On one hand you have the soul of a musician wandering an uncharted genre, you achieve purity this way. On the other, a lot of these songs sound like educated movie themes. They don't make music like this anymore. 

Some songs don't even have a dominant theme vibe, like the above Black is Black by Im & Dave. Now, you're getting a dated release stream here, but the actual reissue has a far superior sound quality. It must be a beautiful thing to listen to this on a brand new LP with today's technology.

I don't know about you, but my ears are ready.

As far as the track list is involved, everything is quality within the constraints of the era. I'd like to criticize the fact that they made a 10 track compilation album using only 4 artist variations, but it's 1970 and it works.

LP/CD/MP3 @ Studio One
Who's on the album?
  • Im & Dave
  • Lloyd Williams
  • Jackie Mittoo
  • Coxone Dodd, aka The Boss

Studio One is kind of a founding father-label, a first stir, a helping push towards ska, reggae, and their sibling genres. This compilation is from a rising peak in Jamaican music history, released in 1970 with artists that directly influenced that relaxed tropical vibe we still can't get enough of.

Like what you hear?
Look. Them. Up.

Maybe it was better back then. Maybe they've fixed the flaws and created other ones. Debate aside, Money Maker is a feast for reggae loving ears.

You can stream the entire album on Spotify.
It takes snooping to find music like this.

Polish beat-maker Emapea came out with this effort early this year, I just now found it and I have Jazzy to thank for that. The track's been made a little easier to find than most of the album its on, and for good reason.

Jazzy gives you a clear view of the main theme, lounge jazz turned beats.

Seeds, Roots & Fruits sounds like an effortless nod at relaxed creativity. It's very intricate, though. Very well composed beats and samples all layered to sound as organic as possible.

It's important to note they're still beats so repetition is inevitable.

Sometimes the repetition is more noticeable, It's gonna depend on the vibe of the track and the jazz samples infused into it, but there's rarely a boring moment regardless.

Stream/Buy @ Cold Busted
I recommend starting at the beginning and letting it run. The album title comes into play a lot more dramatically than I was expecting, and that was both a nice surprise and something I wouldn't want to spoil further to anyone who's gonna make the most of it.

There are still some limited edition vinyls on the store. I'm gonna see if I grab one of those when I can, but there's also a couple of CDs and cassettes if that's more your thing. Cold Busted uses the Bandcamp platform to distribute their music, so the digital files can be downloaded in sweet lossless goodness if you can appreciate that.

Connect with Emapea on
Jaunt made a cute pop rock sound, applied it to an entire EP, and demonstrated that you can be fluffy and inspired at the same time.

It's not like it's impossible, and it's not that it hasn't been done before. It's just that when you listen to a track like Hello, the album's opener, you don't normally expect a dedicated work of art. It's a wonderful surprise when that's what you end up with.


I can see Chat painted on a canvas in bright colors with emotionally complex silhouettes.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

Lyrics and titles can help guide you, but it's so heavily reliant on how tangible a beautiful sound is, that I found myself lost in the effort before it was finished.

I didn't really love track 2, Gentle Reminder, but the way I see it, 5 out of 6 is amazing. Even if I wanted to nitpick, the fact that this is the kind of album that exceeds my already high expectations kinda makes up for a lot of non-existant flaws in the EP.

If you're feeling it the way I'm feeling it,
you might wanna connect with Jaunt on
Singer-songwriter Nao released this little gem a few days ago. After listening to Fool to Love and foolishly discarding the artist, it's now that I was able to embrace the entire album and understand what's going on.

Fool to Love was probably the best introduction I could have had, because its now months later and the track seared itself on my mind when it played on the LP.

I can almost smell the '80s influence, but it's very faint on Fool to Love. Other tracks like Inhale Exhale, Trophy, and Give Me A Little have a much more pronounced influence. Tracks like DYWM made me feel like modern Justice took a spin at producing something for her, and that's where the retro and the modern really meet. This is where Nao's coined wonky funk comes into play, and it's pretty much what the album's made up of.

What caught me was more than just music production with '80s influence done right. Her vocal melodies are pop, but classic pop. Pop with melody, with direction and grace. I have to love it because as someone who prefers production to vocals and verbal stories, she makes me enjoy listening.

iTunes | Vinyl & CD
Finally, tracks like Blue Wine show that she can be powerful while being delicate. And here, maybe, we see how the backing production can help influence her vibe. You can't have one without the other on this album, so I'm real curious to see how she plans to top it.

