Pop

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

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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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Kygo – Piano Jam 2

kygopiano

I received nothing but positive feedback when I posted Kygo’s first Piano Jam, so I imagine people might be excited to know that Kygo has released a second Piano Jam. This one is even less produced than the first one – it’s nothing more than the sound of a grand piano. Kygo started to take piano lessons at age six and continued until he was about 16, when he decided to stop the lessons and start making his own music with a MIDI after watching many YouTube videos. As somebody who also took lessons for about 10 years, I can hear the classical influences in this piece. I can also say that I clearly did not get as much out of my ten years of piano lessons as Kygo did. In another life, I might have to take those lessons more seriously so I could sit down and create something as simple and beautiful as this. Loving it.

 

Listen to other piano-based songs

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Banoffee – With Her

Singer Banoffee

The end of a relationship is never easy, and the recovery process is typically a full spectrum of emotion. On “With Her,” Banoffee expertly mirrors that spectrum, crafting a song that begins as a jilted lover ballad and ends with lush deep house synths.

Banoffee is the nom de plume of Melbourne singer Martha Brown. She possesses a preternaturally interesting voice, breathy and emotional, and has significant gifts as a storyteller.

“With Her” hinges on the development of Brown’s character throughout the track, and she sells each verse and hook with an understated sense of sadness and resignation.

“Every time I saw your face on that screen/I thought you were with me/You were with her” she sings.

But “With Her” is not all gloom and doom, it’s actually a very fun track with shimmery synths and an enjoyably spot-on nod to Mario’s classic “Let Me Love You.”

Banoffee has gotten plenty of love in her native Australia, and with her wonderfully titled second EP Do I Make You Nervous? she’s poised to become a global name in the indie pop world.

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Ghost Hours – Fever

Ghost Hours Logo

I don’t think it’s possible to concoct a better description of Ghost Hours‘ new track “Fever” than the one he provided us.

“[It] sounds like Chet Faker got drunk with Washed Out and made music to cure their hangovers,” he explained.

The song certainly has a morning-after quality, punctuated by shimmery, understated electric piano and Ghost Hours’ haunting falsetto.

But even the worst hangovers eventually lift, and “Fever” subtly shifts into a more uptempo record with infectious drums and some wonderfully distorted vocal chops.

Overall, the song is a strong, cohesive effort from an artist perfectly poised for a big year.

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Melanie Martinez – Tag You’re It

MM

Eeeny  meanie miney mo your mother said to pick the very best girl, Melanie Martinez sings in one of the many fun tracks on her debut album Cry Baby. This track, just like many of the others on the album, is trapped in a magical, playful world. It’s as if Melanie Martinez is taking real-life love stories and combining them with the memories of childhood play. It’s a mixture of innocence yet pure reality all bundled in a catchy pop song. “Tag You’re It” is a little twisted, but addicting all at once. Listen to the track below and be sure to check out Martinez’s debut album Cry Baby, out now.

In case fans also want a story book meaning to the origins of Cry Baby , check that out right here for a unique experience.

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Zara Larsson- Lush Life +Video

Taken from Larsson's Facebook

In my desperate attempts to keep my summer alive, I’ve been listening to more and more high energy pop music, making Zara Larsson‘s new release, Lush Life, the perfect song for the moment.

Larsson is a name you’ve seen here before, but this time she’s back with a much more bubblegum pop track than the likes of “Uncover” or “She’s Not Me“. The uptempo, yet simple instrumental provides the perfect field for Larsson to flex her rapidly developing vocal capabilities and style without sounding too forced.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see this track do major radio damage in the coming months.

Check out Lush Life Here!

 

-Kyle Copier

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Elderbrook – Good Enough

British singer-producer Elderbrook

It’s rare to hear a producer-vocalist who presides over his music with as much nuance and control as England’s Elderbrook. His tracks boast some of the same pleasing minimalism as Jamie Woon or early Jungle and “Good Enough,” the latest track from his Travel Slow EP, plays up everything we’ve come to appreciate about this modern wave of electronic music.

Perhaps it’s his commanding baritone, reminiscent of those old grizzled country singers who can ramble an entire verse before realizing they haven’t sung one note, that makes the track such a standout. Elderbrook’s voice is smoother and gentler, but its consistency and restraint allows him to craft a wonderfully varied soundscape around it that is at once shimmering and dark.

The most striking element of “Good Enough” is the space that each aspect of the track is given. You can feel the lingering pop of a finger snap, or pick apart each layer of the gorgeously percussive backup harmonies as you see fit. You can go whole listens without even noticing the glimmering guitar that comes in and out before realizing it might be the most essential element there.

For a 21-year-old musician, Elderbrook has a tremendous understanding of his strengths and how to subvert the expectations of the listener.

“Be There Soon,” the EP’s first single, is equally impressive in its own right, and might have more crossover appeal for its synths and uptempo feel, but the tracks flow perfectly into one another, and that’s a testament to Elderbrook’s dynamism.

Travel Slow is out on August 21st, and it stands as one of the more unique and immersive releases from a new artist of the summer.

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