A new track from previously praised Swedish songwriter and synth pop singer Jonna Lee. She’s been releasing music under the once anonymous pseudonym of iamamiwhoami for a few years now, and she’s gearing up to release the followup to her wonderful debut this November. The title of this forthcoming album: Blue.
Thus far, in my opinion, many of the tracks Jonna has released have been less than impressive. Her influences have remained roughly the same, delivering synth melodies vocal performances reminiscent of the Knife or Kate Bush. However, the songwriting just hasn’t been there for me.
However, “Chasing Kites” is definitely a change of pace in that regard. The song is a synth pop gem, and features incredibly catchy chorus, a gripping rhythm, and some epic synth chords.
While I’m not dying to hear Blue, I wasn’t dying to hear Kin either. I recall having a hard time connecting to many of the songs from that record until I heard the whole thing as an album. Hopefully, that’s the case this time around as well.
Between “Body & Blood,” “Story 2,” and “Work Work,” West Coast experimental hip hop trio clipping. has been dropping some pretty intense and odd music videos. “Inside Out” is one of the strangest of them thus far, featuring a headless figure walking through a series of nocturnal, urban settings. As the lyrics of Daveed Diggs quickly roll against the track’s glitchy beat, many of the objects referenced in Diggs’ lyrics rise up through the hole where this figure’s head should be. Hilarious concept, fun to watch.
Check out my extremely positive review of clipping.’s new album right here.
Previously mentioned and up-and-coming noise rock band Girl Band have released a new song and video right heretitled “De Bom Bom,” and I’m quite smitten with it. The song ain’t exactly musical, well, not in the traditional sense. However, it’s very distorted, textured, and intense. The performance is especially riveting between the yelping vocals and tightly wound drums. The band moves from one intense rush of sound and emotion to another until they bring the song to a close just before the 4-minute mark.
If you’ve got a soft spot for bands like Drive Like Jehu and Obits, this is a must-listen!
Husky-voiced Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins drops a moving and metaphorical video for his upcoming project titled The Water[s]. It’s officially out August 12th.
“Jazz” features a beautiful, minimal beat that’s guided by what I think are some gleaming vibraphone melodies. I love the way the chorus swells, and Mick’s hook is laid back, but monstrous! Like usual, his bars are thoughtful and interesting.
I can’t wait for the 12th!
Experimental artpopper Julia Holter released one of the 2013′s finest records in Loud City Song. And now she has done a gorgeously recorded Boiler Room performance of beautiful renditions of her work. It’s certainly worth checking out if you have been a fan of Holter’s and are interested in seeing how her esoteric pop translates to a live setting.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman Karen O recently announced her first solo album, Crush Songs, and everyone was wondering what it would sound like. Would it just be another YYYs album? Well, here comes the first taste, a song called “Rapt,” and for those who have been paying attention to O’s career, it isn’t much of a shock. While it sounds a little like a lo-fi track that wouldn’t have felt out of place on PJ Harvey’s Uh Huh Her, it is also very much a Karen O song.
The song actually originates from her brief stint under the moniker Native Korean Rock from a few years back. It centers on a patient, simple acoustic strum, and a very direct vocal. “Do I really need / Another habit like you?” O sings in the chorus, deciding that yes she thinks she might. The song clocks in under two minutes, which is enough. Yeah Yeah Yeahs have done acoustic renditions of their songs before, and they sound a bit like this. The minimalistic video, directed by her husband and production designed by K.K. Barrett (Oscar-nominated for Her), depicts O floating around underwater in a bright red dress, her blonde shock of hair gone brown again. None of this is too complicated, which is why it works. O has always sounded quite comfortable in a more intimate setting, and this little ditty has me looking forward to the album.
Crush Songs is out September 9 via Cult.
Mass Appeal signee Bishop Nehru might be a fresh face in hip hop right now, but the ambitious 17-year-old MC has already been working on a full-length collaboration with MF DOOM, slated for release later this year. Above you can check out the project’s first single “Darkness (HBU)” and its video. Enjoy!
Last week, ever-changing dream pop outfit A Sunny Day in Glasgow dropped its fourth full-length album Sea When Absent. While there is occasionally the questionable, chipmunk-y vocal effect and the instrumentation can at times sound claustrophobic, as if Panda Bear were recording something while kind of strung out; this is a pretty adventurous pop album, with some vibrant performances and winding song structures. Check out the new video for highlight “In Love with Useless (blah blah)” above and enjoy!
Sea When Absent is out now via Lefse Records.
Michael Christmas is one of the frumpiest rappers I’ve laid on eyes on in a while. His look is pretty unsuspecting, but don’t make any assumptions based simply on that. His rhymes are pretty playful, clever. He’s definitely the kind of MC I could see an old school De La Soul fan appreciating.
Michael’s got a new tape out you can partake in right here.