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.
Posted: April 4th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Pop, Random Ish From Fish | No Comments »
Hey, guys. I feel bad. I’ve been listening to a bunch of amazing music lately ― but for some reason I haven’t shared a lot of it with you. I was going to write out a long list of excuses that explained how my life has been really busy lately and that I didn’t have enough time to blog as much as I used to. Then I realized that was bullshit. I took a three hour nap yesterday after watching cartoons. I have no excuses for my behavior. I’m sorry. Like a shitty boyfriend who buys a bouquet of flowers for his girlfriend after forgetting her birthday, here’s my weak attempt at an apology: A carefully selected playlist of twelve songs that I didn’t get around to posting over the last month or so. Enjoy.
Posted: April 2nd, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: News | No Comments »
After listening to a lot of electronic music, there comes a time when you think to yourself, “I bet I could do this!” So you download a bootlegged version of a music production program you know nothing about, and you attempt it yourself. At first it’s kinda fun, then your horrible 21st-century attention span kicks in and you get frustrated. So you turn on Netflix and continue wasting your life away.
Fortunately, the creators of an awesome new web app make the whole process a little easier. By tapping on your keyboard, you trigger electronic sounds and accompanying whimsical visuals. In the process, you create what hopefully takes the form of music. If you get bored of the set of sounds/visuals, just press the space bar and a whole new set of sounds cycles in (my favorite set is the second one). Made up of sounds created by the talented minimalist Japanese band Lullatone, it’s pretty hard to come up with something that sounds bad. So, the whole thing is kinda like cheating, but it’s fun – so who cares? Click the gray box below and play around with it. Then hear a song by the band who actually knows what to do with their sounds. Enjoy!
Posted: April 1st, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Electronic, Pop, Soul | No Comments »
It’s hard to overshadow a vocalist like Curt Jones. Within seconds of your first listen to this new single from relatively unknown producer Mazde, you’ll realize he’s got one of those voices that transcends generations and trends. With this in mind, it would seem like a pretty safe move for Mazde to just sit back and let Jones’ vocals do all the work, right?
Around 22 seconds in, a crazy vocal whistling-ish sound comes in (I don’t know how to describe it because he just invented the coolest sound in the history of music and it doesn’t have a name yet – leave me alone) and makes us forget about those vocals we were just salivating over a few seconds earlier. It’s nuts. I want to live inside that sound. It’s so warm and cozy and happy. I want to make sweaters out of it and give them to all my loved ones. I want to share it with the world. I guess I’ll just start with this blog post. Stop reading and listen below.
Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: Pop | No Comments »
Somewhere along my latest weird philosophical quest to figure out why humans exist and what the point of everything is, I came across this quote from the brilliant Alan Watts: “The meaning of life is to be alive”. It seems so simple and stupid at first. Then you think about it a little and realize how remarkable it is.
It’s so easy to get caught up in accomplishments, future goals, and impressing others — so a lot of us forget to live. We forget how bizarre and (for lack of a better word) magical it is to just live. Instead of soaking that in, we ignore it and keep our focus on pushing toward uncertain futures that we assume will be better than our current situations. Then, of course, we die. Great, right? Anyway, with that thought floating around my head, I saw a comment on Soundcloud by someone named “Ms Beaver” (not joking) that said, “big group of people holding hands and dancing in a circle as the sun comes up”. If that doesn’t sound like the description of a bunch of people just living to live, I don’t know what does. So I pressed play on the song this comment was attached to and was blown away. I would try to describe it, but it might just be better to listen for yourself. Press play below and let it be your soundtrack this week. Put it on your iPod and go on a directionless walk through your neighborhood. Watch a squirrel do squirrel things for an hour or something weird. Pet a dog. I don’t know. It might just wash away all that ultimately meaningless stress and pressure you’ve been feeling lately.
Posted: March 22nd, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: GenreBending | No Comments »
In the same vein as newcomers like King Krule and Mac Demarco, OnlyReal’s music is perfect for lazy Sunday mornings on the porch. Influenced by 50s surf rock as well as modern hip-hop, his sound is hard to classify (which, of course, is probably why I like it so much). I’ve always had a hard time enjoying artists with heavy accents (especially when that accent filters hip-hop verses) but it works for the West Londoner, making this track more interesting than if it came from a kid from Los Angeles. I’m a fan. Check out a stream of his new song, “Cadillac Girl” below.
Posted: March 19th, 2014 | Author: Fish | Filed under: folk, Hip-hop | No Comments »
There’s nothing more fun for me than watching a talented young artist flourish into a star that gets the attention they deserve. Historically this has always taken years of hard work, but we’ve seen artists like Chance The Rapper and Lorde speed the process up a bit in the last year or so. Thank you, Internet. Anyway, if I had to bet on the next young unknown artist to follow this path, I’m putting my money on Raury. Two weeks ago, I heard his song “God’s Whisper” and immediately recognized potential far beyond his current status as a relatively unknown. Then today, he released the official video and I’m ready to run out of my house and yell at the next old lady and her dog that walks by, “RAURY IS THE NEXT BIG THING! HE’S READY NOW! HE’S ONLY SEVENTEEN BUT HE’S READY!!!!” Seriously. Watch this video and try to argue with me. There’s an infectious youthful energy bottled up in this video that’s so inspiring. The bonfire scene at the end is especially next-level stuff (thanks to the impressive work by director Andrew Donoho). Watch below.