Track Reviews

Track Review: Cillie Barnes – Veranda (RAC Mix)

In this remix, RAC's usual timbre and beat structure are nowhere to be found, and instead it seems the Dj/producer has opted to leave Cillie's characteristic Bjork-esque voice and phrasing untouched. A sample of light whistling is added to a slightly more jumpy track than the original, but the core of the song is the same. This can often be even more difficult for a remixer than chopping up the track and adding many samples, because the artist must work within the already-established structure of the original, and RAC does this in a subtle and flawless manner.

Track Review (video): Superfood’s Melting

There's not much known about pop-y yet reclusive British band Superfood here in the U.S., but their new single and matching video, "Melting" seem to be picking up some steam on both sides of the pond. Superfood seems to have formed around late 2011, playing their first known show in Birmingham. Their SoundCloud page looks like it' gearing up for an EP later this year, and there have been a few single releases since their inception 3 years ago.

TRACK REVIEW: As Animals’ Big Slap

"Big Slap" is the second single off of As Animals, and an be classified in a number of different ways. There's no mistaking As Animals indie pop prowess, with Desbonnes's strong alto ripping through some very complex and charged English lyrics. Her voice, might be compared to Pink's or, to think more indie, Florence and the Machine. Musically, the band are rooted in basic rock but in "Big Slap" there is a fair amount of electronic sampling in the drum tracks, as well as some classical samples which showcase Grange's musical background.

Track Review: Jetta “Feels Like Coming Home”

ondon-based singer Jetta has just released her second single since her first, "Start a Riot" made waves late last year. "Feels Like Coming Home" is a soulful ballad about new love and gaining hope, and it underscores the idea that Jetta's days as a backing singer for the likes of Cee-Lo Green and Paloma Faith are over and done.

MS MR – Think Of You (RAC Mix)

While Vassar’s finest, Ms Mr’s July release of “Think of You” does its best to sound like an authentic 80s new wave/pop punk/synth ballad, RAC’s new remix, out yesterday on Soundcloud, does just as much to create a faster, house-driven yet no less nostalgic piece for those of us who like to dance just a little bit harder to our Pet Shop Boys and Eurythmics.

Atmosphere – Bob Seger

If you’d forgotten about Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo Atmosphere, they’ve just given a reason to come back into their modest yet fervent fold with their new single, “Bob Seger.” If you’re too young or haven’t heard of Atmosphere yet, now’s the time to start listening.
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The Civil Wars – “The One That Got Away”

"The One That Got Away" marks the first released track from The Civil Wars self-titled album set to drop early this August. This highly anticipated sophomore album follows their successful debut LP "Barton Hollows, " which this Nashville country-Americana duo released in 2010.

Great White Buffalo self-titled EP + “Thanks for Nothing”

Great White Buffalo has recently made their self-titled EP, released on January 30, available to stream for free on their Bandcamp page, The album is also available to download with a “name your price” structure. The Los Angeles-based band is comprised of Graham Brockmiller, Stephen Johnson, Paul Hiller, and Rich Carillo. Their 2nd EP to-date, “Great White Buffalo” blends a number of influences, all deeply rooted in 90s indie rock.
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Dead Leaf Echo – “Kingmaker”

On the heels of Dead Leaf Echo’s west coast tour, the special edition 7” is available on their website, . The Sensual Harassment remix is very different from the original single, which sounds like a throwback to early-90s British alt. rock (picture The Verve). The remix seems to keep with that time period, but sounds much more new-wave and electronic. From the intro of the snares in the beginning of the track to the vocals an wobbling moog-inspired synth, Sensual Harassment does a wonderful job of taking the core prettiness in the original track and re-purposing it for a different genre.
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The Shouting Matches – “Avery Hill”

Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon has recently teamed up with old writing buddies Phil Cook and Brian Moen to create yet another side project, The Shouting Matches. Their first album, “Grownass Man, ” was released on April 16th and it’s available now on
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Bitch – “In Us We Trust”

Bitch, formerly of Bitch and Animal, will be releasing her first solo album, called “In Us We Trust.” The first single off this album bears the same name, and is a bit of a departure from her previous ventures in that it is much more electronic, but still carries the multi-faceted, multi-genre characteristics that underline Bitch’s style.
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Alex Metric – Ammunition Pt. 3

Alex Metric released the 3rd of his “Ammunition” series last week. Metric, British DJ/Producer has been on the scene since 2008. His “Ammunition” series of the past two years have been lauded as some of the best house and techno of the past decade.
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Florrie – Live A Little

Singer, drummer, songwriter, and all-around renaissance woman Florrie has a new video for her track “Live a Little, ” which is available for pre-order on iTunes. The song was originally written for the Sony XBA-C10 In-ear headphones campaign, and the earbuds are featured heavily in the video.

