[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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[Synth-Pop] PHOX – 1936 (Carousel Remix)

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PHOX
1936 (Carousel Remix)

Carousel have certainly made a resonant impact here at TMN over the years and continue to be an act we call upon with regularity to deliver a healthy dose of happy-dance inflamed pop music; whether it’s through their sterling original productions or pliable, John Hughes soundtrack-esque remixes. Today the highly schooled duo have taken on Phox‘s folk-pop ditty “1936″ and completely shifted perspective towards a slice of 80′s electro-pop. When listening to both tracks, it becomes even more impressive that Carousel so easily took a beautiful tune with zero electronic influence and turned in a version we would have thought was the original had we not been in the know. Their airy synths punctuate a sea of leisurely percussion, and Phox’s vocal track plays in perfect harmony to the pair’s sophisticated instrumentation, marking yet another gem added to the Carousel palate. Let’s get a little vibey on this beautiful Friday. Stream Carousel’s “1936″ remix above.

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[Deep-House/Indie-Dance] Little Daylight – My Life (The Golden Pony Remix)

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Little Daylight
My Life (Golden Pony Remix)

We’ve been big fans of NYC’s preeminent deep-disco slingers, The Golden Pony, who for some time now have been authoring up some of the tastiest re-imaginings of tunes crossing all sorts of genres. From Peaches to Daft Punk and Tears For Fears to Swedish House Mafia, the afro wielding duo have proven their merit time and time again, pulling tunes we never thought would succeed in the deeper, more underground reaches of dance into their slick realm of sounds. Their latest remix finds them taking Little Daylight‘s “My Life” into a more sensual, slightly melancholy direction than we’ve seen in the past, using a neatly wrapped rolling bassline and popping 80′s synth progression to push Nikki Taylor’s vocals front and center. As with their entire catalog, this one will be given away for free, this time through Little Daylight’s Soundcloud, so hop on over and snag a copy. Trust us, for our electronic fans, you’ll want to be sure to add this one to heavy rotation.

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[Nu-Disco/Synth-Pop] Penguin Prison – Calling Out

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Penguin Prison
Calling Out

Oh Chris Glover. Your lovelorn, Anglophilic, dreamy dance-pop and beautiful songwriting never fail to bring a smile and hip wiggle from us. Glover, who’s tenfold more renowned as his artist moniker Penguin Prison is back with another pop construed dance ditty, “Calling Out”. It’s been much too long since we’ve gotten an original from the crafty, 80′s driven producer, as we’ve seen Penguin Prison taking on remix duties for the likes of Maroon 5 & Youngblood Hawke, lending those beautiful vocal chords on tunes like RAC’s “Hollywood” and Viceroy’s “This Life”, as well as authoring shiny new covers of Lionel Richie & Sade; and “Calling Out” has certainly made up for the lack of solo tunes in the last few years. “Calling Out” rolls on a four-four disco kick drum, provocatively drippy synths and Glover’s extraordinary refrain to result in a worthy and welcome comeback single. The fact the tune ends with a frizzy guitar lead only sweetens the deal. The word is out that there will be another Penguin Prison LP in the near future, so we’ll keep you posted. Until then, enjoy “Calling Out” above.

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[Chill-Step] We Are Twin – True Love (White Cliffs Remix)

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We Are Twin
True Love (White Cliffs Remix)

While much of electronic music’s rising stars are cashing in on the influx of fist-pumping teens and college students flocking towards ‘big-room’ EDM tents at festivals and larger than life, build-up wielding stadium sized tunes; some purveyors of the widespread genre are busy crafting forward thinking, melodious arrangements and expressions. Such a case study is debuting beatsmith, White Cliffs. Rather than assaulting his listeners with the same production kits used within every inch of the mainstream dance community, White Cliffs’ remix of We Are Twin‘s “True Love” is a breath of freshly composed air which receives its luster from a slick two-step drum inflection, subdued high-end percussion and just an utterly gorgeous vocal from We Are Twins. For a premiere track, White Cliffs’ subtle use of vocal chopping resonates across like a true professional musician, keeping the original’s indelible energy intact while fully communicating an educated albeit understated electronic musical point of view. This one can be swiped as a free download here, and we’re highly suggesting you do.

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60+ Songs to Prepare for Treasure Island Music Festival in SF, 10/18-19 [Event Preview + Playlist]

timf2014-sfweekly-fullpgLineups for major music festivals often boast 100+ artists, which although in theory is a great concept, can end up being overwhelming and frustrating when you realize the impossibility of seeing every act on the bill. San Francisco’s Treasure Island Music Festival, a collaboration between Noise Pop and Another Planet Entertainment, provides one of the few exceptions to this conundrum electing to go with fewer artists and alternating sets at only two stages. Having attended last year, we found this to be a genius, albeit seemingly obvious, solution making the experience far more relaxed for festival-goers without sacrificing any quality in the music. Aside from the unique arrangement, the backdrop of Treasure Island overlooks both the Bay and Golden Gate bridges and has one of the more stunning sunsets the Bay Area has to offer. For anyone who will be attending this year, we also highly recommend checking out the non-stop Silent Disco stage courtesy Silent Frisco.

To help you all prepare for what should be an amazing weekend of music, we’ve put together a massive playlist including every single artist on the TIMF lineup because, with no overlapping sets, you will actually have the opportunity to see them all. Whether you’ve already got your ticket, are still on the fence or can’t make it this year, we hope this serves as a fun, introduction to a dynamic collection of musicians. One and two-day passes for Treasure Island Music Festival are still available so, if you like what you hear below, grab your tickets HERE.

Day 1: 

Painted PalmsNoon @ Bridge Stage. 

Sounds like: San Francisco-based, psychedelic pop.

Painted Palms
Anna
Painted Palms
Here It Comes

Tobacco (of Black Moth Super Rainbow), 12:40PM @ Tunnel Stage.

Sounds like: In his own words, “I want to make you feel paranoid in a good way.”

Tobacco
Self Tanner
Black Moth Super Rainbow
Gangs in the Garden

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MUST-SEE: Ratking1:10PM @ Bridge. 

Sounds like: Gritty, high energy New York hip-hop.

Ratking
So It Goes
Ratking
Pretty Picture
Phantogram
Fall in Love (RATKING Falling Off Remix)
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[Synth-Pop] Mansions on the Moon – The Truth

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Mansions On The Moon
The Truth

Consistently churning out some of the most well-composed alt-pop burners has been the modus operandi of Mansions on the Moon since their inception. We’ve been attentive fans in some way, shape or form since their first ever Diplo produced mixtape and on. The So-Cal troupe has been leaking singles from their forthcoming debut self-titled LP since July, most notably “Don’t Tell” and “Somewhere Else Tonight”, and with today’s release of their latest exposed single “The Truth”, we’ve realized Mansions has something very textured and special to release to their fans very soon. Every track thus far has filled a different role, whether it’s an upbeat melodious pop opus, an indie-rock leaning gem or slow searing ballads; and “The Truth” slides into its own place nicely. With an airy, atmospheric 80′s soul, “The Truth” reveals yet another ripple of production psyche and we’re beyond excited for the album to drop. Happy Friday Ninjas, you made it. Now listen to some beautifully arranged indie-pop and let the feel goods wash over you.

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