Category Archives: Check ‘em Out!

Free Download: DWNTWN – “Til Tomorrow”

DWNTWN’s “Til Tomorrow” gets an uniquely refreshing video treatment by animator Courtney Taniguchi. To match the delicate, breezy song, the video plays with pencil sketches and water colors of the band and lyrics.

DWNTWN’s “Til Tomorrow” will be released on the self-titled EP, dropping April 29th on Jullian Records.
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Download: DWNTWN – “Til Tomorrow”

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Download: Hannah Thiem – “Brym Al Mar”

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Hannah Thiem has released “Brym Al Mar,” the first single from her upcoming EP, BRYM. An ambient instrumental track that starts out with a passionate yet restrained and cinematic sound that builds up to an urgent and energetic drop.

“Brym Al Mar” is emblematic of Hannah’s ability to seamlessly blend her gripping work as violinist with her more recent work as an electronic producer.

Hannah is a producer and violinist whose musical stylings are influenced by her nomadic spirit and her deep appreciation for electronic and ambient soundscapes. Hannah’s upcoming album, BRYM, will be her first release as a solo artist, though her previous works and collaborations are diverse and expansive. As the co-founder of the avant rock group, Copal, as well as the ambient electronic project Nyxyss, Hannah has shared the stage with a range of artists as varied and acclaimed as The Rolling Stones, Kanye West, Bassnectar, MOBY, The Human Experience, Quixotic, and Lucent Dossier.

Hannah has also recorded with Beats Antique, Random Rab, The Rising Smoke of the Hobo Kings, Ancient Astronauts, and Edwin Briscoe. Hannah’s sonic foundation stems from her formative experiences with Eastern European, Nordic, and Middle Eastern music and BRYM is the beginning of an all new journey.

Hannah is also a practicing yogi and often performs her original and improvisational scores at numerous yoga studios in the US as well as internationally, often collaborating with such lauded teachers as Elena Brower, Eoin Finn, Schuyler Grant, Aarona Pichinson, Amy Ippoliti, Danielle Mika Nagel, Vanessa Kudrat, and Chanel Luck.

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Listen/download: Hannah Thiem – “Brym Al Mar”

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Download: The Shoe – “Paper Cup”

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Jena Malone and Lem Jay Ignacio, aka The Shoe, first met at a Christmas carol party at the Mandrake in Los Angeles, California in 2008. They ended up playing that night and meeting for the first time on stage. They performed “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” but with Jena singing completely in scat-style gibberish and Lem Jay musically not missing a beat. A unique musical friendship and language was born.

Jena had built an instrument she called “The Shoe” which was simply an old steamer trunk she dollied around with a plethora of electronic instruments inside. She brought it over to Lem Jay’s garage to jam soon after they met. Lem Jay, who is a pianist and music producer said:

“From that night, it seemed like she was always over and we were always free-styling, making up songs, playing abstract piano duets, psychotherapy rants and love spells. We’d stay up all night recording all our jams, sometimes we’d improvise complete songs from start to finish. I think we literally have over a hundred hours of nights like this. Since we did this so much, it was hard to know what it was, whether it was a band or an art project or just two friends constantly making music.”

The band’s first EP, At Lem Jay’s Garage, came out in 2009 under Jena’s label, There Was An Old Woman Records.

The Shoe’s sophomore effort, I’m Okayalso recorded in Lem Jay’s garage, beautifully captures the essence of today’s pop music. Malone, her voice sailing tenderly amongst Ignacio’s poignant arrangements, recites witty lyrics, resembling those of the grand songstresses Joni Mitchell or Rickie Lee Jones. The instrumentation, a Wurlitzer piano, an electric guitar, a bass and percussion, interweaves in the most handsome, yet minimalistic ways, borrowing elements from the fuzzy surf pop of the Beach Boys, the dreamy shoe gaze of Mazzy Star and the catchy melodies of Sara Bareilles’ classic pop songs.

Of this newest effort Jena says “This new record means so much more to me because I actually wanted to write songs. I wanted to craft them more than I had ever done. I love the art of freestyle, for me I always start there as a songwriter, but this record was different. I wanted to tell stories everyone could feel and understand, not just me.“

Jena Malone has been acting for over 19 years in independent and blockbuster films. Most recently seen in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and soon to be seen in Paul Thomas Anderson’s film Inherent Vice. She has been making music for eight years and has self-released two albums as Jena Malone and her Bloodstains.

Lem Jay has made music with many different artists, including Zooey Deschanel and Charlyne Yi. He has composed music for brands such as Pokémon and Converse and for art projects at MOCA, LACMA, and The Hammer Museum.

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Listen/download: The Shoe – “Paper Cup”

 

Also: Check out Jena on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon talking about The Shoe.

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Falls – “Home”

Sydney folk duo Falls, who released their debut EP Into The Fire last month via Universal Music Group’s Verve Records, have unveiled a playful new lyric video for EP single “Home.” The video uses an array of visually striking cut-out images to set a bright and cheerful backdrop for the song.
 
