If I were to make a Sunset Selections of 2015, I would include Jarrod Milton. He really is a future pop innovator. Each of his tracks sounds so different from one another. On “VCR,” he channels his inner rockstar. On “Pray” (below), he spills his guts in full-on ballad mode. I have had the privilege of listening to some of his unreleased tracks, and this remarkable trend continues with the main consistency between songs being that he floats over every instrumental he touches.
With no one to hurt me, I feel so alone now
Check out the gorgeous, Frank Ocean-esque “Pray.”
Chelsea Lankes (the artist you should have been listening to since even before she released “Ghost”, an incredible record from early last year) just released “Too Young to Fall In Love”, a cover of the 1983 Mötley Crüe classic, and I’ve been listening to it on repeat ever since.
The trouble with cover songs is making them sound new and different, but Lankes handles this issue with the same ease she made us think of lost love on “Ghost”, recognize new love on “Secret”, and “let it happen” on “Down for Whatever”. The strength Lankes shows here is a rare ability to take a concept she didn’t come up with, with lyrics she didn’t write, and proceed to spend the next three minutes and 10 seconds convincing you that there is no way anybody else could have owned the song the way she did. “Too Young to Fall In Love” not only feels like a Chelsea Lankes song, but it makes chronological sense when compared to her recent releases.
The production on the track is air-tight as well. Showing flashes of Lankes’ past releases, the instrumental contributes to the cover feeling like an original record. Lankes rides the beat in a familiar confident fashion, showcasing flawless vocals which succeed at sounding both confident and vulnerable at the same time. The way the guitar solo/bridge is newly wrapped creates a perfect setting for the final moments of the track, and Lankes brings it home with ease.
Be on the lookout for more music from Chelsea Lankes, and if you haven’t already, go back and listen to “Ghost”, “Secret”, “Down For Whatever”, and anything you can find from previous releases. You’ll thank me later.
Oh Wonder have been releasing solid track after solid track these days. They promised to grant listeners a new song every month and luckily for us they haven’t skipped a single beat. This duo has managed to bring something new with each tune and their newest one is no different. “Technicolor Beat” is perfectly calming but with enough flavor to it to bring a head-bobbing beat. This duo is unstoppable and although a song a month is perfectly fine with us, an album would be even better. Until then, enjoy their March track below.
Bo Rocha is a name we have yet to hear and it’s a wonder why. This London based artist has yet to take the music world by storm, but she’s making herself known on the first try. With her debut track “Tangerine Flake”, she displays a fusion of all the flavors an alternative pop fan adores. There’s a twist of cool and edgy which creates the perfectly addictive tune. Listen to this fresh, new artist and her striking debut track below.
Living in the pseudo-’80s kid era of music is shaping up to be pretty alright. I mean, Taylor Swift fully cemented her status this past year as an unstoppable pop supernova with an album dedicated to ’80s synth pop, disregarding the fact that she was born in the last weeks of that decade. It seems Passion Pit have raised the stakes though in terms of blind ’80s worship, releasing a single that chants “1985 was a good year” despite singer Michael Angelakos’s birthday being a full two years later.
The chorus’ fallacy is quickly overlooked though because Passion Pit is back and their first single off new LP, Kindred, is absolute synth pop gold. Their formula is relatively unchanged (in fact, “1985″ sounds somewhat like a steroid-injected, radio-ready remake of “Let Your Love Grow Tall“), but honestly, why fix something that’s the furthest thing from broken? Preorders for Kindred go up tomorrow and the album will arrive in April.
It’s been far too long since Florence + the Machine’s last release and it’s about time there’s a taste of what’s to come. They seem to be taking a big approach with their return. “What Kind of Man” is a beautiful display of hurt, passion and all the incredible emotions that make the most powerful music. This track will be featured on their newest album which will be released in June of this year. Check out the video for “What Kind of Man” below.