My interest if I were her?
Make this album resonate for years.

The material is all there, but a lot of the best tracks are already singles. At best she could pull three more out of it, And if you were wondering why you'd never heard her before, I don't know what to tell you, guys. I don't know how she hasn't boomed more. It's our own fault; listening to whatever else.

This is the good stuff.

Connect with Nao on
Electronic production duo Bells and Robes have been active on the D4AM radar for a few months now, and with this EP we can finally truly understand their direction. If you're in the mood for that everything-in-between kind of sound, you're in luck. How Could We Have Known? aims to capture an eclectic array of emotions and styles.

For the most part, it works really well.

My problem is specifically with the introduction and ending. It feels like a statement to me. I could be wrong, but I hear them say they're production that doesn't need vocals. Tracks one and five are the most instrumental and if they're trying to say they work instrumentals just as well, I have to disagree on this effort.

Tracks two, three and four could all be singles for their respective featured artists, and they could probably get a lot of airplay and a nice following, too. My hunch is that the duo know how to manipulate production to show the best of the featured artists, and in that sense I have to praise them.

It's not every day you get an entire EP with just the right amount of strong bass with relaxed electronica.

Buy the album
I'm really excited about this duos future. I mean, it could go either way, it happens so often I'm forced to consider it, but the way this EP is layed out gives me extremely high hopes for a future effort.

If you're feeling it too, connect with Bells and Robes on
Wildflower is definitely headphone material.

I've read a lot of mixed opinions and I was curious what I'd think for myself. The way I see it, The Avalanches made an album that would've struck a lot stronger if they'd released it back when people heard albums all the way through.

Frankie Sinatra is a great single, but it sounds way better within the sound of the album than it does on its own.

The way the album works really sounds more like a recorded DJ mix than an album, so I put it on while some friends murdered hundreds of innocent people on some online first person shooter game. Wildflower fit incredibly well. I mean sure, occasionally you get a stare or reaction, the ambient occasions really place you in the story so it can be a little awkward for people not expecting it.

In the end I found that The Avalanches did their best to have a little something for everybody.
They succeeded.

Quality hip hop rhymes, songs that scream happiness, songs that move your slow-jam needs, and some extremes, too. Colours, for example, is the kind of track hipster Spongebob would listen to right before some trippy jellyfish catching.

iTunes | Vinyl
The first few days of its release I tried to find it on Spotify to no avail, and now after really getting the effort, I understand why. This isn't the kind of project you'd want to listen to with ads every few songs, and it's definitely not the kind of album you should listen to on shuffle. It's up for online stream now, though; just proceed with caution.

Connect with The Avalanches on
Solto Por Jeri is everything I hope for when presented with a Brazilian album. It's a music optimist's dream. It takes seconds before you hear beautiful melodies mixed with a variety of instruments for a nice breezy and dance-enticing tropical sound.

I mean the flute, and there's an accordion in there? It even goes full salsa on Elas.

There's something about the intro and the follow up that reeled me in. You get to hear some very choro 49 seconds and then you rush into Elas like that. It's beautiful.

I hear the traditional influences. You can hear it in the percussion, in  the style of vocal melody, and in the essence of the lyrics to each song. They've created this soundscape for mass appeal, without selling out or restricting their base. The sound will never be so foreign that you won't be able to sing and dance along, but they've also kept it at home. It's pretty cozy.

Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
If you're into it so far, check out their video of a live performance for É Proibido Cochilar. It shows they're pretty amazing live, too. If you're around their areas, they're doing live shows right now. Look up the dates on their website.

Connect with En Canto on
If you've been a fan of Tom Misch before this release, you've been a fan of his acoustic-based production. The modern beat over delicious licks has formed his signature sound. But Reverie is here to show you a glimpse of the future. Tom works amazingly as a singer/songwriter/producer, and this EP has been long overdue.

Crazy Dream gives you a clear idea of what you're getting, but nothing beats the full stream.
What am I missing, though?

Alright, the album starts with Crazy Dream featuring Loyle Carner. This is the only track where Tom's vocals are only heard for the chorus, but that doesn't matter because Loyle brings gold. I'm not sure there's a better hook on the EP, though the next few tracks sure try.

That one's followed by Follow, a fan favorite that sticks to you. Then you get I Wish, another acoustic beat produced exquisitely. Finally, Watch Me Dance ties everything together. From the mood of the album to those last confusing details. Watch Me Dance could explain Reverie on its own, but the experience comes from the complete listen.

iTunes | Amazon
I've been singing these songs in the shower. I've had them roaming in my mind just as I wake up and right before bed. If this is indication of what the debut album's gonna sound like (Tom's words) then I can't wait for its release.

