Everyone could use more sexy, bouncin’, electro-hinged R&B music in his/her life – Thank you Black Atlass for fulfilling this! Alex Fleming aka Black Atlass is a 19-year-old Montreal-hailing experimental R&B producer with smooth vibes and a talent for producing sultry songs. Autre Ne Veut fans rejoice!
The singer-songwriter made waves back in 2012 with his sultry, atmospheric debut single, “Paris” which was plucked up and featured in a Louis Vuitton + Marc Jacobs Ad. Now back from his whirlwind 2013 Euro tour with Woodkid, Black Atlass has recently released an insanely addictive tune, “Blossom.” The track can found on his 6-track EP, Young Bloods, due out February 18th, via Fool’s Gold Records. If you’re headed to Austin all too soon, keep Black Atlass on your SXSW radar. Enjoy:
Black Atlass – Blossom
Black Atlass – Paris
While aimlessly scrolling through SoundCloud today, I came across a wondrous surprise: An interesting and beautiful new release from Majical Cloudz! Now, “Savage” isn’t necessarily ‘new,’ as frontman Devon Welsh has been playing the track shows for majority of the year, however, if you haven’t seen them live, you’re in for a treat. The track also didn’t make it onto 2013’s emotionally driven LP, Impersonator, making it even more rare of a release.
On Welsh’s blog, he exclaims, “Many people have asked me on Tumblr and Twitter what this song is called and when it will be released, so here it is! … Happy to be releasing it! It’s been fun to play it live over the past year.” He continues to explain that he’d rather not delve into the details of the song, “…ultimately what the song is ‘about’ is less important than how and why it is meaningful for you when you listen to it,” Welsh says. “It’s about letting go of a relationship as it changes and the emotions that go along with that.” Enjoy:
Juana Molina is no stranger to the public eye. In the late 80s, she started her career as a famous comedic actress in Argentina. A decade later, Molina pursued music full-time. As Ian Cohen stated on Pitchfork, “…over the span of three albums she became the first comedian ever to successfully lose the jokes and become a “serious” musician while keeping her sense of humor.”
It’s been five years since Juana Molina‘s last album but her electronic folk, captivating vocals, and insane guitar and percussion combinations are still as riveting and magnetic as ever. Yes, her songs are sung in Spanish, but even if you don’t speak the language, it doesn’t matter, as the experimental music is magical all on its own.
Have a listen to “Sin Guia No” and “Eras,” two new singles found on Juana Molina‘s forthcoming album “Wed 21,” due out October 29th via Crammed Discs.
Juana Molina – Sin Guia No
Juana Molina – Eras
Music slumps are serious business. Only the freshest, synth-tastic, moving and/or funkiest of sweet sounds can dig you out of the black pit of despair that comes with a lack of enthusiasm for any new music out there. Friends don’t let friends get stuck in music slumps. This is why I’m ever so grateful for friends (or lovers – Oooh la la) who’ve passed along the following gems that’ll cure the the most lonely, stagnant and discouranging of music slumps:
Mortar and Pestle is an “avant pop” trio from Oakland, California who exude funk and bring deliciously sweet synth and dark beats to life on stage. The near-and-dear to my heart musician/audio producer/engineer, Bryan Lovett was mixing Mortar & Pestle at San Francisco Magazine’s 2013 “Best of the Bay” party when he sent me their details and exclaimed, “Think you’d really dig ’em!” And just a few days later to our pleasant surprise, Mortar & Pestle opened for Prince Rama, the electrotastic, weird, wild & whacky sister duo from Brooklyn. Both bands put on ridiculously fun and energetic shows, and I danced harder than I have in a long time – Way to bring it! We snatched up Mortar & Pestle‘s recently released and self-titled debut which can easily and obsessively be repeated. Find Mortar & Pestle on Facebook, Bandcamp, and/or Soundcloud.
Prince Rama also debuted their musical masterpiece of a film (that was created thanks to Kickstarter) featuring songs from their album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World – It’ll leave you thinking, “Am I on drugs right now, or are they?” Both bands are a must-see live, especially if you’re in the pits of musical apathy.
Mortar and Pestle – U.V.
