Our affinity with TOTEM pre-dates anything you’ll find on this incredibly gifted, NYC-based crooner’s soundcloud page. We did some digging, and our earliest posts feature songs that are, well, no longer featured. Sad as it may be, fear not, as we have some good news for you. October 9th brings another tasty selection of tunes from this golden-voiced indie artist, giving fans a few more reasons to swoon.
As we said before, Echoes drops in only a matter of days, and “Heartease” is the fourth and final song to come out ahead of it’s full, official release. Joining “All Falls Down”, “Unrequited” and “Comfortable,” all of which have already come out via SoundCloud, this emotionally charged ride highlights TOTEM’s powerful yet delicate vocals, set to the cinematic backdrop of soaring piano chords, understated percussion, and a provocative bassline.
One of the first songs I ever wrote and definitely a sentimental favorite of mine. It’s about a very specific person and a very specific time I just needed to just get away from her for the sake of my own emotional well-being. I was feeling a lot all at once and I stumbled across a book entitled “Give My Poor Heart Ease: Voices of the Mississippi Blues”. The blues was what I had and I felt exactly that my heart was in dire need of a break. Writing this song helped give me a little bit of perspective, thankfully.
If you’re digging this tune, we highly recommend heading over to iTunes and pre-ordering the full EP. In fact, you should pry just do it now, so you won’t forget.
D.C. based Eau Claire has seen her star rise like very few other acts in the world of underground dance music in the last year. Between touring across the US and Mexico to releasing chart topping remixes including a groovy revision of Saint Motel’s “My Type” on Elektra Records and disco sprinkled take on Midnight Pool Party’s “Disease”; Eau Calire maintains a firm spot near the top of the hardest working up-and-comers list in 2015. Today, our favorite indie-dance and deep-disco purveyor brings out her major label debut in the form of a remix for L.A. pop-funk troupe PHASES’ (who you might know better individually as Jason Boesel (Rilo Kiley/Bright Eyes), Alex Greenwald (Phantom Planet), Z Berg (The Like) and Michael Runion) hit single “I’m In Love With My Life” on Warner Brothers Records. Eau Claire injects plenty of that expected disco shimmer into PHASES’ original, using a sterling set of glossy synths, and punchy kicks to push it closer to the dancefloor while keeping that signature feelgood atmosphere completely intact. Needless to say, she’s hit the mark yet again and we couldn’t wait to share it. Stream Eau Claire’s “I’m In Love With My Life” remix above.
Instantly hypnotised, we fall into a trance guided by his faultless vocal harmonies, as Matt Corby finds us subdued by this wave of ambiance. His angelic approach to ‘Monday’ undoubtedly includes gospel elements, a genre in which he was massively influenced by at a young age in Australia.
The bellowing kick drum is an empowering pendulum, accompanied by unified claps, offering an authentic rawness within the song. This organic style of music is amplified by the use of a loop-station, allowing Matt to layer his soulful vocals and instruments in order to achieve complex textural patterns, the beauty of which can be perfectly re-produced throughout a live performance. He sings of losing faith in The Bible and states “Monday is about being able to appreciate where you are, and thinking that maybe you don’t need anything much to depend on, you just need to accept what’s going on right now”. The recurring falsetto pattern within the vocal melody, provides a pleasing release from elements of tension amidst his lyricism, as he completely sits back into the song, re-addressing the fundamental idea of accepting life as it is.
Born in Sydney, Matt made his official stamp on the industry at the young age of 18 when he travelled to London, having felt bewildered and directionless towards his late teens. His music is honest and organic, manipulating his magnificent vocals and creating awesome sounds and tones, such as within a crowd favourite, ‘Brother’. Therefore it’s fantastic to recognise that this authenticity has been retained throughout his most recent work, whilst realising an assured maturity as an artist.
Matt Corby will be performing worldwide over the coming months, to which I highly recommend you all attend; I know I’ll be heading over in London! Check out the link below for dates and locations!
We have officially kissed summer goodbye. It’s time for beanies, beards, and sad but sweet “I’ve been holed up in a log cabin writing songs by a fire place” tunes. While we’re over here, knitting you a scarf of Indie Dojo’s to roll you right into the seasons of change. ‘Cause, we’ve got your neck
With only a smattering of singles to their name, the globe spanning trio founded in New Jersey known simply as A R I Z O N A wields a sonic fluency far beyond what their modest catalog would indicate. Taking much of their direction under the guise of pop structuring, A R I Z O N A have been measurably successful adding touches of soul, R&B, rock and disco groove into their evolving aesthetic, and latest single “Where I Wanna Be” marks another foot forward in their short sonic evolution. “Where I Wanna Be” pushes off with a four-four kick drum, bent guitar loop and the kind of vocal pitching that would make Sir Kanye tip his hat in approval before a buttery vocal track takes a welcome hold of the entire tune. If it wasn’t for Zach Hannah’s lush vocal we may have missed the rest of A R I Z O N A’s careful instrumentation, but we couldn’t help but get swept up in their carefully layered synth work which almost steal’s back the spotlight. There are a number of reasons to fall in love with this one, and while we only had time to delve into a few, we suggest you take the reigns and let A R I Z O N A sink their hooks into your listening rotation today. Stream “Where I Wanna Be” above.
Pop, rock, reggae and folk are amongst the eclectic mix of genres in which Connor Leimer explores through his latest record. His debut single “Postcard’ kindly lends itself as a jazz piece consisting of a warm brass section and infectious bass lines, solidifying a framework for his raspy yet organic vocals, resembling a tone similar to jazz artist Jamie Cullum.
“Postcard” explores running away to the coast, or the gardens with a loved one. Planting familiar images for us to relate to and understand. Connor writes by “blurring the boundaries” between genres and allows his work to “take [him] wherever it needs to go”, following an extremely authentic process of songwriting. The band provide a consistent accompaniment of harmonic variation, as the instruments mould together and move simultaneously, guiding the relaxed melody and conversational lyrics comfortably from phrase to phrase.
Having grown up in the suburbs of Kansas City, Leimer’s majority of work is influenced by his days in high school. Travelling away from home is unfamiliar, as he questions the desired prospect of reaching the shore, and includes imagery in association with the ocean, such as sailing away on a boat, or the sea air in [her] hair.
Check out Connor’s ongoing ‘Dorm Room Tour’ around the US in the link below. He’s undoubtedly one to watch over the coming months.
If you haven’t fallen in love with Solomon Grey yet, it’s only a matter of time. Their latest EP Selected Features dropped earlier this month, and it’s been garnering support from publications across the globe. Amongst many reasons for the fawning adoration of both critics and fans alike, is the fact that this London-based duo Joe Wilson and Tom Kingston can’t be placed into a neatly wrapped, genre-specific label.
A testament to that versatility can be found in a deep listening session through Selected Features, which showcases elements of larger-than-life, cinematic soundscapes, obscure hip hop vibes, and soulful grooves. Even though you won’t find it on the EP, “Choir to the Wild” had us enamored on first listen truly capturing the Solomon Grey’s genre-melding style.
That oh-so-gorgeous song not only highlights the stunning vocal harmonies between these two, but also the ability to encapsulate listeners with understated, and uncomplicated instrumentation. And, we’re admittedly giddy to showcase that, as we bring you an intimate look at their show at Sofar London on May 27th, 2015. Take a look below, but be warned – you’ll be helplessly lost for a few, brief minutes.
If you find yourself in London on November 11th, we strongly suggest you catch this duo live. Click here to pick up some tickets, before it’s too late.