Week in Pop
Jay Som’s Melina Duterte live at CD9; photographed by Taryn Alper.
Rising star Melina Duterte, ringleader of the world renowned DIY pop phenomenon Jay Som, followed up the release of one of the year’s best albums Everybody Works (Polyvinyl) with a collection of miscellaneous & previous unreleased tracks with the compilation song dump. Released in the same way the grand album debut Turn Into (initially released as Untitled) was two years back during thanksgiving weekend of 2015; Melina keeps the tradition intact with the latest batch of old & new loosies of interest.
The cycle of song dump starts with “Tender Moment” that will immediate ratify any doubt about the power, prowess & proliferation of Jay Som. Next is the cover of fellow local Bay Area band Future Shapes’ “Feel” that illustrates the lesser-sung evocative electronic aspects offered by the artist, met with “vibey demo #2” that shimmers with an understated undercurrent of held-over vibes from the 80s new romantics. Melodic experiments with rhythm schemes gallop gallantly on “go!”, to the sublime & sophisticated instrumental of “Rain Town”, that then gives way to further exercises in audio experiments on the warm wonders of “entwined mix #1”. Though these masters have been in Duterte’s cache for a moment, hints at future progressions can be appreciated on the interlude of “lil thing”, before you are left with the outro of “bye bitch” that lays out the groundwork for what could be the beginning of Jay Som LP3 (clocking in at a sweet 4:20). In Melina Duterte’s own introductory words about this comp:
Here, some old ass stuff.
Australia’s Roland Tings is back with the beautiful beat boutique of “One Hundred” ft. HIGH HØØPS courtesy of Cascine/Sony. The futuristic dance icon offers a botanical array of synth choices that groove along with vocal contributions from HIGH HØØPS of New Zealand that tackles the sentiments of feeling like I’m on 99 and the things that must be down to elevate everything to the next level as expressed further on the hook with what do I have to do to kick it one 100? Roland Tings introduced the new single with the following reflections:
This song came about following a move from the city to the coast. I spent summer driving around winding cliffs and swimming in the ocean and wanted to create something true to the sounds and smells of the coast, something with a more organic feel than what I’ve worked on before. When I heard a DJ in Auckland play a song by HIGH HØØPS I immediately knew that he was the right fit for what I had in mind. We got in touch and the track came together effortlessly.
Alexei Shishkin’s upcoming third album 3 will be available December 15 via Forged Artifacts & we present the Tyler Bertram video for “Pittsburgh” that provides an intimate view of a day in the life of Alexei. Decidely filmed in slow motion, Shishkin’s adventures about town with their beloved guitar becomes a lovely narrative that is met with the artist’s own DIY & reflective pop style that mulls over feelings & emotions in a very matter of fact manner. Alexei introduced the new album with the following featured thoughts:
Most of the songs on this album were written in Portland, OR, in 2015, but it took some time for it to actually materialize. In the summer 2016, Jon Fust (of Sun Blood Stories) recorded the drums to all the tunes remotely in Boise, ID. By then I was living in NY. In 2017, after the drums were all done and mixed, Jess Pierson (of Hart and Hare) and I recorded her vocals. The process for this one was definitely longer than I’m used to, but hopefully you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it. Thanks for listening!
Casting some sunshine beams for the mind & spirit; Austin’s Nonmonogamy shared the single “Mamalarky” that flies like a musical trio of birds on the wing. Comprised of Livvy Bennett, Dylan Hill & Michael Hunter; the group is readying their debut EP Fundamental Thrive Hive that elaborates upon their principle philosophy of do whatever the f-ck makes you happy, okay! as they build upon intrinsic connections that further their own collective creative alchemy.
East Nashville by Philly’s Joseph Lekkas makes music under the moniker of Palm Ghosts that surveys the changes of worlds & the self via musical narratives that flux between the inward & outward areas of introspection. Presenting a listen to the new single “Tell Me Lies”, Palm Ghosts questions the character & truths of others along with society at large amid the monumental shifts of developments, redevelopments & all things duplicitous that transpire in our worlds. From rhythmic riding percussion sequences & sea shining synths; Lekkas works to ratify the inconsistencies & inequities of the modern age that seeks something that is beneficial for the whole of humanity to appreciate & enjoy.
