Author Archives: Matthew Bloss

[Music Video] Chromatics – Black Walls

Is 2018 the year we finally get to hear Dear Tommy? Always with a penchant for tooling and retooling with his many bands’ (Glass Candy, Desire, Chromatics) albums, which has become somewhat expected from his legions of fans, Johnny Jewel and the rest of Chromatics have tentatively (again) set a release date for a followup to 2012’s brilliant Kill For Love –some time in the Fall on Jewel’s Italians Do It Better imprint.  Originally announced all the way back in December 2014,  Chromatics faithful have had their anticipation quashed time and time again, including reports last year that after completing the record, Jewel decided to demolish every copy and start again from scratch. Kind of. “Dear Tommy has the same titles, same lyrics, same track order, as when it was announced Dec of 2014. Nothing’s changed except it’s better.” quipped Jewel when pressed about the “new” record last year, so at least we have that. And here we are yet again, smack dab in the middle of 2018, with another glimpse of the mystical Chromatics record “Black Walls”, that almost makes everything better in 4 minutes and 53 seconds.

On “Black Walls”, Ruth Radelet’s unmistakable refrain is as simultaneously pained and beautiful as ever; pulling us into Jewel’s web of frigid synths and penetrating guitar. Simple in structure, complex in its execution and moody af, “Black Walls” is textbook Chromatics with an even glossier coating of paint. Watch the video for “Black Walls” below, and cross your fingers there is more to come from Dear Tommy soon.

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[Synth-Pop/Experimental] John Maus – Running Man

Much to this writer’s delight, we’ve had the chance to shine a welcome light on visionary producer, songwriter, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist John Maus in these recent months. With an impending long-player, Addendum, due out May 18th; we’ve been offering a few pieces of that one, including “Episode”, in the wake of its buildup. A collection of B-sides and new tunes alike, Addendum features 12 additional recordings from his Screen Memories sessions including this latest offering, “Running Man”.

Sharing an aural aesthetic with the 1987 film of the same name, “Running Man” layers staccato synths atop one another and over glistening pads & shuffled percussion all heavily steeped in reverb-y delay. Maus experimented working with an all-analog batch of synths to create his last two records, literally building every rumbling, squelch and blip from the ground up before turning them into full, cohesive movements; and his uniquely personal touch towards his production methods is felt in every inch of his latest works. In anticipation of Addendum‘s release, Maus will be conducting a Reddit AMA via /r/indieheads on Tuesday, May 5th at 5:00 p.m. Eastern; so for our redditor family, polish those questions up and be ready for tomorrow. Until then, stream “Running Man” below.

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[Music Video] Son Lux – The Fool You Need

Son Lux, the genre-skirting synthesis of Los Angeles composer Ryan Lott along with the help of New Yorkers, Rafiq Bhatia on guitar and drummer Ian Chang, have stormed into both this year and this writer’s headspace like a symphonic speeding bullet. Coming off of the heels of an excellent 8th album, Brighter Wounds, which saw release in February, the hyper-talented trio has been garnering loads of worthy critical acclaim in the months since; while touring internationally almost constantly since its release.

Recently Son Lux unveiled the visceral visual accompaniment -directed by Jean-Paul Frenay-  from one of Brighter Wounds‘ standout tunes, “The Fool You Need”. The video, which opens with some rather jarring imagery, fits like an unlikely puzzle piece atop Lott’s cleverly fractured drum patterns and aching vocals. When asked about his work, Frenay relayed that he visually interpreted the track to mirror the endless circle of life, love, and death that it so tragically captures. Son Lux will be maintaining their presence on the road, getting ready to kick off a co-headlining tour with indie-pop princess Kimbra come May 12th. Stream the video for “The Fool You Need” below and check out their forthcoming tour dates after the jump.

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[Synth-Pop/Experimental] John Maus – Episode

Avant-pop visionary John Maus has lurked around the edges of alternative pop and indie for over a decade. From being Ariel Pink’s roommate at the California Institute of the Arts in ’98, to serving as keyboardist for Pink’s critically lauded Haunted Graffiti band, and performing as touring keyboardist with both Animal Collective and Panda Bear; Maus’ musical credits stretch far beyond most artists operating within the realm of pop.

