Shoulda Known Better (Bear Mountain Remix)
Let’s face it. There are not too many positives to Monday mornings. You’re probably worn out from the weekend, and the thought of digging in for an eight hour work day is giving you the chills. We do have some good news for you though. With Monday comes new music and with new music comes a little ray of sunshine for the start of your week.
LA-based Steffaloo (Steph Thompson) recently released the second single from her collaborative electronic album Heart Beats.Teaming up with Windy City native Different Sleep, they dialed in a dreamy pop song that slowly drifts through layered atmospheric elements, and calming percussion.
With the minimalist sound of “Shoulda Known Better,” we were anxiously awaiting a few remixers to pull out some elements and create something that is both complimentary to the original and something entirely unique. Enter Bear Mountain, who hail from one of this writer’s favorite cities in the world, Vancouver. You’re probably familiar with this four piece from their blogosphere smash hit, “Congo.” Taking a departure from their worldly sound that we all fell in love with on that release, they’ve dialed up a sultry dance tune complete heavy deep house elements, chopped up vocal samples and a pronounced bassline.
True to Escapists’ stated intention to create a sound that describes “the energy of staying-up all night” when the “bright-eyed optimism of the day…quickly evaporate[s] into paranoia and disorientation”, the original offering of new single Blood wrapped itself in haunting elegance and funked-up euphoria. In this latest, stripped back version of the track, the British four-piece have created the perfect aural evocation of the all-nighter.
With their sonic nod to British contemporaries Bombay Bicycle Club, Escapists seem similarly poised to become the latest indie intellects to reimagine the genre into a more morose and introspective state.
When reinventing Blood within a new acoustic haze, Escapists have been careful not to strip away, or steal from, their lyrical subject matter. In fact, the midnight musings and dawn driven disorientation are all the more evident for the refined reinvention. The ethereal realms of the original remain intact, with the clarity and sloppiness of dusk-til-dawn obscurity cyclically and intermittently relayed throughout. Fluid and hazy changeability continually emerges as rhythmic cohesion meets afterhours dreamscapes. With lead singer Simon Glancy murmuring ‘we’ve been up all night / slurring vocabulary / can’t you see your eyes / oh they’re kinda scary’, the lyrical descent into late night reality removal issues forth from an equally disorientated musical backdrop.
An acoustic display of pathetic fallacy, with Blood Escapists have truly curated the soundscape to their own subject matter.
Zinedine Zidane (feat. Les Murray)
Zinedine Zidane was one of the best footballers in the history of the sport. We figured this would be a perfect time to show some love to the record with the World Cup going on. This tribute to the legend is much deserved, seeing as he won the “FIFA World Player Of The Year” three times in a row. During the 110th minute of his last game, he was dismissed from the match. Apparently Materazzi made some foul remarks towards Zinedine’s family on the same day he found out his mother was very ill. Although he made a rash decision and got angry, he was one of the greatest players of all time. Since 2013, Zinedine has continued his career as the assistant coach and sporting director for Real Madrid.
I think that’s enough history for now. Back to the music… I’ve never really heard a band like Vaudeville Smash. This band is from Melbourne, Australia and they have an extremely unique sound. This dynamic record is backed up with an awesome video which will pump you up for the rest of the World Cup matches.
U.K.-based band, Alt-J, blew the music world away with their 2012 debut album, An Awesome Wave, which won England’s highly-respected Mercury Prize and led them on an extensive worldwide tour. After a long hiatus from new music and parting ways with one of their band members, they are back with the lead single from their upcoming album, This Is All Yours.
“Hunger of the Pine” continues the unique, experimental narrative expressed in their first project, but carries a slightly more solemn progression to it meant to capture feelings of longing. The slow-build proves powerful drawing the listener into Alt-J’s deeply and delightfully emotional world. If you listen closely, you may recognize an unexpected, warped vocal sample through out, which the band members identified as Miley Cyrus singing “I’m a female rebel” on her song “4×4.”
Although it is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, the track definitely leaves speculation open as to the direction of their sound making it a particularly compelling glimpse. Stream above and pre-order the album, which drops on September 22nd, on iTunes to get an instant download of this first release.
The Music Ninja is ecstatic to be presenting two of our absolute favorite burgeoning acts, both out of New York, ASTR and The Knocks (Live) next Tuesday in Denver, CO. There’s a veritable buzz circulating around the TMN office as of late, and it’s pretty safe to say that is has to do with June 24th. Just 6 months removed from their Varsity EP, ASTR, whose story sounds like something out of a movie, bring their cimmerian, R&B tinged brand of electronica and pop for the first time to Denver with an incredible supporting cast. Also on the stacked bill is a very special live set from nu-disco revivalists The Knocks. While they’ve brought performances with regularity to Denver in recent times, most have come in the form of DJ sets, and to have them plying their craft in their true vision is always an inviting, raucous experience. We’ve once again teamed up with our friends at the Larimer Lounge to get you ninjas involved in what will be without a doubt a can’t miss concert and one of TMN’s most anticipated nights of 2014. We’re giving away not one, two or three, but FIVE pairs of tickets to our studious readers through Facebook (just follow the instructions below) and for our friends who would rather not take their chances and want to secure a place in what will be a tightly packed venue, grab your tickets here.
Entering is a breeze. Simply “like” The Music Ninja, ASTR and The Knocks Facebook pages and share our Facebook status here for a chance to win! The contest runs until the day of the show, June 24th, at 5:00 p.m., and our winners will be contacted via Facebook but there are a few rules of course:
- You must be 16 or over to enter.
- You are responsible for transportation to the venue
- You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the door..
- You must promise to have as much damn fun as possible on our behalf
Listen to a couple of our favorite tunes below from ASTR, “Operate” and The Knocks “The One” below to tune your cochlear cavities before the show.
The One Ft. Sneaky Sound System
It is always tough for our Resident Artists to come up with their top 5 songs of the moment because let’s be honest, there is always a lot of good music at all times of the year. But low and behold, our Residents always come up with amazing songs that speak highly to who they are as artists. The Chainsmokers had to change their list a few times because of all the good music being constantly played on their computers and in their headphones but finally came up with a list of 5 fabulous songs that will make any summer day 100 times better. Take a listen:
Dont Wanna Dance (Zimmer Remix)
Wasting My Young Years (The Aston Shuffle Remix)
If anyone can write a song about ‘Scars’ and make it beautiful, it would be the duo GEMS. Lindsay and Clifford are two musicians who combine their beautiful musical minds to form GEMS, based out of Washington D.C. The two recently released their new song ‘Scars’, which is raw and brutal and honest, from its lyrics to its seductive melody. The song tells of the scars left from a loved one, how that loved one can see through the fake and the bullshit and the “I’m okays”. The lyrics pull on all heartstrings making the listener feel vulnerable to ones they love and have loved. Lindsay has a light and airy voice that sits quietly in your mind, allowing you to indulge in this stunning song. Be prepared to feel a few scars of your past burn as you hear these two sing each of our stories back to us.