Author Archives: TMN Staff

Coachella 2015 – Must See Acts [TMN EDITORS’ PICKS]

TMNCoachThe spectacle and legend of Coachella Valley Arts & Music Festival seems to grow every year and, although it’s certainly reached a critical mass at this point, it proves time and time again to be worth the trip. After breaking box office records for consecutive years, Coachella continues blazing ahead in 2015 with a deep, diverse lineup and some of their most ambitious projects to date including their largest investment in art installations ever. With the first weekend kicking off this Friday, the set times for Coachella were finally let loose yesterday bringing up the regular scheduling conflicts and tough decisions. To make things easier for you all, we’ve decided to lay out our top acts to see every day chronologically. We hope this serves as a useful guide as you prepare for the whirlwind of emotion that is Coachella. Best advice we can give you all: keep good company, don’t sweat (figuratively, of course, perspiration is imminent) and most importantly be safe. Hope to run in to some of you ninjas there!

P.S. We didn’t forget the Do Lab! You can find our Do Lab picks on the final page.

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[Event Recap] SXSW – The Highs and Lows of our Week in Austin, Texas

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Another SXSW is in the books, and as we look back with aching feet, muddy clothes wrapped in plastic bags, and a phone full of video clips and pictures, we’re slowly trying to process everything that went on during this intensely crazy week. It was one to be remembered, that’s for sure, providing ample amounts of “Only at SXSW” surprises, newly discovered artists, and, of course, plenty of BBQ.

In lieu of a lengthy, play-by-play recap of everything we experienced, we’re going to change it up and just cover some of the high and low lights. Our hopes are such that you will not only put some acts on your list for this upcoming year’s touring season, but also learn how to SXSW better and more effectively in the years to come.

THE HIGHS

Our dance card was admittedly jam packed, as you would expect from us. Since we don’t focus on a particular genre, our schedule often looked like a game of Tetris, numerous colored blocks stacking on top of each other quicker than we could anticipate. With that in mind, we tried to divide and conquer, leaving certain ninjas to review their favorite genres.

Mew: We’ve been waiting to see Mew for the better part of a decade. If you could peek into our all-time play count on Spotify, you would notice that “Am I Wry? No” has garnered an absurd amount of plays. Our adoration goes further back than Spotify days though, discovering this act long, long ago.

Their live set was absolutely flawless, with Jonas’ vocals echoing what we’ve heard through our headphones in so many walks around our college campus. It was truly one of those life-affirming shows, reminding us of exactly why we started doing this.

Satellites (Acoustic)

ELEL: This band of relative newcomers stole our hearts, and did so in one of the hardest venues to do so. We caught them in a small hall, that was less than forgiving acoustically. Their ability to overcome that, and still get a crowd of people to dance and smile was notable. “40 Watt” particularly shone bright, giving us a glimpse of their unique harmonic abilities. We can’t wait to catch them on tour, as we’re sure they’ll be bringing this seven-piece to every major city really soon.

40 Watt

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Ultra Music Festival 2015 – Must See Acts [TMN EDITORS’ PICKS]

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We’re less than a day away from Ultra Music Festival kicking into full swing, we thought it’d be the perfect time to throw a wrench in your perfectly laid out plans. As we do every year, our team of ninjas have hand-selected a few of their must-see acts, giving you an even bigger scheduling nightmare than you already had before.

With that in mind, we strongly suggest catching even a small portion of sets from these artists below, as they’ve come to be some of the most impressive we’ve caught over the past few years.

Matthew Bloss

DIXON

Dixon
Friday, Resistance Stage, Presented by Link Miami Rebels, 9:00 PM

After nabbing Resident Advisor’s #1 DJ of 2014, Steffen Berkhahn has seen his ‘Dixon‘ project near the top of every house & techno head’s ‘Must-See’ list. Though his signature style has undeniably morphed over the years, he’s stayed remarkably independent and adventurous, and he’s fiercely loyal to his label’s sound no matter how large the stage. For those in need of a massive set not aimed at the ‘EDM’ crowds, ABSOLUTELY do not miss Dixon’s slot.

dixon
in our wilderness

Goldroom

Goldroom

Sunday, Ultra Worldwide, 5:00 PM

The king of tempered down, breeze-along diso melodies, Goldroom hasn’t forgotten the platform which put him on the tip of so many tongues: the DJ booth. Josh Legg’s DJ sets still function as a vital part of the Goldroom experience even after expanding to a live four-piece. Everyone needs a chilled out hour or two during UMF’s absurd three days. Make it with Goldroom.

