Pop

Foxtrott – Shaky Hands

Foxtrott black and white

As great as the past year’s dark pop explosion has been, sometimes artists forget to throw in some attitude to compliment the pounding drums and ominous synths. That isn’t the case for Montreal’s Foxtrott, whose energy makes “Shaky Hands” a standout from the start.

The record is built around a synthy brass line that Foxtrott flawlessly matches with her vocals. It gives “Shaky Hands” a sense of urgency and a kind of roughness around the edges that’s undeniably welcome.

A lot of the track’s staying power comes from Foxtrott’s voice, which is a welcome change of pace with so many artists capitalizing on today’s ethereal sound. She sings with a chip on her shoulder, and oscillates perfectly between a naturally deeper tone and a pseudo-falsetto on the hook. In another life she would’ve made a killer frontperson for a punk band.

But perhaps what’s most impressive is that Foxtrott, wrote, sang and produced the track herself. She’s a unique talent, and if “Shaky Hands” is any indication her upcoming project, A Taller Us is going to be something special.

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Harrison Brome – Pools

Harrison Brome screenshot from Facebook

Canadian singer Harrison Brome is only 19, but he’s already got the ethereal indie R&B sound down to a science. His latest track “Pools” is a relaxed, smoky single that highlights his vocals over understated production.

Brome’s voice is soft and soulful, reminiscent of Fyfe or Ben Khan. But there is something dark and alluring here, Brome sounds like he’s willfully holding back, and it suits “Pools” well.

The instrumental only adds to the mystique, as high-pitched pad synths oscillate and vocal harmonies fill out the rest of the beat. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it pairs well with Brome’s vocals.

At just 2:22 “Pools” leaves you wanting more, and we’re eagerly anticipating the young talent’s upcoming EP.

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KDA – Turn the Music Louder (Rumble) Feat. Katy B & Tinie Tempah

tinie tempah

Is there anything better than a powerful, dance anthem? As far as breaking it down on the dancefloor goes, absolutely not. This time around KDA, Tinie Tempah, and Katy B have teamed up to make the perfect party track. This collaboration has a taste of everything from the hip hop vibe, to incredible vocals, to an irresistible bass-infused beat. As we hear Katy B flawlessly belts out, “Turn the music louder, let me feel it“. It’s one that’ll get anyone out of their seat at the club, or you know, in their bedroom. The single will be out October 16th, but for now you can groove to it by listening to the track below.


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MOONZz – Satisfy

SATISFY Cover Round 2

Imagine if Purity Ring and Banks formed a super group after listening to Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!)” and TNGHT for two months solid.” – Noisey. While I’m not to usually quote press releases, that line was just too good to pass up, and I have to give credit where credit is due because Noisey absolutely hit the nail on the head with that description.

“Satisfy” is MOONZz‘s debut single, and she’s not just knocking on the door and coming in politely, rather she’s blowing the door down and making sure everyone knows her name. The LA-based singer-songstress is already well known in various industry circles for her vocal work for producers like Dr. Fresch, Luca Lush, and Prince Fox, but she’s breaking out from their shadow to make a name for herself, and she’s started her solo career off in spectacular fashion.

Her sultry, sexy voice provides the perfect edge for Cozyra’s production on the track. Her offbeat, avant-garde vocals will lull you into the track, until the track takes a left turn with cleverly-placed chopped and screwed vocal samples and gritty, futuristic electro-pop production as if you’re watching the moon in the sky disappear into nothing.

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Maja Francis – Just the Way You Are

Maja Francis promo shot

Covering Billy Joel for your second single ever is a bold move, but Swedish electro pop singer Maja Francis manages to take the Piano Man’s 1977 hit “Just the Way You Are” to fascinating and unexpected heights.

Replacing the guitar with synths, and the saxophone with synths, and just about everything else with synths, Francis turns the song into a Chvrches-style electronic anthem. Throbbing drums give “Just the Way You Are” an underlying sense of urgency, and the track bursts to vibrant life on the hook.

Francis has a beguiling voice, high and emotive, that sells this courageous cover choice. She sounds a bit like Megan James of Purity Ring, but instead of being one with her instrumental Francis is at the forefront, dictating where the track goes.

Her previous single, the excellent “Last Days of Dancing” had a certain ’80s nostalgia to it, and that is fully on display here as well.

With another official single coming this fall, expect Francis to follow in the footsteps of Tove Lo or Sunset favorite MIYNT and establish herself as another Swedish pop star in the making.

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Ofelia K – White T-Shirt (The Golden Coast Remix)

ofelia k - white t-shirt (golden coast remix)

It seems like I’m a little late to the party, because I had no idea who Ofelia K or The Golden Coast were until I came across this remix of “White T-Shirt” this morning, but it was so good that it inspired me to really dig into the masterminds behind this work of art. As it turns out, the Los Angeles-based, Colorado-born duo of Steven Mudd and Danny White ventured across the Rockies nearly a decade ago, and they could not have picked a more appropriate name than The Golden Coast, as their music personifies the West Coast – bright summer sun, happy-go-lucky vibe, and a laidback groove.

