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spill tab - Calvaire
spill tab - Calvaire

spill tab - Calvaire


French-Korean artist Claire Chicha, otherwise known as spill tab, creates mesmerizing electro-pop alongside producer David Marinelli. On their latest single, “Calvaire,” the two deliver an unstoppable bop that is as danceable as it is atmospheric. The vocal is lush and delivered in French, but you don’t have to know French to appreciate this banger. In a teaser for the music video accompanying the song, Chicha mentions “Calvaire represents shitty circumstances that can ruin life. Something overbearing.” This sentiment is relatable now more than ever before, as we isolate ourselves and navigate away from our “normal” lives. As troublesome as our current crisis might be, at least we have “Calvaire” to move us with it’s embellished, percolating beat.

Deanna DiLandro on April 1, 2020
Yael Naim - She

Yael Naim - She


Scene: the spartan hallways of a music academy, after hours. Distant piano arpeggiations fade into consciousness, floating skyward before dissipating into aging, yellowed, acoustic ceiling tiles. You follow the sound, and at last, crack open the door to a large, nearly empty rehearsal hall, revealing a lone pianist practicing what sounds to be a Liszt piece. A percussive element follows the shape of the melody: the exaggerated clack of piano keys snapping you into reality. Staying grounded is necessary. Yael Naim casts a siren’s spell, tantalizing with her perfect vocal blend of airiness and earthiness. To prevent you from drifting to sleep, a plucky synth part enters, and suddenly you’re catapulted into a magical quest to save Zelda...or something. The production builds, adding a harpsichord, an angelic choir, a small brass section. “She” guides the listener through an orchestral journey of the psyche: the loss of control, the doubting of your own sanity, the questioning of self and the fear of what comes next. Above all the confusion, sunlight streams, blinding as through stained glass in a stately cathedral, bathing you in hope. Naim spins an ethereal dance that twists and turns in and out of darkness and light, serving up a hauntingly appropriate backdrop for these uncertain times.

Karyna Micaela on March 31, 2020
 Alice Phoebe Lou - Witches

Alice Phoebe Lou - Witches


“Witches” from Alice Phoebe Lou is magical. Boldly incessant synth cascades over every word, hypnotizing and enticing. This song weds the cosmic and the terrestrial as Lou’s entrancing vocals cast spells, proclaiming “I'm one of those witches, babe / I'm one of those witches, babe / Just don't try to save me, 'cause / I don't wanna be saved." Listen as this track pulls you in and out of a lovely dream, and makes your body sway in that “golden way." When the things that make us worry are far beyond our control, songs like these are a wonderful gift. We can surrender for a moment to kindly hypnotic music like “Witches” and be at ease.

Ben Burke on March 31, 2020
Chris Rovik - Burning Bridges

Chris Rovik - Burning Bridges


Don’t be surprised if you catch yourself bouncing along to Chris Rovik’s latest single “Burning Bridges” which, despite being a bittersweet farewell to a toxic relationship, makes itself out to be quite the departure from the artist’s last EP, Let Go, which he released around the same time last year. Opting for pop over grunge, this track wastes no time getting started, filtering into focus with an upbeat guitar, a bouncing bassline, and the infectious tongue-click of a wooden block. Rovik ends up with something a little less signature moody-goth-acoustic, and something more Tom Petty-playful. With the instruments maintaining a bubbly momentum, dynamic vocals lead us through the emotional evolution of the song; Rovik begins in the tenderness of a lower register and builds up to the powerful delivery of someone carrying the weight of a relationship he no longer wants to bear. When he repeats “This will be your last” in the chorus over and over, it seems to be more of a reminder to himself than anything else. “Burning Bridges” might be a last goodbye, but with this ending comes the sense of having a weight lifted from your chest, leaving you a little lighter as you dance off into the future.

Shasha Léonard on March 31, 2020
Hinds - Come Back And Love Me <3

Hinds - Come Back And Love Me <3


Delicate and flirty, Hinds’ latest release “Come Back And Love Me <3” puts visions of swaying with a lover in your head. It’s refreshing and sweet to hear at a moment when things feel uncertain and scary. Listen to it while laying in the grass with your eyes closed; move your arms to the tune. The 4-piece band based in Madrid, Spain never fail to turn a song into a theatrical experience, as if you are watching a plot unfold on stage. In the chorus, their lyrics switch back and forth between English and Spanish. The contrast is lovely with smooth transitions between the two languages. "Come back and love me / Vente y te dejo ganar (Come and I’ll let you win) / Come back and love me / Es que odio esta manera de jugar (It’s just that I hate this way of playing).” The mix of pretty vocals and soothing guitar strums make this track one to ring in the new season.

Bailee Penski on March 30, 2020
​mxmtoon - Quiet Motions

​mxmtoon - Quiet Motions


mxmtoon’s “Quiet Motions” is lovely to listen to. Cars and footsteps are met by warm and shimmering acoustics. The soundscape is calm as mxmtoon asks “Isn’t it nice to be all by yourself?” This track poetically encapsulates feelings familiar to many young people. It calmly details the simple pleasures of living alone: the “quiet motions." In a time where many of us are stuck at home, we could learn from this song to appreciate the quiet motions of our lives. Whatever home may look like for you, give this track a listen while you find the quiet motions in your own life. Meditative in a beautifully modern way, "Quiet Motions" fades away to a peaceful end, and leaves us thinking the same thing mxmtoon asks earlier: “Isn’t it nice? Isn’t it nice?”

