Everyone can let out a larger than life sigh of relief; The glorious and ever-so-sweet synth-pop princess, Empress Of is back with a serious vengeance.
Lorely Rodriguez aka Empress Of is a lovely 25-year-old, LA-raised, Brooklyn-based artist with the dreamiest of voices and the most bumpin’ beats, which she apparently started making at the age of 17. According to this interview in Fader, Rodriguez also studied production and audio engineering at Berklee College of Music in Boston before moving to NYC in 2011.
Some extremely talented artists come along, release a couple of obsessive-worthy tracks, disappear, and you hope like hell they reappear once again, but they never do. This luckily isn’t the case with Empress Of.
Have a listen to four amazingly slammin’ synth-pop tracks found on Me and rejoice in her reemergence. (p.s. The album is premiering and playing in full over at Hype Machine right now)
Empress Of – Kitty Kat
Empress Of – Standard
Empress Of – Water Water
Empress Of – How Do You Do It
The other night, I was stepping off BART when a late-20s-something guy waiting for a train going the opposite direction perked his head up, twisted his neck in my direction, and looked me right in the eyes.
I see this as I’m still three people deep from exiting the train, and I’m curious, but also cautious. Do I encourage this behavior by engaging with his stare, or am I asking for trouble?
Once I reach the platform, I look back at him and take a right out of the train towards the stairs. Before I quickly disappear out of range, the guy yells across the platform at me, “Can I ask you a question?!” I continue to walk towards the exit, but I turn to look at him, and raise my eyebrows out of curiousity.
He takes this as a yes, and projects even louder now that I’m further away. “Has anyone ever broken your heart!?” he shouts. I turn my head back towards him, consider whether I should even participate, then give him a sincere and hearty, “YES!” He’s taken aback by my answer, but he smiles, then looks down into his lap and crumples his face in confusion and pain. He shoots his head back up and shouts back at me, “WHY!?” I took the corner, and up the escalator I went.
Why would someone ever break my heart? Good question. It isn’t easy trying to navigate the “why” of heartbreak. I just know it’s really fucking painful, and I’m not very good at handling it well. Which brings me to Widowspeak.
The dreamy, psych-folk rock, “earth tone pop” duo out of Brooklyn, NY has perfectly captured the wavelengths heartbreak creates with their latest, insanely beautiful jams. The songs can be found on Widowspeak‘s latest album, “All Yours.” It’s due out September 4th, and is titled after one of their most gorgeous, and accessible tracks about heartbreak aftermath. The album is also currently streaming on KCRW.
I highly recommend you soak in the essence of these jams, but with this word of warning: these beautiful tracks may elicit some serious sadness or nostalgia, ignite flames of heartache, and leave you wondering, “WHY!?” Enjoy:
Widowspeak – All Yours
Widowspeak – Dead Love (So Still)
Widowspeak – Girls
Mozart’s Sister has been one of my most consistent musical obsessions over the last three years. I’ve been clinging on to her 3-track EP, Dear Fear, originally self-released in 2011, for what feels like an eternity.
Caila Thompson-Hannant aka Mozart’s Sister re-released Dear Fear as Hello in 2013 with the addition of one more track via Merok Records. With little-to-no news about further releases, my consistent anticipation for amazing electro-pop pureness from the Montreal-hailing songstress remained faithful.
Today, news of her debut album, Being, is finally here, and it’s due out August 5th (!!!) via Asthmatic Kitty Records. We’re also given a glimpse of the record with the release of a new track and video for, “Enjoy.”
According to Asthmatic Kitty, “inspired by Discovery-era Daft Punk, Post-era Bjork, and Betty Davis, Caila produced, recorded and wrote Being using a cheap sound card and Ableton software, approaching it with a do-it-all-by-my-self ideology… ‘Being is a fracture,’ says Caila. ‘A note between thought and expression. When I wrote this record I was riding a wave of light and dark; I still am. It’s not a twisted path but one that aspires to harmony. In all the little bits that make up the bulk of the ‘songs’ of this album is a jump. So here I am jumping into your mercy, a leap I will never forget. I feel the future can only bring better or worse and definitely not the same. So this record is a thing that will never happen again. I hope you enjoy it.'”
Oh, Tom Krell, you’re simply the best! How to Dress Well, the moniker for the beloved Chicago-Brooklyn-Berlin based soulful singer-songwriter with twinkling eyes and a magnetic stage presence has announced this morning the arrival of a new LP, What is This Heart? The album is due out June 23rd (UK, Europe)/24th (USA) via Weird World and Domino including a deluxe limited edition LP. On his blog Krell stated, “The deluxe lp is sooooo special and amazing, really excited to share it w uuuuu xoxoxoxox <3.”
