It’s been too long. In fact, it’s been more than a year-long bout of silence here on coco stereo. It’s also been a rough year, y’hear?
I wasn’t completely silent – It is me we’re talking about. I’d started the radio show, “Cuckoo for Coco’s Pop Underground” on the lovely radio station, BFF.fm. (If you wanna listen to old shows – that haven’t been removed via record labels – they’re on my SoundCloud.)
I ran the show each week for an entire year, and put a ton of time, research, energy and effort into it. This unfortunately butted heads with coco stereo writing time, and the struggle got real.
Alas, I decided to pump the brakes on the radio show as well, ‘cus I needed to figure some shit out, like what the hell I was doing with my life. This is still TBD.
Things have been hard, and they still kinda are. But one day in early May, I heard Nao’s insanely funky jam, “Inhale Exhale,” from her latest EP, February 15, and I decided to do just that, and jump back… at least on to coco stereo.
I can’t guarantee consistency (see life crisis above), but I am going to try to enjoy myself and share some sweet jams with others when I can. I’m also going to try my hardest to avoid the shitty pressure that comes along with music blogging to be the fastest or the first amongst your music snob friends to talk about an artist – ‘cus fuck that shit.
So with that, I present to you the incredibly sexy, smooth, soulful, and funkalicious London-based artist who brought it all (or at least me) back: Nao
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
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
Ugh. Josef Salvat. The London-hailing singer/songwriter consistently releases smooth, sexy, emotionally driven slow jams, each one more addictive than the next. He’s giving sexy slow jam counterparts, Rhye, SOHN, Autre Ne Veut and How to Dress Well a serious run for their money. Luckily for us (but maybe not for them?) Josef Salvat has released yet another ‘ugh’ inducing, heart-swooning, hip swaying track.
“Every Night” is one of two tracks that’ll be released on a double-single, due out December 9th via Fingers & Thumbs. Have a listen and I dare you not to melt:
Josef Salvat – Every Night
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)
Last week, Arthur Ashin aka Autre Ne Veut, the 80s/90s R&B electro ‘bedroom’ artist and Brooklynite, released his highly anticipated album, Anxiety.
This week, we’re graced with the premiere of Autre Ne Veut’s sexy new music video for “Play by Play,” the opening track on Anxiety. The video, produced by Urban Outfitters and directed by Geremy Jasper and Georgie Greville of LEGS, features an emotionally charged Ashin belting lyrics like, “You make me crawl/and make me harder” amongst a meta of karaoke videos. It’s trippy, lustful, moving and totally intense – Enough to make you wanna watch it on repeat 10x, then take a cold shower.
Autre Ne Veut – Play by Play
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.
The Stockholm-hailing duo consists of Andreas Cavaco and Tim Lundblad – Producers who aren’t new this at all. According to Newtimers’ Bandcamp page, “after writing and producing songs for numerous acts (they’re both signed songwriters/producers), the guys got tired of their perfectionist ways and decided to be spontaneous to the fullest.”
The spontaneity is certainly suiting Newtimers well. The Swedes recently made an impact amongst the Blogosphere with their irresistible, catchy R&B jam, “January Love,” (found below) and Ego is a strong follow-up with its smooth and seductive electro sounds.
Have a listen to Ego below, and give “Game Over” and “She’s a Gun” some serious repeat action:
Newtimers – Ego
Newtimers – January Love
The philosophical falsetto God and dreamboat, Tom Krell, aka How to Dress Well, just released a new video for his amazing track “& it was u” off this year’s beloved and emotionally charged LP, Total Loss. The video was written and directed by Luke Gilford, and produced by Urban Outfitters (Okay?) as part of their UO Music Video Series.
Tom Krell was also warmly welcomed back to San Francisco this past week with another stunning performance at the Rickshaw Stop. The venue was packed three-fold in comparison to Krell’s last visit in June, and his performance was even more powerful, emotionally charged, and profound. Krell didn’t cover Janet Jackson’s “Again,” a track that several people were surprisingly eager to hear, but I did catch snippets of Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo”/ INOJ’s “I Want to Be Your Lady Baby” tucked into his Total Loss gems. Krell also belt out some of his coveted R.Kelly jams, a new and intimate track written for his brother (sang A cappella), and interestingly, a falsetto-ed version of Elite Gymnastics‘ “Here in Heaven pt. 3.” Tom Krell/How to Dress Well‘s performances are always a breath of fresh air ironically accompanied by a heavy heart – a necessary experience, enough to give you chills.
Watch How to Dress Well‘s new video for “& it was u” and enjoy his cover of “Here in Heaven pt. 3”
How to Dress Well – & it was u
How to Dress Well – Here in Heaven pt. 3 (Elite Gymnastics Cover)
Jessie Ware has been killin’ it. Earlier this year, the South London hailing songstress, once ‘just a back up singer,’ transformed into a soulful pop star with the release her debut LP, Devotion. The highly regarded album also earned Ware a nomination for the prestigious Mercury Prize.
Earlier this month, Ware once again wowed the music world by collaborating with Japanese teenage producing duo, BenZel, to release a cover of Brownstone’s R&B track, “If You Love Me.” I don’t know what’s more trippy, Ware’s first video for “If You Love Me,” directed by Kate Moross, or the fact that the BenZel boys are only fifteen/sixteen. How this collaboration actually came about is a mystery to most, however, there’s yet another video for “If You Love Me,” and hence, another reason to keep the addictive 90s girl-group cover on repeat.
The new video, directed by Haley Wollens, depicts an angel literally and impressively “stripping” her wings. I can’t decide which video I like the most, so you get both!
Jessie Ware & BenZel – If You Love Me