Tuesday, September 30, 2014

L.A. Love (La La) - Fergie

Song: L.A. Love (La La)
Artist: Fergie
Album: L.A. Love (La La)

Wow, it's been eight years since Fergie's one and only (and rather successful) solo album The Dutchess.  I never would think of that record as "classic," but put on "London Bridge" or "Glamourous" at a party and watch what happens.

Anyhow, she back.

"L.A. Love (La La)" is the first taste of the new album which is expected early next year.  Initial reaction was that it was a bit Rihanna, and then the flow gave me a little Iggy Azalea... and then I'm reminded Fergie really was here first.  It's not super attention-grabbing but after a couple spins it grabs on to you none-the-less.  Welcome back Fergie-Ferg.


L.A. Love (La La)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Chasing Time - Azealia Banks

Song: Chasing Time
Artist: Azealia Banks
Album: Broke With Expensive Taste

Azealia was signed to Universal Music for two and a half years and couldn't get her debut album out.  After many delays, and the glimpses of her potential waining, Interscope finally dropped her in July.  Since she released a new track and video "Heavy Metal and Reflective," and now a new track; "Chasing Time" which heavily hints at her time with her former label.  And it's fantastic.

"Heavy Metal and Reflective" came from the darker side of Azealia, the one that created the brash, loud, and noisy "Yung Rapunxel," and didn't quite grab me.  But it's been a slow-burner for me, and just last week I was playing it a bunch, finally hearing how strong it was... just in time for "Chasing Time" to come out of nowhere, and it's an instant one.  (Check out the "Heavy Metal" video below, it's a good one.)

We still don't know when the debut Broke With Expensive Taste will finally come out just yet, but it's clear we can't count this girl out just yet.


Chasing Time
Heavy Metal and Reflective

Friday, September 19, 2014

Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza) - Jack Ü

Song: Take Ü There (feat. Kiesza)
Artist: Jack Ü
Album: Take Ü There

Jack Ü is comprised of superstar DJ's Skrillex and Diplo.  Kiesza should be bigger than she is, at least here in the US.

"Take Ü There" starts pretty ordinary, and then kind of get's bigger, then goes off the rails.  What is that... beat?  Kind of abrasive, but Kiesza really sells this.


Take Ü There

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Let Me In - Kleerup

Song: Let Me In
Artist: Kleerup
Album: As If We Never Won

Where has this guy been?  I was a fan of his self-titled debut album, from 2008, but the last time we heard from him was the Loreen collaboration "Requiem Solution" from very early last year.

Well, wait no more as Kleerup has released a new single "Let Me In" with singer Susanne Sundfǿr that will be part of the first of two EP's entitled As If We Never Won, which are precursors to a new album.  Dig.

"Let Me In" has a killer bassline reminiscent of the filth/strut-mode of Queen and the Skatt Brothers mixed with shimmering 80s-style synths.  I'm reminded of Laura Branigan as well... which is never a bad thing.

Let Me In

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Rescue Me - Groove Armada

Song: Rescue Me
Artist: Groove Armada
Album: Stairwell Felony EP

Groove Armada have been releasing a steady stream of EP's since their last double-release Black Light and White Light in 2010.  This year alone they've released three of varying lengths.  Stairwell Felony is just a four-track affair with a dub version of one track, "Nothing But Love."  I've been taken by first track "Rescue Me" which is hitting my 90s Deep-House buttons like nobodies business.

Also check out the Love Lights the Underground EP.


Rescue Me
Highway 101
Nothing But Love

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Doubt - Kele

Song: Doubt
Artist: Kele
Album: Trick

Kele Okereke of Bloc Party will be releasing his sophomore solo album early next month.  "Doubt" is the first single, a pop-house track that's a real grower.



Monday, September 15, 2014

A Simple Design - The Juan MacLean

Song: A Simple Design
Artist: The Juan MacLean
Album: In a Dream

The Juan MacLean have returned with their proper third album and longtime collaborator Nancy Whang has officially joined the group.  I wrote about Nancy earlier this year when she collaborated with Shit Robot on "Do That Dance," but just a month prior she had also done a single, "Get Down (With My Love)" with The Juan MacLean that I really loved.  It was added to "Happy House" and "You Are My Destiny" as my favorite tracks they've done together.

Oddly "Get Down (With My Love)" or "You Are My Destiny" don't appear on In a Dream, and yet it's possibly the group's best album. It's an electro-house soundscape odyssey that mixes several moods and tones yet works as a collective experience.  Opener "A Place Called Space" is big and epic, letting you know the ride that awaits you.  I'm really flipping for the laid-back semi-R&B vibe of "Running Back to You" and second-to-last track "A Simple Design" which is quickly becoming one of my favorite things they've ever done together.

I'm really really digging this record.  I'm happy Nancy has joined the band given the magic they've created together.


A Simple Design
A Place Called Space

Friday, September 12, 2014

Look Right Through - Storm Queen

Song: Look Right Through
Artist: Storm Queen
Album Look Right Through

I'm going through a bit of a Deep House phase right now that's stretching back to the 90s, but this gem from 2010 has been standing out to me.  Storm Queen is American Producer, DJ, Songwriter, and Remixer Morgan Geist of Metro Area fame.  He's only released a handful of singles under the Storm Queen moniker, I knew him best from the downtempo album Double Nighttime from 2008.