Maus is getting set to release an already sold-out, career-spanning 6 LP box set on vinyl which includes his latest offering, 2017’s Screen Memories, as well as all three previous studio albums (Songs, Love is Real, We Must Be Come the Pitiless Censors…) and a rarities compilation which will see release later this month. Maus’ latest LP, his sixth full length, Addendum –originally set to be a part of Maus’ forthcoming box set only- will now see a standalone release on May 18th. A collection of B-sides and new tunes, Addendum features 12 additional recordings nestled alongside the tracks that solidified into last year’s excellent Screen Memories LP. Giving us a bit of a taste of things to come on Addendum, Maus has also gifted us with “Episode”, an intoxicating synth-pop movement in which his melodiously vamping vocals float across arpeggiated beats and icy analog synth lines.

Stream “Episode” above, pre-order Addendum here, and check out John Maus’ impending tour dates after the jump.

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[Hip-Hop] Deezie Brown – Drive

Most writers within these hallowed grounds of The Music Ninja tend to have a few lesser known albums in their back pocket in which they keep on heavy rotation. One such album in this writer’s library comes from thought provoking Austin, Texas based artist Deezie Brown, who is riding high, fresh off the heels of the release of debut long-player Judith.  A 12-track offering delivering a rebellious synthesis of alternative hip-hop and electronic pop, Judith features more than a few high points for listeners to sink their teeth into.

Standing tall among the excellent sea of Judith’s ciphers, is the sterling single “Drive”. “Drive” runs off the fumes of burbling, synthesized two-step drum patterning, crispy snares and of course Brown’s gritty vocal cadence anchoring it all down. About the album Brown shared: “The lyrics throughout the album paint a picture of my addictions and the things that the industry place in front of us as a disguise on what success is supposed to look like.” Deezie Brown clearly has a progressively fresh mind aimed towards his art, and it’s always refreshing to hear an artist in the realms of rap and hip-hop with a true message to share. Judith is available on all major streaming services, so before you dive in, check out “Drive” below.

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[Video] Porches – Find Me (Baba Stiltz & Samo DJ Remix)

Back in October, we featured Porches’ lead single from the then impending LP The House: “Find Me”. The original tune itself is a clear standout on an album that never quite seems to find its mark as a cohesive statement, and with its boisterous percussion, humming synth work and simple yet sugary sweet pop structure, it was ripe for the good ol’ fashioned remix treatment.

First in line to apply their own glossy coat of paint on top of Aaron Maine’s original mix was the duo of Baba Stiltz & Samo DJ. The pair brilliantly manage to marry their own disco tinged house aesthetic to “Find Me” while clearly maintaining Porches’ original integrity. The result is a hooky earworm of a tune, which buoys Maine’s unmistakable refrain on top of their aural re-tooling. Baba Stiltz & Samo DJ’s remix is accompanied by its own shiny music video with footage directed by Denim Dean, which you can see below. Porches is currently wrapping up a North American tour this weekend, with three NYC shows – March 23rd @ Music Hall of Williamsburg, March 24th @ Bowery Ballroom and March 25th @ Elsewhere, so for our NY friends, be sure to catch them live and watch the video for Baba Stiltz & Samo DJ’s remix below.

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[Indie-Pop] Yoke Lore – Fake You

Fake You


Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist, dancer, visual artist and indie-pop auteur Adrian Galvin (formerly of Walk the Moon) has flitted around our hallowed pages for over two years now. Much to this writer’s unwavering glee, Galvin has routinely spun lush webs of synth-soaked indie-pop under his Yoke Lore moniker since its inception.  At the tail end of 2017 Yoke Lore kept his fans satiated with the release of an excellent EP, Goodpain (which included a remix companion as well), and is now following that up with the impending release of another extended play: Absolutes. 

“Fake You” is our first taste from Absolutes, which as a collection of songs aims to explores the grey areas between black and white ideas while building upon the lush, sonic palette of his past works. “Fake You” toys within Galvin’s established aural foundation, including rapturously popping snares and bouncy two-step percussion, but emotively speaking digs much deeper than nearly all of the surface level synth-pop we routinely get bombarded with. Accompanying the release of Absolutes, Yoke Lore will also be joining FRENSHIP on the road for a North American tour. Stream “Fake You” above and check out Yoke Lore’s tour dates after the jump below! Continue reading

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