[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (November 2016 Round #4)

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This week we give thanks to all the things we are grateful for. And there are SO MANY THINGS, we don’t even know where begin! So, we’ll start with the easy one. Today & everyday, we are grateful for talented indie artists who put their music out into the world so the less musically inclined can create things like the Indie Dojo. Thank you for making our job an easy one. We more than appreciate you!

’Matt Maeson – Cringe’
’Blonde Ambition – Shasta’
’Tilly Valentine – Coins (Original beats. Mattis)’
’Ploz – Blues’
’Magnets – Stay’
’Will Rowe – Body And Soul’
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Matthew and Me – Starpoint EP [TMN PREMIERE]

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Amongst the long list of things that influence music, location is arguably one of the most prominent. Your inner circle of friends is where you first started to discover your own musical taste, eagerly trying to introduce each other to something the other hadn’t heard. From there, you could analyze trends from the actual city that surrounds you. Punk in Salt Lake City. Techno in Detroit. Hip-Hop in the Twin Cities. Beyond that, though, even the actual geographical surroundings play a role in shaping musical tastes. The sandy beaches of California inspire surf rock acts regularly, while the jetting Red Rocks of Morrison, Colorado give way to jam bands and electro funk acts by the droves.

Matthew & Me certainly have a dog in the fight with the aforementioned argument, finding themselves musically inspired by the expansive landscape of South Devon. Far away from the mainstream offerings of cultural centers like Leeds and London, vocalist/songwriter Matthew Board and drummer Lucy Fawcett were able to craft their own sound. And, it’s one that more and more are falling head-over-heels for.

Today, we’re bringing you the first, full look at their debut EP, Starpoint. Since “Silver,” “Figure,” and “Joy,” are already floating around the blogoshpere, we’ll give the spotlight to the only unreleased tune in the bunch. “Cravings” follows suit with what fans have come to know and love from this inventive duo. There’s a strong focus on Board’s hauntingly beautiful vocals, per usual, which call on associations of other iconic leads, like Alex Trimble from Two Door Cinema Club. Differing from the other selections, the instrumentals in “Cravings” are more subdued, for the most part, slowly building with light percussion, soaring strings, and calming guitars. Emotively crafted, it evokes an intense experience, keeping you locked in throughout the entire five-minute ride.

This collection officially drops on November 18th via Beatnik Creative. If you’re a vinyl enthusiast, we strongly recommend adding this to your personal collection.

’Silver’
’Figure’
’Cravings’
’Joy’
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[Rock] Shiny Wet Machine – Stun Gun

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Shiny Wet Machine
Stun Gun

First off, f*** yes. Now that we got that out of the way, we get to tell you about something special that is just beginning: Shiny Wet Machine. Comprised of punk’s glitter princess Sizzy Rocket and TheKickdrums, this new venture is something that should not be taken lightly.

Not only are they a new band, but they have a new single, released on Sizzy’s new label Diet Punk. All of this has been launched via “Stun Gun” and it is stunning. From the very start we’re thrown into a guitar riff that is about as catchy as it gets. From their Sizzy jumps in with her sultry voice. “Stun Gun” is straight punk rock; it has that intimate, local feel to it, but this is no garage rock crap. Shiny Wet Machine is all legit and they’re here to let you know that punk isn’t dead. “Stun Gun” is currently available on iTunes if you want to get it for yourself. Before you do, all we can say is: get ready to rock.

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[MP3 Playlist] Indie Dojo (November 2016 Round #3)

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Nothing in this world is really for certain. Except for death & taxes….and an Indie Dojo to lay your ears on every Tuesday.

’Paper Pilots – Automatic’
’Former Faces – Back Up a Minute’
’Year of Suns – The Undertow’
’Elli Schoen – Hard Heart’
’Nick Wilson – In Your Eyes’
’Swan Levitt – ALIVE’
’Lynette Williams – No Ordinary Love’
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Paris Youth Foundation – Losing Your Love [TMN PREMIERE]

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Paris Youth Foundation
Losing Your Love

Here we are. We’ve officially made it through one of the most baffling and bizarre weeks in recent memory. Our recipe for taking a step forward and trying to get past the painful bemusement? Two days of freedom listening to a combination of some stunning new artists and, of course, the regular rotation of our all-time favorites. Paris Youth Foundation recently placed themselves into the former, giving us a healthy dose of upbeat indie rock with their debut single, “Losing Your Love.”

