ULTRAISTA – YOU’RE OUT (PREFUSE 73 REMIX)
For Fans of: Trifonic, King Felix, Kelvin Mah, Dose, Chrome Sparks, Clams Casino, Grimes, Thom Yorke,
EVERYTHING EVERYTHING – KEMOSABE
For Fans of: Django Django, Bloc Party, Kenna, Franz Ferdinand, The Rapture, Alt-J,
Nothing sounded quite as cool in 2010 as Everything Everything’s My Kz Ur Bf. They seemed to take the dance-rock genre of the mid-naughties pushed forward by Franz Ferdinand and friends, and bring it to creative new heights. It was truly a welcomed sound, as I always believed this kind of music was too quickly dropped by bands and critics. Everything Everything now fight to keep music fresh and exciting in 2013 with their soon to be released album Arc. Kemosabe, a single from the upcoming album, is as frantic and grandiose as My Kz, but has a decidedly sweeter sound than its predecessor, and… well… far less violent. I may need to wait for the lyrics to figure out what the hell lead singer Jonathan Higgs is saying, all I know is it is a proper good-time track.
HAERTS – WINGS
For Fans of: Fleetwood Mac, All Saints (yes, All Saints), Grimes, Jessie Ware, Chairlift,
A great euphoric female pop song always takes me back to the eighties. I remember my parents driving down the highway, me in the backseat, daydreaming while seeming to float over bright green pastures and brilliant yellow canola fields. In the background, I always recall a endlessly joyful Fleetwood Mac song playing, weaving its way through a child’s imagined adventures. Of course, now that I am older, I have an innate fondness to the Everywheres and Seven Wonders that pass by my ears, which is why when the brilliant Mitten Mouth Music (an always reliable source of top notch music) posted Wings, I was instantly enamoured. The Brooklyn based german band bring a dopamine-injected summer day to mind with the airy synth, bouncy bass, and island-ready guitars. The vocals are truly reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, and bring her traditionally honest swoon to the table. It is a golden track to add to your iTunes library and wait until those long sunny days come back to us.
LOCAL NATIVES – HEAVY FEET
For Fans of: The National, Grizzly Bear,
I’m on a bloodbuzz. Yes, I am. I’m on a blood… buzz. When I heard Local Natives, creators of one of my favourite debuts (Gorilla Manor), had teamed up with Aaron Dessner, one of the masterminds behind my favourite band of the decade (The National), I was cautiously optimistic. When I heard Breakers, and realized Local Natives had tightened up their sound and gone for the grandeur and brilliance of High Violet highlights, I was excited. When I heard Heavy Feet today, and realized they had done it again, I was on a full fledged bloodbuzz (which I have always believed meant a state of ultimate excitement). On Heavy Feet, the drums are more urgent, the build is bigger, the guitar more affecting than your average Gorilla Manor track. Songs like Aiplanes and Sun Hands may have been great, and Who Knows Who Cares may have been absolutely genius, but the rest of the album suffered from overly loose structures that felt liked they dragged a bit. Dessner’s influence of more solid, structured tracks is a positive sign that new album Hummingbird may eclipse its predecessor. I guess I better lift my shirt up.
ELISA TOFFOLI – ANCORA QUI
For Fans of: Jeff Buckley, Antony & the Johnsons, Gypsy Kings slower songs,
While millions watch Django Unchained, the sounds of Rick Ross or Tupac/James Brown collaborations catch their ears. But what had me intrigued was the wonderfully alluring voice of Elisa Toffoli over Ennio Morricone’s softly plucked guitar. The simple combination of the two is completely intoxicating. I won’t pretend I have any clue as to what she is so passionately singing, except that the title means ‘still here’, and the word she longingly states over and over at the end of the song is ‘remember’ (in several different conjugations). But it doesn’t matter, the heart of the song is in her earnest and heartfelt delivery, and that is universal.
E. GRIZZLY – SHARK HUNTER QUINT
For Fans of: Lateef the Truthspeaker, Buck 65, MF Doom, Heems,
I’d like to welcome you to the Adventures of E. Grizzly, the entertaining website of one of the most raspy and rambunctious MCs out there. It is a mix of hilarious artwork (check out the painting) and youtube videos, but also live shows, songs, and lyrics from the gravelly-voiced, Miami-based rapper E. Grizzly (aka Eric). The highlight for me so far has been finding the indie-rock tinged track Shark Hunter Quint off his newest mixtape – The Nah Mixtape. As stated in Grizzly’s site, the album was produced by the drummer of the punk band 1994, and the influence made for a great marriage. Industrial drums and rock reverb get layered with whirling synth to create a My Bloody Valentine-esque wall of noise that sounds completely novel for a hip hop track. Grizzly’s weathered but energetic delivery adds sand to that storm as he belts out thoughtful and unique lyrics – “I’m about the new religion of free thinkin’, without the superstition”. And all the sounds blend together perfectly in the earworm of a chorus “I-I-I-I-I’m an American Guerrilla”. This is a stellar concoction of new ideas and solid rapping that has me saying, at least for today, IMVERYGUERRILLA.