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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[Denver Event Preview] Project Pabst – RiNo Arts District – 5/21

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Already an established and highly praised festival in Portland, Project Pabst is set to touch down for its first ever stop in Denver, and we’re chomping at the bit for their all-day lineup featuring the likes of TMN Favorites Best Coast, Small Black (who headlined one of our TMN Showcase parties back on Halloween), K. Flay, and local Denverites turned national darlings Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats; along with classic staples including the Violent Femmes, Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires and loads more across seven stages on Saturday, May 21st in Denver’s booming and eclectic RiNo Arts District. We’ve been watching Project Pabst pick up steam as it nears closer and closer, and with the announcement yesterday that all tickets have now been sold out, it’s shaping up to be a beast of a day for music in the Mile High City.

In anticipation of this weekend’s Denver debut of Project Pabst, check out our playlist below featuring some of our favorite tunes from each headliner, start hydrating, and put aside your beer snobbery before loading your system with cheap domestic beer in the greatest craft-brew city in the U.S. We’ll be out in full force all day tomorrow, so keep your eyes peeled for our post-event review, and get in the spirit a little early with our official Project Pabst Preview Playlist (say that five times fast) below.

’Best Coast – The Only Place’
’Small Black – No Stranger’
’Best Coast – Do You Love Me Like You Used To’
’Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
S.O.B.’
’Violent Femmes – Blister In The Sun’
’FIDLAR – No Waves’
’Big KRIT ft Trinidad James – My Trunk’
’Lights – Same Sea (K.Flay Remix)’
’Metz – Can’t Understand’
’Baroness – Shock Me’
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Saturday Selection Vol. 6

Saturday Selection

These past two weeks have been an absolute GOLDMINE for music fans everywhere. We’ve honestly never seen a month this stacked with releases both from established legends and exciting newcomers in a long time. It doesn’t stop, and we’d be fine it never did really. Even with all of the hype, you may have missed a few things, and we’ve got some highlights that you definitely need to hear. Switch up your taste a little today and show the talented folks below some love.


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CAFUNÉ – Don’t You Forget

We love CAFUNÉ. After having the amazing opportunity to premiere their debut EP, Love Songs For Other People, we’ve been hooked on their pristine style of electronically tinged pop. They continue to demonstrate their mastery of the genre with “Don’t You Forget” in a positive minded approach, both lyrically and production-wise. They’ve even been given praise from Pharrell Williams himself, so, even if you haven’t heard of them yet, you will. From their amazing covers to their catchy and sweet original material, CAFUNÉ show that pop music isn’t all formulaic, and we’re lucky to get to hear them break that barrier.


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Mura Masa – Lotus Eater (Tonton Remix)

Simply put, this is a stunning rendition of an already phenomenal song. Remixing Mura Masa is no small feat, and Tonton made it look effortless. The defining features of the original were kept, but this “Lotus Eater” update has skyrocketed into popularity on its own merit. Finding a way to still make your speakers go through a workout and maintaining a cool and collected sense of calm is quite the balance, but this remix handles both without fail. Keep your ears open to for more Tonton.


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Anna Straker – Late Night Swimming

We’ve got even more great pop coming at you this week, and it’s here courtesy of Anna Straker. Debut tracks on SoundCloud are always great to come across, and “Late Night Swimming” continues this trend without a hitch. You can soak up the sun with this one, or cruise around with the windows down as the breeze whips around you almost in time with the song itself. Anna Straker is enchanting throughout the tune, and, even with the strong production, her voice is the anchor holding “Late Night Swimming” together. We are VERY ready for more from her.


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Mishegas – Home

Building an emotional appeal with no words is something to be admired, and Mishegas‘ sophomore tune channels a similarity to artists in Foreign Family in this regard. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let “Home” transport you into another dimension of heavenly synths, swaths of reverberating drums, and a serendipitous melody that makes you feel like everything might just be alright. We’re catching onto Mishegas early, but there’s no stopping him if more tunes like “Home” are on the way.


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YOKE LORE – SAFETY

What do you get when you put a little bit of banjo into electronica? YOKE LORE. At first glance of that sentence, it may seem like a silly combination, but “SAFETY” has proven it can work, and very well at that. The group vocals chant harmoniously along with a strumming banjo, thumping kicks, and resounding synths that culminate into something extremely unique. This is one tune you’ll just have to listen to to believe. Grab their EP here!


