Sunset in the Rearview
Very happy to have the opportunity today to bring you a first glimpse into the NYC resident DJ/producer duo the Golden Pony‘s most recent work of art. They are known for their impeccable re-workings of popular songs and interesting artists, and have once again shed an incredible amount of soul into an otherwise dismissible pop tune.
The boys are back after a short tour-break where they spun dates in beautiful western Canada and the US – eager to get back into the studio and produce even more awesome beats, I’m sure. Get to know the duo by checking out their Soundcloud – and take in the incredible amount of work they offer up for free download, time after time.
Without further ado – here it is!
A deep house groover here to warm you up for festival season – turn the volume up loud and hopefully you have a subwoofer, cause this one brings heat. All the way from the east coast, Nick Iwaskow aka Wasko is at it again with another blend of his deep and psychedelic bass sounds. Having dabbled in many different genres and forms of artistic expression including live AV / installation work, the man is a jack-knife of interesting culture and stimuli.
Check out his latest, titled Songbird, available now for free download via Soundcloud:
You will also be pleasantly surprised to find that his eclectic array of musical personas include melancholic indie / RnB anthem style electronic tunes such as this, which happens to feature Montreal resident Jenna Deagle-Potter:
I’m probably making this a bigger deal than it actually is, but I think we’re all extremely happy he’s back to rapping. I’m one of the few that somehow liked WZRD because I appreciate him as an artist and support any direction he decides to take in his music, but clearly, a lot of his fans didn’t feel the same way.
The past is the past. From the sounds of “Just What I Am,” it’s like riding a bicycle for him. I love the new sound. This has the Man on The Moon feel all over it.
Presented by Sunset in the Rearview and Hold My Coat
Two months ago, Sunset in the Rearview and Hold My Coat decided to take submissions to a mixtape that we would call the “Best College Artists” mixtape. After a great number of submissions, the teams at SITR and HMC came together to vote and decide upon the artists we believe are worthy of being on this mixtape.
The other day, BroBible released their “College Rapper Database”, which included what they considered their top 100 college rappers in order from 1-100. I vehemently disagreed with their list, as did the majority of people who read it. This is not our response to their list; this is simply a list of artists both Sunset in the Rearview and Hold My Coat truly believe in. Our list bridges genres. These are not the Best College Rappers: these are the Best College Artists.
University of Michigan
College of Staten Island
Hit the jump for a full tracklisting, a description of each artists, and the download link.
Out of New York University, this group came up very quickly on the blogs. “Temptations” hit a great number of blogs as soon as it was released, and the group immediately received a lot of hype. They really delivered on their latest EP, Premier, which was released by SITR and Pigeons & Planes. Pigset.
“Fellas with the beats whatchu cookin’ in the kitchen?/ Found hip hop and started losin’ my religion”
2. “Take Me Away” – Fortune Family (NYU)
Also out of NYU, Fortune Family’s “Take Me Away” is a catchy song that almost immediately gets stuck in your head. With great production, this duo shows consistent lyrical strength. Their latest EP, “Paradox,” was received almost unanimously as an extremely impressive project. This group shines in the diluted genre of “college” rap, and, as young as they are, they have a very bright future in front of them.
“Say he’s a cool cat/ Living on his ninth life/ Me I’m more like one of Vick’s dogs/ Living on my ninth fight”
3. “Top Shelf” – JuiceBoX (SUNY-Oneonta)
With some really cool production on this track, JuiceBoX comes with a unique flow that bumps throughout. JuiceBoX spits hard, as if he has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove. You can really see the emotion shine through in his music.
“I let the haters talk/ Let them do what they do/ Bitch I’m in it to win it/ There is no option to lose
4. “Video Game” – Mouth’s Cradle (Syracuse University)
Mouth’s Cradle has an extremely unique sound and a very cool vibe. I love the synths on this track, and the flow of the instrumental itself is really cool. Definitely an extremely talented group, these guys are serious, and you will hear more from them.
“I wish that love was like a videogame/ And that no matter how I played it, it would turn out the same”
5. “Strange Times (prod. Brenton Duvall)” – Young Prince (Guilford College)
Well, Brenton’s my boy and we at Sunset absolutely love everything he touches. So when he started producing original material for some rapper I had never heard of named Young Prince, I was extremely intrigued. This track has the Brenton feel to it for sure, which is always a good thing, and also some great flow and tight rhymes from YP. Young Prince has recently been invited to join “Lydia’s Band of Little Brothers.” That obviously means he has talent.