This infectious-as-hell track should call on blissful associations of Two Door Cinema Club, Mutemath, and Foals, brought to life with a memorable hook and spirited instrumentals. Hell, it’s pretty much a thrill ride from the get-go, surging forward with echoing vocals, a beautiful blend of tight, swirling drums, and a combination of alternating clean, melodic riffs and interspersed reverb-rich chords.

If you’re digging this tune, you’ll be joining ranks with those who caught their sizzling debut performance at Reading Festival, Huw Stephens, and those lucky enough to catch it on BBC Radio 1 recently. What’s next? The sky is the limit for Kevin Potter, Tom Morris Jones, Jamie Hive, Paul Bates, Jonny Alderton. We’re just glad you’ll get to enjoy the ride from the very beginning.

This single and the previously release “If You Wanna” will soon be up for grabs on vinyl. Pre-order your autographed copy today.

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[NEW] The xx – On Hold

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After teasing fans with mysterious clips on their Spotify page, The xx have officially returned today with a stunning new single and an album on the way. During their 3 year hiatus, die-hard fans (myself included) could take solace in In Colour, the debut solo outing from Jamie xx, the trio’s masterful producer. On that project, Jamie got a chance to depart from the somber sound of his band delving deeper into the elements of dance music he had already subtly showcased on The xx’s first two albums. With the help of an incredible Idris Muhammad sample, Jamie xx and bandmate Romy Croft crafted one of 2015’s best songs with “Loud Places,” which held a triumphant, uplifting vibe unlike anything we’d heard from the group.

As I speculated and waited for new music, I couldn’t help but wonder how Jamie’s ‘colour’ might impact The xx’s 3rd album. Today we get the answer with “On Hold”–the perfect marriage between The xx’s heart-wrenching aura and Jamie’s matured sound. While the song features complex, 4×4 percussion, Jamie employs filters and dramatic pads to make room for his bandmates’ signature reverb-ed guitar and heart breaking vocals. As the song approaches its most stark moment, the chorus erupts with an irresistible Hall & Oates sample that oozes pure joy.

At it’s core “On Hold” tells the tale of letting someone go and the disappointment of them moving on, but its potent chorus offers a light at the end of the tunnel–one that was just flickering on their last album, Coexist. 

I See You, the third studio album from The xx, is out on January 13th via Young Turks–you can pre-order it here. We’ll have this one on repeat while we wait.

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Mansell – Mantra [ALBUM PREMIERE]

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This day, if any, should be a reminder to focus on the things that bring us together, rather than those that divide us. For our team, music is the first thing that we turned to this morning, knowing it’s an essential fiber that connects people all across the globe. Music brings joy. And, we feel that discovering a new artist can carry even more jubilation, which is why we do what we do.

Some may have have already caught wind of Atlanta-based Mansell from their debut single release, which found its way to the #7 spot on Hype Machine’s twitter charts just a few weeks ago. However, we’re probably safe to assume that this is your first experience with this budding, young act.

Mantra is a seven-track collection (eight, if you count the brief intro), and is a capricious blend of both upbeat and melancholy indie rock. One thing is constant throughout, though, which is an alluring blend of big, emphatic basslines, wavering guitar riffs, and memorable lyrics.

It’s a record of consciousness. Specifically within ourselves, our environment and people in our lives, as well as our perception of the world as it was all expanding in various ways. Dissecting it all and wondering what it’s all made of and what it will make for us later on.

We certainly appreciated the piece as a whole, but we did have a few favorites from the bunch, as well. “Ghosts” is the perfect track to welcome you into their sound. Providing ample energy right out of the gates, it should call on some associations of acts like Two Door Cinema Club and older Bloc Party. Splashy cymbals, beautiful vocal harmonies, and clean and properly placed guitar work accentuate the lyrics and interesting vocal cadence perfectly, giving an entertaining ride throughout.

We could certainly go on about other selections we’re particularly enjoying, but we’d rather you just dive in head first and listen for yourself. After you’re done, make sure to head over and pre-order Mantra on iTunes. It’s dropping this Friday, so you won’t have long until you can add this into your personal collection.

’Walking On Bank Street’
’Ghost’
’Age’
’Cloudland’
’A Love Immodest’
’Character Portrait’
’A Note 2 Myself’
’King Pleasure’
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