Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Subtle


Big industry awards often frustrate me. Be it the Oscars, the Emmy's, or the Grammy's, the nominees for these types of shows often feel all-too-predictable, seeming more the result of bureaucratic processes than true appreciation. But every once in awhile, a gem of an underdog gets the recognition they deserve in the form of a nomination. This year, we're cheering for Mikky Ekko, the Tennessee songwriter who's duet Stay with Rihanna (perhaps you've heard of her) received a nomination for Best Pop Duo Performance. But while Stay is an undeniable smash, it would have been cool to see his more recent collaboration with Active Child, the incredible Subtle get a nod, too. But hey, baby steps.


Subtle (feat. Mikky Ekko) - Active Child



While I gush away about his collaborative tracks, I have to note that Ekko is a formidable performer in his own right, evidenced by his summer single Kids, which you definitely need to check out.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Hello Again

Hey fellow countrymen, have y'all had enough of the cold weather yet? Me too. But don't worry, I know just what you need: JAMAICA.

Sadly no, I am not running a contest to fly all my readers to paradise, but close. JAMAICA -- the insanely catchy, pop rockin' French duo -- are back after years of doing whatever French musicians do between albums (smoke a lot of cigarettes, look cool, and eat bread probably, idk) with their sophomore release, Ventura. While the album drops in March, its befittingly monikered first single, Hello Again, is here now. It has every bit of the bouncing beats and jangling guitar work we remember from the band, with a markedly tighter, polished finish. This preview has us pretty darn excited for the rest of the album, but as for now -- a snow day never sounded so good.

You can preview the song below, but if you want a download link, you've gotta head over to the band's website.
Go, Go!

Hello Again - JAMAICA

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Habits

I've gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind.

The year's most stressful month has arrived. While you're busy buying Christmas presents and spending too much money on plane tickets trying to get home for the holidays to family you not-so-secretly distain, music writers everywhere are wracking their brains and arbitrary ratings systems to create their all-important Best Of The Year lists. I probably won't do a "best of" list this year; mainly because I haven't listened to more than 5 albums all the way through.* But that doesn't mean I won't preach to you at least a little bit.

Before you inevitably read other, more legitimate publications' lists, I want to tilt your bias by presenting you with what I think know to be the best pop song of the year, no contest. (Well, barring Titanium, but that is a contentious topic, and also I'm pretty sure it was released in '12, and also also we're here to promote music's little guy, not its Guetta.) Obviously it was written by a Swede. Tove Lo's Habits is such a perfect sad girl power ballad you'll probably know all the words without having heard it. Swedish girls just get it, after all. While Habits has already been used for background on every MTV show produced this year, it has yet to go double platinum, and I think we should rectify that before 2014 rolls along.
Looking forward to seeing y'all -- and Tove! -- at the top.

Habits - Tove Lo


* [I realize this makes me the problem, not the solution.]

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

With The Winds Of Despair

While yesterday's topic was the phenomena of avoiding a band based solely on their name, today's is the antithesis of that. When a certain "Tiger Forest Cat" showed up in my rarely-checked (sorry) submissions inbox , I downloaded the promo immediately. Normally to make it on to my precious hard drive a strict vetting process of internet streaming occurs, but I went out on a limb here because I just knew that any band with a name like that was going to be amazing. You may think I'm sounding silly and arrogant but you know what? I was so right.

Turns out in addition to having a great name, Tiger Forest Cat is from the greatest country - Sweden. So it's no wonder that his whimsical, breezy pop single With The Winds Of Despair seems destined to soundtrack the next great commercial spot -- Swedes are built and programmed since birth to make hits. This is fact. Even if you're skeptical of my sources, once you get to the chorus you'll agree with me. That run on "little darling of mine" is the stuff that dreams are made of. Kudos to me for finally checking a submission email, kudos to TFC for having the best name ever, and kudos to you for telling all your friends about him. I just knew you would.

With The Winds Of Despair

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Stay

You know when you hear of a band and the lexemic association you place on their name completely overshadows any of their output for you? Like, "Awwwww man, Cake? I hate cake, why would I want to listen to a band called Cake?" Well, if you've ever found yourself in the preceding scenario, you're a sadist. Seriously, who doesn't like cake? But moving on.

Having lived in New York for just under a year, I've come to resent tourists with a fire equal only to how Beyonce undoubtedly feels about Kim K: I can't stand them. But I'm not letting that get in the way of enjoying Tourist, the man. Tourist is a London-based musician with an undeniable knack for the deep house-hearkening, lush production style so popular in the past year. That's not to say his downtempo beats and layered instrumentation render him a copycat act in any way -- his late night jams display a deftness artists twice his age could only dream of possessing. He's demonstrated this most recently in a string of EPs -- his next set for an early December release -- and some expert remix work. He'll be kicking off a US tour in NYC over CMJ, so be sure to shake off any xenophobia, and catch the man in action.

Stay - Tourist



Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Real Slow


While our government is crumbling under the weight of its own idiocy, in world news, Australian musicians are still killing it. At least everyone is being consistent, right?

As far as consistency goes, Miami Horror could very well have their picture in the dictionary in under the word, as their brand of sunny, feel-good pop rock never fails to disappoint. With this in mind, we had good reason to be excited when our buds at Neon Gold announced that they were releasing the band's new single, Real Slow. While Real Slow has a bit more of a dance groove to it than the name might suggest, its breezy chorus is everything we needed to help ease our begrudging transition from summer. You can cop the single here, stream it below, and -- GREAT NEWS -- see it in real time tonight, if you're in NYC.


While we're on the subject of Australians, another formidable group are making their way to the big apple, and various cities across the country. Gold Fields have been tramping around US for the past month, bringing their blend of hybrid power pop with them. They'll be in NYC on Thursday for NG's monthly Popshop installment. Check it out, as its sure to be all koalas and rainbows and sparkles. Best kind of party.

Treehouse (GLOVES Remix) - Gold Fields


Gold (Gold Fields Remix) - Sir Sly

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Embrace


Our man Goldroom is back with his first EP in two years. Luckily, it doesn't feel like it's been that long what with the steady stream of remixes and one-off originals he throws our way...but it's still cause to celebrate. The EP showcases a string of female-fronted pop singles released over the past couple years, and includes the brand new Embrace. It seems Goldroom has saved the best for last, as Embrace is probably his catchiest original to date. And that's really saying something. We might credit that superlative in part to the co-writing credits from Australia's George Maple (a chick you should get to know immediately), but seriously - just try to get this shimmering chorus out of your head. Stream the tune below, and support the man by buying the full EP on iTunes.