[60s Soul] Ethan Burns – Homeward

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Ethan Burns
Homeward

We’re always enamoured when artists decide to dedicate themselves to sounds and styles of past decades. From Michael Kiwanuka, to Nick Waterhouse, to Leon Bridges, we’ve loaded up our playlists with acts like these time and time again. Today, we gleefully get to add another gem into the mix.

At first, you may think you’re enjoying a retro soul track from long before you’re born. You’re definitely not, but that should say something about the level of talent and attention to detail in this debut release from LA-based Ethan Burns. Ethan’s voice drips with a gorgeous authenticity, one which very few have or can even come close to pulling off. It’s gritty, yet refined, leaving us unable to do anything but grin ear-to-ear, feverishly looking hitting play over and over again.

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

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The days are getting longer, the weather is getting warmer & the Indie Dojos are building quite the collection for your future summer soundtrack.

’Matt Gresham – Small Voices’
’Marcus Alan Ward – Little Sunshine’
’Ethan Burns – Homeward’
’The Hour – Answer’
’James Cherry – Why Don’t You Listen’
’LUKA – Why Don’t You Go To Her (Official Single)’
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Saturday Selection Vol. 7

Saturday Selection

This week has been slow. Very much so, in fact. We’ve got some tunes today that reflect that feeling and it’s a nice little switch-up from our previous installments. A trace of soul, melodic ambience, and gorgeous piano-driven pop are the high points of the week, so let’s go ahead and listen in.


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Jordan Rakei – Blame It On the Youth

Few are smoother than Jordan Rakei. It’s no surprise he has worked with Tom Misch previously, and “Blame It On The Youth” is a prime example of that. Four on the floor kicks, strutting basslines, and a silky voice all work together in harmony on this short, but sweet cut that precedes his upcoming album, Cloak. If this tickles your fancy, you’re going to want to keep an eye out for that project. Bump this one to hold yourself over in the mean time.


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Izzard – Ghost Naps

When you need to clear your mind and float away without a second thought, Izzard has you covered. The Soda Island affiliate should be scoring movies and video games by this point, because, within every release, a world is created. It’s tough to bottle it up in such a succinct manner, but Izzard’s work is something to be experienced, not simply listened to. It’s amazing how much emotion can be discovered with no lyrics at all. “Ghost Naps” prove this with aplomb.


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POLO – nightbloom

As played out as the term “future” may be to some people, sometimes it’s the only fitting definition for certain electronic music. POLO‘s style of rapid-fire and pitched samples speed over the massive drums and thundering bass to exemplify a sound that isn’t roped into any one particular genre. Exploring something as wild as this is always a good choice because you’re hearing something complete fresh. From the structure to the progression to the My Chemical Romance sample (listen carefully, you’ll hear it), POLO really is here to have a good time making crazy stuff. We’re here for this. Don’t miss it!


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Coast Modern – Guru

“Guru” will put a smile on your face. That’s basically a guarantee. Meshing pop, electronic, and a slight bit of reggae, Coast Modern has essentially just soundtracked part of your summer already, and it isn’t even June! It’s getting time to bust out the refreshing drinks on the beach and/or poolside, and this tune is tailor-made for all of these settings. Everyone needs a feel good song at SOME point. “Guru” is a great place to start with the weather warming up in the near future. Throw on your sunglasses and enjoy.


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Luke Cusato – Breathe

Get your tissues ready. It’s no secret that Luke Cusato. “Breathe” is beautiful. There’s not another word for it. Swelling orchestral elements bolster the powerful piano and lift Luke’s voice into an celestial fervor. When you get chills on the first listen of a song, you know something special is happening, and “Breathe” hits all of the right spots without any semblance of artificiality. Thank you for this one, Luke Cusato.


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The Code’s Music Ninja Mix [TMN EXCLUSIVE]

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The Code
The Code's Music Ninja Mix

Although The Code‘s residency here at The Music Ninja might be over, the mysterious duo were still kind enough to drop off another little surprise for all their fans. While their own music is generally steeped in a darker, edgier soundscape, here they’ve cooked together a sultry mix of upbeat R&B and pop jams for your enjoyment. As you can see from the tracklist below, the mix features a diverse selection of artists, meaning there’s something for just about everyone here. It also makes for a perfect listen any time of the day, from the moment you wake up to the moment you decide to rest your head back down on your pillow–and everything in between. Why not hit play and kick your Saturday off the right way? We promise your toes will be tapping before you even realize what’s happening.

