I first heard of VHS Collection about two years ago. I really got into their song “Far Hills Cider,” but as often happens in the music blogging world, I heard the song, played it for a while, and then the band soon dropped off my radar after I didn’t hear from them again for a while. It’s a bummer when that happens, especially when you feel like a band is really onto something.
But sometimes we get lucky and those bands resurface. That happened yesterday when I got a note from one of the members of VHS Collection saying that they had released a new song called “Lean.” To be honest, I got a bit nervous because “Far Hills Cider” had so much going for it - strong lyrics, catchy instrumentals, a build-up to a choral-style ending. This could easily be destined for one-hit-wonder-land.
But again, sometimes we get lucky and the resurfaced bands impress once more. And that’s the case with “Lean.” My attention was grabbed right from the start, as it immediately feels a bit like an Arcade Fire or LCD Soundsystem song (go figure, they linked up with producer Abe Seiferth of LCD Soundsystem fame) and it marches toward an anthemic hook that repeats “and oh, you’re gonna lean on your friends, and oh, you did it again.” It’s crazy what perfect sense that line makes after finding out that these guys have been playing music together since they were kids. They were there for each other as friends and now they’ve done it again. That might be the most literal translation of this chorus, but it’s too hard to ignore when it aligns so perfectly with the bands story and my feelings about their resurfacing.
So that’s what I’ll stick to. That and my hopes that they keep doing it again. And again and again and again.
Far Hills Cider:
Honne has been bringing a different flavor with every track they’ve released thus far. Whether it be the total pop goodness of their tune “Coastal Love” or the soulful, tenderness of “The Night”, Honne know how to reel in fans of various genres of music. This time around we get a little mixture of both. “Gone Are The Days” is undeniably catchy, but it definitely isn’t missing that emotional soul either. Honne know how to work with a fusion of pop, indie, and soul, in the best way possible. Check out their latest gem below, “Gone Are The Days”.
Many UK artists have been taking the world by storm these days, so it’s no surprise when another astounding talent comes along from that area. Antonio James is ready to join the pool of unique musicians and make his special sound known by many. “Midnight Mirror” is the chilling debut release from the soulful, dark artist. It’s got a gloomy, yet enticing sound. There’s a hint of r&b, pop, and even a touch of soul. It doesn’t stick to one sound, but rather has a flavor of it all. Antonio James may just have one song to his name, but he’s bound to have more up his sleeve. Listen to his debut track “Midnight Mirror” below, which is officially out for release today.
Lostboycrow continues to showcase his abilities with his latest “Talk Back To Me.” Here’s what he had to say on the inspiration on “Talk Back To Me:”
“Wherever there is strong, genuine feeling -be it anger, euphoria, sadness, desire- there is also vulnerability. ”Talk Back To Me” is about experiencing all the above with someone so quickly due to circumstances beyond your control. It’s about needing. In the art of seduction, and in the pain of unrequited love.”
Sexy, smooth, one of a kind. The anticipation builds for the debut EP…
Poliça have been bringing their quirky synthpop sound to our ears since their debut Give You The Ghost. Their last release Shulamith also created an atmosphere of darkness with a dash of their uniqueness. Their sound is one that can’t be compared to anyone, so it’s no wonder they’ve gotten quite the following. It’s been two years since their sophomore record and they’ve luckily come back to life with a brand new single. “Lime Habit” is quite simple and clean compared to some of their prior tracks, but it’s got its own beauty to it. It’s smooth, calm, and a dose of easy-listening music.
Poliça will release their third album United Crushers next year, March 4th. For now, check out “Lime Habit” below.
The Internet has been stealing hearts for quite some time with their chill, r&b vibes. Their latest album Ego Death had fans hitting the repeat button and falling even more for the edgy California band. Although their last release has had many hypnotized, they’ve decided to release a new little kick with a tune called “Famous”. It’s a bonus track from Ego Death and it’s the most upbeat out of all other tracks on the album. Syd the Kyd sings her soulful heart out to a groove-worthy beat and declares her admiration for a woman she’d like to make “famous”. It’s an irresistible track with a lot of charm. Listen to the track below.
