Category Archives: listen

Holy Freaking Crap! New Music From of Montreal

Who’s excited!?!

of Montreal is back, and on UR FUN, Kevin Barnes is more candid than ever. The public diary that started with classic album Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? and earned love from The Guardian, Pitchfork, NME, SPIN, etc. has continued into a growing string of increasingly personal works. After several albums recorded with collaborators and various band members, Barnes opted to record this one completely alone. In his home studio in Athens, Georgia, Barnes isolated himself in creative hibernation, working obsessive 12-plus hour days arranging manic synth and drum machine maps on a computer screen with bouncy, melodic basslines, glam guitars and layered vocal harmonies. The result is ten concise electro-pop songs that expose the depths of his current life, his private thoughts (both optimistic and brooding) and his passionate relationship with songwriter Christina Schnieder. Check out the new track “Peace To All Freaks” below.

 

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Check ‘Em Out: BENE – “Soaked”

Hailing from the suburbs of Auckland, 19-year-old Bene has emerged as New Zealand’s up and coming indie pop artist of 2019 with a Gold-Certified chart-topping hit that’s already garnered millions of streams and support from Zane Lowe, Lily Allen and more. Newly signed to Republic Records, Bene is re-releasing her breakout single “Soaked” as she sets her sights on the U.S.

After posting GarageBand demos on SoundCloud when she was just a senior in high school, Bene caught the ear of producer, Josh Fountain, and began writing and recording at his Golden Age Studio. “Soaked” quickly climbed Spotify’s Viral Charts, streaming over 14 million times, charting on Australia’s Triple J radio Hottest 100 of 2018 and holding the number one spot on New Zealand’s Shazam Top 100 for two months, not to mention achieving Gold Certification in New Zealand and Australia. With endorsements like Zane Lowe and Apple’s Beats1 radio, Bene went from playing her first small club gig to her first arena show—opening for longtime role model Lily Allen—in a matter of months.

Of “Soaked,” Bene says, “To see my song catch on with so many people already has been amazing. And now signing with Republic to bring my music out into the world is just bloody crazy.”

“Soaked” sets the stage for further music to be released from Bene this spring.

 

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New Music From Holy Ghost!

Photo: Harry McNally

Crafting each sound from scratch with unapologetic, exacting precision, Holy Ghost!’s penchant for in-the-studio perfectionism has delivered hit after hit to the dancefloor. This analog approach to “electronic” music heavily informs the band’s third album Work coming June 21, 2019 on West End Records.

Available for pre-order todayWork features the brand new song “Escape From Los Angeles”(out today) plus previously released songs Anxious” and “Epton On Broadway (Part I & Part II)”. It follows the group’s two previous albums, 2013’s Dynamics and 2011’s eponymous debut (both via DFA) and isfirst full-length LP to come out on the iconic West End Records label in more than 30-years!

A return to the heady ethos that drove Holy Ghost!’s earliest releases, Work sees New York City natives Alex Frankel and Nick Millhiser revisit the freedom from expectations that suffused their 2011 self-titled debut full-length. It was a situation that stemmed partly from circumstances: They dismantled their basement Brooklyn studio and moved to a small room that a few musician friends were renting above a doctor’s office (incidentally the same address where they mixed Holy Ghost!). Due to space limitations, they pared their extensive gear collection down to just two synths, a Yamaha CS80 and a Mini Moog. “Not necessarily the bare necessities, but what would make for the most interesting limited palette,” says Millhiser. “David Bowie didn’t have every fucking synthesizer on earth to make Low. He had two. And that’s one of my favorite synth records of all time.”

The 12-song collection features the buoyant but bittersweet, “Do This” which interweaves ambient chatter from a studio session with a Nile Rodgers-esque guitar, “Nicky Buckingham’s” Fleetwood Mac-inspired riffs and swelling strings are eerily danceable, whereas “Heaven Knows What” – the band’s slowest track to date – showcases an emotional depth and range only hinted at in past releases. Featuring the talents of musical peers including Sinkane’s Ahmed Gallab, Juan Maclean and LCD Soundsystem’s Nancy Whang, Rob Moose (Bon Iver, Paul Simon, David Bowie) and Alex Epton (Neon Indian, David Byrne), Work transcends its physical constraints to capture a spectrum of vibes that remain true to Holy Ghost!’s reverence for the art and craft of dance music.

