If you're feeling like a vacation, be it a murky or bright beach day, Vacationer are a good sound to start off with. It's a basic Indie Pop sound, simple and airy with decent lyrics and just enough talent to stand out of the crowd.

Today's song, the title track, is one of my favorites. Mixed emotions are easy to pull from a song's matched lyrics, and it's catchy without getting annoying. Not quite perfect, but still a fine listen. Give it a try.

It's got that somewhat-ached-but-I'm-okay feel that almost sounds like the Michael Cera of musical styles. It's the lively keys behind the simple bass line that make it seem more uplifting than it is, and hence, making it a lot more easy going.

The rest of the work has similar lyrics, and a varied feel within their own style. A nice easy going Dream-Pop and Chillwave combination that's really turning into the base of the future's sound. And yet, even if it has been and is being done, I still managed to really enjoy the album.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl
It's not that perfect summer movie soundtrack you grow to love, and it's not that underground freshness that a lot of people really love, but it's a well made piece of work within its element. There's artists and bands who can produce a sound, but Vacationer execute it almost flawlessly.

If today's track sounds to good to you, the album should be worth a listen. Just don't expect more than what it is, a good plain old Dream-Chill-Indie-ish album.
It's been a long, long time since I've gone back to the 70's for a post, but today the urge was just too much. I found an old email with a link to a free track and here I am now. As it turns out, you only need a taste of Chocolate Ice Cream to create a big appetite.

Today's track is a slower piece, rich in detail that's real easy to capture the first time around. As I heard it I compared it to his other work and realized that this one's probably a better listen for the Salsa novice. Give it a try.

To some, it might be a little slow. Others will appreciate the pace and use it to absorb every detail. What could normally seem like sensory overload is broken down with a nice jazzy swing; allowing you to continue on your way. You understand the music, and if you don't normally feel it this is where your body escapes and makes sure you do.

Of course, if you like it you should take full advantage of the free download (thanks Fania!) But as I said, you only need a taste before curiosity peaks and you give in to the album stream.

Buy: CD | mp3
What you get is a fine Latin Jazz pianist leading his Conjunto 'La Perfecta' (Band name: 'Perfect'. Genius.) making sweet, slightly harsher sounds that still manage to flow easy for the better portion of an hour. It's got the perfect amount of Salsa and Jazz for someone of either side to flow into the mixture.

I'm just really glad the guys over at Fania were willing to give away that track, because the inevitable listening of the entire album was such a treat. Songs I'd heard and others I hadn't put together in such a perfect blend. The way the album plays out shows nothing but masterful production.

If it sounds fun, you enjoyed today's track, and don't mind a change of pace, the album stream is definitely worth a listen. It's 6 lengthy tracks in directions that swoop and dive in and out of a general comfort zone.
I was feeling picky, and it took me a while to find something I liked. I finally settled for Brad Mehldau Trio's latest effort which is a rich, smooth sound with talent swirled into the thick piano based flavor.

Today's track shows off the trio well, while showing off the creamy lightness they produce for the duration of the album. The track might be a little long, but on a rainy day or with a nice cup of whatever you like, it's the kind of song that goes by all too quickly.

If you take away the smooth transitions, it's divided into three chunks of talent. The double bass near the beginning, Brad's own piano, and finally the spice of the percussion near the end. As a whole; what a great cover of Clifford Brown's original.

Not everything's as slow on this release, but it does have that same laid back tendency. You can leave it on and go about your day and read a book, or you can fixate on it and capture every little detail. There's many to savor and enjoy.

Buy: CD | mp3
The album's a consistent, fine piece of work full of great covers and perfect blends of talent and production. It can delve into Post-Bop and still have the same vibe to head right back to the light sound you're used to. And it can cover Hey Joe and somehow gracefully carry the same raw emotion one would hope for.