Connect with Tom Misch on
This is completely instrumental jazz fusion, with tons of talent, enough obvious improvisation, and more complicated themes than your every day coffee shop jazz album.

It's fronted by Ryan Carraher, guitarist, but I'd barely call this guitar jazz.

Equuleus does a great job of letting you know kinda-sorta what you're in for. The track you'll wanna pay close attention to is Valantis. You could call it bipolar; I find it honest. It's a rush of emotions that felt confusing initially, but later turns into one of those tracks you need. A blueprint of possibility to better acquaint you with what's in store.

You can just leave it on and do your own thing, that's the D4AM recommendation.

Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Vocturnal is for anybody who listens to jazz, which probably explains why it's listed as one of the best selling jazz albums on Bandcamp.
Whether you're a fan of dissecting the music, letting it play in the background, or anything in between, this album's for you.

It's a name your price release so do the guilty thing if you're short on time and grab it for free. After you've given it a listen, consider a donation. This is a sophisticated release and deserves recognition and support.

Connect with Ryan Carraher on

The band is
Ryan Carraher - Guitar
Steve Wilkinson - Drums
Evan Waaramaa - Keyboard
Brandon Wilkins - Alto Saxophone
Greg Toro - Bass
Two songs into the album and I knew it was a gem.

Psychedelic band Sugar Candy Mountain came out with the lead single and title 666 not too long ago, and it was a pleasure to the mind and ears. It's not every day you expect angst-driven metal and happen to hear a breezy enjoyable psychedelic indie rock.

If you're not in the mood for breezy rock with a fair share of psychedelic solos, maybe you should wait until you are. It's part of the appreciation, you have to admit they nailed the sound but you gotta give it its fair listen when you want that psychedelic indie sound.

I find most of the album extremely memorable. From Windows onward, just about every track has the D4AM blessing. Its replay value is about as high as listening to the effort for 6 hours straight, and though you could grow tired of a couple of tracks, most of the songs contain that top quality inspired-band production you hope for from a psychedelic album.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
A few D4AM favorites include:
  • Windows
  • Change
  • Atlas
  • Tired
  • Time
  • Eye On You
And it's important to know the album is only 10 tracks long. Every track missing from the list deserves an honorable mention, especially 666 that works as a lure during those initial listens. Long term, 666 could've been developed better, but that's what live performances are for.

Speaking of live performances, they intend to spend the majority of the year touring the US and Europe. Make sure to connect with the band and catch them when they're near you.

Connect with Sugar Candy Mountain on
It's not every day you get something this good for free.

I'm not gonna say the album is perfect because it's far from it, but it does have a signature sound, it does an amazing job of hooking and reeling you in, and most impressively, it's music of conscience.

It starts right, but it won't take more than a few songs before you hear the first monologue. It's cute, and a great way of getting to know and connecting with Jamila and her music. It just gets old after a few listens. Actually, the only reason I wouldn't replay the project is because of the constant self-reflecting stories. They're incorporated directly onto a handful of songs, so you can't skip/eliminate it from your library once you get tired. As someone who's heard the album over a dozen times already, trust me, you can get tired of it.

I've spoken the worst of it, but there's a bright side.
Take a listen to the end of In My Name, you'll hear children chant a beautiful message. The way I see it, when a good album is so freely available, maybe the point is just for people to listen. Even once.

Free Download
We could put all that aside. We could have this same album with no monologues and no conscience, we could not hear a sentence in relation to black lives in our era, we could hear nothing about discrimination and injustice, and this would still be a pretty great effort.

It feels like it's natural to her. Her voice is beautiful and strong, and the production she sides with on this project has a relaxed aura to it most of the time. Even when it doesn't, it all works excellently on the album.

Give it a stream, take advantage of the free download. Share it with friends.

Connect with Jamila Woods on
Busty and the Bass just released an EP fit for live consumption.

Really, you listen to this little gem and it's great, production is stunning and talent is anything but lacking. What might be lacking is a hard-ass producer making sure the studio work sells, and though I much prefer listening to a performance live, that one detail is the only place where I can acknowledge the album needs some work.

They work around it!

Stages (I Don't Know Why) is one of the catchiest songs on the album, and it's also their lead single. It shows what they're really made of, from the funk soul backgrounds to the heavy brass imprint, all with their signature Busty sound.