Introducing Terrible Records‘ new signing—Slaters—who delivered a listen to their multi-suite single “Danger” ft. Toulouse. Moving from hushed builds of rising morning fog, Slaters welcomes the arrival of a new day with dazzling rhythmic keys that pulse like heartbeats sprinting forward toward one another (propelled via understated electronic elements).
Norway’s Safariari released the Se Frosken EP via SellOut! Music that follows up the 2009 album Igloo Disko with warm rhythms & keys to melt the surrounding winter season banks of snow. The adventure begins with smooth zaps that surround the consciousness on “Bad Cut”, moving along the electro-skanking dub currents of “Hey”, to the title cut of “Se Frosken” that continues that dubbed out aesthetic that is guaranteed to dissolve the crystallized glaciers of ice that encased the exterior of your flat. Jon Kristian Furuheim aka Safarari introduced us to the new EP with the following reflections:
I tried out some disco and house stuff, but the tracks just didn’t feel right until I tried out some ska and rocksteady influenced rhythms. Suddenly they worked, which is odd as I haven’t been listening a lot to that kind of music lately, but I’ve loved Jamaican music since I was a kid.
In more Sellout! Music news, we bring you the new Stina Stjern single “Nuussuaq” that recalls areas of introspective intimacy that connects environments of town, country & the human connection to it all. From Stjern’s upcoming album Kap Herschell, the single recalls an area of Nuuk, Greenland that the artist once resides as Stina explained in the following reflections:
I rented an apartment [in Nuussuaq] once. This song was written there, while watching the icebergs passing on the green [&] blue fjord nearby. The song is about the urge to hide in dark places, both physically and metaphorically, and how reluctant one becomes to step out of that particular funk.
Haich delivered the world tripping & mind slipping single “Stone” featured off the artist’s debut EP Unbalanced (slated for release in 2018) via Stem. “Stone” bubbles & beams with a bright energy that shines with Naldo’s mixing & mastering where Haich’s delivery & production gets a backing vocal assist from Bli Bli.
A$AP Ferg’s actual cousin & fellow Harlem emcee King Z3US dropped the track “What Goes Around” ft. Makarel featured off the YBE (Young.Black.Entrepreneurs) EP available December 15. Makarel provides a harmonic counterpoint to Z3US FERGUSON’s gruff & grisled baritone that seeks understanding of rising above amid the undercurrent that recalls their respective comeuppance.
Featured off Dude York’s new Halftime for the Holidays release from the wonderful folks at Hardly Art, we give you the Seattle band’s ode to the Bachman-Turner Overdrive classic with an amped-up cover (of sorts) titled “Takin’ Care of Christmas”. Providing a cool lyric video to accompany the one minute wonder, the Dude York trio proves once again to be a band fit for all seasons no matter what the weather might entail at the moment.
Queen’s Meyhem Lauren & LA’s own DJ Muggs present Muggs’ own directed video for “Camel Crush” featured off their collaborative album Gems From The Equinox available via Soul Assassins Records. The east meets west coast collaboration highlights Lauren’s own Queens state of mind from the historic asphalt proving grounds up to the skies, as Muggs keeps the electric beat humming & the b/w visuals looking timeless.
Courtesy of the Bay’s rising new imprint Text Me Records, we give you a listen to William Robert’s “Better Than” that pushes the vibrant beat & feelings upward toward greater echelons. The hazy opening sets the stage right as the tone is flipped for some straight four on the floor rhythms guaranteed to elevate your entire holiday winter weekend soirée.
M.Craft delivered synth slice of expressionism with “Great Wolf” found off the forthcoming Blood Moon Deconstructed available December 15 via the one & only Heavenly Recordings. The feelings of roaming fields & brier patches deep in the dead of night are expressed from the intonations brought by the guitar & keyboard interplay that offers evocative & thematic accents that sounds like something of soundtrack about wild life habitats.
Boogarins brought a look at the imaginative video for “Corredor Polonês” featuring illustrations by Nei Caetano da Silva, with animation suppplied by Tom Yanivas as the Brazilian band prepares their third album for release later in 2018. Taken off the album Lá Vem a Morte; Boogarins’ head-swimming sounds are coupled with images that traverse from the natural realm of animals to the nuclear/space ages where the audience is propelled into the outer realms by way of rocket as the group’s sound fills the senses with a feeling of shock & awe.
