Posted: October 7th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Electronic, Hip-hop | No Comments »
I’m not a fan of this song on paper.
If this song had an e-harmony profile, it would probably include an angsty lyric like “People suck, they never change” in its bio and I would never ask it out on a date. If I was the hiring manager at a department store and this song applied for a job, I would dismiss it after it handed me a resume filled with incomplete sentences and weird internet references printed on intentionally lo-fi paper. If the lyrics of this song were written on a bathroom wall, I would assume it was written by an emo teenager who was feeling a little nostalgic. Ok, you get my point.
Fortunately, this song doesn’t live on paper (or e-harmony profiles, resumes, or bathroom walls). It exists in the magical realm of songs, allowing it the fourth-dimensional advantage of having an energy that can’t be explained on paper. It has a mood. It has a vibe. It rises above clichéd lyrics and makes you feel something. In this case, that something is a wonderful spirit of youthful independence with a chip on its shoulder that I can’t get enough of. Stream it below and watch the VHS-inspired music video here.
Posted: October 2nd, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Electronic, Pop | 1 Comment »
I don’t know when it happened, but sometime over the last four years Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr became one of my favorite bands. After reeling me in back in 2010 with a goofy name and a quirky music video, they’ve proven themselves as one of the few bands I can count on to consistently produce awesome music while also continuing to push themselves in new creative directions. If I decided to make a list of my 10 favorite bands of the decade, they’d be near the top. That was solidified for me when I saw them in person last March (read my review of that show here).
Anyway, today they returned with one of my favorite tracks to date. And it’s buttery. So damn buttery. I don’t even know what that means, but I know it’s the only way to really describe this song. After kicking off with some pretty King Krule-esque guitars, the Detroit duo does wonderful things with a vocoder to turn in an r&b-influenced track that I’ve already listened to eleven times this morning. Stream it below.
Posted: June 24th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Pop | No Comments »
No one knew who Ryn Weaver was this morning. Then the 24-year-old singer uploaded this powerhouse of a dance pop single and turned the heads of every blog on the Internet. It’s easy to see why. The song (which features production credits from Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit, Benny Blanco, and Cashmere Cat) is an insanely catchy example of the perfect debut track for a young artist. It also arrives just in time for the official start of summer. Also, if you’re on the fence about dubbing Weaver your “favorite new artist” — she posted this on Instagram once. So there’s that.
Posted: June 18th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Electronic, GenreBending, Pop, Rock | No Comments »
It sounds like a horrible joke. After emerging in 2012 as one of my favorite bands of all time with a phenomenal debut album, An Awesome Wave, Alt-J announced that bassist/guitarist Gwil Sainsbury had left the band. Then this morning they finally released the lead single from their next album — and it features a Miley Cyrus sample. I almost cried. They wouldn’t have been tears of happiness, either. It was bad.
Then I pressed play. Whoa. They did it. Alt-J lost an important piece of their band and still managed to follow up an impossibly good debut album with a more than satisfying single that samples Miley freakin’ Cyrus of all people. Amazing. Also, along with the song came some information about their sophomore album: It’s called This Is All Yours and it’s slated for a release date of September 22, 2014. Pre-order it here and listen to “Hunger of the Pine” below.
Posted: May 29th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Pop, R&B, Soul | No Comments »
I just got back from a music festival, which means for three days my senses were overwhelmed. Four stages blared music from oversized speakers fourteen hours a day and campground subwoofers filled in the silence all night. For a music lover, it was paradise.
Looking back, though, all the most memorable moments happened in moments of relative silence. Like the walk between stages when a random girl left her group of friends and changed directions to meow at my friend’s shirt that had an adorable kitten printed on it — only to lose her mind when my other friend turned around and revealed an adorable puppy printed on his own shirt. Or when Major Lazer paused the barrage of bass for a moment and somehow convinced thousands of people to take their shirts off and throw them in the air before realizing they’d have to spend the rest of the show topless.
