I haven’t heard many hip hop-related remixes or mashups that have left an impression lately, but this one caught my ear recently with its playful, effective use of TV theme music. It uses the opening theme to the new Netflix Original cartoon “BoJack Horseman” as the backdrop to the vocals from Kanye West’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” Kanye’s vocals pair well with the chill, slightly offbeat theme music, and the production sounds well-arranged and pretty flawless. If you’re a Kanye fan, this is a fun, intriguing new way to experience one of his best (but not especially popular) songs.
I was delighted to see that SOHN posted a new song recently. His debut album, Tremors, is one of my favorite albums of 2014, and this new song, “The Chase” would have fit perfectly on that album. It’s a dark, but sweet, downtempo number that’s less bass-heavy and just a little more stripped down than most songs on Tremors. SOHN’s vocals shine through the composition with a crystalline intensity and an emotive longing, creating a beautifully chilling listening experience that’s perfect for late nights.
Raury, who has received lots of attention of late for his “Cigarette Song,” recently teamed up with Aussie wunderkind Tim Bettenson (a.k.a. Vancouver Sleep Clinic) to record a new song, “Superfly.” The two artists make a great pair and create a winning combination of soulful and ethereal. Bettenson’s soothing, shimmering falsetto provides the perfect backdrop to this buoyant, breezy, hip hop/soul-infused collaboration. It’s especially catchy, but just offbeat and unique enough to prevent it from reaching massive radio hit status.
After an acoustic tour this summer, the ever versatile and amazingly prolific Ace Enders is back at it with a new acoustic performance of a classic Early November song and a video teaser for a new song called “Keep Moving.” Longtime Early November fans will remember the acoustic version of “Sunday Drive” that appears on the band’s 2005 release, The Acoustic EP. This latest version of the song certainly recaptures the beauty and power of its predecessor, and it finds Enders in top vocal form. The slightly more stripped down, unpolished nature of this new recording allows the alternating sweetness, anguish, and longing in his voice to come through with a heightened intensity.
The new song, “Keep Moving,” sounds like it would have fit perfectly on The Early November’s 2012 LP, In Currents. It has a lush, reflective, but also driving and visceral feel similar to the general landscape of that album. I will wait with eager anticipation for whatever else Ace has up his sleeve. The man is full of delightful surprises.
Vancouver-based producer Cyril Hahn just released what might be his strongest, most seamlessly crafted track to date. The effervescent beats and sliced vocal loop, “Leave my heart wide open” lend a playful but yearning quality to the production, keeping the listener blissfully afloat in the chill soundscape.
Turnover will release their new EP, Blue Dream, on August 26, and you can now stream it in full via Alt Press. The EP’s three songs pack a pretty powerful emotional punch, in that dark, dejected, cathartic way that’s typical of bands like Brand New and Balance and Composure. The band has definitely refined their sound since their debut album, Magnolia, as this short collection of songs sounds a bit more polished and varied in terms of composition and musicianship. While the majority of songs on Magnolia have the same grungy, downcast emo/pop punk vibe and tend to almost blend into each other, the tracks on Blue Dream take more risks, explore different dynamics and compel the listener to stay present and engaged throughout the entire emotionally searing experience; from the sparse opening notes of “Disintegration” to the point when the drums and electric guitar kick in to bring the sad acoustic ballad, “Bella Donna,” to a brokenhearted, but still somewhat hopeful, finale.
Light Years frontman Pat Kennedy recorded a mini acoustic session for Zero Platoon, performing a cover of Blink-182’s “Aliens Exist” as well as “Hindsight,” my personal favorite song from their debut LP, I Won’t Hold This Against You. The video for “Hindsight” also features an interview with Pat that touches upon the band’s backstory, the challenges that go along with being a touring musician, and the important influence of his father and of other bands like Blink-182, Saves The Day, and The Get Up Kids on his career as a musician.
Light Years will release a new EP, Temporary, via Animal Style Records on September 9th that can be pre-ordered here.
This latest track from Seattle production duo Odesza is a bit of a departure from the work they’ve typically been known for. While this new song, “Say My Name,” does feature the chopped vocals and vibrant, sunny, melodic house/electronica style that has become their signature style; it takes a far more lyrical approach, adding a more traditional verse/chorus format sung by vocalist Zyra. It’s catchy and uplifting; a perfect end of the summer song that will surely earn them a wider fan base. Their new album, “In Return” drops on September 9. You can pre-order it here.
In the meantime stream “Say My Name” below.
This latest song from Hostage Calm’s upcoming album, “Die On Stage” (out 9/16 on Run For over Records), has me even more excited to hear the album in full and to see them on tour with Citizen and You Blew It! in October. They’ve clearly pushed their power pop/rock approach even further, and the spirited, anthemic, but still sort of gritty sound on this new track, “A Thousand Miles Away From Here,” recalls older post-hardcore stylings, rock anthems from earlier eras, and maybe even a hint of Britpop.
Seahaven, whose latest album, Reverie Lagoon…, is one of my favorites of 2014, have just given us a more intimate, stripped down way of experiencing one of the more musically energetic, bouncy tracks on that generally moody, reflective, somber album. This acoustic version of “Andreas” lends a deeper sense of vulnerability and rawness to the song’s dark lyrical content, allowing lines such as “Come to me, come to me/I’ll be your friend/Leave sitting alone at home/ With your open wrists that bleed all over,” to resonate on an even deeper level.