[Indie] MOSAICS – Year of Valor

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MOSAICS
Year Of Valor

Longtime Ninja readers may recall San Francisco’s MOSAICS from our 2015 interview shortly following the release of their debut, Of Colors–an impressive fusion of creative electronic production and acoustic guitar licks. Last week, the 3-piece returned announcing a new EP and unveiling its title track.

“Year of Valor” shows a clear evolution of the MOSAICS sound, in part with the help of new lead vocalist Maryam Sadeghian. The song opens with an infectious guitar loop that blends with syncopated hi-hat percussion making way for Sadeghian’s voice, which leaves an immediate impression. The production, even with its constant progression, gives just enough room to draw light to compelling songwriting regarding the world’s constant struggle with superficiality. During the chorus, the backdrop takes a psychedelic turn as the guitar reverses before an almost EDM-esque drop back into the verse.

Given that I’ve been listening to Moderat’s album on repeat recently, there’s definitely some comparison to be made in MOSAICS intersection of soul, indie and experimental electronic elements. However, the SF trio possess a more accessible, pop-leaning sensibility making Year of Valor, which drops May 20th, a likely summer breakout project. Keep your eye out and, in the meantime, vibe above.

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ETCHES – LOVE IS [TMN PREMIERE]

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ETCHES
LOVE IS

Here’s a fact for you: ETCHES has been criminally overlooked. The English quintet’s newest revelation, “LOVE IS,” tackles the ever-present conundrum that is the first half of the song’s title and goes about it in a refined and reflective manner. How is it that some of the best music we receive continues to come out of the UK, you ask? We don’t know, but hopefully it doesn’t stop.

ETCHES’ penchant for harmoniously fusing psychedelic leanings with the finer trappings of alternative rock define their message and tone in a way that is built with an inherent emotional appeal. While some of their previous tunes may throw around a little bit of reckless, but encouraging energy, this track feels smooth, developed, and executed precisely and soulfully. Sometimes you just need to shake things up with a little bit of good ol’ indie rock, and ETCHES is here to administer a crash course in it with “LOVE IS.”

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New Carnival – Sweet Caroline [TMN VIDEO PREMIERE]

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New Carnival
Sweet Caroline

If you stopped by this post in hopes of finding a new version of Neil Diamond’s legendary “Sweet Caroline,” we have to inform you that you probably won’t be belting out that iconic “ba ba ba!” While that classic will forever live in the annals of karaoke lore, we’re actually bringing you sparkly new anthem from Bristol-based trio New Carnival.

“Sweet Caroline” kicks off an event-filled 2016 for this budding young band, leading them into a Club NME show at the Koko next month, followed by a hometown gig at The Louisiana and an appearance at Dot To Dot Festival coming in May. This is only the second release from these lads, which means you’re early to the party. Unless you happened to catch Annie Mac dubbing them with the esteemed New Names for 2016 honor earlier this year, in which case, you’re ahead of the curve.

The tune boasts scintillating guitar work, emphatic percussion, and lyrics that grab a hold quickly. At times, it’s reminiscent of The Wombats, bringing a dancy, larger-than-life listening experience. Today, we’re bringing you the accompanying music video, which was directed by Woody Rankin. Take a look below, then head over to iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music and Deezer to get “Sweet Caroline” for your personal collection.

UK Tour Dates
22nd April, Club NME at Koko, London

27th April, The Louisiana, Bristol

27th-29th May – Dot To Dot Festival (Nottingham, Bristol & Manchester)

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (April 2016 Round #2)

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You know when you’re having one of those days when it feels like life is just eating you whole, but then you take a moment to put on one of you all time favorite jams and you find yourself floating on a cloud of blissful nothings? We all do and it’s pretty ok to lose your stability in the real world sometimes. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t. And in those times, there is nothing quite like the warm blanket of your musical comfort zone. But hey, if you’re ever feeling a little adventurous, come take a magical mystery tour with us. We’ve got enough Indie Dojos to take you around the world and back again, whenever you are ready to be grounded.

’Caro – Admit / Resist’
’Strong Asian Mother – The More That I’
’Hudson Scott – Whale’
’SAÍGO – So Natural’
’Nawas – So Low’
’Atlas Bound – Softer Still’
’Cardinal – anchor up to me…’
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[House/Indie-Dance] zacheser – Skippy

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zacheser
Skippy

Finding those rare, unsigned tunes brimming with quality and precision has been a vital part of the music industry’s publication side since music publicity even became a viable industry. Thus, it makes this writer all warm and fuzzy when we come across a carefully crafted slice of house music seemingly out of the blue. The tune in question this morning is “Skippy”, an effervescent piece of soulful, instrumental house, and the debut record from D.C. based DJ and producer zacheser. Having been on our radar since his #FatBeats mix series became a regular staple of this writer’s dance diet, “Skippy” marks zacheser’s departure into more production-driven territory, and it’s looking like it will be a great thing for underground dance fans. “Skippy” rides on a feelgood bed of pulsating synths, underpinned by a brooding bass swell and glossy pad work to create a tune equally consumable while driving down the highway or stepping out some footwork in the clubs. Enough from us though, it’s Monday. Let’s just kick back and let zacheser’s “Skippy” do its work.

