New Music Daily
ISLAND may not be a name you know now, but they’re anticipated to be one of the top acts to watch in 2017. This indie-rock outfit has been turning heads, selling out shows in the UK, and also has their fair share of high streaming numbers. “Dreaming Of” is their latest track off of their upcoming EP A Place You Like and it really sets the stage for what ISLAND is all about. It’s a love song that’s intertwined with tenderness and dream-like sounds. However, it doesn’t stray from that pure indie-rock vibe. Check out the track below and keep an eye out for more ISLAND in the near future!
Some tracks are so easy to get into within seconds because they reel you in with a mesmerizing, catchy beat. You turn it on and like that your mind is twisting and your head is bobbing like nobody’s business. “Savage” is no exception and we can thank Paces and Nyne for that. This team-up is a match made in addictive sounds heaven and will likely control your brain for the rest of the night. Get your dose of pop-electronic goodness below.
That feeling of angst may seem like something we left in our teenage years, but let’s be honest, those emotions still come up in our twenties and beyond. So, it’s only fair we have a bit of rage in our music to keep the vibes going. Luckily, we’ve got a pop-rock powerhouse like Grace Mitchell to quench our thirst for edgy sounds. “Kids (Ain’t All Right)” is her latest offering and it has something we haven’t quite seen from the Portland artist yet. We’re used to poppier vibes from her, but she’s taking it to “let’s smash a guitar” level and we’re all about it (and I think we could all use it this week). Check out the angsty anthem, “Kids (Ain’t All Right) below.
Jazz Cartier is ringing in the new year with some fresh tunes which we can never resist. “Tempted” could have been a perfect party track to dance to on New Year’s, but who says there isn’t still time to add it to the playlist? This “love” party song will become a hip-hop earworm real quick with its addictive chorus, “Feel like I can’t get enough/ If you keep dancing on me/ Girl, I’ll be tempted to touch“. Jazz Cartier is bound to bring it in 2017 and this one is just the start. Check out the catchy track below.
You could say that 2016 was a weird year, or a year of change. It was a year where 3-1 leads were no longer safe, Kermit The Frog ran the internet, Snapchat took over the world, dabbing continued to exist, an inebriated Bill Murray took you out to the ballgame, and much, much more. In music, it was the year of the “surprise” release. Long gone are the days where we’re told an album is due ahead of time. You wake up, brew your coffee, check Twitter, and there you find a live video feed of Frank Ocean taking on a DIY project, while simultaneously setting the world on fire to burn in speculation about what is happening.
Welcome to our best songs of 2016. A list of 149 songs spanning the course of a completely reasonable 9.5 hours. We picked songs from 113 different artists, but there were a handful* of artists who seemed to win the year, landing the highest number of songs in our list. Most of these artists had songs chosen as a top song of 2016 by multiple members of our team.
Here are those winners, ranked with their number of song nominations in parenthesis:
- Frank Ocean (14)
- Francis and the Lights (7)
- Chance The Rapper (7)
- Drake (7)
- Kanye West (6)
- Bon Iver (6)
- Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (5)
- Allan Kingdom (4)
*We listed the top 8 because there were many artists who tied for #9.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: life will throw you curve balls any chance it can. How you take that curve ball is one thing, but the music in your life will always be your constant among infinite variables. It will be there when you’re at your best and at your worst. Find your vibe, and spread the love. That’s the best part about blogging; being able to share and open other people’s eyes to different artists and genres. That is the point of this list. We are sharing what we loved about 2016. Despite all the weirdness that happened, whether for good or bad, 2016 was an incredible year for music, and it will only get better in 2017.
NOTE: Original cover image by Samantha Friend.
“Caught Up” is a palatial banger, complete with waves of electrifying synths and airtight percussion. But it’s more than just another mammoth party song, even if it does manage to check that box perfectly, and the song’s lyrics allude to the dangers of surface-level preoccupation. Best Night Ever is the brainchild of Tyler Armes, who is using the project to benefit mental health charities The Trevor Project and Kids Help Phone in Canada.
Proceeds from streams and downloads go towards these organizations, which is particularly smart because “Caught Up” is the kind of narcotizing track tailor made for throwing on repeat.
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.
Upstart TIDES, a bicoastal R&B duo, have just released their latest single called “I Found You.” The song, which is about a long-distance relationship, blends together uplifting church organs (reminiscent of Chance The Rapper) with DJ Mustard-inspired trap drums to silky results. A love song at heart without ever being too forced, “I Found You” will certainly bring some warmth to your cold, December day.
Stream TIDES’ “I Found You” below and let us know what you think in the comments!
After an impressive debut with “Painting Greys,” which happens to be one of my top tracks of 2016, Emmit Fenn returns to release “Blinded.” Using only 15 words, Emmit takes you on an emotional roller-coaster by changing the production several times throughout. The intention is to provide different interpretations for the easy-to-relate-to message. Describing this as incredible feels like an insult. It’s that good.
“I don’t need this like I used to
Cause I feel blinded
blinded by you”
Anna Straker, a London-based artist, is only 19 years old (feel like a geezer, yet?). Although she’s a fresh face, she’s already making her mark with a hypnotizing electronic-pop sound. Straker recently released her short, but sweet EP Serious and each track sparkles with dance-worthy tunes (seriously, every song will get stuck in your head for days). One of its shining tracks is “Desert Floor”, but it’s only a taste of what Anna Straker is capable of. If you want good vibes all around, take a dive into the whole release because it’ll hit that electro-pop spot. For now, check out “Desert Floor” below.
Either you know Bridgit Mendler or you don’t, but one thing is for sure, you’d never guess this soulful pop gem was once a Disney star (and don’t get us wrong, we love some Disney!). Since taking a break from music for a few years (Mendler released her debut album in 2012), she’s clearly grown her sound and strayed away from the bubblegum pop sound. She’s still embracing her pop side, but she’s kicked it up a notch with a bit of smooth soul. “Snap My Fingers” is one of the tracks off of her new EP, Nemesis, and it completely oozes a coolness that we’ve never seen from Bridgit Mendler before. It’s needless to say, she’s no Disney girl anymore. She’s a grown woman with a big voice and we are ready to see her next chapter.