According to Escapists‘s lead singer Simon Glancy, “Bones” is basically about this girl who had the same name as his mom, which kind of made him think he was like in love with this girl when he definitely was not (I’m extrapolating a little here). It all sounds like a weird and Oedipal and hilarious premise for a rock song. But “Bones” is not a funny song. It is one of those tracks that will make your heart muscles shift in uncomfortable directions while it carries you to the tip of your seat and grabs your ball sack and smashes your manhood while also being frighteningly beautiful and poignant. You know… one of those tracks.
You can preview the band’s debut album Only Bodies, out July 28, with the sampler below.
Remember that episode of The Fairly OddParents where Timmy goes inside the Internet to retrieve an embarrassing email? This album is nothing like that; although, the ingenious art direction by HK might actually mislead you a bit. Kevin Abstract‘s MTV1987 is less about technology as it is the result of technology. If you look only at the musical references on this project, you will hear the usual suspects in modern hip-hop–Outkast, Cudi, Kanye, Drake, Pharrell–but you will also hear Nirvana, Cassie, Justin Timberlake, and Michael Jackson. If you look at the words, the story is one of acute loneliness and desolation brought upon as a result of the Information Age. It’s about the millions of young people who fantasize about a different life online and struggle to maintain any semblance of a relationship IRL. And it’s not our fault; the Internet has fucked up the wiring of our brain. This album is a reflection on the youth and the struggle to feel something real in a robotic world.
It is also one of the best albums of the year. Kevin Abstract and his producer Romil beyond delivered on this project. It literally sounds like FutureSex/LoveSounds meets Man on the Moon II. Romil has to be the most improved producer in a single year since the beginning of time, and Kevin’s songwriting jumped to one of the best in all of music. Gone are the days where we are talking loosely about the “endless potential of Kevin Abstract.” He has found his sound and team of producers and engineers and can only keep improving from here. Like, I can’t stress enough: this is a real album. In the perfect world, this would win Grammys. Unfortunately, right now that world only exists online, but I have a feeling that’s going to change for Kevin very soon.
I can’t have many more summers like this. Silver Car Crash is the result of that realization and the looming issue I refuse to face that is my future. I know what I am about to say about ideas is ironic considering this cover, title, and paragraph are a direct result of my ideas, but I don’t feel like I do enough with my ideas. Here’s why. In the perfect world, everyone shares their best ideas, and from that grand mixing pot of people’s best ideas, the absolute best idea is selected as the concept for a product. But in the world we live in, the best idea doesn’t always win, so we learn to conform. We learn to adjust our ideas to fit with old ideas. In essence, we are constantly updating the second or third best idea, and no matter how much we update that idea it will never match the potential of the absolute best idea. iPhone 5s are a good reference for this process. It is backwards and terrible, so that’s why a frustrated, young thinker invented art (probably) because there is no “best” art; there are many “best” art(s). I don’t really know the point of this. I just know that I enjoy using art as the medium for sharing my ideas because the real world is horrifying, and there’s no reason why the best idea shouldn’t always win. But the fact that I enjoy something doesn’t mean it’s right, and as I type this I am realizing that I need to start sharing more ideas outside of a safe, cushioned context and face this shit head on in a silver car crash. Okay, that was corny. But hey, I said the title, so it had to feel at least a little validating after reading all the crap I wrote above. Sorry. Don’t conform, and be brave.
Continue reading “[Download Mixtape] Tape Tuesday: Silver Car Crash” »
The U.S. might’ve lost against The Waffles yesterday, but that won’t stop us from celebrating our independence day this Friday! To those who have plans to get drunk and run wild, or to those who prefer to have a glass of wine and enjoy fireworks with your loved one (or do both at the same damn time), enjoy your weekend and freedom. Why? Because this is America and it is our duty as writers to serve you with an awesome playlist filled with June’s best music for your holiday weekend. God, I’m so emotional right now.
It’s already been six months into 2014, and that’s just weird. So weird that we had to tell you our top 100 songs from the last six months. All of them are compiled into one giant SoundCloud playlist with over 5 hours of tunes to fill your ears with. No particular order. Special shoutout to our writers for helping me put this together, and to our readers that are on this page checking out our picks. Y’all are awesome!