Allie X is an artist that jumped onto my radar last year with her incredible release, “Catch” (which you should really go listen to also), and her new record, “Never Enough” marks her first movement since the release of the widely beloved “COLLXTION I” in April.
“Never Enough” finds Allie X lamenting over toned down production on one of the smoother beats the Toronto/Los Angeles singer has tackled thus far, and the instrumental really shines throughout the entirety of the record, specifically on the chorus.
Allie X brings her usual impeccable vocals to the table and rides the vibe of the instrumental perfectly en route to another must hear track. Count me in for “COLLXTION II”, whenever that happens.
Check out “Never Enough” here:
Alohaha is billed as “the breakup album and collaboration of L.A. based producer Jake Sinclair and poet Lyndsay Thornton.” But while there’s definitely melancholy below the surface, the single brims with woozy, slow-churning beauty.
Punctuated by steel guitars and meandering, his-and-hers vocals, “Welcome to Your New Life” is as gorgeous a track as you’ll find about relationship dysfunction. The song’s sunny sound is reminiscent of Peace or Real Estate.
“Welcome to your new life/Is it the paradise, baby, you’d hoped you’d find?” the pair of voices ask rhetorically.
White Sea‘s Morgan Kibby provides guest vocals, and gives “Welcome to Your New Life” a lot of its heart and suspense.
All in all, the track is a wry ode to the end of a relationship, and a testament to the power of dissonance between sonic style and subject matter.
JAKL may not ring any bells yet, but he’s making sure people don’t forget him with a strong debut. “The Jackal” is the first time that we get a taste of who JAKL may be as an artist and it’s quite a good impression. The track is intense, emotional, and dark, but also exposes an addictive sound that will get listeners hooked. It’s a mixture of pop, a bit alternative, and an overall beautiful piece of work. Listen to the inspirational sounds of the new London artist JAKL below.
There’s nothing in the world like waking up on a gloomy weekend morning, grabbing a cup of coffee, and diving headfirst into my SoundCloud stream to look for new music. This morning’s SoundCloud exploration led me to discover the two-piece duo, Folded Like Fabric, who recently put out their debut I Tried EP that pushes the creative boundaries with tracks that feature a pop backbone and infused with jazzy undertones and somber toplines.
All four tracks on the EP are worth checking out, and each of them showcases a different aspect of the duo’s talented production. They put out the title track of the EP, “You Said,” a few weeks ago and it’s a mesmerizing blend of smooth production underneath a slick, catchy topline that instantly hooks you in. Shimmering string arrangements create an atmospheric, airy vibe that serves as the perfect counterbalance for the emotive croons of Connor Sims. Check it out below.
The fact that we can classify Candyland and their newest production, “Speechless,” featuring RKCB, as a pop track proves how far the music industry has come in integrating dance music into the mainstream. A year ago, anything Candyland, and Candyland-produced, would be firmly considered electronic dance music, no two ways about it, but within the last year, dance music’s popularity has steadily grown to the point where the line between pop and dance has been blurred – and Candyland and RKCB are taking advantage of it.
You may remember Candyland as an emerging, electro house duo, but earlier this year, they went their separate directions, and “Speechless” is the latest release from Candyland that showcases a new, matured sound by the Santa Barbara-based producer.
Gone from her arsenal are the blaring horns and thumping kicks of main stage dance music, and in its place are tropical-influenced synths and a smooth house backbone that gives “Speechless” some serious groove. Throw in just a touch of indie vibes, courtesy of RKCB, and Candyland’s new tune will have you “speechless.” Take a gander at it below.
If you haven’t heard of Sydney duo Islandis and their perfect debut Indie-Pop jam, “Home”, then you and me from about one hour ago are the same. The good news is I’ve moved on since those dark times, and I’m here to take you with me and introduce you to one of my favorite new songs.
Islandis is a duo consisting of James Chave-Dubois and Ben Mclnerney, and according to their Facebook page, is a “brief moment of reflection across the years of escaped summers the two best mates have shared, whilst reveling in the excitement of the approaching warmth of a new season”. “Home” is certain to bring back your favorite summer memories (or just your favorite memories with friends), and while it isn’t even close to summer for us in America, I reserve the right to get you psyched for it anyways. Back to school commercials start the day school ends. At least I waited a few weeks.
Listen to “Home” here: