[Hip-Hop] Earl Sweatshirt – Sunday (Feat. Frank Ocean)

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Earl Sweatshirt
Sunday (Feat. Frank Ocean)

The Earl Sweatshirt leaks continue to pour in as we ready ourselves for the release of his debut album, Doris, early next week. I had to blink twice as I wrote that last sentence, because it seems like Earl’s been a staple in our rotation for awhile now. That tells you just about everything you need to know about how talented he really is. Joining him on his latest effort is Odd Future running mate, Frank Ocean. While we all know and love Frank for his pristine vocal chords, he seizes this opportunity to get a few thoughts off his chest. Perfect for a “Sunday,” right?

What I appreciate about Frank is that while he does have bars, he doesn’t take every opportunity to try and shove his rap skills down our throats (unlike certain other artists who he may or may not be taking shots at during his verse); his entire process feels organic, and perhaps even a little cathartic. At the end of the day though, he knows when to stick to his strengths, which is why he’s such a brilliant artist. All that aside, “Sunday” is yet another stellar number to add to Earl’s collection. The anticipation is nearly suffocating us at this point, but with Doris right around the corner (August 20th), it looks like our patience will finally pay off. 

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[Indie Pop] WE ARE TWIN – The Way We Touch

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WE ARE TWIN
The Way We Touch

Who’s ready to get up and dance as if they were in the middle of an classic 80′s movie montage? This blogger, that’s who. All kidding aside, WE ARE TWIN just released this song hours ago, and we’re already wildly addicted. Soulful? Yes. Poppy? In all the best ways. This release is a perfect blend of a hip gyration inducing bassline, flirty guitar chords, and emotionally charged lyrics.

Take a gander at this one. We bet you can’t make it all the way through the entire track without at least bobbing your head. If you say otherwise, you’re clearly lying. We digress. This Germany-raised Sri Lankan multi-instrumentalist and producer Nicholas Balachandran and New York-born and bred singer songwriter Gabi Christine have the rest of their EP coming out next Tuesday. You best be on the lookout for this one.

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[Pop Rock] Lorde – Royal (American Authors Cover)

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American Authors
Royals Cover

Brooklyn based pop rock band American Authors recently put their spin on the mega hit from Lorde, “Royals”. Gone is the large haunting bass drum, and in it’s place is hand clapping, simplistic guitar, and banjo picking. Yeah, these boys took on a giant of a song and they nailed it. The playful harmonies and laid back approach give the tune a whole new feel, while still giving you plenty to attach yourself to the original.

Make sure to look out for American Author’s debut EP, which is due out August 27th.

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[Remix] Phoenix – Trying To Be Cool (Feat. R. Kelly)

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Phoenix
Trying To Be Cool feat. R Kelly

After joining forces together at Coachella, we knew it was only time before something substantial came out of a pairing between R. Kelly and Phoenix. While we would have settled for an official recording of their mashup of “1901” and “Ignition (Remix),” this might be an even better prize. The Bankrupt! single makes the transformation from a song that was “Trying To Be Cool” to one that truly is with Kels now featured on the track. It’s not like the original was a slouch, but anytime you add R. Kelly into the mix, you automatically bump yourself up a few notches on the “coolness” meter. Just ask Aziz Ansari. Stream the single above, and make sure to grab yourself a copy. This one’s definitely a must have.

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[NEW] Eminem – Survival (Feat. Liz Rodrigues)

Eminem - Survival
Eminem
Survival

It has been a minute since we were last graced with some new words from the Detroit spitter, Eminem. Although there has been a feature here and there, Em has not dropped any new solo material-until today. After teasing a new track via a commercial for the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts video game earlier today, a full version of his latest cut, “Survival,” was released shortly after. The DJ Khalil produced single finds the legend dropping some aggressive rhymes over a heavy guitar-ripped beat. Complete with Liz Rodrigues on vocals and the hook, this rock anthem about fighting back compliments the gritty vibe of the highly-anticipated game. The track is not an official single from Em’s upcoming full length, dropping later this year.

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[Indie] Malpas – Charlemagne

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MALPAS
Charlemagne

Where beauty meets the beats, this sparkling new track from Malpas is the love child of a lustful honeyed vocal set upon a heavily textured backdrop of mechanical beats, synth-laden pop and a myriad of dreamy nu-gaze soundscapes. There’s no collision in this seemingly effortless collaboration, cultivated by songwriter Ali Forbes and producer Andy Savours (My Bloody Valentine fans insert nod here).

“Charlemagne” fuses acoustic electronica and mechanical drum beats with a contemplative and melodic vocal. Their roles interchange throughout: the voice being both the spine and heart of this track, carrying waves of regretful nostalgia, whilst remaining sincere in its sentiments. Meanwhile the versatile backdrop acts as an industrial support and a sound-shifting chameleon whose composition alters. The product is a beautifully reliant and seamlessly blended structure, in which one can’t exist as strongly without the other component.

Charlemagne has a wide frame of reference in regard to its influences, and its output is demonstrative of clearly competent and fresh composers. It’d be reductive to continue outlining the attributes that produced this triumph, but let’s just say the outcome is impeccable.

Charlemagne is first in line for release from the EP Promise. 23rd September- Killing Moon.

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[Hip-Hop] Lupe Fiasco – #DopeFrancis (American Trap)

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Lupe Fiasco
#DopeFrancis (American Trap)

We knew it was only a matter of time before Kendrick Lamar‘s verse from “Control” elicited some responses. After calling out just about every emcee in the game, it made sense that other rappers would take offense to Kendrick’s words. One such artist who wasn’t mentioned, garnered some attention late last night through his Twitter account. That artist would be Lupe Fiasco (his tweets have become private, but the backlash is just as widespread as before). After going on quite the tirade, and impersonating a few rappers by ghostwriting their responses along the way, fans were clamoring for Lupe to pen a comeback of his own. Finally, it seems as if he listened…well, sort of.

While “#DopeFrancis” (seriously, hashtagged song titles need to die) isn’t exactly a direct response, it does allow Lupe to put his skills on display. If we’re assuming this was conceived over the past 24 hours, then it’s a pretty impressive track, coupling themes of drug abuse with religion almost seamlessly. The song does sound fairly raw overall however, and I think it’s safe to say this is just a throwaway meant to prove that Lupe isn’t one to be slept on in the rap game.

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