From an outsider’s perspective (no pun intended), it could be easy to discredit G-Eazy‘s success, saying that his brand is “manufactured.” It could be easy to say that this faux-retro brand he has built from nothing is just a shtick to set him apart in an over-saturated hip-hop market. Once you witness his “shtick” firsthand, you realize that maybe his brand is manufactured to set him apart in this crazy game. It doesn’t matter. G-Eazy is a smart guy–a graduate of Loyola University’s Music Industry Studies program. He knows what he’s doing, and maybe his image is a calculated attempt at monetizing nostalgia.
But image only gets you so far.
These Things Happen will be G’s first commercial album. The man is treading into the deep waters of actually asking his fans to purchase his music! But what I saw when I interviewed young Gerald was an experienced yet still hungry rapper with a smart style, a loyal fan base, and an unending supply of good music and ideas–not to mention, he is one of the most genuine artists I have ever met. Like, he lives exactly what he raps. In our interview, the Bay Area rapper talked candidly about the challenges of tour life, the details of his come up, rap disses, his favorite brands of whiskey, and of course, the making of These Things Happen. Pre-order the album on iTunes now or buy a physical copy on June 23rd. Continue reading “[Interview] G-Eazy: “This Is Where It All Starts”” »
Summer usually means one crucial thing for music fans….music festivals galore. Although quite a few have already taken place, there’s a good handful of them that have yet to occur. This time around we’re bringing you a taste of a big festival taking place in Scheessel, Germany on June 20-22, Hurricane Festival. As a current resident of Germany, I’ll be attending this festival for the first time but as preparation I’ll be giving a taste of what to expect. Whether you’ve never heard of Hurricane, are attending, or simply interested in what other festivals around the world have to offer, here’s a list of my top acts to see (including a taste of some actual German artist).
Bombay Bicycle Club
Bombay Bicycle Club have definitely been around long enough at this point to be seen as a solid band that has everyone’s respect. However, in many parts of the world there are still people that haven’t experienced the pure rawness and talent these guys possess. Their latest album came out merely a few months ago and the newer tracks will only add to their already flawlessly energetic live show. Whether you’ve seen them ten times or zero, they’re always worth experiencing live.
Duke Dumont has been bringing some serious jams in the last year. He’s currently making the world explode with his incredibly addictive track “I Got U” and that’s probably not the only track that he’ll be getting us stoked for. He’s bound to bring the party at his set and what’s better than a dance party at a festival?
George Ezra is another artist that’s been slowly but surely making himself known to the world. His soulful pipes and incredibly likable tunes can make anyone turn their head. His set is worth checking out before he completely blows up.
Casper is the first on our list that is an actual German artist. His music is a fusion of dark hip-hop and indie alternative. He doesn’t stray far from other American artists, having already done a tour with Portugal. the Man. He’s greatly known and appreciated in Germany and is worth giving a listen to.
With vocals filled of honey and soul, it’s almost a given that Selah Sue is a must-see. She’s got some serious girl power going and how can one not appreciate that? She rocks out on the guitar, belts out notes that we wish we could, and simply has it all. Full package, she sure is.
Circa Waves are exactly what you’d expect and want from a band’s live set. They’ve got the simple indie rock vibe that everyone appreciates in a festival setting. Plus they just know how to rock, can’t go wrong there.
Lily Allen may not be the most unique pick considering she’s a huge pop star that everyone knows. However, after her hiatus of far too long, it’s only right we appreciate her comeback. A bit of sass mixed with sing along worthy pop tracks, it’s definitely not a bad way to end your Saturday night after some intense sun.
Kraftklub is yet another German artist on the list. Their music can be described as indie rock with an occasional taste of hip hop. Their live act is bound to get the crowd going with energy therefore they’re a must-see if you want to have a good time.
Polica is absurdly beautiful which means their live show is bound to be just as mesmerizing. These Minnesota darlings are probably the most unique of the Hurricane must-see acts, so they’re definitely going to give a different flavor from anything else. That in itself is enough to appreciate.
Metronomy bring the indie-electro catchiness we all need at a summer festival. It’s worth bringing your dancing shoes, yet you won’t be totally drained watching them either. It’s the light fun you’ll be looking for when you want to enjoy yourself yet not melt from lack of energy.