Falls is Melinda Kirwin and Simon Rudston-Brown, whose intertwining vocals perfectly compliment one another to breathe life into their heartfelt lyrics.
Into the Fire is now available via iTunes
 
 

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Newest Love: Adanowsky

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Adan Jodorowsky had led the kind of charmed life that will leave you shaking your head in wonder. As a youngster, he was given his first dance lesson by the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. He got his first guitar lesson from none other than George Harrison. And he was the star of a feature film Santa Sangre, (directed by his father, famed surrealist filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky) by the age of 10.

These days, he is a bona fide rock star in his native France and throughout South America, able to sell out the 10,000-seat National Auditorium in Mexico City and to perform alongside Foo Fighters and MGMT as part of 2012′s Lollapalooza Chile.
Add all that experience and excellence up, and it is long past time for folks in the U.S. and beyond to take notice of this singular talent. And he has just the album to help get the rest of the world to shine the spotlight in his direction.

Recording under the stage name Adanowsky, he has taken a sharp left turn away from the lush folk pop of his 2011 U.S. debut Amador, an album that found him collaborating with Devendra Banhart and exploring the deepest romantic desires and heartbreaks of the titular character (the name translates to “The Lover”).

With his latest full-length ADA, he has put aside the emotion and is purely concentrating on physical pleasures. “I wanted something sweaty and gross,” Adanowsky says. “I wanted to feel the drugs on this album. I’m not a drug addict at all but I wanted people to feel that same kind of high in the music.”

Recorded at Polysound Studios in the suburbs of Paris backed by Vincent and Xavier Polycarpe of the French pop group Gush, ADA is a sexy throwback to the early work of icons like Prince and Michael Jackson replete with shimmy-shake disco rhythms, vintage ’80s R&B pulsations, and a whole lot of glammy attitude.

To aid in their role of creating a record that sounds as luscious as possible, Adanowsky and the Polycarpe brothers played everything live in the studio using equipment made before 1975. That also meant spending a long time poring over mixes with engineer Jack Lahana (Air, Phoenix) to capture that perfect Controversy/Off The Wall spirit.

But as ADA ‘s collection of slinky, party starters proves, all that effort was more than worth it. Just check out the carefree, summery pulse of “Dancing To The Radio,” or the metaphor-free throb of “Sexual Feeling.” These are songs that cut right to the point: shake off your daily frustrations, toss on a favorite frock, and have some fun.

“I want to give hope with this record,” Adanowsky explains. “I want people to have fun listening to it. I want you to wake up in the morning and put this record on, or put it on in their car, and dance and feel the power!”

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Listen: Adanowsky – “Dancing To The Radio”

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Listen: Cosmo Sheldrake – “The Moss”

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Check out the debut single by 24 year-old London-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Cosmo Sheldrake.

Cosmo describes “The Moss” as “an ode to nonsense for its own sake”. Invoking many of the classic figures of nonsense literature, Cosmo embarks on a peg-legged jaunt, draping finely woven vocal harmonies over an underbelly of electronics, strings, and an Armenian Duduk (recorded at a folk session in a country pub in East Sussex).

Over the past year Cosmo has composed music for film and theatre, as well as touring internationally supporting and playing with Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit. In the UK he has shared stages with Bombay Bicycle Club and US indie act Mutual Benefit.

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Newest Love: Little Racer

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“Sounds like California with a Brooklyn edge. It’s LoFi goodness that’s hard not to warm up to.”
- The New LoFi

“Meet New York’s Little Racer.  They make some fantastic pop music… like Talking Heads if they cut their teeth in casino lounges.”
- Sippy Cup Everything

“Little racer are the latest band to sign to the, frankly spot-on, Young & Lost Club label…. Lo-Fi, fast paced, skittering surf sounds for the ADHD generation. Think Surfer Blood crossed with The Strokes.”
- S//S//N

Little Racer is a four-piece from Brooklyn consisting of Elliot Michaud (vocals, guitar), Ish Nazmi (bass), Wade Michael (guitar), and Dave Tedeschi (Drums). Shortly after forming in 2010, their eponymous single Little Racer found it’s away across the ocean to the BBC and London imprint Young and Lost Club, who subsequently released the 7″ single  The Town/Split for the Coast in late 2011.  After a short visit to London to support the single, they returned to New York to write and record a follow up EP.  With influences ranging from New Order to Cat Stevens, their ringing guitars and choruses will most definitely take you away from it all, even if only for 24 minutes.

Download: Little Racer – “Vanessa”

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Check ‘Em Out: DWNTWN

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DWNTWN signs with Jullian Records and will be releasing their new self-titled EP on April 29.  This marks the first EP release through a label for the LA based indie-pop band.

In celebration of the announcement, DWNTWN debuted the first track, “Til Tomorrow” from above mentioned EP, on USA Today’s Pop Candy. “We need all the sunshine we can get right now, and DWNTWN has it in spades,” Pop Candy glows.