TRACKLIST

Daniel Johns – Aerial Love (Memeb Remix)

Set Mo – Chasing Forever ft. ALPHAMAMA (Jafunk Remix)

AlunaGeorge – I’m In Control

Jessica Sutta – Forever

Kygo – Stay (ft. Maty Noyes)

Years & Years – Shine

Zayn Malik – Like I Would

Disclosure – Omen (Dillon Francis Remix)

Justin Bieber – Been You

Majid Jordan – Something About You

Rudimental – Rumour Mill ft. Anne-Marie & Will Heard

Tinie Tempah – Girls Like ft. Zara Larsson

Pia Mia – Touch

Jeremih – Oui

Bryson Tiller – Self Righteous

Drake – How About Now

Phazz – About Her

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Saturday Selection Vol. 3

Saturday Selection

This has already been a tough year for music lovers, and April is just wrapping up. We’ve lost some major icons who were trailblazers in not only their music, but also social and cultural shifts. We’ll miss them constantly, but there’s a bright side. We’ll always have their legacies through their discography, and, even more luckily, we get new and amazing music to enjoy every day. We can at least smile about that. Let’s explore.


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Monogem – Take It Slow

Monogem holds an inherent magnetism throughout her material. “Take It Slow” certainly is one of those pop songs that will make you want to fall in love under the right circumstances, and, even with the atomospheric production swirling back and forth, her crystal clear voice cuts through with a surprising and engaging strength. Get caught up in mediocre pop music can be easy if you aren’t careful, but there’s no trace of that when it comes to Monogem. Even with only a handful of tracks currently out, she has a little something for everyone.


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Matthew Riley – YEARS

Finding the first track an artist posts on SoundCloud is always exciting, and we’re very glad to have Matthew Riley join up. “YEARS” is awash with reverb and gentle, faint synths that float together with his short verses in simple and serene harmony. He’s crafted a fine balance between ambient, pop, and electronic music that manages to provide feelings of both relaxation and reflection. Sometimes that is exactly what you need on a slow morning, and we definitely hope to hear more Matthew Riley in the near future.


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The Kount – Only Human

There’s no contest here. The Kount is a student of the groove. He might even be a teacher of it after hearing this one. If you aren’t somehow feverishly bobbing your head after 20 seconds into “Only Human,” we’re not exactly sure what to tell you. It’s instrumentals like these that stand on their own. No need for bars, verses, or choruses. There’s enough substance and space that allow the instrumentation to speak for itself in the absence of lyrics. It’s a pretty great thing to find when you need a break from constant narration. His style is constantly shifting, so check out the rest of his material when you can.


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Robokid – 23

Nothing predictable comes to mind when discussing Robokid, and that’s great. Being a co-founder of Moving Castle will have that effect on you. On this new tune, which you may recognize from the Coachella LIVE video, there is an entirely different side of Robokid put on display. Shedding his more upbeat style, he opts for a little more sullen and slow approach on “23.” There’s an air of hope matched with escapism that isn’t weighed down with too many elements. It’s wonderful for a myriad of settings, and might just be one of his best creations yet. That’s a bold statement, but “23” is a force all its own.


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Bo Rocha – Hold My Gaze

We’d like to apologize for Bo Rocha managing to fly under our radar for this long. The London native has an undeniable command of her sound as evident from “Hold My Gaze,” and, as she flips from her mighty chorus to double-time verses, she knows her power. Between songwriting and production, Bo Rocha covers it all, and her hypnotic voice complements the ebbs and flows of this sweltering song perfectly. “Hold My Gaze” is such a strong follow up to her Even Green EP from a year ago, and we absolutely hope another project is the works soon that will build upon this radiant single.


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[Soul/Hip-Hop] Hiatus Kaiyote – Laputa (Taylor McFerrin Remix) Feat. Anderson .Paak

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Hiatus Kaiyote
Laputa (Taylor McFerrin Remix feat. Anderson .Paak)

The current era of music has seen a shift in which risk-taking is rewarded. Those who have pushed genres into the forefront, or combined technical aspects across previously uncrossed planes have been showered with praises of ‘breakthrough’ and ‘genius’.

Comparable to the way in which Tame Impala championed psychedelia and had universal success, Melburnian band Hiatus Kaiyote is still waiting to reap the same scale of appreciation for operating in their own niche of the musical landscape.

“Under appreciated” is usually not a phrase used to describe multiple Grammy-nominated bands, but HK is by no means as recognized as their talent would dictate. Leading the way in the future soul and nu-jazz realms, they have been immeasurably successful in outpacing their contemporaries since their formation and debut album release in 2012.

