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Kuri - Human Nature
Kuri - Human Nature

Kuri - Human Nature


Hailing from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Scott Curie, who performs under the monkier Kuri, announces his new EP expected October 12. "Human Nature" the title-track off of the EP is a gorgeous track where Kuri analyzes the loss and changes in his life. Upon reflection he sees this song being about, "a breakup, a close friend moving away, and six people [he] saw every day disappearing from [his] life. With the heavy presence of strings and artful guitar picking, Kuri creates a beautiful yet somber landscape to accompany his realizations. "It's human nature to want something you'll never have," he sings with melancholy in his voice. Kuri approaches his songwriting by seeing himself in the third person. In this unique approach he is on the outside looking in and it's as if this perspective allows him to read the story of his life in a objective manner. In "Human Nature" we see Kuri making his peace with it all and as he sweetly sings his last note, it's as if he has.

Dara Bankole on September 27, 2018
Iron & Wine - What Hurts Worse

Iron & Wine - What Hurts Worse


There isn't a better coupling than autumn and new Iron & Wine. While the temperature chills there is a warmth in Sam Beam's voice and lyrics that is comforting and familiar. Whether he is singing about a flightless bird or asking a former love to not forget him in the nine minute and thirty-one second masterpiece that is " The Trapeze Swinger," Beam's skill of imagery is unmatched. In "What Hurts Worse," Beam looks inward in a more practical way urging us to become better than the ones that hurt us. "Let's become the lovers we need," he says, a cry to break the cyclical nature of hurt people hurting other people. Beginning with just a kick drum, there is a sort of tossing sensation that occurs, similarly to the way we can throw around negative emotions and experiences to rid ourselves of them. Beam is impassioned with these thoughts when he sings them, showing that they are coming from a genuine and knowledgeable place. "What Hurts Worse" ends with a droning effect that repeats the lines "Let's become the lovers we want / Let's become the lovers we need." in hopes that the repetition will stick in your head and make its way down to your heart. Check out the rest of the Weed Garden EP out now!

Dara Bankole on September 26, 2018
Surf Rock is Dead - Away Message

Surf Rock is Dead - Away Message


Brooklyn new-wave alt-rockers Surf Rock is Dead have released the first single from their upcoming debut LP. "Away Message" is an ode to a fallen friend — that friend being AOL Instant Messenger. Up until December 2017, AIM was the last vestige of a simpler age of technology. Before iMessage and Facebook, the application was the sole hub of all instant digital communication. SRiD's new song evokes nostalgia by sweetly recalling the days of using the service as a way to chat with a crush for the first time and what a thrill it was to hear that ringing bell alert when they signed on. The band's genre, which is often lumped in with other gazey Brooklyn indie-rock bands like DIIV or Beach Fossils, actually often incorporates elements of '90s alt-rock in a way many of their contemporaries do not, which is a fitting backdrop for the subject matter. Surf Rock is Dead's new album is due out next year.

Bobby Lewis on September 26, 2018
Helena Deland - Lean on You

Helena Deland - Lean on You


Hailing from Montreal, 26-year old singer-songwriter Helena Deland recently released her latest single “Lean on You” off of her upcoming EP, From the Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” Vol. III and IV. “Lean on You” begins slowly with Helena Deland singing along to the cooing of a guitar. The Montreal singer serenades, “Holding back, putting away / every perverted thing I’ve thought of saying / to you,” and with a gentle purpose, echoes the last line. In her hazy, thin-as-smoke voice, this line hums like a spell she is reciting to herself. Deland’s most recent ballad is quiet, but filled with urgency. Helena Deland’s voice is strong when she pushes, “I don’t need / to lean on you, no,” but there is a soft underbelly to the song, that suggests otherwise. “Lean on You” ends with Helena Deland humming softly alongside a steady rhythm, like waves crashing onto the shore — consistent, but somehow still mystifying and beautiful. 

Tiffany Hernandez on September 25, 2018
Kalle Mattson - Fades Away

Kalle Mattson - Fades Away


“Folk is dead,” Kalle Mattson proclaimed, and he clung to this mantra throughout the recording of his newest album, Youth. His morbid proclamation is less of an ultimatum and more of a challenge to himself to stretch the limits of what he might reasonably call folk music, the type of rule you set just so you can break it. “Fades Away” begins in a style not at all surprising for fans of Mattson, with floating synths filling out the space left empty by his tender fingerpicking and whispered vocals. Before long, however, these synthesizers are no longer content to simply float — they throb, they crash, and they announce a new era for Kalle Mattson. With his new bag of tricks, he sings of lost love and “making do with small-town fate,” caught in a helpless struggle against the relentless passage of time. Four minutes into his painful trek down memory lane, he pulls his most devious trick yet, cutting the track off mid-syllable and asserting control over his own fate once and for all. Folk isn’t dead, it just needed some new life.

Daniel Shanker on September 25, 2018
Fake Dad - Glory Days

Fake Dad - Glory Days


Nostalgia is a powerful theme in music today. Artists hailing from well-known major labels to the internet’s smallest crevices alike have commonly used it to provide warmth and resonance to their music. But it’s also no secret that modern-day culture has a nostalgia problem. With Hollywood relentlessly pumping out reboots of beloved franchises and the recent obsession of ‘80s culture in music and media, it's easy to feel as though we are a generation without identity; consumers of endlessly recycled material.

