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Music

New Music May: Hortlax Cobra, Little Dragon, SNBRN, Foster the People & 35 More Artists!

May 9, 2017

While I’m sad to see those April showers go, entering a new month means another selection of fresh music—and this month we’ve got some quality sounds from artists we haven’t heard much of lately.

Little Dragon released their latest full-length album Season High, and I’m loving the song High in particular. Our beloved Foster the People are back as well! And while not with an entire album, we at least get a three-track EP, oh-so-appropriately called III. They sound significantly different from how they’ve ever sounded in the past, but the new material is great nonetheless! Speaking of new sounds and names we haven’t heard in a while, do you guys remember David Archuleta from American Idol? He’s back with Up All Night, and it’s clear his sound has matured a bit. I really like the song!

But my favorite new tune this month is definitely Hortlax Cobra’s “Gimme the Highlights.” I’ve been a fan of HC for quite some time, and enjoy being able to rely on their distinct sound.

The rest of the playlist is a big smorgasbord of electronic (SNBRN, Laidback Luke, Pat Lok, Seven Lions), hip-hop (Kendrick Lamar, Mannywellz, D.R.A.M., Omarion) and everything in-between (Goldroom, Future Islands, RAC, Stalking Gia, Grace Mitchell and more!).

I just went through the whole list, and I’ve gotta say, this is one of my favorite compilations of songs in quite some time. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

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Music

Wilkinson, Gorgon City, Kaskade, JoJo & 12 More Artists: New Music Monday!

August 24, 2015

Wilkinson-Breathe-2015-1500x1500If you’re in the mood for a dance party, then I’ve got some tracks in mind for you!

Wilkinson comes through with a surefire hit yet again. The British melodic drum and bass artist never lets me down, and this time is no exception with the sweet and sexy “Breathe,” featuring Shannon Saunders.

Gorgon City‘s “Saving My Life,” featuring Romans, may not be anything groundbreaking when it comes to sound, but if you’re looking for something fun, light and easy to dance to – well, there ya have it!

These songs join 15 others in this week’s New Music Monday, which also includes Kaskade‘s “We Don’t Stop,” which takes a little detour from the artist’s typical signature sound. I am liking this particular tune more than many of his others in recent years.

Odesza keeps their signature sound, but takes things down a few notches with “Light,” featuring one of my favorites, Little Dragon. Keeping things upbeat are Neon Indian with “Slumlord” and Sohight & Cheevy with “Shine for Me.”

Now, let’s talk pop. More importantly, let’s talk JoJo! The once-youngin’ who gave us some of the best break-up songs of the mid-2000s is back! This time, with a dance-y tune called “When Love Hurts” (clearly her topic of choice has not changed). Also in the pop category, Carly Rae Jepsenwho has released several singles one-by-one over the last few weeks – has finally put out her hotly-anticipated 15-track, ’80s-inspired synth album Emotion. Give a listen to “I Didn’t Just Come Here to Dance.”

Check out the entire playlist below, which also includes songs by Sharer, Gardens & Villa and Astropol.

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Music Uncategorized

3 Artists, 5 Questions Each: Get to Know Pierce Fulton, Kember & Cobi Mike

June 10, 2015

With so much impressive new music and so many rising artists today, it’s becoming more and more difficult to keep up! Because I know how tough it is for the average person to read up on every emerging act, I am giving you the Cliff’s Notes – so to speak – on three talented musicians with fresh material. Get to know their sound, their background and what they stand for in just a five-question skim for each.

Read on to learn about and listen to Pierce Fulton, Kember and Cobi Mike

PIERCE FULTON

Photo credit: Meredith Traux

Photo credit: Meredith Traux

Hailing from Vermont, 22-year-old DJ/producer Pierce Fulton is an EDM star on-the-rise with the success of his latest single “Kuaga (Lost Time).”

Although the currently touring artist has been producing music for several years, this is considered his most notable track to date. In less than two weeks since its release, Fulton garnered nearly 600,000 plays on Spotify, he currently gets more than 40 spins per week Sirius XM and he is set to perform at a handful of summer festivals, including New York’s Electric Zoo.

An added bonus? He’s pretty tight with Ansel Elgort, who – under the actor’s musical alter ego Ansolo – launched the song “Shirts & Skins” with him.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

Stuff I make when I’m bored. That’s technically six words, but whatevs.

2) Which of your songs has the most personal meaning to you and why?

I always talk about my song “West Egg” because I made it in an afternoon and it was just so quick and natural that it still sounds fresh to me. Sometimes I listen to it now and think like, “When the hell did I make that sound?” I just love that feeling. Sort of disconnecting from the ol’ brain while in work mode.

3) Describe your fan base:

The coolest cats in the world. I love everyone who takes part in my life. They’re literally the coolest and kindest people ever. The Tweets, Snapchats, Instagrams and Facebook posts I get make my day every day. Y’all rule.

