Spring is blossoming, the sun is shining, and there’s nothing better than feel good music to accompany the times. Abby Diamond is a rising star from San Francisco and she’s here to reel us in with her tenderly beautiful style. “Love To Watch You Leave” is just one of many to come from Miss Diamond, but it’s one that should not be passed by. It’s chill and infused with an effortlessly cool r&b sound. If you’re into artists like Jessie Ware, Abby Diamond is the one to watch. Tomorrow is the release date of her new EP and it’s sure to only be the first of her many wonderful works. For now, check out her already released tunes on her soundcloud which can be found below.
New in my inbox this morning was an interesting piece by young NYC native Shaun Hettinger aka Memoryy – multi instrumentalist and pop aficionado with another epic indie/ectronic hybrid of a jam for fans of Promise Ring, Teen Daze, etc. I’ve got a lot of love for this rising artist.
I’m actually surprised that this young man hasn’t been signed to Arbutus Records or anything. Maybe he should just move to Montreal and get it over with. Let this jam uplift your soul as we move toward a bright and sunny springtime festival season!
For a product of a fight between two rival bands, Oh, Be Clever has shown a surprising grip on the concept of harmony. Behind the powerhouse vocals of singer/songwriter Brittney Shields, and the master of all trades production and writing skills of Cory Layton, the group has crafted a perfect combination of indie, electronic, soul, and pop music with a ceiling that has yet to be seen. I recently sat down with Cory and Brittney to talk music. Hit the jump to read our conversation.
NOLA rapper Pell teamed up with Morgan Kibby (of White Sea and M83 fame) to flip his song “Runaway” off of his album Floating While Dreaming. The somber song with that chorus line “out in the cold you told me it would be fine, now you’re alone struggling for a place to call home” suddenly sounds like an unbeat pop record. It’s a transition sonically and emotionally, but I find both versions beautiful in their own right. SO MUCH GOOD NEW MUSIC TODAY.
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.