Category Archives: Check ’em Out!

Newest Love: Drop Out Vegas – “Sleep Alone”


This track from Drop Out Vegas has been hiding in my messages for over a month. Today I finally got around to listening, and whoa! What a hidden gem!

Singer Skyler James explains, “‘Sleep Alone’ is a coming out story of bad relationship and hook up experiences, told in a way to bring a voice to the Tinder & Grindr generation, and to hope for a better day for those with low self confidence.”

It’s so catchy and I LOVE the video, too!!!

Check it out:

(That crescendo at 2:43 though!)


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Newest Love: Beginners


Los Angeles-based indie-pop band Beginners will release their brand new “white-hot scorcher” (Neon Gold) sophomore EP Pleaser on September 16th. A formidable follow-up to their 2014 self-titled debut which garnered over 4 million Spotify streams, numerous TV syncs, and tour dates with artists such as Walk The Moon and Tove Lo, Pleaser features catchy dance melodies with a rock ‘n roll vigor and clever lyrics ranging from feel good to biting. Today, their new single premiered for their underdog anthem “What We Are”.

The sun-soaked indie pop track is “about my childhood in Indiana,” front-woman Samantha Barbera told Interview. “When I was growing up, my mom struggled financially and we were forced to live off of food stamps. Despite being poor in an otherwise wealthy town, she always instilled an impenetrable sense of confidence in me. I still have vivid memories of riding my second-hand bike around my neighborhood, wearing a giant gold medallion from the 70s that I took from my mom’s jewelry box, feeling like I owned the streets. It’s an underdog anthem about being proud of who you are, regardless of what anyone tells you.”

Pleaser is an ode to the thin line between love and hate. Pulsing singles like “Gangsters or Lovers” and “What We Are” leave no choice but to move to the contagious beats and guitar riffs. The Black Keys meet Yeezus in the tongue-in-cheek revenge ballad “I F*cking Hate You” where Barbera’s bluesy vocal melody delivers sultry lyrics with a violent twist. Gritty dance track “Making Love to the Dead” reveals how passion can turn to pain in a soul-sucking industry designed to churn out marketable hits, while hypnotic closer “Melting Into One” evokes the intoxicating power of young love. At first listen, I also immediately heard notes similar to that of Santigold.

Beginners delivers dark garage rock with a shimmery electronic pop veneer influenced by years of cutting their teeth in the LA punk scene. The band’s sound and lyrics ride a line between glossy and gritty, creating hooks that are at once magnetically catchy and unsettlingly honest. Their single “Who Knows” off their first EP launched the band two years ago resulting in buzz from Rolling Stone, Perez Hilton, Huffington Post, and TV syncs on shows including New Girl and commercials for Ray Ban, Skullcandy, and Miller Lite.

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New Track From Corbu – “Better Better Off”

Photo credit: Erika Mugglin & Corbu

Photo credit: Erika Mugglin & Corbu

Ahead of the release of their soaring debut album Crayon Soul, New York’s Corbu are streaming the new single “Better Better Off”. A swirling anthem, “Better Better Off” perfectly balances trippy desert rock with glacial stargazing. Corbu’s Crayon Soul is released August 5th via 3Beat (EU) & Big Picnic (US).

The band recently gave an insight into their vivid world with the animated video to the track “Battles”. The video hints at the narrative that began to unfold as frontman Jonathan Graves was writing the record. Each track tells a different part of the story, taking the listener on a true journey through Corbu’s vibrant imagination. Despite taking inspiration from science fiction and psychedelia, the album also pulls from the band’s real life experiences to create a body of work that is both otherworldly and deeply personal.

Crayon Soul is produced by Corbu and mixed by Dave Fridmann (Tame Impala, MGMT, The Flaming Lips). It follows two acclaimed EPs, We Are Sound and Everything You Imagine Is Real, which garnered praise from the likes of NYLON, Stereogum, The Guardian, NME and more, as well as capturing the attention of Jessie Ware, who personally requested the band to remix her song “You & I (Forever)”.

Crayon Soul is released 5 August 2016 

Aug 1st Philadelphia: Black Box
Aug 2nd Washington DC: DC9
Aug 3rd Pittsburgh: Brillobox
Aug 5th New York: Mercury Lounge – Album release show
Sept 30th Austin: Austin City Limits Festival

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Check ‘Em Out: Kinney


Kinney is a talented singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist and a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher and dancer who incorporates the art of Acroyoga and acrobatics into her live show. Originally from Annapolis, MD, Kinney now calls Los Angeles, CA home. The debut single “Soul,” has drawn early comparisons to Zero 7 and Portishead with elements of Massive Attack. Her musical essence combines elements of fashion, art, global musicality and a unique creative vision, which makes Kinney truly stand out as a genuine artist.