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

Paul KalkbrennerBathsEgbertSteel PulseAmerica

5) What is your motto to live by?

Do weird stuff and just have fun.

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KEMBER

Photo credit: Kristy Benjamin

Photo credit: Kristy Benjamin

Kember is still basking in the joy of being recognized as a new artist worth knowing by Jay-Z‘s Tidal app. And one listen to his Love EP, released on May 7, you’ll understand just why he’s getting such recognition. The 28-year-old resides in good ol’ L.A., and just played a successful show at The Mint.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

PunchDrunkLoveFueledFun.

2) Which of your songs has the most personal meaning to you and why?

I write a lot! This whole EP is an embodiment of how love has affected me over the past few years. But if I must pick one I would have to say, [the Outro, “Nana’s Curtain Call”]. As funny as that may sound, reenacting those phone calls to my Nana as I once did when she was here brings me so much joy I can’t replace that feeling with anything.

3) Describe your fan base:

Underground lovers and dreamers of all ages who enjoy riding wave after wave of happiness.

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

MJ and Prince – The immortal gods who can never be dethroned.

Bill Withers – The greatest song writer of my world.

2Pac – His aura: bigger than life.

Rage Against the Machine – They taught me to question everything, and their amazing collaboration of hip hop, funk and rock fueled me daily.

N.E.R.D. – Being a biracial child, Pharrell [Williams] and Chad [Hugo] showed me how important it is to simply be yourself. Everything else works itself out. #OTHER.

5) What is your motto to live by?

Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. – Anthony Bourdain.

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COBI MIKE

Photo credit: Steven Sewell

Photo credit: Steven Sewell

Cobi Mike – formerly the lead singer of Boston-based indie-pop band Gentlemen Hall – made a recent decision to leave the award-winning band to rediscover his voice and share his personal message. It has seemingly been a wise decision thus far, because “Walking Through Fire,” the first single from his four-song self-titled EP, charted #1 on Hype Machine. He also just performed at last weekend’s Make Music Pasadena festival.

1) Describe your sound in five words:

Alternative, rock, pop, electronic, psychedelic

2) Which of your songs has the most meaning to you and why?

“Walking Through the Fire” has a very significant meaning to me. I think the music video for it explains it better than I ever could.

3) Describe your fan base:

Free spirits

4) Name 5 artists from any genre/time period you are absolutely smitten with:

Kendrick Lamar, Little Dragon, Miike Snow, Son Lux, Toro Y Moi

5) What is your motto to live by?

“I will never betray my heart” – D’Angelo 

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Music

Shy Girls, Satin Jackets, Kid Ink, Seven Lions & Much More: New Music Monday, 2.9.15

February 9, 2015

shy-girls-2015-eyebarcode-billboard-650-e1423237543199I’m still trying to keep my eyes open in recovery from my Grammy weekend , so I’m going to keep this brief, but as we spent yesterday reflecting on the biggest hits of 2014, we must look ahead to all the good new music coming our way now.

That said, speaking of Grammy events, if you are a fan of The Weeknd (who I caught live on Thursday), then you will love Portland-based Shy Girls (Dan Vidmar), who I’ve been a fan of for quite some time. One word: sexy. I’ve included “Arrest Me,” featuring Tei Shi off his new mixtape 4wz. In case you are unfamiliar, the R&B crooner has toured with HAIM and Little Dragon, and his voice is featured on one of my current favorite tracks, “All We Need,” by Odezsa.

If nu-disco is your thing (it sure is mine!), I’ve included “Shine On You” by Satin Jackets, “Weekend,” by Mocki and “Heyho” by Dropic Thunder.

Listen to the playlist below for 15 new tracks, including Seven Lions, trumpet-infused electronic by Big Gigantic, radio-friendly rap by Kid Ink and some pop-rock by Randy Jackson‘s latest project North of Nine:

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Music

Grammy Nominees 2015: Here’s a Playlist of Skyelyfe’s Favorites

February 6, 2015

Little_Dragon_-_Nabuma_RubberbandAh, yes, Grammy weekend has arrived! My version of Oscars weekend. All music, all fun people, (mostly) non-stuffy parties.

With that in mind, here’s a playlist of my favorites of the Grammy nominees this year.  If you’ve read my previous posts, you obviously know how obsessed I am with X by Chris Brown, so it’s no shock that I am very excited about his nominations (best r&b performance, best r&b song, best urban contemporary album). How X wasn’t nominated for best album is beyond me, but I am happy with Beck‘s nomination in that category for Morning Phase. He is consistently golden.

I am also pleased with most of the dance/electronic nominations. Nabuma Rubberband is regularly on repeat, but then again, I’ve never complained about anything done by Little Dragon. Right up there with LD for best dance/electronic album is Royksopp and Robyn with Do It Again. 