“See my music complements my purpose/ Cause what I’m hearin’ on the radio is soundin’ worthless”
I was immediately impressed by this group’s ability to create to create a full, multi-layered, potent sound. Similar on some level to Animal Collective, they really do create a “euphoric” sound.
“Won’t you feel it?”
Oh Stereo has a really great sound as a band, and this is a feel good track that is easy to listen to, with a mellow vibe. Great piano, great drums, great guitar, great singing…great band.
“Emotions cast a haze on the moon”
8. “Imperfect” – Bradford Hester (Syracuse University)
Bradford Hester is a great rapper and a solid singer. Creating a really slick song here, the opening lyrics of this song, below, really describe it well. Just a solid song to kick back to.
“This got that crusin’ down the highway, topdown, 70 degrees, clear skies, beautiful girl in the passenger seat feel”
This track gets you vibing to the beat even before Smith comes in to rap. With a really understated, synth and drum beat, Smith rocks a mellow flow over the top. Sam Kay comes in with a great hook and really adds another element. While I’m not at all a fan of this genre (pop/R&B), these two do it well.
“And it was wrong in the worst way/ Didn’t care, had me comin’ over to her place”
Stann Smith has a flow that reminds me a lot of Chris Webby. I don’t particularly enjoy Chris Webby’s music, but this submission really impressed me. Nothing special about the production on this one (besides, of course, the GLORIOUS Spongebob Squarepants sample), but Smith goes in with a flow that makes me excited to hear more from him in the future.
“Everything you hear’s real/ My music’s my reflection/ The consumer’s my objective/ Soothin tunes is my subjective”
What do you guys think of the list? Keep in mind some artists you might have wanted to see on here did not submit-who else do you think deserves to make the list?
Gorilla Warfare Tactics came out of nowhere, showing the world some heavy, vintage hip hop. Just a couple weeks ago, they released a song called “Temptations,” and in no time it was atop the Hype Machine Popular charts. People automatically clung to their old school vibe, and were shocked to hear that they’re a group of three Indian college students. In a time when fluffy college/frat rap is suffocating the world, these guys are a breath of fresh air. It seems to me that these guys have a much more sustainable future than the people who aren’t making any original or refreshing material. It seems twisted that having old-school influences like Nas and Q-Tip can now classify you as digging for originality, but the world works on cycles. Vintage becomes hot again, and everybody’s all over it. These guys have already made a dent in the music world, and I’d be surprised if they didn’t stick around for a long time. Sunset in the Rearview is a proud sponsor of this tape along with Pigeons and Planes.
This is a short EP, but it will be followed up by a longer release coming this summer. I’m excited to see what the future holds for GWT. Below are two of my favorite songs from the EP and the link to download the whole compilation. Gotta love the shoutout to my neighbor 9th Wonder on “bernie madoff.”
Just a couple weeks ago, I was asked by a music PR company called Mud Hut Digital based in Brighton, UK if I would do an interview for their bimonthly music podcast. Basically I was asked to talk about Sunset in the Rearview and to pick six songs I’m digging at the moment and give a bit of background on those songs. I was extremely flattered to be asked to do this, as this was only their 16th episode. I was also the first blogger from the USA to be asked to do this, which again was an incredible honor. Hope you guys check out this podcast and the artists who are featured.
This week’s Friday at Five is graced by the presence of Young Empires-remixed Two Door Cinema Club. I wanted a little help from the general public in selecting today’s Friday at Five track, because let’s face it, though you may listen to my opinion, I can’t always determine what will get you through the weekend like you’re sliding down a slippery tarp. So today I asked on Twitter for submissions or suggestions for this week’s track. It turned out that my buddy Andy from Tympanogram had the winning track. I was always a fan of “What You Know” by TDCC but then Young Empires came in and added a bit of a dance-electro beat underneath it. I’m down with that. And I’m down with the weekend. Andddd it’s Friday at Five. Laterrrr. PS – Follow me on Twitter and you could play a part in selecting next week’s track. Am I bribing you? Maybe. You’ll get a shout out though.
Sunset in the Rearview was recently listed as one of the Top 100 Indie Music Blogs on the internet, and when I was asked to answer a few questions about why people should listen to independent music, I mentioned the creativity that the indie scene allows. What I forgot to mention in this regard, though, is how entrepreneurial the independent music scene is. There are opportunities every day in the indie world that, through campaigns born from creativity, allow for your everyday person to go knocking on the door of some serious tastemakers in music. Here’s a perfect example of that.
Asher Roth recently put up an acapella on his Facebook page, calling for any producer who wishes to participate to make an original beat for the song. The chosen winner than gets to be on Asher’s next project. That’s pretty incredible, if you think about it.
