Current Obsession : Redline Graffiti

[ Redline Graffiti – Junior June ]

It isn’t uncommon for artists to blend genres and sub-genres when creating their personal sound, but it becomes something else entirely when an artist can do it skillfully. Redline Graffiti does a damn good job of that, and this single track alone is a perfect representation of it.

Redline Graffiti brings the soulful elements of R&B, but mid-way through most songs transports the audience to a more modern style with their seamless transitions from sax to rock-styled guitar and drum, and even synth.

The vocals remain pure while the sound around becomes distorted and altered continually through most songs. Redline Graffiti somehow manages to completely flip tune and tempo while maintaining a relaxed sense throughout.

This D.C.-based trio balances tradition with experimentation and knows how to execute their sound just right.

Give this stylish vid a look & listen, and if you like what you hear, check out the first song of their’s that got me hooked, “Mayfair”.

Dillistone & Aayushi Make a Diamond Child

[ Dillistone, Aayushi – Diamond Child ]

If you’re an Odesza fan of any sort, or enjoy jiving to mellow indie-electro tunes, then this track is for you. Remaining somewhat ambiguous and wildly underrepresented on Spotify, both Dillistone and Aayushi have limited (but insanely good) works to share.

While Spotify may not be their primary source of outletting their sound, you can find Aayushi’s killer vocals here, and Dillistone’s sweet and sometimes slow synth-y sounds here.

These two might just be my new favorite dynamic duo. They know exactly how to find the fine balance between dainty vocals and a soft, yet heavy, beat. This track isn’t the only one in which they’ve collaborated on, but it might just be my favorite.

None of Dillistone’s or Aayushi’s work seems to be older than a year or two, which gets me stoked. Fresh sounds are always welcome, and the fact that they are relatively new and already delivering hypnotic sounds like these has me begging for more…and maybe obsessively stalking both of their Soundcloud accounts…

Either way, I’m keeping an eye out for these two. Together or apart, I guarantee that they are going to make some big noise very soon.

Current Obsession : Allan Kingdom

[ Allan Kingdom – Northern Lights ]

With a wide taste in music, rap is no exclusion. I will admit that aside from my guilty pleasures (Juicy J, 2 Chainz and anything else that is highly inappropriate and degrading), I’m picky listener when it comes to this genre. Rap requires skill and style but few rappers bring an extra element to the table that keeps you listening for hours on end.

Allan Kingdom has the ability to do just that. Barely a few weeks old, his latest album,  Northern Lights, has me jammin’ solo in the library and is basically writing my media ethics essay for me. Songs like “Go Fish” hold commonalities to Chance the Rapper, yet the eery synth and dark tones of “The Forest (Intro)” make me question if James Blake somehow slipped into my playlist. Allan Kingdom has an unadulterated originality and style that demands to be heard and is best displayed in this album.

For friends who aren’t fans of rap, Allan Kingdom might be a turning point for you. At the young and thriving age of 22, this Canadian is bound to be around for awhile and will make damn good use of his time – I’m sure.

 

Favorite tracks: “Hypocrite (feat. Jared Evan)”, “The Ride”, “Go Fish” and “Outta Pocket (feat. Gloss Gang)”

Current Obsession : Owen Rabbit

[ Owen Rabbit – Holy Holy ]

Having the reputation of using whatever is around him to create sound – whether it be glass bottles or empty cans – Owen Rabbit undeniably delivers a sound that has the ability to encompass a multitude of genres.  This multi-instrumental, mega-talented artist creates fleeting, drifting and layered sounds are a guarantee for just about any song of his, though no two are too similar.

Owen Rabbit appears to be receiving attention for his work just recently within these past few months, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to soon become a crowd favorite. With talent like Owen Rabbit’s, it is beyond exciting to see what is to come because this guy is only beginning to scratch the surface of his potential.

The Black Atlantic : Fragile Meadow (live at Public Train)

I’ve rediscovered The Black Atlantic and likely could not be more hooked. This song is currently what is playing on repeat, and I especially love this version. While may not be the best quality,  I absolutely love the raw and authentic feel that it has (as well as La Blogotheque’s ‘take-away show’ style).  I think this version also gives  very accurate representation of the song’s character, in it’s purest form. Enjoy.

November Is Jeremy Zucker’s Month

[ Jeremy Zucker – Good Bye ]

Though I posted about this guy sometime last year (here) – and disclaimed how creepy I felt because he is a friend of a friend – I can’t help but share his work yet again (and still feel somewhat creepy about it). Jeremy Zucker not only released another EP, Beach Island,  but also multiple other singles AND now new tracks to come every Sunday for the month of November. Here is his latest song, and the first of five November beats to come.

Perfume Genius : Grid

This video is fucking weird and that is why I love it. Having recently become infatuated with Perfume Genius and the heavy mystery that accompanies him, I would have expected nothing less from one of his music videos.

“Grid” was the first song that turned me on to Hadreas’s sound which is notably stranger, louder and bolder than any of his previous work. The reason I really love this music video (and album, Too Bright) is because of it’s density. It is full and tangible with meaning and it is uncomfortable, odd and flamboyant and it is the epitome of Perfume Genius. Take a look at this video if you haven’t, and more importantly, have a thorough listen through his collection of work.

Current Obsession : Yeek

[ Yeek – Sad Summer ]

Right when I felt my collection of new finds was lacking, Yeek arrives. Only a couple months old, Yeek takes the stage by storm with his Sad Summer EP, as well as a newly dropped single, “I’m Not Ready”.

