L.A. based alt-pop songstress Nite Jewel and modern-funk musician, vocalist and producer Dâm-Funk have teamed up more than a few times over the trajectory of their respective careers; even securing a smidgen of virality with their single “I Know You’re the One”, and have once again combined forces as NITE-FUNK for brand new single “Can U Read Me”. Once upon a time, the sometimes duo was even close to releasing an entire EP’s worth of music, but as their arcs have swirled in different direction since then, we’ll have to settle for their one-off singles. Which, as long as we’re still getting tunes from the unlikely pairing, we don’t entirely mind. “Can U Read Me” pulls from both Nite Jewel and Dâm-Funk’s sonic psyche, ambling out of the gates with washed out pads and some Nite Jewel appropriated bass before unveiling its percussive core as a funk-tipping two-step progression before giving into the pair’s hooking vocals. “Can U Read Me” is a lovely piece of Neo-Soul, modern funk and avant-pop that we’ve not stopped grooving to this morning. Let’s get into the weekend spirit with some NITE-FUNK above.
For years now, and largely on the low, Chicago native Gilligan Moss has been producing left-field house music and elegantly off-kilter electronic pop. Much to our chagrin, this is unfortunately our first post covering the now New York based producer, but in reality Moss’ latest EP, Ceremonial, is his official debut. The vibrantly technicolor extended-play, which dropped just a few weeks back on the independently-minded London imprint AMF Records, touches its wings down on a number of aural aesthetics, but it was the EP’s closing tune, “Stasis” which came across as the perfect Hump Day prescription.
Hopping out of the gates with a rolling arpeggiated synth, clicky percussion and a light dose of grand piano, “Stasis” chases down a synth-pop prognosis and smashes it to bits with hints of a sensible psych influence and club-first house foundation. Gilligan Moss treats his vocal just as craftily as well, cutting and looping effortlessly through hazy and delicate incantations that sound somewhere between Sean Ryder‘s most indulgent bellows and the Macintosh computer SimpleText application used on OK Computer’s “Fitter Happier”. Just beautiful stuff to our Ninja ears really. For a real taste of Moss’ range, don’t skip on the rest of Ceremonial either, to get a much clearer grasp as to why mainstream source’s like NME nabbed the burgeoning producer in an August edition of “Radar New Act Of The Week”. Let’s start unwinding our Wednesday with a little Gilligan Moss.
In the short time we’ve had to become acquainted with South Central LA’s preeminent voice of indie-pop Autumn In June, it’s safe to say we’ve become slightly enamored with just about every facet of his fascinating essence. First landing with us back in April on our premiere of layered indie-pop single “Hours”, and again in July on our always stellar Indie Dojo playlist with today’s focus, “HEROin Kidz”; Autumn In June’s unique and street-wise take on pop structuring has stirred up something beautiful within us. This morning, the young artist got with yours truly at TMN to premiere his latest stunning visual pairing to the aforementioned “HEROin Kidz”, which like its aural counterpart features some rather heavy content. Depicted in a shapeshifting and haunting neon violet and crimson ambience, Autumn In June’s video cuts between intimate shots of downcast drug and alcohol use through multiple subjects including powerful vocal highlights of the artist himself; which much like AIJ’s music offers a beautiful and rather jovial lens to consume some rather brooding composition.
If you’re in the workplace today, you might want to save Autumn In June’s “HEROin Kidz” for home as it features a dose of nudity and some graphic drug use, but we trust you and think you’ll be quite glad you did. Stream the entire music video before anyone else below.
The City of Angels continues to prove itself as one the top, if not the top, place for up-and-coming musicians. Yes, some will argue that Seattle and NYC deserve the top spot, but it’s nearly every day we come across an uber talented, attention-grabbing artist from Los Angeles. And, today continues to confirm our unscientific hypothesis, as we showcase a first listen through Motion Cntrl’s debut EP.
This synth-heavy duo garnered an appreciative nod from the blogosphere with their first single from their self-titled EP. “It’s On You” racked up a sizable amount of plays, and it’s not hard to hear why. An immediate comparison to The XX comes to mind when enjoying this artfully crafted tune, drawing on those associations with the synth-led, female/male lead singer duo. Their casual harmonies flirt perfectly with alternating verses from each of the lead singers, coming together in an extremely memorable and infectious manner.
Prior to “It’s On You,” fans can enjoy “Heavy Loss,” which kicks off this seven-song journey. Taking some time to build, it eventually draws them in with a flirtation, uptempo beat and warm, fluttering synths. Following that, tracks like “Messenger” and “Say When” highlight the duo’s softer side, boasting calming, lush, and textural soundscapes that pair perfectly with the subdued, filtered vocals.
We’re fortunate enough to bring you a full, top-to-bottom listen of this impressive EP before it’s released to the public. So, throw your headphones on, press play, and get ready to get lost in everything that is Motion Cntrl.
Did you just do a double take? We know we did when we first glanced upon MUTEMATH in a newly released song. But, when we clicked play, we were immediately rushed with a wave of nostalgic emotions from those late-night, headphone-adorned listening sessions close to a decade ago. In fact, after one listen through “Monument,” we immediately went back and relived hits like “Control,” “Typical,” and “Blood Pressure.”
“Monument” is the first release in quite some time from Grammy-nominated alternative rock band MUTEMATH, and what a return it is. Yes, the style has changed slightly from that of the aforementioned and quite adored songs, but the underlying nature of this storied NoLa band is very much there. Heavily rooted in glowing synths and upbeat percussion, this newly-released tune still has that classic anthemic nature that we’ve come to love over the years.
While citing bands like Steely Dan and The Police, we can’t help but hear associations of current electro-pop acts (ahem, Phoenix) coming through in their highly-engaging tune. It’s warm, shimmering and leaves listeners clamoring to hit repeat, over and over again.
Expect this tune and more on their upcoming album, out in late 2015. There’s also an accompanying tour, but it is literally sold out, top-to-bottom.
It’s so easy to fall into a funk. Nothing goes right, nothing feels right, and when its REALLY bad, nothing even sounds right. It’s horrible. But it doesn’t have to be that way forever. When you are down in the dumps, it never hurts to call on some of your friends or even better…an Indie Dojo. Cause, we’ll be here. In good music and in bad. You’ve got a ninja.
While many synth based pop structures seem to produce a bevy of sunnier, joy inducing sounds; it is the darkest, murkiest corners of the genre which constantly draw this writer’s attention. With acts like Black Marble, Gang Signs, Young Prisms and Craft Spells consuming the majority of my limited ‘pleasure listening’ time; the unlikely duo of Brooklyn-based singer Ruth Mirsky and Norwegian-based producer Mads Martinsen known better as The Familiar -who by the way have never actually sat in the same room to make music- have earwormed themselves deeply into heavy rotation around the TMN pool. With a haunting cover of Hozier’s “Take Me To Church”, and a stellar debut EP Rooms most recently pacing the pair’s current ascension into alt-pop circles the world over; The Familiar’s latest single “Patience” dives into more personal territory. Mirsky weaves a vocal-central aesthetic through a plea for patience to her lover over Martinsen’s pulsating, synth-driven beat and rhythmic, foggy pop hooks for a tune that swallowed us up from our first listen. The Familiar’s deft yet subtle use of rolling staccato synths played off a lush set of vocal reverberations also has us drawing up comparisons from the gloomiest of Kavinsky tunes to College’s wonderful Heritage LP and even a touch of Johnny Jewel laden synthetica. And in case you weren’t aware, those are all very lofty associations. Hop on The Familiar wagon with “Patience” before literally anyone else on behalf of a TMN premiere above.