Not a perfect album for everyone, but it's a near perfect listen if the genre is to your liking. If today's track suited you, the album should be worth a listen.
I was told about this album by a Hawaiian Reggae band, and instantly feared my own American Reggae skepticism. I figured I'd give half of the first few tracks a try and move on. But the first track captured my attention, and the rest of it continued to exceed expectations.

Today's track is the last on the album, and my favorite of the most Reggae inclined. It's got nice instrumental details going on behind the bass and lyrics, and the vocals in it carry a nice melody that doesn't scream generic. Give it a try.

It's the little details that make me real happy about the track. Without the little synth whistles and blast away from the dub side near the end, this is just another song about an alright topic that someone else has done and many will do. Here they took something average and built on it.

The album follows through similarly. Lots of love songs with some catchy melodies and occasional Pop and Pop Rock influences. Considering they have a sweet bassist and a talented guitarist, it's not a bad sound at all. Though having heard the talent, you know they're capable of much more.

Buy: CD | mp3
It only takes one listen before you realize that the album is full of love songs from so many different perspectives that it's near impossible to relate to the whole thing. Lyrically, only one or two tracks will stand out to the common human being. Everything else sounds nice, but ends up being difficult to get into.

My other problem is the vocals. Once you delve deep into the generically inclined ways of a love song, you want to at least show off some range. Not that I mind what was done, but with the right producer the band could have grown drastically right after this album.

The release is a couple of years old though, so maybe there's hope for an even better future release. This one's a decent listen; far better than a lot of other American Reggae bands. Just missing a hint of magic for my tastes. Still worth a listen, and definitely worth watching out for in the future.
A well dominated saxophone is a beautiful thing. It can strike with force or subtlety, it can follow a melody or create one. My favorite use of the sax is a bit more sporadic, there's nothing like plain old Jazz for me.

Here we have Rudresh Mahanthappa, whom on his latest album has reached the far corners of what the instrument can do when handled professionally. I can only imagine the awe circling a room when his band plays live, so for now I'll settle on my own experiences with a studio production.

To some, it might start a bit chaotic, repetitive, or just distracting. If that's ever the case, keep listening. It falls into a different kind of mess where disorder becomes crisp and  tranquility becomes that odd place you're scared to go but have to anyway.

And then we've got the whole band turning this into one amazing piece. Just a hint of funk for this track, and diverse enough cultural influences to make an album's worth of anywhere-music.

Buy: CD | mp3
This is Jazz. Often fast, sometimes slow, and constantly tricking your mind to think one thing before it actually performs another. It's not the simple stuff with a few instruments lugging around performing solos, it's what you get when two or more people want to stand out at the same time and make it work.

Obviously sax fans should give this one a listen, but if you like to hear diverse subtleties in the background of a finely played Jazz album, you really shouldn't miss out. The talent is expressed so well here that it's impossible to appreciate it fully in a single listen.

Here's a free stream, give it a try.
Dear Daft Punk,

Wow. As a fan anticipating a new album for years, this was not what I was expecting. Where many artists and bands have rushed their work, you took your time. Where many have fallen into the pits of commercial monotony, you have prevailed. It was everything I could have wanted from you guys; you had fun. It shows.

Thank you.

— D4

Hesitant as I may be to write on such huge artists, I'll risk making Pitchfork's mistake and write about this one. Only because I heard it and got more out of it than expected. Give a track (that isn't Get Lucky) a listen and see if it fits for you too.

Not my favorite track on the album, but I heard it and knew how catchy it could be after a few listens. Julian Casablancas is featured on this one, but with the occasional amazing artist popping through at random it's hard to do the album an injustice.

 Daft Punk's production is slick quality all throughout. From miniature movie-score-epic intros the amazing endings, from Paul Williams to Giorgio Moroder, the duo have found ways to work their production around their biggest idols and influences. It's the kind of thing you can only wish you'd been around to have witnessed.

Buy: CD | mp3 | Vinyl
I don't know if this was made for everyone. I think RAM was made for them, and for the fans who've been kind enough to follow. I just don't think the average radio surfing listener would be okay with an 8 or 9 minute track, despite the amazing talents invested in it.

