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​The Japanese House - Something Has To Change
​The Japanese House - Something Has To Change

​The Japanese House - Something Has To Change


The Japanese House is the moniker of London-based singer-songwriter Amber Bain. If you are familiar with her writing style, you know that she has an uncanny ability to make indie electronica feel warm and welcoming. That's precisely the texture we encounter in her most recent single, "Something Has To Change." It's much more pop-oriented than her most recent record Good At Falling, which, track for track, feels more like a film score than an album. Bain's voice is subtle and soft but manages to carry a world of emotional meaning. Some of her lyrics are so concise that they feel more like journalism than poetry: "And it's the same girl who's giving you hell / And it's the same face / Your heart keeps breaking in the same place." This indelible quality makes her a whip-smart songwriter. As a listener, you know that the words she's chosen were meticulously procured for this track: they were thought about, loved and woven into the song.

Hannah Lupas on October 4, 2019
Jelani Aryeh - The Garden

Jelani Aryeh - The Garden


Hop in the car, roll the windows down, and be transported back to warmer summer days with Jelani Aryeh’s new track “The Garden.” With the perfect blend of R&B and bedroom pop, this dreamy tune will have you hooked and wanting to hear more from the San Diego artist, whose musical influences include BROCKHAMPTON, Frank Ocean, Rex Orange County and Childish Gambino. His heartfelt lyrics, refined electronic production and catchy hooks make it hard to believe Aryeh is not yet 20 years old. Since the release of his debut EP Suburban Destinesia in 2017, Aryeh has dropped multiple singles, all of which have the same alternative suburban-pop vibe that is unique to his sound. If you love his music as much as we do, catch Jelani Aryeh live at Chelsea Music Hall on Thursday, September 26 alongside beabadoobee, Gabriel Black and KennyHoopla.

Dana Schwartz on September 20, 2019
ST.MARTiiNS - My Girl

ST.MARTiiNS - My Girl


“My Girl,” the newest single from Scotland-based indie-pop duo ST.MARTiiNS, is easygoing and smooth. With a catchy melody and a nice, breezy groove, the track is the definition of chill vibes. Muffled percussion helps the song feel comfortable and close, reminiscent of loose dancing in a tight space with somebody you love. A psychedelic bass sets the beat while cool, wavy guitars lower the lights, casting the arrangement in a dreamy, atmospheric glow. Clear production accentuates vocalist Katie Lynch’s unique, velvety vocals as she sings about the ups and downs of female friendships. “My girl” is luscious and fun—the perfect track to help you transition from summer to fall.

Britnee Meiser on September 20, 2019
Charli XCX - Official

Charli XCX - Official


While known for her futuristic production and stories of extravagant parties, British pop aficionado Charli XCX reaches new heights on "Official," a love letter to the person you're with when the party's over. She seems embarrassed to broach the idea of going official, toeing the line of hope and fear. "Look at us, isn't it obvious?" she asks: though she shouldn't have to, for someone as bold and brash as Charli, showing her emotional side is a terrifying concept. "Is it so dangerous? Is it so complicated?" Simple keys and a luminescent synth build in the chorus put her fragile vocals at the forefront, with the touch of autotune acting as a final barrier to protect her from feeling fully exposed. The song's earnest bridge is its highlight, as she insists, "Maybe the sky might not always be blue / All of my wishes will never come true / It doesn't matter 'cause I’m here with you." Long-time collaborator A.G. Cook pushed to have it on her new record—Charli assumed people would hate it and that they'd be like, 'Why is she doing that?'" While it seemed Charli XCX could only shake up pop conventions by getting weirder, stripping things back turned out to be the most gratifying surprise of all.

Ysabella Monton on September 19, 2019
Bad Daughter - I’m Too Much

Bad Daughter - I’m Too Much


Florida native Sierra Kay, known for her previous work in bands like Neaux and VersaEmerge, has spent the last few years on a quest for self-exploration. During her travels from NYC to Tennessee, Sierra has been creating a collection of hyper-personal songs about the inevitable heartaches of being a restless and rowdy woman who won’t settle down. These songs have morphed into Sierra’s new project, Bad Daughter. The band’s first single, the free-spirited and bittersweet “I’m Too Much” offers a glimpse at what this new endeavor will bring. The song toes the line between dreamy Americana and earthy folk with Sierra’s crystalline vocals and earnest, self-deprecating lyrics front and center. With one foot planted in the realm of indie rock and the other in the world of alt-country, Bad Daughter should be on everyone’s radar this coming year.

Alessandra Rincon on September 19, 2019
Frames - House Show

Frames - House Show


“House Show’ by Frames is meant for windows-down, hair-blowing driving. A bubble gum beat perfectly complements her soft, poppy voice. Underneath the lovely vocals, understated but powerful guitar strums lead the song along. Though maintaining the same love-stricken lyrics, Frames’s most recent release has a more upbeat, bubbly vibe than her past songs. Her most recent of just three songs, “House Show” is crazy catchy. Having recently joined Philly independent label Know Hope Records, we can expect—and desperately hope—for more releases.