Work Tracklist:

Epton on Broadway Part I

Epton on Broadway Part II

Anxious

Heaven Knows What

Nicky Buckingham

Do This

One For Pete

My Happy House

Heaven Forbid

Soon

Slow Burn

Escape From Los Angeles

 

Upcoming Holy Ghost! Live Shows:

04-26 San Francisco, CA – The Independent

04-27 Los Angeles, CA – Globe Theatre

05-03 Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall

05-09 Guadalajara, México – Corona Capital at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez

06-21 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom (Album Release Show)

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GRiZ – “A New Day” (ft. Matisyahu)

Check out the next single “A New Day (feat. Matisyahu),” from GRiZ’s new upcoming album Ride Waves. The song was written days after last year’s tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL and aims to spread a message of peace, positivity, and love while sparking inspiration for change.

“Matisyahu’s voice speaks volumes to so many people. He has this unique ‘way’ of speaking and I am infinitely humbled that we were able to link up an idea that I think is very necessary today.” – GRiZ

“The song kind of wrote itself and came at a time when this was obviously what was going on around us and in our consciousness. When we walked into the studio we knew we wanted to make a meaningful song but we didn’t walk in there with this specific intention (addressing gun violence). But that’s what ended up coming out. When we came into that artistic place where we were like “let’s open up and figure out what is going on inside of us’, this is what rose to the top.” – Matisyahu

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East Forest & Ram Dass To Release Collaborative Album + Song ft. Krishna Das

Acclaimed electronic artist East Forest (aka Trevor Oswalt) has released his collaborative song with legendary spiritual teacher Ram Dass,  “I Am Loving Awareness (Feat. Krishna Das)” via Paste Music. The track is featured on East Forest’s new album East Forest x Ram Dass, which will be released in four chapters throughout 2019, with Chapter 1 out January 25 via Aquilo Records. The album features East Forest’s music accompanied by new teachings from the author of Be Here Now, Ram Dass. Listen and share “I Am Loving Awareness (Feat. Krishna Das)” here. Pre-order Chapter 1 here.

In June 2018, East Forest was invited to Ram Dass’ home in Maui to join in conversation and record brand new teachings from the legendary teacher. After capturing these words of wisdom, East Forest returned to his studio in the high desert of Southern Utah to compose the soundtrack to beautifully support each songs’ subject. In these new recordings, Ram Dass’ words speak masterfully to the modern challenges that so many face with technology, dark thoughts, the nature of the soul and so much more. The new East Forest record also features guest appearances from the likes of Trevor Hall and Grammy nominated artist, Krishna Das, all framing Ram Dass’ teachings with contemporary voices and cementing the 87-year-old spiritual teacher into an echelon of relevancy and immediacy — offering a direct antidote for a highly polarized nation that is deeply in need of a universal voice of wisdom, connection and unconditional love.

“Music is a language that all souls understand. I’m honored that my teachings have been paired with a musician like, East Forest, who has crafted an album with so much love.” – Ram Dass

“We forget that we are nature. We feel so much separation in our modern life, inundated with so much information; I believe our solutions will come from the inside out. They’re already here, we’re just uncovering them. It’s all a process of discovery. We need to give space for that which wants to emerge — making this music is my way of creating some space, and inside I hope we can hear an answer.” — East Forest

Ram Dass & East Forest

East Forest has been the leader of underground ‘sound healing’ ceremonies around the world since 2008. Using music as a tool, he has trailblazed the field of organic tech, building bridges between the digital and natural world. Being fully independent and playing in the private shadows allowed the sound of East Forest to emerge: an emotional and spacious musical lexicon with a sound that took shape out of a practical need to play solo for five to six hours while guiding a room full of listeners in deep meditation. Live looping and layered keyboard melodies filled the musical space while angelic vocals and original field recordings floated above.

Word organically spread and a devoted community shared East Forest’s early albums, many of which were live recordings captured directly from his sound healing performances.

Moving into festivals, theaters, and clubs, electronic beats and diverse live instrumentation eventually joined in, from strings and analogue synthesizers to african kora. East Forest’s electro-acoustic ethereal sound continued to evolve and he found himself performing in a diverse range of settings from SXSW, Google, Mysteryland, to Grace Cathedral, Summit at Sea, as well as his own TEDx talk.

More than a dozen albums later, East Forest continues to explore a path of emotionally driven music that pulls from ambient, classical, electronic and indie-pop genres.