Mortar and Pestle – Pristine Dream
Shortcircles is the electro-pop project of Oakland, California-based (way to represent East Bay) producer, Matt Tammariello. Lovely friends and music aficionados at Professional Fans recently held one of their up-and-coming new music showcases here in San Francisco featuring Shortcircles and I was instantly hooked. Luckily for us, Shortcircles released his sophomore album, Between Waves (via Plug Research Records) for our listening pleasure. Enjoy:
Shortcircles – All I Can Be for You
Hospital Ships is a Lawrence, Kansas-based indie-folk-pop group and “bedroom project” of Jordan Geiger. I heard Hospital Ship‘s hauntingly addictive jam, “Remaining Light” on friend, music writer and radio host, Anthony Carew’s weekly two hour Melbourne, Australia-based radio program, International Pop Underground – An amazing source of ecclectic music discovery. Their latest LP, Destruction in Yr Soul was released June 18th via Graveface Records. Have a listen for some all-Americana jams – perfect timing for USA’s Independence Day:
Hospital Ships – Remaining Light
Hospital Ships – If It Speaks
The weather warmed up in San Francisco this past week for a hot minute – Our (one and only) glimpse of a true summer. So naturally, all San Franciscans piled into parks, crammed onto bar patio benches, threw on floppy hats and maxi dresses, and put our instagramming hands in the air to capture the clear blue sky, like we REALLY care. Alas, the moment has passed us, and our real “Summer is Coming,” which means chilly wind and eerie fog thicker than Turkish coffee. So with that, I bring to you a fresh track roundup of hot new tracks for cool days, or for cooler heads, depending on your geographical preference:
Joywave is a Rochester, New York-based electro/experimental group mastering in mixtapes. They released their mixtape, 77777, back in March of ’11 and just released a follow-up with, you guessed it, 88888. According to Interview Magazine, “The process behind Joywave‘s upcoming mixtape is an intriguing exercise in self-improvement. … frontman Daniel Armbruster, created a record that is not comprised of new material, but rather rethinks and reintroduces material from the band’s debut EP, Koda Vista. This idea is rooted not only in the dance and hip-hop tradition of the remix, but also in the paintings of Expressionist painter Edvard Munch, who famously remade the same painting several times, in order to best communicate with his audience.”
The rework and re-visitation of Joywave‘s previous material is obviously doing them justice, as “Tongues,” a new single found on 88888, is sickeningly addictive and has fiercely shot up to the top the blogosphere charts. Have a listen to “Tongues” and download 88888 for free on Joywave’s site:
Joywave – Tongues (feat. KOPPS)
Dead Ghosts is a quad garage rock band hailing from the depths of Vancouver, British Columbia whose sound has been described as, “raunchy lo-fi, country-esque, sweet guitar pluck-and-jangle.“ Listen to “Roky Said” a nostalgic-inducing, rockin’, “garage fuzz” psychedelic jam found on their recently released LP, Can’t Get No, via Burger Records:
Dead Ghosts – Roky Said
Ooh Wampire. Let me count the ways in which I’ve idiotically missed you play, and how I’m always kicking myself for doing so. The Portland, Oregon-based indie-pysch-rock-pop band was created by longtime bffs, Rocky Tinder and Eric Phipps. The two “started jamming in 2001” while in middle school. Now, Wampire is signed to Polyvinyl and has been on tour with friends, Unknown Mortal Orchestra (who also produced their debut). Wampire won me over with their trippy track, “The Hearse,” and I’ve been throughly addicted since. Wampire‘s new LP, Curiosity, is due out May 14 and you can stream the entire album in advance on Pitchfork. Don’t miss these guys!