To no surprise of mine, Big Z Remixes has submitted a beat. This song carries the typical low-key vibe that Big Z has claimed as his own, and it sounds quite nice under Asher’s lyricism. The sample is “Sometime” by The Noisettes.
The one thing I wish for from Big Z is a bit more variety, but I’ll say – this kid is young. He’s got the whole world ahead of him. So much time, so much room to explore. I’m just anxious to see that happen.
“Favourite Colour” (PUNCHES Remix) – Tokyo Police Club
Dear Tokyo Police Club,
I know it’s taken me a while, but since you wrote this song for me, I suppose I should answer your questions.
1. My “favourite colour” is blue.
2. I don’t have a brother, silly! OR a younger sibling. Come on now, you knew that!
3. See above.
4. So when you say record, do you mean RECORD? If that’s the case, it was Depeche Mode. If you mean hard copy of music in general, I’m pretty sure it was the TLC tape.
So there you have it. Thanks for the song, I’ve always loved it.
P.S. Hey PUNCHES, dope remix!
White Boy From Suburban Connecticut Getting Major Praise For His Sample-Based Rapping
I posted Oncue’s “She Likes my Music” a while back, a song where he raps over Grizzly Bear’s two weeks. The other day, I had a chance to interview Geoff Sarubbi (I’m Italian…not Middle Eastern [laughs]) the 21-year-old native of suburban Hartford Connecticut. “Being from Connecticut has completely affected my sound,” Cuey told me. “I get the bost of both worlds. I was exposed to a lot of hip-hop at a young age, by my brother who’s 7 years my elder. Growing up in predominately white suburbs, you’re exposed to a lot of different types of rock as well. It’s sort of meshed me into who I am today.” That makes a lot of sense for someone who has recently rapped over artists such as Coldplay, Phoenix, Dave Matthews, Third Eye Blind, and Modest Mouse.
Just a mere two years after being introduced to hip-hop, Cuey, a 9 year old Geoff Sarubbi wrote his first verse. “I was inside a lot as a kid, and I mimicked what I saw on MTV and BET. In the beginning, I was rapping.” It was around that age that he came up with his stage name, too. “I wish I had a better story to tell you but I don’t. I started writing very young so I came up with the name when I was a little kid, and it stuck. I was too stubborn to change it!”
Dreams and Inspirations
When choosing artists to sample, “it really depends on what I and the producer I’m working with are listening to,” Cuey told me. “I focus on a lot of chord structures and the melodies from them. From there I start writing, and it usually just ends up happening like that.” As far as musical inspirations go, Cuey’s are as varied as his samples, which one might have come to expect by this point. “I’m a huge fan of Jay-Z and Kanye West. My first CD I ever bought was DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, so I think that raw emotion might’ve originally came from DMX (laughs). I’m very into indie rock. Ben Gibbard (of Death Cab for Cutie and Postal Service fame) is a demigod. And I’d say Billy Joel is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard.”
“I admire a lot of both hip-hop and non hip-hop. I think I finally listed down some people I’d love to work with. For hip-hop dudes: Kanye, Kid Cudi, J. Cole, Drake, and Lupe. Non hip-hop? I’d love to work with Kim of Matt and Kim, Jamie xx, Rick Rubin, Mike Shinoda, Ben Gibbard and Dntel (Dntel is the other half of Gibbard’s project “The Postal Service”).
When asked to describe his sound, Cuey answers in a way that many may not expect. “Honest music. Emotional music. Soul music.” In his writing, Cuey is as honest as possible with his listeners. He doesn’t front like many in the game have become so accustomed to doing. “I love real personal music, I hope my fans and listeners can tell. I like true, raw emotion, and I try to convey that with every record I do. Whether it’s depressing, or it’s about drinking, I love to take very mundane things and make them seem interesting, like a lot of indie rockers tend to do nowadays.”
As well as being a rapper, Cuey is a student at Brooklyn College and a designer on the side. Obviously a creative mind, Cuey loves being in the studio. “I love creating. I love creating new stuff, it’s the best feeling in the world to me. I love the art of this all. I’m an artist first and foremost, and if one ever gets the chance to hold a conversation with me, I think it’s evident that from the creative to the business aspects, I love this industry. I love this art.”
Writing Process and Recent Work
His writing process is as personal as his writing style. “I write in the confinements of my own bedroom, music loud-I sit in front of my macbook with text edit on. I get to analyze things when I start to write. It all becomes clear. The recording process, I don’t like many people around me. Just me, the engineer and a few creative minds to lend some feedback. I need coffee in the studio, some beer, some wine, and I’m good.”
