New Music Daily
Tinseltown trio Ships Have Sailed have arrived with the flagship single from their upcoming album, Moodswings, anchoring down with some of the best Alternative Pop of 2015. The lovelorn vibe of “If Only” is a rare mix of hopefulness and disillusionment – culminating in an epic, heart-bleeding hook dedicated to the one who got away. Having been treated to an advanced listen of the entire album, I can assure you there is more arena-primed rock where this came from. The Moodswings LP will see a March release but can be pre-ordered on iTunes now.
Admittedly, Years & Years was one of the first BBC Sound of… winners in recent memory I hadn’t heard of before their triumph. I hold the yearly finalists to a high standard as most go on to international fame, but I groaned a bit upon finding the London trio claimed ’90s house as an influence. Nothing wrong with the genre; I just feel like every British band and their mothers are claiming some house influence in the wake of Disclosure. Last year’s “Real” is an absolute gem in its own right though, the highlight being singer Olly Alexander’s commanding lead into an eerily woozy club anthem about surrendered love.
“King” seems to tread a similar lyrical territory, but Years & Years have taken the last year to catalyze into a full blown pop act. Alexander thrives in the song’s arena-ready chorus while the band seems to have studied Foster the People and Bombay Bicycle Club‘s handbooks to successfully quirky indie pop. “King” will officially be out March 1st, but this very, ahem, hands-on video should tide you over until then.
Back in November, YONAS dropped a spontaneous release called 4AM that he recorded literally the morning that it came out. 4Am is about him saying he needs these things in life, but then he realizes he got to where he is without them. The video is a solid effort too that looks like a GoPro was used to record it (or some sort of variation).
I have pretty high hopes for MisterWives. The lead singer Mandy is extremely talented and she’s got great guys behind her that know what they’re doing. A talented group that is ready to take the next step in the music business, and I think they will.
Their latest single, Our Own House, is the next offering off of their upcoming album, also titled, Our Own House. You can preorder that here.
Our Own House is that upbeat, dancing pop infused track that is pretty easy on the ears, and you just really can’t get enough of Mandy.
“Be Lazy” is the third single from Skizzy Mars‘s The Red Balloon Project. Once again, Michael Keenan handles production, as the pair cruises to a swift 3 for 3 on singles from the new EP. As the title would suggest, this is a song to be lazy to, so smoke to this. Now. Stop doing your homework. Homework is lame. Smoking is tight.
And while you’re at it, make sure to buy the project here.
I’m certain comparing Long Island’s Hotel of the Laughing Tree to chart topping freshmen Meghan Trainor and Mark Ronson is, at best, the most ludicrous thing I have professionally written. Sure, MTV endorsed the Hotel boys with a Woodie Award way back in 2009 and I’m sure they’re all about that bass and funk to some respect, but the comparisons end when their meaty take on proggy indie rock begins. With “Duo” though, which is premiering on Sunset ahead of their sophomore LP early next month, Hotel tapped into a simple fact that catapulted Trainor and Ronson to resounding success: if your influences could be considered “retro” in an appealing way, use ‘em for all they’re worth.
“Duo” has that doo-woppy redux feel the kids seem to be going nuts over these days, but the horns and guitar work recall more love for Springsteen than anyone else. Singer AJ Estrada’s begs you to “wake me from my fever dream” and “bring me back to New Orleans”, but the band sounds as firmly confident and happy as they’ve ever been on “Duo”, mouth horn and laughing outro included. The phenomenal New World Sundown will be available digitally on February 1st via Bandcamp.
Denai Moore turned heads when she began releasing tunes a couple of years ago, bringing a raw, beauty with every new sound. Now it’s finally her time to show the world what she’s about with her debut album Elsewhere, set to be released April 6th. The title track “Elsewhere” has many layers that make it the perfect standout. It’s slightly dark yet contains a gorgeous amount of soul. Denai Moore is bringing her own uniqueness to the table and it’s about time we get the full picture of what she’s creating.
There’s something magically beautiful about artists uploading their first soundcloud tracks. It’s one track that can get the attention of music lovers and swirl into a storm of attention. It’s all about being a hit or a miss, in this case Refs are hitting the mark in all the right ways. “Pain Goes Away” has a chill vibe yet doesn’t fall short of being incredibly catchy. There’s a hint of soul, indie, and it blends into the perfect debut tune. For fans of Chet Faker, this track will be a true pleaser. Check out the gem below and keep an eye out for this great new artist.
Of course Frank Ocean drops a new cover and potential snippet of a single when I take a 24 hour siesta from technology. “It’ll be fine,” I said, “nothing majorly important will happen in music today.” Frank’s falsetto said (or, rather, sang) otherwise. In remembrance of Aaliyah‘s birthday (she would have been 36 today), Ocean absolutely nailed the Isley Brothers slow jam that she covered on her debut LP, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.
If you somehow don’t know or aren’t convinced about Frank yet, this could very easily be the vocal performance that changes that. Saying little is probably best for something this gorgeous. If you’re a fan though, can we talk about that snippet at the end? My god, I need a new Frank Ocean LP in my life…
(Listen via Frank Ocean’s Tumblr)
New Orleans’s Generationals are, in short, the kind of rising indie band commercial music supervisors have dirty dreams about. A description like that sounds damning in some circles, but a few seconds into a song like “Black Lemon” off their latest LP, Alix, and you’ll practically allow the dancing images of silhouetted iPod listeners into your head. This shouldn’t discourage indie credibility purists though, as Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer have evolved Generationals with such a genuine, New Wave-adoring quirkiness, it’s easy to imagine them spending afternoons lovingly flipping the same a-ha and Duran Duran singles over and over.
Their video for “Reviver” though feels far from the synthesized, urban pep their songs occupy though. Generationals appear as backwoods dirtbikers, winning the hearts of ’80s-redux, flag waving models and beer-smashing rednecks alike. Although it’s questionable whether the airy synthwork or heavy reverb verses in “Reviver” would convince such a normally conservative Southern crowd, Generationals just visually up their fun-loving quota with color-spewing exhaust smoke and Widmer being swallowed by the sun on a high jump. “Reviver” and Generationals as a whole make relentlessly happy sounds, intending to unite redneck and music snob alike under the good old fashioned power of a catchy chorus.
Okay, Fort Lean, who gave you clearance to be this upbeat in the middle of January? I’m not going to even bother questioning what possessed you to ditch your shirts when, as I write this, your home base of Brooklyn is resting at an average of 35° until, like, Easter. I’m inquiring more about “I Don’t Mind”, which practically shaved the seasonal “too lazy/sad to shave” beard off my face mid-chorus.
As far as I can see, this is only Fort Lean’s second single from their debut LP, but “I Don’t Mind” wear those fuzzed out verses and that undeniably summer-ready chorus with almost too much confidence for a band so young. There’s a clear lineage to indie rock relatives Young the Giant with some fuzz rock nurturing from The Black Keys and Tame Impala, but Fort Lean swagger off with those comparisons like a couple kids fearlessly throwing their first college party. And frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if a ton of people show up for a single as fun as “I Don’t Mind.” I’m still skeptical about the (lack of) shirt choices, but party on, gentlemen.
Raury has released his first single of 2015 and it’s his reaction to hearing that officer Darren Wilson was not indicted for the murder of Mike Brown. It’s a emotional song that speaks to the injustice surrounding the case. Malik Shakur, Raury’s best friend, is featured on the track.
I”m not a nuisance to mankind and even if I was, I don’t deserve to die.