NYC-based indie electro quartet Blak Emoji specialize in pumped up dance rock that belies a deeper message.
Fronted by soulful singer-songwriter Kelsey Warren, the band blasted onto the Manhattan live scene in 2015, following up their renown live shows with their debut EP INTRO, a synth-dipped odyssey through the city that never sleeps. Released in January of 2017, INTRO stoked the flames of Blak Emoji’s hype, resulting in two of the EP’s singles being synced on the ABC television show Quantico.
The band’s forthcoming full length, KUMI, drops February 22nd and features the dizzying club anthem “Lust Love Above” which showcases Warren’s husky Seal-esque vocals over a hypnotic electro groove. While the song boasts a glitzy veneer, Warren manages to imbue the vocals with his trademark authenticity, speaking on the often diametrically apposed feelings of ‘lust’ and ‘love’ which are often inseparable when embarking on a new relationship.
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.
Mysterious Los Angeles figure Semi-Attractive Boy mixes electro-pop footwork and juke, emerging with startling results. With its patchwork vocals and undeniable groove, “Call On Me” is a masterclass in production finesse. With barely any information online, one can only hope this artist keeps us clued into his innovative output as he brings some much needed, deceptively deep material to the often superfluous world of 21st century pop. “Call On Me” supposedly is about a suicide attempt but you could have fooled me – I was up on my feet dancing after the first few elated bars tumbled out.
Why is Ellie Goulding so effing cool? Come on now; only some people can be dubstep queens, artists worthy of covering Elton John, and melodic songbirds all at once. “Anything Could Happen” is the first single off of her next album, which will probably be judged hard because her debut Bright Lights was beyond brilliant.
This track is pretty sweet, and the remixes will probably be even better, but I thought the music “fan lyric” video using Instagram pix was the best part of this song. I rarely rave too hard about music videos because a) artists so often complain about the fact that videos detract from the music itself or erroneously reinterpret the song’s meaning and b) they’re almost always all the same. But this video is original (I won’t call it the first of its kind because knowing myself, I probably am missing some huge viral movement of fan-lyric-Instagram videos), and it’s always cool when artists feel humble and grateful enough to their fans to make a video into a collaborative project. Plus Instagram is already taking over people’s lives, so why not double the “artsy?”
Check the video out below. Halcyon is out October 9!
Oh, and here’s the album trailer:
If I had to choose one word to describe Error Operator, I’d probably say brilliant. But one word is all I can give you right now, because his album drops on Monday and I’ll be posting a full review of it. So for now, put your experimental dance shoes on and have a blast with this remix of Passion Pit’s “Sleepyhead.”
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