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Listen: Tall Heights – “River Wider”


Credit: Samantha Casolari

Credit: Samantha Casolari

“[River Wider] is a pretty track with a nice cello line complementing a very catchy vocal melody, completing a folk-pop sound comparable to Sufjan Stevens or Fleet Foxes.”

Boston progressive folk duo Tall Heights have announced the release of their debut major label LP, Neptune, out August 19 on Sony Music Masterworks. Neptune is the follow up to 2015’s Holding On, Holding Out EP which was met with critical acclaim from outlets like NPR and Wall Street Journal who compared their emotive harmonies and poignant lyrics to the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Sigur Ros and Bon Iver. Of particular note is the track “Spirit Cold”, the lead single from the forthcoming release which has quickly reached over 5.6 Million streams on Spotify.

But now, they’ve released another new track, “River Wider” and I gotta say, I like it waaaaaay better! Either that’s good….or bad. I don’t know??? Check it out here and see if you agree:

The multi-talented singer songwriters, composers, and instrumentalists featuring Paul Wright on cello/vocals and Tim Harrington on acoustic guitar/vocals got their start busking on the streets of Boston, growing up in a neighboring town in Massachusetts. Neptune is a far lusher construct than those early acoustic days — along with pristine and emotive vocal harmonies, there’s subtly chugging electric guitar and a spare descending bassline on “Iron in the Fire,” ethereal synthesizers and a spacious drum part on “Spirit Cold,” a brittle splash of percussion to open “Backwards and Forwards” and feedback created by two cellphones on “Cross My Mind.”

The band is on tour all summer through autumn including an opening slot for José González. For a taste of Tall Heights’ captivating live show, watch the band’s stunning live performance of album single “Spirit Cold”HERE.

Tour Dates
6/24: Sturbridge, MA @ The Barn | Tickets
7/12: Middlebury, VT @ Middlebury Recreation Park
7/19: Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
7/21: Belmar, NJ @ Songwriters on the Beach
7/24: Egg Harbor, WI @ Peg Egan Performing Arts Center
7/28: Greenbay, WI @ Meyer Theatre
7/30: Bayfield, WI Big Top Chautauqua | Tickets
7/31: Marshfield, WI @ Columbia Park
8/1: Chicago, IL @ Millennium Park Summer Music Series
8/20: Schwenksville, PA @ Philadelphia Folk Festival
8/27: Hunter, NY @ Doctorow Center for the Arts
9/14: Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
9/15: Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
9/21: Los Angeles, CA @ Resident
9/30: Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse Music Hall
10/5: Washington, DC @ DC9
10/6: New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
10/7: Philadelphia, PA @ Boot & Saddle
10/20: Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
10/21: Chicago, IL @ Schubas
10/23: St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club


Track Listing
1. Iron in the Fire
2. Spirit Cold
3. River Wider
4. No Man Alive
5. The Runaway
6. Infrared
7. Horse to Water
8. Backwards and Forwards
9. Two Blue Eyes
10. Cross My Mind
11. Growing
12. Wayfarers

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Calypso’s Debut EP Is Here


Just recently we were treated to an impressive debut single from a newcomer out of Tasmania who goes by the name Calypso. The track was called “Numbered” and it was said to be just the first taste of her upcoming debut self-titled EP. Here’s the video in case you missed it:

The EP is a combination of old and new material. Calypso began writing some of the parts a few years back when she first began experimenting with electronic music. Over time these ideas grew and evolved as her influences changed and she discovered more about her own musical direction – she’s also been busy releasing music as one-half of SLOW. This year Calypso felt she was ready to make a decision on the final selection of songs, which she then sent through to a producer known as KOWL to help get them polished-up and ready to release.

“I suppose the main themes behind the EP would be growth and change…whether that’s within a relationship or within oneself. I think it’s a reflection on how life is constantly moving, and you have to adapt to your surroundings and learn how to survive through the changes.

The EP is also about the push & pull of love, how we can connect with other people and how we can move apart from one another as well. I hope the EP can take the listener on a bit of a journey, as they connect and relate to the words and the music through their own personal experiences” – Calypso

Calypso has indeed delivered an impressive debut collection of tracks, showcasing her strong indie-electronic/electro-pop sound as each track explores the intricacies of relationships; the happy beginnings, the excitement throughout, and sometimes the inevitable end.

Stream the EP here:

Favorite: “Field of Violets”

The EP is also available from iTunes and Spotify if that strikes your fancy.

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Newest Love: Litche – “Look Up”


“Look Up” is the stunning debut single from an Australian newcomer who goes by the name Litche, giving us a nice little introduction to his chilled atmospheric electronica.

Litche is the solo project of Sam Litchfield, a producer out of Newcastle (Australia) who some may also know for his role as one-half of Aussie/Hawaiian duo Haliia. Over the last few months Sam has been busy working on a number of new productions that aren’t quite right for the Haliia sound & style.

