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Bear’s Den – Think of England

October 28, 2014

We’ve been high on Bear’s Den since they so graciously came onto the scene last year via their excellent Agape EP. And after another spectacular Without/Within EP released earlier on this year, this London-based trio wasted no time putting out what has become a highly anticipated debut record. Based on their already-impressive catalog, there weren’t many concerns on whether or not this record would live up to the hype, but to save you any suspense, it turned out absolutely as good as we had hoped. See for yourself on gorgeously uplifting tracks like “Think of England”, where the grand, trumpet-fueled finale is more than enough to get even the most casual listeners a bit emotional.

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Willow Beats – Chess

October 22, 2014

Our newest favorite addition to the already-booming Melbourne electronic scene is the uncle-niece duo known as Willow Beats. Their new water EP has got some compelling tracks on it, but none more so than that of “Chess”, where the surging bass and swirling apreggiated synth grooves flow seamlessly alongside Narayana Johnson’s enticing vocals. But what’s most impressive on this track is the creative use of percussion, featuring everything from water droplets to fluttering bird sounds to God knows what else. What we do know is that these two have got something quite special going with Willow Beats. And all that’s left to fully establish themselves in the Aussie electro scene and beyond is a debut LP which we

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can probably (and eagerly) expect sometime next year.

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PROM – Keeping Company

October 17, 2014

Often our favorite tracks end up being those acquired tastes that we were at some point on the fence about. But when it came to one of PROM’s new jams “Keeping Company”, it was evident right off the bat that this track was something special. They made a big splash a few weeks ago premiering their debut single “Flickers”, and now this Brooklyn duo is back with an equally impressive Keeping Company EP. And while the whole record is very solid, it’s the title track that we just can’t stop coming back to. It’s definitely their most chilled, downtempo track of the bunch, but it’s also clear with this amazing dream pop tune that they’ve proven themselves capable of conquering many different facets of the pop genre. And while we usually like to take our time in deciding what tracks will crack our “Best Of” list, it’s fair to say that newcomers PROM have a spot designated when the time comes to reveal our overall favorite tunes of 2014.

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Big K.R.I.T. – Cadillactica

October 15, 2014

It seems like there’s a never-ending debate about what classifies a good rap track. For some, it’s all about the verse. As long as it’s got a good flow and some nice rhyme schemes, it’s great. But, for me at least, the verse alone is never going to be enough in determining a rap track’s overall worth. It’s a shame to see a great verse get wasted on a song with no melody or instrumental value, and to me it seems like that’s more often the case than not with the rap genre lately. But a few times a year there’s a track that comes around that puts it’s all together perfectly. In the case of 2014, the honors go to Big K.R.I.T.’s “Cadillactica”. This jam has all the right moves to be one of the best rap tracks of the year, but perhaps most impressive is the way Big K.R.I.T. flows so smoothly from one bar to the next. And while we’ve always known him to be a solid rapper, this new track is bound to elevate this Mississippi-based act to the far upper echelons of the rap game.

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Light Club – Get You Out

October 14, 2014

Light Club, whom we’re just discovering as of this morning, is a one man indie pop project out of Portland. His sound can be characterized by a combination of dreamy synths and some seriously infectious guitar melodies. And for a debut EP this is one extremely impressive effort. See for yourself on tracks like “Get You Out” which we think are poised to get Light Club, aka Gabe Mouer, recognized on an international level (think The 1975) by year’s end.

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Tep No – Lana Del Dre

September 26, 2014

2014 has introduced us to a ton of great new acts on the scene. Shiloh, Boy In A Movie, and Tigerz are just a few of the artists that have emerged this year that we’ve since kept a keen eye on. But perhaps the most promising newcomer we’ve come across this year is Toronto-based electronic producer Tep No. He’s got seven awesome singles to his name since the start of this year and presumably a debut EP/LP on the horizon. And while the quantity alone is impressive for this budding act, it’s the quality of his work that really tends to stand out. After about a weeks’ worth of repetitive listening to his newest single “Lana Del Dre”, I’m willing to go out on a limb and say this one of my favorite tracks of the year. And along with his absolutely amazing previous single The Drop Starts At 00:53, coming to the decision that Tep No is our “rookie of the year”, so to speak, was not difficult conclusion at all. Perhaps if there were one aspect of his newest single that we’d tweak, it would be extending out those epic final 20 seconds for just a little bit longer. So while we keep our fingers crossed for a potential extended mix, we’ll also be on the lookout for Tep No to make that inevitable shift from low-key electro pop producer to emerging superstar. Also keep an eye out for the premiere of the “Lana Del Dre” music video on Belle Musique in the coming weeks.

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SOS – I Like That Ur Nice

September 19, 2014

We were excited to see SOS (formerly Shadows On Stars) make their return to the scene with a few amazing singles earlier this year. And we couldn’t be more thrilled this week to see that they’ve come through with what I consider to be one of the best records of the year. The one and only problem I have with this absolutely awesome effort is selecting just one track to feature. My personal favorite after getting through the first few spins would have to be “I Like That Ur Nice”, but “Dead or Alive” and “Gorgeous” deserve some honorable mentions as well. This definitely track has more of a playful, lighthearted spirit than the rest of the LP as it tends to bring me back to the sounds featured on their ever-so impressive debut record. And along with Child Actor, it’s fair to say SOS is also primed for massive success this year and beyond as folks continue to catch on to their mesmerizing sound.

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Miracle Fortress – Even In America

September 17, 2014

Miracle Fortress’ newest summer single is a jam of absolutely epic proportions. Coming off one of my personal favorite records of 2011 in Was I The Wave?, you can imagine my excitement with the release of his 3rd single in as many months titled “Even In America”. I’ve got to assume a new LP is in the works, but we’ve yet to hear any official announcements from this Montreal based mega-talent. But at this point I’m just grateful to have Miracle Fortress back in action after stepping out of the spotlight for a bit of time. “Even In America” reminds me of an old Bowie/Reznor favorite “I’m Afraid of Americans” as they both sort of lightheartedly call out some of the lesser regarded aspects of American culture — and rightfully so. And on that note I’d absolutely love to see what kind of (presumably hilarious) music video Miracle Fortress could come up for this sensational new tune.

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Photay – Reconstruct (feat. Seafloor)

September 16, 2014

I can’t say Photay’s new EP was one on my radar as of last week, but man am I grateful to have come across this NY-based producer’s work recently. His new self titled EP ranges from some lush, abstract electronic tunes to the incredibly lively funk anthem we’re featuring today. Normally a track this good you’d expect to find from some big name producer, but that’s simply a testament to Photay’s obvious talents of his own – even this early on in his career. And although today has proven to be yet another massive Tuesday release week, it’s always important not to neglect some of the lesser known acts like Photay at the risk of missing out on jams as absolutely awesome as “Reconstruct”.

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LuQus – Cinders (feat. Magdalena Wolk)

September 12, 2014

I’m surprised it took us this long to discover London-based producer LuQus. All I’ve heard from him so far is his most recent Shhht 22 EP and a couple good remixes – but that alone has been enough to make quite an impression. Based on this new EP, I’d classify his sound as a mix between an act like Stumbleine, Sun Glitters, and perhaps a little Ramses B. Chillwave might be the easiest way to describe beautiful tracks like “Cinders”, but most of this budding producer’s work tends to far exceed my typical chillwave/chillstep expectations. And there’s no doubt in my mind that with a little more time and exposure an act as awesome as LuQus will have no trouble establishing himself quite the solid fan base.

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