Author Archives: Jordan Coburn

[Indie/Folk] Kevin Morby – Beautiful Strangers

Kevin Morby
Beautiful Strangers

We don’t cover tunes like this too often here at TMN, so we’re excited to bring you something that may switch up the current TMN playlist you’ve been jamming to up until this point. We’d like to turn your attention to Texas-based indie folk artist Kevin Morby’s latest single, “Beautiful Strangers.”

“Beautiful Strangers” takes listeners to a place where Texas and Hawaii meet, with Bob Dylan-esque vocals as our guide. As we woke up this morning to this tune our souls were satiated, and there was nowhere to go but up. The tune fills you with a sense of calm– like everything’s going to be okay. This feeling starkly juxtaposes the context in which the single was released by Morby— written for and dedicated to the victims of the shooting that occurred this year in Orlando, Florida. We’d like to let Morby take the floor here with his comments regarding the release: “This release is dedicated to and written for all the people I have never met but have only read about. The innocent people who were out living their lives and one day, without warning, had them taken away from them. People who liked to laugh, dance, and love in the way that we all do, but can’t anymore. All those names and faces, all those beautiful strangers…”

Despite the tragic events of that fateful day this June, Morby reminds us that love is and always will be the cure for the atrocities that have taken the form of hate crimes all too frequently in our world. Morby reminds us with “Beautiful Strangers” that love will prevail. We have nothing but it for the victims of Orlando, for the victims of hate crimes all over the globe, and for all of humanity. Today we hope that you take a moment to remember the innocent lives lost at the Pulse Nightclub, and that you feel the overwhelming power of love that music, dance, and humans can bring to one another. There is no hate that love can’t conquer, and we thank Kevin Morby for reminding us of that today.

“If I die too young, and the gunmen come, I’m full of love.”

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[Techno/House] Wehbba – Trust


Brazilian-based producer Wehbba released his new bundle of singles with Stay Right this month. There’s one track in particular that especially stands out among the rest, and that’s the track “Trust.” Wehbba has been producing techno and techno/house fusion works that have made our ears perk up in the recent years. His tracks, like most techno, have a drive to them that would hook anyone who listens. But with his new track “Trust,” the level of pull is so much more real.

The tune begins with a little guitar sample that’s reminiscent of something old Sonny boy of Skrillex would have produced as an intro back in his Bangarang days, and we were very curious to see where the track would go. It sounded far from a techno track in the beginning actually. But then, the vocal sample begins to slowly crescendo in until its peak drops a techno/house bass beat that comes in like a tsunami that totally wipes away the vocals for the next few measures, leaving you drowning in a techno wonderland. If you were at a festival on the outskirts of a crowd, contemplating going and getting a bucket of crab fries at that delicious stand, this drop would make any techno lover about-face and walk on beat right back to the center of the crowd like a champion.

And that, friends, is where we leave you. In the middle of the techno pit with Wehbba.

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[Indie Dance] E C H E L A N – Perspective (feat. Logan Swirsky)

Perspective (feat. Logan Swirsky)

San Diego-based electronic group E C H E L A N showed their colors for the first time since their creation this week with their debut single “Perspective (feat. Logan Swirsky).” It’s a great summer tune that shows maturity in vocals and composition alike, leading us to believe that this won’t be the last track from them that we really dig.

The track combines a Flume-like production of synth and vocal manipulation while integrating an airy guitar that’s reminiscent of an indie rock sound you’d expect out of their hometown—a sound that leaves you feeling ready for a whole lot of chilling. Logan Swirsky’s vocal talent is certainly a key part of this track, and we hope to hear her on more tracks in the future. The finesse of her tonality is both pleasing to the ears and calming to the soul, and since we could describe the production of the instrumental parts of this song similarly, they really come together as the perfect pair.

E C H E L A N just brought on a very successful first release, and we’ll definitely be following them to see what they bring next.

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[Electronic] Christian Loffler – Licht

German-based producer Christian Loffler stirred up quite the single this month. His new track “Licht” exposed a sound that’s hard to compare with much else we’ve heard. He’s been quoted as describing his music as “melancholic but euphoric,” and it’s a spot-on description of the sound.

Utilizing a combination of instrumental recordings and DJ effects, Loffler fuses the outside world with the digital world. His layers of tropical tremolos take turns playing the leading role of the track with the sound of eerily peaceful bells, like ones you’d hear as the wind blows through a vacant yard in a rural train station. Our favorite part about this track though is definitely the persistent static leftover of his tremolo effects, placing a veil of “shh”-ing sounds over the entirety of the work that resemble the constant dull roar of the ocean. All tied together with a longingly romantic vocal sample, this track feels like a tale of heartbreak in the misty tropics. Can’t say we’ve really felt that vibe before until now, but we’re big fans.

