Author’s Pick – BOY

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FEAR :: BOY :: Pop Rock

Let’s get this out of the way: I’m not posting WE WERE HERE (the lead single and obvious emotional standout from BOY’s second album) because I’ve been listening to it for months and probably so have anyone who’s ever heard of this band. Instead I’m posting the second track, a rollicking, guitar-backed number that triumphantly announces “all my love against your fear”, tugging at the heartstrings just as it forces a league of tapping feet. I was slow on the uptake with the album as a whole, but after this, I’m sure to check out the rest of BOY’s work. They’re the Swiss/German duo of vocalist Valeska Steiner and bassist Sonja Glass. Check them out, they deserve your attention. Sounds like: a sweet and layered combination of Sara Bareilles and Daughter

 

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Author’s Pick – JONES

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HOOPS :: JONES :: Alternative Pop

Am I allowed to post old music on here? Old as in less than a year? Well, that’s okay. JONES is a very slick and cool alternative pop artist working out of London, and her music is sweet and syrupy and quirky and very easy on the ears. HOOPS comes from her forthcoming debut album entitled New Skin, which releases on Oct 7. It’s a long wait, but if the material is anything like this, I’m more than willing to wait. Check out INDULGE and MELT as well; both are sensational soul-inflected singles that deserve more exposure come the release. And listen to this one again. It gets better and better, and her voice is honeyed goodness. Sounds like: Banks with a slightly brighter outlook, a female Josef Salvat, Beyoncé aims for an indie smash

Author’s Pick – Memoryhouse

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CAREGIVER :: Memoryhouse :: Dream Pop

I’m not a huge fan of dream pop as a whole; a fair amount of it has seemed a bit repetitive and uneventful to me, though I’m not one to generalize. Memoryhouse, though, stands out. It’s the Canadian duo of Evan and Denise. Their music consists of floating vocals that haunt the mind long after the first listen, skittering drums that recall shoegaze rock groups like Widowspeak and Daughter, and swirling synthesizer production that begs to be played aloud on a calm summer’s day. Be sure to check out their later work– their new album, Soft Hate, is quietly gorgeous. Sounds like: Daughter without the sense of mourning, Braids with a calmer tempo, a female-fronted Phoria

Author’s Pick – HOLYCHILD

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POWER PLAY (feat. RAC) :: HOLYCHILD :: Alternative Pop

Whenever I’m not listening to HOLYCHILD, I find myself wishing that I were. It helps that this incredible brat-pop duo– Liz and Louie of L.A. – have recently released a 5-track EP based around meticulously chosen features, including (be still my heart) MS MR, Kitten, Tkay Maidza, Mereki, and, yes, RAC. This is my favorite of their collaborations, a stomping and synth-driven pop number that pushes its own pulse faster and faster as the intensity of the lyrics grows. Sounds like: Kesha with intelligent and subversive lyrics, Priest on ecstasy, MS MR with a fuller and sweeter sound

Author’s Pick – Björk

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INNOCENCE :: Björk :: Electronic

Apple Music is a wonderful thing. You can download entire discographies for no price whatsoever, all at the click of a mouse. I did this with Björk’s stuff last week, and have spent the last fourteen days exploring all eight of her artistically brilliant and undeniably bombastic eight albums. This is my favorite track she has ever released. The first verse and chorus hit me hard– I can apply them easily to my personal life, my writing, and my overall way of life, ever since the onset of adulthood at 18. It’s a huge, synth-heavy, ridiculously powerful number, from her sixth album Volta. From least to most impressive (although all are worth at least one listen), I’d rank this Icelandic wunderkind’s works as follows: Biophilia, Vespertine, Volta, Debut, Post, Homogenic, Vulnicura, Medulla. The latter is entirely vocal-based, without a single live instrument within earshot. Mystical and mind-blowing. “Neurosis only attaches itself to fertile ground where it can flourish.”

High Five – 07/04/2016

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1. SCREAM MY NAME :: Tove Lo :: Alternative Pop

Honestly, this is futile. Everyone who’s on this page right now knows Tove Lo, and everyone who knows Tove Lo probably knows this song. But I’ve been away from RE for too long and I’m digging it right now. It boasts a fairly moody, tonally triumphant, and ultimately bone-crushing chorus featuring Tove’s trademark furious vocals. Her voice is an explosion, as usual. Crossing my fingers for another album this year. Sounds like: a Scandinavian Elohim, Grimes goes literal, a louder and more pop-centric Banks

2. YOU DON’T GET ME HIGH ANYMORE :: Phantogram :: Electronic

This should have been number one this week, but it’s late and I’m discombobulated. New York duo Phantogram, consisting of Josh and Sarah, makes a welcome return to dark electro (not to say their rap stuff was less striking, but it may have been less to my taste), tossing in a heap of hard rock and R&B to boot. I want to delete all the spaces in this song’s title and put a hashtag in front of it so it gains popularity. Isn’t that what the young ones do these days? Sounds like: a more upbeat GEMS, Giungla with a radio-friendly charm, Wolf Alice tosses in a handful of creative synths

3. I WANT YOU :: Marian Hill :: Alternative

Philadelphia duo Jeremy and Samantha released so much music this year it made my head spin. I consider myself lucky to have all 21 original tracks from them stored safely on my iPhone, and even luckier to have caught each single as it hit the blogosphere. This is one of my favorite tracks from their electro-jazz debut, ACT ONE. My true favorite, though, would be Sad Song. I can’t find a copy of that online, so I’m pouting. Hop on board. Sounds like: Ofelia K with lots of horns and drums, Kiiara without all the machinery, Allyson Ezell plus a few more inorganic materials

4. JONI :: Braids :: Alternative

If you do not like this band, goodbye. I attended a little intimate concert of theirs with my partner this summer, met the lead singer Raphaelle, and was thoroughly astounded by the live vocals. They are delightful, down-to-earth, and incredibly talented people. JONI is their best and latest effort. It’s worth a listen or five, and boasts some of the most beautiful lyrics I’ve ever heard. Sounds like: a fast and brighter Kaleida, Made in Heights with rock elements, Björk with a few more drops of pop

5. HUMMINGBIRD :: Kyla La Grange :: Alternative Pop

I was aware of Kyla’s presence before this release, but never paid much attention until this last string of singles. Jeez, what a banger. It’s an intricately produced and gorgeously written piece of music, sprinkled with claps and horns, that sticks in your head like glue. An album should be on its way in the near future. Sounds like: Noonie Bao, Charli XCX, and Cappa tossed into a big happy blender