This is what a single should be. A release and a tease of what's to come, or a taste for the audience to see, in this case, that you're supporting the quality rock and roll you were hoping for.

Just in case you were confused, that's a vinyl single release, with one track per side and a digital download card included with your purchase. This is all impressive on its own, but we haven't even gotten to why this is music of quality yet.



I think their sound fits within the next evolutionary step for traditional rock. It's hard to deny once you're hearing it. That "indie" vibe so many bands are pushing out of their systems, the proper use of guitars and general backing instruments to further the experience, even the lyrics and vocals.

There's enough of the modern drive, and a lot of classic ideas to spin their sound with.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/dead-heavens-feel-low-im-so-green-7.html
Digital | Physical
Both tracks carry very different moods. Feel Low is a grunge-y track with psychedelic guitar twists and a very out-of-place poetic vocal shift. I'm So Green carries a late blues/psychedelia influence, adding curves to the sounds and making the vocals appear more monotone than they really are.

As far as the vinyl is involved, the 7" release comes with details for everybody. If you're a traditional kind of person, or are watching your budget, the classic black vinyl is the cheapest option. If you're willing to spend a little bit extra, Milky Clear and Grimace Purple are other vinyl options you might want to explore.

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Supersmall creates a hip kind of music that is clearly influenced but even more clearly an independent work of skill that appeals to the part of you that wishes you didn't live in a city.

This album is not entirely acoustic but it uses acoustic guitars and drums to mellow out the other part of the album that is undeniably pop rock. 




It feels like an excursion to summer cloud watching, no matter the actual environment you're in while listening to it.

Effortless is the most important adjective I would use to describe these tracks. The instruments, including the fluid guitar and well-timed drums, paired with a pleasant vocal track, never once seem forced.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/supersmall-silent-moon.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
This is ease is evident in all tracks but especially notable in my favorite track "Riot."

It opens with a bit complicated guitar and lyrics written by a musician who has either been writing poetry for a while or has a natural knack for it. Effortless. And it is evident that hard work led to the escape of a 'try hard' sound.

This is the first thing Supersmall has put out since their 2013 EP. If giving this group a few years between releases give them the opportunity to create well-inspired music that is always this good, then I hope they keep making music this way.

— Courtney Shelton

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This post was written by Courtney Shelton
As a student at Northern Arizona University, Susan studies Creative Media and Film with an emphasis in documentary studies and a minor in English. She writes poetry and short stories and uses her film expertise to create clay animated shorts and poetry compilations. In addition to making documentaries, Susan also enjoys working her blue-collar fast food job, keeping up to date on the climate crisis, and planning her imaginary life outside of the state of Arizona.
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Roxy Coss plays the kind of melodious fluidity you want when you're listening to sax based jazz.

This album is a show off. You get to hear the chemistry between the band, the talent the quintet have as a whole, and individual talents in sections. The sounds often flirt with each other, making it a real shame that only one of the songs is freely available for stream. It's Don't Cross the Coss, and you can stream it below.



It's also the opening track, which is great because it's a stunning display of individual talents. You'll hear excellence in the sax, drums, bass, and piano. Other songs also feature a lot more of some great guitar and trumpet. The line-up for the quintet is:
Jeremy Pelt on trumpet
Alex Wintz on guitar
Chris Pattishall on piano
Dezron Douglas on bass
and Willie Jones III on some of the best jazz drums I've heard in years
http://www.d4am.net/2016/02/roxy-coss-restless-idealism.html
iTunes | Amazon
I wasn't expecting it, but honestly, Restless Idealism is one of the better modern jazz albums I've heard in a while. It's a little cluttered at times, they jam-pack excellence into small bodies of time and sometimes that results in a little more than the average set of ears can handle, but it's never bad. Quite the contrary, and while they're at it they'll expand your jazz-taste.

There's a little bit of every era on there, kind of like an homage to the best jazz has offered us.

She'll be playing tenor and soprano saxophones, too, so expect versatility when you stream or buy. If you're interested in the album, I'd recommend the Spotify stream, but if you enjoyed the single you probably wouldn't be dissatisfied if you dive right in to the purchase. It might be a bit much for some on a single listen, but overall it's flawless.

