Category Archives: Check ’em Out!

Newest Love: Kamaliza

 

Sydney artist Kamaliza has released a rather powerful and lyrically charged track called “Zanzibar”.

Having decided to quit his office job and pursue music full time, Kamaliza is wide-eyed and ready for whatever the future holds.

Inspiration is key when creating music and that was no exception for Kamaliza as he wrote this song.

I woke up feeling extra inspired one morning in mid-January this year. It took me about five hours to complete the bulk of the song; when a song writes itself so quickly it’s usually a great sign. Most importantly is that I felt so emotionally connected to the song.

Beginning with a whimsical flow of R&B electronica, the song develops into a multi-layered work of rich productions colored in with percussive rhythms and scorching synths.

I used a mixture of software and hardware to get it done and recorded it in my home studio in Western Sydney. I played the song a couple of days later at my first gig under Kamaliza and it got such a great response, so that added fuel for me to polish the song.

Given Kamaliza’s recent career change, there’s no wonder the song blossomed from personal experience and feelings.

The song is about taking the next step in the direction you feel you were destined for, even if that means saying goodbye to those that you care about. I believe there are unknown forces that guide us; in this tangible world of science and fact, it’s the unknown that I’m learning to trust.

To compliment the track, Kamaliza teamed up with Cape & Monocle to create a narrative-based video that continued on from their previous project “Zermatt”.

There was a scene where a robot was used. We wanted to build off that scene and this time create a narrative to go along with it. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where technology has consumed society entirely. Our main character is a robot searching for something that has been missing from their life.

 

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Newest Love: Juic3box + Alice France – “True Love”

“True Love” is the debut single from JUIC3BOX, an artist alias from singer, songwriter, and producer Sam Gray. With over 30 million streams on Spotify across 4 current single releases, Sam is ranking the charts with hits from Hardwell (“Creatures of the Night” – 5.6m), Julian Perretta (“Tied Up” – 4.5m), DJ Katch (“Lights Out” – 23.5m) and Manovski (“My Redemption Song” – 680k). While attending ADE in Amsterdam, he discovered Dutch singer Alice France and immediately invited her to record this outstanding new dance anthem. Alice France is a vibrant young artist and songwriter from the Netherlands. Her appreciation for singing and R&B started early on, inspired by legendary divas like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Aretha Franklin. Her classic, soulful vocals bring “True Love” to life, and leave every listener wanting more.

“True Love” has already been well received, with the Wide Boys Pool Party mix giving a great electro house boost to the already invigorating track. You can check out the original and the Wide Boys mix via SongSpace here.

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Check ‘Em Out: D’Opus & Roshambo – “Paradise”

D’Opus & Roshambo are pleased to share their brand new single “Paradise” for 2017. The song is a positive and uplifting anthem for the now – taking inspiration from feelings of escape whilst finding a place of inner paradise.

“The new single takes the cliché of finding escape from the pressures and stresses of the current chaos of the world, to signify that whilst it is good to “get away” from it all, sometimes finding that “paradise” is simply just being somewhere simple with people you love and finding the inner-peace and contentment within yourself.  To us, “Paradise” is finding, sharing and putting that positivity back out into the world to combat negativity, insensitivity, and misunderstanding,” says the duo on their thoughts behind the track.

“Paradise” features the talents of LA-based singer/songwriter Breana Marin who has worked with the likes of Keyshia Cole, Fifth Harmony, Darkchild, Red One and more.

The duo released third album Mayday in 2016, which premiered through themusic.com.au, and features the singles “Mayday”, “Brush You Off”, which received multiple spins on on Triple J, and “After Midnight”, which was added to rotation on Triple J Unearthed.

They’ve supported the likes of Lupe Fiasco, Xzibit, Blackalicious, Cut Chemist, The Bamboos, The Herd, Krafty Kuts, Remi and The Funkoars and performed at festivals such as Soundscape, Foreshore, and Corinbank.

“Paradise” is the first single in what looks to be a big year for D’Opus & Roshambo in 2017.

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Must Listen: Bobby Saint – Unholy

“Bobby Saint hopes to change the game with his forthcoming Unholy EP”  AFROPUNK
“Sweet vocals over a sparkling beat”  – Pigeons & Planes
“It’s saucy. It’s sexy. It’s beautiful”VICE/Noisey
“Outlandish, soulful”  – Indie Shuffle
“Sensual” HYPEBEAST

Bobby Saint captivates on Unholy, his debut solo EP out today on Shoot To Kill Music. The collection sees Saint flex his vast musical chops (from songwriting to production and all things in between) as he explores the interplay between the divine and the profane.

