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!
Check out the video for Young Magic’s lead single “Fall in” off upcoming album Breathing Statues. Complete with stunning visuals, the well executed video was filmed entirely in Xilitla, Mexico and takes you on a strange and adventurous journey.
Very breezy and catchy new track from California-via-Australia duo Wunder Wunder. The track was described to me as the “audial equivalent of sunshine and warmth”. Perfect. Enjoy and stay tuned as their debut album Everything Infinite, will be out July 15th on Dovecote Records.
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.
What’s better than a new single from a promising musical act? Two new singles. It’s even more impressive when they’re both high quality a-sides that expand on the group’s sonic ethos. Magic Bronson, the southern Cali electronic duo and new signee to War Cry Records have released “Shivers” and “Golden”. The former, released with an enjoyable video narrative, explores the Why?-esque indie hip hop from their debut EP Nor’easter—there’s more subtly-employed sonic space in “Shivers”, though, probably due to better production and more experience as a group. The track employs wordless hooks with satisfying ease and immediately ingrains itself in the listener’s mind.“Golden”, however, has darker subtexts that spike through high-pitched synth melodies and gurgling bass. It’s lyrics are gut-wrenching and intense, juxtaposed with “Shivers”’ irreverence. And as a pop song, “Golden” falls in line with the zeitgeist next to forerunners like Chvrches and AlunaGeorge, who have reached massive audiences with their deceptively moody electro pop. It takes cues from the trends, but both Michael Nicastro and Matthew Liberman remain in control of Magic Bronson’s essential sound.
Check out the pair of tracks below. Each stands independently as new territory for the duo, but together they represent Magic Bronson’s exciting dynamism and rising talent, which will come to fruition in a debut album out this Summer.