Miniatures captured our attention this week with their Julian Vares video for “Honey’ that sails on a sonic wavelength that marries dream pop’s past with the excitement of the present. Made up of Ché Walden & Annemarie Duff from New Zealand with Chris MacLean enlisted Melbourne based producer Matthew Hosking for the honors of recording their debut album Jessamines available October 6 from shoegaze’s saving vanguard saints Saint Marie Records. While their sky-skiing guitars & vocals soar overhead, witness the group performing & hanging out with friends all about one of the world’s capitols of cool—Melbourne, Australia.
Toronto rising artist Chloe Charles brought the new atmospheric epic “Head High” with news of an upcoming spring slated debut via Kowloon Records. Chloe’s slow burning single moves in moods of conviction that faces down inner demons & confronts all impeding obstacles that might be in their path with a mesmerizing & empowering momentum, tempo & illustrious arrangement.
Minnesota’s garage pop aficionados Tiny Moving Parts delivered the new single “Caution” & the visual directed by John Komar that tackles the cares that we as humans tend to cast to the spoils of the wild winds. Following the lives of silver fox custodians rocking out in the after hours as they clean up the school grounds; join in on the janitorial division’s DIY jam-a-thon that is juxtaposed by the band’s own cafeteria performance that brings the power & passion that you crave from your rock trio heroes.
Xylouris White, comprised of Cretan lute commander George Xylouris & Australian percussionist Jim White provided a listen to their single “Only Love” that mixes trad strings with a modern sense of rhythm schemes. Taken off their upcoming third album Mother available January 19 via Bella Union; the dynamic duo brings about a continued evolution of sonic fusions that transcend continents & seas that seeks to stride for new sound semblances of human expressionism.
Check out the visual for “GRRRLS” from Australia’s own AViVA that offers subterranean sights to match the towering audio dissonance. The video by the band & Jefferton James takes you to their little clandestine underground that brings their electric-pop banger to graffiti scrawled basement wonderland.
Sweden’s Easy are returning with the new album A Heartbeat From Eternity available January 26 from A Turntable Friend Records & offered the new single “Ask the Sky”. Recorded in June of 2017, the band hurls inquiries up to the celestial realm that are rocketed upward & outward with invigorated energy.
Palm announced their new album Rock Island will be available February 9 via Carpark Records & dropped the bright & unusual new single “Dog Milk”. The Philadelphia crrew of Kasra Kurt, Eve Alpert, Gerasimos Livitanos & Hugo Stanley follow-up the Shadow Expert EP & Trading Basics for an illustrious array of audio excitement to help ring in 2018 proper.
New York Electric Piano, a collective of NYC based musicians lead by Pat Daugherty presented a listen to “Mama Bear Love Army”, courtesy of Fervor Records. Presenting a fusion of rhythms & modern meets trad music tropes; Pat & company create an instrumental brew of jubilation that is guaranteed to have you shaking away your winter season blues & sniffles. New York Electric Piano’s upcoming album State of the Art will be available January 12.
LA’s outsiders The Cabin Fever are readying the Exercise The Demon EP for release February 2 and offered the intimate & melancholic “Trucrime”. Narratives of loneliness & lives caught hanging in the balance are recalled in ways like the most emotive Elliott Smith ballads where inward glances trudge up a strange brew of pain & progress from going through the motions of day to day processes of reckoning.
Holy Motors delivered the post-nuptial cinematic & sonic stretches of sound with “Honeymooning” featured off the forthcoming Slow Sundown available February 9 via Wharf Cat. The Estonian denizens of ambient essences that recall throwback westerns & the feel of trudging across dusty deserts bring comforts to enjoy while hunkering down in the proverbial winter cabin.
Sweden’s own Bonander delivered the single “The Oracle” via Icons Creating Evil Art that takes a stand against the rise of the far-right throughout Europe. Through intonations of towering-vocals & urgent atmospheres, the track is paired with “Safe” that seeks an enlightened form of solace with more rich production that ascends above hate & negativity (dreaming of a safer & kinder world).
