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Oh Wonder - Better Now
Oh Wonder - Better Now

Oh Wonder - Better Now


The latest single from Londoners, Oh Wonder is a lush alt-pop track. "Better Now" is a smooth, easy listen that quickly escalates from oceanic and cool to a stellar display of pop music prowess. Oh Wonder is the indie duo consisting of Anthony West and Josephine Vander Gucht, who garnered quick acclaim from critics and music lovers alike when they released a single every month for the year of 2014. This new single displays what the band does so well: complement each other both vocally and musically. Vander Gucht's vocalization in the last minute of the song is essential and gripping. Listen to "Better Now" wherever you stream!

Hannah Lupas on November 12, 2019
Drug Store Romeos - Now You’re Moving

Drug Store Romeos - Now You’re Moving


Halloween may be over, but the spirit of ~spooky season~ continues with Drug Store Romeos' haunting new track, “Now You’re Moving.” The group has defined their sound as “dream pop trip-hop,” drawing influences from dub and “outsider” music, as well as 90s slowcore bands like Belly, Mojave 3, Slowdive and Cocteau Twins. Although these influences are apparent throughout the tune, Drug Store Romeos' approach is entirely unique. Lead singer Sarah Downey’s ethereal voice floats majestically above a prominent drum beat and bassline, creating a feeling that is simultaneously peaceful and hectic. The dreamy melody and trance-like ambiance are further accentuated by the song's masterful production—different sounds trick your ears by bouncing across audio channels. With just one recorded track released to date, all we can hope is that this trio from Fleet, Hampshire comes out with more.

Dana Schwartz on November 11, 2019
Ackerman - A Million Sunflowers

Ackerman - A Million Sunflowers


On "A Million Sunflowers," Ackerman lures you into a kaleidoscope colored world with epic synths, ghostly vocals and bombastic instrumentation. The first 2 minutes and 18 seconds hold their breath in anticipation of the impending percussive climax. The wait is worth it. It can be hard to decide if a band is better experienced live or through headphones. In Ackerman’s case, their songs are equally successful in both settings. The spatial quality of the track has the ability to transport you to the smaller venues they play around NYC, proving the group’s professional control over chaotic, psychedelic soundscapes. Though the track dips and dives from sweet, sleepy melodies to all-out, cathartic pop-rock, it eventually hushes into a watery piano lullaby coda, orbiting elliptically back to the feeling of the beginning of the song. "A Million Sunflowers” floats and rocks all at once for an altogether rewarding sonic journey.

Thomas Paparella on November 11, 2019
Ayoni - Santa Monica

Ayoni - Santa Monica


Newcomer Ayoni has made quite the entrance this fall. One of eight stunning tracks off her debut, "Santa Monica" showcases Ayoni's command of show-stopping harmonies, incredible range and poetic lyricism in such a way that it is clear the 20-year old Bajan artist is a force to be reckoned with. This track tells the story of a complicated love and love lost set to a uniquely caribbean cadence. Layered harmonies and stunning vocal stylings punctuate the equally notable lyrics, “You say / You don’t know how not to leave me in / Two / But you’re taking more than just your body out of this / Room." The line, “If I can’t have you I’ll slay these men and we’ll all bleed out” reverberates over and over, emotionally building in such a way that it’s easy to feel as if you’ve been sent to another dimension. The strategic removal and understatement of backing instruments as well as the clever addition of acoustic clapping elements emphasize not only the beat, but the producer and multi-instrumentalist’s range and creativity. Released in mid-October, Ayoni’s Iridescent is worth a listen multiple times over; such a strong start proves Ayoni is a force in her own right.

Jazzmyne Pearson on November 11, 2019
DJ ST THOMAS - CENTIMETERS

DJ ST THOMAS - CENTIMETERS


A rich blend of chill, experimental soundscapes and psychedelic instrumentation, MATRIMONY, the exciting debut EP from Brooklyn-based musician and producer DJ ST THOMAS, crosses cultures and genres. Out today, the 7-track release is packed with groovy, danceable hooks and unique arrangements, all of which flow seamlessly through tight, vivid production. A standout track is “CENTIMETERS,” which bops to 70s-style guitar and an easygoing, R&B-inspired beat. Like staring at a lava lamp, the melody is wavy and transfixing. Its lulling, lo-fi bedroom vibes are amplified by the crackle and energy of various synths and samples, creating an effortlessly cool, impressively elevated DIY sound. DJ ST THOMAS has a voice like butter; smooth and warm, his vocals melt and mix with the arrangement like they were made for it. Lush and dreamy, “CENTIMETERS” is a vibrant mid-tempo jam from an EP perfect for easy, late-night listening.

Britnee Meiser on November 8, 2019
Window - Hideout

Window - Hideout


If Hideout, the moniker for NYC-based duo Gabriel Rodriguez and Scarlett Stephenson-Connolly, has managed to fly under your radar in the past, now is the perfect time to get to know them with their latest release, “Window.” The unruly and wondrous track is the fifth single the pair has put out this year and it is a deceptive and dazzling addition. The intro pangs of sound create a sense of discomfort before gliding into the jarring first line: “Strangers are looking in my window.” The feeling of being watched is present throughout the song but the rhythm moves in waves; before you can get spooked the eerie undertones pull back and an upbeat hook surges in, making you forget what you were worried about. But don’t relax yet—suddenly the lyrics are turning, the lights are off, and the stranger in the window resurfaces. Every time you are about to get comfortable, “Window” switches up, reaching out, grabbing your arm, and pulling you in for the ride. Hideout’s sweeping new single will delight anyone who can manage to keep up.