Have a listen to two lovely new singles from the highly anticipated album: “Repeat Pleasure,” and “Words I Don’t Remember”
What is This Heart? tracklist:
1. 2 Years On (Shame Dream)
2. What You Wanted
3. Face Again
4. See You Fall
5. Repeat Pleasure
6. Words I Don’t Remember
7. Pour Cyril
8. Precious Love
9. Childhood Faith In Love (Everything Must Change, Everything Must Stay The Same)
10. A Power
11. Very Best Friend
12. House Inside (Future Is Older Than The Past)
How to Dress Well – Repeat Pleasure
How to Dress Well – Words I Don’t Remember
I know it’s April fool’s day and all, but I can’t be bothered to actually pull any pranks (I’m terrible at ’em anyway). I do, however, have some very real and amazing news about what else today represents: Album release day; hooray! Three very different, but talented and beloved bands, Timber Timbre, Mac DeMarco and Pure X have all released brand new LPs, Hot Dreams, Salad Days and Angel, on this fit for tricks day. Whether you’ve already been stumped, deluded and/or duped today, I bring you some refreshing musical truth:
Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams via Arts & Crafts
Timber Timbre is a dark, beautiful, semi-spooky, and sometimes described as “swampy” Canadian folk project and trio made up of Taylor Kirk, Simon Trottier and Mika Posen. Their moniker refers to a timber-framed cabin set in the wooded outskirts of Bobcaygeon Ontario where they made an early series of recordings. Hot Dreams is their 5th (yes, 5th!) album.
Timber Timbre – Hot Dreams
Timber Timbre – Curtains?!
Mac DeMarco – Salad Days via Captured Tracks
Oh, Mac DeMarc0. He’s everyone’s favorite goofy, guitar slingin’ Canadian crooner (who’s now currently residing in Brooklyn). Since the release of his wacky LP, Rock and Roll Night Club in 2012 (technically his first album), and the blow up of his second album, Mac DeMarco 2, that soon followed after, the 23-year-old seems to be on a never-ending whirlwind tour of mischievousness. Banging out Metallica covers, smoking endless cigarettes, and playing his catchy, crooner crowd pleasers to thousands over and over again, Mac may look tired, but no one is of his music. He’s come a long way since his days of Rock and Roll Night Club. With the release of Salad Days, which touches on more personal and semi-serious tops, like the inability for his long-time girlfriend, “Kiki” to stay legally in the United States in “Let My Baby Stay,” it seems as if Mac’s all grown up… kind of.
Mac DeMarco – Passing Out Pieces
Mac DeMarc0 – Brother
Pure X – Angel via Fat Possum
Pure X is Austin, Texas’s billowy, psychedelic chillwave quartet (formerly known as Pure Ecstasy). Angel is the group’s 3rd album and according to their LP promo material, Angel was written and recorded over just 5 days in a hundred-year-old dance hall situated in a small town in central Texas. Drummer Austin Youngblood described the album as “a record for the ladies, about the ladies.” Now, who can resist?
Pure X – Starlight
Pure X – Heaven
Oh, to be 17 again. Your days are filled with grilled cheese sandwiches, school dances, day dreams of crushes, boredom-induced chaos with friends, hormones and lots of angst. Luckily, this all makes for some ridiculously catchy and dreamy garage pop.
Enter: Cherry Glazerr, the LA-based three-piece whose 17-year-old frontwoman and guitarist, Clementine Creevy has being a “Teenage girl” down to a T, because she is one… duh. Cherry Glazerr, whose name is a take on local Southern California KCRW anchor, Chery Glaser, recently released their sugary adrenaline-filled debut album, Haxel Princess, via Burger Records. One listen and you’ll be hooked like a teen on… whatever they’re hooked on these days. It’s been a while.
Cherry Glazerr – Trick or Treat Dancefloor
Cherry Glazerr – Grilled Cheese
Cherry Glazerr – All My Friends
Cherry Glazerr – White’s Not My Color This Evening
Wet is a new up-and-coming Brooklyn-based trio creating some steady hubbub in the music blogosphere. They’re producing ridiculously catchy, beautiful and refreshing pop songs (with heavy themes) at a consistent rate. Today, their self-titled EP is officially out (stream below), which has been a bright and sparkling joy in my listening life as of late.
If you’re gallivanting through the madness at CMJ Music Marathon in NYC this week, Wet is playing tonight (10/15) at the Bowery Ballroom, The Fader Fort at Converse Rubber Tracks, as well as the Santos Party House for Neon Gold’s Showcase (with HEARTS) on Thursday, 10/17, and Baby’s All Right on Friday, 10/18.