After hearing the spunky “Birth In Reverse” and “Digital Witness,” we thought we had a sense of exactly what expect from St. Vincent‘s latest album. “Prince Johnny” however, completely bucks the trend, opting for a much softer, wistful sound akin to previous efforts like “Strange Mercy.” While we appreciate the eccentricity of her first two singles, it’s in songs like these where we can truly find solace, as Annie’s drifting vocals weave a tale over simple guitar riffs and mellow drums. This might be our favorite song from the album so far, and lucky enough for us, those who pre-order the album on iTunes can get free download of the track as well.
Submarine Eyes [Radio Edit]
Sometimes I have to shake my head when I see what some of the world’s youth is up to. No, I’m not talking about the disappointing wonderment of seeing “Teen Mom” on my cable’s navigation, I’m talking about the ones who are doing it right. 19-year-old Steven Barker, better known as Mirror Signal, is one of those kids I admire.
This Nigeria-born, Suffolk-raised songwriters went from acoustics to Macbooks, perfecting his luscious, soulful sound in his bedroom. Meticulously crafting his debut EP, he developed a sound that’s been compared to the likes of James Blake, Jai Paul, and Sampha. Fast forwarding months of fan adoration, some live shows, and a ton of blogosphere attention; we’re now presented a brand new tune, “Submarine Eyes”
The tune is dripping with sensuality, percolating with a break-beat style percussion, sparingly used, accentuating synths and a urbane bassline. While the electro infused sound is remarkable, the true star of “Submarine Eyes” is the sharp and cunning lyrics, which seemingly fuse together with the instrumentals in a delicious harmony.
We’ve admittedly never heard of this self proclaimed “Smoooooooooooth” Encinitas-born three piece, but after one listen to Mandarin Dynasty’s “Perpendicular Crosstalk,” we’re ready to put them in our road trip playlist posthaste.
What starts off as a noisy build up, masking the laid-back nature of the tune, breaks into a bevy of quickly strummed, south of the border style acoustic guitar. Welcoming in a delightfully rough around the edges harmony, the vocals aren’t as sunny as the sound would indicate, yet it still has a sweet, summer-time vibe that has us grinning ear to ear.
Boasting a simplistic, yet infectious nature, we’re sure you’ll be into this gem. Press play above and see for yourself.
Days (Paul Gilmore Remix)
We’ve become obsessed with Austrian producer Paul Gilmore‘s remix of Lucia‘s crooning single “Days”, so it was high time we were able to share this entrancing piece of dance music with you Ninjas. The rework pushes off simply enough with a lightly plucked acoustic guitar progression and a bit of clicky percussion, while slowly strengthening its base through a deep, pounding bass kick. After the ambient intro settles itself into its hypnotic groove, we’re hit with a bouncy lead synth line which flits along aerially, giving off the same effect a layer of icing gives to a birthday cake. Furthermore, Lucia’s incantations are stained with exactly the necessary amount of reverb as we’re treated to the vocal track in its entirety; but those borderline pleas of “Never Listen” which echo as a chorus of sorts, make us want to do the exact opposite and just keep on listening. This was the consummate choice to pair with the frigid weather in our home offices, as atmospherically it matches superbly well, but also got us shaking our Ninja hips for some added warmth while we are at our desks. Download yourself a digital copy via dropify while you’re here, we promise you won’t be remotely disappointed.
Half About Being a Woman
Live (89.3 The Current, Caravan Du Nord)
The incredibly talented Caroline Smith will be kicking off a lengthy U.S. tour this Friday at one of our favorite rock bars in the Mile-High City (wow, does that name carry a different significance nowadays), The Hi-Dive; on the heels of one of our favorite LP’s within the last year, Half About Being a Woman. Luckily the multi-faceted singer/songwriter was just as cool as her music, as we had the fortuitous chance to talk about her creative process, drink of choice while performing, Wayne Newton and a whole lot more. And for our friends residing in Denver, if you missed our show preview, which came complete with a free ticket giveaway, it’s not too late to enter here. Read the entire transcript below.
The Music Ninja: We caught you at the beginning of quite the ambitious U.S. tour, including some pretty big markets like Boston and Philly. Are there any specific cities or venues that you’re excited to be playing on this jaunt?
Caroline Smith: I’m always excited to play New York. We have quite a few fans there and I love to pretend that I live there, even just for a day. I’ve been obsessed with living in NYC since Sex and The City was airing season 3 (le saison d’Aiden). That would have made me in 6th grade. I never got to move there, hopefully someday, so I feel extremely fortunate that I have a career that brings me to Manhattan a few times a year and it’s always something I look forward to.
TMN: You’ve played in Denver before with The Good Night Sleeps in 2012. How is your view of Denver’s budding music scene in comparison to the last time you had the chance to play the Mile High?
CS: Well, our label/management is out of Denver so I feel like Denver is kind of a second home to us- I mean, I practically dial 303 into my phone every day. The boys and I have always loved Denver and we have a lot of really close friends there, just from playing amazing spots like Leon Art Gallery. It’s weird to me that we don’t play Denver more! So I’m super pumped to get back and be a part of the music scene. Hopefully we won’t be away for another 2 years!
Finish our interview with Caroline Smith after the jump!
Do you believe in “Magic?” If you’re a skeptic, then it might be time to hop in a time machine with Vic Mensa and Smoko Ono as they take a psychedelic trip back to the early 90’s in the visuals for this Chicago house inspired remix. Cutting out the verses completely from the Innanetape original, we’re instead left with a revitalized tune that’s dripping with entrancing melodies and infectious rhythms. Old school vibes are abound as well, as flush bright neons bombard the screen throughout the trippy visuals. Let the nostalgia take over as you peep the video below, and stay tuned for Smoko’s upcoming Slackin-N-Mackin EP, set to release later this year.
London based pop trio Years & Years, comprised of Olly, Michael, and Emre have one of those sounds that are never gonna let you know. While this may be the first time you’re hearing of them, we can assure you that they’ll stick in your mind like your high school crush.
“Real,” which we posted last month, makes itself known by focusing on the vocals, which are comprised of intensely emotional-rich lyrics. The tune as a whole is not overdone, simply driven by accentuating the heart-felt message. Founded on a percussion based backbone, and a somewhat groovy bassline, this Kitsune backed indie pop gem is due out on the 17th of this month.
The video just dropped recently for this blogosphere favorite, which can be seen below. You may recognize a few cameos, as Ben Wishaw (Skyfall, I’m Not There) and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Utopia, Misfits) make their way into the mix.