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Modern Diet - Post Grad
Modern Diet - Post Grad

Modern Diet - Post Grad


New York-based Modern Diet’s new track “Post Grad” astutely captures the disillusionment of growing older. Its subject feels detached from the passage of time, comparing himself to Sisyphus, a Greek mythical figure doomed to push a boulder up a hill for eternity. However, the song itself refuses to remain stagnant; while it begins melodic and airy, its lightheartedness is eventually disrupted by a biting guitar riff that incites the start of the track's decomposition. From this point, the energy builds steadily, at times returning to its initial softness only to reject it again, until it approaches a cheerful and choral end that feels like a final liberation. However, the listener soon finds that the narrative of “Post Grad” is circular, and that despite the battling sounds that seemed to have met their end, its narrator has not actually broken free. Rather, his farewell suggests that he has resolved to push his boulder into oblivion: “I have to go have to go, I have a boulder to push.”

Brittany Cortez on February 27, 2020
Overcoats - Fire & Fury

Overcoats - Fire & Fury


New York-based indie-pop duo, Overcoats’ “Fire & Fury” is an anthem of perseverance. It starts small with a focus on Hana Elion and JJ Mitchel’s signature harmonies that blend so perfectly at times their voices feel like one. It builds slowly into the chorus when their voices are joined by a simple yet full synthesizer arrangement punctuated by precise guitar riffs and piano fills. It’s a song meant for a triumphant movie-montage tinged with nostalgia as they sing, “I’ve been fighting but you’re still at the party / is this the part where you don’t even know me at all.” The dynamic track never sits within one sonic space for too long, it rises and falls from verse to chorus—reaching its peak within the bridge as they repeat, “we’ll get through it” like a prayer. “Fire & Fury” is the title track on Overcoats’ newest EP out earlier this month.

Corey Bates on February 26, 2020
Marian Hill - was it not

Marian Hill - was it not


There’s a difference between moving on and moving forward. The reality is that memories stay with you, but after a while, they tend to mix in with new moments and take on new shapes. Was what happened in the past really as it seems or, as Marian Hillappropriately titles their new single, “was it not”? The fiery, dark-pop duo, who have championed their brand of sparse, heavy-hitting production and indulgent songwriting continue to do what they do best on this new track. Complete with Samantha Gongol’s sultry, emotive vocal and Jeremy Lloyd’s minimalistic production, this song takes just the right amount of space to reflect upon a past relationship with its moodiness. It’s also completely club-ready with Lloyd’s signature 808-inspired beats and vocal chops that keep a hypnotic groove while Gongol’s vocal is spotlighted for its lush sensuality. In a press release, Lloyd explains the feeling of limbo that the song highlights, “[This song] is about considering a relationship from long ago—remembering how we were so in love, and that person was everything to us, only now when we think about that one time...was that moment them?” Or was it not?

Deanna DiLandro on February 26, 2020
Maddie Jay - The Peanut Butter Song

Maddie Jay - The Peanut Butter Song


Maddie Jay’s newest single, “The Peanut Butter Song”, is the perfect song to carry us into the spring, shedding the heaviness of winter with a warm groove. It’s the same optimism that guides the narrator. There's wildly creative and fun imagery in Jay's words as she spots and acknowledges that this relationship might not be as good as it looks. The specific, almost-healthiness of peanut butter is a brilliant metaphor, and Jay delivers the words in the smooth and silky style we’ve come to expect from her. The whole track feels so effortless, quite the feat when you consider the beauty and depth in the production and the emotion and vulnerability of the lyrics. Moments like the chorus make it clear—the catchy synth riff front and center with stunning yet subtle background vocals holding it all together. Maddie Jay's "The Peanut Butter Song" continues to prove how good the artist is at tackling life’s toughest situations and finding a way to dance through them.

Max Himelhoch on February 26, 2020
Låpsley - Womxn

Låpsley - Womxn


“Womxn” is a song for every womxn. This fresh release from British singer-songwriter Låpsley tells a coming-of-age story meant to give hope to those experiencing doubt or going through a time of transition and change. She has gone on to say that the choice to use the womxn spelling was to be inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community which she is a part of. Being in your 20s is a weird and often frightening time and this song was written at a period of just that for Låpsley. She released the track alongside a statement that it was written about “having trust in the passage of time.” Through quite a personal narrative Låpsley is able to capture messages of strength and self-belief that can be shared and understood by a great range of audiences. "Womxn" is the first single from her upcoming album Through Water which is set to be released on March 20, 2020.

Megan Beck on February 25, 2020
Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes - What Kinda Music

Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes - What Kinda Music


Following the announcement of their collaborative album, respected artists/instrumentalists Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes have released their first single in anticipation of their LP. “What Kinda Music” is actually a perfect title for the track, which explores the type of sounds that these two will be putting out in their album. With Misch’s smooth vocals and production style and Dayes’ drumming mastery and experimental touch, the combination is inevitably hypnotic and sleek. The execution feels jazzy and modern, with an electronic heavy influence and flicks of addictive drum beats that could play on repeat, deep into the night. Misch’s voice creates a sweet, breezy environment and perfect backdrop for Dayes’ creative flow to live in. It’s a perfect synergy of experimental and well-executed hooks. You can look forward to more of this on their LP, which has features from Freddie Gibbs and Kaida Akinnibi, set to release on April 24 via Blue Note Records.

