Move over ZHU, because there’s a new artist in town to claim title of music’s most exciting masked man in my heart. I have no idea who BLU J is, but he quickly stole my heart this year with his outstanding remixes of Alina Baraz & Galimatias (whom I have openly professed my love for many times), ODESZA, and even Rihanna. By choosing to remain anonymous, BLU J has allowed their music to speak for itself, and they’ve spoken loud and clear with their unique fusion of deep house with future.
Though the mysterious talents have cut their teeth as serial remixers of pop sensations, BLU J is breaking out of that mold with their first-ever original production, a deep house number featuring Raeon titled “TGTHR.”
BLU J sets the stage a curtain of sparkling synths that are pulled back to reveal a deep, pulsing bass line that commands the tune through an addicting, catchy chopped and screwed vocal sample and heady techno synth sequences.
Providence trio Code Green are a true jack-of-all-trades rap group. Their music is aggressive and soulful at once, featuring both the spartan trap sound of a today and a strong melodic ear.
“Killin’ My Soul,” their latest record, is proof of their talent, and reminiscent of Sunset favorites Hurt Everybody. Over a haunting sample and chilling piano chords, the group spits some raw, creative lifestyle bars.
The group said of the track, “‘Killin’ My Soul’ has been one of the records that just won’t go away. We’d play it in parties out in L.A. and back home in Rhode Island and shit would go up, automatically. This kinda let us know it was a go, plus we loved the mix and haven’t got tired of it yet.”
The record has undeniable replay value, and the trio’s chemistry is fully on display here. In a world cluttered with trap-tinged hip-hop “Killin’ My Soul” rises above the cut because of it’s sheer forcefulness.
If they keep putting out songs of this caliber, we’ll all be living by Code Green soon.
One of the best things about the Internet age of music is the quick and easy communication between artists. Social media platforms have allowed artists that we would have never typically dreamed of working together and styles that we never would have guessed could blend to come together creatively and push the envelope with their sound without ever leaving their house or studio.
Lately, the music industry has been getting a serious injection of indie into its veins thanks to artists like Glass Animals and Toro Y Moi, who are successfully bridging the gap between indie and mainstream by fusing electronic textures or hip-hop beats with a decidedly indie backbone.
Quinn XCII, a Michigan native who used to go by Quinn, just dropped his indie-meets-future-bass tune, “Stung,” which was produced by his collaboration-mate, ayokay. A polished piano melody opens the track and sets the stage for the Detroit vocalist to take center stage with his smooth vocals that drive the track forward. Ayokay eventually peels back the curtain to reveal a melodic, dreamy percussion arrangement that packs a serious punch of vibes. Peep it below.
Raise your hands if you saw this collaboration coming. Nobody? Good – because I never would have guessed that one of the year’s biggest indie sensations in Glass Animals would be working in the studio with one of hip-hop’s most talented, emerging artists in Joey Bada$$, but the result is nothing short of spectacular.
There’s no denying that both Glass Animals and Joey Bada$$ are at the forefront of their genre. The Oxford-based, indie rock band made some serious waves last summer when they dropped their debut album, Zaba, which showcased a production style that featured their playful blend of electronic textures with subtle percussion elements and sticky melodies.
Meanwhile, Joey Bada$$ has been quietly dominating the underground hip-hop space as a co-founder of the rising Pro Era collective. He dropped his debut LP, B4.DA.$$, earlier this year, which harkened memories of West Coast hip-hop legends like Tupac.
On their collaboration, Glass Animals absolutely hits the production out of the park, as sticky electronic textures playfully twist and turn through the talented percussion work that has become a defining characteristic of the UK band’s style. Joey Bada$$’s iconic, rough vocals grate against the swampy production, making for a track with an interesting energy seemingly fitting for a late night trip out in the woods.
Gradually, mainstream pop has been shifting to incorporate the more left-field and creative flourishes of the indie world. Nashville singer CAPPA represents that nexus perfectly, her new single “Other Girls” has all the catchiness and gleam of major label pop but merged with the darker, synth-heavy quirk you find dominating SoundCloud and Hype Machine nowadays.
The song is driven by ominous, chugging chords and pounding drums, reminiscent of Sunset favorite Phoebe Ryan or even Charli XCX. It definitely has crossover appeal, and CAPPA plays the jilted lover role to perfection.
“Other Girls” doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but after a few months of solid singles it affirms CAPPA’s status as one to watch in the electro-pop world.
It’s safe to say we can’t go anywhere without hearing the hit that is “Hotline Bling”, but it’s always refreshing to come across a new version of the Drake jam. This time around, the peaceful songstress Yuna has taken her turn to change up the track that we all know and love. This rendition is soft, sweet, and everything that defines Yuna as an artist. It has that dash of soul that fans know her for and it’s simply worth a listen. If you feel like getting your hands on something a little different than the original, download and listen to the “Hotline Bling” cover below.