Raphaelle Standell-Preston is a busy woman. As the vocal half of the ambient dream-pop “love project,” Blue Hawaii, and vocalist in the electro-pop “art rockers” group, Braids, Raphaelle’s dynamic voice is keeping electro music in Montreal alive and beautiful.
Blue Hawaii has been in the spotlight as of late – They released a new album this year, Untogether, which was received with incredible praise, and headed out on a whirlwind tour with electro Canadian comrades and bffs, Purity Ring. However, Braids is now having its well-deserved shining moment… again.
Braids made waves with their 2011 debut LP, Native Speaker, establishing themselves as a “promising band.” With two new recent releases, “In Kind” and “Amends,” Braids is back and it appears they’re keeping up with the reputation. However, the blend and undistinguished sound between Blue Hawaii and Braids has become even more apparent amongst fans – but can you really complain? Have a listen and decide:
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)
Majical Cloudz, the alias behind Montreal-hailing Devon Welsh, recently released a powerful, somber, yet beautiful electro-based ballad, “Childhood’s End.” The track, Welsh’s strongest one yet, can be found on his upcoming spring release, Impersonator, and follows his impressive 2012, Turns Turns Turns EP, proving that Welsh is indeed a lyrical whiz.
According to Pitchfork, “Welsh says, with this new material, his goal is ‘to communicate a lot with as little as possible.'”
Today, we’re treated with the release of a chilling b&w music video for the “Childhood’s End” directed by Emily Kai Bock (Grimes’s, “Oblivion,” Doldrums’s “She is the Wave” and Grizzly Bear’s, “Yet Again”). Enjoy:
Canadian indie dream-popsters, Young Galaxy are absolutely killin’ it as of late. It seems as if each week they release yet another ridiculously catchy new jam, teasing us in anticipation to hear their forthcoming album, Ultramarine (via Paper Bag Records) due out April 23rd. They’ve blown up the blogosphere charts in the last couple of weeks and, to sweeten the deal, Doldrums and Peaking Lights have remixed of Young Galaxy‘s highly addictive new tracks, “New Summer” and “Pretty Boy.”
Young Galaxy is currently on a Euro tour with the ever-so-hypeular electro trio, CHVRCHES – Catch ’em if you can.
Young Galaxy – New Summer
Young Galaxy – Pretty Boy (Peaking Lights Remix)
Young Galaxy – New Summer (Doldrums Remix)
I’m not sure if there’s something in the air or water (because surely we can’t be held responsible for our own actions or emotions, right?), but there seems to be this influx of bummer break ups and/or newly announced engagements and babies on-the-way. It’s totally weirding me out. Does this time of year bring out the best/worst of us? Or, is this some sort of corny metaphorical new beginning/shedding of baggage that occurs with Spring?
Regardless and luckily for us, these emotions that seem to be running on an all-time high tend to be the inspiration and hence, creation of some pretty magnificent music. So with that, I present to you a plethora of recently released and highly addicting tracks that just so happen to have luv/hate on the brain:
Still Corners is the moniker of London-hailing indie dream pop duo Greg Hughes and Tessa Murray. They made a minor splash in the blogosphere in 2010/2011 with their sickeningly sweet jams, “Don’t Fall in Love,” and “Cuckoo.” A year after their debut LP, the duo is back with a vengeance in the form of “Berlin Lovers” – The first dreamy, hypnotic single from their forthcoming sophomore album, Strange Pleasures (via Sub Pop) due out this May. Have a listen:
Still Corners – Berlin Lovers
Tyler Gregory Okonma aka Tyler, the Creator, is a 22 year-old LA-based rapper, producer, artwork ‘creator’ and co-founder of the alt hip hop collective Odd Future. He just released an interesting video for “IFHY,” a single found on his forthcoming album, Wolf, due out April 2nd. It’s an “emo” barbie-esque inspired video featuring his luv/hate interest and a snippet of Pharrell. Gorilla vs. Bear posted the video on Facebook this morning and so simply but eloquently stated: “nightmares.” Enjoy:
Tyler, the Creator – IFHY
Oooh damn, funky, sexy, smooth Janet Jackson reworked by Dutch producer, FS Green? Yes thank you! FS Green writes on his SoundCloud, “I started out wanting to sample one of my favorite Janet tracks for a beat, but it ended up in this weird rework where the track is pitched down, while the vocals are pitched up.” So glad it worked in our favor, ‘cus I can’t stop playing this jam:
Janet Jackson – Rock With U (FS Green Rework)
Fol Chen, the 6 member LA-based and self-proclaimed “Opera-House” indie-electro-pop group is back, and they’ve recently released their third album, The False Alarms via Asthmatic Kitty. “I.O.U” is a sexy, playful, bitter-sweet single from the seemingly dance-inducing LP.
Fol Chen – I.O.U
Okay, I’ll admit this gem from Toronto-hailing electro Goddess, Katie Stelmanis (& co.) aka Austra has been floating around for about a month already. But, it’s a beautiful and powerful glimpse into Austra‘s second LP, Olympia, due out June 1st. The group is by far one of my most beloved live bands (remember when Grimes opened for them?!) and their eerie, dark, synthy beats combined with Stelmanis’s magnetic, classically trained opera voice is, as always, all-consuming. Enough said:
Austra – Home
It’s Valentine’s Day! Everyone get crazy! There are obviously widely and wildly opinionated ideas regarding Valentine’s Day, but if you wanna divulge in the L.O.V.E. and/or hate for the red and pink candy coated day, go right ahead. However, as homage to the day people love to love and loathe, I’ve compiled a Valentine’s Day mixtape of sorts, specifically for YOU – My Valentine. Now, have a listen to these sinfully sweet tracks:
Rhye – Open
How to Dress Well – & It Was U (Elite Gymnastics Remix)
Blue Hawaii – Try to be
Sean Nicholas Savage – You Changed Me
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – So Good at Being in Trouble
Rihanna feat. Mikky Ekko – Stay (Erol Sabadosh Remix)
ERAAS – At Heart
Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Baby (Mature Themes)
The pop Gods have spoken: “Let there be more AlunaGeroge!” and alas, we’re graciously presented with new and glorious electro pop tracks from (or featuring) the UK-based duo.
Aluna Francis and George Reid have come a long way in such a short amount of time. Having just released their first commercial track, “Your Drums, Your Love” in September of 2012, the group has already been shortlisted for the 2013 BRIT Award of Critics’ Choice. And, just a couple of weeks into 2013, AlunaGeorge continues to deliver fresh electro-pop gems at a steadfast pace, announcing a debut album, Body Music, out June of 2013. It seems as if the duo is putting their fellow “bands to watch in 2013” comrades to shame… except Disclosure that is.
Enter “White Noise” – the recently released track from “garage-house” brother duo, Disclosure, featuring AlunaGeorge. It’s a combination and a collaboration between two extremely hype-worthy acts that has created an electro-pop listening implosion amongst the blog world. The UK-based brothers and producers who make up Disclosure also have a highly-anticipated album due out in March of 2013. (Find Disclosure in the “Top 55 Songs of 2012“).
So with that, I present to you a plethora of AlunaGeroge pop madness: “White Noise” by Disclosure ft. AlunaGeorge, “Diver,” AlunaGeorge‘s latest release from their forthcoming album, and a Frank Ocean cover of “Thinkin’ Bout You” which was recorded in the 1Xtra Live Lounge for BBC Radio.
Disclosure – White Noise ft. Aluna George
AlunaGeorge – Diver
AlunaGeorge – Thinkin’ Bout You (Frank Ocean Cover)