[Synth-Pop] Lincoln Jesser – Golden

Lincoln Jesser

Lincoln Jesser has been quietly enticing much of the staff here at TMN over the course of the past few years. From singles steeped in supremely catchy, thought out production structures to a cohesive and accessible debut LP, Modern Color; it’s safe to say we’ve carved out a bit of a soft spot for the So-Cal synth modulator. As a result, every time we’re sent a new lush pop composition from LJ, it more than piques our interest and never fails to deliver an earful of sonic beauty. “Golden”, Jesser’s latest tune finds the young producer in one of the most enlightened stretches of a brief music career, with Jesser’s crooning vocals sounding more polished and directed than ever before -even amongst a deft amount splicing, chopping, and layering. Musically, “Golden” borrows tonality from a multitude of unexpected genres; a swelling, pitched down bass line offers shades of U.K. jack and club-house while a rich, warm pop base lacquers the movement with more than enough unique accessibility to shine amongst what has become an influx of  a formulaic avalanche’s worth of stabs at the revivalist genre. One thing this writer has always associated with Jesser has been: “refreshing”. And that’s once again how “Golden” lays on our palate.

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Lovesick Youth

Aside from the weekend, Tuesday has to be our favorite day of the week. There’s just something about the throngs of new music bring released that really makes this day stand apart from any other weekday. Today, we’re kicking things off with a bang, thanks to Portland artist/producer EXROYALE.

Josh Schroeder (EXROYALE) has already had a busy year, producing singles for the ever-so-soulful JMR and newcomer Áine Aura. On top of which, he’s dropped five remixes and three singles of his own. We’ve had the ultimate pleasure of watching this artist through the years, and it has been tremendous to see the growth in musical exploration, which shines bright in “Lovesick Youth.”

This premiere has a shimmering electro pop glimmer to it, riding happily along a booming bassline and wavering, distorted guitar. Shroeder’s vocals, which we’ve come to adore over the years, create an enveloping experience with lyrics that we’re having trouble shaking after just one listen. Expertly accompanying the glowing pop cadence, the end result is one hell of a catchy tune, which is available as a free download on his Soundcloud.

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Barkhouse – Wolves at The Wall [EP PREMIERE]

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Alright, ninjas. Unfortunately the weekend is over. It’s time to gear up, grab the bull by the horns, and absolutely own the pathetic excuse for a weekday known as Monday. Luckily for us, we have some rippin’ tunes to help carry the tempo for today’s hustle, and it comes via New York outfit Barkhouse.

Do us a favor before you get too far into this post. Can you press play on “Oh No?” There we go. Now we have the proper mood set for this write up. As if pre-destined to be the perfect song to kick your day off, “Oh No” has a strong focus on frenetic percussion and grainy vocals, all of which create a manic, grin-inducing energy which produces the need to get up and punch the day right in the face. It beckons on associations of The Strokes, while maintaining a more feverish tempo than those larger-than-life fellow New Yorkers.

Not every song on Wolves at the Wall boasts a fast-paced intensity worthy of replacing your morning caffeine fix though. In fact, “Getting Away,” holds quite the contrast, displaying a delicate, indie rock vibe. The slowly cascading guitar riffs carefully accentuate the pronounced bassline, providing the perfect compliment to your road trip playlist.

“Twice a Day” continues to show the breadth of their talent, giving us a progressive rock build up. The glowing intro and haunting vocals slowly build into a crescendo of engaging guitar work and a head-nodding rhythm section, which quickly reminds us of some of our favorite Brit-pop acts.

At the end of the day, this five-track EP (recorded at Adrian Grenier’s Wreckroom Records) has us grinning ear-to-ear and wondering how in the hell they aren’t bigger yet. Regardless of whatever reason that may be, it won’t be long. Make sure to snag this gem, which comes out tomorrow, and be ahead of the curve.

