Be sure to look for them at SXSW and listen to their catchy new synth-tastic release “Recover.”
CHVRCHES – Recover
Lorde is an up-and-coming New Zealand native singer-song writer with an apparent talent and knack for creating catchy pop-tracks that’ll appeal to just about anyone. She’s released a strong debut EP, The Love Club, which you can stream in completion on SoundCloud. Listen to “The Love Club” and “Royals,” two tracks I just can’t seem to get enough of:
Lorde – The Love Club
Lorde – Royals
iamforest is moniker of Vancouver-based chillwave producer Luke Hartle. His latest beauty of a single and release, “Structures” is full of ambient bliss, yet still maintains a strongly defined beat. Find iamforest on SoundCloud, and/or listen + download his tracks on bandcamp.
iamforest – Structures
Azekel is an East Londoner and alternative R&B producer who may be giving Frank Ocean a run for his money. Have a listen to Azekel’s debut single, “That Feeling,” which officially releases, February 25th.
Azekel – That Feeling
Coma is the alias of pop-infused electro synth masters, Marius Bubat and Georg Conrad. They’ll be releasing a new album, Technicolor, due out in April via Kompakt, and “Hoooooray” is their first single from their debut LP.
A 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.”
GEMS – All I Ever
GEMS – Void Moon
Thank you Helado Negro for this fresh new track! “Dance Ghost” is the latest release by the folk aficionado turned ambient, experimental, electro artist, Roberto Carlos Lange (aka Helado Negro). It’s a sinfully synthy track with smooth, cooing, delicate vocals, enticing, blippy beats and is a beauty of a burner that can easily be set on repeat. “Dance Ghost” has been a savior from the year-end music slump, which is typically plagued with never ending year-end lists:
The single can be found on Helado Negro‘s forthcoming album, Invisible Life, due March, 3, 2013 via Asthmatic Kitty Records.
Oh, but we’re not done yet. Roberto Lange has been a busy man, as he’s also one half of the new and beautiful ambient dream-pop collaboration project, Ombre, with Julianna Barwick. Ombre released their first LP, Believe You Me, at the end of August, 2012 – A little late on the intro here, but might as well since we’re on the Roberto Lange train. Stream Ombre‘s album on Spotify or Bandcamp.
Now, have a listen to both Helado Negro and Ombre:
Helado Negro – Dance Ghost
Ombre – Cara Falsa
The philosophical falsetto God and dreamboat, Tom Krell, aka How to Dress Well, just released a new video for his amazing track “& it was u” off this year’s beloved and emotionally charged LP, Total Loss. The video was written and directed by Luke Gilford, and produced by Urban Outfitters (Okay?) as part of their UO Music Video Series.
Tom Krell was also warmly welcomed back to San Francisco this past week with another stunning performance at the Rickshaw Stop. The venue was packed three-fold in comparison to Krell’s last visit in June, and his performance was even more powerful, emotionally charged, and profound. Krell didn’t cover Janet Jackson’s “Again,” a track that several people were surprisingly eager to hear, but I did catch snippets of Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo”/ INOJ’s “I Want to Be Your Lady Baby” tucked into his Total Loss gems. Krell also belt out some of his coveted R.Kelly jams, a new and intimate track written for his brother (sang A cappella), and interestingly, a falsetto-ed version of Elite Gymnastics‘ “Here in Heaven pt. 3.” Tom Krell/How to Dress Well‘s performances are always a breath of fresh air ironically accompanied by a heavy heart – a necessary experience, enough to give you chills.
Watch How to Dress Well‘s new video for “& it was u” and enjoy his cover of “Here in Heaven pt. 3”
How to Dress Well – & it was u
How to Dress Well – Here in Heaven pt. 3 (Elite Gymnastics Cover)
It’s been a weird and heavy week full of road trips, suburbia-ville, hospital visits, uncertainty, and a general lack of enjoyable jams via local radio. Hence, there’s no better way to bring this bizarro week to close with a round-up of new mind-melting tunes that’ll thrust you back into reality, or a lack-there-of.
Montreal-based Airick Woodhead is the experimental brainchild behind Doldrums, and he’s producing some of the freshest, “mind-melting” music around. His latest jam, “She is The Wave” is from a 7″ to be released via Arbutus Records in November. The new jam contains that consistently catchy electro/experimental beat full of synth, scratches, noise, disembodied vocals and screams – It’s Very Animal Collective-esque and once again, unbelievably addicting. Seriously hoping this launches the creation of a full length album – We all want it!
Doldrums – She is The Wave (feat. Guy Dallas)
San Francisco-based Mikey Maramag is the “dreamy folktronica” phsychadelic wünderkind behind Blackbird Blackbird. His latest hypnotic release “All” comes from his highly anticipated EP, Boracay Planet, slotted for release October 16th.
Blackbird Blackbird – All
Southern Shores, the synth-pop Nova Scotia-by-way-of-Toronto “summer heroes” has released an EP, New World. The latest album (similarly to the last one) via Cascine is full of dreamy, tropical beats. Stream the entire EP on SounCloud here.
Southern Shores – Sankasa
Luis Vasquez aka The Soft Moon is the beloved darkwave noise experimentalist from San Francisco and he’s releasing his new album (via Captured Tracks), Zeros, on October 30th. “Insides” hails from the anticipated album and is the latest goodie rupturing from the depths of darkness:
The Soft Moon – Insides
The ridiculously talented and charming “Jizz jazz” weirdo, Mac DeMarco has a new album (hurry already!), Mac DeMarco 2, due October 16th. Captured Tracks has been slowly but surely releasing jams from the (do you sense a theme?) highly anticipated album. You’ve already heard, “My Kind of Woman,” so feast your ears on DeMarco’s jam dedicated to his fav brand of cigs:
Mac DeMarco – Ode to Viceroy