You might also want to keep up with Roxy via socials.

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You have to be hesitant with bands like Old Man Canyon when you're in that psych-pop mood. But don't even worry, these guys know what they're doing.

All it takes to deviate the average indie-pop band is a little too much comfort with their own sound, you'll notice when they start making the soundtrack to your favorite giant clothing chain. It's not like OMC don't have their moments, but for the most part they've made an album with fresh ideas and vision.


The sound is psych-pop in the way you'd expect for this era, it's a cookie cut idea at base, but their details bring them up a few notches.

The vocals aren't your typical indie-rock monotone, and the vibe for each track works just as well on its own as it does song by song on the track list.

My first listen was their live performance for Hollow Tree at SoFar Sounds, New York, and to be honest, it has its pros and cons. What's important here is the first impression. Consider it's live, take a good listen at how well the band are able to perform together, and then compare it with the studio version below.



I prefer the studio production, but I couldn't help but appreciate the way they work live.

Maybe the rest of the album has some live magic, too, because it definitely had moments I couldn't fully appreciate just by hearing them.

If we're gonna talk about advantages, you have the fact that you can stream the entire album and not hate anything. Given, of course, that light psychedelics and dream-pop are to your liking.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/old-man-canyon-delirium.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
I guess maybe they play it a little safe sometimes, but if you go by the track list you can also hear leaps of talent and creativity. They do the album the favor of opening with Learn to Forget, an excellent track overall, and that's shortly followed by Hollow Tree in case you were in need of diversity.

The end of the album was a little standard. A slow stop started when Chasing Smoke started, which was followed by the much more elaborate Sugar City.

That outro might not be my favorite track on the album, but only because the album gives you a wide selection of quality psych-pop.

In fact, the more I complain about a few details here and there, the more I realize just how well everything else has been done. It might never be my favorite modern psych-rock album, but it's a great mentor for artists to come. This effort feels like a well defined checkpoint in the genre's evolution.

If you'd like to see where the band goes from here, I recommend tagging along on socials.

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I was ready to ignore this release. To be completely honest, even though I've loved T-Z's production since I've known of it, I wasn't sure how much farther it could be stretched. It's always a pleasant surprise when your expectations are beaten.

Teck-Zilla upped his game with this release. It's not an ode to Michael Jackson, it's a view on the Jackson kids' upbringing, and it just so happens that MJ takes a lot of that spotlight.



Listen to it start and consider the effort put into the details. Maybe it was luck, maybe the bits and samples were random— nah. From the very name of the title, a Jeru the Damaja line from "Whatever" that can be heard on J.J. Kids' Theme, to Nas' Illmatic clips in Human Nature, and even the sliced up interviews placed together to let us see where the inspiration came from; the entire effort, all ten tracks, were very precisely put together for a reason.

If you can't respect what's been done, look away. Don't ruin it for those of us that appreciate a fresh idea when it's been blanketed by quality hip-hop production.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/teck-zilla-joe-jackson-kids.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It's ten tracks but it's a pretty short and extremely addictive listen, at least for those of us that appreciate a good beat. These beats are packed with details, though, making it a little awkward to imagine with outsider rhymes.

all of T-Z's instrumental work has that better-than-beats feel to it.

So maybe it's time I appreciated him more. Son of Sade still plays regularly in my library, and I do get excited when I hear he's been producing something. If you're getting into the same fan-grounds as I am, you might want to consider tagging along.

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What does indie electro-rock sound like?

Or what is it supposed to sound like? I'm not sure what I was expecting but it's weird, and not because it's an animated band. There's some classic pop influences in there that shift things about, and there's a synthesizer base that gives a sound of the future without sounding too '80s.

It's not as easy to explain as it is to listen, so give the lead single a shot. It's When It's Tasty and you might want to consider full-screening the video.


It's easy to hear someone say animated band and assume you're gonna hear something like Gorillaz. Just, no. You can be original and hide yourself or use a mask to better portray your music. The way this album works, feeding off other artists to complete the EP, being physically anonymous is great help.

Weird is still the fundamental component, though. Just the same as watching a 2D face on a legitimate human body, the music will have concepts and ideas that don't seem like they could fit, but do in the end.