It’s funny how the most memorable things usually happen when we take a moment to quiet all the noise that surrounds us. Giving space between everything is the only way to let something special in. That’s what made this quote from the new Mexico City Blondes song so fascinating:
Posted: May 5th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Electronic, Pop | No Comments »
I hope you’re not reading this before bed. I really hope you didn’t just finish a long day at work and visited this blog in search of some nice relaxing music to help you drift into a cozy night of sleep. Alison Wonderland’s barrage of bass-heavy trap drums won’t lull you to sleep. Like an overzealous drunk friend at a night club, it’ll slap you in the face and pull you onto the dance floor. Listening to this song before bed is like like drinking three cans of Red Bull and trying to take a nap. If you’re in the mood to party, though—I can’t think of a better soundtrack than some Alison Wonderland. Enjoy.
Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Hip-hop | No Comments »
An unfortunate casualty of the trappings of major label record deals, Asher Roth has been in a no man’s land of sorts for the past few years. After his hugely successful single, “I Love College” in 2008, Asher has been battling confused public perceptions. Despite the admittedly corny lines in “I Love College”, he’s always been an impressive lyricist and the majority of his catalog (outside of that breakout single) leans more to the underground side of things than Top 40 pop charts. The unfortunate position he’s found himself in is that of a rapper who’s seen as “too commercial” and a “corny sellout” by the underground crowd, who is no longer interested in making artistic sacrifices to appeal to the pop crowd. He’s caught in the middle.
Fortunately for Asher, times have changed and after years of being forced to keep material away from fans by a major record label who doesn’t know what to do with an artist like this, he’s finally able to self-release a digital album for his hungry fans. Solely produced by my favorite production team in the game, Blended Babies, the album is a laid-back bluesey project that finds Asher comfortable and in his element. Although it’s a couple days late for 4/20, this thing is here in plenty of time for summer bbq’s and roadtrips. Listen below via a youtube playlist from Asher himself.
Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Pop | No Comments »
In 2014, slow-burning downtempo electronic pop songs have become extremely popular. Actually, the bulk of the “Recently Added” portion of my iTunes library could fit that description. There’s nothing like a song that slaps you in the face right out of the gate and screams, “I’M YOUR NEW FAVORITE SONG” within the first ten seconds, however. This new single from Wisconsin-based PHOX fits that description beautifully. Seven seconds in, lead singer Monica Martin’s smokey vocals float in over thwacking cymbal-less drums, and just like that — you’re hooked. From there, the song meanders through several styles and tempos (with patches of whistling and wind-based solos throughout) to take you on a journey through the band’s diverse set of skills. It’s already on my Summer 2014 Roadtrip playlist. Listen/download below and look for their self-titled debut out June 24th.
Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Hip-hop | No Comments »
It was bound to happen. After the rapid rise of Chicago’s Chance The Rapper, it was only a matter of time until copycat emcees emerged with sounds that were obviously influenced by Chance’s wildly original 2013 mixtape, Acid Rap. At first glance, it would appear that Alex Wiley is one of them. His voice, delivery, and beat selection very closely mirrors Chance’s (to the point that it actually wouldn’t be very difficult to play his new single “Vibration” to someone and convince them it’s a new Chance The Rapper single).
Alex Wiley isn’t a copycat, though. He went to high school with Chance, was featured on Chance’s first mixtape #10Day, and even got a feature from Chance on his own Chicago-centric single last year. He’s not jacking Chance’s style – he was a part of building it. At a time when most of us are getting restless to hear Chance’s next project, Alex’s new single serves as a wonderful appetizer. We all know Chance was inspired by dropping acid before making his aptly-titled Acid Rap mixtape and after watching his latest video for “Vibration”, I think it’s safe to say Alex may have dabbled as well. Check out the trippy animated visuals below.
Posted: April 21st, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Hip-hop, Remix | No Comments »
At this point, Rich Boy’s 2006 hit Throw Some D’s is a joke. At best, it’s a nostalgic reminder of the era’s obsession with materialistic rap songs about money and women. I mean, come on – the guy’s name is RICH BOY of all things. Anyway, with this in mind, I was obviously surprised to see a remix of the song by promising producer Rook Milo show up on Soundcloud.
Hooked by the pitch-shifted robot vocals at the beginning, I kept listening and heard an irresistible combination of twinkling electronics that could almost be classified as “cute” and Rich Boy’s classic thuggish vocals. Shamelessly, I turned my speakers up and listened to this thing on repeat for the next hour or so. I hope you do the same. Happy Monday.
Also, make sure you check out Rook Milo’s new single, Outland, which you can stream below.