glass animals

Foreign Air – In the Shadows

Foreign Air’s debut single “Free Animal” was a broody, yet seductive indulgence of base instincts, calling to mind eclectic indie outfits like Alt-J and Glass Animals.

The duo’s second single, “In the Shadows,” cranks up the saturation and brightness a bit, but there’s still a rawness that is refreshingly genuine.

The record’s backbone is the chugging percussion, featuring massive toms and kicks that give it a truly worldly feel, and the booming piano chords here are simply good for the soul.

“In the Shadows” is about moving on from the past, and it’s a testament to the creativity of Jacob Michael and Jesse Clasen that they handled such an oft-covered topic without devolving into cliches.

“There is something very animalistic and ritualistic in the way we deal with putting the past away,” the duo explained of their new track. “You get tunnel vision and don’t see all the other great things and people around you. You’ve got to keep your head up or you won’t see the things that lie ahead of you.”

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Foreign Air – Free Animal

Foreign Air

With an edgy, hip-hop informed sound, Foreign Air is crafting dark rock music very much in the mold of Glass Animals or The Neighbourhood. The duo hail from North Carolina and D.C., but their music has a moody, ethereal, placeless feeling.

“Free Animal” is the group’s first release, and it has generated tremendous buzz behind buzzy, ominous guitar, frenzied electronic drums and some woozy sample chopping. The single is bluesy and hypnotic, featuring an impressive array of vocals from singer Jesse Clasen, including a haunting falsetto second verse.

Foreign Air’s debut EP is slated to drop in February 2016, and if the rest of the tracks are as tight as “Free Animal” you can expect these guys to be all over next summer’s festival circuit.

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Glass Animals & Joey Bada$$ – Lose Control

glass animals + joey bada$$

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.

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Jata – Ebony

Jata press shot

Jata describes his new single “Ebony” as “808s rumble through the jungle,” and it is certainly a fitting explanation. The track is filled to the brim with a cacophony of chirping, skittering synth blips, making it sound like you’ve been dropped deep in the woods.

With “Ebony,” Jata creates a landscape that fascinatingly blends the organic and electronic, similar to artists like Glass Animals and Ben Khan. It’s soulful and minimal at once, punctuated by a sharp drum line.

Jata’s vocals are understated but emotional, as a singer-producer he understands where his voice fits into the record perfectly.

Overall “Ebony” is a well produced, polished piece of electro pop that showcases Jata’s skill both in the booth and on the boards.

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Outside Lands 2015: Playlist + 10 Must-See Acts That Aren’t Headliners

Another year, another adventure at Outside Lands awaits. Of the three years that I’ve been in San Francisco for this magical festival, this year’s lineup is arguably the most impressive. The headliners are about as diverse as they come: Elton John (to please the old school crowd), Mumford & Sons (to please the nostalgic crowd), The Black Keys (to please the rocker crowd), Sam Smith (to please the emotional crowd), and Kendrick Lamar (to please the hip-hop crowd). And yet there’s something appealing to the general music fan in all of these artist. Suffice it to say, they nailed it this year.

And that’s not just because of the big name headliners they’re bringing in. There is an amazing amount of rising stars in the smaller print names coming to the festival this year. To make sure you get the most out of your Outside Lands experience this year, we’ve picked 10 must-see acts who fall in the non-headliner category. And for fun, we’ve also put together an Outside Lands playlist to get you excited for the fun next weekend. Hit the jump to continue reading.

Continue reading “Outside Lands 2015: Playlist + 10 Must-See Acts That Aren’t Headliners” »

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[Video] Jez Dior – Hide

Jezzy continues leaking singles in anticipation of his upcoming project, Scarlett Sage, to be released sometime in June. Like his previous two, “Hide” doesn’t disappoint.

Over a super chill, twanged-out guitar sample courtesy of Glass Animals, Dior lays down emotional bars about being a recluse (“I’m not going nowhere, but I know how to hide”).

Peep the simple, yet effective, video below where Jez takes a midnight jaunt by car and boat.

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