Stages is one of my favorites, but I also really love their Macy Gray cover for I Try. We posted it on socials a while back, and Macy Gray herself praises the version. The video is pretty great, but I'm happy the song can be bought on this EP.
iTunes | Amazon

I recommend leaving yourself a little reminder for this one.
Give it a stream once on Spotify or wherever you find it, but come back for it. You'll be surprised all the lyrics and melodies you'll have embossed in your mind.

It's that hook and their energy that I think makes this one of those albums best understood in person. You want to share this with other people who get the music, you want to hear this when the band is feeling it for you. Trust it.

Connect with Busty and the Bass on

I felt connected. You know when you listen to a song that first time and it captivates you? It's not necessarily an amazing first listen but you want it again, and pretty soon you wanna keep listening to it in the future. It's the dreamy keys and the thick synths combined with those beautiful smokey vocals.

The blend, especially with Miranda Realino's jazzy vocals, is a success for the dream electronica sound, and it was everything I was hoping for from the EP, How Could We Have Known. Fortunately, it's not just this thick airy ideal, but a blend of chilled electronics with a number of friends lending support and character to the effort.

You can stream (some of?) it on Soundcloud.

I don't know where you could buy this
The duo are currently working on a future album that won't be out until at least the second half of next year. Enjoy this on the meantime, get used to the guests and the chill/bass driven sounds, it's to be expected for that future release.

Connect with Bells and Robes on
Off The Ground is Aaron Cohen's latest release. It's produced entirely by Kemal and the combination of both their talents is why this hip-hop EP deserves your attention. Think dark bass influenced music production with honest quick-witted rhymes.

The more I listen, the more attached I get to the tracks. Still, I know a lot of people that wanna get to what's good immediately, so a few D4AM track picks include:
  • Off the Ground
  • A Cosmic Sense of Humor
  • Grey Soul
It might take a little more hip-hop appreciation to understand the depths Aaron's exercising, but for the most part these tracks are good for anybody who likes rhymes and urban moods.

iTunes | Amazon
I think it's safe to say this album couldn't be closer to expressing its mood with any other duo. During those few times where Aaron's lyrics allow you to drift off, Kemal is right there making sure you want to listen to what's next. When Aaron goes a little too far with impeccably rapped truths, Kemal is there making sure the production is up to par.

What I'm getting at is it's an impressive EP.

It's eight tracks long at just 24 minutes in length, and its replay value is high. Stream it (Off The Ground is available on Spotify) and you'll see what I mean. Every replay is giving in to your Aaron Cohen addiction. Enjoy.

Connect with Aaron Cohen on
What do you get when you mix modern R&B with a quality urban background? And who are The Pheels to be presenting something like that?

likeWise is an enchanting experience. It's honest, and it sometimes coats ugly truths with quality production to make you fall into it. Thick bass lines, smooth musical transitions, and lyrics with nods to some amazing inspiring talents. A personal favorite example are Tupac lines on RnS.

There's a couple of tracks I'm not crazy about, but the rest of the EP has so much replay potential that I started singing along anyway.

I think they really nailed it with the track list.

iTunes | Amazon
It works in a way that the tracks compliment each other. The result is an EP you want to stream all the way through. It's not the same listening to your favorite tracks without their surroundings, though the better tracks can definitely hold being played all on their own.

So, who are The Pheels?

I don't know, man. Atlanta natives making fresh music for a very wide audience.  I recommend remembering who they are, likeWise feels like it's just the beginning.

Connect with The Pheels on
This gem of an EP has been out for about 10 days now, and I've been listening to it since day one. Six tracks make up the list, and all of them connect with me. Novaa is great on her own, she'll offer lyrics with depth and beautiful melodies. Moglii focuses on production, smooth, natural, relaxed, and more often than not, upbeat.

Before Down Under, the German duo were solo acts, but it's not every day separate acts debut together, and it's even less frequent that it works so well. Just listen to the title track open the EP for you.

You'll get it.

It's wise to roam about with the music, leave the stream on a while. Different songs strike differently at different moments. As you pay attention, and if you like awkward electronic music, I'd have to recommend Same for an early listen.

Same features excellent bass and sampled vocals.

I hope there's more. This EP is a great way to spread their individual talents out into the world, and when you go to Moglii or Novaa's Soundclouds, you'll hear they don't really need each other. It's such a nice combination, and the EP is so well done, that I'd love to see what a full length effort would sound like anyway.

Connect with Moglii on

Connect with Novaa on
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