Thursday Tracks–Oh Wonder, Purity Ring, FRANKIE, Blu J, HONNE, The Knocks, Alex Newell

There are so many good excuses and so many bad excuses for why why I haven’t posted in almost a month. Good reasons is that I’ve been traversing the South for the past nine days. I drove down from Boston with two good friends (20 hours in the car does test friendships) while listening to mostly country and the Talking Heads (Pyscho Killer–“Fa fa fa fa far fa fa fa fa far”) and hit Memphis for Beale St Music Festival where I saw the Spin Doctors, the Pixies, Lindsey Stirling, AWOLNATION, and the Flaming Lips. The Flaming Lips BLEW MY MIND with their show! Here are a few pictures to make you jealous.
Flaming Lips Beale St Music Festival

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And here are the new awesome tracks I’ve discovered recently.

Oh Wonder–Midnight Moon

Oh Wonder never ceases to amaze. The once mysterious group is continuing to uphold their promise to release a new song every month. Midnight Moon is their April release (yes, I haven’t posted much in a month), which deviates a little bit from the style of their other songs. It starts out as a slower ballad and launches into a relaxed, yet memorable chorus. Their male-female vocal combination is heavenly…like chocolate and caramel.

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Purity Ring–Begin Again

Purity Ring, the Canadian Megan James and Corin Roddick duo, took the music world by storm five years ago, pushing the genre boundaries of electronic music. They are still going strong today with their Another Eternity album, a monumental work of music art. Begin Again features James’ processed candy-sounding vocals, riding on top of a darker feeling track, blending together into the expectant feel that the title suggests.

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FRANKIE–Problems Problems (Blu J Remix)


FRANKIE is a new young California-bred talent in the music world, with strong catchy vocals, bringing together inspiration from many pop music divas, giving her a vintage feel. It’s very hard for me to decide if I like the original or DJ duo Blu J’s remix better. The original is a strong song on its own, but Blu J adds a lot more dynamic to the song, making the calm verses build into a very big chorus. Listen to them both for yourself and tell me which you like better!

Blu J
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FRANKIE
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HONNE–Top to Toe

This song has a laid-back groove, with vocals that layer more and more throughout the song, building it into a full-sounding love song. The top to toe metaphor is cute and original, giving the romantic lyrics a unique maturity. HONNE is another duo from the UK, solid yet unique in the way they blend soul with electronic sounds. They explain their band name to Clash Magazine in an interview, saying “It’s an expression that’s unique to Japan and it means ‘the true feelings that you would only show to your closest companions.'”

HONNE from clashmusic.com

HONNE from clashmusic.com

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The Knocks–Collect My Love (feat. Alex Newell)

This is the second single the NYC duo, the Knocks, have released from their new EP, all of which are strong, unique tracks. Their 80s vintage feel oozes through the speakers with grainy authenticity. The track features the big and bold vocals of Alex Newell, made famous from acting on glee. The hooks are catchy, and underneath the pop beat, this song’s base is very soulful.
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“Maybe (Empia Remix)” by Carmada

I stumbled upon this song today and it is too good to not hype about RIGHT NOW. I cannot remember the last time I immediately became obsessed with a song like this. Empia, aka Carl Elliott of Sydney, remixed this already incredible Carmada track. The original, which is at the end of this post, was mostly dub step, good yet hard to listen to. Empia took it down a notch into the growing trap music style, making it much more palatable for easy listening. It’s still a song that will amp you up, with big builds and hooks.

Carmada is also a Sydney group, comprised of two DJs, Yahtzel and L D R U who made names for themselves individually, but as a duo are even more powerful. Also, their fashion.

Carmada from acclaimmag.com

The word, “maybe,” appears in the song only three times, but its placement is very poignant, launching the song into a reflective dimension. You cannot help wondering, “maybe…what?” She seems to be responding to the man singing about finding someone he loves. Roll down your windows, drive along the coast, and play this song. Play it loud.

Carmada
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Empia
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Music Video Monday–Nothing But A Heartbeat by Say Lou Lou

Just when you think that this Monday could only get worse, an awesome music video like this drops and it makes the day just a little bit more livable. I’ve written before about Say Lou Lou, Swedish-Australian identical twins, Miranda and Elektra Kilbey. They just released their new LP, Lucid Dreaming today, along with this gorgeous music video for the single, “Nothing But a Heartbeat.”

Say Lou Lou from blip.tv

Say Lou Lou from blip.tv

Sibling duos are always a musical hit, because their voices and auras blend so well together. Add the fact that these girls share identical DNA, and the resulting music and visuals in this video are ultra-euphoric. The hook to this song is bubbly and catchy, exemplifying their dreampop style. The video contains amazing special effects, full of interdimensional leaps and magic jewelry. Even the dark-light hair and clothing contrasts suggest the concept of negative and positive space balancing each other in a mystical way. The video is very long, over 8 minutes, almost a short film in and of itself. The track for just the song is underneath the video for you to listen to uninterrupted.