Blu & Exile delivered a look at the Unjust video for “Sold the Soul” featured off the expanded reissue of In The Beginning: Before the Heavens courtesy of the Dirty Science. The iconic collaboration of titans brings a litany of miraclous inspirations of song & gab will groove you to a whole other higher level of feeling.
No Mono presented a listen to the single “Violence Broken” that breaks between the bars & lines of aggression to find a greater form of compassion & empathy for others & the world. The Australian duo uses understated electronic components to create resonating constructs of feeling that convey emotion & earnest intentions.
White Room just released the double EP Eight & delivered a listen to the single “Twisted Celebration” that expresses a spirit of fun, fleeting fancy. With a spinning sort of production style, White Room takes us into a track of many mansions & rooms chocked full of celebratory scenes.
No Kind of Rider shared the track “Distinct” that works in ways of harmonic rhythms that rise & fall like the yearning cycles of restless tide waters. The Portland group expresses items of distinction that wears their hearts humbly on their sleeves, placed on the line as swirling aspects of introspective thought are translated through mechanism & methods of pop song construction.
London’s Flyte provided the vast visuals for “Faithless” directed by Femke Huurdeman featured off the album The Loved Ones that inspires confidence & leaps of faith. With the conveyed feeling that you truly can climb every mountain, or soar to the highest heights; the band blends poppy performance footage and stars Zoe Stein embarking upon uplifting adventures.
Europe by way of China collective C.O.W. 牛 just released the $hanghai Mone¥ EP that brings some of the waviest, coolest & craziest sounding vibes around. Blurring the line of east/west connections, C.O.W. curates the sound of internationally illuminated streets of jazzy & snazzy inspirations.
The Crowleys delivered the Evan Bond animated video for “Midnight Blue”, where their electronic meets the mellow ethereal glow is accompanied by a narrative of coastal robots trying to make a connection to one another. From android beach-ball escapades, the serene sound of The Crowleys cruises with a seashore situated serenity as we observe the intricate exchanges between automatons. The Crowleys introduced the new video with the following reflections:
The video was animated and directed by Evan Bond, with the funnest starting point any artist can hope for; robots at the beach. “Midnight Blue”‘s carefree yet melancholic tone guides an antique robot through a lonely day at the beach where his imagination and reality clash.
This song had always been tricky for us live and continued to be so in the studio. It is a surprising single for us because at one point we were talking about scrapping it from the EP. The song has seen a key shift down and a rewrite of the vocal melody just because we could not get the singing down in a way that felt right. It was actually when the idea came about to scrap the song during the mixing process that gave some creative freedom to it as we had nothing left to lose. Cohen tried messing around with a vocoder pedal in the studio on the vocals and it took the melody to a different level that finally worked for the rest of the song. What was once the weakest aspect of the song had become the best thing about it. We all love this song now, but it is definitely a change from our usual stuff, which is why we saved it for our second single.
Triathalon shared the cool crooning cut “Couch” featured off their upcoming album Online available February 16 through Broken Circles. Newfound feelings are expressed in electrified tones & serenading harmonies that will send cupid darts to heart & head.
Anna McClellan brought the brilliant piano & organ lead single “Heart of Hearts” featured off the upcoming album Yes and No available in February from Father/Daughter. McClellan builds a wildly creative odyssey that springs with potency & a contemporary baroque grace that jumps off the Steinway keys & into a massively powerful production. Keep an ear out for more from Anna McClellan soon to follow in 2018.
Corniglia brought us a listen to the single of approximations of time tables & the like on “But It Wasn’t That Long Ago”. Feelings old & new converge like birds of a feather rediscovering each other for the first time amid sporty games of flight.
Kidä delivered the atmosphere flying single “Magic Carpet”, courtesy of Tireless, that takes flight via sturdy textiles of flight that are steered toward destinations unknown through methods of eastward leaning & ghosting grooves. The London based singer contributes further to the air soaring motif with a delivery that floats through cloudy convections that converge one world with a whole new one.
London quartet TRILLS delivered the mesmerizing Erryn Patrick visuals for the powerful single “Savage Beauty” featured off their Stranger Spaces EP. TRILLS travel to the countryside where the natural setting allows the group bask in a world of infinite beauty where they are surrounded by fellow femmes from all corners of countrysides & towns.
