Nothing- “Guilty of Everything”

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“Guilty of Everything” is definitely a contender for my favorite album of 2014, right up there with Manchester Orchestra’s “Cope.” It’s a seamlessly crafted 38 minutes of hazy, shimmery, “shoegaze revival” marked by just a touch of post-hardcore influence. Frontman Dominic Palermo’s previous project was the hardcore band Horror Show, which might explain the rather heavy sound that characterizes his unique brand of layered, distorted dream-pop. Imagine a slightly darker, more sedated, but still somewhat intense version of My Bloody Valentine or Cocteau Twins and you’ll get a rough of idea of their sound. If you like those bands or 90’s alt-rock in the style of early Smashing Pumpkins, then you’re definitely in for a treat.

It’s a deep daydream-inducing sort of record that I find myself listening to in bed with my eyes closed, and it definitely makes for an interesting listening experience, as it alternates between being all warm, fuzzy and blissed out, then intense and assaulting with bursts of swirling dissonance.

This is definitely the kind of album to which you would want to devote a full block of uninterrupted time, so you can appreciate it in full. Therefore, I’d recommend listening to it from start to finish.

You can stream it here:

Notorious B.I.G./Dilla- “Everyday Struggle” (Amin Payne Blend)

I can never resist a good Biggie remix/mashup, and this one definitely has all the right ingredients. It’s smooth like butter and perfect for a summer/party playlist. If you like hip hop mixed with funk, this will be right up your alley.

Check out Amin Payne’s Soundcloud page for more awesome songs and remixes.

Say Anything- “Losing My Touch”

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Say Anything frontman Max Bemis has always impressed me with his uncanny ability to craft songs that are simultaneously tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating, introspective, offbeat, and catchy. On this new track from his upcoming album “Hebrews” (out June 10), Bemis definitely puts an emphasis on the self-deprecating. In the opening verse he suggests that maybe he has “lost [his] touch at crafting Say Anything songs,” so a new generation of musicians can just go “take [his] place on stage.” He then gives them a little set of instructions for how to do so: “Just string together lines of smug self-loathing bile/And bear the chip your shoulder holds away.” Few artists take such a raw look at themselves in the way that Bemis does here, and that’s one of the many things that keeps drawing me back to his music.

The song’s stripped down, piano-based instrumentation is especially effective in conveying Bemis’ bleak yet bitingly humorous introspection. Christie DuPree’s harmonies add a yearning and a sweetness to the song’s bitterness, and Touche Amore frontman Jeremy Bolm’s raw, gritty screaming on the final verse leaves listeners with a powerful lasting imprint of Bemis’ internal struggles and insecurities.

Stream “Losing My Touch” via Alt Press.

SOHN “Red Lines”

I don’t know how I haven’t heard this SOHN song before, but it might be my favorite out of everything he’s released thus far. It’s especially downtempo/chill, and the soothing, steady beat accompanies his smooth, soulful vocals so nicely. Perfect contemplative, late night listening.

Gorillaz- Clint Eastwood (Unlike Pluto Remix)

I’m kinda blown away by this remix of “Clint Eastwood” by Gorillaz, a total blast from the past song. I’ve heard it remixed several times before, but nothing has grabbed my attention quite like this version. It omits the rapping from the original version, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome at all. With these beats and synths that serve as the powerful centerpiece of the remix (wait for the drop at 0:58), it actually works better to keep the vocals more minimal.