Recording artist Empress Of, the alias of Lorely Rodriguez, is readying her debut album Me to drop September 11th. An artist’s first full-length statement to the world is always exciting, but the stakes are even higher knowing that the entirety of the effort has been fully recorded, written, and produced, by the bilingual Spanish-American herself.
Despite being in the midst of legal troubles, a certain Atlanta rapper has found time to drop a new track for his fans. Hot off the debut of his well-received album, Barter 6, Young Thug has been putting out mixtapes and records nonstop, including features on tracks with Rae Sremmurd, Nicki Minaj, and Juicy J, the omnipresent hip-hop star simply seems to refuse to slow down.
Fans were long waiting for a follow up to indie pop band Chromatics’ 2012 effort, Kill For Love, and with their upcoming record Dear Tommy being continuously delayed and pushed back, it’s hard to tell when they’re going to be quenched. However, the official lead single, “Just Like You, ” that was released in February still retains it’s replay value and effect.
The freshest sound to come out of New Orleans, emcinger (emcee/singer) Pell displays his marked vision for hip-hip on his new track, Vacation. And yes he needs one for a whole entire week. After relocating to Mississippi due to Hurricane Katrina, over the past few years Pell has mastered surfacing his own direction as an hip-hop artist. Pell has shown his ability to be a rapper from the southern hemisphere that is lyrically inclusive.
British newcomers Years & Years have been taking the pop scene by storm across the pond, already snatching the title of BBC’s Sound of 2015 at the beginning of the year when their singles “Take Shelter” and “Desire” garnered widespread attention on the blogosphere, only to be bested by “King, ” which deservingly topped the UK Singles Chart.
With this announcement, we were also treated to the album’s first single, ‘Leave a Trace’. Right away ‘Leave a Trace’ sounds like a Chvrches song, but as an evolution of their sound, not a rehashing of what worked on their previous LP.
“When I rule the world, then I’m gonna make you work, ” barks Soundcloud starlet LIZ on her latest single. It’s unclear whether the line refers the ambitious roles she’s taking on, or that she simply wants to make us all dance; either way she’s doing a great job on both.
Baker's bright and Birdy-like voice makes "The Rope" all the more poignant as it deals with the sensitive subject of suicide. Apparently inspired by a real-life incident in her family, Baker uses her verse and music to explore this oft-ignored problem in America. Already a master wordsmith, Baker as Bitter's kiss relates to the pain of mental illness and the inner struggles it can create in beautiful poetic verse. The Johnny Cash-like outlaw country backing tune perfectly matches the churchy tone in Baker's lyrics and the style or rhyme in the verse. A simple but well-composed song, "The Rope" is a haunting first track from Baker's first album.
For those who are unfamiliar with Cantor, here’s what you need to know: he’s the guitarist for Tally Hall, he likes bananas and rice cakes, he has a solid beard, and he writes fun songs. The first single off the album, Old Bike, has a lot going on in the most glorious way. It’s one of the cutest songs you’ll ever hear about a bicycle (obviously, Queen’s Bicycle Race is the best bike song ever). According to Cantor, Tally Hall is currently “in hibernation, ” so why not write a catchy ass song about a bike to pass the time?
C A T H E D R A L S sound is listed often as "electronic, " but that seems a bit unfair. There are definitely electronic elements at play, however the duo's sound seems more toward shoegazing indie, if one label can be assigned to it. Both members of the group contribute vocals on "Unbound, " but on "Harlem" there is only a soft, subtle female vocal, and the backing track swells and recedes to compliment the vocals and add an extra element of pretty. It's unclear whether some of the backing music comes from actual instruments (neither member has been pictured with any), but that's what well-produced electronic music does - makes the listener question how it was all done. "Harlem" does have a bit of a trap beat behind it, but rather than limiting it to electronica, simply broadens the horizons of what this group are capable. It should be very interesting to watch C A T H E D R A L S develop in the coming months and years, and so see which genres they will mash together in their next release.