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
Everyone in the music realm, particularly amongst new music fanatics and the blogosphere, loves to use the phrase, “Don’t sleep on this band.” What the hell does that mean? In layman’s terms it means, “Listen to this band right fucking now ‘cus they’re gonna be huge, and if you don’t, you’ll be sorry, you’re a sucker, and you don’t have any music credibility,” or at least, that’s how I take it.
But you know what? Sometimes you’re just too obsessed with several other breakout bands that you don’t have time to give every amazing new band equal attention. So what do you end up doing? ZZZzz… Sleeping on that band! But it’s OK, your music cred is still intact… for now. Should you have slept on that band? Nah, but we all do, ‘cus guess what? Life and other bands happen, and it’s never too late to join the music partay.
So with that, here is part one of a series (yes a series) of mostly breakout bands from the last year (and are ready to rumble in the next) that you may have possibly slept on. You’re forgiven… once you start listening. Now enjoy:
Courtney Barnett is a Melbourne, OZ based singer/songwriter with an amazing, refreshing and interesting matter-of-fact, conversational approach to her music. Barnett’s 2012 EP, I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris, put her on the map, then her presence at the CMJ Music Marathon this last year wowed and wooed music lovers alike. Since then, her name has been sprinkled on “Musicians to watch” lists to an endless degree, and for a good reason. Barnett released a double EP this year, A Sea of Split Peas. Listen for a good time:
Courtney Barnett – Avant Gardener
Speedy Ortiz is the Massachusetts hailing pop punk band everyone loves to rave about post-sleep. It’s as if Speedy Ortiz slapped us silly with their rippin’ punk rock and we were astonished with the revelation that we’ve been sans-Speedy all this time. Originally starting out as front woman Sadie Dupuis’s solo project while working at a song writing summer camp, the band has flourished into a successfully loud four-piece. And, this year has been a rockin’ one for the group indeed. They signed to Carpark Records and released a roaring full-length, Major Arcana which landed them a “Best New Music” label via Pitchfork… if you want that to mean anything. They’ve also just announced a new EP, Real Hair, on the bill for February, 2014. Can’t stop ’em now!
Speedy Ortiz – Everything’s Bigger
Speedy Ortiz – No Below
Can’t get enough punk? Meet: Tweens, the scrappy, ragin’ “trash pop” trio from Cincinnati, Ohio who want you to be mean. They have just a handful of jams, but they’re gnarly enough to land the band on several “breakout band” lists across the punk rock land. Word on the street is that they’ll have a full length LP due out early 2014. Well, that’s certainly sweet for some mean tweens:
Tweens – Be Mean
Nothankyou is a new project/collaboration consisting of indie-popper Tom Vek, and Dirty Projectors’ Olga Bell (also formerly from Chairlift) Whadda combo! According to Moshi Moshi Records, to which the duo is signed to, Vek and Bell, “met” on Myspace several years ago when, as Vek explains was “a window of about a week when I was speaking to people over social media.” The two kept in contact through out the years, but “eventually, inevitably, they found themselves at the same Creators Project party in Brazil.” Funny, I inevitably and randomly run into people at parties in Brazil all the time too! The result of the two is pure bliss in electro-pop form.
The pair recently released two gems, “Know Yourself” and “Oyster” which will be released August 5th as a limited edition 7″ vinyl and download. If you’re eager for even more of Nothankyou’s addicting sound, the duo states “…more may come, especially if you are polite and firm.” Until then, have at it! Stream “Know Yourself” and “Oyster” below – Yesthankyou!
Nothankyou – Oyster
Nothankyou – Know Yourself
Leading ladies have been dominating my music feed as of late, which I have to say has been highly refreshing. It was also an undeniable consensus that female fatales were reining and ruling the stage at SXSW, stealing the ears and hearts of many. This trend still seems to be pleasantly going strong. So with that, I present to you a plethora of amazing, rockin’, innovative and fresh new music, starring either fierce all-female bands and/or leading ladies. Enjoy:
Dungeonesse is the new collaboration and electro-bubbglegum-pop project of Jenn Wasner (Wye Oak) and John Ehrens (White Life). I recently stumbled upon them via last.fm, as they were listed as one of Mozart’s Sister‘s “related artists” – Thank you last.fm! However, in my research, I see they’ve already made an appearance on Pitchfork, of course. “Shucks,” is a highly addictive 90s-esque pop single from Dungeonesse‘s self-titled debut album due out May 14th via Secretly Canadian – Looking forward to hearing more sugary pop gems.