Dublin’s Silverbacks followed up their EP Sink The Fat Moon with a listen to the pogo-hop inspiring jam “Just For a Better View”. Like a toast to your favorite NYC underachieving heroes, Kilian & Daniel O’Kelly make a sound that is certain to have you spring up from your seat & dancing about the room as if no one was around or looking.
Brooklyn’s Cru The Dynamic brought the dub-inspired vibes of “SHWR PWR” featured off the The Quick EP available via Young Heavy Souls. The producer blends your drum & bass sequence faves together in a percussive harmony that will illuminate both the body & mind according with every breath & beat.
Seen recently supporting Princess Nokia, new Danish Universal signee K-PHAX presented the single “Oh My God” that offers an auto-tuned odyssey of wavy sequences that embody the sentiments of surprise. Eschewing the haters and imploring folks to get hyped like an atom bomb; K-PHAX brings all the epiphanies & consciousness enlightening atmospheres that will elevate your latitude.
In the midst of their co-headlining tour with SHAED, Foreign Air delivered the single “Chakra Daemon” that zig zags beyond the material realm to break through to another electro realm. Synths swirl in swarms of melodies that further emphasize the electronically imbued harmonies that are the sound of the future arriving here in the present.
Dave Zup brought the throwback beats & vibes that recall vintage hip hop, rhythms & blues from yesterday. From “Leg Beat 7” to “Composure”; Dave zaps with a plethora of funk & flow with a modern day narrative.
Trevor Oswalt, oka East Forest, delivered a listen to the album CAIRN produced by Keith Sweaty that brings a bouquet of feels & sensations to sweep you into the gates of tomorrow. The adventure begins with the new day commencement of “Fresh Start”, the intrinsic & connective “Karmic Sequel”, the adventurous electro title track, the ambiance of “Interval #1”, to “Good Things To Come” ft. Living Legends’ own Scarub where life lessons from the legendary emcee are mixed with atmospheric arrangements. The evocative orchestral motif can be experienced on “100 Arms”, to the decisive reflections of “Tiny Choices”, the mesmerizing “Interval #2”, or the earnest expressions of “Snake Skins”, met by the dance deluxe of “Equatoriality”, moving it upward on “Higher Heights” ft. Lorna Dune, followed by the environmental atmospheres found at “Interval #3” before the album’s curtain call “Hearts Are Won” that is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.
Air Formation delivered the ethereal, earth spinning “Vanishing Act” featured off the upcoming album Near Miss available March 2 from Club AC30. The Brighton dream obsessed aesthetes ready their fourth album that remains true to designing sounds that are patterned after the convection patterns that rule the weird ways of weather.
With the Scandinavian section establishing their own hip hop presence rapidly out here in the world, Finland’s View dropped the single “Do It Again” ft. Binyam that shares vibes about repetitions & reiterations. With resonating atmospheres of ascending vapors, View kicks it with a slo-mo sorta feel trading bars & verses with Binyam that employ the syltistics of hedonistic heavy head-spaces.
South London quintet Stick In The Wheel provided a visual for the title track “Follow Them True” from Teresa Elizabeth Lobos, Nicola Kearey & Esther Tewkesbury featured off the album of the same name available January 26. Cryptic visuals punctuate the song’s own meditative mood that mixes vintage trad aesthetics with electronic & classical baroque components that stay within the psyche of the listener.
Vermont’s own Henry Jamison helps to warm the winter hearth with The Wilds that provides a sense of comfort for cabin confined solace. From “Bright Future” to “No One Told Me”; Jamison shares subtle electro understated textures that might speak to those vacated places of the spirit that have not been felt in some time.
Austin’s Wild Child are releasing their new album February 9 via Dualtone & we bring you an early preview. “Think it Over” offers second changes & glances that offer new opportunities of amour, as “Expectations” places anxious excitement on the line with hopes of greatness against all odds with a blur of infectious energy.
Boston’s the Courters are made up of Dan Palimeri, William (Billy) O’Brien & Ethan Cannon who share their new single “May Song” that will immediately have you dreaming of spring. With charged & chugging chords, Courters court the clamor & dissonance with succinct & controlled power chords that uses all scuzz components together to create a cohesive & unified sound.