Following up with Choose Your Weapon in May of last year, HK has since slowly gained recognition for their structural aspects and skillful composition. Further demonstrating the versatility of their sound, the quartet released their newest EP, Recalibrations, Vol. 1, a collection of remixes which came out this past Friday.

With the collaborative efforts of solo artist Taylor McFerrin and up and coming producer / vocalist Anderson .Paak, listeners were graced with a remix to “Laputa,” which debuted on their 2015 album Choose Your Weapon. The original, a song praising the Hayao Miyazaki film by the same name, is a minimalistic track that relies heavily on the talented vocals of lead singer Nai Palm. The remix, put together by frequent collaborator Taylor McFerrin (see their previous work together here), is a perfect extension of what existed previously.

Injected with a dreamy, beatboxing style seen in his own solo works, McFerrin’s “Laputa” takes a turn towards a redeeming love song following a psychedelic-synth bridge at the 2:00 mark. Anderson .Paak, capitalizing on the success of his January release, Malibu, provides the finishing touches by smoothly and soulfully rapping to the conclusion of the song.

With Recalibrations, Vol. 1 available now on iTunes, Hiatus Kaiyote will be touring the world and making believers of their brand one city at a time; they will be playing Lollapalooza, Osheaga, and Outside Lands to name a few. Fans new and old can keep up with the latest releases on their Soundcloud page.

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Saturday Selection Vol. 2

Saturday Selection

As we continue to dig deeper throughout the internet for music, we can get blindsided (in a good way) by a sound or voice we’ve never heard before. Maybe it’s a new style of production or a groove you can’t quite figure out the finer details of. It could even be a remix that completely reshapes your initial feelings of a song. Whatever it may entail, that slight bit of confusion or excitement you feel is the exact moment you know when you’re on to something. It’s a wonderful revelation, and that’s what this playlist is all about. Time to explore!


Diveliner

Diveliner – Catwalk

It’s been a little over a year since we covered Diveliner last, and the wait was certainly worth it. Diveliner thrives in almost total anonymity, and his newest effort reflect his ability to cut through saturated sounds and build up his own monumental creation. The jarring and filtered vocals scatter across the shadowy production with a robotic flourish. It would almost be disconcerting if it wasn’t so well-made. If you’re looking for something conventional in Diveliner, you won’t find it. That’s exactly what makes his mystery his own. Luckily, he has an EP on the way, and “Catwalk” is an encouraging second addition to his upcoming project.


Kidswaste

Chet Porter – tbh ily (Kidswaste Remix)

Even as Moving Castle continues to explode in size and popularity, they’ve found their sound and stuck with it for a few years now. Recently, Kidswaste has hopped on board, and his first release with the label is a charming and melodic remix of Chet Porter. It reworks all of the best elements of Chet’s gorgeous original into a slightly more upbeat and orchestral tune, while simultaneously allowing the power and precision of Kidswaste’s talent shine through. It’s really just a nice listen and has an undeniable replay value. If you dig it, be sure to treat yourself to the free download also!


Limbic Void

Limbic Void – Little Boy

Some memories are nice. Other are not. Limbic Void constructs “Little Boy” around the latter. It’s really quite an interesting juxtaposition. Even with boisterous production, the lyrics paint a different picture entirely. He sings about a time he wasn’t proud of. That isn’t easy to do. He encapsulates a past pain into something beautiful, and it’s honestly made us do some reflecting of our own. Be on the lookout for his EP dropping on May 26th.


SiR

SiR – Tricky (Prod. Rascal)

Everything about this tune by SiR is phenomenal. From the slick production of Rascal, to the smooth delivery of every pining line, “Tricky” is a triumph. If you’re in need of an excellent late night song, stop right here and hit play. It’s the kind of track that provides an instant calm. Everything slows down and seems much less complicated. You begin to get caught up in the moment. It’s exceptional. End your day right with “Tricky” and absorb every subtle nuance of this sleek SiR invention.


Blancos

The Blancos – Wild Child

The Blancos are a wild bunch, as clearly stated by the name of their most recent release. Having premiered with Pigeons & Planes earlier this week, this duo continues the wonderful blurring of lines between genres that more and more artists have taken to applying. With a little bit of rock, alternative, and even a tinge of blues, The Blancos swagger can’t and won’t be stopped. “Wild Child” explores the feelings of an outcast with a grit that is oddly welcoming, and most people catch themselves relating to this sort of thought process at some point in their life. Why not enjoy a great song to soundtrack it with while you’re at it?


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