French tastemaker label, Kitsuné, first put DWNTWN on the map in 2012 after they debuted the band’s first single “See My Eyes”, and in 2013 they included a collaboration track (with Giraffage and Jhameel), “Move Me” on another compilation album.  Both songs reached #2 on Hype Machine’s popular chart.

DWNTWN first formed in 2010 when Jamie Leffler and Robert Cepeda, both dealing with bummer breakups (Jamie, from Robert’s brother!), spent their weekends getting drunk and writing depressing folk songs, which they recorded onto their iPhone. It wasn’t long before Jamie and Robert recovered from their heartbreak and transformed those early demos into full-fledged, indie-pop songs, which were all written and produced themselves.

While their last EP, The Red Room, was very synth heavy and reminiscent of the Drive soundtrack, their forthcoming EP has a lot more guitars and live instrumentation.  Their new single “Til Tomorrow” feels more closely related to the Garden State soundtrack.

Over the years, the band has expanded live from a duo, into a trio, and now fills the stage as a foursome.  Having just completed a successful LA residency with over 400 people in attendance each week, and having toured previously with some heavy hitters, Capital Cities and Gold FieldsDWNTWN is excited to get on the road again next month with El Ten Eleven.  

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Tour Dates with El Ten Eleven:
3.12 @ Strummers, Fresno, CA
3.13 @ Belly Up Tavern, Solana Beach, CA
3.14 @ Constellation Room, Santa Ana, CA
3.15 @ SLO Brew, San Luis Obispo, CA

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Newest Love: Bleachers – “I Wanna Get Better”

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Bleachers’ ‘I Wanna Get Better’ Is Basically the Song Of the Summer In February. – HUFFINGTON POST

““I Wanna Get Better” is a great first effort; it’s exciting to imagine what else Antonoff has up his sleeve. - TIME

“…heavy-hitting pianos, pulsing percussion and grandiose vocals…” – ROLLING STONE

…the song is 100% anthemic alt-rock gold with some major production value, as well as a chorus that will have you singing along by your second listen. – HILLY DILLY

“…bright bit of retro-futuristic pop-rock…” - STEREOGUM

Bleachers live: 
3/12 – Austin, TX @ Palladia’s EPIC. AWESOME. SHOWCASE
3/13 – Austin, TX @ 2014 mtvU Woodie Awards and Festival – info HERE
3/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour – info HERE
3/27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
6/ 6-8 – New York, NY @ Governor’s Ball – info HERE
6/19-22 – Dover, DE @ Firefly Music Festival – info HERE
7/5-6 – London + Birmingham, UK @ Wireless Festival – info HERE
7/1-12 – Bilbao, Spain @ Bilbao BBK Live Festival – info HERE

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The Melker Project Is Back With ‘Trill Collins’

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Riding high on the critical and internet success from November’s Ballin’ Oates, The Melker Project is at it again with Trill Collins. This time, Scott Melker is blending Phil Collins with Gucci Mane to the Pharcyde to Jay Z, and everyone in between.

Listen/download: The Melker Project – “Ballin’ Oates”

His 4th EP focusing on a single classic artist, Trill Collins was a formidable project. “I’ve been obsessed with Phil Collins since I was a Young Melker, and have always wanted to tackle his catalogue. The task was daunting, as a number of Phil’s songs are basically rock/pop perfection, particularly ‘In The Air Tonight’,” Melker says.

The Melker Project’s methods are truly a labor of love, as he replays all of the individual instruments with updated sounds and synths. He then used these new sounds to remix the tracks, and later reincorporated samples from the original Phil Collins songs. After all of this was done, he combined his  new versions with appropriate vocals. Melker explains, ”In the case of ‘Invisible Touch,’ I decided to do a straight up remix with the vocal being the only element of the original track.”

In his 16 year career, Scott has played gigs around the world alongside notable DJs and acts, including DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ AM, Public Enemy, Slick Rick and Dougie Fresh, Kanye West, Wu Tang, Q-Tip, Ne-Yo, TI, The Ying Yang Twins, Jet, among others.
Combining his genre-savvy music selection – from Hip Hop, Trap, R&B, Rock, House, 80s, Funk, EDM Soul and Classics – with his razor sharp skills on the turntables, Scott Melker is among the few selectors challenging the traditional assumption that DJs simply play records.

In addition to entertaining crowds live, The Melker Project is hard at work in the studio. His remixes are coveted by DJs and music aficionados around the globe. A number of his recent remixes have reached number 1 on the hypem.com popular charts, and have been spotlighted by Billboard, VH1, Fuse TV, Earmilk, The Los Angeles Times, and a number of other notable music publications.

Besides having the entire Trill Collins EP available for streaming, fans can currently download the mp3 of “In the Air ToNas” for free. The Melker Project will also be releasing a new track from Trill Collins, once a week, on his Soundcloud page for fans to download.

Listen/download: The Melker Project – “In the Air ToNas”

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