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Saturday Selection Vol. 5

Saturday Selection

Hopefully you weren’t living under a rock this week, because it was a new music Friday for the books. We were lucky to get some HUGE albums, plentiful surprises, and a collection of music that continues to make the case for 2016 being a great year when it comes to quality releases. Even with all of these stellar projects, there’s plenty of gems to be found, and we’ve got some wonderful tunes primed and ready for you today. Enjoy!


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Jai Wolf – Drive (feat. Chain Gang of 1974)

Jai Wolf has come a long way since No Pets Allowed, and watching his rapid ascent to success has been quite the trip to say the least. Since his recent foray into original material with Indian Summer, he’s shifted to creating songs that make you feel like you could just jump and fly away whenever you want. “Drive” is his wonderful second original offering and it exists as a dreamy counterpart to Indian Summer, stacked from top to bottom with breathtaking production and effervescent vocals from The Chain Gang of 1974. In short, it’s miraculous. The Foreign Family Collective continues its winning streak with “Drive,” and we’re all better off because of it.


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Slow Shudder – Call You Back

A timely repost on SoundCloud can be an awesome thing, and, thanks to AObeats, we were given the opportunity to hear the debut tune from London’s own Slow Shudder. She’s already on to something with “Call You Back.” She effortlessly delivers each verse with her lofty and light voice before the tune quickly turns to a combination of club kick patterns, fluttering synths, and chirpy vocal chops that exhibits a level hand and production standard of more established artists before her. “Call You Back” is a strong statement to start with, and now we’re certainly ready to hear more from Slow Shudder.


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Annabel Jones – Happy

You know good pop when you hear it. It isn’t hard to decipher. However, Annabel Jones makes something better than just good pop music. “Happy” proves it. Something about her delivery and soothing voice meshes well with any and all production, even the unpredictable instrumentation of this newest tune. Juggling angelic synths and almost PC Music-esque elements, “Happy” manages to completely change course multiple times in only four minutes, but the cohesiveness is maintained throughout. When it comes to following up a huge hit like IOU, it can be a difficult time, but Annabel Jones didn’t have any trouble at all creating a sweet new single for all of us to enjoy. Grab her debut EP on iTunes here!


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Thalab – Wreck

Everything about this Thalab song is gorgeous. This is the sort of crazy and beautiful result you get when you smash together the best of electronica, alternative, folk, and even a little soul. The sound design is second to none, and the spacious atmosphere created manages to also stay grounded because of the tactful use of acoustic guitar juxtaposed with careening and lush synths. We’ll be the first to admit we aren’t entirely familiar with many producers from Spain, but these Barcelona natives have managed to pique our curiosity into expanding our exploration into a more international approach. End your day on the perfect note with this one.


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Commandeur – Wasted (Ardency Remix)

We love Ardency. They’ve pulled together a reputable collection of remixes and a handful of originals, and their latest project stems from the former. Fun Fact: Commandeur is the side project of the drummer from the great Australian band Panama, and this duo snagged a chance to give their own spin on his tune “Wasted.” There’s a classic, almost revamped 80’s edge to Ardency’s production that makes for an emotional rollercoaster on certain occasions, and this is absolutely one of times. It’s hard to deny the power of an electronic pop tune like this, and Ardency prides themselves on demonstrating their abilities in reshaping an older sound into something fresh and new. Do yourself a favor and snag the free download their remix here.


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Saturday Selection Vol. 4

Saturday Selection

Hopefully the April showers are finally over, because we’re desperately in need of some nice spring weather. A lot of the time, music shifts with the seasons, and we’ve got a few tunes for you this week to mark the change that’s underway. Enjoy!


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Pat Lok – You Street

Pat Lok straight up rocks. He’s been an ace producer of infectious house tunes for a while now, and his collection of remixes speaks volumes with its success so far. The latest tune he’s dropped on us is a funky original, teeming with smooth synths and rocking percussion that could easily become a staple in your poolside playlist during the months ahead. There’s no shortage of grooving with Pat Lok, and “You Street” is a great example of that.


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Klangstof – Island

It’s a moot point by now, but Mind of a Genius continues to push some of the best music. Their most recent signing, Klangstof, has finally followed up their debut tune with the ethereal beauty of “Island.” Something about this group is inherently magical, and their tunes help you to escape to a better place. The entire six and a half minutes of this song is absolutely immersive and spectacular. Don’t miss out their other recent release, “Amansworld,” either.