His latest project, Leftovers, “was first an idea to be completely “Leftovers” of Cuey Sings the Blues, (released in September). I compiled records from the past (Breathe Me, She Lies my Music, etc), recorded some new songs (Your Own Supply, Story of a Lifetime, etc) and packaged them up. I thought it was a brilliant idea to drop it the weekend after Thanksgiving break, a nice play on words.”
What To Expect In The Future
Cuey’s been getting some seriously positive feedback on his most recent project. “Honestly I’m overwhelmed. It’s spread like wildfire as of recently, but I’m more surprised of how much people really like even my “Leftovers,” insane.” When asked to pinpoint a song he is particularly proud of, Cuey points to Eat Your Words. “That’s the song I did my first harmony on! I’m proud.”
Cuey is excited for his upcoming projects, and based off the feedback from Leftovers and Cuey Sings the Blues, it’s not hard to understand why. “I’m doing a lot of videos right now with my good friends at Visual High Life. But the next project will be ALL original material, I’m straying away from samples. The next one you’ll get will be like my first album.” Cuey has big aspirations-he plans to take his music “as far as I can take it. I’d love to win a few Grammies. I want to do it all. Work with everyone. I really want to influence pop-culture in my own way.”
What’s Left: 269 Days. 68 Bands.
Band #32: Sun Airway
When/Where: November 18th, The Middle East, Cambridge, MA
Expectations: I’m never sure how electronic heavily layered soundscapes will translate live, but I’m excited to see how they do it.
Concert: The concert started by kicking me in the chest with gloriously heavy bass. It was one of those walls of sound that feels like your own heart is trying to imitate the beats. I love feeling like the music is coursing through each individual cell in my body and it was exactly what I needed to feel that night. When I thought they were going to have a hard time topping that first song, they jumped right into my favorite song of theirs “Oh, Naoko” and that amazing feeling continued all the way through their set.
The lush and dreamy electronic soundscapes were amplified with the help of guitar, bass, and drum players. I like the mixing of electronics with real instruments and it came together almost without a flaw. The only downside was that vocals weren’t as polished as I expected and they came through a little thin at times. But otherwise these guys know how to put on a show. They embellished in all the right places, and while listening to their EP you could totally zone out and relax to it, they made it feel dancier and more upbeat live. They provided a really good energy that the crowd soaked up. When they closed with “Put the Days Away” it totally erupted at the end in this electronic musical ejaculation. There really is no other way to describe it.
Concert Afterglow: Easily one of the biggest surprises so far. I didn’t expect them to be so fluid, dancey, and exciting live.
Recommendation: While they toured, they were easily forgotten by concert reviewers because of who came next (Twin Shadow and Bear in Heaven), but these guys really deserve some attention. If you like Animal Collective, try and catch one of their shows.
Did you know that Sunset in the Rearview writers are trying to see and review 100 live shows in 365 days? Read More about 100Bands and See Our Other Reviews.
So last time we dropped Mike Stud on Sunset in the Rearview, you guys were big fans. Like, really big fans. I’ll let you speak for yourselves-Risa921: “This song is amazing! And he sings too! Huge fan! Love this guy!!! WOW”– Meredith S.: “Mike Stud-lyrical wit!”- Trainerone51: ” I don’t like a lot of rap, but this kid is talented and hilarious.” So, yeah, I’d say that’s some pretty positive response for this Duke kid. Anyway, Mike’s got a really interesting story for a rapper.
“Big Dreams” has a harder beat than Ratatat’s “Beat One,” and Mike certainly goes hard on this track. Still, he has some hilarious rhymes on this track. “The girls say I’m heartless/ Something like a donor/ I go harder than a boner.” With a great sounding hook on really strong verses, Mike’s flow stays on point throughout the song, and this one is a banger for sure. With a tight collaboration verse from KAM Royal, this is Mike’s best song yet. KAM comes with some serious lyrical wit as well, with lines like “They say live by two words/ Fuck failure/ I’m tryna be a bigger allstar/ Than Chuck Taylor.”
There’s certainly a new wave of white rappers coming out of Massachusetts (Sam Adams, Cam Meekins, Authentic, etc), and with KAM and Mike hitting the scene it looks like they’re bringing the white rapper movement to DC in a big way. Stay tuned for more coming out of Mike, this kid’s going places.
Mike Stud on Facebook
To download “Big Dreams,” click the down arrow to the side of the Soundcloud player