Title track “Unholy” sees the Barbados-born, LA-based artist twang with sinful playfulness over blues-rock attitude. Saint funks out on “Use It,” meshing a bouncy, R&B-tinged bassline with pop-infused neo-soul. It’s followed by the appropriately titled “Sexy,” a libidinous R&B romp that drips of love, lust, and desire, which recently premiered via Afropunk.

“This EP is about freedom, growth, spirituality, views of self, city nights and love. It’s about keeping the fires lit, raising consciousness, while bowing down to the greats: Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye. This is me going forward with only love and the funk in my heart.”  – Bobby Saint

On “Big Shoes,” a confident Saint struts with gusto as he mixes piercing piano balladry with blossoming crescendos amidst a cinematic backdrop backed by powerfully soulful vocals. Closer “Fire & Gold” turns an acoustic beauty into a full-fledged, undeniable rock with swagger.

Armed with a versatile voice, powerful stage presence, a unique lyrical perspective, and raw, unfettered talent, Bobby Saint is not just one to watch; he’s one to watch out for.

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Newest Love: Sleep Party People

“(The Sun Will Open Its Core) marries the psychedelic weirdness of MGMT with the Euro-y sonic tenets of early 80s Mitteleuropa synth-pop. It’s both grandiose and intimate, eerie but inviting. It also has a point to make.” – BlackBook

“‘Lingering’, which will be released on June 2nd through Joyful Noise Recordings, is poised to be one of the year’s best records. With a deft and intoxicating brand of dreamy pop, as well as collaborations from the likes of Peter Silberman from The Antlers and Beth Hirsch (best known for providing vocals on Air’s masterpiece Moon Safari), Lingering has all the ingredients to be a smash success.” – The 405

BlackBook has shared Sleep Party People’s “The Sun Will Open Its Core”, the third single from the forthcoming album Lingering. “The Sun Will Open…” follows two previously released singles, “Fainting Spell” & “The Missing Steps”. Written, recorded, produced and performed entirely by Danish multi-instrumentalist Brian Batz, Lingering – featuring collaborations with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman & Air vocalist Beth Hirsch – is Sleep Party People’s fourth studio album and the first release since 2014’s Floating. Watch the video for “The Missing Steps” here. Lingering is due out June 2nd, 2017 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

When talking about the track Batz says, “I got really frustrated and emotionally upset when the whole refugee debate in Denmark was at its highest. I felt extremely indignant in terms of how society dealt with this problem. Normally I don’t go into politics, especially not in my music, but this was kind of inevitable.”

“I don’t get how people can reject human beings, who are fleeing from their destroyed homes and cities. What if it happened to us? Wouldn’t we do the same and ask for help and do whatever we felt necessary? We should be able to help each other even if we don’t agree on religion, politics or what we eat and wear. It puzzles me that some people out there can’t see the reason in helping. I had to write a song about this. Period.”

Though Copenhagen-based Batz & his 5-piece live band have become synonymous with the rabbit masks they wear during Sleep Party People live performances, Lingering finds Batz shedding his guard to create some of the most personal and accessible material of his career. Whilst “The Missing Steps” and other moments on Lingering engage demonstrably with bliss (also the woozy, unhurried not-quite title track, “Lingering Eyes”), it is nonetheless a record also concerned with anxiety and doubt, and the ways in which we cope with those insecurities that can persist through adulthood.

A personal high-water mark for Batz from Lingering is the appearance of Air-collaborator Beth Hirsch, who guests on “We Are There Together”. A longstanding fan of classic album Moon Safari, he was left tongue-tied when Hirsch contacted him out of the blue, seeking out a collaboration. Whilst Lingering is enriched by several such artistic collaborations – with The Antlers’ Peter Silberman also providing choir arrangements on “Dissensions” – it is equally shaped by Batz’s famously eccentric collection of instruments. “Salix And His Soil” came about when Batz bought an old organ; “When I turned the organ on for the first time, it started playing this crazy fast Super Mario Brothers-ish beat and loop by itself. I got hooked straight away and started jamming along”.  Elsewhere, “Fainting Spell” rests entirely on a piano loop played out on the snapped wires of his battered old studio piano.

On Lingering’s album-closer “Vivid Dream”, Batz sings of ‘Beating down my own door. Aiming to be flawless and without any mistakes’. Flawed or otherwise, in Lingering, he has unmistakably created a thing of stark beauty.