There's one track I don't appreciate, it comes at the very end of the album, and it's titled Doin Stuff. The title has a lot to do with it for me, too. It doesn't seem very creative. The music isn't that bad, the lyrics are of better than average quality, but I get stuck with the fact that the rest of the album is pretty elaborate and then this literally says doin stuff during the chorus. I feel like I'm singing along to a children's adventure program when I sing along, and I can't help singing along.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/kphonix-into-woods.html
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This is pretty funny because the track immediately preceding Doin Stuff is one of my favorites. Theme for Theo is the most out-of-the box track on the EP, guiding the listener to understand the why of the album.

It's refreshing to hear an album made purely for the music.

The band's lead, Matt White, is responsible for the purity, seeing as the composition, musical arrangements, and lead vocals are all him, all the time.

The two other permanent members, Jack McGehee and Rusty Dodd, are responsible for maintaining that image with some amazing talents and individual spices.

The EP is due out February 25th, but you can grab a free track by visiting their website. You can also stream the effort in full on Soundcloud, and just in case that drops off the face of the earth upon album release, it will be available for stream on Spotify and Tidal.


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It's the debut, so who are Dirty Revival? Who are they to be manipulating what you hear, all of a sudden? Alright, the band is solid for one, they're the ones incorporating funk into the mix, and Evan Simko is awesome aside from that because he plays the guitar and spins rhymes really well.

But the soul, at least for this album,
is 90% Sarah Clarke on lead vocals.

Watching her on their debut music video is like going back in time and experiencing soul the way it was meant to be. Listening to her on the album is even more fulfilling. And it's not like she carries anybody, she doesn't have to, the entire band is amazing, but she sticks out, and we as listeners can't help but notice.


This track as a single is amazing. It's the first music video, technically the first single, and it's the first track on the album. This is the first time you get to know them, and it does an excellent job. Cons? Well it's a little overproduced, but so is the album at times. It tries to overshoot but that's not possible, they hit where they aim, they just don't have to try so hard to impress. They are impressive.

Since you're not going to know that right away, they overcompensate, slightly, with the kind of track that literally tells you they won't be satisfied until you're in the party mood. Some of us need that push, especially in person. With charisma and musical talents combined, Dirty Revival will guide you to a place you'll want to stay in.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/dirty-revivals-self-titled-debut.html
iTunes | Amazon
The band's artistry also flows outside of the actual music. The video even holds a chunk of the last song at the beginning, making it so much more pleasing for someone who knows what's going on. As someone who knows what's going on, I can also say that last song is just as impressive as the first track, ending things on a feel-good note so you'll crave more as they finish.

 Also bananas and jokes and things. They're so human they're hard to hate. You can try, really, go for it, because they're gonna grip you from somewhere. Be it with their songs of criticism, their stories, the individual talents involved, I mean,

how often do you hear a guitar solo on the same track with vocal soul?

It's not the norm and it doesn't seem they're interested in being normal. I see a bright future for the band, and an amazing future for Sarah, albeit more distant. We're in no rush.

If you dig the sound you'll wanna give the full album a stream on Spotify or keep up on socials.

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I couldn't determine what their original factor was, or even if they had one. The psych-pop duo use dream-genre influences to ease listeners into their sound, and know to distort the basics just enough for you to set them apart.

The album was released back in November, though. The reason they've been circling back to our ears is because of the latest music video. Robert Crispe is responsible for a beautiful stop motion display that took about a year to make.

We recommend watching it full screen.


Die Slow is a nice track but it's far from my favorite. It's hard to compete with the video, though. I think my preferred track is Sleeps Well On Knives which also has a video you should check out. The track shoots closer to pop and seduces you into enjoying the odd little details.

There's only six tracks on the album so if you like those two, the stream should be an inevitable yes. It's a quick and enjoyable listen for those more focused on dream-pop, while maintaining enough psych influence for lovers of more classic rock sounds.


Songs like In My Labyrinth Mind show you how easily they can make you dance in your seat, while just about every track on the album shows off peculiar use of bass and vocal melodies. That's their hook, really.

That and that they want you to grab the album for free.