Goldroom
Till Sunrise

röyksopp

Royksopp

Friday, Live Stage, 11:00 PM

Potentially the Norwegian duo’s last ever run on the festival circuit after announcing an end to albums for their timeless dance-pop project, culminating with an incredible 2014 two-hour opus, fittingly titled The Inevitable End. Just the premise of not having them around in the near future is enough to make us label this as one of our ‘Must-See’ performances of the weekend.

Royksopp
Thank You

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SXSW 2015 – Must See Acts [TMN EDITOR’S PICKS]

sxsw-2015

Portable charger? Check. Craftily packed suitcases? Check. Showcase RSVPs sent? Check. Yep, ninjas. We’re ready to head out to SXSW next week. We can’t believe it’s finally here, but it is. It’s time to charge down to Austin to wander the streets seeing band after band, DJ after DJ. As you’ve come to know from following this site for so many years, each of our editors has a unique set of musical tastes. Sometimes we all have picks in the middle of our colective Venn Diagrams, but, for the most part, we all lean our different ways. With that in mind, we wanted to highlight the must-see acts from each ninja. So, bust out your pen and notepad. You’ll want to write these down.
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Daniel Wilson

This artist popped onto our radar with the undeniable charm of “If You Went Away.” His vocals are somewhat unrefined, which definitely adds to the appeal. We’ve only heard a few tunes, and the whole time, we’ve been wondering – what does his live show sound like? We’ll find out soon.

If You Went Away

cruisr

CRUISR

If you’re looking for a raucous indie rock show that’s sure to be full of energy, catchy pop hooks, and the unavoidable need to dance, then CRUISR will be a show not to miss. These cats have a knack for engaging pop-driven indie, and we’re positive it will translate into a live performance with ease.

CRUISR
Go For It

elel

ELEL

This eclectic Nashville act promises to deliver plenty of on-stage intrigue, given the amount of instrumentation that goes into their “world pop” arrangements. Their vocal arrangements are extremely original as well, which should be interesting when translated into a live show.

40 Watt

garratt

Jack Garratt

This has got to be one of our favorite artists as of late. Undeniably unique, unpredictable, and unconventional, this vocalist always dazzles with his impeccable range, and intricate soundscapes. If there is one artist that I personally “can’t miss,” it’s Jack Garratt.

Worry

loops

Jeremy Loops

What would Texas be without some beer-drinkin’, whiskey-shootin’, shit-kickin’, dusty-floor-dancin’ tunes? This infectious folk artist embodies those long-lasting memorable moments with a few friends, some cold drinks, and some frivolous dancing. He encapsulates Americana in pop-centric folk rock, and he does so from all the way down in South Africa.

Skinny Blues

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JP Cooper

We had the pleasure of interviewing this young Manchester-based vocalist a few months back, and we have to say, we’re overwhelmingly excited to catch his live show. In fact, if there’s a “must see” show based on vocal finesse, it would be this one. His tone, range, and dexterity is something that we just can’t pass up.

Closer

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Library Voices

We’ve been hip to this act for quite some time, falling enamored with their highly contagious tune, “Drinking Games.” Part of our adoration came some of their projects with Red Brick Song’s Casablanca sessions, which our the best collaborations the indie scene has seen in the past few years.

Library Voices
If Raymond Carver Were Born In The 90s

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ASTR

After playing our raucous ‘TMN PResents’ party in Denver in late 2014, ASTR has continually set the bar higher on already engaging live sets. After 2014’s incredible ‘Varsity’ EP, we’re hoping 2015 sees a proper album from the New York alt-poppers.

ASTR
Operate

falke

Fred Falke

A man within the confines of dance music needing no real introduction, Fred Falke’s ‘French-Touch’ and disco inflected house records have been a staple of countless critics, artists and fans alike for nearly two decades. Any chance to see The Fred at such an incredible festival is a must.