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[Denver Event Preview] RBSS Presents: Wild Nothing w/ Inner Oceans + Flaural – Bluebird Theatre – 4/30

WildNothing

Good googly-moogly (yeah I said it), have our friends at Red Bull Sound Select been spoiling us in Denver this year. Already in 2016 we’ve been privy to incredible shows from the likes of The Internet, Cloud Nothings & Sango (all for somewhere between free and $3.00 mind you), and on April 30th at one of Denver’s most revered venues, The Bluebird Theatre, they’ve teamed up with beloved Denver music festival The UMS to bring one of our hands-down favorite acts in any corner of music; Jack Tatum’s bedroom recording project turned nationally acclaimed four-piece: Wild Nothing. Flirting with distinctions like ‘dream-pop’, ‘chill-wave’, and in the group’s earlier years ‘post-punk’; Wild Nothing have steadily released an incredibly deep and entrancing string of EP’s & LP’s since their excellent debut Gemini, all the way back in 2010. Most recently, Tatum & Co. released their third full-length, Life of Pause, which is already in the running for this writer’s short ‘Best of 2016’ list, and this marks the first time Denver gets to hear the newest slate of Wild Nothing tunes in their intended live format. Needless to say, we’re getting pretty geared up for an incredible headlining performance, but the fun doesn’t start there.

Holding things down as our Denver representatives are a couple of acts this writer has become quite enamored with throughout our constant trips into the Mile High City’s music underbelly; Inner Oceans and Flaural. If you’ve been a regular at our ‘TMN Presents’ events at Lost Lake or Larimer Lounge, hopefully you’ve gotten an amazing taste of Inner Oceans —who were actually our last party’s headliners— and their slick brand of minimally sensible psych-pop and shoegaze; which will provide a serendipitous segue into the night’s main event. Another assemblage of excellent Denver talent, and self-described ‘New-Wave Psych Pop’ -ers  Flaural opens things up, and after devouring the quartet’s entire Soundcloud over the past few weeks at the adamant suggestion of the most trusted and cherished secondary music opinion in my life, it’s 100% safe to say that RBSS have once again solidified their far-reaching reputation as the tastemaker’s tastemakers and put together another night of top-to-bottom quality.

As with every Red Bull Sound Select showcase, an RSVP (here) will get you on the list for $3.00, but be sure to get there early to guarantee entry and immerse yourself in the fair city of Denver’s always evolving and rapidly burgeoning indie scene. Check out cuts from Wild Nothing, Inner Oceans and Flaural on our mini-playlist below, and we’ll see you on the floor.

’Wild Nothing – Reichpop’
’Wild Nothing – To Know You’
’Wild Nothing – Nocturne’
’Wild Nothing – Paradise’
’Wild Nothing – A Dancing Shell’
’Inner Oceans – These Dreams’
’Inner Oceans – Sunbathe’
’Flaural – Mind Field’
’Flaural – Culture Ghost’
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Kassassin Street – Hand In My Pocket [TMN PREMIERE]

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Kassassin Street
Hand In My Pocket

It’s Hump Day, which means you could probably use a little bit of attitude, edge, and energy to get you up and over into the second half of the week. Look no further, ninjas. Portsmouth-based five-piece Kassassin Street has you covered, coming your way with a brand new track that has an aggressive, dancy, and politically charged nature.

“Hand In My Pocket” first kicks into gear with an emphatic bassline and strong, slapping snare hits. From there, the song layers on eccentric guitar work, laser-like synths, well-placed vocal samples, and one catchy-as-hell chorus. While the instrumental side of the song brings forth a dance-inducing boisterous vibe, the lyrics offer up a different story, showcasing an impressive depth of social commentary.

Following up on a solid 2015, Rowan Bastable (guitar, vocals), Tom Wells (bass, vocals), Andy Hurst (keys, samples), Ryan Hill (guitar, vocals) and Nathan Hill (drums) are now locked into an eventful first half of this year. If you want to catch them live, you can find them at any one of the shows below.

TOUR DATES:
9th April – 2Q Festival, Derby
15th April – KOKO, London
16th April – Xpresstival- Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
30th April – Live At Leeds, Leeds
7th May – FESTIVAL SOS 4.8, Murcia, Spain
28th-29th May – Common People, Southampton

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