Caroline Peacock on September 18, 2019
The Evening Attraction - Something Bout It

The Evening Attraction - Something Bout It


Chicago rock band, The Evening Attraction dropped a timeless tune influenced by the classic ballads of Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. "It's hidden in the details of the universe / I read it in the story of a lovers curse / Your beauty is the magic of a God's design / Spend a million years just trying to make you mine". It's often hard to explain the powerful love you feel for another person. This is the story that inspired vocalist, Miles Malin's croons in "Something Bout It". Beyond the romance, the single features memorable harmonies, an irresistibly groovy bassline and a majestic string section from Ohmme's Macie Stewart. This the best yet from The Evening Attraction.

Sophia Theofanos on September 18, 2019
Murielle - Felt Cute (Might Delete Later)

Murielle - Felt Cute (Might Delete Later)


NYC-based singer-songwriter Murielle is choosing to put herself first with "Felt Cute (Might Delete Later)," a self-love hymn she describes as her "reclamation." By invoking a meme in the title typically used to shame confident women on social media, Murielle reclaims the joke for herself, shattering the notion that women should be humble or coy about their looks. Featuring cadenced production by Swami Sound, the track fuses world music with pop-R&B synths and atmospheric elements, such as birds chirping to mimic the start of a new day, one that has her "feeling some type of way." Ambient harmonies further the anthemic quality of the song, as she makes a simple, yet revolutionary choice to "give her [ego] a twirl" even if she "didn't get laid / No, I didn't get paid." The music video features Murielle in various rooms of an empty building with a group of double-duty background dancers and admirers. The satisfaction of asserting her confidence, "Something that I worked for," is a feeling well-earned.

Ysabella Monton on September 18, 2019
Babeheaven - It Nan

Babeheaven - It Nan


"It Nan" is the latest single from the London group Babeheaven. The dreamy guitar intro is immediately transcendent. "It Nan" tells a story before we even hear the lyrics. "Every time I look a little deeper / five feet down I follow you," the tone to Nancy Andersen's vocal is slightly haunting, reminiscent of an old soul like Billie Holiday. The most unexpected yet somewhat nostalgic aspect of the track is the percussive beat that drops a quarter way through the song. It is the union of all of these elements that makes the sound of Babeheaven uniquely their own.

Sophia Theofanos on September 17, 2019
Hovvdy - Ruin (my ride)

Hovvdy - Ruin (my ride)


Charlie Martin and Will Taylor both started out their musical journeys as drummers, but the hushed sound they have developed as the principal songwriters of Hovvdy show no trace of the speed, aggression or volume one might expect from clashing percussionists. Sometimes described as “pillowcore,” their tour with an artist like Lomelda makes perfect sense. It’s not so much mood music as it is moody music. “Ruin (my ride)” is Hovvdy’s second single from their upcoming album, Heavy Lifter, and it “explores the often complicated nature of social and professional rejection, and aims to celebrate the power in genuine connection.” But, like all or at least almost all of Hovvdy’s music, “Ruin (my ride)” inevitably has the primary or at least secondary or at the very least tertiary effect of capturing an overwhelming wave of nostalgia. The tape recorder fuzz, the gentle acoustic strumming, the simple drum loops, and the sound of the vocals like they were processed through an iPhone microphone (a tactic they actually employed until recently, when the quality of their production caught up with the quality of their stellar songwriting) all sound like the ache of a yearning for something long gone or never experienced.

Daniel Shanker on September 17, 2019
Whitney - Forever Turned Around

Whitney - Forever Turned Around


“Forever Turned Around,” the closing track on Whitney’s sophomore album of the same name, is the worthy culmination of three years and ten soft, shimmering rock songs. Vivid sounds are weaved through a vast, emotional arrangement; listening with your eyes closed is like watching the sunset eke out the last of its golden rays before it disappears over the horizon. A little psych-rock, a little bit of jazz, and Whitney’s impressive orchestral arrangements create an unmatched, genre-defying listening experience bathed in warmth. Muffled percussion and uplifting classical piano evoke a swaying beat as familiar as a cozy, lo-fi campfire croon. Horns with bellows as soft as sunbeams and gorgeous, surprising strings give the song its golden hour glow. The true emotional girth of “Forever Turned Around” however, lies not in the grandeur of its arrangement, but the places where it strategically stays soft. This is reflected in the lyrics, which are grippingly introspective: “Has your heart grown heavy by now? / Cause mine's already on the ground / Spent a long cold winter thinking about / The way forever turned around.” The wispy, lovelorn vocal sweeps over the instrumentation as a reflection on growth and the inevitable impermanence of forever, and it never builds. As reliably pleasing as the band itself, “Forever Turned Around” is a swoon-worthy track you can listen to again and again.

Britnee Meiser on September 16, 2019

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