No really, they want it. Go download it, pay anything if you're willing and able, but if you like it at all go snag it before they change their minds. Tell your friends, but be quick, it was supposed only supposed to be free for a week and that week ended three days ago.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/inspired-and-sleep-eyelid-kid.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
I mean, maybe it has to be free in order for masses to pay attention.There's a few other bands out there with very similar sounds. Having an album this solid might not be enough to win new listeners over. After you've downloaded the effort, after you've replayed it three or four times (easier than you'd think) you start to grow attached with what defines their sound.


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The idea of avant-jazz suits this effort well. Sometimes it sounds a little more like excellently composed pop, other times it sounds like a new industrial-rock sub-genre.

It's the jazz that defines the effort, though. Its free form, abandoning the idea of pre-guided train of thought.

That might be a little awkward for some people to adapt to, but that doesn't matter. If you take the time to listen to the album in full, you'll see for yourself how they make the process easy for the listener. It's a soft caress of the ear at first as they plant the seed. By the end of the album you'll have reaped the fruit.


That first track, The Girl, The Beat, is the most misleading track on the album, and probably one of the more catchy tunes on there. It doesn't get this playful and at ease again, but it builds on components that this song sets in stone. This song is the seed.

The rest of the album can grow into dark gloomy corners or experimental and often unexplored areas. Immediately after the first track you'll hear the far more difficult Sugar Drops, and immediately after that you'll get to one of my favorites, Electric Eel.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/phall-fatale-moonlit-bang-bang.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

Electric Eel is like taking jazz and all the years and hard work it's taken to play with sounds, and then playing with that.

It's one of those songs that really allowed me to understand what they would be capable of through the album.

I have to admit there's a chunk of songs that sound nearly entirely garbled to me, and that's probably due to the lyrics and the message of each song. When you put it all together and analyze the big picture, it might just be part of the album's message, and it might be crucial to the Moonlit Bang Bang harvest.

Finally, just before the album ends, you get a Hendrix cover. It's probably the oddest most original version of Manic Depression I've ever heard. I wouldn't say I prefer it to the original, but only because it's an entirely different piece.

The album is almost literally bittersweet to me. Between the tangles that I need to listen and re-listen to to understand, and the excellently produced jazz base, there's a constant back and forth playing after I hit play. I just understand already that it gets better with each passing listen.

If you get it, you'll want to tag along on Facebook.
Odds are, even if you do (and you probably don't) it's been a while since you acknowledged it. The truth is, by what I've heard, that they gave the era's funk and psychedelic base a very soulful alternative view.

Why are we talking about this now, all of a sudden?

After a decade of research, Now-Again Records have come up with two albums and books to bring life back to a dead genre. Our first look off the compilation is below.

It's Ify Jerry KrusadeEverybody Likes Something Good



It's really good, but in that classic way. In that way where you know their resources and knowledge was limited, but they did the best and it was good. The same kind of good that came out of Jamaica's reggae scene for the very same era, because of the same kind of soul and love for music.

The best part is there's more, your awaiting dose of '70s Nigerian rock is just a few months away.

You'll be able to grab each volume as either a hard cover book with a CD, or a double LP with a soft cover booklet within a 12 x 12 book holder. Vol. 1 should be out April 15, with the second volume coming through late in May.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/1970s-nigerian-rock.html

Wake Up You! The Rise and Fall of Nigerian Rock, is gonna be one of those key collectors items with enough unheard quality in it to start making minuscule changes in the music of our day to day lives. I can't wait to hear and read more, just to confirm it.

If you don't think you'll remember to check back by April 15th, or if you want to keep yourself as updated as possible in fear of somehow forgetting this exists, your best bet would be to follow Now-Again on socials or their feed.


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It's usually difficult trying to define an entire album through just one single, but this time, on Gavlyn's Make Up For Your Break Up, it's extremely easy.

The single is Black Cherry Kool-Aid and it's produced by Sef One and Lou Koo. The production is pretty awesome, it takes you by the ear and drags you through an elaborate modern hip-hop setting. Then there's Gavlyn, an excellent rhymes-woman who rhymes so well that following her train of thought is usually a little more difficult than my tastes would prefer.



From a gender-centered point of view, this is an excellent release. It sets the bar high for female rappers and gives them something of quality to aspire towards.