Julie Gentile on February 25, 2020
Dan & Drum - Curious George

Dan & Drum - Curious George


Pluck an acoustic guitar. Gentle. A little funkier. Good, loop it. Keep going. Start clapping. Throw in a whistle—like an actual referee’s whistle. Hit record. Dan & Drum are all over the place in the most fascinating way. They’re spending the first half of 2020 releasing an EP every month, each showcasing a different genre from their eclectic palette—genres like Suffer Funk and Bubble Rap, to name a few. The first single “Curious George” is what they call, aptly, a Wonder Jam. Built on top of one continuous loop, it still refuses to sound the same twice, expanding and contracting with wide eyes and an open mind. Try to spot the different sound effects as they pop up or try to locate every vocal backing track, like an audio version of I, Spy. Dan Schechter, the Dan half of Dan & Drum, takes the manic energy of a seasoned freestyler spitting five fingers of death and bottles it up, pockets it and doles it out in measured proportions. He sits pleasantly on the very fine line between a thoughtful crooner and an auctioneer selling street corner newspapers on the radio like the side effects will make your eyes fall straight out of your skull. “The customer’s always right,” he sings knowingly, but he can sell anything.

Daniel Shanker on February 25, 2020
Jane Holiday - All Yours

Jane Holiday - All Yours


“All Yours,” the latest single from Los Angeles-based songwriter Jane Holiday, offers a modern spin on classic soul. The swift-tempo track revolves around Holiday’s rich, fervent vocal delivery, which anchors an irresistibly glittering beat and effervescent synth-pop sounds. It’s the combination of these elements that allow the song to sound timeless, as Holiday showcases his vocal firepower and ornate melodic touches amongst a flurry of towering synth hooks, warm bass lines, and kaleidoscopic rhythms. Holiday’s raw emotion and whimsical cadence allow you to follow the song’s story of unrequited love closely, feeling the heartbreak in his voice that eventually morphs to elation. The story behind the tune is familiar to many, including Holiday, as it chronicles the emotional spectrum of letting go of someone you love, and the elated relief experienced when they return—making the track timeless in both its sound and theme. Jane Holiday is performing at our next dinner party on April 6 at Woon Kitchen in Los Angeles. Tickets are available now and the price of admission includes food!

Tom Gallo on February 24, 2020
Mapache - Life on Fire

Mapache - Life on Fire


“Life on Fire” is the twangy second single off Mapache’s forthcoming album From Liberty Street, out March 20. Mapache’s sound infuses the various cities across California and Mexico that its members Clay Finch and Sam Blasucci have at different points called home, and the atmospheric quality of “Life on Fire” further cements their knack for using music to create environments. The backdrop for From Liberty Street is east-LA, where the folk duo currently live and create. Prior to releasing “Life on Fire,” Mapache put out their cover of the classic bolero ballad “Me Voy Pa’l Pueblo,” a track originally performed by Los Panchos which the band revived in celebration of their neighborhood’s rich Latinx heritage. Where “Me Voy Pa’l Pueblo” is aching and romantic, “Life on Fire” is lighthearted and airy—with the pairs’ easy harmonies and stripped-down strumming perfectly evoking the sun-soaked southwest. With two strong singles already under their belt, the bilingual From Liberty Street is slated to be a charming and dynamic exploration of place.

Brittany Cortez on February 24, 2020
Rose Upton - Deep Sea

Rose Upton - Deep Sea


Lush and hypnotic, “Deep Sea,” the debut release from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Rose Upton, is as enchanting and darkly dreamy as a siren song. The arrangement is full and atmospheric, and losing yourself in it feels like being submerged in mystical waters where music sounds sweeter and mermaids exist. The instrumentation is vivid and wet: Reverberating guitar gives the track a base that feels fluid and consistent, while crisp, satisfying percussion hits like the heavy crash of a wave against rocks. The lyrics take you down a journey of discovery, and Upton’s lovely, light voice is enchanting and beguiling. She sings with a conviction that, were this a fairy tale, would surely lure any sailor to his death. Thankfully this is real life, and for Rose Upton’smusic career, it’s only the beginning: she plans to release her debut EP later this year.

Britnee Meiser on February 24, 2020
Eric Cannata - Lonely Beast

Eric Cannata - Lonely Beast


“I didn’t want to give myself time to overthink,” says Eric Cannata about the process of recording his upcoming EP. He decamped to a studio outside of Los Angeles with session musicians he had never met and recorded five songs, mostly live, in just two days. “Lonely Beast” is a product of that simplicity and spontaneity, a quiet weekend morning kind of song. Cannata, in his lullaby voice, is most moving when describing minor details, the types of things we pay such close attention to ourselves but would never dream of letting anyone else know the extent of our awareness.“Windows cracked / I’ll hear you when you come right back,” he sings, and you can imagine him counting the seconds. Everything in the track is gentle, from the steady fingerpicking to the wavering pedal steel, from the chord changes to Cannata words. But it’s so hard to tell, as it always is with loneliness, if that gentleness is a sign of contentment with a quiet weekend morning or resignation that it will be yet another quiet weekend morning.

Daniel Shanker on February 21, 2020

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