The initial idea for “Look Up” came about while Sam was jamming with his Swiss friend Elias back in 2015, who he was introduced to by a mutual friend on a surf trip to Bali last year.

“After discovering we both had a mutual passion for making music, we decided we’d get together and have a go at make something. Not much came out of it at that time except a simple 4-bar loop and a few vocal samples, but then back in April this year I became inspired by an Ethnic sample pack I’d found and started working this with the beats and vocals Elias and I had recorded all those months ago, and it all seemed to work so well” – Litche

Inspired by some of his favorite instrumental artists for their use of organic soundscapes mixed with deep electronic production (like Seekae & Shlohmo), Sam continued working this rediscovered idea with a variety of foreign samples & sounds, as he strived to create a song that could transport its listener to somewhere else, a place where they can reflect on the different cultures we have around the world, and show just how music can bridge the gap between them.

Haunting vocal arrangements drift throughout a chilled atmospheric landscape of smooth tribal percussion, dark echoing synths and pulsing electronic beats.

Available for free download (but not for long — so do it now!):

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Newest Love: Beware of Darkness

Photo: Cara Robbins

Photo: Cara Robbins

“Imagine the crunch of The White Stripes and the sheer raunch of Prince and you’d be somewhere close to Beware Of Darkness.” – CLASH Mag

LA-based Beware of Darkness reveal album release details today for their forthcoming LP Are You Real? out on September 16th via Bright Antenna Records.  Fans who pre-order album will receive singles “Dope” and “Muthafucka” instantly.

Are You Real? is the band’s biggest and boldest statement yet.  The 12-track collection serves as an urgent call to arms not only for frontman Kyle Nicolaides, but for the band’s sound as well.  The music ushers the rebirth of a sound that is as refreshing as it is addictive, and goes much deeper than riffs.

The album illustrates how a rock star on the rise fought uncertainty and disillusionment to avoid flaming out. And, more importantly, how he has come through the other side revitalized and focused, and with the best songs of his young career.


Are You Real? Tracklist
Blood, Sex, Violence, & Murder
Summer Daze
Tell Me This Is Fate
Are You Real?
Sugar In The Raw

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Newest Love: Stone Cold Fox


“The five-track effort is likened to a roadtrip, “a collection of journeys” in which Stone Cold Fox venture out to discover who they really are when all the layers are peeled back and they’re forced to look in the mirror.”
– Consequence of Sound

“…delivering dancey and joyful synthesizer beats, overlaid with groovey guitar leads. The band has an innate knack for finding the sweet spot of catchy music that isn’t shallow, leading you to want to teleport from your shitty apartment to an island paradise. “

“…while it retains energy, [Firing Squad] opts for something far more ethereal. The track basks in a haze of guitar effects and subtle performances, proving that Stone Cold Fox can sound subdued without feeling lethargic…”
– The AV CLUB 

“Amongst the slew of synth pop revivalists, Brooklyn-based four piece Stone Cold Fox are doing things a little differently. By staring their song producing process with an indie-rock core, they craft songs that are essentially guitar led, before channeling that heart into an addictive electronic, synth-heavy format.
– Wonderland Magazine
The best kind of road trips are the ones that are spontaneous. You know where you want to go, you have a final destination in mind – you just don’t necessarily know how you’re going to get there. But that’s ok, because it’s all about the journey, right? Brooklyn-based four piece, Stone Cold Fox want to take a road trip with you- they’ll get you to where you want to go, you just gotta let them take the wheel, because in the end whatever will be, will be. And the soundtrack? Their EP, Tunnel Vision.

Tunnel Vision is a stunning contradiction- a collection of journeys made up of distorted dance synths that bleed with a rock-heavy heart. Written, recorded and produced over a period of two years, the sound of Tunnel Vision resembles a mindset that is anything but narrow minded- instead, it’s a collection of tracks that skew in every which way, that ultimately steer back to it’s original course to create a wistful, cohesive sound. “Tracks started as total rock songs, then turned into chilled electro songs, eventually finding its way somewhere comfortably in the middle,” explains guitarist and vocalist Kevin. “They find middle ground with a rock core and a dancey pulse,” he adds. So, imagine a world where John Lennon is rose from the dead and conceived a love child with The Strokes while listening to LCD Soundsystem and Beat Connection – that’s the kind of world that Tunnel Vision creates.

If you’re digging that sound — check out the EP here and now:

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Listen: Ghost Hours – “For You”


“‘For You’ is a hazy, laid back California summer kind of song. Definitely inspired by the ocean and California sunsets.” — Ghost Hours

Ghost Hours, the moniker of Southern California’s Ron Fountenberry, is an electronic solo project aimed at creating beat driven melodies with a midnight vibe.

Fountenberry is an accomplished composer who has written music for Apple, Ford, Google – as well as projects for television and film.

Ghost Hours is his musical respite; where he can explore electronic, R+B, indie, and pop terrain freely as his imagination takes him.

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