Let’s get the boring question on everyone’s mind out of the way first: How is SOAK so good at 18 years old? Yes, Bridie Monds-Watson has quietly built her talents with minor nods from the UK press over the last few years and, granted, she has the unfortunately young face of someone that’ll forever get carded at bars, but the answer is simple: most 18 year olds are just better at music than old people. I don’t know how this is still a revelation, but it’s the absolute truth and “Sea Creatures” is such a strong example of that.
If Camera Obscura‘s tweeness went for a night out with Lorde and her producer/partner-in-crime, “Creatures” would be the slightly hungover result the following morning. And honestly, as the Eastern seaboard gets pummeled with another foot of snow, a pleasantly simple song about defeating your bullies and running away just might be the perfect song for right now.
Admittedly, Years & Years was one of the first BBC Sound of… winners in recent memory I hadn’t heard of before their triumph. I hold the yearly finalists to a high standard as most go on to international fame, but I groaned a bit upon finding the London trio claimed ’90s house as an influence. Nothing wrong with the genre; I just feel like every British band and their mothers are claiming some house influence in the wake of Disclosure. Last year’s “Real” is an absolute gem in its own right though, the highlight being singer Olly Alexander’s commanding lead into an eerily woozy club anthem about surrendered love.
“King” seems to tread a similar lyrical territory, but Years & Years have taken the last year to catalyze into a full blown pop act. Alexander thrives in the song’s arena-ready chorus while the band seems to have studied Foster the People and Bombay Bicycle Club‘s handbooks to successfully quirky indie pop. “King” will officially be out March 1st, but this very, ahem, hands-on video should tide you over until then.
I have pretty high hopes for MisterWives. The lead singer Mandy is extremely talented and she’s got great guys behind her that know what they’re doing. A talented group that is ready to take the next step in the music business, and I think they will.
Their latest single, Our Own House, is the next offering off of their upcoming album, also titled, Our Own House. You can preorder that here.
Our Own House is that upbeat, dancing pop infused track that is pretty easy on the ears, and you just really can’t get enough of Mandy.
Denai Moore turned heads when she began releasing tunes a couple of years ago, bringing a raw, beauty with every new sound. Now it’s finally her time to show the world what she’s about with her debut album Elsewhere, set to be released April 6th. The title track “Elsewhere” has many layers that make it the perfect standout. It’s slightly dark yet contains a gorgeous amount of soul. Denai Moore is bringing her own uniqueness to the table and it’s about time we get the full picture of what she’s creating.
There’s something magically beautiful about artists uploading their first soundcloud tracks. It’s one track that can get the attention of music lovers and swirl into a storm of attention. It’s all about being a hit or a miss, in this case Refs are hitting the mark in all the right ways. “Pain Goes Away” has a chill vibe yet doesn’t fall short of being incredibly catchy. There’s a hint of soul, indie, and it blends into the perfect debut tune. For fans of Chet Faker, this track will be a true pleaser. Check out the gem below and keep an eye out for this great new artist.
New Orleans’s Generationals are, in short, the kind of rising indie band commercial music supervisors have dirty dreams about. A description like that sounds damning in some circles, but a few seconds into a song like “Black Lemon” off their latest LP, Alix, and you’ll practically allow the dancing images of silhouetted iPod listeners into your head. This shouldn’t discourage indie credibility purists though, as Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer have evolved Generationals with such a genuine, New Wave-adoring quirkiness, it’s easy to imagine them spending afternoons lovingly flipping the same a-ha and Duran Duran singles over and over.
Their video for “Reviver” though feels far from the synthesized, urban pep their songs occupy though. Generationals appear as backwoods dirtbikers, winning the hearts of ’80s-redux, flag waving models and beer-smashing rednecks alike. Although it’s questionable whether the airy synthwork or heavy reverb verses in “Reviver” would convince such a normally conservative Southern crowd, Generationals just visually up their fun-loving quota with color-spewing exhaust smoke and Widmer being swallowed by the sun on a high jump. “Reviver” and Generationals as a whole make relentlessly happy sounds, intending to unite redneck and music snob alike under the good old fashioned power of a catchy chorus.