Tracklisting:

1. Figures
2. The Missing Steps
3. Fainting Spell
4. Salix And His Soil
5. Lingering Eyes
6. Dissensions (Feat. Luster)
7. Limitations
8. The Sound Of His Daughter
9. The Sun Will Open Its Core
10. We Are There Together (Feat. Beth Hirsch)
11. Odd Forms
12. Vivid Dream

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Video: The Legends – “Summer In The City (Living Is For Somebody Else)”

This vintage 80’s inspired animated clip for The Legends’ “Summer In The City” (Living Is For Somebody Else)” will transport you back to those (preferably air-conditioned) Atari-style days of yesteryear.

The video, which premiered as part of an in-depth interview with Paste Magazine, is the perfect antidote to pre-summer blues.

The track is taken from The Legends Nightshift, LP out now on Labrador Records: Spotify / iTunes / Bandcamp

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Check ‘Em Out: PACE

In the spring of 2016, old friends Jamie Ley and Philip Morris spent a day in a pub on top of Muswell Hill in north London chatting about their love of great pop music. After going back to Phil’s house to play piano, something clicked and they decided to create a new musical project that focused solely on melodies. When they met drummer Aaron Colton at a New Year’s Eve party, the group was finally complete and Pace was born. A stint recording with renowned producer Bernard Butler soon followed. Having been featured on BBC Radio 6 Music, BBC Radio 2 and a Spotify Top 50 Viral Artist this year, the future looks bright for the alt-pop three piece.

‘Through Your Fingers’ is a Motown inspired melody ready for the summer. It’s a song about meeting someone you really like, but not having the courage to ask them out. Or when you meet a person who turns your world upside down, but you decide to act cool and risk losing them. The longer you wait, the harder it gets. The song is a kind of mantra – you’ve got to act quickly on things before they slip away. Don’t be scared to tell someone how you feel, otherwise you could lose them forever. — Pace

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Check ‘Em Out: LuvAbstract – “Risk”

 

Photo: The Video Boy

Ohio native LuvAbstract has released a track that in one way or another speaks to all of us. We’ve all got that little voice in the back of our head saying ‘go for it!’ Well, in this case, it’s saying, You’re only young once, so let’s take a chance.”

It’s easy to create music when you write about what you see or experience, and LuvAbstract has done just that by making a song that is ballsy, unapologetic and real.

“Risk” is about promiscuity and how readily available hot sex is. In a way, this track explores the ego within us all; a notion, which can often be mistaken for cockiness, but here, it’s all about swag.

“This song is about two strangers who meet at a bar just before going home together for a one night stand. The first verse is a conversation between the two strangers. The guy flirtatiously challenges the girl by telling her that he can go home with any girl he wants so, what makes her so special. The girl playfully replies by telling him that’s not really impressive because she can have any guy she wants so, what makes him so special. The verse is supposed to show that the two strangers have met their match for the night,”  he said.

LuvAbstract has worked closely with producer and good friend Jordan Roman over the last few years, and it’s clear that their musical-mojo makes for steamy productions to get you all hot & heavy. The laid-back rap-vocals paired with vinyl cracklings certainly show that new and old school hip-hop sounds play a part in today’s musical exploration.

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Check ‘Em Out: Slow Caves

Slow Caves premieres their video for “Glares” and announces upcoming tour dates (see list below). The song is off of their Old Flame Records debut, Desert Minded EP released last month.
 
The band says of the video, “Most of the video was shot last summer, on the last day of our trip to Denmark. We wanted the video to reflect how we are as a band internally, and kind of give people a taste of what it’s like to hang out with us. So, we handed the camera to our cousins, Kristian and Martin, and just kind of goofed around. We shot most of the footage at their school in Silkeborg (where Oliver and Jakob were born). The scenery there is unreal. We think the vibe of the video matches the song and our personalities really well. It’s light-hearted and very sentimental and nostalgic.”

Impose Magazine premiered the song calling it an “Undeniably catchy power ballad,” and added “With a sound somewhere between Lower Dens and Joyce Manor, ‘Glares,’ does a great job showcasing the band’s ability to craft tight harmonies and do it in a way that feels effortlessly fun.”  
Formed in Ft. Collins, CO in 2014, Slow Caves consists of Danish born brothers Jakob and Oliver Mueller (vocals, guitars) rounded out by childhood friends David Dugan (guitar/bass) and Jackson Lamperes (drums) who offer a relaxed and surf-y update on 80’s synth, 90’s jangle, and early aught’s indie rock.

