We all know how difficult it is to make a good first impression. When introducing ourselves to new people, we want to make sure we look good and we talk good and seem interesting and are attentive and all of our little flaws are repressed for this one introductory meeting. Now, imagine how difficult it is to introduce yourself to the entire music internet by having your first three singles posted on Pigeons & Planes. Instantly, all these eyes are on you and your music. Your life is changed as soon as the blog post goes live. You just hope that you have presented yourself in the best possible way. You hope the hype machine does not chew you up and spit you out like it has to countless artists in the past.
That got very heavy, and I am sorry.
Mic Kellogg has made the best first impression I have seen in awhile. The Milwaukee-based rapper and producer has released four quality tracks in just three months. The songs are personal, unique, and catchy–each unveiling pieces of Kellogg’s life and personality. Each track features artwork related to Breakfast, the title of his debut project. Young artists and managers should use his Soundcloud as a model for how to introduce a new artist.
You might know Morgan Kibby by way of her collaborations with French electronic band M83 (she co-wrote the infectious “Midnight City”). Now, under the stage name of White Sea, Ms. Kibby is penning her own solo career with catchy tunes like her latest, “Stay Young, Get Stoned.” The song is filled with feel-good synths and smooth, upbeat vocals that make it a summer playlist must.
White Sea will be playing at Lollapalooza come August 1st. Stream her song exclusively via Noisey here.
With a sound that effortlessly blends lo-fi, psychedelic rock and indie pop, Sydney five-piece Balko has crafted music that is at once incredibly of the moment while possesing a timeless, nostalgic quality.
Their most recent track, “Fiona,” begins as a wonderfully dreamy, slightly wistful song and builds into a freewheeling blur of guitar and hard-pounding drums.
Balko’s music has an incredibly warm, organic quality that stays with you. “Fiona” is as close to stream of consciousness as a song can be; each note seems to effortlessly spill forth and blend together perfectly.
The band also touches on some interesting ideas lyrically, as Jack Bennett sings over and over on the chorus, “Every moment stretches time.”
Overall “Fiona” is a breezy single that illustrates Balko’s creativity and chemistry as a group.
“Blending” is the solo debut from ZAN, who is currently a resident of New York but has a Jamaican heritage. The Jon B-sampling single is an audio interpolation of a beach vacation with your lover. Listening to it, you can just imagine one of those cliché 90′s R&B videos with the guy singing to his girlfriend while she participates in mundane activities. That being said, there is nothing cliché about Zan’s sound. He is “blending” R&B, trap, and reggae in a much less forced way than some of his counterparts.
My rule of thumb is three good songs before I am sold on an artist. We have one and a half below. Stay tuned for more ZAN (hopefully) on the way soon.
Girl so down to earth that she reminds me of daisies
“Dark pop” is a term that gets overused in music nowadays, being applied to every track with minor chords and pounding drums, but MIYNT‘s latest single “Civil War” truly warrants the description.
Her single, “Nick Drake,” made a splash a few months ago with its dizzying vocal cadence and frenetic mix of piano and guitar, but “Civil War” is the kind of sledgehammer anthem that should put her on the map.
Pulling double duty on the boards and behind the mic is always a commendable task, and it works particularly well for MIYNT because she knows exactly where her voice fits in with her production and how to make the two work symbiotically.
Often pop singers either have their voice overpowering the instrumental, or are relegated to a supporting role by a limelight-hungry producer, but that is not the case here.
There are shades of Purity Ring here, but “Civil War” is even more lurid and creative. The song is constantly shapeshifting; it begins by moving slowly under a wall of synths, but livens as it goes before settling as a chaotic blur.
MIYNT is releasing a 7″ of “Civil War” and “Nick Drake” on August 21st , which is surely just the beginning for such a fresh-voiced talent.
Give “Nick Drake” a spin as well:
Miles herself describes the song as “a twisted version of ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf,’” but while there is certainly an ominous vibe in the track’s noir verses, Miles’ sultry, haunting voice brings the track to life on its undeniably catchy hook. She cites Nick Cave and Tom Waits as lyrical inspirations, and “Shaking Hands” makes it very clear that Miles is willing to approach her music from an honest, occasionally doleful place.
Inevitably, Miles will find herself compared to fellow electro-tinged songstresses like Banks and Jessie Ware, but perhaps a more on-the-nose comparison would be Glass Animals, who similar blend live instrumentation with crisp drum kits to make a hypnotic, late-night brand of pop music.
Unfortunately, there’s no news on a full-length project from Miles, but you can rest assured that if she keeps churning out tracks of this quality she could be one of 2015′s breakout solo acts.