Back in June, the zestful noise poppers over at A Sunny Day in Glasgow delivered perhaps 2014′s greatest summer album, Sea When Absent. The Sydney six-piece’s refreshing shoegaze production rendered this the perfect beach music (on an overcast day). But now, a week from Thanksgiving, the band is in a properly wintry spirit, participating in the limited edition cassette series Sketch for Winter. Theirs is the first installment this cycle, comprised of four “new Christmas classics” and, naturally, one Mariah Carey cover. Above, stream the confrontationally-titled “Shut Your Mouth, It’s Christmas,” which perfectly captures the holiday ethos. Happy listening!
Sketch for Winter I: New Christmas Classics is available here for pre-order via Geographic North (limited to an edition of 300). Also, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s label Lefse shared a cold new video for Sea When Absent cut “Crushin’.” Watch that here:
A week ago, Canadian underground veteran emcee Eternia dropped a new track. The single, “Scraps,” is thick with an impending sense of boom bap-influenced hip hop that forces its listener to contemplate their place in the world. According to Eternia in a quote for HipHopDX, she heard the beat playing while in the middle of prayer at City Lights in Toronto, wrote the song the same night, then recorded it the next day. Eerily reminiscent both melodically and production-wise to “The Answer” by The Foreign Exchange, Eternia uses her crafty lyrical prowess to build a foundation of aggressive bars about life lessons learned and hard knowledge earned. It’s proof of why Eternia has been able to stick around the hip hop game for a decade and still seems hungry for more ears to listen intently.
- Ron Grant
With a deep, dense, spacey, almost gritty aura to it, Brazilian electronic duo Living in Frames‘ song “Closer” certainly doesn’t slouch on delving into the darker side of what many folks may immediately lump into the category of EDM. There’s heavy, obvious elements of both dubstep and drum and bass, as well as a fair amount of spacey voice manipulation, atmospheric instruments and an overall sense of strategic musical uncertainty that seeps and drips throughout “Closer,” making for a listen that leans towards the neurotic. Yet the track still revels in and embraces its own scant but deeply-layered makeup. Heilo de Matos and Luis Antonio Muniz, though they’ve only been together for a year, seem to be getting closer to the specific sound they want to convey in their music, and “Closer,” though it could maybe have been a bit more defined, is still proof of that.
“Closer” appears on the twosome’s upcoming EP Outer. Listen to the track above and download it for free if you so please. Happy listening!
- Ron Grant
Known for being somewhat of a chameleon when it comes music production, Michna has carved quite a lane for himself through the intricate mixing and melding of genres: doses of hip hop, electronica, darkened techno has allowed Michna to create a formidable music tapestry and given him the space to delve into areas once thought not feasible. His latest offering is again a combination of all the aforementioned styles. “She Exists In My Mind” is indeed a dark, stark trip inside a curious musical mind that for just over three minutes keeps the listener enthralled and guessing. Be forewarned, rewinds and head nodding will ensue greatly.
- Ron Grant
With upcoming 10″ single “Sue (Or in a Season of Crime)/’Tis a Pity She Was a Whore,” David Bowie ventures deeper into avant-garde territory. The B-side, streamable above, is a chaotic big band experiment that evokes an Elizabethan incest tragedy – quite a leap from the mild experimentation of last year’s The Next Day. Bowie really takes his perpetual literacy and expressionism to a new height with this track; I’m hoping (and excited) to see him continue on this path in the future.
“Sue (Or in a Season of Crime/’Tis a Pity She Was a Whore” is out in the States November 28 (for Record Store Day‘s Black Friday) via Columbia/Legacy. The A-side will also kick off Bowie’s upcoming anthology Nothing has changed., due out November 18. Below, find our review of The Next Day:
A$AP Mob‘s resident Trap Lord A$AP Ferg comes through with a new single featuring West Coast up-and-comer YG. I think it’s safe to assume we’re gonna have an album cycle soon, but I can’t say this track here has gotten me excited for it.
For one, YG doesn’t do the track any favors. Without a catchy hook and a DJ Mustard beat, he’s rendered completely uninteresting. He’s like a hype man whose part went on too long. I don’t mind Ferg’s verses at all, which are loaded with personality and his typically wild inflections–especially on the last verse. However, the hook here is a real dud. The fact the beat redundantly hangs around the same melody during the chorus doesn’t exactly make the transition from the verse exciting either.
All in all, it’s a pretty underwhelming introduction to Ferg’s next project. Hopefully, his future material is more explosive. Check a review for Ferg’s last album right here.
Sadly, many folks that claim to be fans of southern hip hop, especially the deep, dark, sinister music from Three Six Mafia, tend to forget just how much Gangsta Boo helped to contribute to that signature sound. But they’ll promptly remember upon hearing the recent single from the Houston-by-way-of-Memphis vet, “Mashing”. Along with a ridiculously simple but catchy hook with Beatking and a pounding, heavy and beastly beat courtesy of Brodinski, Boo sounds fresh and new, but confident and experienced. “Mashing” is a trap record on steroids: the sound is larger than life and enormous, distinctly complemented by Boo’s cocky southern drawl-fueled bars. In an age when more and more hip hop is influenced by signature southern elements and sounds painfully redundant, Gangsta Boo, Beatking and Brodinski come through with a song that truly shows imitators how its done.
“Mashing” appears on Gangsta Boo and Beatking’s new collaborative mixtape Underground Cassette Tape Music, which you can grab here.
We’re usually used to hearing Action Bronson as boisterous, uproarious and sometimes even ridiculous. But these are the things that have made us love the music and lyricism of the underground Queens mixtape champion for the last few years. But almost the exact opposite is what we get on the new collaboration by Bronson, Black Atlass and producer duo Party Supplies. “The Light in the Addict” is a deep, melancholy, dreary, self-destructively bluesy piece of piano-tinkered madness. All three musical collaborators paint a bleak picture of a man at the end of his rope, as Bronson revels in his own self-loathing paranoia. It’s a grand departure from some of what we’re accustomed to from a team up between Bronson and Party Supplies, but the results are, if nothing else, powerfully interesting and worth more than a few listens, even if it brings you down in the process.
No, you won’t hear any of the music off Joseph Marinetti’s new PDA EP on any under armor commercials–unless they start to sell pink leggings and lip gloss. That doesn’t mean the EP doesn’t pay direct homage to mainstream house music and TNGHT’s now-legendary self-titled EP.
Check out a cut from the EP above. Bonus points to anyone who doesn’t go out and buy a burger afterwards.
- Garrett Cottingham
With a voice like Janis Joplin minus the cigarettes and guitar playing like an angel with problems, Jessica Pratt seems to be a rising contender in the folk rock world. Pratt’s original and peculiar approach is simple, but allows her to enter a completely different category to modern folk rockers: a strummed or plucked guitar, and vocals that hold such unfamiliar nuances that their beauty really lies in the heart of the listener. “Back, Baby” is a single from her upcoming album titled On Your Own Love Again, which is being released on January the 27th.
Although the track is similar to her previous work, there seems to have been some emotional progression. Reminiscent of a pregnant Joan Baez at Woodstock, Pratt tells a tale of a lover from the past, a man she wishes she could revisit, but understands the consequences could be dire. As she “sometimes prays for the rain,” I pray her new album lives up to the standard that this single has set.
- Fin Worrall