There's an awful lot of male rappers out there that can't do what Gavlyn does.

I'm not sure if the release is trying to push the male listening public away, or trying to get them to understand some common hardships of your every day woman. This isn't a big deal, it's not difficult to listen at all if you like rhymes to begin with, but the way the lyrics and interludes present themselves, sometimes, could be a double edged sword.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/gavlyn-make-up-for-you-break-up.html
Buy the album
I think the best part of the album is how diverse it is. Hip-hop lovers can divide themselves by the quality of the lyrics, quality of subject matter, quality of music production, and by the voice of the rapper.

Make Up For Your Break Up is about as well rounded as you can be when considering each of those factors.

In the case of this album, a lot of moments that could have been better were left as you hear them, to better ensure it's enjoyed by more people. I can admire how it was done; it's not easy making an album that everyone will like without sacrificing a ton of quality. Instead, I just wonder what'd be of the effort if it were made with a clearer point in mind. If the lyrics were easier to dissect or had a clearer goal, or if the rhymes would have flown more poetically more often.

It's still a solid effort and a great listen if you have the time for it. I'm not sure I'd purchase it myself, but with each passing listen I grow more attached to more of her songs. In the end, it might all be about understanding her style and coping with it.

You can stream the effort in full on Spotify.

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Here's the scenario:

You spent last night writing about a genius 12 year old piano jazz prodigy and a live show he he had a couple of years ago until 5 am. You wake up around midday and make brunch while listening to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. You may or may not have replayed Blue in Green because it may or may not be an amazing chunk of album. After going on about your day for a few hours, you eventually take the time to listen to the 12 year old genius' Grammy nominated album, expecting nothing, but hoping for the mood of excellent jazz to continue. It fulfills.



At no point does the album bend in quality. In fact, it makes a realistic attempt to surpass itself.

The album is named after one of the most playful tracks on the effort, but somewhere between the Thelonious Monk praise and his own personal composition (Ma Blues) you start to understand the authenticity of this release. I have nothing bad to say about Joey Alexander's composition, style, or emotion. The only slightly negative thing I can say about the album regards a couple of awkward moments with the drummer, and that's pushing it.

It seems quite obvious to me that everyone involved in the production of this album knew exactly what their role was and how to execute it to make the best album with the talents involved. This was really clear to me during this studio version of It Might As Well Be Spring, at first I thought the live Copenhagen version was significantly better, then the track progressed and I saw just how much more stunning it emerged from the studio.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/joey-alexander-my-favorite-things.html
iTunes | Amazon
I don't even want to imagine how many times the songs were played to get such amazing results, because I know Joey's free form style strays from repeating the same details twice. That was an aspect I paid a lot of attention to during one of his recent interviews, I kept thinking of how Jimi Hendrix was another one to rarely sound the same twice. It could just be a common characteristic in excellent improv.

But what's the album layout like?

That's probably the best part. It's eight standards (or more if you get the Deluxe Edition,) some of them not quite as classic as others, and an original piece which might just blow your mind more extravagantly if you stop to consider the age of its composer. It starts with classic Coltrane, Giant Steps, quickly showing off skill and diversity. It keeps a general sway of momentum, and ends on an emotional note as he plays Somewhere Over the Rainbow with no additional musicians to aid him. The video of the studio performance can be found below.

We recommend watching it full screen.



I've mentioned his emotion already, but it's probably the most important and impressive part. It's with this song that I feel we can clearly see musical wisdom and knowledge. You can't put feeling on paper, and it's the best part music has to offer.

At a point in the album, it stops being all about his age. Like, yeah, child prodigy is a a big part of why most of you are reading this right now, that's the hook, but the album would be just as impressive from a 30 year old Berklee College graduate. It's just possible it'd get significantly less attention.

You can stream My Favorite Things in full on Spotify.

If you like what you hear or can't wait to see the work Joey's gonna be crafting in the future, tag along on his socials.

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A Swede, a Dane, and an Indonesian child walk into The Standard Jazz Club during the Copenhagen Jazz Festival in 2014. I highly doubt anybody there will ever forget.