Ben Burke on March 30, 2020
Ackerman - Surf King

Ackerman - Surf King


What began as a self-described “bedroom project” from frontman Jordan McAfee-Hahn has turned into a bi-coastal musical collaboration between friends producing some of the freshest indie pop since Grizzly Bear. Ackerman,which consists of McAfee-Hahn, Bernardo Ochoa, and Matti Dunietz, is known for its beachy, retro vibes. The group's latest release “Surf King” doesn’t stray from that arrow. In 2018, the Brooklyn-based band was in the middle of producing its EP when McAfee-Hahn set out on a new adventure. “When I moved to Los Angeles, I thought I’d be closer to the beach / When I moved to Los Angeles, I thought I’d be a surfing king.” The lyrics are tinged with humor but based on real experiences (likely McAfee-Hahn’s) that play out like a bad case of Instagram vs. Reality. The soul-sucking traffic from LAX, the pollution and smog blocking the view of the mountains and sun, and a beach that remains to be seen only on a map leads our narrator to profess he “doesn’t know what [he] is doing.” Described by McAfee-Hahn as “a love song for a city that’s tough to be broke in,” the song drips with equal parts adoration and frustration. The city, like the ocean, takes you in and spits you back out when you’re least expecting it.

Corinne Osnos on March 30, 2020
SASAMI - Mess

SASAMI - Mess


After a jam-packed year of releasing her self-titled album and touring across the country, SASAMI begins 2020 with her dark new single “Mess.” The track is an edgy departure from the soft, sensitive sound that permeated many of her releases in 2019, and perhaps sets a new tone for what's next for the LA-based singer-songwriter in the coming months. “Mess” begins with a moody bassline accompanied by SASAMI’s dejected lyricism; "I’m just trying to get paid and I’m already high now," which, as the song continues, is a phrase that is continuously bookended by a biting guitar riff that intensifies with each repetition. Though “Mess” is grungy, it never becomes unwieldy; each eruption of noise alternates between neat melodies. Though SASAMI flawlessly captures the feeling of losing control, the track itself never does; portraying intense emotion while staying musically grounded. Her single couldn’t have come at a more fitting cultural moment, and hopefully within the unpredictability, we, too, can maintain a modicum of control in the mess.

Brittany Cortez on March 27, 2020
Porches - Patience

Porches - Patience


Porches, NY-based, singer-songwriter Aaron Maine's indie project, returns with his fourth album Ricky Music. “Patience” opens the album and could be best described as a synth-pop dream. The song makes you feel as though you are listening to a hopeful love poem. The intimate sound is built by stripped guitar, minimal piano chords and echoing vocals. There is a sort of begging nature to the track and you can hear the pleading in Maine’s voice to have this relationship work out even if everything in life is rooting against it. It’s truthful and raw songs like this that truly connect with me at this time where things are so uncertain. I have been able to hear this song live a few times already and that is because Maine is currently on a virtual tour. Porches has found a way to connect with his audience by holding an Instagram Live each night he was supposed to be on tour. He takes song requests and even has special guests join him “on stage." Catch him on the next night of the tour live from his Instagram.

Megan Beck on March 27, 2020
Emmett Kai - Tiger Balm

Emmett Kai - Tiger Balm


Full of vibrant instrumentals and crisp, cool production, “Tiger Balm”  is the edgy new alt-rock single from indie-pop artist Emmett Kai. A worthy follow-up to his 2019 debut, Baby Hits!, the track showcases some of his boldest, brightest songwriting to date, and is the perfect song to listen to when you need to get out of your head. Lush with nostalgic guitar tones, shimmering synths, and Kai’s smooth, smoky vocals, the arrangement feels grand and all-encompassing, like you’re listening live on a cool summer night surrounded by a couple hundred of your closest friends. That’s due in large part to the tight, full percussion, which injects the track with a thrashing, pulsing energy, making it nearly impossible to listen to without dancing. With a contagious hook and an upbeat tempo, “Tiger Balm” is expansive and experimental, and its unique brand of moody pop is a fitting escape from the world right now.

Britnee Meiser on March 26, 2020
Moses Sumney - Cut Me

Moses Sumney - Cut Me


“Isolation comes from ‘insula’ which means island.” So begins part one of Moses Sumney's græ, a two-part album which the artist describes as “a conceptual patchwork about grayness.” On a cold and wet Wednesday in New York amid a worldwide pandemic, that grayness feels uncannily prescient. “Cut Me” explores the forces beyond our control that hold us captive (and close). Hauntingly clear vocals cut through the silence, “Masochistic kisses / Are how I thrive." The horn section delivers us to the chorus, where Sumney doesn’t shy away from his message. “Might not be healthy for me but I need what cuts me, cuts me, cuts me, cut me, cut me, cut me,” he sings over droning synths. His radical acceptance awakens something spiritual within us all.

Corinne Osnos on March 25, 2020

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