With summer slowly drawing to a close, their remix of “White T-Shirt” by Ofelia K could not have come at a better time. While it’s a step away from The Golden Coast’s typical upbeat, pool party ready offerings, the duo masterfully layers together futuristic, glitchy synth melodies with the soft guitar backbone and soothing vocals of the original to give it a cool, vibey feel that can’t be beat.. So put some headphones on, close your eyes, and imagine you’re driving down PCH at night with the wind blowing through your hair and not a care in the world.

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Oh, Be Clever – River

Cover, Oh, Be Clever's "River"

New music from Oh, Be Clever (who you met on this site a few months back) is always a welcome sound to my ears, and their newest track, “River”, is a great flex of muscles I hadn’t seen the duo show off yet.

If you’ve been following Oh, Be Clever closely, you’ll be familiar with the fact that a lot of their songs incorporate bigger instrumentals underneath singer Brittney Shields’ big vocals, but “River” is one of the more somber sounding instrumentals I’ve heard producer/writer Cory Layton put together thus far. The end result is a showcase of the wide array of sounds the duo can cover without feeling any kind of overstretched.

Overall, this song only adds to my thoughts on the ceiling of Oh, Be Clever. I’ve lived in Utah a long time, and I can’t recall a time that I’ve been as excited to see the future of an act as I am with this group.

Check out “River” here!

-Kyle Copier

 

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[MP3] Milan – Lime

Milan singer

Milan‘s SoundCloud bio reads, “Producing. Singing. Strumming. Reminiscing,” and all four skills are certainly on display with “Limes,” her most recent single.

The track falls into the dark pop genre, but it is elevated by her nuanced production and well-timed splashes of guitar. The Sydney-based double-threat is also a stronger singer than many similar musicians, which she shows off on a few gorgeous riffs throughout the record.

There is a jazzy, effortless quality here, which is a far cry from many of her competitors who rely heavily on studio effects for their vocal dynamism. When she isn’t belting, Milan moves the song’s narrative forward with a rapid fire flow showcasing not only her songwriting but also her versatility on the mic.

Her Glass Eyes EP from earlier in the year was impressive, and “Lime” builds nicely on the promise Milan showed. The drums hit harder, whirring and skittering around her vocals, and the track has a mainstream sensibility that gives it major hit potential.

Despite the bevy of similar artists out there, it’s tough to find a great comparison for Milan. On the surface she may seem like another indie pop vocalist, but her confidence and production talent pushes her above the fray.

Further proof that when it comes to merging electronic influences and pop music, Australians simply do it better.

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Lightboxes – Something Else

Lightboxes

There’s nothing better than a bit of quirkiness, especially in musical ways. “Something Else” is the unique, upbeat type of quirkiness that can be appreciated by anyone who likes some spice in their music. Lightboxes bring a familiar sound that would probably have Little Dragon fans swooning, but they’re also no imitation either. They’ve got their own special flavor and it’s perfectly displayed in this jumpy tune. Listen to the catchy debut track from Lightboxes below and keep an eye out for this duo.


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Petite Noir – MDR

PN

Summer may be nearing its end, but there’s no reason we shouldn’t enjoy summer infused jams for a little bit longer. “MDR” is the newest track from Petite Noir and it’s one everyone should be adding to their end of summer playlists. It has a tropical rhythm and a light, fun sound that’ll make anyone start swaying along. It also doesn’t hurt that the lyrics are utterly romantic, “Did you know you’re beautiful, in every single way?”  This may even be the track for summer lovers. Either way, it’s one to check out. Listen to “MDR” below and be sure to look out for Petite Noir’s debut album La Vie Est Belle/ Life Is Beautiful, out September 11th.


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[MP3] Bipolar Sunshine – White Iverson (Post Malone Cover)

Bipolar Sunshine solo shot

Post Malone‘s “White Iverson” has been one of the year’s most unlikely smash hits, and in the process the OVO-sounding single has been remixed by just about every artist and produce you can think of.

While plenty of these remixes are interchangeable – beefing up the drums and bass line can only get you so far – British singer-songwriter Bipolar Sunshine puts an incredibly memorable spin on the track.

His soulful voice takes the song from struggle croon to bona fide R&B slow jam with the help of Jazz Purple on the boards.

Bipolar Sunshine says of the remix, “Since my younger brother played me this song I have been hooked on it. Everything down to melody and lyrics was spot on for me, so I wanted to do the song justice in my own way.”

Retaining the original’s languid pace, the duo drop the drums and piano, turning it into a sprawling track which highlights Bipolar Sunshine’s unique voice and perfect mapping of Malone’s signature cadence.

The harmony on the final hook is an especially nice touch, but it’s hard to find fault with this pitch perfect remix.

Also check out Bipolar Sunshine’s guitar-drenched flip of Lorde’s “Team.”

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The Neighbourhood – R.I.P. 2 My Youth

nbhd

It was merely two years ago when The Neighbourhood reeled music fans in with their hit single “Sweater Weather”. The edgy, unique vibe that came from these California boys had them gaining fans left and right. Since that moment, they’ve toured around the world and have collaborated with other great artists like Raury (see their mixtape # 000000 & # FFFFFF). Now, they’re here to bring their newest single “R.I.P. 2 My Youth”. It’s got the NBHD sound fans have grown to love over the years, with a mix of gloomy pop and a sprinkle of indie combined with some hip hop influence. It doesn’t stray too far from what fans know, but it also has a glimmer of something new. Take a listen to the track below and keep your eyes peeled for their new album WIPED OUT!, out this October.


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