Posts by Olinger
Rising Appalachia’s superb sibling sonics have made them a household name amongst festivalgoers as they’ve traversed the globe, playing alongside Michael Franti, Nahko, the Avett Brothers and Trevor Hall. Their new single “Occupy”, which features an elegant and potent spoken word bridge, uses 2011′s ‘Occupy’ movement as a frame of reference for the importance of taking responsibility for both our interior and exterior worlds. One of many standouts in their back catalog of radical social/enviro musical activism.
19-year-old Kylie Odetta’s sophisticated tunes are brimming with cross-over potential, appealing to fans of jazz and top 40 while falling in step with the slow-burning R&B of Alina Baraz and Yuna. With her newest release, Undertow, Odetta has backed away from the indie electro vibes of her previous EP and stepped into a more contemporary pop role that meshes her signature gorgeous vocals with warm brass and mature musical arrangements. Her musical acumen is certainly a sound to behold and she has proven herself consistent in delivering high-quality, emotive songs that evoke some of the greatest songwriters in recent history. The crowning jewel of Undertow is the delicate banger “Stress” which puts off a serious young Alicia Keys vibe, complete with sultry attitude and in-the-pocket finesse.
Undertow is out today and can be purchased via iTunes
Today we have the pleasure of premiering the new single from evocative LA-based upstarts Toyko who prefer to keep things cryptic on the surface. No real origin story is available on the duo and they’ve opted for expertly designed collage art instead of traditional publicity photos. However, when it comes to delving into the nuts and bolts of their moody, multidimensional, electro-tinged pop, they are quite forthcoming. “Thematically I wanted to touch on the bittersweet nature of being with someone you love but don’t get to see often” the band reflects. “I had gotten the idea for the chorus lyrics one night when I had texted my girlfriend ‘i love you’ before bed. She responded after I was already asleep but the next day said to me, ‘Just know I love you so much even if I don’t say it”. If that beautiful sentiment sounds too syrupy for you, simply hit play and let the edgy synth work and wily distortion offset your trepidation.
23-year-old Oslo producer Coucheron’s slow-burning, jazz imbued electronica has been vindicated by a Grammy nod and has been playlisted by none other than Taylor Swift. He followed his buzzy 2015 debut “Playground” with a string of official remixes for the likes of Mayer Hawthorne, CeeLo Green, Charlie Puth & Nick Jonas, and is now coming full circle with his debut LP, “You/Me,” via Toothfairy. The young producer still relies heavily on collaborations but they often bare tasteful fruit. “Barely Floating” is an eclectic ride through dubstep, French house and neo R&B with some sugary pop to top things off. Rage to it.
When you think of Oklahoma, virtuosic rap may be the last thing that comes to mind but Tulsa-based Marshall Sinclaire is primed to put his State on the map. His new subwoofer suited single “Hydraulics” offers up the slow-burning, late night vibes of classic Nas and Tech N9ne, bucking the the current trend of unintelligible, bubblegum trap. While the tracks first few stanzas finds the MC gaining his footing, it isn’t long before he is off to the races and delivering a stellar second verse with ninja-like wordplay and progressive storytelling. The compelling lyrics are complimented by a wicked, notched down hook that bounces along beautifully to the dark piano notes and wicked sub bass line. “Hydraulics” is one of the many excellent cuts from Sinclair’s new album, noth(k)ing, out later this month.
Akiyoshi Ehara approaches remixes in a consciously distinct fashion. His take on the “Inevitable Conclusion” is at least three times removed from the Oakland-based Makeunder’s original, putting an experimental 90′s slant on the bittersweet, neo-psych original. The avant-garde elements blend seamlessly with frontman Hamilton Ulmer’s tapestry of pitched vocals, providing a bittersweet RnB flavor over the stylish post-house beat. While the track is heavy on syncopation and jam packed full of sounds, the overall vibe is peaceful and unobtrusive. A wonderfully creative symbiosis of two very different artists.
Nigerian-born Daye Jack comes baring venomous flows and a keen endorsements from Hip Hop elite like Mike Elizondo – the man responsible for signing Dr. Dre and Eminem. The raw rock-tinged beat is a swell proving ground for the young MC who bounces compound syllables across it’s tape echoed guitar pings. It’s an impressive introduction to Daye’s debut LP, “No Data” which is set for release in Spring 2017.
Los Angeles-based duo Bassett, comprised of singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Josh Bassett and bassist Tak Ozaki, offer up a vibrant and theatrical sound lands somewhere on the indie-folk spectrum, just left of Alternative. Through dense instrumentals and spirited lyricism, their new EP Ghost Hwy conjures up the off kilter vibes of Radiohead while their storytelling paints pastoral portraits of communing with nature. “Fire in your eyes by the light of the moon / come join our tribe we’ve got the room” Basset sings on the lead single “Away”, ethereally floating above the drum circle-like beat. Josh’s layered and hypnotic vocals are are abstracted yet close, framed by beautiful strings and percussion that seem to slip in and out of auditory consciousness. The song evokes a sense of freedom, taking its listeners on a journey deep into the belly of melodic intonation before ending the adventure in the deserts of California where the song was inspired.
New York City producer and DJ David Johnson, better known as DeModa, has taken the EDM and electronica world by storm with is innovative and unique take on production. Unlike that of a traditional DJ, DeModa incorporates live instrumentation into his work, such as keyboards, guitar and drums; manipulating them with virtuosic flair. He produces his own material and crafts remixes for popular artists such as M83 and Porter Robinson, enhancing their material while retaining his unmistakable originality. On his most recent project, DeModa takes on “Friend” by FRND. Embellished with wobbly bass lines and Eastern-influenced guitar lines, the remix adds charisma and animation to the track while preserving the intimacy of the lyrics and vocals. With his inventive melodic approach, DeModa is one of a handful of new producers pushing remix standards to new levels.
San Fran synth pop outfit Be Calm Honcho have delivered a ritualistic video for their their haunting single “Bad Man” which premiered on AV Club earlier this year. Lead singer Shannon Harney penned the track for her younger brother who is currently serving a jail term and the stern yet compassionate lyrics detail a powerful connection that’s become hardened by a tragic situation. The ambitious video features a drill like dance troup who attempts to indoctrinate the weiry heroin with it’s syncopated sexualized advances, finally succeeding in the middle of a muddy baseball diamond. Both the track and video are impressive and we look forward to more solid released from BCH in the 1st quarter of 2017.
Sounding like the prodigious prodigy of Kid Cudi and Drake, Cameron Murdoch has carved out a space for his self reflective raps with a slow drip of singles starting last year. With his EP release eminent (I Love Me Too – due out tomorrow, October 7th) the MC has treated us to a premiere of the album’s title-track. The bombastic mix of future bass, chopped and skrewed drums and impassioned lyrics makes for a knockout listen that rivals anything currently spinning on terrestrial radio. An added bonus is that Murdoch actually has something constructive to say about our evolving consciousness and the way we can relate to others as well as ourselves.