Every so often, with the amount of quality music being pushed out every day throughout the world, an incredible track can unfortunately slide right under our nose for weeks at a time. Such was the case in regards to brooding avant-pop troupe Rose Quartz and their latest single “Leaving Now”. “Leaving Now” marks a slightly darker departure in tone from the bubblier chillwave aesthetic that has come to attach itself to the Rose Quartz brand; oozing an air of sophisticated sensuality and soul that we haven’t fully had the chance to experience yet as listeners of the artists formerly known as FLASH/LIGHTS. Lead vocalist Ethan Converse’s sultry croon and directed songwriting carries more weight than ever, fully justifying the band’s recent expansion from a two-piece into a full-fledged live quartet, while the tune’s subdued analog instrumentation plays slightly closer to dancefloors and nearer to our hearts in the process. As Rose Quartz prepares for their first EP release, Axis of Love, since March’s Flashlights -itself a brief collection of singles recorded under the moniker- they’ve also been prepping a US tour through March which you can check out the dates for below. We’ve been leaning on “Leaving Now” for our Rose Quartz fix until the January 6th release of Axis of Love, and you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll keep you up to date before then.
12/31 – Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge NYE
02/04 – Phoenix, AZ – The Crescent Ballroom #
02/05 – Pioneer Town, CA – Pappy and Harriet’s #
02/06 – San Diego, CA – Casbah #
02/07 – Santa Barbara, CA – SoHo Music Club #
02/09 – El Paso, TX – Lowbrow Place #
02/10 – San Antonio, TX – Limelight #
02/11 – Austin, TX – The Parish #
03/05-07 – Savannah, GA – Savannah Stopover Music Festival
# = w/ Generationals
There’s nothing quite like a complete, polished, subduing and intoxicating release to soothe out our days here at TMN. Alas, Toronto based chameleon producer Coleman Hell has touched down with a debut extended play, VENA. A suffuse collection of warm, synth soaked pop gems, VENA lifts off with “Venezuela”; itself a low-end pushing, falsetto fueled anthem which more than establishes an air of sophisticated fluency and thought out instrumentation for the five track EP’s duration. Its sophomore entry, “Heat of the Night” may very well be the crown jewel of Coleman Hell’s debut opus. Hell’s breathy, raspy reverberations drive much of VENA, but his vocal work on “Heat of the Night” reaches its warm hand into our soul like only a lover could.
The EP’s midpoint, “Fortress” rides a hand plucked electric bassline, soulful incantations and clicky percussive elements to serve as the superlative break before segueing into a slightly more upbeat groover, “All the Monsters”. Coleman Hell’s clearly been around a DJ set or two as well, with an impeccable arrangement of tunes serving as a welcome storyline to the VENA saga. “Monsters” wonderfully brings its listener to Summer rooftop parties with its feelgood production, leaning on a loopy lead synth to serve as a driving focal point for not just itself but the EP as a whole. “Red Rover”, which features a lovely vocal contribution from his fellow Sideways crew member La+ch closes the 20 minute sonic excursion with a bullet. And while the saxophone may have been a bit overdrawn in dance music over the last couple years, Coleman Hell brilliantly drops an arpeggiated alto-sax melody amongst a sea of soft synthesizers to balance each aural aspect with the careful precision of a brain surgeon.
Already with an acclaimed mixtape, Stark Raving, and now a worthy EP entry into the Coleman Hell catalog, his debut full length is currently being prepped, rinsed and scoured for an early 2015 release; which quite honestly we can’t wait for. Hell’s sticky blend of pop accessibility and worldy wise production structures have our interest piqued almost more than any other new artist at the tail end of 2014. Watch for more new music from Coleman Hell here on TMN and stream VENA in its entirety below.
College feat. Nola Wren
Save the Day
If there’s one phrase to NOT describe your trusty Music Ninjas with, we would have to pick stingy. Which is why it just wouldn’t be a normal week at TMN without some sort of free swag for our astute readers to try their hands. Avant-Pop players College, who most notably added their Electric Youth collaboration “A Real Hero” to the Ryan Gosling lead Drive soundtrack, and most recently released the Nola Wren featuring “Save The Day” (which you can stream above) bring their live show to Denver’s Larimer Lounge this Saturday, December 6. We’re buzzing about this one heading into the weekend, and it just wouldn’t be the same without having a couple more of our friends there as well. Entering is simple, just “like” The Music Ninja Facebook page (if you haven’t already), and enter your e-mail address in our widget below.