Ram Dass made his mark on the world by teaching the path of the heart and promoting service in the areas of social consciousness and care for the dying. When Ram Dass first went to India in 1967, he was still Dr. Richard Alpert, an eminent Harvard psychologist and psychedelic pioneer with Dr. Timothy Leary. In India, he met his guru, Neem Karoli Baba, affectionately known as ‘Maharajji’, who gave Ram Dass his name, which means “servant of God.”

On his return from India Ram Dass became a pivotal influence in our culture with the publication of “Be Here Now”. In fact, those words have become a catch phrase in people’s lives for the last 40 years. With the publication in 2011 of “Be Love Now” Ram Dass completed his trilogy that began with “Be Here Now” in 1970 and continued with “Still Here” in 2004. He released “Polishing The Mirror: How to Live From Your Spiritual Heart” in 2013 and released his most recent book, “Walking Each Other Home: Conversations on Love and Dying” with co-author Mirabai Bush in 2018.

Ram Dass now makes his home in Maui and teaches world wide through his website RamDass.org and continues the work of Neem Karoli Baba through the Love Serve Remember Foundation.

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TOURIST – “Emily”

Photo: Daniella Maiorano

Pioneering UK producer and composer Tourist (William Phillips) announces Everyday, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed album (2016), set for release on February 15th. The news is joined by the release of “Emily”, a deeply rich and shimmering upbeat new single which follows “Hearts”“Someone Else” and the mesmerising “Apollo” from 2018. Starting with a sparkling vocal sample and picking up into a triumphant swell of synths that bounce along with a bristling house beat, “Emily” is a prime example of what makes Tourist one of electronic music’s most talked about artists.

Considered an “artist’s artist”, Tourist’s fans include the likes of Flume and Porter Robinson who have expressed their admiration for his past releases. After his self-titled debut EP (2012), Tonight EP (2013) and Patterns EP (2014) featuring guest appearances by the stunningly talented Lianne La Havas and Will Heard, Tourist went on to win the GRAMMY for co-writing Sam Smith’s breakthrough single “Stay With Me”.

The artwork for Everyday comes from acclaimed British photographer Nigel Shafran who also directed the minimalist yet quietly captivating video for “Apollo”. Tourist said of his approach to making music: “I’m interested in exploring human themes through sound. Family, mental health, loss, love. I sit at home by myself most days, writing music. It’s quite an insular life, and it can be claustrophobic but I suppose much of my new music is an attempt to produce work that is outwardly facing. I want my music to connect and to tell a human story through samples, sounds and melody.”

In 2018 Tourist revealed Tourist Essentials – a collection of works dating back to 2012 curated into one creative piece. Building detailed soundscapes and bittersweet dance tracks, William embraces a wide scope of song-making encompassing a diverse artistic approach to music.

Tourist will be heading back to North America shores for appearances in Boston, Chicago, New York, Seattle and the run ends at San Francisco’s Noisepop.

Photo: Daniella Maiorano

Everyday tracklisting:
1. Awake
2. Emily
3. Someone Else
4. Love Theme
5. Pieces
6. Gin Under The Sink
7. Apollo
8. Hearts
9. Violet
10. Affection

TOURIST live dates:
02/20/19 – Boston, MA @ Sonia
02/21/19 – Chicago, IL @ Sleeping Village
02/23/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ King’s Hall
02/26/19 – Seattle, WA @ Neumos
03/01/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Noise Pop
03/09/19 – Sydney, AUS @ Days Like This Festival
03/10/19 – Victoria, AUS @ Pitch Music & Arts Festival
03/16/19 – Singapore, MY @ Kilo Lounge
03/22/19 – Dublin, IE @ Academy Green Room
03/23/19 – Manchester, UK @ YES (SOLD OUT)
03/27/19 – Bristol, UK @ Thekla
03/28/19 – London, UK @ EartH

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New Music From Night Riots – “On The Line”

 

“…brooding, restless, and totally infectious…with an added bonus of New Wave paranoia and perfectly layered, textured harmonies.” – MTV
“…urgent, cathartic new wavey bliss”– Billboard
“…they’ve fashioned the sound of urban desperados wandering rain-slickened streets, hearts playing tug-of-war with hope and despair.” – Buzzbands.la

 

Fresh off of a string of sold-out headlining shows in the UK, California new wave mainstays Night Riots are debuting “On The Line”. The Sirius XM and BBC favorites’ follow up to “Colour Morning,” which racked up over a million plays in just weeks, finds lead singer Travis Hawley demanding authenticity over a creeping, arpeggiating synth and pulsing drums, drawing sonic inspiration from the likes of Billy Idol and The Cure.

