The Landing – We Are [TMN VIDEO PREMIERE]

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The Landing
We Are

Just in time for the Holiday where we celebrate the unknown, the macabre, the mysterious, and the mystical, The Landing dropped this extraterrestrial video for the glowing tune, “We Are.”

Riding along the backbone of a bassline that would make Pinback proud, the instrumentals for “We Are” are delicate and cosmic, creating an ethereal soundscape. Accentuated by the gloriously refined falsettos which caress an other-worldly message, we’re left drifting along to other worlds while listening to this title track from his recently released EP.

While we admittedly miss the soundbite from British philosopher Alan Watts in the intro, the lead-in paragraph does more than enough to set the tone of “We Are.” Following that, masked beings pair up with this solo artist, creating an intergalactic dance party, which is assumedly outside of a recent crop circle. Feel free to steal some of those moves for your upcoming Halloween celebrations.

If you want to get taken to another planet via dreamy space pop, please hit up one of his upcoming shows:

Brooklyn, NY
11/2 @ Cameo Gallery – 7pm

New York, NY
11/8 @ Rockwood Music Hall – 12am

Arlington, VA
11/15 @ IOTA Club and Cafe – 9pm

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (October 2014 Round #4)

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Living in the present is not the easiest thing to do. We tend to let all the things we need to do, the things we did, or the things we should be doing run circles in our head. Most of the time we probably end up missing out on all the cool shit that is happening right in front of us and that’s gotta change. Yeah, training our brains to embrace something new can be a difficult. So, lets start simple. Sit back, chillax and let the indie dojo soundtrack your NOW. Not your potential tomorrow, not your “in the dust” yesterday, but this minute (or 30) in time you just now became aware of. Enjoy.

Mont Oliver
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Nathan Ball
Echo
LANKS
Green Light
Pin Tweaks
Girl On The Wire
The Rebel Light
Strangers
Wonderson Slater
The Day
Castanets
Out For The West
Childhood
As I Am
Spooky Black
dj khaled is my father (bonus) (prod. Psymun & Spookyblack) *VIDEO IN DESCRIPTION*

 

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[Festival Review + Playlist] Photos & Songs from Treasure Island 2014, SF 10/18-19

_MG_1990As regular festival attendees, the Ninja staff has definitely learned to appreciate a well-organized event and last weekend’s Treasure Island Music Festival proved once again to be one of the best in the business. With no overlapping sets and plenty of room to dance, TIMF, even in its most well-attended year to date, felt like a paradise for festivalgoers who, with the current popularity of live music, have become accustomed to the more stressful aspects of music festivals. Treasure Island’s 2014 lineup featured masterful curation of diverse genres encouraging attendees to check out acts they might not have otherwise.

Check out a playlist of memorable songs to go along with some amazing photos of MØ, Chet Faker Outkast, Alt-J and more from Treasure Island Music Festival below. If you were in attendance last weekend, we hope this brings you back!

Day 1

Why we loved it: Electro-pop vocalist MØ has been on our radar for quite some time now. As a performer, she has an undeniable energy with a voice that translates incredibly well live. Due to an eye infection, she was rocking an eye patch during her set, which actually ended up making her look even cooler on stage. TIMF2014_4 TIMF2014_5TIMF2014_6


Dont Wanna Dance
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[Album Stream] Mansions On The Moon – Mansions on the Moon

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There’s no hiding the fact that we’ve become just a little bit enamored with alt-pop Casanovas Mansions on the Moon. And on that note, we’ve been waiting ever so patiently for their debut long-player like good little ninjas for just slightly over four years now. Yesterday, the So-Cal ensemble finally released their self-titled album and truthfully, some of us have been looping it for just over 24 hours straight. We’ve previously covered a handful of singles -“Radio”, “The Truth”, “Don’t Tell”, “Somewhere Else Tonight”, “Heart Of The Moment”- but our ears have obviously been a bit more glued to the cuts in which we had never previously consumed including “Take A Ride”, “Notice Me” and “All There Is”. We got lead vocalist Ted Wendler to say a few words about each of the ten tracks contained within Mansions On The Moon, and here’s what one of our favorite indie-pop crooners graced us with:

1. “Radio” was written in response to growing pressure for the band to write a breakout radio pop single.  We set out to create a poppy track that ironically spoke of the growing lack of unoriginality in radio pop music today.

2. We wrote “Don’t Tell” while we were stranded in Scranton, Pennsylvania because our northeast coast dates were cancelled due to super storm Sandy.  We set up a studio in the hotel and made lemonade out of lemons.
3. “Somewhere Else Tonight” has been with the band for a very long time.  We’ve been playing it live for two years while we not so patiently waited for the completion of our first full length album.
4. “Where You Are” started with an instrumental foundation laid down by TRAKGIRL. Ted used a TC Helicon processor to achieve the robotic sound of the vocals.  Then we went hambodian in the studio to take it to where it is now.
5.  The lyrics for “Take A Ride” were written in Missoula Montana in 2006, the instrumental was completed with Paper Diamond in Boulder Colorado and the vocals were finally recorded in a closet in Los Feliz.
6. Ted first recorded the vocals for “Notice Me” over an acoustic arrangement.  The band, along with Sunny Norway and David Ott, used the original acapellas and took the song to a completely different space.  Maybe someday we will release the original acoustic version.
7. “The Truth” was the last song we wrote for the album.  Lane was insistent that it needed to be included in the release.  After Baby Jeff laid down the P-Funk the deal was sealed.
8. “Heart Of The Moment”  was written by our bassist Jeff and inspired by a spiritual revelation. We played the track for Zee Avi while hanging out at a friend’s apartment in downtown LA. She graciously accepted our request to sing on the song.  The version appearing on the album is remixed, re-arranged and remastered from its original release.
9. On “All There Is” Ben wrote the instrumental foundation for his mom as a birthday present.  Then Ted used this to write the lyrics.  We hope to inspire people to revisit forgotten dreams and goals they had in their youth, no matter how impossible they may seem.

