Austin duo NÄM produced one of our favorite tracks of the month with their horn-laced, glitchy wonder “Shaken Tight”.
The lead track from their Umlaut EP, “Shaken Tight” starts cautiously. Trembling vocals and stark piano chords set the stage for what sounds like a ballad, before giving way to chopped up loops, a percussive build, and of course, everyone’s favorite: horn harmonies.
The chorus hits — Oh, you don’t know how I feel — the horns reach their crescendo, and the emotive head-bob is in full effect. As a friend over at the aftermath described it, “this one bangs on the low”.
If you found yourself playing “My Boo” throughout all the running man hype and thinking ‘wow, I forgot (or never knew) how good this song was’, MARLENE’s “All I Want” is for you. With gentle synth strums, a minimalist snare-driven beat, and ballad-esque vocals, “All I Want” sounds like it came straight from a Mariah Carey or Janet Jackson album.
Not that exciting? Not that original, you say? Well, to be in the same sentence as Mariah and Janet would suggest that MARLENE’s vocals are on point (hint: they are). But the young Swedish artist doesn’t stop there. MARLENE adds her own spin to the well-traveled genre, chopping up the chorus and adding some 808s for a delightfully glitchy feel.
Antwerp four-piece, Felix Pallas have been on heavy rotation over the past couple of weeks. We first caught wind of the group via their second release “CURSE” and quickly backtracked to find their debut, “RAKATA” — props for sharing a track title with Wisin & Yandel’s 2005 hit.
The group describes their sound as ‘alien synth pop’, but for most earth dwellers that might not resonate, so we’ll put it in simpler terms: powerful falsetto, eerie, ambient synth-work, electric guitar, and slow-building percussion — all wrapped neatly under a big pop bow.
“CURSE” is a slow-burner. A pained, longing love song.
“RAKATA” is a dancer. Pulsing pop-rock with a dark edge.
Both are promising cuts from a promising group. Listen above and stay tuned.
Terror Jr — another victim of my prolonged hiatus.
The dream-pop collective (made up of Felix Snow, David aka Campa, and Lisa) has released 3 killer tracks to date in “3 Strikes”, “Sugar”, and most recently “Trippin”.
On first listen I thought they were kiiara. I wasn’t far off. Felix Snow and David aka Campa make up the production that has been behind
Felix Snow and David aka Campa make up the production team that has been behind kiiara’s hits, so naturally their sound was going to come through — just look at kiiara’s “Gold” and Terror Jr’s “3 Strikes”, the parallels are undeniable.
Now, for some, that would signal a lack of originality or a recycling of sounds. Perhaps, but as BIG fans of lil kii kii’s brand of future R&B, Terror Jr’s cuts were a welcome addition to the scene. Check out the three tracks below (“Trippin” is the fave thanks to its Jamie xx sample) and follow along as the Terror trio continues to build.
I hate to admit it, but work has been dominating. Time away from posting means that music accumulates. Free time is hard to come by, so when I finally do have a minute to hop on here, I’ve got quite the list of songs to catch up on. So, I’ll do my best. It’s not the ideal way of sharing music, but we’ll make it work.
Radiohead – Daydreaming
A without posting meant not covering Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool. Whoops. Are credible music sources not supposed to miss Radiohead albums? Sorry. We listened and we loved it. “Daydreaming” was as good as any. This goes beyond me, beyond you…we are just happy to serve you
Nick Leng – Drivers
Nick Leng buzz has burgeoned over the past couple of months thanks to two excellent releases in “Playing With Fire” and more recently, “Drivers”. Thoughtful, indie pop-rock with airy melodies and downright catchy choruses. Listen up.
Glass Animals – Life Itself
Come back down to my knees . Glass Animals listeners everywhere assumed a position of praise after the Oxford collective dropped “Life Itself” a few weeks back. I was no different. This track is big.
Chance the Rapper – No Problem
Cameo central and more great music from Chance. Remember labels, you don’t want no problem with this guy.
TOULOUSE – Hurtin’
Soul, soul, soul. That’s what TOULOUSE brought on his stunning debut “Hurtin'”. Fellow vocal-savant Gallant calls it “objectively incredible”, we’ll call it dispassionately marvelous. You just need to press play.
Joey Purp – Girls @ feat. Chance the Rapper
Tracks to get hype to in 2016. “Girls”. Joey Purp wants to know where they’re @ and Chance delivers one of my favorite verses of the year.
Small Talk has been a steady supplier of clever vignettes for the past year plus. Each track has been marked by a unique blending of genres — downtempo electro, soul, R&B, acoustic — or a sound divergent from the previous release. “Hazey”, a hum-driven, haunting instrumental, is no different.
Flume – Tiny Cities feat. Beck
Power collab #1 from Flume, as the Australian DJ paired with Beck for an ambient, masterpiece in “Tiny Cities”.
Flume – Lose Control feat. Vic Mensa
Power collab #2, this time with Vic Mensa on the mic. Flume beats + Mensa verses can’t (and didn’t) fail.
James Blake – I Need A Forest Fire feat. Bon Iver
Radiohead weren’t the only big name to drop a surprise release this month. James Blake joined in on the fun too with Anything In Colour . Here’s his minimalist beauty “I Need A Forest Fire” alongside Bon Iver.
Shura – What’s It Gonna Be?
Glimmering 80s-infused pop has always been Shura’s strong suit. We’ve always loved glimmering 80s-infused pop. “What’s It Going To Be?” is just that. Feel free to snap your fingers and wave your wrists back and forth, it would only be appropriate.
MØ – Final Song
While I’m not a fan of appropriation (yes, I’m talking to you Biebs, Major Lazer, and now MØ), there’s no denying the dance-ability of dembow and dancehall beats. If you’re unwilling to cross over into the Spanish-speaking realm of reggaeton to experience the real thing, “Final Song” is a danceable, albeit diluted, alternative. Fun vid below.