For something more subtle and indisputably beautiful, tune into No Excuse, by Canadian producer Jacques Greene. The song is the first taster off new 3 track EP titled Phantom Vibrate, out April 28 on LuckyMe. And wow, what an incredibly textured journey of a song it is. It’s a foggy listen with endless captivating ebbs and tides, paired with soothing R&B vocals and hypnotizing, clattering beats. The song sparkles fluidly, like a reflection across a shadowy body of water at night. Brilliant. I can’t wait to hear the other two tracks off the EP.
Here’s another melodic one for the EDM-heads. Actualy, it’s one for those who like their EDM filthy. From what I can tell, Zedd’s one of the hottest electronic acts these past few months. Check out the Panic City and GRAVES remix of Find You. The song starts off melodic and clean, then the trap beats drop in a very Diplo-esque style.
I’m very glad that New Jersey electronic act Cash Cash seems to have really taken over some spotlight lately. I know when I start seeing people post from Cash Cash shows and club nights on my Facebook feed, that the act must be doing well. Well, honestly, how can they not be on the track to success with all the amazing remixes and catchy, high energy songs they’ve given us? Their list of collaborators is growing with time, too. Their latest one is with John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls. Unsurprisingly, Lightning is a vivid, electrifying house anthem, perfect for fans of SHM and the like.
Of course, one of the biggest piece of music news to come out of today is this collaboration between the great helmeted duo Daft Punk and the one and only Jay-Z. There were rumors of a collaboration for some time now, but anything Daft Punk related must always be taken with a grain of salt and much careful apprehension. I mean, these are the dudes who play the trash fence at Burning Man every year, right? For every piece of Daft Punk music out there, or coming out, or barely out, we get a ton more fakes, loops, and questionable proclamations. I did some vetting and research throughout the day, and from everything I’ve gleaned off the internet, Computerized is indeed real. Supposedly, the track was created for Random Access Memories, but never made it on. Then again, there’s a very Tron Legacy soundtrack feel to this tune, so there are those who believe the song was recorded during the Tron days. After all, Jay-Z refers to his BLACKBERRY. In anycase, it’s real, but it’s moment of inception is much in question. Jay-Z and Daft Punk. Boom.
Well, this is certainly a combination of two things I like a lot. Hellogoodbye’s (Everything Is) Debatable is a helluva alt pop anthem with endless bounds of stomping energy and hooks. Minneapolis musician Sombear, aka Brad Hale of Now, Now, blew me away last year with debut album Love You In The Dark. In my opinion, it was one of the most underrated albums of the year and it certainly took a commendable spot on my top albums of 2013 list. I’m still kind of bummed Sombear never toured his way over to San Francisco for the album. I still thirst to see him and hear tunes off that debut live. From what I’ve heard from others, I did not stand alone in my reverence for Sombear and his debut album. Maybe we’ll get to see him this year. In anycase, the talented musician remixed Hellogoodbye’s (Everything Is) Debatable, giving it some electro house flair, yet leaving the vocals and vivacious, catchy chorus intact.
I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for Swedish singer songwriter Sailor & I, aka Alexander Sjodin, to drop a new tune. It’s been eight months since I fervently fell in love with his debut single Tough Love (and made my friend fall, too). In the interim, some cool Tough Love remixes were dropped, but no new material was announced. Oh happy days when I ran into a remix of a new song. The original isn’t out yet (*taps feet impatiently*), but the Âme Remix of Turn Around is already inconceivably delicious and intoxicating. There’s a minimalist techno vibe to the soundscape, and Sailor & I’s vocals are as mesmerizing as ever, simmering in the dark beats and atmospheric spaciousness. I’m digging this, but I can’t wait to hear the original edit. Let’s visit the stringy, orchestral, and gorgeous Tough Love below, too, shall we?
I’m sure many people were waiting for this to be previewed today. Converse’s Three Artists, One Song series teased us recently with news that their latest tune would be a collaboration between The Clash, Diplo, and Frank Ocean. They always have surprising match ups, and this one was no different. Well, here it is! Hero, by Frank Ocean, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon, and Diplo. The song also features vocals by the West Los Angeles Children’s Choir. Hero is a cool and super smooth track that blends retro elements with Frank Ocean’s urban style. If there’s one thing I’ve learned today, it’s that Frank Ocean likes Converse, but not Chipotle. Google if you don’t get that.
A couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a very swoon worthy single by a Brooklyn synthpop band named Future Of What. The Rainbowed Air is a sublime and dreamy lead song off their coming debut album Pro Dreams, out later this year. According to the band itself, the music they make is “makeout music about dreamlife and death”. That sounds good to me.
What do you get when you combine Holograms’ Andreas Lagerstrom, Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum, and Beach Fossils’ Dustin Payseur into one supergroup? You get superband The Snow, and a very, very The Smiths’ evoking tune, with a touch of Robert Smith (double Smiths!). The deliciously hazy Memory Loss will drop on Record Store Day as a double A side along with another tune, Joy Of Life.
UK trio CHAMPS certainly made me fall hard when I heard their beautiful, folksy beauty St. Peter’s. I haven’t had a chance to revisit the song for a couple weeks now, but today’s cinematic, violent video returned me to the song, and boy, did I fall again. The heart melting song is off their debut album Down Like Gold, out last month. St. Peter’s is a misleadingly simple, acoustic flavored song, filled with pensive, bittersweet power. It leaves quite the imprint long after hearing it.
It’s too bad I missed NO’s performance in San Francisco during Noise Pop Festival a week ago, so I’m really hoping they’ll make their way back again soon. You guys out there? Come back! Soon! The Los Angeles band’s brand of brooding indie rock music appealed to me immediately. The baritone, moody vocals bring to mind Matt Berninger of The National with perhaps a touch of Neil Diamond or the Boss, and if you’ve been paying attention, you know how much I’ve dug The National’s music, especially last year’s album Trouble Will Find Me. NO released their debut album El Prado a short while ago on Arts and Crafts, and it’s another excellent full length. Leave The Door Wide Open is the opening track on the album. Watch the video for the single below. As I said before, this is a band to watch.
I’m very much enjoying Bear Hands’ sophomore album Distraction, which just dropped recently. On it is their insanely infectious single Giants, and today, the Brooklyn indie rock band released a video for the warm tune. It’s one of many favorites of mine off the new album. One other track I really gravitate towards is Bone Digger, which immensely reminds me of 2010 debut album tune Crime Pays. That was the song that first got me into Bear Hands. This April, I get to see Bear Hands live at Popscene in SF, and it’s been a long time coming.