There’s nothing quite like a complete, polished, subduing and intoxicating release to soothe out our days here at TMN. Alas, Toronto based chameleon producer Coleman Hell has touched down with a debut extended play, VENA. A suffuse collection of warm, synth soaked pop gems, VENA lifts off with “Venezuela”; itself a low-end pushing, falsetto fueled anthem which more than establishes an air of sophisticated fluency and thought out instrumentation for the five track EP’s duration. Its sophomore entry, “Heat of the Night” may very well be the crown jewel of Coleman Hell’s debut opus. Hell’s breathy, raspy reverberations drive much of VENA, but his vocal work on “Heat of the Night” reaches its warm hand into our soul like only a lover could.
The EP’s midpoint, “Fortress” rides a hand plucked electric bassline, soulful incantations and clicky percussive elements to serve as the superlative break before segueing into a slightly more upbeat groover, “All the Monsters”. Coleman Hell’s clearly been around a DJ set or two as well, with an impeccable arrangement of tunes serving as a welcome storyline to the VENA saga. “Monsters” wonderfully brings its listener to Summer rooftop parties with its feelgood production, leaning on a loopy lead synth to serve as a driving focal point for not just itself but the EP as a whole. “Red Rover”, which features a lovely vocal contribution from his fellow Sideways crew member La+ch closes the 20 minute sonic excursion with a bullet. And while the saxophone may have been a bit overdrawn in dance music over the last couple years, Coleman Hell brilliantly drops an arpeggiated alto-sax melody amongst a sea of soft synthesizers to balance each aural aspect with the careful precision of a brain surgeon.
Already with an acclaimed mixtape, Stark Raving, and now a worthy EP entry into the Coleman Hell catalog, his debut full length is currently being prepped, rinsed and scoured for an early 2015 release; which quite honestly we can’t wait for. Hell’s sticky blend of pop accessibility and worldy wise production structures have our interest piqued almost more than any other new artist at the tail end of 2014. Watch for more new music from Coleman Hell here on TMN and stream VENA in its entirety below.
Through The Wire (Kanye West Cover)
After spending a good majority of 2013 at the top of the Hype Machine charts, FYFE has remained relatively quiet throughout 2014, as he gears up for the release of his debut album, Control. With a release date in hand now, the British sensation has decided to celebrate by releasing a quirky cover of Kanye West‘s “Through The Wire.” Anytime someone decides to cover Kanye it makes for a risky proposition, but in this case the College Dropout classic is an especially curious choice considering FYFE is not a rapper himself. We know better than to doubt the crafty musician though, and it’s safe to say he’s delivered one of the more creative takes on a Kanye track we’ve ever heard. FYFE’s interpretation is sparse, yet placating–characteristic of many of his previous singles–and he manages to build a record that has its own identity, while still paying tribute to the original with mixed-in vocals from Yeezy himself.
The young talent had this to say about his inspirations behind the track:
Through The Wire has been stuck in my head for most of the last 10 years. The fact that Kanye West had a track on his last album named I Am A God added a certain amount of pressure to the process, but once I got over the image of him peering over my shoulder whilst I made the cover it came along quite quickly. To Kanye West purists- I’m sorry. To everyone else – I hope you enjoy it.
Stream the track above, and make sure to pre-order
your copy of Control
before it hits shelves on March 9th.
Running away from Christmas jingles? We feel ya. They started bombarding us with that crap the day after Halloween. TOO SOON. Just too soon. It’s cool though. You can ninja your way right out of the tinsel and jingle bells with a good ol’ Indie Dojo. Happy Indiedays!
The Walking Who
Salmon Arms (Acoustic)
Jameson and his banjo can do no wrong.
With his latest single ‘Liar’, Jamesons is showing us just how big of a range he has with his beloved instrument. The song talks about all the liars we know in our lives, or the ones who may not believe they are liars but would be perceived otherwise by the people around them. With a beautiful banjo melody, some soft percussion, and Jameson’s classic rasp/blues voice, he is quickly becoming one of our favorites artists to listen to.