He recalls the scene that inspired the lyrics as well as the artwork: “I went to a party out in the country where we live in central California, on a ranch with two trailers on a hill overlooking the entire city – there is a tribe of girls who live there. They’re girls who shoot shotguns, ride horses and blast Kendrick Lamar at all hours of the day and night. In one of the bedrooms, there was a group of them, cast out on the bed like modern day Marie Antoinettes, laughing and passing around a blunt. It struck me because it wasn’t a performance, they weren’t trying to stand out or impress. There was a lawlessness and a realness that struck me. This is the modern youth, I believe this is the majority of people, not the sensationalized thing we see in entertainment right now where everything needs to be shocking and full octane. In these times, you can shut the real you out because you feel like you need to put on a show to stand out. To me, putting it all on the line is reconciling with who you are and putting it out to the world.” 

The band will be taking this new material and more on the road this summer for the headlining US-wide Dark Violet Tour, featuring indie pop favorites courtship. and LA’s Silent Rival. For dates, see below.

With the release of 2016’s Love Gloom LP, followed by “Colour Morning” and “On the Line,” Night Riots has garnered praise from the likes of KCRW, Huffington Post, NYLON, The AV Club, and more while performing with acts from Lana Del Rey, Cage the Elephant, Andrew McMahon & The Wilderness, K Flay, Phantogram, Walk the Moon, The Hunna to OK GO – garnering consistent praise throughout; earning comparisons to The Cure (by MTV) and The Killers (Earmilk), described as “new wavey bliss” (Billboard) and praised for their “anthemic, synth-laden rock” (Spin). After growing and cultivating their fanbase, earning the respect of the diehards through their dedication to the studio and the road, the headlining Dark Violet Tour sets the band up for a spot in the mainstream – and they’re certainly ready. After garnering over 40 million streams on Spotify, placements on Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, and sold-out UK shows, Night Riots are poised to continue their streak.

Catch NIGHT RIOTS On Tour
w/ courtship. and Silent Rival

6/1 – Phoenix AZ – Valley Bar
6/2 – El Paso TX – Lowbrow Palace
6/4 – Austin TX – Antone’s Nightclub
6/5 – Dallas TX – House of Blues
6/6 – Houston TX – White Oak Music Hall
6/8 – Atlanta GA – The Masquerade
6/9 – Charlotte NC – Visulite Theatre
6/10 – Washington DC – U Street Music Hall
6/12 – Boston MA – Brighton Music Hall
6/13 – New York NY – Baby’s All Right
6/15 – Philadelphia PA – The Foundry @ The Filmore
6/16 – Albany NY – The Hollow
6/18 – Columbus OH – The Basement
6/20 – St. Louis MO – Blueberry Hill
6/21 – Cleveland OH – Grog Shop
6/22 – Chicago IL – Subterranean
6/23 – Detroit MI – Shelter
6/25 – Kansas City MO – The Record Bar
6/26 – Denver CO – Marquis Theatre
6/27 – Salt Lake City UT – Kilby Court
6/29 – San Francisco CA – Popscene
6/30 – Los Angeles CA – El Rey Theatre

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New Music: Freedom Fry – “Classic”

Los Angeles based duo Freedom Fry has shared their retro-inspired official video for recent single “Classic,” pulled from their long-awaited debut album Classic out June 1st. Featuring models Madison Paige (profiled in The New York Times) and Jayden Robison, the video is co-directed by the band and Ryan Lumley.

Freedom Fry previously shared their video for “Wild Child,” teasing another track that will appear on their debut album this summer. Following a series of shows at SXSW and a live session with KUTX, the band will bring their kinetic energy to a hometown show in Los Angeles on 4/10 at Moroccan Lounge.

See my post about Freedom Fry from last year, here.

