Today is my 24th birthday. The significance in this year is that it’s my year of the Black Mamba. This has absolutely nothing to do with music, but not much needs to be said other than the fact that both Frank Ocean (finally!), and Young Thug dropped new albums this month. Check out Best of August, as well as, Best of July below!
Alpines has given us a taste of their upcoming album with the haunting “Heaven”. This UK duo makes pop-tinged R&B music, and this track is no exception. Catherine Pockson’s voice glides over synths and breakbeats provided by Bob Matthews. Lo-fi kick drums contrast beautifully with Pockson, whose voice is reminiscent of familiar names like London Grammar and Jessie Ware. “Heaven” will appear on the duo’s forthcoming Another River, due out October 28th. Keep an eye out for the album, and peep the track below!
You may be currently sipping a cocktail in the backyard and tanning your skin away, but we all know the inevitable is coming — the end of summer. I know, it burns our ears too, but let’s not forget all the good times basking in the sun quite yet. We’ve compiled the perfect playlist for your last minute BBQs and days at the park. There are songs literally about summer (Kate Nash), songs that just make you want to get down at the labor day party (Roy Woods, Mac Miller), and some tracks that are simply light and catchy (Big Baby D.R.A.M., Kali Uchis) for those “windows down” car rides. Before you kiss the sun and warmth goodbye, take this playlist for a spin and just live in the summer moment.
Syd has had quite the year with The Internet (hello to their first Grammy nomination!) and it’s a wonder how any of these young artists could keep the fire going, but they are not stopping. Syd is clearly not taking a break and is cooking up some goods for us while we wait for another album from The Internet (please, hook us up soon). “Amazing” is a smooth r&b love track, produced by the equally soulful Dornik. It’s impossible to not feel every tender word Syd is serenading us with and it has us feeling some type of way (if we do say so ourselves). Dornik brings it that extra bit of flavor and makes this a match made in heaven. (Dornik and Syd collaboration album, anyone?). Check out the love song team-up below and get in your feelings.
When Oh, Be Clever released “Love You Now” around the beginning of the summer, I was majorly impressed by the way Brittney Shields’ vocals sounded over the softer soundscape Cory Layton had put together. “Love You Now” was something very different from the duo, and I praised the versatility present in the record. For reference, here’s that original track:
But I know what you were wondering. “What if this track, being one of the more laid back Oh, Be Clever songs yet, was even MORE laid back? Like ‘haven’t moved from the couch in hours’ kind of laid back?” Well that’s where Jeff & Philo come in.
This remix sounds like one of those looped vine videos of someone riding a bike behind some super bright summer video filter. The synth work on the instrumental sounds scientifically designed to force you to chill, and the non-offending drums lend to that feeling. I could imagine playing this remix for around 2 days in a row without finding the motivation to stop it- partially because of how good it is and partially because of how calm I feel listening to it. The added genius of this remix lies in the way Jeff & Philo took a genre which usually ditches vocals for instrumentals and still allowed Brittney Shields’ vocals to play a major part in the overall sound.
The sounds of r&b are taking over the radio these days with the success stories of Bryson Tiller, The Weeknd, Tory Lanez, and all the other current princes of r&b. It feels like the boys are taking over (with the exception of Kehlani and Jhene Aiko) and it feels like we could use some more powerful women in this r&b lineup. Luckily, Sinead Harnett is a rising star that happens to have some serious soul. “If You Let Me” is her latest track which she wrote with Grades and it’s probably her most traditional r&b track yet. It’s got that cool, slick vibe without even trying. Sinead effortlessly serenades us in the most tender way and we can’t help but fall under her spell. “If You Let Me” is on Sinead Harnett’s newest EP, but you can listen to it below.
It’s safe to say we haven’t heard from Refs in awhile, they came to reel us in with their debut track “Pain Goes Away” and then disappeared into oblivion (pretty cruel, if you ask us). Luckily, they’ve come out of hiding and are back with a bang. “Turn Around” is their new tune and it’s an absolute pop gem. It’s one of those tracks that will stay in your head after 1 or 2 listens, so approach with caution. It’s completely catchy and has us ready for what’s next. Let’s hope it’s not another year until we hear more from Refs, for now check out “Turn Around” below.
Banks has always been the r&b princess that stole our hearts, but she’s got a new flavor that will have fans feelin’ her (and possibly themselves, too) even more than before. It’s been a little too long (okay, only about 2 years) since we got Banks debut album in our hands, but she’s back and she’s bringing things to another level. “Fuck With Myself” is the ultimate “I love myself” anthem for all of us that need it. The message is clear, but the video for the track takes the mood to a dark, slightly creepy place. It’s like an obscure horror movie, starring a beautiful female lead. Needless to say, it’s absurd in the best way, just the way we like it. If this is any indication of what Banks is about to bring, our souls are about to get a piece of lovely darkness. Check out the disturbingly beautiful video for “Fuck With Myself” below.
Abir is a Morocco-born, Virginia-raised, Queens-based singer-songwriter with a penchant for great songwriting and a voice that can (probably) shift tectonic plates. A few days ago on her 22nd birthday, she released the massive, impeccably produced and written track “Girls,” which comments on the superficial club culture most of us reluctantly participate in. By the song’s conclusion, you realize that everyone is “on their bullshit,” drunkenly fronting to anyone who will listen. It is actually kind of depressing to think about, but Abir coats her message with enough sugary pop goodness for all of us to forget our worries for approximately 3 minutes and 25 seconds.
Check out the accompanying piece of bathroom horror stories and .gifs from Abir’s friends and collaborators via Milk.
High Rule feeds the ears of music with “No Filter,” a witty, and playful take on pop culture in our society. While not my favorite from the Chicago based duo, High Rule still stays true to their unique sound, and as a result, it’s still something to mess with. This acts as the second single off of their debut EP, In Real Life.
It was merely a year ago when Bo Rocha released her edgy track “Tangerine Flake” and at the time it felt like the emergence of another Lana Del Rey. However, Bo Rocha has proven to be much more than just another artist in the crowd. Her sultry, mysterious sound is one that’ll hook you in without even trying. “Enough For You” is her latest offering and it’s a soulful display of what Bo Rocha is capable of. As usual, the London-based artists brings a mixture of genres (pop, r&b, soul) to create that perfect musical recipe. Her new EP will be out this September on Bait and Switch Records, but for now check out “Enough For You” below.
We’ve officially reached the halfway point of 2016. We’ve heard from Chance The Rapper, Drake, Kanye West, Rihanna, and plenty more. However, we still have yet to hear from Frank Ocean. This upsets me, but we’re getting close. He teased his release a few days ago. In the meantime, the SunsetFam has put together one hell of a playlist for you to vibe out to with our favorite cuts (so far). Follow the playlist on Spotify, and we can’t wait to let you know our favorites from 2016 in December!