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Money – Bluebell Fields

May 6, 2014

I have to say I didn’t expect one of my favorite (American) releases of the year so far to be MONEY’s debut LP The Shadow Of Heaven. Competing with the likes of Beck and Wild Beasts’ new albums, that’s a tough task, but that’s exactly how I felt after getting through their new one earlier this morning. Frankly, I’m not exactly sure how to classify this UK four-piece, but for the sake of this write-up I’m going to label them as cerebral guitar pop. And that’s the thing about these guys, it’s obvious that they’re going for way more than your superficial pop record. Each track has a kind of substance to it that you simply can’t forge. Track’s like “Bluebell Fields” that’s got one of the more beautiful guitar melodies I’ve heard all year. And while you definitely shouldn’t neglect other great releases from this week, I suggest you reserve a little extra time to fully process all that MONEY’s The Shadow Of Heaven has to offer.

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Doe Paoro – Nostalgia

May 5, 2014

Doe Paoro’s new track “Nostalgia” isn’t going to blow you away with its intricate grooves or melodies, but the beauty of this song is that it doesn’t have to. After hearing her new Ink On The Walls EP, I think it’s a fair assessment to say that this Brooklyn singer/songwriter definitely shifted her sound a bit from her previous record. I had known Doe Paoro, as most did, for her soulful, RnB type jams like the one that really got her name out there, “Born Whole”. But on this new record she’s added an entirely new and most welcome synth pop element to her repertoire. That kind of change tends to backfire a bit for some artists, but Doe pulls it off like it’s a kind of second nature. Check out what I mean on gorgeous anti-ballads like “Nostalgia” where sometimes it’s better to let go of the past than let it hold you back from living in the present.

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Different Sleep – Cold (feat. Dirty Gold)

May 2, 2014

Usually a collabo with Dirty Gold is going to get you some decent press merely by association, but it’s obvious on Different Sleep’s new track “Cold” that these two artists have quite the chemistry with one another. Featured on his new Conlict EP along with three other great tracks, “Cold” wins me over with some gorgeously subtle sampling, a dreamy melody, and the lush auto-tuned vocals of Dirty Gold. Different Sleep reminds me of a few different acts, most notably that of a Stumbleine or Hiatus, but at the same time his work comes off as refreshingly original. It appears this Chicago, IL producer is still just getting his feet wet in the music biz, but this awesome new EP is sure to get Different Sleep’s career on the fast track to even greater heights.

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PMtoyou – Turn Red

May 1, 2014

Here’s some lovely, euphoria-inducing synth pop coming your way from Swedish four-piece PMtoyou. Their newest track “Turn Red” is the type of unconditionally uplifting tune that you know you can always fall back on during hard times. Besides this gorgeous track, I’m not (yet) too familiar with the rest of PMtoyou’s work, but I look forward to diving into their 2013 LP Hours later on today. Besides that I’ll be doing my best to get these guys the exposure they’re so deserving of, but with a track as wonderful as “Turn Red” it’s just a matter of time before the world catches on to PMtoyou’s enchanting sound.

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DWNTWN – Heroine

April 29, 2014

The last few years we’ve seen a bunch of bands emerging with that abbreviated, all caps look like MSTRKRFT and STRFKR. But perhaps my favorite of these (mostly) electro-pop acts is that of LA’s DWNTWN. They’re already past the point of established with wonderful synth-pop singles under their belt like “Transition” and “Stood Me Up”, and they’re finally back with a brand new self-titled EP out today. With this new record you’ll notice a subtle shift to a chiller realm of electronic music with even a few hints of the folk genre if you listen hard enough. Tracks like “Heroine”, though, are as gorgeous as they are powerful as we hear vocalist Jamie Leffler sing about the passing of a parent and the impact it can have on a child. So while you’re sifting through all of today’s new album releases be sure to delve into DWNTWN’s new one which seems primed to boost them from notable dance-pop four-piece to mainstream powerhouse.

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Kithkin – Altered Beast

April 28, 2014

Kithkin’s new single “Altered Beast” is one hell of a jam. Usually this type of raw, lo-fi rock sound is a tough sell for me, but this Seattle, WA four-piece pull off this epic new single in the grandest of fashions. I’ve been intrigued by this group since the release of their great 2012 EP Takers & Leavers, and I’m assuming that this new track means we can expect another new record from these guys in the near future. And if that wasn’t good enough, I’m quite stoked to see they’re playing a show in my hometown of Rochester, NY in a few months. I look forward to seeing Kithkin’s career steadily take off as their ever-so-intriguing sound reaches new audiences.

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Neon Motive – In Truth

April 24, 2014

I discovered Neon Motive after hearing their new “In Truth” track featured in a Robert Mondavi wine commercial the other week. After the third or fourth time witnessing it, I took to Google to figure out who exactly this mystery artist was. What I learned was that this track was actually made specifically for the commercial, which you can check out here. It only features a small portion of the song, but it’s more than enough to spark your interest. And the full track doesn’t disappoint either as its lush soundscapes and gorgeous chopped vocal harmonies leave me wondering where this Canadian electro act as been all my life. Using this commercial as somewhat of an entry point, it seems Neon Motive is off to quite the solid start. And if they continue to produce tracks as great as “In Truth”, I forsee them making a name for themselves in the near future.

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Sleeping At Last – Indian

April 23, 2014

After discovering Sleeping At Last for the first time this week, it’s obvious I’ve got a lot of catching up to do on his full catalog. His newest record Atlas: Oceans is quite the nice collection of some hauntingly beautiful soundscapes and textures. None more gorgeous than that of “Indian” which I can’t seem to shake how much it reminds me of dreamfolk legends Sigur Ros. So if you’re like me and have yet to experience the

greatness of Sleeping At Last, use this track as an introduction and then be sure to delve yourself into the full record.

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Join The Riot – Clint Eastmode

April 22, 2014

It seems like pop music nowadays is coming at us from every which direction. I wouldn’t have a problem with that if most of it were good, but that more often than not isn’t the case. Frankly, I feel there are just too many new bands emerging with the same exact generic alt-pop sound. It’s for this reason that I am grateful for the existence of bands like Join The Riot who have proved with their new Buckle Up EP that they are more than capable of putting together a pop album with substance. Tracks like “Louis” from last year got me aware of this up-and-coming four-piece from Stockholm, and it seems like now is the time for Join The Riot to really take off. And with tracks as awesomely impressive as “Clint Eastmode” I don’t foresee that taking much time at all.

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Only Real – Cadillac Girl

April 21, 2014

There’s something awfully catchy about Only Real’s newest track “Cadillac Girl”. The first couple listens it came across as a pleasant and engaging jam, but as the repeated plays kicked in I got to see this track for its full worth. I’ve been a big fan of this emerging lo-fi, pseudo-hip hop sound coming out of the UK the past couple years with acts like Only Real and King Krule leading the charge. And in the case of “Cadillac Girl”, it’s the instance where Niall Galvin sings “but the world has moved again since then” as the sleek guitar riff kicks in that really gets me. I’m glad to see people are starting to take notice as he recently signed to Virgin/EMI and is said to be working on a new record with renowned producer Ben Allen.

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