The child is Joey Alexander, a piano prodigy who's recently been featured through the mainstream media and has also  been playing live for years. His music could be found on the Billboard 200 just this May of 2015.

The following video is an entire performance by the trio, which is comprised of Swedish bassist Mattias Svensson, Danish drummer Anders Mogensen, and Joey Alexander on the piano.

We recommend you watch it full screen.



Or skip ahead at the track list if a standard catches your attention.

  1. Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise
  2. Eclypso
  3. Lush Life
  4. Inner Urge
  5. Contemplation From a Mountain Top
  6. Round Midnight
  7. Giant Steps
  8. It Might As Well Be Spring
  9. Cherokee (Encore)

There's a kind of hope forming inside of me after watching this session. Jazz isn't dying, but its market is narrowing. Without the demand, the listeners suffer, but people like Joey Alexander could halt this. The genre can spark new life just because of the passion. You can see it in his face. The concentration, the human connection, and the satisfaction.  I have to admit, during Tommy Flanagan's Eclypso, I felt Joey a little more distanced than the rest, but there is nothing but full concentration at every point, in every song and every quick break.

The remarks between songs, the human gestures and eye contact, they show you that this artist is still just a child. I don't feel he's being exploited, but I see his potential and I could understand needing a break at a future point in his life. Maybe I'm eager, but I can't wait to see what becomes of him after that point.

http://www.d4am.net/2016/01/joey-alexander-live-at-copenhagen-jazz.html
Joey's "My Favorite Things" album was nominated for these upcoming 58th Annual Grammy Awards.

It was nominated for best instrumental jazz album, and best improvised jazz solo.

So I guess it's supposed to be pretty good. I think I'll be checking it out soon, myself. Other stuff you might wanna consider doing is randomly skipping through Youtube videos of all the live and studio footage the kid's got.

This is a pretty good video to start with, but you know,

only if you like Duke Ellington or that kinda stuff. There's varied material so just roam about, you'll see.

It'd be a nice gesture if you're considering showing some appreciation, so tag along.

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http://www.d4am.net/2015/12/d4am-top-picks-of-2015.html
With the end of 2015 comes the beginning of next year's D4AM top picks. This was the first year we were able to show off the very best of what we display every month, a tally you could keep track of by following D4AM on Facebook or Twitter. This year-end list is for those of you new to the fan base, or for those of you ready to revisit the best in show.

Not every month is golden in the music industry, and not every top pick was an obvious decision. Below we'll show off the top picks and the runners up.


January


The very first post of the year was also the first top pick of the year. Iain Woods' trash-pop was such a memorable collection of genre's layered into one, that I'm genuinely surprised his following isn't larger. Someone needs to shine him some spotlight.

Runners up:

Art Hirahara
Libations & Meditations was an excellent piano jazz album to start the year off. This was one of those odd albums that creep out of nowhere.

Ryan Hobler
The Elusive Yes is still, in my opinion, one of the better singer-songwriter albums of the year.


February


Norwegian popped out psych-rock band The Switch graced our ears with one of the few albums I'm aware of to pull off the oxymoronic genre so well. It might be a little hard to find, but it's one of those gems worth looking for.

Runners up:

Tulalah
It was insanely difficult not making Selma / And Yet It Moves the top pick. It became a wait for the eventual full length, which later on in November took the Top Pick crown anyway.

Lunivers
Happy Route was a legitimate switch from your average trip-hop effort. It could be a little overwhelming sometimes, but consistently came through with talent.

Gabriel Garzón-Montano
His effort is another one I hoped would boom much more than it did. Maybe it's the awkward title, Bishouné: Alma del Huila, or maybe good artists need more help marketing themselves. Either way, it was a great effort and your ears deserve what he's offered.


March


This was a beautiful downtempo rock effort by the Swiss sextet. A quick glance at the video and an over-the-top listen is all you need to disect the quality, and that's just because it's oozing out of the effort like sand down an hourglass. March was full to the brim with quality music, but Phantom Garden was still the obvious choice.

Runners up:

The Raah Project
Coming in close second was The Raah Project's Take Me Elsewhere. The effort is just about as well produced, if not slightly more commercial, than Len Sander's stroke of genius.

