Happy Hump Day, ninjas! With so much awesome new music coming out on the reg, we needed to find a way to provide you guys with ALL of it. Of course, it didn’t take us long to figure out how we could do this, especially with summer just around the corner. So, what better way to accomplish some massive music exposure than to provide you with a bit of musical motivation to help you guys achieve that summer bod? Beginning today, we will be providing you with our weekly Wednesday Workout playlist, jam-packed with music that will certainly get your adrenaline rushing and your body moving.
For this Ninja’s first time inside the Great American Music Hall, I can’t imagine a better first impression that what was left by Big Black Delta. The stage name of frequent M83 collaborator and Mellowdrone frontman Jonathan Bates, BBD impressed right from the jump. With stylistic and sonic similarities to some of the more recent Neon Indian works, Bates weaved together a dynamic setlist in his headlining slot.
Touring in promotion of his just released album – the first new album in three years – Bates gave attendees plenty of reason to continue supporting and following along his artistic journey. Trágame Tierra builds on his explosive electronic sound, pitting icy Scandinavian beats against acoustic instrumentation. Further, the influence of new wave and synth pop were dotted throughout Bates’ performance. Opening with the crowd pleasing “It’s Ok”, Bates kicked a lively performance into high gear. A steady use of vocal modifier throughout the night added a dynamic aspect to the lyricism, one that is unfortunately not present on the recorded version of Trágame Tierra. A lively rendition of “Kid Icarus” midway through was a personal highlight, containing the loud, catchy chorus that attracted me to BBD in the first place.
With another release and another tour under his belt, we can only expect BBD to rise to greater prominence; his work with the likes of Kimbra, Debbie Gibson and Brandon Flowers will only prove to help refine his nostalgia-inducing sound. Listeners who missed one of the 26 Big Black Delta stops this spring can cure their fomo by getting a copy of Trágame Tierra here and by following along with Bates’ journey and latest developments on his website.
TMN:Thanks for taking some time to sit down with us and for coming on board as our resident artist for this month. We’re stoked to feature you guys. Let’s talk about your latest EP, which is your second to date. Can fans expect what they’ve come to know and love, or are you guys switching things up at all?
Ben: I feel like it’s sort of both. I feel like we’ve never really stayed the same, as an artist. So, I feel like they’re expecting something different.
Dylan: It definitely sounds like us, but no song really sounds the same. So, it will be a good variety of new, better sounding stuff.
TMN: You’re also doing a tour in support of the EP, hitting up a few east coast and a few west coast spots. In three words, tell fans what’s in store.
Dylan (higher): For the Kids.
TMN: You guys have a beautiful balance with your music. It’s chaotic, experimental, but all comes together in a highly addicting experience. How did you initially start out with this sound?
The first day coming off a 3 day weekend is never easy. It sucks actually. But, let’s focus on the positive. It’s a short week and it’s Tuesday. And what’s good about Tuesdays? Well, a brand new Indie Dojo of course. Hopefully, it will help ease in to the week a little easier.
As someone who regularly switches back and forth between dreamy indie rock and surging, progressive post-metal, PLAZA instantly found a place in my heart with only one trip through their latest offering. Without knowing much about these four, young lads, my first impression was that I was happily enjoying another group offering up 80s Dream Wave-influenced indie rock. However, “Blood Orange” offers up so much more than that.
If you haven’t heard of PLAZA just yet, don’t worry. You’re still coming on board pretty early, considering that they only have one release prior to today’s premiere. That one release did turn some heads, though, catching nods from BBC Radio 1, Radio X and Amazing Radio. So, it’s safe to say that you, and the rest of the music-loving world, will be hearing much more.
As mentioned above, “Blood Orange” goes beyond those swoon-inducing vocals and sonic, calculated guitar work. Intertwined with those hip-swaying, head-nodding verses you’ll find absolutely brilliant, frenetic bouts of energy worthy of a comparison to acts like Mogwai and Russian Circles.
If you’re feeling this tune and find yourself in one of the cities below, we highly recommend heading out and catching a live show. We know we would if it weren’t for the costly plane ticket and accommodations that it would require.