YOUNG GALAXY – New Summer (Doldrums Remix)

The Doldrums remix of “New Summer” could be otherwise named “Deconstruction of New Summer.” It only vaguely includes samples of the original song, making it thoroughly a separate and sparse piece of music. The song strips down all of the music in the original track, only using the haunting vocals at intervals, adding even more echo to them. The beat, a cross between dubstep and trap music and is also very minimal. While able to stand on its own, this remix of “New Summer” should make a great b-side compliment to the original on the album.
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LVMRKS – In Scars

LVMRKS is a new band comprised of heavy hitters Neil Busch, formerly of Trail of Dead, Dave Clifford of Red Sparrowes and the The VSS, and Johnathan Hischke of Broken Bells and Hella. The band will be releasing their new album, Pale Fairytale, on May 21. As a preview, LVMRKS have posted a couple of tracks from the album on Soundcloud, including “In Scars”.
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Rollin Hunt – In The Window

Apparent recluse Rollin Hunt has posted his first single off his soon-to-be-released new album, “In the Window” on Soundcloud. Hunt’s album, The Phoney, is to be released on Moniker Records April 30. Thus far there is little information about Hunt, but according to the articles that can be found about him online, that’s how he prefers it.
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Yellow Claw – Amsterdam Trap Music

Amsterdam's Yellow Claw have a new EP for Jeffree's (Mad Decent) called “Amsterdam Trap Music” out last week. Yellow Claw are largely unknown in the U.S. but have a sincere foothold in trap music in Europe. With the release of these 4 songs on Jeffree's, Yellow Claw stand to become a household name in U.S trap.
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Vjuan Allure – Vjuanage

Vjuan Allure's newest EP, Vjuanage on Mad Decent, contains six new ballroom house remixes, each containing the signature staccato beats of ballroom with a new twist. Ballroom seems to be making a comeback this year, and the experimental nature and genre-hopping of these tracks gives them the potential to move into other dance music arenas.
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“Junkyard Country, ” a label that Ponyboy (Marchelle Brananini) has given herself, belies greatly the amazing vocal quality and depth of her voice. “Greatest Unknown”, the most recent track posted on Ponyboy's Soundcloud page, showcases her beautiful vocals.
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Generationals – Put a Light On

Generationals, comprised of Ted Joyner and Grant Widmer, has a new video for their song “Put a Light On” on Youtube. “Put a Light On” will be one of the featured tracks on the band's newest album, “Heza”, to be released on 4/2/13 on Polyvinyl records, the same label to which Japandroids are signed. The video for “Put a Light On” was directed and produced by Vince Cooler with photography direction by Dalton Blanco. The imagery in the video is very striking, with slowed down stills and a lot of compositional shots, all of which seem to offset yet compliment the jangly keys and high-pitched vocals of the song. Interesting, off-color action is spliced in with these images along with singular people dancing (as choreographed by Adrienne Sonnier). All of these elements make for a jaunty, whimsical video piece. A great precursor to the album's release this week.
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Dangeruss with James Franco – Hanging With Da Dopeboys

With just days until the new Harmony Korine vehicle, Spring Breakers, premieres in LA, quite a bit of buzz is being generated around the soundtrack. It features current heavy hitters like Skrillex and Gucci Mane, but one song in particular is catching a lot of attention because the artist, Dangeruss, features James Franco on the actual track. “Hanging with Da Dopeboys” sounds like your classic dirty south track with a slow, snare-heavy beat and minor-keyed string samples while Dangeruss spits fast verses over the track. Dangeruss, a St. Petersburg native who claims his major influences to be the Atlanta and New Orleans hip hop scenes in the late 90s, will no doubt be enjoying even more attention once the film is released, as Franco is alleged to have studied and drawn inspiration from Dangeruss to play his character, Alien, in the flim.
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Unconventional R&B artist LIZ has just released a new song called “XTC” on Major Lazer’s Jeffree’s Vol. 7 Compilation. Mad Decent also carries such off-the-beaten-path artists as Diplo and Major Lazer, and XTC is instantly recognizable as having the funky elements this label normally sponsors. “XTC”’s base beat is a snare-heavy remix of Human League’s “Only Human”, with classic R&B-styled female vocals. The overall feel of the track, though clearly dubstep in terms of time signature, hearkens back to the early 00s when freestyle and garage were remixing R&B tracks for clubs left and right. The track definitely has that late 90s/early 00s feel to it while still sounding modern with a minimalist dubstep beat.
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Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (Dillon Francis Remix)

A new track has appeared on Dillon Francis' Soundcloud page; a remix of Justin Timberlake's “Suit and Tie.” This song is a minimalistic dubstep departure from Francis' usual style of synth-heavy moombathon or moombacore. It still contains his trademark cut up vocal samples and frequent pitch changes, however, making it easily recognizable as a Francis remix. On his soundcloud page, Francis apologizes for omitting the Jay-Z vocals which appear on the original version of the song, saying that he couldn't get permissions in time, but if the comments on this song are anything to go by, they were hardly missed. It's an interesting and different track from Francis, awaiting its official release date on one of his record labels.
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Dillon Francis “Bootleg Fireworks (Burning Up)”

Dillon Francis has a new video for his track “Bootleg Fireworks (Burning Up)”. Released last October on Fly Eye Records, “Bootleg Fireworks (Burning Up)” showcases the techno-heavy moombathon for which Francis is most famous. The new video was styled by directing team MENZ, comprised of Portlandia editor Bill Benz and Mike Giambria, who worked on The Tim & Eric Awesome Show, with a lot of input from Francis himself. All 3 have roots in visual and graphic arts and that sensibility features heavily in this video, which uses the beat of the song to stagger clips from various 90s videos, each containing at least one character with pictures of Francis' face superimposed over them. It makes for a visually interesting, artistic piece and carries the frenetic style and sense of humor that is present in this track and all of Dillon Francis' works.