Yeek holds similar sounds to Yuma X and Cold Fingers, but brings an element of sound that reminds me a bit of Patrick Watson’s newer sound, with perhaps even some underlying hints of R&B and rap. Regardless of how Yeek’s sound compares, there’s something about “Sad Summer” that I can’t seem to get out of my head. With layered sound and lyric, this song brings up nostalgic feelings, both sad and sweet. Yeek continuously knows how to cross emotional boundaries in just the right way, that it’ll make you listen twice.

Considering that Yeek is just now making his way into the spotlight, I am so eager to see what this guy has to share in the future. Keep your eyes peeled for this one, you’ll see him around soon enough.

You Need To Listen To This: How Copalis Stepped Outside of the Box

To start from scratch isn’t something that we often see when regarding bands that hold a long and memorable history. Formerly known as Box, Copalis has completely reinvented themselves.

Perhaps I should rewind a bit and give some background. All of these talented members went to my high school and I remember seeing them perform at the Old Firehouse or even (illegally) in parking garages in the suburbs of good ole Redmond. While I wish I could say I was good homies with the entire band, that would be a stretch of the truth. However, I grew up right across the street from the lead vocalist, Johnathan, and can recall running through the woods when we were 12 to going to prom senior year, and the many shows, songs and albums in between. I’ve written about people from my hometown before, or even friends of friends but it is something entirely different to write about friends and people you know and to be able to reflect on how far they’ve come.

With that minor side-note out of the way, Copalis brings a much darker and abstract feel than any of their previous work has. I remember Box always carrying upbeat, witty and alternative tunes to each show, but Copalis is the kind of band that I want to listen to at home, when I study, chill and anything in between. I liked Box because of the people I knew and the undeniable fact that each person had talent, but Copalis exercises it’s potential in a way that I do not think Box ever could.

Unlike bands that drop a new album with a completely altered sound in hopes of redirecting their style, the guys decided to wipe the slate clean and start fresh. Mitch (bass), said “We changed the name to give ourselves a different mindset and start over without our old songs”.  Which, at it’s core, is exactly what the band accomplished.  The biggest discrepancy between Copalis and Box is the increasing use of much slower and darker tempos, while relying far less on defined vocals and more on anything and everything abstract. Copalis, both the new band name and debut album title is derived from a beach in Western Washington, and after seeing the beach, Copalis is seamlessly able to match sound to sight.

Not often am I asked to write reviews, I mainly just virtually stalk Bandcamp or Soundcloud until something strikes me as notable. If I thought Copalis was okay or a waste of your time, I would have frankly said it. I don’t see these guys often so if I genuinely didn’t like this new sound of theirs I could have either verbally picked it apart or just ignored the request from the get-go. Just writing these few paragraphs was a challenge; for someone who runs a music blog you’d think I would be a little more articulate.

The bottom line is that Copalis seems to just be grasping their new, psychedelic and off-beat potential and the fact that this is their debut album has me itching for more. All I can hope is that Copalis will rock the suburb parking garages the same way Box did, and that I’ll be back home in Seattle to see it.

Favorite tracks: “Bumsteer Bummer”, “Thought You Were Cool”, “Bayside”

Current Obsession : Delicate Steve

[ Delicate Steve – Afria Talks To You ]

I’m a firm believer that any decent album deserves an entire, thorough listen, start to finish, with no skips or shuffles. Positive Force by Delicate Steve almost begs for the listener to do so. With an album of distinct sound (and a kickass name), Delicate Steve still finds the way to bring odd stylistic elements to each song.

Some tracks take me back to Radiohead’s glory days, others make me wonder in Youth Lagoon has somehow made an appearance. The rest is completely Delicate Steve; weird, vocal-less and wonderful. I’ve listened to many bands and artists who disregard lyrics and rely solely on their instruments, but there is just something about the way that Delicate Steve goes about it – it changes the instrumental game.

As always, how could I ever choose just one favorite song? Seriously, I’m impressed that I could even narrow it down to five (okay, six). The hard part about this band is that their sound can so easily and drastically change. While I will share with you one their more popular and classic songs, I ask that you check out the rest (especially on this album), because it will give you a more genuine picture of who Delicate Steve really is.

Favorites:

“Postive Force”, “Love”, “Ramona Reborn”, “Wally Wilder”, “Luna”

Current Obsession : Timber Timbre

[ Timber Timbre – Black Water ]

This is in no way new, necessarily, but it is to me and I keep finding myself listening to to Timber Timbre on repeat. Pulling from the darker side of what can be considered indie folk-rock, these guys still have hints of familiar sounds within their own unique style.

The transitions solely in this song, from verse to chorus, holds resemblance to Tame Impala, or a band that uses a dreamy and hallucinogenic undertone. However, in songs like “Hot Dreams” I’m reminded of artists like Samuel Herring of Future Islands who rely on slow and heavy vocals. Yet, in the song “Woman”, Timber Timbre gets even eerier and manages to throw some sax into the mix. This song could be considered one of their tamer ones, definitely one of their most popular, and is the first song that I ever heard by them.

Timber Timbre knows how to throw a curve ball, and while their sound never quite repeats itself, the band does an excellent job of maintaining it’s identity. That alone might just be why I can’t keep myself from binge-listening, and hopefully gives you the desire to at least check out their wide range of sounds and skills.

Current Obsession : Private Island

[ Private Island – Dissolve ]

Yet another band that deserves much more attention than what they’re getting. Private Island seems to have only been widely sharing their sound just over the past year and appears to be stickin’ close to home (SoCal) in regards to their show locations. Having not even hit 1k followers on any social media platform, I’m wondering what is taking so long for these gems to get discovered. Considering any given track of theirs could be titled a favorite of mine, I closed my eyes and picked one at random. Take a good look (Haha get it? EP name? Puns? I am not funny) and listen at Private Island, they’re gonna pick up speed before you know it.