June 13th – Maguire’s Pizza Bar, LIVERPOOL
June 14th – The Victoria, LONDON
June 15th -Koh Tao, MANCHESTER
June 16th – The Rocking Chair, SHEFFIELD
June 17th – The Packhorse, LEEDS
June 18th – Westgarth Social Club, MIDDLESBOROUGH
June 23rd – Lisbon-Upon-Tyne, NEWCASTLE (Boat Party s/ Lisbon)
August 20th – The Water Rats, LONDON (AMBY Summer Showcase)
Following an impressive debut release, London-based Alt-folk singer/songwriter Amaroun continues to rouse tastemakers and music fans alike with another soulful offering. “Fear” released about a month ago and it’s as dreamy and powerful as the preceding “Bedbugs,” yet showcases another side to her developing musical persona. Gone are the wavering guitar chords and rolling percussion, and in their place, we’re embraced by layers of warm, buzzing synths. Though, as different as they are, each soundscape provides a completely unique, yet perfect backdrop for her pleasantly unconventional and highly addicting voice.
Today’s premiere brings a visual adaptation of “Fear,” which comes via Cardiff-based designer Jaron Lionel. Utilizing elements of Amaroun’s profile intertwined with creative animation breathes a completely different view of the track, leaving us completely entranced for the duration
If you’re feeling the combination of Amaroun’s unique vocals and animated story below, make sure you keep tabs on each and every new release. As they release throughout the coming months, they’ll be accompanied by an animated video, telling its story in an abstract fashion.
Long weekends are way more exciting than they should be. That’s alright though, because we’re back with more tunes from this week! And what a week it was. May has been an absolutely absurd month of quality releases. Let’s hope it stays this way for a while. Enjoy!
As life rushes around and flies by, stress can pile up without you even noticing. Take some time to alleviate it with the newest ambient tune from Brandon Locher. The warmth of “Slow Steps” juggles an ominous, yet comforting atmosphere with an orchestral presence to give the tune a movie score feel. You’ll feel immersed into a different world as soon as you hit play. Given the chance, that’s all we really want to do at a certain point, so enjoy this one when you’re feeling the need to hit the reset button after a long week.
Manila Killa has always managed to create music that instantly improves your day. Between Hotel Garuda and this solo project, he never loses his stride, and the Satica-featuring “Youth” adds another definitive tune to his arsenal. With so many variations of pop music, it gets a little strenuous to pin down an exact style for it, but we wouldn’t want to do that anyway. What we do know is the approach Manila Killa and Moving Castle are taking is equally accessible and compelling, marking a shift into a new wave of genre blending.
After what seemed like a long silence, EMBRZ returned to our SoundCloud feed five months ago with the beautiful “Home.” Now we have the equitably gorgeous “Breathe” gracing our ears. Shifting from his usual beat-driven and chilled-out creations, this Irish producer breaks out into his own take on deep house. There’s more to “Breath” than what that genre usually entails, and a major part of that lies with Pat Byrne’s vocals. Taking a path of four on the floor mixed with somber synths may be a switch up for EMBRZ, but he’s demonstrated that he can create something magnificent no matter the style.
Following up the massive hit that is “Blue Lights,” Jorja Smith is back with a reflective and soulful mindset. “Where Did I Go?” exercises restraint production-wise to allow Jorja’s vocals to serenade us into a calm demeanor while her lyrics express a sense of vulnerability coupled with contemplation. Without any hesitation, we can say that Jorja Smith deserves all of your attention and then some. Even with only two (known) songs released at the moment, enough statements have been made with this pair of stellar tunes to merit Jorja as a potential breakout artist for this year. We’ll just have to wait and see!
This remix gave us shivers. Not only from the already emotional Crywolf lyrics, but also from the careful and calculated transformation that Elénne was sure to masterfully orchestrate. “Cataclasm” was an amazing album from front to back, so reshaping and providing a new context for it is a tall order. Elénne is more than qualified to tackle “Slow Burn,” and we got this wonderful remix as a result. Whether or not you were planning on experiencing a cascade of feelings today, listening to this amazing rendition of Crywolf will do it to you. Enjoy that. It’s a good thing.