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Wild Beasts – Wanderlust

January 10, 2014

Three of our most anticipated albums of 2014 are undoubtedly Beck’s Morning Phase, TV On The Radio’s – TBA, and Wild Beasts’ fourth LP Present Tense. To put Wild Beasts in as high regard as those other two is definitely a statement we’re willing to stand by. Their first single “Wanderlust” is an interesting piece to say the least. It begins rather uneventfully with some heavy bass and choir-like synths, but as it progresses and morphs you realize this is the same group that brought you the brilliant Smother just a few years ago. Present Tense is out on February 25th and frankly it couldn’t come soon enough.

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Buy it on iTunes here

Dan Casey – Empty City

January 9, 2014

We haven’t featured a good folk song in a little while so we figure it’s a great time to introduce you to Berkeley-based singer/songwriter Dan Casey. As a plain folk artist this guy is already good enough, but what really blew me away was learning that he’s behind the electro pop outfit Yalls as well. The contrast in sounds from Yalls to his solo efforts are as drastic as they come – a testament to Casey’s versatility as a musician. “Empty City” is the opening track on his debut LP of the same name and I’d say it falls along the lines of a mellow Beck track. But this song is all about the minimalistic, yet entrancing guitar melody that’s bound to get an emotion or two stirring. Whether it be with Yalls, as a solo artist, or a completely new endeavor, we can’t wait to hear what this young talent comes up with next.

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Buy it on iTunes here

Snakadaktal – East of Here

January 8, 2014

Snakadaktal emerged as one of Australia’s premier dreampop acts in 2013 with their debut LP Sleep In The Water. Well they’re back with another profound, heartfelt ballad that I consider to

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be their best work yet. “East of Here” immediately draws you in with the lush, dreamy guitar melody and proceeds to tighten its grip from there. What I especially appreciate are the hazy female vocals reminiscent of Ducktails’ equally lovely track “Letter of Intent”. Let’s cross our fingers this isn’t the only new release from Snakadaktal this year.

Buy it on iTunes here

Tigerz – Loose You

January 7, 2014

Tigerz is a bit of an enigma at the moment. As I have no clue who they are or where they’re from, I’m only going to speak to the awesomeness of their debut self titled EP which came out today. “Loose You” has a bit of an Odesza feel with the precise, high pitched vocal sampling and fine synth work. While this is my favorite off the EP, all three tracks bring something special to the table. Where Tigerz goes next we don’t know, but I’ll be sure to keep a close eye in hopes of more amazing material like this.

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Buy it on iTunes here

Phil Beaudreau – Won’t Get Away

January 6, 2014

One of the first albums we’ve got our hands on in 2014 was Phil Beaudreau’s Ether. Produced by three time grammy winner Dawaun Parker, it’s a collection of 13 soul pop-infused melodies similar to Lower Frequencies alum Max Frost. Together they throw down some funky bass lines and synth-funk rhythms which complement Beaudreau’s vocals nicely. “Won’t Get Away” is hands-down my favorite track off the album and you might just see why after giving it a full listen. So here’s a big props to Phil Beaudreau for kicking off 2014 on the most awesome of notes.

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Buy it on iTunes here

Germany Germany – All of Your Love (feat. Kotomi)

January 3, 2014

2012 was an epic year of electronic discovery for me. Genres and sounds I never even knew I could appreciate were introduced via seemingly unknown acts from around

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the globe. Although no album had me more fully engrossed than synth mastermind Germany Germany’s Blank Mind Empty Heart. It’s fitting that since I discovered this guy through Bandcamp, it turns out he works as a software engineer there when he’s not producing incredible electro melodies. Well Drew Harris, the man behind the moniker, is back at it with his third LP titled Reconnect out just a couple days ago. It’s nearly impossible to live up to an album as epic as BMEH, but he’s put forth another exceptional effort with this stylistic, yet noticeably more pop-oriented LP. Seeing as our first posted track of the new year is a Loved track, I’d say we’re off to an epic start to 2014.

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Goofy Foot – Brain & Brawn

December 31, 2013

It appears I’ve got myself a new weekend anthem with Goofy Foot’s “Brain & Brawn.” It’s a track

about getting paid little to work your ass off and essentially being quite pissed off about it. While I can’t completely relate to Goofy Foot’s sentiments, this song does seem like the perfect jam to send me out of work after a long week. Goofy Foot is the moniker for San Diego based electro/blues/rock producer Spencer Jarrad. I included all those different genres because I honestly have no idea how to classify this guy’s work. If you listen to the new EP, you’ll see it ranges from heavy blues (such as this track) to straight up synth-based electro pop. Whatever be the case, I am a big fan of this promising new act and cannot wait to see what he plans to premier in 2014.

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MAASAI – The Healer

December 27, 2013

Some more lovely Scandinavian synth-pop coming your way this Friday from Swedish couple/duo MAASAI. Via their webpage, they

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explain how the name MAASAI “derives from a Kenyan nilotic ethnic group, which means power and force.” The name is fitting indeed as their second single “The Healer” is quite the moving ballad. As gorgeous as this track sounds though, the lyrics tell a haunting story of heartbreak and regret. MAASAI is off to a great start with a project that we expect to fully blossom in the coming year or so.

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Buy it on iTunes here

Snowmine – Columbus

December 26, 2013

Snowmine is on the cusp of making that challenging transition from acclaimed indie pop act to mainstream powerhouse. It’s really just a matter of time at this point – that is until their sophomore album Dialects is released in Februrary. I forsee it having a similar impact to TV On The Radio’s Dear Science or perhaps even Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs. They’ve just released their second single from the album titled “Columbus” and it’s a dreamy, atmospheric blend of strings, bass and some fine guitar work. If you’re not super familiar with Snowmine, I’d urge you to delve into their 2011 classic Laminate Pet Animal to get a full understanding of just how talented this Brooklyn 5 piece is. I imagine the anticipation is high on their end as February approaches, but if you really want to show your support you can donate to their crowdfunding experiment on their website.

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Preorder it on iTunes here

Top 25 Best Tracks of 2013

December 19, 2013

Every year we like to stray away from our formula of posting one track a day. We know that it’s hard to to keep track of all the songs we post here, and for that, we like to give you the sparknotes. This year we have two lists. The first is from Gabe Jacobs and the second is from Brett Rosenberg. 2013 was an amazing year for music. Here’s why:

Gabe’s Top 25 Best Tracks of 2013

25. Psychic Twin – Unlock Yr Heart

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24. Willis Earl Beal – Wavering Lines

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23. HAERTS – Hemiplegia

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22. Phosphorescent – Song for Zula

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21. Jungle – The Heat

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20. Young Galaxy – New Summer

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