Loyle Carner
A Little Late ended up becoming one of my personal favorite hip-hop EPs... ever. What's best, it actually propelled the English rhymes-man into the international limelight, and it's all very much so deserved.


April


I remember paying a small fortune to have this vinyl shipped from Sweden. No regrets so far. The alternative indie pop (punk-ish garage rock with Euro-flair) they came up with was almost overthrown by the other Top Pick contenders, but held its ground with the album's consistent quality.

Runners up:

Marena Whitcher's Shady Midnight Orchestra
Ghostology was probably the best avant-garde jazz album I heard all year, which is mostly due to Marena's amazing talents, but also has a lot to do with her Swiss all-star lineup.

Akroyd Smart
Introvert is among my favorite free hip hop albums of the year, not that the list is very long in 2015, but it's an impressive effort just the same.

Birds of Night
The self titled rock and roll effort caught my attention, and still receives regular play on my library. It's a good clean fun album, in a sea of musical concepts that can't maintain purity while being traditional.


May


Yeah, great psych-rock, good band, and a clear month's Top Pick selection, but I can't help but think if May had been a little more musically active The Lammas Tide would be a runner up. It's got its faults, is all, but it's still a very well portrayted classic psychedelic sound.

Runner up:

Dirtwire
I think it was the first time I heard so much potential in electronic world-genre variants. It was a really close call between Dirtwire and The Lammas Tide, and I think at the end of the day, this one was purely about preference.


June


June was a great month, but Outlines was the unexpected twist of psychedelics and synthesizers. The effort is memorable, and has the potential to become iconic with minimal attention. This is another one I hoped would get more attention, despite it being far from a failure.

Runners up:

Thunder & Co.
For a minute there, I considered the Portuguese outfit the next best synth-pop band, and now that I think of it, it's pretty hard to deny. It's a real shame these guys didn't boom, they've got all the potential.

Nite School Klik
DJ Shadow and G Jones made one of the better bass heavy electronic EPs of the year. It's a tad more experimental than the average crowd expects, and it's excellent for letting it drag you to different universes.

The Expanders
I haven't heard a better American reggae album all year. Hustling Culture should be a staple for the genre's future, if its to continue to evolve into something more people can grasp.


July



July was probably the most difficult Top Pick month with so many amazing efforts coming out at the same time, and DPS just barely made it to the finish line. The competition was harsh, but the prog-punk band deserve the top spot.

Runners up:

Tame Impala
I could barely believe anything beat out Tame Impala's Currents, such a complete effort where finally some evolution came across through synth and an '80s flair that I and many others could fully appreciate.

Poema
Indie-pop is the in thing right now, so I rarely expect much of it. Switching things up and doing it right are sibling duo Poema with their Pretty Speeches EP. I'm still looking forward to whatever comes next.

Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
Surf is one of those albums that was nothing at all like what I expected, and still came through as sweet ear-nectar.It's a weird alternative hip-hop pop thing which was largely put together by the band's trumpet player, Donnie.


August


I thought it was better. FW14 is a great trap-based album, but it could be a little more versatile after long-term play. It deserves its spot on the Top Picks list, but sometimes you have to admit that after a while, some things start sounding less amazing. I don't know why I'm nitpicking, the effort still receives regular play in my library.

Runners up:

Tom Misch
I waited long months for Misch's Beat Tape 2 to arrive, and once it released I was as happy with it as I was expecting. Versatile, honest, clean beats over excellent guest vocals.

Falcons
Terra is one of the better Trap EPs of the year to have come through D4AM's radar. A little overwhelming if the genre isn't your usual cuppa, but still of superior quality.


September


All it took was jazz beats to win over September's Top Pick with Grumby's stunning production work. The duo came a long way, but there's much more waiting for them. This is another one I hoped would receive a little more recognition than what it reeled in.

Runners up:

Branko
I called it EDM because nothing else made the right kind of sense. Atlas was an excellent and versatile electronic album.

Andrei Eremin
I think Pale Blue was marketed the wrong way, because since its release it's been a favorite with frequent plays in the library. They should've just told me from the get-go it was downtempo.

Mike Love
Love Will Find a Way isn't the best reggae album of the year, but that's because it's only half reggae (otherwise it bags it.) The singer-songwriter vibe is strong, despite obvious Rasta influences in every little corner.

