Monday, July 28, 2014

Karen O's debut solo single: "Rapt"

Written over a decade ago during a particularly lovelorn period in Karen O's twenties, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman's forthcoming collection of solo singles already promise to be delicate, raw and, as expected, beautiful.

Her debut single "Rapt" was released yesterday along with a video of the leading lady submerged in pool water, conveying the feeling of being a little lost through both the visuals and lyrics like "Love's a f**king b**ch/ Do I really need another habit like you? I really need/ Do you need me too?"

Although seemingly dark in description (it comes across as more honest than anything else, trust me), the song itself is gentle and mellow, resembling the likes of early Cat Power bedroom rock. Amidst her ability to write stadium-ready anthems, Karen O has also always had a knack for penning these low-fi lullabies that double as deep think-pieces.

Look out for Crush Songs on September 9, via Julian Casablancas' Cult Records.

Friday, July 25, 2014

TGIF: Flume's "Insane" ft. Kanye West (White Panda Vocal Edit)

Trust me, everything about this song is worth your while. And worth a major spot on your weekend playlist. If you like Kanye's "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (what sane person doesn't), Flume's progressive synth work and those breathy Moon Holiday vocals - I think I've found the mixed bag of mash-up magic for you.

Released just last week, White Panda took it upon themselves to blend the Ye classic with Flume's hit single "Insane" - resulting in this chill-turns-amped banger.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Philly Moves: "Fuxwitchu"

It's not so often that you get to see an artist grow from semi-infancy to a whole other city, sound, level. I've had this privilege with a few different acts, but this week, I've noticed it mostly with Ottawa-bred hip-hop crew Philly Moves, who I've had the pleasure for knowing and watching for a handful of years.

Now based out of Toronto, Philly Moves have been on the grind since they got here - juggling mini tours, other jobs, networking, and, apparently, recording their best material yet.

It's never been a charity appreciation situation with Philly Moves - a duo that consists of MC Tragic and Jonny Rockwell - they're actually incredibly talented. But with their latest single, "Fuxwitchu," they've hit the note I hope they keep exploring. This single's production is on-point and polished; skittering effects and Tynan's sharp lyrics speed up the verses, before slowing down for memorable hooks that show off Rockwell's falsetto and that gorgeous piano backing. Although MC Tragic's rhymes are rapid in the spotlight, he cools down to weave in and out of Rockwell's croon with punchy rhymes that toast the fast life and his girl.

"Fuxwitchu" will be a part of their forthcoming LP, Olga, which drops August 26. Do yourself a favour and hop on board their train; I did years ago, but it looks like their ride's only beginning.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New Spoon Single: "Inside Out"

If I've said this once, I've said this 50 times - the new Spoon album is going to be their best yet. While their previous releases have floated in and out of classic, memorable territory - every single bit of the forthcoming August release They Want My Soul has so far blown my mind.

"Inside Out," the third single from the band's eighth (!) LP, is, as expected, the makings of another dream track. This glittery slow-burner is gorgeous, but by no means the uppity rock mastered by the Texas crew. Over a smacking beat and melodic piano pulse, Britt Daniel's smoky voice growls perfectly, at one point pausing to allow some fluttering, fantasy sequence harp to take the spotlight. I know I said this with "Do You?", but this might be my favourite Spoon song yet.

August 5th, hurry yourself up.

Monday, July 21, 2014

New Dance-Pop: Mansions on the Moon

If you were all over MGMT in 2007 and couldn’t get enough of Empire of the Sun in 2009, then you’ll be excited to check out the 2014 self-titled debut from electro-pop outfit Mansions on the Moon. With similar disco grooves and airy harmonies, this California crew have nailed the catchy and psychedelic production that skyrocketed the eccentric forefathers of mainstream electro oddities like these.

If you’re planning on bopping around the hot city today, "Don't Tell" is the song for you.

Friday, July 18, 2014

TGIF: SZA's "Julia / (Tender)"

I wrote about R&B artist SZA a little over a year ago, calling her a "breakout" star. And, although the recognition might have been slightly delayed, everything about that statement rings true today.

Born Solana Rowe, SZA is the first lady (/R&B artist) signed to Top Dawg Entertainment - the boys' club label made famous by stars like Kendrick Lamar and Schoolboy Q. Her 10-song EP titled Z is a unique mix of soulful, racy and dream-like R&B melodies and beats - each feeling like they're capable of both gathering acclaim and turning up a night downtown. Better late than never, I can now say I feel a little vindicated after the prestigious industry connections and praise this girl has scooped in recent months.

This time next year, it will feel silly not to know this one's name. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New ODESZA: "Memories That You Call" feat. Monsoonsiren

Seattle production duo ODESZA releasing a new single, along with the announcement of a new album titled In Return, would be exciting enough news for anyone who's a fan of their mesmerizing electronic sounds.  But, the fact that this track is one of the most magical things I've heard in some time - clearly designed to transport each listener on an awe-inspiring four-minute journey - takes this release to a whole other level.

Starting slow, before building into a wave of jubilant chants, sunny synth and Bengaluru-based singer Monsoonsiren's soothing vocals, the upbeat "Memories That You Call" is the key to feeling like your life could not be any better. If you thought summertime was pretty swell so far, be prepared to have that notion kicked up 100 notches with this glorious anthem.