When the Darkness Comes
It’s always difficult to pull ourselves out of bed come Monday morning, especially if we just came off an epic weekend. Well, we found ourselves in that situation this morning, but it wasn’t as difficult to jump up and get on our computers. You can probably guess why, but if not, we’ll fill you in. It’s because of “When the Darkness Comes.”
Following up on the successful release of “Satellite,” neo-soul singer/songwriter JP Cooper once again displays his musical dexterity, providing listeners with a delightful taste of his sparkling talent. Set to uplifting tempo of soaring piano chords, short bursts of brass, interspersed guitar strums, and haunting gospel-style hums, “When the Darkness Comes” surges with truly radiant songwriting ingenuity.
The impassioned lyrics remind of us of other timeless pieces, glowing with the undeniable energy of Cooper’s embracing tone, range, and cadence. In a slight state of awe, we’re left saying, “2015 should be one hell of a year for this Manchester-based talent.”
And it will. “When the Darkness Comes” drops in January on an EP that boasts the same name, and we’re pretty damn sure it’s going to make some waves. Make sure to pre-order your copy by clicking here.
College feat. Nola Wren
Save the Day
If there’s one phrase to NOT describe your trusty Music Ninjas with, we would have to pick stingy. Which is why it just wouldn’t be a normal week at TMN without some sort of free swag for our astute readers to try their hands. Avant-Pop players College, who most notably added their Electric Youth collaboration “A Real Hero” to the Ryan Gosling lead Drive soundtrack, and most recently released the Nola Wren featuring “Save The Day” (which you can stream above) bring their live show to Denver’s Larimer Lounge this Saturday, December 6. We’re buzzing about this one heading into the weekend, and it just wouldn’t be the same without having a couple more of our friends there as well. Entering is simple, just “like” The Music Ninja Facebook page (if you haven’t already), and enter your e-mail address in our widget below.
There are a few rules, of course:
- The event is all ages (16+) so tell your friends!
- You are responsible for your own transportation.
- You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the Lost Lake door.
-You must find a TMN representative and let them buy you a shot (or soda for our under-agers)
For the rest of our friends in North America, check out the rest of College’s current tour dates below.
12-4-14: MINNEAPOLIS (US) – Entry
12-6-14: DENVER (US) – Larimer Lounge
12-7-14: SALT LAKE CITY (US) – Kilby
12-9-14: SEATTLE (US) – Neumos
12-10-14: PORTLAND (US) – Dougfir
12-12-14: SAN FRANCISCO (US) – Rickshaw
12-13-14: LOS ANGELES (US) – Roxy
12-14-14: SAN DIEGO (US) – Casbah
We’ve had the pleasure of living in the same city as Heart & Soul Radio since their inception, which has given us an inside track on how storied of a career they’ve built. From touring on multiple Warped Tours, to opening for some of the biggest names in punk music, these cats have done and seen more than most acts can dream of.
Before the internet streaming or blogs were even a thing, these three were hustling back when hustling was much harder. With that in mind, we wanted to ask them a few questions about how they’ve pulled it all together and kept it going through the years.
TMN: Hey Guys! Thank you for taking a minute to answer a few questions for us. Let’s kick things off by talking about Thieves. What can people expect from this album?
Brian: People can expect a real rock album when they listen to “Thieves.” Real guitars, real drumming, real bass and real singing make up this album. There are mistakes in the album, so you know it’s not all gridded out and faked like too many albums today. The main point is, you will hear a rock album made by humans instead of computers.
Schuyler: It is also the story of our lives collectively throughout the last 4 years. Some happy, some sad, but mostly just stories of things we’ve encountered personally and through others. We’ve grown a lot as people and musicians in this release. Some may even say our sound has matured.
Some of us used to be married before this, others got married. We are happy to announce that Brian just got engaged, she is rad.
TMN: “True Romance” was one of our favorites on the album, featuring solid harmonies and an engaging pop structure. How did you approach this song in particular?
Heart & Soul Radio
True Romance (You Be Rosanna Arquette, Ill Be That One Guy)