Bastille
Bad Blood (Fred Falke Remix)

hundred

Hundred Waters

The only non-dance affiliated act on Skrillex’s OWSLA Records, Hundred Waters crafts a stripped down brand of avant-garde pop stylings. Their live sets are as engaging as they are melodic and tasteful. If you haven’t yet, pick up their sophomore LP, ‘The Moon Rang Like a Bell’.

Show Me Love

brookemaple

George Maple

George Maple is an iconic vocalist reining from none other than the homeland of pure talent – Australia. After having collaborated with the likes of Flume, the Future Classic artist is well on her way of becoming a global sensation. George Maple, the harmonious goddess, is making her way out to this years SXSW and we guarantee she is one not to miss.

Vacant Space

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Hudson Mowhake

The big name at Numbers never fails to impress with his tunes. Having been involved with Yeezus, being half of the former power duo TNGHT with Lunice, and just killing it all around, HudMo’s influence and discography knows no bounds. He continues to tear it up with every release and always puts on a great show.

Hudson Mohawke
Chimes (Official)

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Leon Bridges

Leon is the second coming of 50’s soul. His style is a mix of Marvin Gaye and Sam Cooke that epitomizes emotion in the always growing realm of singer-songwriters. “Coming Home” is a landmark single and his album is on the way. If you’re looking for an old school vibe, Leon is your man.

Coming Home

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BØRNS

Here’s someone muddying the lines between electronic rock and folk in his own unique and refreshing fashion. His recent EP, Candy, is a must hear if you haven’t caught it already. This LA native is poised for a strong rest of the year and will be a perfect fit for the SXSW community.

10,000 Emerald Pools

Sweater Beats - Dark Matter (feat. Allie)
sweater

Sweater Beats

HW&W & Symbol’s very own Sweater Beats is making his SXSW appearance this year and needless to say, this is a monumental step for the young producer. The forward-thinking artist has been soaring over the industry and this year will only be more promising for his career. If you’re headed to SXSW this year, make sure to catch Sweater Beats – but leave your sweater at home because it’ll be too hot to handle.

Flume & Chet Faker
Drop the Game (Sweater Beats Remix)

beacon

Beacon

Brooklyn duo, Beacon, is undoubtedly one of the most underrated artists in today’s music world. I was foruntate enough to catch them last year on tour with Tycho and words do not do their live set or music any justice. Their eloquent way of storytelling is exemplified in their intricate sound designs along with moving melodies and touching synths. If you want an ambient, yet tranformational experience, Beacon is definitely one not to miss.

Beacon
Bring You Back

baseersimz

Little Simz

Being both a female and a UK native, Little Simz is a minority in the hip-hop realm, but please don’t underestimate her. Able to hold her own with any emcee out there, Simz first impressed us with her E.D.G.E EP last summer. Since then, she’s followed that project with multiple mixtape releas, proving that Simz has an unparalleled work ethic. The girl definitely has bars, and we’re excited to see what she brings to the table when she comes stateside for her performance at SXSW.

It Aint Safe (Freestyle)

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Torey Lanez

A true triple threat, Tory Lanez never ceases to amaze us with his many talents. As one of the brightest acts emerging from the Toronto music scene, Tory made waves with his Lost Cause mixtape last fall. The consummate entertainer, Tory’s show promises to be a memorable one, as the emcee exudes a natural charisma that draws the audience in from start to finish. Expect him to crowd surf a minimum of five times, as the Canadian strives to have as much fun as possible every night.

Snakehips x Tory Lanez
Dímelo #songsfromscratch

trippy

Trippy Turtle

Making a name for himself last year with his quirky, uptempo, R&B insprired remixes, Trippy Turtle has undeniably become the face of Jersey Club music. Armed with an uncanny sense of humor and some high energy, bed-spring infused productions, Trippy’s showcase promises to be a blast, and we expect you’ll be struggling to catch your breath when it’s all said and done. Eee…Err Eee…Err Eee…Err FOFOFADI!

Trippy Turtle
Trippys Theme

ashmickjenkins

Mick Jenkins

Mick Jenkins is a Chicago emcee who combines some serious jazzy vibes with an intelligent lyricism matched by few other up ‘n coming rapers. In many ways, his style transcends the current trends in hip-hop without sacrificing dope, forward-thinking production. Mick promises to be an enlightening, laid-back and smooth performance–if you haven’t already check out his mixtape The Waters to prepare.