Wolves At The Wall
Twice A Day
Oh No!
Getting Away
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[Indie-Pop/Shoegaze] Day Wave – Nothing At All

Day Wave
Nothing At All

L.A. synth-poppers Carousel have long been a darling of more than a few writers here at TMN. So when one-half of that project, lead vocalist and melody mutator Jackson Philips, came forth with his newest solo project Day Wave, we approached it with fairly high expectations. Fortunately, Day Wave’s debut single “Nothing At All” comes armed with as much polish and enlightened instrumentation as anything he’s done with Carousel. Gone however, is the gadgetry structured pop-wave sounds in favor of a much more lo-fi indie approach; relying mostly on a more live sounding recording technique. A lightly picked lead guitar, live drums, a more deliberate, masculine approach to his vocal track and a slightly more introspective, pensive weight applied to his lyrics shape Day Wave’s backbone, at least from this first single. Philips has certainly set the bar high with Day Wave’s first release, and we’re pretty damn eager to hear what else is brought out under his companionless handle.

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Áine Aura – Uncover [TMN PREMIERE]

Áine Aura

There are few things that we love more than debuting an artist. Something about being the first to share a person’s gift with the world is overwhelmingly enticing. While it doesn’t happen very often, we’re always chomping at the bit to get that opportunity. Luckily for us, that opportunity came to us by way of Rip City.

Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Áine Aura (pronounced: awn + ye aura) is ready to flaunt her vocal prowess in front of the masses, bringing us her debut single, “Uncover.” This electro-pop gem is truly radiant, providing a ethereal glow through it’s Chet Faker-style build (notice the humming harmonies similar to “Drop the Game”). Production wise, EXROYALE knocked it out of the park, crafting a surging melody that walks effortlessly along a booming bassline. The clean and simplistic percussion work, comprised of claps and light hi-hat hits, fit perfectly, creating the proper space for the listener to focus on Aura’s stunning vocals.

Speaking of those vocals – good lord. How long will it take these to get on the radio? Days? Hours? Minutes? We wouldn’t be surprised to hear it booming over speakers in a public place later today. Gushing of a music nerd aside, she truly does have a unique tone and a range that flirts effortlessly between haunting deep lows and heavenly highs, leaving us grinning ear-to-ear.

This gem of a tune will be available on iTunes next week. Mark your calendar.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (November 2014 Round #2)


Mother Nature is all about the weather extremes this week. Whether she is dumping snow in the middle of November or allowing you to get away with wearing Ugg boots and scarves in 70 degree weather, she’s all over the place. No matter the conditions though, sleet or snow, rain or shine, the Indie Dojo will be right here, every Tuesday morning (or any other day of the week you happen to land on us) just waiting to warm you up or cool you down. Unless your electricity happens to go out or something…..then you’re on your own, buddies. We’ll just promise to be here when you get back.

Twin Hidden
Join Hands
Tusk Vegas
I Cant Figure You Out
The Districts
Alex Highton
You Dont Own This Life
Leon Bridges
Coming Home
Public School
Dont Wake Me Up


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There’s really nothing to prepare oneself for winter’s icy grip. The chilling winds, the piling snow, and the frost covered branches will be a mainstay for the next few months. While the dark and dreary may make you cringe, DEATHS are embracing it with their second release, “Sold”.

Following up on their successful debut release, “Lonewolves,” which garnered a top spot in the Hype Machine’s popular charts, this Berlin-based act is having us premier not only this single, but the music video as well. Once again, we find ourselves in a haunting soundscape, floating along a delicate, minimalistic drumbeat. The monastery style vocals echo throughout, flirting with dark, woeful guitar riffs and light plucks of a harp, creating feelings of sorrow and abandonment.

The music video embodies these deep, introspective desertion, as we wander through city void of human interaction. Consistently focusing on the element of light throughout the video, we can only guess that the vision was to display the possibility of humanity, without every really experiencing it. While it is dreadful to think about, the video does evoke a very raw and real set of emotions, which we applaud.

At the start of next year, DEATHS will be giving away a very limited run of ltd ed. LONEWOLVES/SOLD vinyls to some of their lucky fans. Head over to their website and sign up for their mailing list to enter for a chance to win one. Not only will it be a tremendous keepsake, but we’re damn certain these tracks will sound wonderful on vinyl.

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