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Kultur – White Door (Ft. Khary)

Shifting from his normal ambience, Kultur delivers a slick hip-hop tune featuring vocals from Khary. Hopefully there’s more of this in store from Kultur, because it works for him. Whether you’re entirely familiar with his normal material or not, “White Door” already is a standout for the French producer. He prides himself on mainly emotional pieces of work, but this new tune just feels fun and is an intriguing switch-up. It’s no secret that there’s a large amount of talented producers hailing from France, and Kultur is upholding his end of the deal big time.


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Elohim – Sensations

Every new Elohim tune gets us more and more excited for her debut EP due out on May 20th. Even with an abundance of synth-pop artists out there, Elohim has continued to make her mark over the last year with stunning songs and an alluring, mysterious presence. “Sensations” feels more jubilant than most of her previous tunes, and it’s easy to see how she has been able to garner her popularity with ditties like this. She’s captivating, and we’re fidgeting in our seats just thinking about her debut project on the way.


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pools – summer sunday (sisasa remix)

SISASA is in no hurry to be anywhere based on the relaxing tunes we’ve heard. Each of the three songs released so far is wrapped in a tranquil and simple atmosphere, and, somehow, SISASA has managed to transform pools into an an even more serene invention. Complexity and technicality is always appreciated, but constructing a minimal melody and altering a sample in such a way that SISASA has takes a specific and careful type of production that can easily be disregarded. This works though. And it works well. End your day right with this one.


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[TMN Exclusive Interview] TMN Talks ‘Life of Pause’, Time Traveling & More with Wild Nothing’s Jack Tatum

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Wild Nothing
TMN Exclusive Interview + A Woman's WIsdom (Official SIngle)

Few people are able to conjure up such a visceral response through their artistic medium as multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and chief architect behind one of the most lauded music projects over the last decade as has the L.A. via Blacksburg, VA (and a few cities in between) Wild Nothing frontman Jack Tatum. Clearly a pensive and grounded artiste, Tatum’s abundant knowledge of music pours throug Wild Nothing’s pop-structured, but genre-eschewing catalog. Tatum and Wild Nothing’s sound has always toyed between abstract and direct, which has resulted in some of the most velvety, lush indie-pop tunes we’ve ever exposed our cochlear cavities to.

Last week, jut ahead of the start of Wild Nothing’s current international tour, we had the chance to catch up with Jack and see what’s been going on since the release of Life of Pause and ahead of yet another hefty jaunt across the world. Check out our show preview for Wild Nothing’s upcoming Red Bull Sound Select Showcase in Denver this Saturday with Inner Oceans & Flaural at the Bluebird Theater, and be sure to read our entire transcript below.

The Music Ninja (TMN): First off, let’s just take a second to thank you for taking the time to let us pick your brain and answer a couple of questions.

JT: Absolutely.

TMN: I’ve been a very vocal Wild Nothing consumer since your excellent 2010 debut, Gemini, and this past February you added another worthy addition to the Wild Nothing long-player catalog with Life of Pause which was the follow-up to perhaps my favorite album in the last 5 years, Nocturne. So, another thanks is in order for consistently creating some of the most tasteful sounds we’ve consumed in the past decade. So let’s get into it.

Jack Tatum (JT): Wow, yeah, thank you, for those very kind words.

TMN: Obviously an artist can undergo quite a sea-change as far as personal tastes and aesthetic go in a 7-year period; and with every passing release it seems like another piece of your psyche gets revealed both aurally and stylistically. We know you’ve probably answered this more than a few times on this latest round of press obligations, but were there any significant events going on in your life that sparked this burst of creativity and some of the material on Life of Pause, or was the writing and recording process pretty similar compared to your other EP’s & LP’s?

JT: Ummm… I don’t know. Not necessarily. I don’t know, for the sake of not making myself sound too boring…

TMN: Hahaha not at all.

JT: I’ve never really been someone that wrote kind of in response to any one sort of scenario or event in my life. I guess you could kind of say with the first record (Gemini) it definitely was very much a response to the relationship I was in at the time. And it’s, you know, a very mood based record… A very sort… of I don’t know how exactly I would describe it. But, as I’ve continued to write, I’ve found that I don’t necessarily need a spark to start writing. I think especially as I’ve gotten older I have been equally writing from experience as I am just to write and out of interest, or just purely composition, or trying to achieve a certain kind of sound, or something like that. But, yeah, I put out Nocturne in 2012 and then had the Empty Estate EP in 2013. And that EP in a way was kind of a response to Nocturne, just because we had been touring on Nocturne for so long…

Continue reading

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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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