Wampire – Trains
Wampire – The Hearse
Hot & Cold is the collaboration of two young 20-something Canadian brothers, Josh and Simon Frank. The boys produce trippy, abstract, catchy, drone synth-rock and apparently made their first live debut in Beijing, of all places. According to an interview with Vice, the transnational brothers, while in Beijing, “earned a spot alongside the Rose Mansion Analog crew, joining the ranks of the Offset:Spectacles and Soviet Pop.” Have a listen to “Out of the Grey” an addictive single from Hot & Cold’s new LP, Border Area, via Moniker Records:
Hot & Cold – Out of the Grey
Phèdre is one of my all-time favorite wacky electro Canadian duo/bands, and that’s saying a lot ‘cus there are so many to choose from! Phèdre released their self-titled debut album just last year and left many hungry for more. Luckily, they’re currently in the album-producing mood and are in the process of finalizing another LP, Golden Age. “We spent the darkest days of the winter writing a new record in Berlin. We made a collage for each song. We’re gonna put this out into the universe real soooooon.” They’re also currently producing a spontaneous “ongoing record,” Eterna, in which they’re “droppin’ tracks as they come.” Listen to “Zenith,” the first track from, Eterna:
Phèdre – Zenith
Kisses is an LA-based electro-pop duo made up of Jesse Kivel & Zinzi Edmundson. Their sophomore album, Kids in LA, is due out May 14th via Cascine and was produced by Saint Etienne’s Pete Wiggs. Kisses is also currently and appropriately on tour with Chad Valley – A surefire dance party in the making. Have a listen to “Air Conditioning,” Kisses‘ synthtastic gem from the new LP:
Kisses – Air Conditioning
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
Is anyone else obsessing over K-X-P‘s recently released sophomore album, II? If not, you should be. Songs like, “Magnetic North,” and “Easy (Infinity Waits)” are pure experimental genius. The dark, rhythmic, psychedelic, disco grooves of each song easily place you under a blissful electro-hinged spell. The occasional bursts of children cheering and monkeys calling are simply the cherry on top of such sweet and sickeningly addicting sounds.
K-X-P, the Finnish, sometimes trio, hailing from Helsinki consists of, as explained on their Facebook page: “Timo Kaukolampi (electronics, vocals and the ‘K’), Tuomo Puranen (bass, keyboards and the ‘P’), and alternating drummers (the ‘X’ – for the mystery) Tomi Leppanen and, in the studio and on rare occasions live, Anssi Nykänen.”
The self-proclaimed “original-electronic-motorhead-space-trance-spiritual-rock-meditation-freejazz-Godz” made their debut back in 2010, but slightly under the radar. However, the boys are back with a vengeance with the release of II earlier this month via Melodic Records (UK) and Manimal & French Kiss (US).
Stream their entire album on Spotify, or find ’em on SoundCloud. I’ve also included a video below in which K-X-P paired a sampling of “Magnetic North” to Finnish footage of a rejected anti-drunk driving television ad from 1986. It was deemed “too fun” to actually be effective. Enjoy:
K-X-P – Easy (Infinity Waits)
K-X-P – Magnetic North
Oooh snap! Get ready for some oh-so-fresh and so clean beats. Chicago raised, San Francisco based rapper/hip hop girl, K.Flay, has just released a 9-track “mixtape,” West Ghost. Flay’s innovative lyrics, unbelievably catchy, electro-hinged beats and collaborations are not only worthy of serious repeat action, but are well deserving of EP/album status.
Stream West Ghost in its entirety on SoundCloud and snag the free download here. Show some love and give the girl a follow on Twitter, Facebook + see her while she’s on tour ASAP, before you miss your chance.
K.Flay – West Ghost (ft. Allen Stone)
K.Flay – Appetite for Consumption
K.Flay – Fvcking Crazy (ft. Eligh & Grieves)
Thank God for fresh goth-pop! The dark, deep, sultry, industrial, synthastic electro beats that make up goth pop seem to have been slightly dimming in the limelight as of late (okay, by like, a few months). However, the hype-worthy Brooklyn based group, Azar Swan, is reviving goth-pop to blinding proportions.
The duo, Zohra Atash and Joshua Strawn (formerly of Religious to Damn) don just two songs: “Lusty,” their latest and appropriately titled release, and “Amirka,” their cult-like following inducing debut single, which thrust the band onto the blogosphere’s radar late last year.
Azar Swan recently opened for Tamaryn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, and rumor has it, their debut album is due out sometime this spring – Eagerly looking forward to it! In the mean time, find Azar Swan on Facebook, Twitter, and SoundCloud.
Azar Swan – Lusty
Azar Swan – Amrika
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.