There are a few rules, of course:
- The event is all ages (16+) so tell your friends!
- You are responsible for your own transportation.
- You must bring a valid form of ID to pick up your tickets at the Lost Lake door.
-You must find a TMN representative and let them buy you a shot (or soda for our under-agers)
For the rest of our friends in North America, check out the rest of College’s current tour dates below.
12-4-14: MINNEAPOLIS (US) – Entry
12-6-14: DENVER (US) – Larimer Lounge
12-7-14: SALT LAKE CITY (US) – Kilby
12-9-14: SEATTLE (US) – Neumos
12-10-14: PORTLAND (US) – Dougfir
12-12-14: SAN FRANCISCO (US) – Rickshaw
12-13-14: LOS ANGELES (US) – Roxy
12-14-14: SAN DIEGO (US) – Casbah
Empire Of The Sun
Wandering Star (Dumb and Dumber To Official Soundtrack)
Well, this was a little unexpected. Who could have foreseen Empire Of The Sun creating original material for the Dumb and Dumber To soundtrack? Though this track has been out for nearly a month, it somehow slipped past our radars until the band uploaded it to their SoundCloud page last night (forgive us for not paying much attention to that film’s music lineup). Like many of their memorable releases, “Wandering Star” makes for an unforgettable ride, full of magical synths and rhythmic kickdrums that’ll instantly get your toes tapping. It’s as addicting a listen as we’ve heard in awhile, and is bound to be a staple in our playlists well into 2015.
Just the other day, I was randomly listening to some songs from Shrines and found myself thinking it had been way too long since I’d heard anything new from Purity Ring. Well, just as luck would have it, it seems my wishes were finally granted as the band have just released their first original single since 2012. Despite the long hiatus, the group haven’t lost a step at all, and it’s pretty evident they’ve been hard at work over the last two years. ”Push Pull” is just as wonderful as you’d imagine: delicate, yet explosive with a touch of anguish found in Megan James‘ vocals. We’re pretty thrilled with the results, and can barely contain our excitement for the duo’s upcoming sophomore effort. Stream the tune below.
Our hands our numb. Our noses are red and chapped. Our feet are immediately rejected by our significant others in bed. Our ears are surprisingly warm though, and we have indie chanteur Lyon Hart to thank for that.
Riding in on a heatwave with his debut single, “The Sign,” this newcomer has teamed up with seasoned production vet Mickey Valen (Noosa, AYER, EVVY) on today’s premiere. This 80′s inspired synth pop tune is incandescent, buzzing and popping in all the best ways. Harnessing light, tropical synths and a ear-caressing bassline, “The Sign” is truly a sign of good things to come. One listen through those glorious vocals will have you shedding layers in approval, even if it does seem like we’re in the middle of an arctic tundra at the moment.
This tune follows up an original with Elephante, “Shake the Earth,” which garnered tremendous success from the blogosphere and Spotify alike. Post-debut, you can expect to see this cat on the upcoming Noosa album, as well as on a few tracks with some of EDM’s best.
Wildest Promise feat. Valair
It’s easy to understand why we have some of the gifts we’ve been blessed with. All we need to do is take a peek into our family lineage to see what some of our ancestors excelled in before we easily understand how these things came to be. Valair is no different, following in the footsteps of one of his uncles who has been a part of an established accapella vocal group for years.
With influences and a heritage-based talent pool as mentioned before, it’s not hard to see how this 19 year old Belgium-born vocalist has had a heavy interest in music through the years. From the early days playing trumpet, to joining a choir at six, this youngster has had the music bug bothering him for quite some time.
Teamed up with the newly founded producer, songwriter and sketch artist Schulkid, these two have crafted quite the whimsical journey, rife with classical strings, horns, and a funky bassline. Instantly creating a charismatic musical connection, “Wildest Promise” shows a breadth in creativity between these two, showcasing the antithesis of pop-structured which ultimately provides the listener with something quirky and unique.
A few listens through, and we’ll sure you’ll agree that Valair’s soulful vocals and the delightful orchestral and tribally infused electro pop production from Schulkid leave us asking one thing – when can we hear more?