10. Ted wrote “Time” while house sitting in the mountain town of Roanoke Virginia.  He spent that month prolifically writing and recording while a English bulldog named Oscar snored in the  background.

And there you have it. Now that you’ve got a bit of insight into the psyche of Mansions as they wrote their first album, take just under forty minutes and listen to their worthy entry into the LP format in its entirety below.

Radio
Dont Tell
Somewhere Else Tonight
Where You Are
Take A Ride
Notice Me
The Truth
Heart Of The Moment (ft. Zee Avi)
All There Is
Time (ft. Codi Caraco)
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[TMN Exclusive Interview] A Conversation with Ásgeir at Treasure Island Music Festival

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Ásgeir
Dýrð í dauðaþögn

At this point, it’s far from a secret that Iceland produces some of the most uniquely talented musicians in the world. Acts like Sigur Ros, Bjork and, more recently, Of Monsters and Men have solidified the international awareness of Iceland’s magical music scene. Although each artist brings something vastly different to the table, there does seem to be a sort of ethereal, mythological nature that ties them all together.

In 2012, Icelandic folktronica artist Ásgeir emerged in his home country with his debut album, Dýrð í dauðaþögn, which broke the record for best-selling debut in Iceland surpassing some of his immensely successful predecessors. The ten-track project features Ásgeir’s phenomenal oft-falsetto Icelandic vocals over folky guitar and subtle electronic elements, most notably employed in the bouncy ”Leyndarmál” (later adopted in English as “King and Cross”). With his album owned by nearly 1 in 10 people in Iceland, Ásgeir took to spreading his music to a broader audience by releasing a fully English-translated version titled In the Silence earlier this year taking him around the world touring.

We had a chance to catch up with Ásgeir’s after his incredible set at this year’s Treasure Island Festival to discuss his musical background, home country and plans for the future. Give the conversation a read below and make sure to keep Ásgeir on your radar.

TMN: Tell us a bit about your first experiences with music and how you got started.

Ásgeir: I started playing guitar when I was about 6. My first guitar was a classical guitar and my parents are classically educated so I went to school pretty early playing classical guitar. Pretty soon after that, I started having an interest in writing songs. Then, I started listening to rock and grunge music. I eventually wanted to play electric guitar and started forming different bands. It pretty much started with my family who had a lot to do with encouraging me.

 TMN: What were some of the artists that you were listening to a lot growing up?

Ásgeir: I went through different periods. From 6 to 11, it was all Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Metallica and that kind of stuff. At the same time, I was playing classical guitar and I didn’t really feel connected to the instrument until I grew up more at 13 or 14. At that time, I started listening to more folk artists. I got my first acoustic guitar with steel strings and that’s where I kind of found country music. Johnny Cash was one of my favorites and an Icelandic artist Mugison. Sigur Ros was always one of my favorites as well as Sufjan Stevens and Kelly Joe Phelps.

 TMN: Icelandic artists tend to have a very distinct, unified sound. How has that played into your music and why do you think that is?

Ásgeir: A lot has to do with just the music in Iceland and what we grow up listening to, which inspires us. I grew up in the northwest side of Iceland in a really isolated small town and I was always really close to my environment as well. I can’t really put my finger on what it is that connects us and makes the music how it is. But there’s definitely an Icelandic vibe and sound that comes from our unity. I think its just how small of a nation we are, how few people live there and everything like that.
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[TMN Premiere] Honeymilk – Let’s Talk About Compassion

Honeymilk
Honeymilk
Let's Talk About Compassion

Let us talk about compassion for a minute, ok?
Today, we are honored to premiere Honeymilk’s latest single ‘Let’s Talk About Compassion’, a beautiful indie/rock song in which the only real wonder is, where has all the compassion gone in this world? The trio from Stockholm, made up of Marcus, Nikki, and Erik, have a sound that reminds us of a blend of Wilco and The Strokes. Erik rattles off an impressive drum continuation while Nikki blares some sweet and catchy guitar measures. Finally, it’s Marcus’ raw yet stunning vocals that cater to any listener’s ears. This catchy song shows just where the compassion has gone, it has gone straight into their music. But all these gentlemen really want is for people to feel more compassion towards others and express that perfectly in this rock piece.

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[Dreamy] Talos – Bloom

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Bloom

Talos has made quite the splash in the industry, and it’s not hard to see why. Bursting to the forefront of the blogosphere back in March with his debut song, “Tethered Bones,” this Irish multi-faceted artist racked up over 300,000 plays. Some people take years to get that many plays on a track. He saw it shortly after the track went live.

Boasting a similar new-school electronic R&B vibe, we find a little more inclusion of classic instrumentation in the build. Somewhat reminiscent of Active Child or James Vincent McMorrow, “Bloom” carries a chilling build, complete with haunting piano, rolling tom hits, and those oh-so-glorious falsettos. The song takes a cinematic turn at the two minute mark when a devilishly deep bassline hits, creating beyond-sultry vibes. It’s undeniably charming, causing you to sink deep in its soothing grip. Do yourself a favor and just submit. You’ll be glad you did.

“Tethered Bones”/”Bloom” is released on 12″/digital on Feel Good Lost on December 01, with remixes from WIFE (Tri-Angle), Eomac (The Trilogy Tapes/R+S) and Slow Magic (Downtown Records.) We suggest you mark your calendars.

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