Stream: Mikal Cronin – MCII
Mikal Cronin is bringing out the first truly summer ready album of the year.
All of the songs embrace a brand of pop rock that will get your body moving and ready for the sun. Cronin clearly knows what he is doing with these songs as they feel beautifully full and warm just like the season they clearly embrace. Most importantly they are fun without losing the personality that can come from making music like this, while still having that dance happy tempo to them and soft instrumentation that occasionally ramps up the volume.
Underground MC Illogic has united with producer Blockhead to make some old school hip-hop with a clear voice to it.
The tracks on this album give me vibes from older Atmosphere albums, including the lyrical content and flow of Illogic is even close to Slug in some ways. Each song is consistent and has a lot of fun beats that can be expected by this point with Blockhead on them. It’s exciting to see a lot of variety in the genre right now, with artists bringing back a particular 90s sound right here while others are going in all kinds of directing. Most of all if you want to hear great chemistry between an artist and producer look no further.
R&B enigma Janelle Monáe drops a new single, which features Erykah Badu on vocals throughout much of the track. It’s an incredibly funky number with a huge emphasis on synth chords that remind me of some of Prince’s best tracks to come out in the early 80s.
While the track starts off a bit cheesy, a rap verse comes through during the later portion of the song with a strong set of bars that empower the song’s themes of femininity and strength. Give a listen, enjoy!
Some really fascinating production coming out from Whistle Peak.
They create some truly eerie sounds with the drip-drop synthesizers and layers of keys humming throughout. I really adore this sound it feels special too, something that only a certain artist cam create. The vocals add to this effect with the particular style of the singer being creepier if used with right music, this is exactly the right production. In fact, if you were to strip some of the layers away it would be perfect haunted house music, but the way it is now is something far better.
Stream: Kylesa – “Quicksand”
The buzz around this new track is the it is very reminiscent of some old Smashing Pumpkins songs, this is true to the point that I could easily confuse it for one.
The most notable feature of this is the guitar groove which lives and breathes Pumpkins, and it really feels like they are wearing the influence on their shoulders with it. The main difference of course is the vocals, this is where Kylesa makes it their own with haunting and echoed drone meshing in with that riff for one nostalgic acid trip of a song.
Elvis Depressedly has dropped a new track from the upcoming release, Holo Pleasures and it really feels like steady improvement.
Mat Cothran has been recording this album with his full band and it really shows with the fullness of the sound. In many ways the instrumentation feels warm on this track, but if you are familiar with Cothran at all you know that his lyrics are going to directly conflict with that. It creates an air of uneasy comfort and it really makes the song stick out, while showing just how much creative content can come from this guy. In the end there is always an element of some kind of beauty within this music too, something that I have been unable to resist so far.
The new release from Lone Doe is just as enchanting as their name implies.
Vocals harmonies, beautifully strummed guitars and an understanding of song diversity all make this new project from Lone Doe worth a listen. Each of three tracks offered here feels so completely different it really makes me want to hear a full album from them, because not only are they different, they are damn good too. Each song feels like it has been constructed to its full potential nothing could be added or taken away to make them better in that respect.
A new plodding , twisting song from the Brooklyn-based band, TEEN.
This track has a certain earworm quality to it that I would not expect with the more offbeat progression of the music, but it definitely works. That’s the true appeal of TEEN: Their strange musical energy is surprisingly infectious. And once the angular vocal melodies get stuck in your head don’t expect them to be leaving anytime soon. “Carolina” has a really appealing build up throughout the whole song and the vocals are wonderful, and the MOOG synths are a nice touch as well.
This track comes from the band’s forthcoming Carolina EP, which will be out via Carpark on May 28th. Enjoy!
Swedish electronic duo, The Knife, is firing on all cylinders with this new sonically pleasing track.
The Knife have never feared doing their own thing, and are continuing to put out great electronic tracks with almost every outing, this song certainly keeps that up. I cannot believe how this track manages to hit every note to make it the ultimate ear pleaser. A lot of the sounds produced make me think of more a dance-like version of the trance music Moonface was going for on Organ Music Not Vibraphone Like I’d Hoped. The chopped and high sung vocals really give it a feeling that purely belongs to The Knife at this point, it even feels reminiscent of tribal singing at points, all making for a very cool and pleasing listen.
What we have here is a pretty interesting international collaboration between two hardcore bands Loma Prieta from the Bay Area of the U.S and Raein who hail from Italy. They’re both due to be featured on a forthcoming split on Deathwish.
What we get from them is what I can only think of as controlled seizures of hardcore and quick musical shifts. It all initially seems so frantic in the brief 44 second run time, but with multiple listens it is clear that it is more precise musicianship and delicate work to create that sound of chaos. Loma creates some passionate, brief, and intense music here. The ear-piercing shots of guitar are an especially nice touch, too.
Check a review of Loma Prieta’s latest full-length here: