[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (November 2020 Round #3)

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Top 7 Indie Songs About Love

How often indie artists write songs, they do not believe in. The most famous indie songs about love are very often those tracks. They did not intend to make a breakthrough in the charts. The history of creating the top 7 indies songs about the love you will find below hides exciting secrets.

“Old Yellow Bricks” — Arctic Monkeys
The penultimate track on the second studio album Favorite Worst Nightmare (2007) by the famous British rock band Arctic Monkeys is “Old Yellow Bricks.” The band’s frontman, Alex Turner and his old friend John “Reverend” McClure, founder of the band Reverend and the Makers, wrote it. The title of the song may sound unusual. But the road paved with yellow bricks is a ubiquitous image, which means developing the relationships. Ask your Ukrainian bride what her favorite Arctic Monkeys song is, and the answer will explain many things to you.

“74-75” — The Connells
The only real hit of the American band The Connells was this acoustic ballad from the album Ring (1993). It entered the top ten charts of many European countries, but at the same time, did not enjoy success in the homeland of the collective. The track contains a story about some personal experience, although the author did not develop the topic. It looks like it’s about a failed relationship. The video clip led fans of the band to think that “74-75” is about a romantic relationship that ended in school. 

“All Apologies” — Nirvana
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain rarely explained the meaning of his songs. Even if he talked about individual compositions, his comments were usually short and vague. What is the song “All Apologies” about? The critics and fans of the band, of course, did not come to a common opinion. Some insist that in this way, he apologized to Courtney for causing trouble.

“Animals” — Maroon 5
In August 2014, American pop-rockers from the Maroon 5 group presented their fifth studio album to the public, which came out under the simple title V. This song’s popularity was mainly due to the provocative clip with naked Adam Levin and his wife. In the composition text, the protagonist refers to his ex-girlfriend, to whom he still feels, if not love, then a passion for sure. Drawing analogies with predators’ hunting habits, he claims to track down and find the object of desire. What he is going to do with her further is not difficult to guess.

“Creep” — Radiohead
Thom Yorke composed it in 1987 while a university student. When the band first played it in front of the producers, they thought it was a cover, because Tom called it “our Scott Walker song,” and they almost refused to record it. Talking about the meaning of the song, York called it the story of a guy struggling to get the attention of a woman he likes. Tom admitted that it was based on his personal experience.

“idontwannabeyouanymore” — Billie Eilish
The debut album of a young American singer Billie Eilish was released under the mysterious title When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? It had tremendous success worldwide: first place in dozens of charts, prestigious awards, commercial success, and so on. This song is one of the most touching on the release.

“Everlong” — Foo Fighters
In 1994, Dave Grohl married Jennifer Youngblood. The marriage was short-lived. A couple of years later, the wife kicked the musician out of the house. Dave needed to restore his peace of mind, and on Christmas 1996, he went home to Virginia. In his small homeland, lying in a sleeping bag on the floor of a friend’s house, he wrote a ballad about love, which became one of his most famous and popular compositions.

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A Fan Boy Moment: Astronoid

When I do find the time to write, I typically focus on new releases. Seeing as how music blogging has come fourth to a full-time career, being a dad, and trying to have a 30 minutes of silence once in a while, hunting and posting new tunes has fallen by the wayside.

That said, I discovered Astronoid a few months back. To be perfectly honest with you, I can’t stop listening to them.

If you’ve spent any time on this site, you’d know that we don’t really don’t cover anything heavier than crunchy riffs on an Americana track. This contradicts a large portion of my personal tastes, as I’m an avid fan for the heavy stuff–speed metal, metalcore, post-metal, post-punk, etc. Seeing as how Astronoid is the perfect blend of both dreamy, hazy vocals, long builds, and brutally fast and technically sound instrumentation, I figured today would be the day to bring some head banging to TMN.

If you’re the type that says “I can’t stand the screaming in metal. No matter how talented the band is, I just can’t get past it,” then today is your day. Think of Jonas Bjerre from Mew. Ah, those dreamy, all-encompassing vocals. Now pair that thought with the speed and oft-brutal double kicks, insane shredding, and brutal breakdowns you’d find in a metal track. You with me? That’s what you’ll find with Astronoid. Two worlds, perfectly mashed together.

Comprised of

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Fractures Reset [EP Review]

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LA Gives Back 3 – A Holiday Benefit

This Wednesday, eight of LA’s most influential music curators are coming together to provide five rooms of music at Catch One (formerly Union Nightclub). With a combination of Brownies & Lemonade, Emo Nite, Ninja Tune, Adult Swim, Ham On Everything, Mad Decent, Late Night Laggers and Restless Nites, it’s a garauntee that it’s going to be one hell of a night.

While we can’t share the lineup with you, we can share the fact that this event has 100% of the profits going to benefit Downtown Women’s Center and My Friend’s Place, both of which provide services for homeless in the Los Angeles area.

LA GIVES BACK 3 ON 12.19 AT CATCH ONE (FORMERLY UNION NIGHTCLUB) – A SPECIAL HOLIDAY BENEFIT EVENT FOR THE LOS ANGELES HOMELESS

LINE UP TO BE ANNOUNCED + WILL SELL OUT QUICKLY

EIGHT OF LA’S MOST INFLUENTIAL MUSIC CURATORS PROGRAM 5 ROOMS OF MUSIC: BROWNIES & LEMONADE, EMO NITE, NINJA TUNE, ADULT SWIM, HAM ON EVERYTHING, MAD DECENT, LATE NIGHT LAGGERS AND RESTLESS NITES

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[Electronic] Golden Vessel – MOONSTONE feat. Elkkle & Akurei

Golden Vessel of Australia is ending 2018 with one final and super solid release, entitled “MOONSTONE” with friends and fellow collaborators  Elkkle & Akurei.

During a studio session Golden Vessel shares, ”I started  telling them about the stolen moonstones and then morphed it into a metaphor for a conversation we were having  earlier about missed opportunities and when we or friends miss out on something that should’ve been in reach (and  the frustration around that). The stolen moonstones became the missed opportunities and we all started writing. We tried  to sneak a few references from the different stories around stolen moon rocks into the song such as mentioning Joseph Gutheinz  who was a NASA special agent tasked with recovering the missing rocks.” This one is out now and you can grab it everywhere. 

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Treasure Island Music Festival 2018: 8 Acts to See Before 3PM [Festival Preview + Playlist]

After a year hiatus, our favorite music festival in the Bay, Treasure Island Music Festival, has finally returned! Sadly, Noise Pop, the festival’s organizers, had to relocate the fest from its scenic Treasure Island backdrop to

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[House] Qrion – GAF 1 EP

In a sea of releases that sound like they came from the same project file on Ableton, GAF 1 differentiates itself quickly.

Coming your way via Japanese-born Qrion, this dynamic duo of tracks is unique, refreshing, and ready to take you through your work week and into the weekend. “QAF” leads the way, sporting quirky synths that playfully line up against rapid-fire hi-hats and thumping kicks. A well-crafted vocal chop brings in late-90s RnB flavor, making this a wonderfully curious listen.

“23” boasts a gorgeous compilation of sampling, utilizing vocal hums and portions of lyrics as synths. Those ethereal notes pair perfectly with a steady beat and deep house vibe, offering quite the opposing experience from its counterpart. Both work in tandem, though, showcasing the breadth of abilities this quickly-rising producer is capable of.

We try to act like we don’t care about things but in reality we really do, sometimes without even
realizing it. As I started to notice this about other people, I learned that I also give a fuck. That’s
where the inspiration for this project comes from – Qrion
’GAF’
’23’
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The Lost Boys & Griff Clawson – Sober

The Lost Boys and Griff Clawson collaborated to create “Sober,” a track with a message that seems pretty universal, especially for college kids. The track is basically about kissing someone for the first time when you’ve had a few too many beers, and then waking up the next morning and thinking to yourself that you want to do it again, but this time minus the beers. This message makes sense, given the guys are all in college, studying at Texas Christian University and New York University. But despite their age, their talent shines through. “Sober” is filled with production risks, interesting layers, and catchy vocals that you won’t wanna miss.

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Tom & Collins Stay on Top of EDM with New EP – A Different Kind of High

Tom & Collins don’t appear to be slowing down. Following up their smash hit “Give Me One Reason”, the duo released the EP A Different Kind of High in December of 2017. The EP is a collection of five tracks, each with their own unique flavour, giving fans of Tom & Collins, and EDM in general, a diverse and fun listen to get through these cold winter months.

From the opening track “Hollow”, you can tell Tom & Collins put a lot of thought and care into A Different Kind of High. Everything in this track serves to amplify the vocals, giving them extra punch as the emotional delivery penetrates the ears of the listener.

It’s not all serious, though. Tracks like “Finally” offer a fun throwback to 90s dance, with a smooth, groovy bassline and lighthearted drums pushing the song forward in an exciting way that’s very danceable.

A Different Kind of High shows Tom & Collins at their best. Experimental, playful, emotional, and fun. The collection of five tracks has left us excited to hear just what exactly the duo has for us in 2018.

 

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[Chill] Kainalu – Finding Peace Of Mind

Kainalu
Finding Peace Of Mind

My ears have been glued to Kainalu’s recent releases. This artist has the amazing ability to create tracks that are simultaneously downtempo and groovy. With his latest track, “Finding Peace of Mind,” he allows us to do just that. An infectious synth melody meets low key vocals to send listeners into a sublime state of relaxation. Jazzy drums and deft bass work give this one a funky vibe that promises to have you floating through space like a jelly fish in no time. Press play and enjoy.

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[MP3 Playlist] The Indie Dojo (December 2017 Round #1)

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Go Ezko- Fake Jaunt

go ezko
FAKE JAUNT (Prod. @dunkrockprod)
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[Alternative Pop] Boy Epic – WOLF


A warm, analogue-sounding mix and a taste of distorted rock can really balance out a pop song. Boy Epic is new name to me and these elements go a long way on his new single, “WOLF.” It’s without a doubt rooted in pop songwriting, there’s an emotional vocal melody that gives it a tasteful catchiness. And the layering and vocals are reminiscent of a more modern/electronic TV on the Radio. Boy Epic is exploring an alternative, genre-blending sound on here but check it out for yourself. I know I’ll be on the lookout for new material.

 

 

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Bussdown- Maxo Kream


Today we have the latest single from Houston’s own Maxo Kream titled BussDown. I first learned about Maxo when a friend recommended me his mixtape #Maxo187 in 2015 and sense then he’s worked with some of the biggest rappers in the game today like Lil Uzi and Playboy Carti. On this single Maxo continues to show why he’s one of the rising rappers coming out of Houston, the track has a beat that reminds you of 90’s west coast because of its bounciness to it. With this beat Maxo effortlessly give us a small look into what life at the trap house in Houston. Bussdown describes a lot of things, buss down drugs in the trap and the willingness for shooters at the traphouse to buss down a few shots if anything should happen.

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Lophiile- Off Top (With Freddie Gibbs)


Today we have the newest song by Washington state producer Lophiile featuring Gary, Indiana’s own Freddie Gibbs adding his flair to this great production. This is the first time hearing Lophiile in reality the reason this peaked my interest was because of the Freddie Gibbs feature but after listening to this track I will have to dive into Lophiile’s discography. The track starts with a sound effect that sounds closely to steel drums, the bright sounds are followed by the muffled rapping of Freddie that starts the track with great anticipation. When the beat drops its uplifting as well as a good amount of bass that Freddie raps effortlessly over, rapping about the things Gangsta Gibbs is known for making money moving bricks of cocaine, having a girl that will shoot with him and for him, smoking a backwood while in a hot tub with a lot of women and of course having a crackhead cooking his cocaine for him. If your a fan of Freddie this is a great freestyle by the Gary, Indiana native but Lophiile’s production is the best thing about this track. I will be checking more from this artist and I hope he and Gibbs will be able to work together more and create even more great music.

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[Hip-Hop] Ski Mask The Slump God- With Vengeance ft Offsett


Today we have another new song from Ski Mask The Slump God who’s been having a successful year and continues his run of hit songs is his track With Vengeance which features both production from legendary hip-hop producer Timbaland and a guest verse from Offset of the Migos. The production on this beat by Timbaland is ominous even sinister but also the bass has a nice bounce to it and perfectly showcases Ski’s flow and punchlines. Even Ski admits to his skills getting better when he raps,

“Snake venom vocals, flow got sicker/ Sharper than sabers made straight from Darth Vader”

The first verse is rapped at a slow pace, not really what Ski is known for but it picks up when Offset starts to rap in “the Migo flow” that every rapper is replicating now a days. Offset even with his faster rapping blends perfectly with the beat and your blown away at how fast he can spit a bar or two. In my opinion Offset is the most slept on member of the Migos when it comes to rapping so this is a great track for him to show his capability on his own. After listening to this track I would like to see more of all three of these artists working together but especially Ski and Timbaland. After gaining attention of the producer with his song Catch Me Outside which used the beat from Missy Elliott’s She’s A B*tch Ski is now working with his favorite producer and if this is the beginning of a great team I’m waiting in anticipation what the future holds for Ski and Timbaland’s collaboration.

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[Indie] argonaut&wasp Heart Breaks In Bloom

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Gianluca Vacchi Enters The Dojo [TMN Exclusive Mix]

Social media star, author and entrepreneur are just some of the things you could call Gianluca Vacchi. If that wasn’t enough, the 50-year young Italian has taken up the challenge of music. He recently launched his producer/DJ career with a single called “Viento” on Spinnin Records.

In starting out this venture, he’s put his best foot forward. With such a unique house sound, Gianluca already has received over 2,000,000 plays of the song on Spotify. To celebrate this milestone, we had Gianluca join us in the dojo. He didn’t come alone though as he brought with him an exclusive mini-mix for all to enjoy.

With how fit, lively and skilled Gianluca is, you can be sure he’ll be behind the decks for a long time to come. He’s already picked up incredible steam in the industry. You’ll be sure to hear more releases soon with more shows to come from this all-around talent. In the meantime enjoy this exclusive mix in the dojo!

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[Alternative Pop] Tülpa & BLANKTS – “Blueblack”

TÜLPA & BLANKTS
Blueblack

Rising alternative-pop duo, Tülpa & BLANKTS, have officially made their Atlantic Records debut with “Kiss Fight;” the lead single from their forthcoming debut EP, Storytales– arriving everywhere August 18th.  Featuring breathy vocals and ethereal piano samples, “Kiss Fight” tells the story of a relatable confession—“We kiss fight, we kiss fight, we kiss fight”—as gnash serves up a show-stopping cameo of his own. This past spring, Tülpa & BLANKTS joined label mate and close friend, gnash, for his ‘sleepover tour,’ which saw jam-packed shows across the U.S. and Canada.

Tülpa and BLANKTS created stand-out collaborations including “Tea For Two,” “Lemon,” and “Gnats.” Forming as an official duo in 2016, the dynamic pair have created an emotional and soulful blend of thought provoking music inspired by Canada and personal experiences that are loosely reimagined off popular culture. The latest gift to their listeners, entitled “Blueblack” is dynamic and cute. Written in a cabin in Canada, the two tell their story through sound. We’re really feeling this one, and be sure to check out their other music. Enjoy!

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[EP Release/Interview Feature] NVDES – La Nvdité Vol. 1

LA-based music collective NVDES has made a few appearances here on TMN. Led by frontman Josh Ocean, this free-flowing art project is teeming with joyous energy and has gifted us with many feel-good jams, like this one. NVDES’ music is delightfully fun, meshing pop sensibilities with modern punk vibes.

NVDES received global acclaim for his last EP, Life with Lobsters in 2016, earning a feature on Zane Lowes’ Beats 1, and reaching the Spotify Global Viral Chart. So naturally I’m excited to share that NVDES’ latest EP, La Nvdité Vol. 1, is due out tomorrow (August 11th) on Kobalt.

The opener of the 5 track EP, “May and June”, perfectly encapsulates the infectious energy that NVDES songs display so frequently. Dancy beats in combination with the electro-punk sound of that guitar will make you forget that summer’s coming to an end soon. In juxtaposition with this track, “Do You Think About Me” does an excellent job of showing the emotional range that NVDES possesses. This wistful track inspired by a long-distance romance maintains that summery feel while pondering over a melancholy topic like a strained love.

I was lucky enough to chat briefly with NVDES’ Josh Ocean about the collective, and this latest project. Check out the interview below:

 

 

NVDES has such a distinctly fun and confident pop/punk sound that you really don’t find too often anymore. What’s the inspiration for your sound?

My inspiration is purely capturing the vibe i have while making the music…. Most of the time that vibe is high energy, joyful and exciting energy. Music is a drug to me….I make music to make myself feel good so ultimately I want to share that feeling.

As a group, your production style has been described as “lightning-in-a-bottle”– valuing “the thrill of uncertainty over perfection”. How do you know when you’ve got a keeper on your hands?

I’m constantly working on tracks and songs and sounds. For every NVDES track that I release there are probably 10 that I “shelve” on my hard drive. I like to see which songs finish themselves naturally as I’m working with them. I [don’t] try to force anything.

If NVDES could jam with any artist/group, contemporary or historical, who would it be and why?

Suicide.

How did you come up with NVDES as the name of your collective?

I was driving down La Brea ave one day and I passed a strip club with a “live nudes” sign and eureka!  

La nvdité sounds like a really beautiful concept– the idea of being nude with yourself. Can you tell us more about it, and what it means to you as a person and a musician?

From the beginning I wanted NVDES to be a project that I could be totally “nude” with myself as a producer and make music with friends in totally new ways and create a feeling to express ourselves without any specific genre or box for the sound. I wanted the experience of jamming out a NVDES song to be whatever it came out as… to be nude…    

I spent a lot of time in France last year and it is a place that has inspired me greatly. The expression to say La nudite really seemed to capture the ethos in which i started the project.

The cantaloupe seems to be a recurring motif in your artwork. What’s the story there? Do attendees of your shows still get cantaloupes?

For reasons I can’t explain, I have always been obsessed with the aesthetic of a cantaloupes. The colors, the texture, the taste…

On the deeper level I see the universe I have created around the music to all exist with the world of a Cantaloupe. Every cover artwork piece is me sharing a slice of the world that is NVDES.

And YES! Sometimes there are whole cantaloupes at the shows. We have also had slices at the merch table and cantaloupe cocktails at the bar…..

 

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[R&B/Hip-Hop] Ezkiel – West End

Ezkiel
West End

Chicago’s up and coming hip-hop and R&B artist, Ezkiel, has been entrancing my ears with his soulful stylings over the past year. The artist’s latest single, “West End,” separates itself from the artists earlier work with its straight-forward, no-nonsense atmosphere. Taking clear influences from Pharrell, Kanye West, and even Daft Punk, the single’s driving percussion, gritty synths, and a minimalistic vocal hook all give it an intense tone; which is perfect for late night drives. Check out the track here and definitely keep an eye out for Ezkiel in the future.

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Day Wave talks Blink 182,

TMN: How’s the tour going so far?

Jackson: It’s good so far. We’re towards the end of it, but we’ve had some really fun shows.

TMN: You’ve been through Denver quite a few times…

Jackson: Well, in the past with Carousel, we came. This is the second time we’ve played as Day Wave here.

TMN: At Lost Lake. How does this city stack up for you? Are you a fan?

Jackson: Definitely! I’m a fan. It’s a weird city, though. It almost seems like a combination of cultured cities like Brooklyn and LA–meets the layout of a Midwest city. It kind of looks like you’re in Cincinnati or Columbus. All the brick buildings. But, what’s happening in the city is totally like you’re in LA, or something. I like it.

TMN: We’re glad to have you back again! Have you had any standout moments on the tour so far? Anything that’s blown you away?

Jackson: New York was really fun. We sold out the Bowery Ballroom. It was such a good crowd! It’s interesting. Sometimes you can sell out a show, but the crowd might be more subdued or mellow. It’s harder to create that energy, when that’s the case. London was great.

TMN: Going beyond that, as someone who came up through blogs and Hype Machine, into playing festivals, releasing music, etc — what’s one “oh, shit” moment that’s happened so far. Something that blew your mind.

Jackson: The first really real thing that happened to Day Wave. When I put out “Total Zombie,” there was a little blurb about it in NME. I was like, “whoa!” The third song, “Drag,” got picked up by Alt Nation. That was like, “It’s on the radio?!?” It was really weird. Then, Zane Lowe started playing it. And then, that’s when Marc Hoppus also came in.

TMN: We wanted to talk about this. Did you grow up listening to Blink 182?

Jackson: Yeah! I was obsessed. When I was 9 and 10, they were my favorite. I went and got Enema of the State and Dude Ranch.

TMN: Does that just wig you out? That Marc Hoppus was giving you love?

Jackson: It was so cool. And, I was able to meet him and he was super nice. He’s a really good guy.

TMN: Yeah, we’ll see it on Twitter–he’ll give you guys some love. This is a conceptual question. Is The Days We Had a collection of short stories of a novel?

Jackson: Probably more of a collection of short stories. It’s kind of a group of songs that have been put together of the course of a couple of years. When I went to record the album, I had these songs, but each one was a separate story. I could see the next album becoming more of a story.

TMN: One of the things you’re great at is being super approachable lyrically. Anyone can get into it. Anyone can feel a connection to what you’re saying. What’s you’re approach in songwriting?
Jackson: For me, my approach is keeping it honest and personal. And simple. I’m not the the type to get overly poetic or make something complex. Even with music, I like to keep everything simple. I like to write to the core. I may leave something ambiguous, but it’s till very simple. I like to be honest and hope that people connect with it.

TMN: Do you get stories from fans talking about how much something meant to them? Maybe during a difficult time?
Jackson: Yes! On this tour, I’ve been getting it every night. People come up to me shaking or crying. It’s hard for me to even comprehend that. I know I get that feeling when I listen to other people’s music. So, I can kind of get it on that level. It’s really…it’s just so weird when you create the music, it becomes this thing to other people. To me, it’s just the music I made.

TMN: When you were playing with Carousel, you told me “I don’t really know how to sing, so I just go out there and sing as soft as I can.” Now, that’s not the case. When did you find your voice?

Jackson: With this project, I tried to change it up. The whole thing with Carousel was, I was really timid back then. I didn’t think I could do it. I was afraid to sing. I was afraid to write. It was a learning experience. I would probably listen to it now and cringe a bit. I can’t have this flawless history of good music, you know?

TMN: I still listen to some Carousel tunes!
Jackson: Yeah! To me, there are a couple things I think are cool, but I wouldn’t show it to anyone.

TMN: When I listen to this album, start-to-finish, I think it’s perfect for a road trip. What’s your favorite road trip album?
Jackson: TMN:
Jackson: v

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[Electronic] Dalton John – Ready To Go

Dalton John has been active since 2012, and has been making waves ever since. This EP is just a taste of that. The Paris native has had a massive hear and is continuing to carve his space out in UK bass music. We’re loving this taste of his sound.

This project is undoubtably from the heart and is carried by “Ride” featuring none other than Anna Majidson. The result is a booming future pop blend with UK house. Other records off this project like “Ready to go” make you feel euphoric and uplifted. Get ready for a massive year from this artist. Swing by SoundCloud for more.

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[Electronic] VXL – Cæruleum

VXL
Cæruleum (#26C4EC)

Synesthesia is something I’ve always longed to experience. After hearing tales of people smelling colors or tasting sounds, I was blown away by the seemingly magical nature of this experience. Thankfully, it seems as though my search for this sensation has come to an end with VXL’s new track, “Cæruleum.”

Suiting its name, the track conveys the essence of color through sublime synths and entrancing rhythms. Unique in its progressive drive yet nostalgic atmosphere, the tune entrances ears with ease. Definitely check this one out when you have a chance and let VXL open your mind.

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The Munk Machine Interview

He’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. The Munk Machine
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Let Your Voice Be Heard at Blacklisted Music + Arts Festival

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[Electronic] Auram – Better (ft. Phephi)

auram
Better (ft. Phephi)
Auram is a producer and artist from Mexico City, Mexico who’s been active for the last 2 years. His electronic sound blends euphoric futuristic elements with interesting dark sound design. This latest record is a joint effort with songstress Phephi who hails from The Bahamas. We love the way the song tells a story from start to finish. It’s songs like these that keep me going throughout the day. Here’s a brief note from the artist.
“The music I make comes from experiences I’ve had in my life both good and bad.
Life is a journey no one can prepare us, we all face different emotions and experiences we were never ready for.
There’s no best way of dealing with our situations, but music will always be there for you.
No matter what situation you’re facing; Adversity, Sadness, Happiness, Fear.
Music by far is what keeps me going the most, being able to connect with people through my music it’s something I’m thankful for every day.
I want to motivate people to be successful in all of their goals, to get them through the day, to be the best they can be. If I can change somebody’s mood from worse to better I know I’m making a difference in the world.
I make music because I want to change the world.”
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[Pop] Healyum – Lies

Healyum
Lies
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[Electronic/Chill] Drinker – Which Way Is South

Drinker
Which Way Is South
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[House] Yaeji – Yaeji (EP)

To call the relationship between house music and vocals complicated might be an understatement. Purists often argue that the addition of standard pop vocalists deter from the production subtleties that make the genre so potent. While electro-house at its most generic often proves this to be true, there are have been a number of innovators who’s contributions fall into the grooves rather than simply exist to broaden appeal. Between the spooky spoken word of Mutado Pintado, Galcher Lustwerk & Quavius‘s hip-house delivery and Seven Davis Jr.‘s soulful crooning, the explorations within the space have blossomed in the last decade.

Few newcomers, however, have shown a shown a more novel approach than New York / Seoul based producer and vocalist, Yaeji. Over the last year, she has made a name for herself with a string of hypnotizing, club-ready singles and deep-diving DJ sets. Her debut, self-titled EP  is the culmination of her work thus far–putting her versatility on full display.

While the project certainly carries a consistently eerie vibe, each track evokes a

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[Indie] The Howl & The Hum – Godmanchester Chinese Bridge

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Nate Lotz on playing with Ryan Adams, Halsey, and the life of being a hired gun [EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW]

TMN: We’ve always been curious to see how someone goes down the route that you did, playing for multiple different acts as a “hired gun.” And, you’re not only playing with different projects–you’re playing with some of the biggest acts there are! How did you get here?

NL: It kind of came upon me as I was trying to form my own band. I moved to California from Colorado right after high school, not knowing anything about the music business–how it worked, different ways to make money, etc. I didn’t know you could be a ‘for hire’ musician. I didn’t even know that was a thing. I moved there with the intention with starting a band, because in Steamboat, it’s too small of a town. There’s no one to be in a band with. There’s no music industry there.

So, I moved out, with that intention. I did end up starting a band with my friend, Tyler Johnson, who’s also from Steamboat. Fast forward many years later, and he’s a very well respected producer who’s had all kinds of success. We started a band when I moved to California, with the intention of going all the way. We went pretty hard for like four years, having decent success in southern California. But, at the same time, we weren’t generating any real money. We had a lot to learn.

TMN: Is that when you started exploring being a hired gun?

I started getting gigs as a hired drummer and getting paid. At the time, after not making any money and being pretty broke. Getting hired–bar gigs, weddings, etc–it was pretty amazing to me. I mean, I loved my band, but I needed money. That ended up leading to more legit touring, like with Eric Hutchinson. I toured with Lucera. I would tour with a lot of people who had just gotten signed to a record label, and they had a big initial budget, and had some cool opening slots. Maybe I’d go out with them for six months.

Continue reading

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[Electro Soul] William Bolton – Be my Bae (prod. MiSCHiEF BOY)

William⚡Bolton
Be my Bae 💌 (prod. MiSCHiEF BOY)

22 year old Detroit native, William Bolton, has heating up over the past few years. I first came across this guy’s sound when he was producing under his own self proclaimed genre, “Soul Hop.” Since then his fantastic future funk stylings have further evolved into an entirely new sonic category the artist calls “Modern Vintage,” or the combination of old school soul vocals with New Age beats. Within this genre are entrancing tracks that are hard to find anywhere else.

Bolton fuses R&B and soul influences into his vocal style while delivering infectious lyrics that promise to glue themselves in your ears. Impressively, his groovy singing has been supported by some of the best producers in the scene, including 20syl. “Be my Bae,” the artist’s most recent project, sports an innovative instrumental from Los Angeles’ MiSCHiEF BOY. Striking electric guitar riffs and vibing percussion patterns serve to highlight the track’s playful exploration of modern romance. Hit play and let this track be your anthem this Valentines Day.

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[Dubstep] Tsimba & DeeZ – Banditos

DeeZ & tsimba
Banditos

WUMP Collective strikes again with the short and seriously sweet bass-heavy cut “Banditos” by Tsimba and DeeZ. These two East coast bass-benders have similar styles, often digging deep into the cavernous realms of sound design and coming up with something fresh and stimulating.

WUMP Collective, an artist collective which consistently puts out superb alternative electronic music, has delivered another gem. Each track they release on Soundcloud is coupled with a piece of creative writing. Here a writer describes the second drop, or reprise, of “Banditos”.

With an extended build and suspense high, we feel the energy surging and swelling through the Bandito as the sweeping growls pull us back into the scene. Finally, the drop releases the Bandito from his previous form, ascending to his next level Bandito form, as a Saiyan would ascend to Super Saiyan. His newfound power is immediately evident as the lower octave synths here carry a heavier weight of power and unspoken confidence that leave no doubt in our minds that this Bandito will slay dance floors without remorse.

Well said. The authors visceral language definitely captures how physical the bass is on this cut. Independently, both Tsimba and DeeZ continue to furnish our ears with fresh takes on bass music. We hope this isn’t their last collaboration, but in case it is download it for free here. You can also catch these two performing on a Spring tour in support of Mickman.

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[Glitch] Kursa – ATTNGTH

Kursa.
ATTNGTH

Kursa is an enigmatic and immensely skilled neuro bass producer from London, whose track “KURO” was a no-brainer selection on my 16 tracks in 2016 list. Sure enough, he’s elevating into 2017 with another furious showcase of upside down filthy bass music, the single “ATTNGTH”.

In small but dedicated circles, Kursa’s music is held in greater reverence than almost anything else, because his neck-breaking neuro grooves cannot be found or duplicated anywhere else. His tunes are essential contributions to the style called neurohop. Classification can sometimes be an inane exercise, but the nomenclature is important when it alludes to the type of sound being created. Neurohop is something mental, microscopic, perhaps intangible, and most certainly heady – something that gives you a screwface and a split-second existential crisis – then brings you back to your bag with its steady hip-hop backbone.

Kursa almost always throws some new-fangled interpretation of a broken-sounding synthesizer, smashing sine waves together like the Large Hadron Collider. The high end is usually reinforced with at least one layer of matching sub-bass or low-end synth for that extra umph when it bodies through your system. Crisp drums, exceptionally so in “ATTNGTH”, tie it all together. If you like what you hear, check out the producer’s Bandcamp.

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[Soul] MRKI – Weird Nights


MRKI’s sound represents its meaning. Meraki: a Greek word which describes the soul, love or passion one puts into their work. incorporating new production influences like r&b & experimental electronica “Weird Nights” is a downtempo electronic pop ballad guaranteed to keep your heart warm and your feelings dig deep. The track was also produced by local Miami producer Kaixen.

This record really hits you right in the feels. I love the way it flows from start to finish and it’s perfect for the cold winter weather. Smash play and enjoy.

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[Electronic] Kultur – Unravel (Ft. Jessel Alejo)

Kultur
Unravel (Ft. Jessel Alejo)

Young self taught producer of 19 years old, Ismaël Dabo aka Kultur keep on climbing the ladder and asserting himself since the release of a first EP in July 2015. True night bird (he only produces once the sun came down), Kultur invites us to sail between dream and reality with Midnight Whispers, his second EP that will be release by Nowadays Records on November 25th 2016. Recently he’s blessed us with his first song off the EP, titled “Unravel”. Collaborating with rising vocalist Jessel Alejo, the song is robust, sultry, and euphoric.

His will to get rid off the production norms allows him to build his own universe and tells us a sincere and promising dream that will take him on the road during the whole year. We’re unbelievably excited for his upcoming project to drop. So stay tuned and head over to SoundCloud for more.

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[Album Review] GRiZ – Good Will Prevail

GRiZ is a household name in the electronic music world, and for good reason. For over six years this artist has been producing some of the best quality dance music in the scene. With works such as Mad Liberation, Rebel Era, and Say It Loud this guy has proven himself a master of the electro-funk sound. His latest album, Good Will Prevail, demonstrates just how much GRiZ has grown since his debut. With the help of some of the industry’s best talent including Big Gigantic, Brasstracks, Louis Futon, and Cherub, the artist’s matured sound blossoms with each beat of the collection.

I knew we were in for something good from the album’s intro. “Wicked” featuring apocalyptic vocals from Eric Krasno and gritty production from GRiZ sets the stage for the greater theme of the work: good will prevail. As we enter the second track, “Can’t Hold Me Down” featuring Tash Neal, we encounter electric guitar riffs, anthemic vocals, and insane bass breaks that are sure to have you feeling euphoric. Halfway through the work we find “Feelin’ Fine.” The tune’s high flying horns and soulful singing guarantee to elevate your energy no matter your mood. Other highlights for me include the vocal hook on “What We’ve Become” ft. Cory Enemy & Natalola and the insane guitar solo on “Rather Be Free” Ft. Muzzy Bearr.

Amidst this dark time in human history that we seem to be currently trudging through, GRiZ’s Good Will Prevail is a shining light to lift our spirits. Each track radiates elevating energy and by the time its over I guarantee you’ll be eager to hear it again. Bump the collection here and let the good energy wash your worries away.

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[Electronic] Haute – More

Haute
More (Nowadays #6)

While digging through the depths of Soundcloud earlier today I found a tune that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since the first listen. It’s an entrancing track by the rising Montreal based electronic act, Haute. The duo, comprised of singer/songwriter Anna Magidson and producer/beatmaker Romain Hainaut, teamed up around two years ago and began breaking down the boundaries between the electronic, RnB, and soul genres. Their latest piece is a powerful electro-RnB tune with a gospel influence titled “More.” Strong production and empowering vocals make for a song that’s sure to have your ears engaged throughout.

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[Electronic] Melvv & MOONZz – Goodbye

Melvv & MOONZz
Goodbye

I fell in love with Melvv’s happy-go-lucky brand of electronic music about a year ago when I first heard his vivacious track, Vibe. Ever since that tune drew my attention to this producer I’ve always kept a keen eye on the music he puts out. This guy’s signature euphoric synth stylings never fail to uplift my mood, and his latest track proves no different. It’s a collaboration with the rising female vocalist MOONZz titled “Goodbye”. Her brazen vocals compliment Melvv’s bouncing production to make for an entrancing tune I won’t be saying goodbye to any time soon. Hit play and enjoy.

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Nick Waterhouse
"Smooth Operator"
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YATES – It’s Over Now

With over 2 million streams on Spotify, Yates transforms a 90s urban classic into a contemporary piece of pristine music. ‘It’s Over Now’ is absolutely stunning. If this track was transformed into a sculpture, it would look like a beautiful modern sculpture, curvaceous and full. Chill out and check out this track.

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Tall Heights
Iron in the Fire
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[Electronic] ACTIVE SUN – I Gotta Get It

ACTIVE SUN
I Gotta Get It

Active Sun is a group we were just introduced to that is made up of two talented producers. They have a couple nice remixes under their belt but this new single, “I Gotta Get It” is the first original and really the kick-off to the Active Sun project. In 2015 they spent time writing songs and laying out plans for a full album.

The artists say that they were actually inspired by the rhythmic grooves of 2015’s tropical house explosion. But they “wanted their songs to sound nothing like that.” As counter intuitive as that sounds, I can definitely see the connection with “I Gotta Get It” and easy listening house genres that came before. I would argue that Active Sun keeps it original and takes it to the next level where it’s also about the complexities of good songwriting. Not to mention the vocal part that really wraps this one together as a solid song. Listen up and Active Sun might be a new favorite!

 

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Few acts have proven so impressively consistent, yet unpredictable, as Kenton Slash Demon. Since first captivating us with “Harpe,” the Danish duo

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