Look Right Through
It Goes On
Let's Make Mistakes

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Raised By Wolves - U2

Song: Raised By Wolves
Artist: U2
Album: Song of Innocence

Yesterday U2's thirteenth album was announced, released, and is already in your music library.  (Maybe, sort of.)

As part of Apple's keynote address to announce the new iPhone 6 and iWatch (it's a watch!) the band came out, performed a new song ["The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)"], and then announced they would be gifting their new album, Songs of Innocence, to all iTunes users right then.  It's a little convoluted to find (I'm pretty iTunes savvy and it took me a while to figure it out, this article may help you) but there's the album in your cloud.  They are claiming it's given to over five-hundred million users, which Apple has apparently paid for... for an undisclosed amount.

Release gimmicks and strategies only hold so much interest for me... how is the music?

I haven't had all that much time with it but there's something different about this record.  It's pretty immediate and a lot of it sticks out to me, in ways that their last two efforts did not.  It could be their best record in foreteen years.

The record comes after they reportedly shelved another record they'd been working on possibly entitled Songs of Ascent.  Was "Invisible" from earlier this year from that?  Regardless, Song of Innocence seems to be all about the bands early days in Dublin including tracks about Bono's Mom ("Iris") and the street he grew up on. ("Cedarwood Road.")  The album is mainly produced by Danger Mouse, but also includes work with Ryan Tedder, Paul Epworth, and Declan Gaffney.

I'm just starting my second listen and it's sounding really fantastic to me.  The most pop-U2 we've gotten in some time.  The song they played at the keynote, first track and single "The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)" is buzzed-out bliss excellence truly, but there's a lot of interesting shit to process here.  Check out the later-in-the-album track "Sleep Like a Baby Tonight," in all it's dramatic, synthy glory, or the WTF sound effect laden "Raised By Wolves."


Raised By Wolves
Sleep Like a Baby Tonight
The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Runaway - Electric Youth

Song: Runaway
Artist: Electric Youth
Album: Inner World

Debut album from Toronto-based synth-pop band.

And yes their name is a Debbie Gibson reference.



Monday, September 08, 2014

Right Now - Mary J. Blige

Song: Right Now (prod. by Disclosure)
Artist: Mary J. Blige
Album: The London Sessions

After guest-vocaling (and improving) two already-killer tracks with also chummy, young, up-and-coming U.K. white boys Sam Smith and the Disclosure brothers, American treasure Mary J. Blige has decided to do a dance record.  Yes, get excited.

If you haven't already, take a listen to Mary KILLING it on Disclosure's "F For You" and then again on Sam's current hit, "Stay With Me."  Matches made in heaven really, she gets it, so she's up and gone to London.

"Right Now" is excellent and I'm really looking forward to this album.


Right Now

Friday, September 05, 2014

Gotta Have You Back (feat. Rouge Mary) - Mason

Song: Gotta Have You Back (feat. Rouge Mary)
Artist: Mason
Album: ZOA

Dutch production duo's second album, an italo-disco, house, electro & indie-pop odyssey.  It comes three years after their debut They Are Among Us from 2011.  ZOA sounds like a real progression to me after just a listen.  Second track "Gotta Have You Back" has grabbed me immediately with it's sexy, throbbing beat and slick vocals.

This one will kick-start your weekend, C'mon Friday!


Gotta Have You Back (feat. Rouge Mary)
Someone I'm Not (feat. Lizzie Massey)

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Extraordinary (feat. Sharna Bass) - Clean Bandit

Song: Extraordinary (feat. Sharna Bass)
Artist: Clean Bandit
Album: New Eyes

Dear friend and reader Heather told me about "Rather Be" a couple weeks ago JUST before it seemed to really blow up and be everywhere.  I had just heard vocalist's Jess Glynne's "Right Here" which I also really loved, which I had been pairing with her feature on Route 94's "My Love" as a Jess Glynne trifecta.  I eagerly await her debut, but in the meantime got a hold of the full Clean Bandit record... and it's worth your time.

I mix of soulful vocals, house beats, strings, reggae, and straight-up pop, New Eyes from British group Clean Bandit is an assured debut that puts them (sort of) into the 'Disclosure-of-2014' territory.  Check them out.


Extraordinary (feat. Sharna Bass)
Mozart's House (feat. Love Ssega)
Come Over (feat. Stylo G)

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I'm Calling - Tennis

Song: I'm Calling
Artist: Tennis
Album: Ritual In Repeat

Third album from husband and wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley know as Tennis.  Ritual In Repeat has a couple big-name indie producers at work, including Patrick Carney (The Black Keys), Jim Eno (Spoon), and Richard Swift (The Shins.)  It may be their pop-iest release to date, and seem to have been influenced a bit by tour-mates HAIM in terms of catchy, electronic-injected guitar rock.

For fans of Best Coast, Jenny Lewis, and yes, HAIM.


I'm Calling
Never Work for Free

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Don't Tear Yourself Apart - Zoot Woman

Song: Don't Tear Yourself Apart
Artist: Zoot Woman
Album: Star Climbing

Fourth album from non-prolific English trio featuring future-disco king Stuart Price.  I've only listened to it a couple times but it already sounds like the album I'd wished Miike Snow made for their sophomore set.  Catchy, bubbling, electro-pop with ace production.  Dig.  Check this out.

Don't Tear Yourself Apart