Dungeonesse – Shucks
Savages is the epitome of fierce all-female bands. The rockin’ post-punk quad hailing from the depths of London recently came to San Francisco for the very first time, and it blatantly displayed and unleashed each member’s unbelievable talent. They’ve also just released a video for, “Shut Up,” the opening single for their soon-to-be-released album, Silence Yourself, due out May 6/7th via Matador. Watch the video and witness the magnificence in action for yourself:
Savages – Shut Up
TEEN is the all-female Brooklyn based lo-fi-indie band made up of Kristina (Teeny) Lieberson (Here We Go Magic), her sisters, Katherine and Lizzie, and their BFF, Jane Herships. They’ve been on lots o’ radars since their debut LP, In Limbo, dropped last year via Carpark Records. Recently, they teamed up with Ben Greenberg, of The Men to produce this psychedelic gem and cover of Rain Parade‘s, “Prisoners.”
TEEN – Prisoners (Rain Parade Cover)
Songstress, Jessie Ware has been on a whirlwind tour with the success of her debut LP, Devotion, and she recently graced San Francisco with her presence. It was an absolute treat to see that Ware is just as talented, stunning, charming and cheeky in person. Just yesterday, Ware created yet another sandstorm of swoon and blew up the blogosphere with her smooth rendition of Martika‘s 1991 single, “Love Thy Will Be Done,” co-written by none other than Prince. Enjoy:
Jessie Ware – Love Thy Will Be Done (Martika Cover)
Gita is the up-and-coming NY via Oakland rapper who raised many an eyebrow and piqued quite a few ears last year. She was featured in Fool’s Gold‘s Loosies compilation, made an appearance in Mishka’s Spring 2012 Lookbook, and dropped her highly addictive single and video, “Hood Rich” produced by DJ Two Tracks (which is also available for download below, heyooo). Granted, the single was unleashed to the internet late last year, but it’s featured on her soon-to-be-released (and free) EP, Escaping The Dream World, due out in May. In this interview with Vice, Gita even comments on women in the rapping world:
Vice: …last year rap was a huge sausage fest…
Gita: Sausage galore! But there’s SO much room for females right now.
Vice: Girl Power to you Gita.
Gita – Hood Rich
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)
While wandering the streets of Austin, Texas in the chaos that is SXSW, I received an email from New Zealand born, London-hailing Sarah Kelleher. In that email contained links to these sultry and hypnotic “minimal wave” tracks that make up Kelleher’s music project, Misfit Mod.
Misfit Mod‘s fragile yet catchy gems like “Queen Love Zero,” and “Cars” can be found on her recently released debut LP, Islands & Islands via Brooklyn boutique record label, Stars & Letters.
Kelleher stated in her email that she’s “really into bands like Gang Gang Dance, TLC and Arthur Russell.” The random combination of Misfit Mod‘s influences is obviously working in her favor, as she’s created a plethora of seductive, magnetic jams. Have a listen for yourself and find Misfit Mod on SoundCloud and/or Facebook.
Misfit Mod – Queen Love Zero
Misfit Mod – Cars
Want something to be thoroughly addicted to? Meet: Jackson Scott. He’s a “scrappy indie-pop” 4-track recording, guitar jammin’ singer/songwriter hailing from Asheville, North Carolina. He reminds me of a child-like Elliott Smith meets Mac DeMarco meets Atlas Sound – An amazing trifecta of sound all rolled into one. I also get a hint of Daniel Johnston… maybe it’s the basement home recording and creepy kid piano tones.
When looking for info about Jackson Scott, there’s not much to go off of except a simple Tumblr, containing all of one photo, and a SoundCloud page donning three tracks: “Evie,” “That Awful Sound,” and “Sandy.” According to this post and convo Scott had with PORTALS, we at least know he’s a (kind of ) a college student: “I haven’t been going to college since last spring because my parents wanted me to take a year off and work and get in state residence in NC, but I’ve basically been spending my college funds on avoiding getting a job, thinking about music, writing songs and other things…” Either way, he’s also apparently already made it into Pitchfork’s “best new music” section within a flash – Impressive, but it’s easy to hear why:
Jackson Scott – That Awful Sound
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.
Twigs (update: now FKA Twigs) is a new, semi-mysterious UK-based electro-pop artist that everyone is losing their shit over (and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible). The sultry songstress has swiftly joined the ranks of MØ, Kate Boy and Empress Of by stirring up major hype amongst the blogosphere, and it’s easy to see why. Twigs’ sullen vocals and glitchy synth make for a unique, dark electro-pop sound that leaves you aching for more. The possible model and dancer’s rapid fire fame has landed her on the cover of i-D’s “The Just Kids” issue and The Fader called Twigs a “grown up Grimes.”
Twigs released a self-titled EP on Bandcamp earlier this month and dons a series of interesting and slightly eerie videos directed by Grace Ladoja. Find Twigs on Tumblr, Bandcamp, YouTube and Instagram if you please.
Twigs – Ache
Twigs – Breathe
Has anyone noticed that the woman featured in this video has zero hips!?
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