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
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.'”
Y’all, let’s get funkaay. And, that’s exactly what I’m doing with Blood Orange‘s latest release, “You’re Not Good Enough.” It’s deliciously smooth, upbeat, addictive, funktastic and heart jabbing. Some are even comparing the jam to Prince, thee man, himself. With lyrics like “I never was in love. You know you were never good enough,” it’s hard to imagine a track could be so easy to get down to. However, Devonté Hynes, the man behind the BO band never fails to produce a pop hit. He’s written for Florence and the Machine, Solange, Sky Ferreira, Kylie Minogue and is currently working with Brittany Spears on her upcoming album, after all.
“You’re Not Good Enough” featuring Samantha Urbani on vocals, swiftly follows Blood Orange‘s recent release of “Chamakay,” both of which will be featured on his highly anticipated forthcoming album, Cupid Deluxe due out November 18th. We’ve all been dying to hear the new album, so join me in this mini celebration of pre-LP-release by listening to the pure funk that Blood Orange exudes:
Blood Orange – You’re Not Good Enough
Blood Orange – Chamakay
Experimental art-rockers, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan have been on radars and piquing serious interest ever since their raving 2011 debut album, YT//ST and, “Lamia,” an Adult Swim Single Series release last year. The self-proclaimed “Asian diasporic psychedelic noh-wave opera group,” is a mouthful to say, but luckily a delightful earful as well.
The 6-piece group hailing from Canada describes their sound as a fuse of “noise, metal, pop and folk music into a multidisciplinary hyper-orientalist cesspool of ‘eastern’ culture in giant monochrome paper sets.” Still with us? The group says they blend “Noh, Peking Opera, Buddhist Ritual Punk, Taiko Shows, Tokusatsu, Performance Art, Rock Opera and a cardboard ‘NEVERFLAT’ style of 2.5D set design.” All of this bizarreness wrapped up in one band? You betta believe it!
In eager anticipation, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan have just released a new gem, “One” which can be found on their sophomore LP, UZU due out October 29th via Suicide Squeeze (US) and Paper Bag (Canada) – Exciting! Have a listen and download “One” now:
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – One
Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Lamia
Emilíana Torrini is an Icelandic electro-pop songstress, but don’t call her “new” or “emerging,” as this isn’t her first rodeo. Torrini has as many as 8 albums under her belt (mostly released in Iceland only), and another on the way. Plus, get this, Torrini also sang “Gollum’s Song” in Peter Jackson’s, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – say what!?
The lady’s got an impressive rap sheet, including her latest release, “Speed of Dark.” It’s an addictive and infectious 80s synth-pop gem worthy of serious repeat action. The track can be found on Torrini’s forthcoming LP, Tookah due out September 9th via Rough Trade Records (The Strokes, Arcade Fire Jarvis Cocker, etc.)
Word on the street, however, is that the album will only be released in the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland – Well, thank God for streaming on SoundCloud! The songstress is also currently on tour throughout Europe for the month of November. Have a listen to Torrini’s enchanting new track, “Speed of Dark” now:
Emilíana Torrini – Speed of Dark
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)
Johnny Jewel, house producer and co-founder of the Italians Do It Better label has recently shared two delicious Glass Candy tracks:
1. “The Possessed,” a dreamy glam rock jam that’ll appear on the compilation After Dark II, also featuring Chromatics‘ “Cherry” and “Looking for Love.” According to Gorilla vs. Bear, the track just premiered at a fashion show in Paris (hence the ‘extended runway edit’).
Though After Dark II was announced in July and slotted for an October release, actually release date is still TBD.
2. Geto Boys, a groovy/funky/sexy Glass Candy gem that was originally recorded in 2008, sampling The Geto Boys’ hit “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” and Isaac Hayes’ classic, “Hung Up On My Baby.” Johnny Jewel recently threw the track up on SoundCloud including a free download stating, “Everyone keeps asking me to put this ultra rare 12″ online… Enjoy! xo”
For a good time, listen to Glass Candy, c’mon, don’t be shy:
The ever-so-lovely, intriguing and dreamy voiced Brooklynite, Lorely Rodriguez aka Empress Of, continues to sweep us off our feet with yet another pop gem, “Hat Trick.” The swirling new single can be found on Empress Of‘s soon-to-be-released (April) EP, Systems, via Terrible Records (US) and Double Denim (world-wide).
From her endearing debut 7″ featuring “Don’t Tell Me” and “Champagne,” to her “colorminutes” Youtube clips and curious Craigslist look-a-like website, Empress Of has quickly doused us all in a serious case of swoon.
If you’re headed to Austin for SXSW, Empress Of (a must-see SXSW act) will be making the rounds, including a Gorilla vs. Bear & Yours Truly Showcase, at the Hype Hotel, March 13th. Otherwise, be sure to catch her while on tour with Jamie Lidell throughout March and April.
Empress Of – Hat Trick
Awww, how sweet. For Valentine’s Day, Selebrities, the Brooklyn-based electro “voguish summertime goth” group (Maria Usbeck, Jer Robert Paulin, Josh Paulin & Max Peterson) have given us a treat in the form of a Fleetwood Mac cover. Teaming up with pals Erika Spring & Lissy Trullie, the cover of Fleetwood Mac‘s 1987 hit, “Everywhere” is a dreamy, catchy little number that should certainly warm your heart. Have a listen + download “Everywhere” below, and pretend this valentine is JUST for you. 😉
Selebrities – Everywhere (feat. Erika Spring & Lissy Trullie)
Am I jumping on The Knife bandwagon? Yes, yes, I am… but at least it’s legitimate.
The Internet was all a buzz last week leaking some, dare I say, shite two-minute blips/webrips and crappy bootleg videos all for an eager listen to new sounds from The Knife. Alas, The Knife has luckily and officially dropped a full 10 minute track via SoundCloud AND a Marit Östberg-directed video for their latest release, “Full of Fire.” – It’s a massive, sexy, sensual, synth-tastic banger of a jam that has everyone easily in a frenzy.
The Knife will be dropping a triple LP, Shaking the Habitual, April 18th, 2013 – their first studio album since Silent Shout seven years ago. The album, (tracklist found below), also features an 11 minute track with Shannon Funchess of Light Asylum (!!) – I can only imagine how unbelievably amazing and intense that track alone will be.
Have a listen to “Full of Fire,” watch the official video, and pre-order Shaking the Habitual here.
The Knife – Full of Fire
Shaking the Habitual tracklist and count courtesy of Gorilla vs. Bear:
A Tooth for an Eye — 6:04
Full of Fire — 9:17
A Cherry on Top — 8:43
Without You My Life Would Be Boring — 5:14
Wrap Your Arms Around Me — 4:36
Crake — 0:55
Old Dreams Waiting to Be Realized — 19:02
Raging Lung — 9:58
Networking — 6:42
Oryx — 0:37
Stay Out Here (feat. Shannon Funchess) — 10:42
Fracking Fluid Injection — 9:54
Ready to Lose — 4:36