Brigid Moser on November 8, 2019
Birch - Your Gold

Birch - Your Gold


Birch brings a more energetic sound to her newest single, “Your Gold.” Sliding into an electronic space, the Brooklyn-based artist explores the myth of the American dream and what it means to really “make it” through a gold rush allegory. Following her politically-charged debut, femme.one, “Your Gold” feels lighter and more vibrant. Birch marks the evolution in her sound as she sings, “Time would halt when you stop the clock / but everything’s changing / I am not who I was.” The song leaves space for itself to breath—not shying away from silence or shifts in tempo while somehow still maintaining a levity throughout. "Your Gold" is dancey without losing substance. The bridge serves as a grounding point as she repeats “I hope you’re happy when the wind blows right / you know exactly where I wanna fly” over minimal synths before shifting back into the chorus with full force. With this new single, Birch makes it clear that she is not one to follow a path set out for her by others. She will forge her own.

Corey Bates on November 8, 2019
Day Sounds - In the Tree Streets

Day Sounds - In the Tree Streets


"In the Tree Streets” begins with birdsong and ends in wistful organ, and everything that happens in between is bursting with sunshine. In this sonic playground, jangle-pop plays well with psych-rock, Andrew Beck’s vocals play tag with Ben Alvarez's reverby guitar, and maybe everything really will be okay after all. Lyrically, the track is reflective and reminiscent, flitting from memory to memory like a bittersweet butterfly but never latching too hard onto the danger of nostalgia before launching into the pithy, relatable chorus, “nothing’s the same, and nothing has changed." Behold, the friendly, sonically diverse stylings of Day Sounds, who have put together a debut single of rare polish—and with gorgeous, confident graphic design to match.

Karl Snyder on November 7, 2019
Broken Bells - Good Luck

Broken Bells - Good Luck


Danger Mouse and James Mercer have reunited on "Good Luck," a fatalistic new single that broods on the desolation of our current day and age. A pounding bass sits at the forefront while Mercer sings of looking "the face of evil" in the eye. "Head up, dead lamb," he sings, acknowledging that our sacrifice has already been made. Upon declaring that "there's no divine right," lines like "In time, it ends" then feel like a promise for a light at the end of the tunnel. While Danger Mouse collaborated with Karen O for Lux Prima earlier this year, Mercer has been mostly quiet since The Shins' 2018 surprise release of The Worm's Heart, a reworking of their fifth album Heartworms. In a joint statement, the duo officially announced an upcoming LP. "We always drift back to one another as Broken Bells," they stated in their press release for the single. "Right now it’s happened in the form of writing and recording sessions for the third Broken Bells album."

Ysabella Monton on November 7, 2019
​Joseph - Come On Up to the House

​Joseph - Come On Up to the House


Joseph recently treated us to “Come On Up to the House,” the titular and opening track of Come On Up to the House: Women Sing Waits, an all-female tribute to Tom Waits, featuring the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, The Wild Reeds and Rosanne Cash. The original is a joyous and welcoming anthem, urging listeners to take the lemons life has given them and squeeze out every last drop — “All your crying don’t do no good / Come on up to the house / Come down off the cross, we can use the wood.” Though the gravel in his voice could only ever come from Waits himself, he sings with the weight of a choir of barflies swaying shoulder-to-shoulder with their pints in hand. It would have been easy for Joseph to follow that same stomp-and-holler formula that makes their early singles so infectious. Nobody would have asked for anything more. Instead, theirs is a somber take on the song, stunning and singular. Where Waits sounds triumphant and inviting, Joseph sounds tired and alone, almost as if they are singing the song to themselves because nobody else will. Backed by only a piano and a string section, the three sisters take turns with their lonesome verses, reserving their combined harmonies for the grand finale, acknowledging the difficulty but necessity, of finding unity where it seems impossible.

Daniel Shanker on November 7, 2019
Hazel English - Shaking

Hazel English - Shaking


Hazel English has been relatively quiet since the release of her stellar 2017 album Just Give In / Never Going Home. Awash in surf-rock instrumentation and sunshiny melodies, the album was a fun, carefree drive down the LA coastline. Now the Aussie-born Californian is stepping up her game—she’s back with a new single, and it’s bolder than ever. “Shaking,” out today from Polyvinyl Record Co., shows her depth as an artist and ear for arrangement. Sharper percussion and full, more mature instrumentation take the track from the beach to the basement of the coolest club, where the crowd is full and everybody is dancing without judgment. The track has a continuous undercurrent of confidence, both in the energy and vigor of the instruments and in English’s soft, swoon-worthy voice. “Get down on your hands and knees / Baby beg for me,” she sings in a controlled, wispy soprano, embracing the subtle power of her femininity. Overall, “Shaking” is a battle cry for self-discovery and self-love, empowering listeners to live their lives to the fullest and embrace change.

Britnee Meiser on November 6, 2019

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