On “Glory Days,” Fake Dad take listeners on a trip down memory lane — but it feels closer to a cautionary tale than a fond retelling. Over a woozy synth and distorted bass, Fake Dad remember a simpler time when “we would all dress the same” and were “shallow minds living underneath the gutter.” Although we're practically trained to interpret the words warmly, it's hardly an affectionate look at childhood. Fast forward to today, and we are now “living vicariously through the screen” and “flipping through old photographs.” The song’s sonic landscape constantly shifts underneath — children giggling, pitched down vocals and overblown static are all thrown into the mix to give “Glory Days” a rich and effective texture. It’s a critical take on our nostalgic tendencies without being overly cynical, a promising highlight from an exciting new act.

Sam Reynolds on September 25, 2018
Grapetooth - Violent

Grapetooth - Violent


Grapetooth, a recent project that’s 50% Clay Frankel of Twin Peaks, has only released two singles so far. However, rumor has it that they’ve been causing a raucous over in Chicago playing live shows, leaving venues with holes in the ceiling and stained with wine (Grapetooth is a nickname that originated after a night of drinking a ton of red wine). The other half of the duo, Chris Bailoni, has been producing music for much longer than this group has been around. “Violent,” a dancey, synth-studded, irresistible banger that’s oddly reminiscent of the 80s, could only be the child of a rock n’ roller like Frankel and an electronic producer like Bailoni. It’s packed with energy and leaves you eager to hear more. Luckily, they’re working on a record to be released soon. Until then, this should be on heavy rotation.

Grace Eire on September 24, 2018
Autumn Days - Ben Rice

Autumn Days - Ben Rice


Brooklyn based singer-songwriter Ben Rice has perfectly captured what a fall day in New York City feels like as well as the emotions experienced during times of transition with his appropriately named song “Autumn Days.” With warm toned acoustic riffs and a gentle voice, he sings “Oh Dear, I’m getting too tired to run / I’ve seen what life has done / to all these places / familiar faces, they have gone,” speaking to the anxiety felt towards unwanted but inevitable change. With its well-blended acoustic guitar, steady bass lines, gentle keys and vulnerable demeanor, the track resonates with listeners on an emotional level before breaking into a bluesy guitar solo. As the song comes to a close, Rice expressively sings the chorus one more time before coming to an abrupt stop, signaling that change has finally arrived.

Alessandra Rincon on September 24, 2018
Adeline Hotel - Looking for the Same Thing

Adeline Hotel - Looking for the Same Thing


“Looking for the Same Thing,” the latest track from Brooklyn's Adeline Hotel, pairs the calm, familiar sound of Nick Drake with quiet audacity of Wilco’s “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” whose instruments test the waters as the song progresses before finding their true place in the arrangement. Like the instruments themselves, singer Dan Knishkowy has been “trying hard to figure shit out” on a couch, through a sleepless night, drinking alone and any which way he can. “Everyone I know / Been looking for the same thing,” sings Knishkowy, before acoustic and electric guitars sing out the same solo in their own voices, serving to remind us that we are not quite alone, just living in parallel, experiencing the same solitary confusion at the same time. He doesn’t have any answers, though. He leaves us wanting more, leaving the last chorus unfinished and launching into the song’s most transcendent moment, an instrumental outro forgoing answers for the simple reassurance that it, whatever it is, is alright.

Daniel Shanker on September 24, 2018
The Dig - Don't Stop Running

The Dig - Don't Stop Running


The Dig’s new single “Don’t Stop Running” is a nearly perfect song in our eyes. It has the perfect balance of funk, psychedelia and rock-pop. What’s not to love? It starts with a rhythmic verse as the lyrics croon “Don’t stop running” on repeat. Then it switches into a smooth, catchy chorus. It continues to seamlessly switch back and forth between the two and ultimately makes for a buttery, infectious tune. This is a song you can blast throughout the apartment first thing in the morning — it has that positive tone to it that’s bound to perk you up. Follow The Dig through their "Year of Music" and catch Afternoon With Caroline their second of 2 EPs released this year out October 19.

Kirsten Spruch on September 21, 2018
Tanukichan - Natural

Tanukichan - Natural


Hannah Van Loon, stage name Tanukichan, has released her album Sundays, produced and co-written by Chaz Bear of Toro Y Moi. In “Natural” the album's lead single, we see Van Loon working as a shoegaze artist in a way that is exciting both for the genre and the artist herself. The track is replete with dreamy vocals, eery guitar pitches and the crunchy yet cutting beat and amp static that has become familiar within the musical genre of shoegaze. Though lo-fi in its hazy nature, the richness of the guitar and vocals fill the song without pouring over the brim. 

“Natural” may be suggestive of basement recording sessions and lyrics written in a night time splendor, yet the technical clarity allows the work to surpass bedroom pop, lo-fi and even shoegaze bands of the past. With a general lack of specificity in the sound, lyrics and sentiments throughout the work “Natural” is a genre all of its own. The layering in the music, as well as the lyrics, (“It's natural sunlight / Grey fades to white lie / Kiss you tonight”) create an atmospheric and almost ungraspable track. However, the distorted vocals and humming sound of the song do not leave us perplexed, but rather intrigued. “Natural” is a song to dig into, piece by piece, a feast of noise and texture that leaves us hungry for more from this promising new artist.

Samantha Weisenthal on September 21, 2018

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