Jazz (Prod. by OnGaud)

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Jay Prince

Jay Prince is a UK-based, Soulection-affiliated rapper and vocalist who made waves with his debut project, BeFOR Our Time. Prince’s music has a distinct soulfulness to it that when combined with instrumentals from producers like IAMNOBODI, who will also be at SXSW, creates a sunny, nuanced aesthetic. Jay Prince is definitely an artist on the up ‘n up who will be awesome to see perform this early in his career.

Jay Prince
Polaroids

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Haywyre

It’s crazy to think that there are people who still question the legitimacy of electronic artists as musicians. Vancouver producer Haywyre is just one of many to disprove the closed-minded with lush, complex sonic arrangements and a clear understanding of musical composition. His performance promises to showcase impressive skills on both the keyboard and controller but, more importantly, should be a huge dance party.

Odesza
All We Need (Haywyre Remix)

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Kaytranada

Another member of the Huh, What & Where collective, Kaytranada has been pioneering the future R&B/soul movement for years now and it’s been paying off in big ways. He’s been pictured recently with Rick Rubin and has created countless hits with an array of artists. His live sets are soulful, funky and ubeat making him likely one of the funnest DJ sets you’ll find at SXSW.

MNEK
Wrote A Song About You (Kaytranada Edition)

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2015 International Women’s Day Playlist

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In honor of International Women’s Day, we’ve spent the afternoon compiling tunes from some of our favorite musical women. We looked into all of our usual genres – indie rock, hip hop, RnB, pop – and did our best to shine some light on the industry’s best and brightest.

The lines blur from genre to genre at times, and the definition of a “female musician” does as well. Some bands have male members. Some women are covering a song from a male artist. At the end of the day though, we tried our best to showcase acts that have a heavy female influence in their art.

So, sit back, relax, and take some time to appreciate some of the best work from women musicians around the globe.

INDIE ROCK / POP

Feist
How Come You Never Go There
Breakfast
Boris
Gordi
Taken Blame
Tei Shi
See Me
Regina Spektor
Small Town Moon
Cat Power
Sea Of Love
MEG MAC
Roll Up Your Sleeves

Say Youll Be There
Ryn Weaver
OctaHate
The Narcoleptic Dancers
Again And Again
Courtney Barnett
Avant Gardener
Daughter
Landfill
Gnarls Barkley
Crazy (Cover) by Daniela Andrade
Lauren Aquilina
Sex (The 1975 Cover)
Grace Mitchell
Runaway
Black Honey
Madonna
Lyla Foi
Shoestring
Owl Eyes
Something About Us (Daft Punk Cover)
Luluc
Small Window
Bets
Rooftop Lover
Husky Rescue
Deep Forest Green
Laura Welsh
Here For You
Marika Hackman
Animal Fear
London Grammar
Sights
Little Joy
Unattainable
Birdy
Skinny Love
Julia Stone
Youre The One That I Want
The Staves
The Motherlode
Noosa
Sail
Zella Day
Compass
Mapei
Dont Wait
Chelsea Lankes
GHOST
Janelle Kroll
Sunny Days
Catey Shaw
Human Contact (Original Mix)
Lucy Rose
Our Eyes
Jose Vanders
Blue Notes
Maiday
Wish Youd Met Me First
Lily Allen
I Dont Mind Babe (gknew1)
Gabrielle Aplin
Let Me In
Kawehi
Anthem
Sylvan Esso
Coffee
Phoebe Ryan
Mine
XYLO
America
Mr. Little Jeans
The Suburbs
Naomi Pilgrim
Its All Good
Broods
Bridges
EVVY
Collide
Little Daylight
My Life
ACRE TARN
Dawn Faces
MS MR
Hurricane
MarzXLeon
L O N E R
Rae Morris
Under The Shadows
HAIM
The Wire
Yellow Flicker Beat
Lorde
BANKS
GODDESS
Ellie Goulding
Tessellate (Alt
FKA Twigs
Two Weeks
Lana Del Rey
West Coast
Shura
Touch
Jessie Ware
Tough Love
Lykke Li
Gunshot
Florence and the Machine
What Kind of Man (Radio Edit)
Little Dragon
Klapp Klapp

