Sean Nicholas Savage’s new album is due out on May 13th. As best as I can count, this will be his 8th album in about five years. It certainly sounds like a slightly more subdued or mature Sean. If you’re interested in become a Sean Nicholas Savage completist, the entire Canadian crooners oeuvre is rather affordable. Just hop over to his bandcamp and Arbutus records, I can’t think of anything better to listen to in the midst of April showers.
Alex Lee of the rising DC ambient pop duo VEDAS describes the musical project with eloquence. “We write what we feel”, he’s says. There’s no doubting his and collaborator Andrew Monbourne’s obsession with tangible emotion and expressionism through sonic structure. Their very first track “Ruin” was an enjoyably aimless drift through resonant piano and twinkling synthesizer effects, where Lee’s acrobatic tenor threaded us through an intense pall of uncertainty. Like Victoria Legrand from Beach House or Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, Lee’s vocal control transcend their medium, and “Ruin” slowly unravels itself as something outwardly gorgeous but inwardly thorny and dark.
VEDAS’ newest cut from their debut EP Exhume plunges even further into sonic expressionism. “Mis Rajh” is like hypnagogia, halfway between clarity and confusion; however, Lee’s croon and Monbourne’s slow-loping drums guide the listener to a place that embraces any mood or tension. Very similar in effect to some of The Antlers’ longer, more halcyon jams, VEDAS’ galactic and moody pop obeys it’s first EP’s title: “Mis Rajh” and “Ruin” are quietly turbulent catalysts for emotions that only good music can embody and summon to the conscious surface.
Check out both tracks below and get excited for the Exhume EP, out today!
Swedish EDM masterminds Christian Karlsson from Miike Snow and Linus Eklow of Style of Eye have synthesized their sonics in the form of Galantis, a maximized club pop project that isn’t afraid to drop the bass. The duo’s eponymous EP is out now on Big Beat, and it’s an exercise in consistent and precise production. Songs like “You” and “Revolution” are pleasurable because they’re filled with the sounds of EDM’s diverse history from London and Berlin, and never shy away from rewarding crescendos.
If you’re in D.C., you’re in luck: Galantis will be guiding 9:30 Club through their energetic discography on Apr. 24. And even better—we’ve got two tickets to share with the first person to tell us what top 10 hit Linus Eklow co-wrote. Tell us in the comment section or tweet us @newdust. Afterwards, check out the pretty-NSFW video for “Smile” above. For those who aren’t winners, grab tickets HERE and We’ll catch you there!
Last week, the music world lost an original. Not too many people can say they pioneered a distinct genre, a genre that then went on to transform popular music and spawn hundreds of subgenres…Frankie Knuckles can say that. Here are a bunch of great tributes to Mr. Knuckles published this past week, they are all worth checking out. Here is a one of Frankie’s best known track which you’ll most likely recognize as as the source of the main sample from Animal Collective’s “My Girls”. Enjoy.
Detroit based artist Tunde Olaniran released his new music video for “The Highway” last Wednesday. I use the term “artist” in the most earnest way possible, for Olaniran seems to have every aspect of his presence carefully orchestrated. In “The Highway”, for example, he bashes the current urban gentrification trends by throwing out lines like “Don’t drink the water with frack… they pay; why not be happy?” as well as calling out Whole Foods patrons for liking rap but hating baggy pants. All this bashing though is a layered part of Tunde’s performance, as he ingeniously uses his vampiric role in the vid to show that these are the exact kind of people he is feeding off of for his art. One of the most surprising things about this single, is how “punk” it is, the lyrics alone would give credit to that. Yet unlike punk-music, it’s not that he’s angry and it’s not art out of desperation. To me it’s the fact that he has a message. And he says it loudly and clearly with no bullshit.
Catch Tunde Olaniran at Comet Ping Pong this Saturday in DC. And FYI, I read he keeps a fog machine in his car, just in case.)
Winnipeg’s six-piece collective Royal Canoe released their eccentric, excellent debut album Today We’re Believers last September, and almost a year before that, they shared a charmingly organic video for one of the LP’s best highlights. “Hold Onto The Metal” has elements that are not unfamiliar to fans of a wide range of freak folk and weirdo pop bands across North America, but its sidewinding hooks and wild energy allow it to stand on its own as a unique achievement. In comparison to the debut album’s other singles like the percussive, grooving “Birthday” and the frenzied swagger of “Bathtubs”, “Hold Onto The Metal” has an unconquerable refrain and is the perfect companion for the gradually rising temperatures. Like Born Ruffians and Animal Collective before them, Royal Canoe specializes in making esoteric pop that focuses on life’s quietly grand moments—this music was made to adhere to your happy memories and moments of ecstasy, in good company or in the labyrinths self-reflection.
Check out the video above, and head over to Royal Canoe’s site for music, tour dates and more!
This past week, British pop import and chart soaring soul crooner, Sam Smith, debuted his new single, “Stay With Me”. Just over the last few weeks, Smith has performed alongside English electronic due, Disclosure, on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in addition to earning himself a premiere slot at SXSW. Sam Smith’s 2014 is, so far, is unshy in announcing himself as the pond-hopping success story.
Only 21 years old, Smith’s voice possesses properties of a mature souls singer. Technically, he croons, weaving notes into silk, flawlessly. His tone is vulnerable, conveying a tangible attachment to the words he’s singing. “Stay With Me” is a pure and unalloyed gospel-style ballad of gut-wrenching proportions. While there’s not much to be said of experimentation or complexity, it is perfectly executed as a simple cry of unfulfilled love. Its melancholy poison has the ability to bring listeners in, as anyone can be reminded of familiar heartbreak throughout the repetitive, yet poignant chorus.
There will likely be plenty more magic coming from Sam Smith, who made his US star debut last Saturday, as he performs on Saturday Night Live. His debut album In the Lonely Hour, will be released on Captiol Records.