Posts by Olinger
Minnesota-based songwriter Andy Cook crafts surprisingly poignant folk rock. His jangly musings are both earthy and cerebral, putting him on course for the pantheon of classic American songwriters. “Swirl”—a song reminiscent of Real Estate or Kurt Vile, is one of the many standouts from his forthcoming 22 minute EP Modern Man. The gorgeous tape echo-drenched, desert rock odyssey addresses the pressures and images surrounding us daily, and the desire to be “in” while still being individual.
Brooklyn, NY-based noise-rockers Russian Baths produce monstrous walls of chiming guitar ambience. One might assume these dense, aggressive tones would require the vocal chords of a screamo front man to penetrate, but in an utterly unique role reversal, we are gifted with the etheric musings of Jess Ress. The combination ends up sounding a little bit like Dolores O’Riordan fronting a Chapel Hill noise pop band, with a dash of 70s space rock for good measure.
Last week Cleveland-based MC Dave Zup dropped his cathartic LP, Oh, It’s Going, which he quietly crafted after a skateboard accident left him immobilized for months. Zup used the isolating downtime to create his debut solo LP and can be heard venting his pain and boredom in realtime, on heavy duty painkillers. On lead-off single “Every4Hrz”, Zup tells his story through a haze of prescription meds, blessing the sparse production with his signature irreverence. His stone cold flow is so sharp, not even a drug coma could hinder his in-the-pocket delivery.
LA-based, Boston export Jenna Lotti crafts anthemic, hopeful pop bangers – ya know the kind that make a hectic day slightly more tolerable? Her dialed-in pop has been featured in American Songwriter and PopMatters with local buzz via Sound of Boston & Boston Globe. A move to LA this past year coincided with the recording of her ambitious new song “Warning Signs” for her forthcoming EP, and if this is representative of what we can expect on her new release, Jenna Lotti is without a doubt going to be a viable fixture in the singer-songwriter / pop landscape.
With only one debut EP their name, Hoeksema have established themselves, as a master of hushed ambience, conjuring up the fractured dark vibes of Youth Lagoon and Purity Ring. “Palais” is the inventive lead-off single from the stunning new EP, Life After, which mines personal depths of lead singer Samuel’s recent tribulations with loss. It’s a striking interplay of syncopated pads, subtle vocal melodies and lush keys that makes for one of the most hypnotizing listens of the summer and the perfect accompaniment for shedding our skin into the new season.
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.