River Tiber
When the Time is Right was an original sound, it was so original I forced a new genre onto it. We're calling it digitally slow-cooked soul.


October



Powers brought back disco with this one, and only two of the four songs actually sound the part. It's great because it sets a precedent for themselves as well as other bands on a disco high.

Runner up:

Little Red Lung
Beware is an alt-rock gem, relying a lot on delicate sounds to pop out the raw details.


November


On the lookout for this one since February, but it was so worth it to hear a stunning jazz-folk album from this impressive Australian band. It's too recent to call this the album of the year, but it's definitely up there.

Runners up:

Boat To Row
The best folk album of the year definitely goes to Boat To Row with their extremely well produced I Found You Here. Loving folk and not listening to that masterpiece is a mistake you wouldn't want to make.

Cool Uncle
AKA Bobby Caldwell and Jack Splash, teaming up for a killer producer/singer duo from distant decades. They meet in the middle and make the funkiest blue-eyed soul I've heard in years.

GoldLink
One of our more anticipated hip-hop albums of the year was GoldLink's And After That, We Didn't Talk. Hot off the heels of his tour alongside Mac Miller, GL made a realistic and honest effort for the masses without selling his artistic soul.


December


Electronic folk is rarely so well composed. Glass Face put all the pieces together in just the right doses, keeping clear from monotony and using technology to aid every detail necessary.

Runner up:

Gideon King & City Blog
There's been a few great jazz albums this year, but jazz fusion fell short on a very general scale. Here to save at the last minute is City Blog, an album dedicated to classic jazz fusion sounds with quality original ideas.


Here at D4AM I think I've learned not to wish for a good musical year, but to appreciate the one that's passed. 2015 was excellent, I'm proud to have helped represent such amazing music over such a long period of time, and I'm already eager to see what's in store and what's to be appreciated for 2016.

See you next year.

Enjoy the music.
This gem by psychedelic trip-hop outfit Doprah was released way back in November, but the beautifully directed video came out just this past December 14th. The single alone is a wonderful piece (I'm actually frustrated I didn't catch it sooner,) but the video does give it a different degree of magic.



The concept this video displays along with the eerie tranquility of the track makes for a captivating experience. The video was directed by Julian Vares, and if you find yourself enjoying it as much as I did, you might want to consider checking out his website for more videos of similar quality.

Audio quality's gonna be a little better on the Soundcloud link unless you up the video quality to full HD, but you'll get more than just the gist of it. If you like the track as is, engulfing yourself within the audio later on will be just as rewarding an experience.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/12/doprah-lucid-visions-free-single.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
You can snag the single for free on their Bandcamp page, with the option of donating some spare change if you feel it's worth it. If you'd like to support but the giving season has your arms tied, don't sweat it. Lucid Visions is the first single from the upcoming debut full length album, "Wasting".


Connect with Doprah on

Or read more on
Psychedelic rock had its peak long ago, and people keep trying to bring it back as if they understand it. Most people understand the greats and figure they'll build on that, but even the greats had to build on something, on an essence, and that's what All Them Witches build on.



Most of the album isn't freely available online, and Dirt Preachers might not be the best representation of the album, but it does have a lot of accurate points. There's a repetitive base that you'll hear throughout the effort, it's that base that allows improvisations and solos to roam openly. There's also a hard progressive turn half way through, but that doesn't quite live up to the way the instrumental tracks completely warp your perception of the album.

Dying Surfer Meets His Maker is emotionally accurate. I haven't analyzed it enough to see if it fits together lyrically, but the feel of the music can feel like that kind of story. The instrumental tracks are complicated, layered, intricate but rough.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/12/all-them-witches-dying-surfer-meets-his.html
iTunes | Amazon
If I were to complain about anything, I think it's production. In a live setting, repetition makes a lot more sense. There's also a not-so-subtle garage rock feel that works as a double edged sword for their overall sound. If you overworked their sound, though, odds are you'd ruin the flair, and there's really not much they should fix.

You can stream the effort in full on Spotify. You can also download a free (ish) sampler from NoiseTrade, or follow them on socials.

Connect with ATW on
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