Monthly Archives: October 2015

Images & Words: Lontalius, “All I Wanna Say”

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Lontalius “All I Wanna Say” Digital Single The young New Zealander began his burgeoning career on Soundcloud and Bandcamp by uploading affecting, spare covers of popular rap and R&B songs, armed with only a Casio keyboard and a little bit of autotune. In the last year or so, the 18 year-old (né Eddie Johnston) has focused on original material, and new single, “All I Wanna Say,” is the best of it so far. Like in his covers, Johnston’s solo work …

Hot Jam of the Day: Matt Kivel, “Janus”

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Matt Kivel “Janus” Digital Single In the last five years, I’ve written quite a bit about prolific LA-based crooner Jesse Kivel’s music, but surprisingly, I’ve neglected his lesser-known brother Matt and his reflective solo work. Following last year’s underrated Days of Being Wild, the Santa Monica native recorded his third LP in Glasgow with Drag City head honcho, Alasdair Roberts. Its lead single, “Janus,” is a gorgeous, delicate folk number that sees Kivel’s soft voice paired beautifully with fingerpicked guitar and a …

Images & Words: Wet, “Weak”

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Wet “Weak” Don’t You (out 01.29 on Columbia) During a week where Bachata Papi grabbed most of the headlines for his phenomenal drunk Uncle swag, another of TP’s favorite vocalists also broke out some heartfelt moves on a new clip. For four spellbinding minutes, vocalist/songwriter Kelly Zutrau pours her heart out in front of a crowd of zero, pining for a lover to reconsider walking away. Director/choreographer Holly Blakey beautifully captures the evocative performance, highlighting the raw, exorcismic (not a real …

Hot Jam of the Day: Memoryhouse, “Dream Shake”

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Memoryhouse “Dream Shake” Soft Hate (release date: TBD) Many of my favorite tracks from the Toronto-area duo evoke feelings (and music writer tropes) of warm blankets, crackling fires, lazy Sundays, and the like. However, the lead single from their long awaited second LP, “Dream Shake,” bristles with an energy that they rarely exhibited throughout their excellent debut LP and 2012’s The Slideshow Effect, save its lead single “The Kids Were Wrong.” This new cut beautifully balances this newfound urgency with …

Hot Jam of the Day: Negative Gemini, “You Never Knew”

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Negative Gemini “You Never Knew” Body Work (out in 2016 on 100% Electronica) Fresh off her slept-on Real Virtual Unison EP, Queens-based producer/vocalist Lindsey French is back at it, prepping a new full-length due out in early 2016. Its lead single is one of the most streamlined, direct tracks of her career, pitting her mellifluous vocal against delicious, aqueous keys and an earworm of a pitch-shifted vocal sample. Though French’s voice rarely rises above something just north of a whisper, her words are weighty and powerful, …

Hot Jam of the Day: Canblaster, “Encore DX”

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Canblaster “Encore DX” Continue? (out 10.23 on Pelican Fly) Saying that DJ/producer Cédric “Canblaster” Steffens is on a roll is an understatement. This year alone, he’s already dropped an Internet famous EP with Lido and a pair of real-life, crossover famous singles with his Club Cheval supergroup, along with a string of excellent one-off remixes. And he’s just getting started. The fittingly titled, “Encore DX” is our first taste of his forthcoming solo EP, and it’s an example of his impressive song-craft and composition. He expertly matches undulating …

Images & Words: Majical Cloudz, “Downtown”

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Majical Cloudz “Downtown” Are You Alone? (out 10.16 on Matador) Though he’s still very much a rising artist, Majical Cloudz frontman Devon Welsh is quickly becoming one of the most powerful lyricists in music today. Blissfully free of wordplay and $10 adjectives, the Montreal native excels at direct, plainly poetic prose aimed at the common experiences we share: love, fear, loss, and the like. The gorgeous devotional, “Downtown,” has a few stunners that deal with the former. Lyrics like “There’s …

Images & Words: Tory Lanez, “Say It”

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Tory Lanez “Say It” Digital Single If we’re being all the way real, the Ontario native should be exponentially percent more poppin’ than he currently is. Maybe he doesn’t have an Internet ready look like Post Malone or the co-sign of someone like PartyNextDoor, but the artist born Daystar Peterson has been cranking out a steady stream of some of the sharpest, strongest R&B out right now. On his recent heater, “Say It,” the 23 year-old gets extra sentimental, smearing his …

Hot Jam of the Day: Jesu / Sun Kil Moon, “America’s Most Wanted Mark Kozelek and John Dillinger”

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Jesu / Sun Kil Moon “America’s Most Wanted Mark Kozelek and John Dillinger” Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (out 01.21.16) “That’s an account of my last few days,” sings Mark Kozelek on the first single off his new collaborative LP with Godflesh/Jesu frontman, Justin Broadrick. The refrain (along with the song title) is a cheeky, thinly-veiled allusion to the Internet backlash to the rambling lyrics of his recent work. While Kozelek’s combative nature has been a constant of his long, rich career, it’s …

Late Summer Catch-Up: The Best Stuff I Missed

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As you may have realized, posting has been a little sparse around these parts in the last couple weeks. I’ve been moving house from Los Angeles to San Francisco over the last few weeks, so I wanted to get into a quick round-up of some of my favorite recent tracks, now that I’m finally situated. Real Lies “Blackmarket Blues” Real Life (out in October on Marathon Artists) If you read this site regularly, you know how I feel about Real Lies. …