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Thursday (Friday) Tracks–Made In Heights, SAINT WKND, Verre, COMPNY,LUCA LUSH, Oh Wonder

In some parts of the world it might still be Thursday. But actually, no, it’s not. This week I went to the new art space in Portsmouth New Hampshire, for a CD listening party for RPM Challenge, a challenge for musicians to record an entire album in the month of February alone. It ranged from punk to folk to electronic to acoustic instrumentals. It was amazing.

Also, can I just say how excited I am for these new songs and that YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

SAINT WKND–Positive Vibe

SAINT WKND, a young German DJ is producing some of the most unique music I have heard recently, bridging the chasm between EDM and indie music, which he does in a seamless fashion. This track is very upbeat, with a beach-party feel, but also has the laid back nuance typical of indie songs.

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Verre-Taste the Sky

Verre is a five-person musical group from Los Angeles, whose visuals pair amazingly with their music. The repeating synthesizer motifs, rock piano, and traditional building song structure make this very pop-like, but also has an emotional nuance that gives it more depth than you’ll usually hear on the top 40 stations.

Verre from earbuddy.net

Verre from earbuddy.net

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COMPNY–Lovers

If you like Foster the People, you will love their modern sound-alike, COMPNY. Taking a cue from the likes of Oh Wonder, Daft Punk, and Jungle, they just aren’t releasing much personal information about themselves, but are rather choosing to have the music speak for itself without putting their personal lives on display. This track is soothing and uplifting, nostalgic and hopeful at the same time, perfect for a pool party or a wake-up anthem.
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Made In Heights–Ghosts

Made in Heights is a male-female duo, DJ/producer Alexei Saba and vocalist Kelsey Bulkin, who met at a wedding he was DJing and she was singing at. The electropop style is more stripped down and focused than most acts, a masterpiece of precision artistry. The synthesizer sounds layer well with Bulkin’s vocals, her breathy technique sounding almost like an instrument itself.

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Oh Wonder–Body Gold (LUCA LUSH remix)

I shamelessly post about Oh Wonder too often, but they definitely deserve it. The duo started seven months ago, with no bio, just a promise to post a song every month for the next year. They have so far delivered eight solid tracks, and also recently revealed their identities as Josephine Vander Gucht (aka L A Y L A) and Anthony (whose full name I have yet to discover). They sure weren’t hiding because they were ugly. They simply wanted to let the music speak for itself and it has spoken strongly. Their first tour is this fall, and in addition to having a sold out show in London, they are coming to the US to L.A. and NYC, which I have tickets too! This remix by LUCA LUSH brings Oh Wonder’s calm alternative track up to a dance party level.

Oh Wonder from facebook.com/ohwondermusic

Oh Wonder from facebook.com/ohwondermusic

LUCA LUSH
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Oh Wonder
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Thursday Tracks–Hayden James, MØ, Major Lazer, DJ Snake, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Martin Solveig, GTA, Nina Simone, Bassnectar

I get progressively more excited about the songs I find every week. Music is the nectar of life! The last two weekends I had the privilege of seeing my friend, Brooklyn DJ, The Wig, perform in Portsmouth NH. This past weekend, his collaborative partner, Panooc, played saxophone with his electronic tracks–talk about amazing, music innovation!

Now for the Thursday tracks…


Hayden James, who lists his biggest influence as Daft Punk, is a Sydney-based producer. His deep house style is infused with tropical, Australian-influenced vibes. This track transcends moods and seasons, being perfect for a winter slumber party, a beach volleyball day, a post-breakup binge, and a pre-game soundtrack.

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This is such a strong track by three notable musicians that it is hard to know what to highlight. I’ve posted about MØ before, the badass Danish chick with a penchant for crop-tops, who has most recently been seen singing vocals with Iggy Izalea in her song “Beg For It.” French DJ Snake took the music world by storm with his Lil’ Jon collab “Turn Down For What.” If you haven’t heard of Major Lazer, you may have heard of Diplo, who is the man behind this act, who teams up with a variety of other DJs and producers under this name. This song has the perfect mix of attitude, groove, and dancability to make you listen to it on repeat for hours.


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Major Lazer
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DJ Snake
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In addition to having one of the best band names ever, Unknown Mortal Orchestra brings you on a unique journey as you listen to their song. Ruban Nielson or Portland, Oregon is the musical genius behind the trio, crafting this unique blend of psych-pop. Nielson’s vocals androgynous vocals balance on top of the psychedelia of this track, making it at the same time soothing and methodical.

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Martin Laurent Picandet, better known as Martin Solveig, is a French nu disco DJ, whose feel good tracks always pump up a dance floor. His collaboration with Miami DJ duo GTA (which stands for “Good Times Ahead”) is carefree and energetic, just the right track for dancing at a house party until sunrise.

Martin Solveig
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GTA
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Nina Simone was a powerhouse vocalist and civil rights activist during her lifetime. Her rich, soulful vocals in Feeling Good will give anyone shivers. The original track alone is a danceable feel-good masterpiece, but long-haired So Cal native DJ Bassnectar took it to the next level. The track starts out slow and soulful and gradually evolves into a dubstep masterpiece.

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