And I am beyond thrilled about Schoolboy Q‘s nominations. His sound is so ridiculously on point. I am shocked that he hasn’t really blown up yet. He reminds me of the good, real rap from back in the day. I do wish “Man of the Year” had been nominated, though.

Here’s a list (and playlist) of my favs:

Haim – best new artist

Basement Jaxx – best dance recording (“Never Say Never”)

Clean Bandit f Jess Glynne  – best dance recording (“Rather Be”)

Duke Dumont f Jax Jones – best dance recording (“I got U”)

Little Dragon – best dance/electronic album (Nabuma Rubberband)

Royksopp & Robyn – best dance/electronic album (Do It Again)

Beck – best rock performance (“Blue Moon”), best rock song (“Blue Moon”), best rock album (Morning Phase), album of the year (Morning Phase)

Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – best rock album (Hypnotic Eye)

Chris Brown f Usher & Rick Ross – best r&b performance, best r&b song (“New Flame”), best urban contemporary album (X)

Jhene Aiko – best r&b song (“The Worst”), best urban contemporary album (Sail Out)

Lecrae – best rap performance (“All I Need Is You”)

Schoolboy Q f BJ The Chicago Kid – best rap/sung collaboration (“Studio”), best rap album (Oxymoron)

I love Makonnen f Drake – best rap/sung collaboration (“Tuesday”)

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Music

Skyelyfe’s Best & Worst of Music in 2014

November 15, 2014

BreezySome folks may beg to differ, but I’m just going to say it (in my own humble opinion, of course): 2014 was the most unsatisfying year in pop music that I can remember. Ok, Taylor Swift came through in the clutch at the end of the year with an album that took the world by storm. And there’s no denying that Ariana Grande is a cutie who can sing (even though her music doesn’t personally appeal to me). Obviously Sam Smith‘s music has a way with the ladies. And I have nothing but love for Tove Lo and Banks. But aside from that, hardly anything on the radio except for Chris Brown (despite his personal woes) resonated with me this year.

In the past, I could at least depend on a good hook in a commercial rap song to get me by, but even the so-called “hip-hop” this year was beyond laughable. Not only did every song sound the same, but I seriously can’t keep up with who anyone is or what gimmicky nonsense they’re talking about anymore. I mean, even Drake, who usually never lets me down, had me scratching my head in 2014.

That said, this is why I turn more and more to alternative avenues to find good music. From MØ‘s No Mythologies to Follow, to Tensnake‘s Glow, among many others, the year did indeed produce sounds that were rewarding to the ears.

Here is skyelyfe’s favorite and least favorite music in 2014:

10 LEAST FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Anaconda” – Nicki Minaj

2. “Rude” – Magic!

3. “All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

4. “Talk Dirty” – Jason Derulo

5. “Wiggle” – Jason Derulo feat. Snoop Dogg

6. “Don’t Tell ‘Em” – Jeremih feat. YG

7. “Problem” – Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea

8. “Black Widow” – Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora

9. “Show Me” – Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown

10. “Happy” – Pharrell Williams

10 FAVORITE SONGS (in order):

1. “Slow Love” – MØ

2. “Love Sublime” – Tensnake feat. Nile Rodgers & Fiora

3. “Loyal” – Chris Brown feat. Lil Wayne & Tyga

4. “Main Chick” – Chris Brown feat. Kid Ink

5. “Busy Baby” – Tomas Barfod feat. Nina K

6. “All of You” – Betty Who

7. “Diamonds” – Lane 8 feat. Solomon Grey

8. “Bullet Train” – Gardens & Villa

9. “Self Control” – Kate Boy

10. “Dreaming” – The Knocks

15 FAVORITE ALBUMS (in order)

1. No Mythologies to FollowMØ

2. GlowTensnake

3. X (Deluxe Version)Chris Brown

4. BlondeGhost Beach

5. GoddessBanks

6. Queen of the CloudsTove Lo

7. Dunes – Gardens & Villa

8. Awake – Tycho

9. SinglesFuture Islands

10. Noise vs. Beauty Bassnectar

11. Take Me When You GoBetty Who

12. PolyphonyLogistics

13. Strangers, Part IIRAC

14. Nabuma RubberbandLittle Dragon

15. Down to EarthFlight Facilities

5 FAVORITE LIVE SHOWS OR ACTS (in order)

1. Cut Copy @ Lollapalooza in Chicago

2. DWNTWN/ASTR/The Knocks @ The Echo in L.A.

3. RAC/The Knocks (Something Classic Tour) @ The Fonda Theatre in L.A.

4. Robyn & Royksopp (Do It Again Tour) @ The Hollywood Bowl in L.A.

5. Future Islands @ Coachella in Indio, CA

While you anticipate what’s musically in store for 2015, here’s a playlist of my top 50 tracks of the year (in no particular order):

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