London Grammar have stolen our hearts within the last year, so it would be criminal to not have them on this list. They may not be the most energetic, or particularly crazy as far as live acts go but what they have to offer is far beyond that. With vocals to sooth our minds and songs to melt our souls, there’s definitely nothing to complain about when seeing them live. They’re simply beauty in a band and missing them would be simply silly.
Last but not least is the final German artist on our list. Seeed is a well known band in Germany. Their music is a mixture between hip hop and reggae. As a headliner and closing act they are bound to attract a big crowd.
All in all, Hurricane Festival is bound to please it’s thousands of guests. With acts from around the world, it’ll give everyone a taste of something they enjoy.
The best songs are annoying pests–like the kindergardener who just learned about pressure points and will use his new knowledge to torture a much smaller, brown-skinned classmate. “Symmetry” by Glasgow-based duo Nieves is a big, unrelenting pest. It is a track that seems simple on the surface but is actually, according to the band, “a bleak but hopeful narrative about teenage pregnancy and Scotland’s underclass.” It is a track that will get under your skin and irritate the hell out of you when you can’t seem to let go of the uplifting piano backdrop, courtesy of Herre de Leur and the aching passion in lead singer Brendan Dafters’s voice. Below also is “Winter,” the band’s debut single, where they sound a lot like a Scottish version of the Avett Brothers, which is honestly probably a backwards comparison since the Avett Brothers most likely borrowed their sound from Scottish folk music.
I’m very excited to bring you Broke For Free and his latest album, Petal. Broke For Free hails from Northern California and as a producer he has established himself as a talented force (of chill). With such a unique style, it is no surprise that he has already climbed to the top of the Hypem charts with “The Gold Lining“.
Petal - This album captivated me from start to finish. Broke For Free offers so much more than just great sounding tracks. He offers a feeling, a feeling that can sometimes be hard to describe. A feeling that sticks with you from the opening track, ‘Golden Hour’. His natural ability to combine and blend so many musical elements is unleashed in Petal; from sooth synths, snares, and acoustic vibes, to hip-hop-themed beats, ambient noises, and chopped vocals. Broke For Free is in the zone, and I feel we are all blessed to listen to any artist, while they are in the zone.
Stream eight of the songs form Petal below, and scroll to the bottom for more information. Cheers
Support Broke For Free so he can continue doing his thing – Broke For Free – Bandcamp
Our writers continue to impress me with their great choices in their top picks for the month. Check out the genre mixed playlist below, and show some love to your favorite writers!
I’m very excited to welcome back Something Silent to the blogosphere, and rightfully so, as they are generating a lot of good vibes with their latest, up-tempo anthem: ‘Disco Pink’. We first covered the talented NYC duo consisting of RJF and David Brook when they released their debut single, ‘Ricki Lake‘.
After listening to this track on repeat, I have two key points to make:
- Don’t SLEEP on this duo.
- This track is a dance-floor-anthem.
These two definitely have what it takes to create both unique + incredible music. With that said, Something Silent is officially on my radar of artists to watch, will they be on yours? Enjoy the track, and click the link below for a free download. Cheers!
* Download link *
The name “Waves” came way before I found the song “Waves” by the incredible Aussie artist Japanese Wallpaper. I was reading about Jackson Sonnanfeld-Arden’s philosophy (introduced to me by Deru) about these Nine Pure Tones, or waves, that serve as the basis of all life and existence. It was a riveting read that has since been taken down from the Internet, and it was just crazy enough to sort of blow my mind and maybe influence my entire life.
You hear about how we’re the most informed generation, but how much of that information are we actually implementing in our behavior? Are we constantly having our behaviors and ideas reaffirmed by seeking comfort in niche sections of the Internet, which monitor our searches to customize the ads we see–only further reaffirming our behaviors? Or are we seeking and interpreting new ideas and incorporating them into our ever-changing social dynamics?
So these have been my thoughts and questions the past two months. You can see how “waves” could work as a metaphor for the ebb and flow of life. And the philosophy takes it like a zillion steps further by defining all science and behaviors in nine different waves. So yeah, um, that was the idea for the mixtape. Also, I just wanted to make your soundtrack for the beginning of summer.
She wears my favorite color, everyday in her eyes…
*Not including track 16 (“Berlin” by Highlands) and track 20 (“Mad at Me” by Sage The Gemini).