November 29th, 2016
bon iver | 22, A Million
Bon Iver (Justin Jordan) is that weird celestial being sent from space dust to brush up against our lame asses. He’s elucidating our understanding of what music can be. Vernon, is kinda like in hands of a raggedy-bearded shamanistic Miles Davis in anti-black face. This 22, A Million release is extraterrestrial sound ejaculate stitched lovingly against our collective eardrums and I love it. The tracks, there’s ten of them, shed majestically as they undress within our presence, at times coyly in half whisper, other times a direct (albeit hushed) inquiry into the upper and lower registers of need masquerading as want. The opening track 22 (OVER S∞∞N) is the equivalent of an Islamic call to prayer. A Western world’s quasi-adhan urging us to pivot our ears east and follow the progression of these quaint and beautiful sounds across the audio skyline and may the sun never set.
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October 4th, 2016
japanese breakfast | in heaven
Japanese Breakfast has an endearing way of making quirky lo-fi dream pop that is often raucous, but at times soft and tender. Case in point the latter, the track In Heaven is soft around the edges like Robert Smith at his melancholy best. Read more »
September 18th, 2016
hey ya | ben talmi & kamau
Ben Talmi and KAMAU slow OutKast’s Hey Ya way down and infuse the track with a much more reflective time signature. I love the original version well enough but this right here is doing the most. Read more »
September 3rd, 2016
frank ocean | blond
Frank Ocean is laying the bricks of his legacy. Each song is a brick. The bricks are gold. Without much argument nor doubt, these bricks exist as intricately laid cobblestones leading Mr. Ocean to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame of our hearts.
Blond. This album will win awards. If not a Grammy or two, then most certainly a place upon the mantelpiece of cherished memories. His music, the heartfelt lyrics and the luscious melodies of your favorite Frank Ocean songs linger. Frank’s songs touch upon not just familiar themes, but familiar emotions. They are exploratory in their honesty and density of truth. Blond has more in common with bodies of work reminiscent of What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye), Songs in the Key of Life (Stevie Wonder) and Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (The Cure) or OK Computer (Radiohead) than with contemporary artists making music today. And above all the craftsmanship of Frank’s work is both substantive and relatable, and incredibly mundane in the most humanistic and provocative way.
Frank Ocean’s songs become our songs. The songs are where and when we need to hear them. Fuck a powdered line of this or a glassful of that, these songs are the remedy and the cure. Sweet potent words, and an ongoing body of work worth your while over and over again…Blond.
This album will win awards.
I am not going to get into the long four-year wait because ultimately it doesn’t matter. What does matter is the quality of the finished product and his latest release, Blond has plenty to get excited over and suss out. Songs of intricate beauty and sophisticated nuance. Songs draped in vulnerability, proclamations of struggle, accomplishment, fear and the much sought after compulsion to escape and dissect from a distance.
“Every night fucks every day up , every day patches the day up…”
It’s been two weeks and a day since Frank dropped his sophomore release on iTunes and as a fan, I am still coming down off of major euphoria. This is a great album with a wonderful collection of songs. And getting to know and discover each track is an exercise is both self-awareness and Mr. Ocean’s unique observation of the world he occupies. The material on this release is vastly different from what The Ocean has previously given. But to be fair so much of what Frank has released to date is divergent from and not easily paired with other material within his catalog. Yet, here I am trying to compare Nostalgia Ultra with the crazy, sexy and mature songs found on the Blond offering. Hey, it’s what I do. Read more »
July 21st, 2016
my time | minus the bear
Minus The Bear and their track My Time is one of our gallantly danceable Throwback Thursday selections this week. The reason being? Well, give it a listen and you’ll get a chronic case of the “happy feets”. Don’t worry, it’ll wash off in the shower. The track My Time is included in the band’s Omni (2010) release. It’s the first song on the LP and for good reason. This one made my summer playlist on the strength of his listenability and groovy vivaciousness. Yeppers! I said it so check it out. Also, peep the My Time (NGHTBLND Remix) after the jump. Peace. Read more »
July 18th, 2016
sam padrul | hold on me | ft. mammals
Sam Padrul drops a certified summertime hit with his energetic and every color of the rainbow track Hold On Me (ft. Mammals). It is rockin’ the top honors spot on my current playlist and I’m thinking this is easily one of coolest songs of the summer season. Hoping for much more Mr. Padrul. Peace.
Artist: Sam Padrul
Track: Hold On Me (ft. Mammals)
July 17th, 2016
justice | safe and sound
Justice the dynamic Parisian duo of mega iconic dance theory status release their first single in half a decade (that’s 5-years)! The track is titled Safe And Sound courtesy of long time Ed Banger Records. This could be the audible volley over the bow indicating a brand spanking new and forthcoming album release. Here’s hoping. Get the FREE DOWNLOAD. Peace. Read more »
July 10th, 2016
basecamp | esc | swindail + josh pan & x&g remixes
Basecamp the Nashville, TN trio that’s been on a tear for a few years now (Watch My Back, Smoke Filled Lungs, Shudder). The band’s latest release the Greater Than EP is six tracks of exactly why we love these guys. The fourth track on the EP Esc gets the remix treatment with Esc (Swindail Remix) and the Esc (josh pan & X&G Remix). I can’t decide which version I like the bestest. Maybe you can help me decide? Peace.
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June 7th, 2016
mass gothic | nice night
Noel Heroux formerly of the New York rockfit Hooray For Earth, has broken type and reinvented himself, musically and otherwise, as Mass Gothic. The new music is rich, raw and with a low sail it plows the rough seas of the human heart beautifully. His self-titled Sub-Pop release marks a new unencumbered journey and sonically I am all in and loving it. The track Nice Night has a way of both lifting and dampening my spirits and maybe that’s the point. The album Mass Gothic is out now courtesy of Sub Pop Records. Peace. Read more »
May 22nd, 2016
aidan knight | the arp
Aidan Knight is a modern day bard in the best and most sincere sense of the descriptor. His music is, among other things, robust, genteel and insanely beautiful. The featured track The Arp opens up like a benignly blazing sunrise cresting the far horizon. Song as a scrapbook, the warm sustenance of a hot cup of tea, a meditative playlist and a pocketful of sweetened Gary Snyder poems. Aidan’s latest album Each Other is collectively more profound, for there exists songs here which will become decorous rings around your bleeding heart. Each Other, What Light (Never Goes Dim), You Are Not Here and Black Dream are also notable standouts. Aidan Knight’s album Each Other is out now courtesy of the Outside Music label. Also, take a peek at the Ft. Langley directed video for All Clear video after the jump. Peace. Read more »