Tour Dates:
4/28 – Fort Collins, CO @ FoCoMX Music Festival
4/29 –  Greeley, CO @ May Play Music Festival
5/13 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall – Red Bull Sound Select w/ DIIV
5/26 – Davenport, IA @ Triple Crown Whiskey Bar and Raccoon Motel
5/27 – Chicago, IL @ Elbo Room
5/29 – Muncie, IN @Be Here Now
5/30 – Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
5/31 – Providence, RI @ Aurora
6/2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Our Wicked Lady
6/3 – Philadelphia, PA @ House Show
6/5 – Asbury Park, NJ @ The Saint
6/6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Spirit
6/7 – Cincinnati, OH @ Motr
6/8 – St Louis, MO @ Heavy Anchor
6/10 – Fort Collins, CO @ Taste of Fort Collins
6/24 – Denver, CO @ Westword Music Festival

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Check ‘Em Out: Airpark

Last month, Nashville-based alternative pop/rock duo Airpark released their debut EP Early Works, Volume 1 via Eugenia Hall Records. The band is on tour now, with upcoming dates in NYC, Boston, New Orleans, Nashville and more (full list below).

The band just premiered their video for “Plenty To Pine For” at Under The Radar, who said “The brothers face off in the manner they typically create, with Michael Ford Jr. on drums and singing with an alley cat rasp similar to Spoon’s Britt Daniel and Ben playing guitar in tight lock with the slugging drum beat and lending falsetto accents.”

Inspired by minimalism, melody and groove-heavy percussion, bandmates Michael Ford, Jr. and Ben Ford launched the group in 2016, one year after their previous project The Apache Relay quietly called it quits. The Apache Relay had been a large band, staffed with six members and armed with a thick, wall-of-sound approach. With Airpark, the Ford brothers sharpen their focus and scale back their arrangements, offering songs that pack a punch with bold, basic ingredients. So far the band has been embraced by BaebleAmerican SongwriterLockeland SpringsteenWYEPConan O’Brien’s Team CoCo, and more.

Raised in New Orleans, the Fords grew up surrounded by music, from the Crescent City’s jazz to the soul of Irma Thomas and Allen Touissant. Later while living in Nashville, the two rekindled the music connection they’d kick-started back home, finding popularity as The Apache Relay performed alongside the likes of Jenny Lewis, Mumford & Sons and more. Michael and Ben move at a deliberately different speed with Airpark, thus finding new musical territory to explore.

Taking their cues from a wide set of influences — the rhythmic world music of Tinariwen and Lijadu Sisters; the production of Air, Damon Albarn, and Fiona Apple’s The Idler Wheel; the tenor vocal range of Big Star’s Alex Chilton and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, with the occasional pop crooner delivery of Harry Nilsson — the two unveil their new direction with Airpark’s debut EP, Early Works, Volume 1.

It’s a sound that targets the feet and the head. It’s pop music for thinkers. It’s dance music for wallflowers. And with the brothers pulling triple-duty as songwriters, multi-instrumentalists, and co-producers, Early Works, Volume 1 is their most forward-thinking project to date, pairing the band’s growing ambition with musical chops to match.

Tour Dates:
4/24 Indianapolis, IN – The Hi-Fi
4/25 Columbus, OH – Rumba Cafe
4/27 Tupelo, MS – Blue Canoe
4/28 Jackson, TN – Barefoots Joe
4/29 Columbia, TN – Variety Records
5/4 Shreveport, LA – Day Old Blues Records
5/6 New Orleans, LA – House Of Blues
5/9 Boston, MA – Middle East Upstairs
5/10 Brooklyn, NY – Gold Sounds
5/11 New York, NY – Rockwood Music Hall
5/13 Albany, NY – Parish Public House
5/14 Providence, RI – Fete Lounge
5/16 Burlington, VT – Light Club Lamp Shop
5/17 Kennett Square, PA – Kennett Flash
5/19 Lexington, KY – Willie’s Locally Known
5/20 Nashville, TN – Capitol District Street Fair
6/9 Knoxville, TN – Preservation Pub
6/10 Nashville, TN – Musicians Corner
6/17 Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
7/14 Cincinnati, OH – The Comet
7/15 Pittsburgh, PA – Club Cafe
7/20 Durham, NC – The Pinhook
8/19 Omaha, NE – Barley Street Tavern

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