Composed of Parisian-born Marie Seyrat and Michigan-born Bruce Driscoll, Freedom Fry has independently amassed over 50 million streams on Spotify and earned numerous #1 appearances on HypeMachine. They recently shared a #girlpower version of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros’ “Man On Fire,” which is featured in the new animated film from Intuit, racking up over 20 million views to date. Freedom Fry’s music, which heavily bleeds the warmth and sunshine of their home state of California, skirts the lines between pop, folk, and alt rock and can be heard in over 50 films, shows, and commercials including Judd Apatow’s Love, Showtime’s Shameless, Grey’s Anatomy, and in high-profile ads for fashion labels such as Lanvin and Madewell. They have performed in Europe and throughout the U.S. with the likes of Stromae, Phantogram, and X Ambassadors.

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Obsessed: Night Drive – “Anyone’s Ghost”

If you are a true, avid fan of Musically Amusing, you should know that I am OBSESSED with Night Drive. Their debut album last year was fire. Now, we’ve got a new song — check out Night Drive’s newly-released cover of The National’s “Anyone’s Ghost” (from the incredible 2010 album High Violet).

This is the first bit of new music from Night Drive since the release of their debut album last June. The Austin synth-pop duo (recently named the city’s Best Electronic Act of 2017) added some of their own dark disco flair to balance out the somber feel of the original track, breathing new life into a proven classic.

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Another New Marian Hill Track Before Coachella Performance Tomorrow

Photo: Shervin Lainez

Today, platinum-certified duo Marian Hill drops their latest track, “Wish You Would,” off of Unusual. The song arrives ahead of their performance at Coachella tomorrow at 3:25PM – 4:10PM PT at the Outdoor Theatre, which will include a special guest appearance. Listen to “Wish You Would” below.

Of the song, Marian Hill says, “‘Wish You Would’ is all about tension. The chord progression oscillates between two chords a half step apart, never quite resolving, and the lyrics are all about wishing something could happen while knowing it cannot. You want someone, but they’re unavailable. And you’re actually unavailable as well. But sometimes that only makes the wanting more powerful. ‘Wish You Would’ hangs perpetually in that state of almost, and the sneaky sweetness that comes with it.”

Marian Hill debuted a short episode for “Wish You Would,” which is the fifth of ten one-minute visual episodes the duo conceptualized for each song off the upcoming album—watch it here. “Wish You Would” follows previously-released tracks, “Differently” and “Subtle Thing.” “Differently” was produced by Marian Hill and notable Canadian producer, Boi-1da (Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z, Lana Del Rey).

The duo’s sophomore album, Unusual, is set for release on May 11th. The album features ten tracks written and produced by Jeremy Lloyd (production/songwriting) and Samantha Gongol (vocals/songwriting) of Marian Hill. See the full Unusual tracklist below. Pre-order Unusual now here.

In celebration of Unusual, Marian Hill are currently on a full-scale North American headline tour. Billed as the “UNUSUAL” tour, Los Angeles-based singer and producer Michl is serving as support. The tour kicked off April 12 in Los Angeles at The Fonda Theatre and includes stops in Brooklyn, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and more. See the full list of tour dates below. Tickets are available now via MarianHillMusic.com.

UNUSUAL TRACKLIST
01. “Subtle Thing”
02. “Differently”
03. “All Night Long”
04. “Don’t Miss You”
05. “Wish You Would”
06. “Don’t Do It”
07. “Sideways”
08. “No Hesitation”
09. “Listening”
10. “Go Quietly”

“UNUSUAL” TOUR DATES:
April 17            Portland, Oregon                    Crystal Ballroom
April 18            Seattle, Washington               The Showbox
April 20            San Francisco, California       Warfield Theatre
April 23            San Diego, California             The Observatory North Park
April 24            Phoenix, Arizona                    The Van Buren
April 26            Denver , Colorado                  Ogden Theatre
April 27            Kansas City, Missouri             The Truman
April 28            St. Louis, MO                          Delmar Hall
April 30            Austin, Texas                           Emo’s
May 1              Dallas, Texas                           House of Blues
May 2              New Orleans, Louisiana          Republic
May 4              Tampa, Florida                        The Orpheum
May 5              Birmingham, Alabama             Saturn
May 6              Nashville, Tennessee              Marathon Music Works
May 8              Philadelphia, Pennsylvania     Union Transfer
May 9              Washington, DC                      9:30 Club
May 11            Brooklyn, New York                 Brooklyn Steel
May 12            Boston, Massachusetts           Royale
May 13            Toronto, Ontario                      The Mod Club
May 15            Chicago, Illinois                       Metro
May 16            St. Paul, Minnesota                 Palace Theatre

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