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
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)
Yeah, yeah, yeah! LE1F‘s new Fly Zone mixtape has finally arrived! The (free) 13-track compilation is, according to The Fader, courtesy of Camp & Street and Greedhead, the Palms Out Sounds side-label run by LEIF.
Fly Zone, (including “Coins,” LE1F‘s teaser and already deemed massive track), follows last year’s provocative mixtape, Dark York, which thrust the openly gay hip-hop artist into the limelight. Since then, LE1F’s sound and persona have become widely and wildly beloved, which you can see and hear for yourself below.
As Interview Magazine so eloquently stated, “The New York-native’s flow is seamless and entrancing, his quick wit and confidence turning hip-hop taboos into future trends, while his hybrid beats are ambient and airy, never losing their bounce.”
Stream LE1F‘s Fly Zone mixtape below or download it here.
And, have you seen LE1F‘s latest video for “Soda“? No? Well here you go, just because:
LE1F – Soda
Azealia Banks and Angel Haze are in the midst of a full-blown bitch fight? Well, duh. Who didn’t anticipate this ticking time bomb of tension to explode at any given notice? The igniting factor? A passive aggressive tweet, of course.
As BrooklynVegan pointed out, “Azealia Banks tweeted, ‘Seriously, if you were not born and raised in NY…. DON’T CLAIM NY. YOU ARE NOT A NEW YORKER.’ Angel Haze apparently took this to be a direct shot at her and her track “New York” and a Twitter fight ensued.” To add fuel to the fire, Perez Hilton thrust himself into the tweet rage, and Banks called him a F****t. Woah.
Regardless of the (still continuing!) saga, we all get to enjoy the “bitch!” name calling fest in the form of a fresh track smackdown. How long will the cat fight ensue, and who will win this epic battle of rebuttals? You decide:
Azealia Banks – No Problems
With all the year-end list churning goin’ on, there’s a whole lot of review, reflection and occasional discoveries. However, there’s also still a ton of phonomenal new music to be listened to – Some of which would very well make those “best of 2012” lists, ‘cus you know, the year isn’t actually over yet. So with that, I present to you a plethora of fresh new tracks so good you’d wished you’d waited on your year-end list release:
Sindri Már Sigfússon aka Sin Fang is an indie-pop act from the land of beautiful people i.e., Iceland. He apparently has an affinity for wearing beards made out of ‘stuff’ based off his upcoming and previous album images. “Young Boys” is a catchy number from Sing Fang‘s forthcoming LP, Flowers, due Jan. 2, 2013 (Feb. 19, U.S).
Sin Fang – Young Boys
Broke for Free is an alias of instrumental, electro glitch-hop artist and Oakland, California’s very finest, Tom Cascino. “Budding” is the lead track from Broke for Free‘s recently released EP, Gold Can Stay, and it’s a beaut of unique, melodic proportions.
Broke for Free – Budding
L’Orange is unique blend of hip hop, 20s sampling/nostalgia and Film Noir influences. He’s a poet and producer from North Carolina piquing the interest and ears of many with his eccentric blends. “Alone” is the debut singe from L’Orange‘s recently released LP, The Mad Writer featuring powerhouse LA-based rapper, Blu. Have a listen to the originality now:
L’Orange – Alone (feat. Blu)
Mykki Blanco is somethin’ else. The word “spectacular” comes to mind. She’s a 25 year-old, New York City dominating Queen of “acid punk rap” who has two self-proclaimed sides: “cute and criminally insane.”
As the alter-ego of originally born, Michael David Quattlebaum Jr., Mykki Blanco (as stated in Pitchfork’s article: We Invented Swag: NYC’s Queer Rap) is breaking down traditional hip-hop identities.
“We’re living in a time where the mediocrity of mainstream pop culture is at an all-time high… Who gives a fuck [about being mainstream]? I’m not trying to be in the 40/40 Club popping bottles while rappers throw hundred-dollar bills on strippers. I’m just out to make my audience happy, fulfill my creative vision, and be successful on my own terms, which is doable.” – The Multiplicities of Mykki Blanco, Interview Magazine.
Blanco isn’t just a “teenage girl rapper” though. Quattlebaum and Blanco as one is a multi-faceted emerging artist with an impressive resume, adding performance artist, actor, fashionista and poet to the list. As a result, Blanco’s independent, artistic hip-hop femme fatale persona and fresh sounds rule our ears, reign our attention and result in obsession.
Mykki Blanco‘s also been working fast and furiously having just dropped a bouncin’ 15-track mixtape, Cosmic Angel: Illuminati Prince/ss. The mixtape includes an impressive collaboration of producers like Flosstradamus, Le1f, Gatekeeper and more. Addictive tracks like “Wavvy,” “Haze.Boogie.Life,” and “Fuckin the DJ” have placed Blanco in our minds and on our maps… and luckily for us, she’s just getting started.
Mykki Blanco – Haze.Boogie.Life
I recently saw Kendrick Lamar, the Compton hailing rapper with a serious cult following, play at The Warfield in San Francisco as part of the BET Music Matters Tour. If you think this is amusing, you’re not alone, as I apparently stood out like a sore thumb. But as Lamar so eloquently states, “uh uh, fuck that.”
As I passed through two sets of security, and waved off the $13 beers, I entered the venue doors. A sea of arm waving, head nodding, energy buzzing fans, a wall of smoke so thick it could’ve been cut with a knife, and a suffocating blanket of damp heat welcomed me to the world of Kendrick Lamar.
It was apparent by the crowd that Lamar’s fans are hardcore – They were lit up, getting down, and jumping, jamming and yelling every lyric along with their beloved 5’6″ hip hop wunderkind of only 25. Lamar took requests from the crowd letting them determine the direction of the show. He sat on a chair, having a heart-to-hearts with his fans. Pointing into the crowd, he asked, “What’s your name? Shannon? Let me ask you something Shannon. If you had a boyfriend, would you be faithful?” “Everybody, are you faithful?” and the crowd gleefully screamed, “NOOOOooo!”
Lamar continued to swoon the audience with a revised edition of The Recipe, replacing the words “L.A” with “The Bay,” to which his San Francisco/Oakland fan-base yelled wildly and appreciatively.
It’s clear Lamar is an entrancing entertainer, but the love his fan-base gives him is rightfully earned due to his talent, which is evident more than ever in his latest (October 22nd) LP, good kid, mA.A.d city via Interscope Records. The album includes a slew of guest musicians including Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Drake, J Rock and more. It’s an amazing compilation of smooth beats, fresh lyrics and a little storytelling. Stream the entire album on Spotify and experience the addiction that is Kendrick Lamar.
Kendrick Lamar – Swimming Pools (Drank)
Kendrick Lamar – The Recipe (feat. Dr. Dre)