 

DANCE

dot
Super Moon
Kimbra
Miracle
AlunaGeorge
Supernatural
Phantogram
Fall In Love
Purity Ring
begin again
Mark Johns
5 South (Prod. Alexander Lewis) Ft. Brasstracks
Alison Wonderland
Lies
DABIN
Endlessly feat. Anna Yvette
Anna Lunoe
Say It Again (Nina Las Vegas & Swick Remix)
dOP
Close Up (Louisahhh!!! Remix)
Polar Youth
Bae
Jessie Ware
Keep On Lying (TOKiMONSTA Remix)
Anna Lunoe Ft Jesse Boykins III
Heartbreak In Motion
Karin Park & Pandora Drive
Hurricane (Maya Jane Coles Remix)
REZZ
Black Energy (Original Mix)
Lupe Fuentes
Gotta Keep Holding On
Kittens
Tell Me How U Feel
Fei Fei
Born
HELENA
Raven (Original Mix)
Armin van Buuren
Ping Pong (Dani Deahl Remix)

 

R&B / HIP HOP

Kali Uchis
Call Me
Jhene Aiko
The Pressure
Kehlani
FWU (Prod. by Swagg Rcelious)
RAYE
FLOWERS
SZA
Julia (Prod. Felix Snow & Dave Free)
Snakeships
Gone (Feat. Syd)
Cyril Hahn
Slow ft. Rochelle Jordan
Rubee Rayne
DSYLM (Dont Say You Love Me)
Venessa Michaels
 Touch Me ft. Kiana Brown
Cashmere Cat
Adore feat. Ariana Grande
Rapsody
Lonely Thoughts Ft. Chance The Rapper & Big K.R.I.T.
Selah Sue
Together (Feat. Childish Gambino)
George Maple
Where You End And I Begin Feat. Grande Marshall
Nylo
Fool Me Once
Little Sims
Enter The Void (Prod. Balistiq)
Vanessa Elisha
Ocean (Prod. By J Louis)
Alina Baraz & Galimatias
Fantasy
DeJ Loaf
Try Me (prod.by DDS)
Tinashe
Pretend featuring A$AP Rocky
Kiesza
Bad Thing Feat. Joey Bada$$
Marian Hill
Lips
Cathedrals
Want My Love
Jeni Suk
Dont Let Me Down (feat. IamSu & AR 2)
Niykee Heaton
Bad Intentions
LIZ
Y2K (Prod. by Lido)
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Best of 2014 – TMN Editors’ Picks

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2014 is finally drawing to a close, meaning it’s time to look back on the year that was. As music bloggers, most of our reflection is done through music. This year we’ve decided to bypass the obligatory rankings and lists that lead to inevitable disagreement and argument. Instead, four of our most noble editors took upon the task of arbitrarily selecting their favorites from the past twelve months and decided to share their picks with all of you. Think of it as one final gift from us for your continued support throughout 2014. We hope you enjoy the massive playlists we have below, and wish you a Happy New Years!
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[News] Cadence & Cause – Beta Rollout

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You might be stopping and asking yourself, “did I just read that correctly? Is The Music Ninja posting a news item?” You’re correct in your second-guessing, as we rarely post anything but music, interviews, or show reviews. However, this new music platform is something that we believe strongly in. You may have caught wind that one of our co-founders has a new site on the horizon, which is entirely true. While he will still be a part of TMN, Clayton Warwick has plans to unroll a new music platform different than anything we’ve seen.

Cadence & Cause is a new website which connects musicians and their fans to worthy causes. Think of it as a combination between a music streaming service, a fundraising site, and kickstarter, all designed to create much needed revenue for worthy causes.

While we can’t go too far into what this site will entail, we can assure you that there are already large artists on board. It’s being revered as something incredibly positive for the industry, and we’re happy to be on board to support it.

Below, we have an exclusive VIP code that will get you onto our guest list for the beta rollout. This means that you will be able to get into the site before anyone in the GA line, and get the earliest access to some really unique opportunities from some amazing artists.

Click here, then enter your email address and the code below in the VIP side of the landing page.

Code: CadenceTMN

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