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[Show Review] Deerhunter at The Observatory North Park, San Diego, CA

Deerhunter is one of our favorite experimental rock bands around right now. We’ve been following them for years, and to finally get to see them in concert was an occasion. On Friday night the Atlanta-born musicians took to the stage in San Diego, CA and delivered what we consider to be a performance solidifying their place as neo-rock superstars. Their music live seems to be the only way we want to listen to them from now on.

Lead singer Bradford Cox had a stage presence that was anticipated, but proved surprising in one respect. While we expected his presence to be profound, we weren’t expecting it to get so dance-y. It was much to our pleasant surprise that waves of dancing erupted in the crowd more often than not, namely the movement session that accompanied the latter part of “Living My Life”—a single from their latest album Fading Frontier that was accompanied by a saxophone in this live rendition. And who could forget the seductive stripping of Cox’s suspenders that followed not long after.

Towards the middle of the show the band dedicated a performance to the memory of Cox’s stepmother, set to the song “Take Care.” The song is already an enchanting piece on its own, but the band altered and extended the breakdown, taking the song to new depths that it hadn’t possessed previously. The percussions in particular led a crescendo that left the crowd in complete silence, only to erupt moments later in a reverent roar.

Following an encore, the band did a few of their older classics like “Desire Lines,” in which guitarist, vocalist and Lotus Plaza-creator Lockett Pundt sang it in its entirety. The passion and talent of the duo together was truly a sight to see. Following this came a few songs from the album that first got us started on Deerhunter, Microcastle and hearing the songs “Cover Me Slowly” and “Nothing Ever Happened” live were moments that we had hoped for but did not expect given the older date of that record.

The set wound up being, overall, everything that we could have asked for, and more. It’s sent us into a week long phase of listening to their discography, and has us being very appreciate of being able to catch them live. Hopefully, it won’t be the last time

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[Funk/Soul] Charles Bradley – Good to Be Back Home

Charles Bradley
Good to Be Back Home

Maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but in the case of Charles Bradley, an old dog can certainly teach us a whole lot of stuff. Like how to release an album at the age of 67 that will bring a gaggle of millennials to their knees, and re-instill the power of funk and soul into a generation that needs it. I’m talking, of course, about Bradley’s latest Changes, and the song that epitomizes the power of Charles Bradley and funk in general, “Good to Be Back Home.”

Upon first listen we couldn’t believe our ears. From the first shout we had to convince ourselves that James Brown, the artist that Bradley largely credits his motivation to, hadn’t miraculously returned. But then you keep listening and get the essence of Bradley himself very quickly– an artist with power, passion and a voice whose tone alone speaks wisdom. This song is an epic return track that’s placed perfectly in the beginning of the album and serves as a doorway to the soul/funk journey ahead; and even better, it doesn’t just take us back down memory lane. It brings the lens of soul into a piece of modern music, and it’s so great that we’re able to experience the vantage point from a legend himself.

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[Throwback] Nicole Dollanganger – Chapel

Nicole Dollanganger

Hearing something for the first time is great, but how good is re-hearing something that you forgot existed for 9 months? That’s magic. How did it come up again? We don’t know. But it did. And it’s glorious. The throwback is real, and today we’re throwing it back to a song released by an artist named Nicole Dollanganger whose innovation is welcomed by us time and time again.

Nicole Dollanganger has been releasing completely angelic music for the last few years and we’re happy to see her getting some more spotlight. Her release “Chapel” is especially representative of some of Dollanganger’s most enjoyable artistic characteristics—her vocal and lyrical talents. With a voice that possesses its own dialed-in breathy reverb that any artist strives to attain strictly in the studio, Dollanganger showcases her blessedly-toned voice in conjunction with some of our favorite lyrics she’s released yet with this release.

A song for the tragic, “Chapel” has lyrics that impart a kind of emotional gravity on the listener that they might not have been ready for, and we’re fans of songs that can move like that. One of our favorite lines comes at the end of the sorrow-stricken chorus: “You know I don’t love anyone, but I love you.” Wow. That’s real. Nicole Dollanganger makes us feel. We can say that for certain. Oh, and let us not forget– our favorite superstar Grimes is a big fan of her, too. She brought her on to her Eerie project pretty much before anyone else, and anyone who’s a friend of Grimes is most certainly a friend to us.

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