This all being said, it's an amazing Dance album. The finished product has influences dating at least back to the 60s. It's those details, Daft Punk's well defined style, and their eagerness to bring something new and fun to the table that this album relies on to move forward. It's no Discovery, but it's one great release and it definitely deserves a listen.
It's been a while since I've felt just fine with finding a gem late, and the only reason it's okay this time is because the gem has a few cloudy spots. For me, Arc in Round's Krautrock-Shoegaze combination is the kind of beautiful you have to admire from a distance.

It might be a bit noisy for some, but others might find that the relaxed vocals balance things out nice enough to continue the listen. Give it a try.

It starts quick, maybe too quick. It maintains a harsh, monotonous, and overpowering sound for far too long. It's when you let it take over and let the details pass through that you realize the effort put into the piece. It's not easy to get into for many, but it's great work.

Just when it starts to be too much, it tones down a few notches and goes on it's way. It bombards you with synchronized sounds and pulls back right before putting you off your appetite. Or maybe it turned you off early on, suit yourself.

Buy/Stream @ Bandcamp
You see how the artwork is colorfully chaotic between two bars of plain old white? That's a damn good way to describe the album. It's confined to its own sound, but the sound goes all over the place. It'd be a fair assumption to think most of these tracks were made up in completely different moods and put together at random.

You can expect relaxed near-psychedelic vocals throughout the album, and you can expect constant noise and overshadowed talent to different degrees. The album has its fair share of good tracks, they just cater to a very specific selection of emotions.

I'd say it's worth the stream for a few cool free downloads and to submerge yourself in an ocean of Krautrock waves. If today's track wasn't appealing at all, it might be wise to just stay away.
I've been a fan of Jack Conte for a while now, so when I saw hints and sneak peaks at Electronic genres I got excited. I hoped for the best and waited for the EP, which has been out for a while now so I kinda got here late.

He managed to put together a number of sounds and influences that on paper, I wouldn't have liked. However, his skilled ear allowed him to pull off a vintage inclination on a very modern Electro-House sound. My favorite track on the EP is a bit different than the rest, but I think it's also easier to swallow. Give it a try.

Almost before the 8-bit, you get a blast of what he wants to say. "I'm a real DJ and no one's gonna stop me." This is followed by a sweet transition and the kind of drop that doesn't overpower the track but does start groovin' the booties of those who can appreciate it.

The track continues to evolve with beautiful transitions and great use of electronically enhanced instruments. Add some absurdly squeaky vocals and you'll be singing along to a well sung chipmunk for the rest of the day.

Soundcloud Stream | Patreon Download
The 4 track EP isn't perfect, but it's different and it's full of talent. The first two tracks are a little stiff for my liking, focusing on House percussion, but it makes for an odd on-and-off sound that goes on while still being sweet dance tracks. The third, Pedals, has a music video worth checking out, and the sound really starts smoothing out at that point.

You'll notice he has a thing for autotuned vocals, which you can understand in his homage to Daft Punk and Skrillex, but when it comes to his sound you just can't help but notice he does something a little different. It's nice.

The best part for many of us; it's free. It's a good EP full of attitude and sweet vibes in a short time. All he asks in return is that you watch the video at the link, and if you feel so inclined, help him out through his new website. You're not forced to watch it, you don't need to provide your email or like him on Facebook. He's relying solely on your gratitude to give him a listen. Here's the link. Enjoy.
I've known about Circa Vitae's Lovers EP since the last time I wrote about them. It wasn't easily streamed, though, and I'd just enjoyed their previous album a little too much to try too hard for this one. It's been a few years since the release, and I've just found out they're giving it away. Needless to say, I found a stream.

Today's track contains everything an Indie track should have. Smooth vocals, a catchy guitar, and enough progression throughout to prove they want to be heard. Give Wage War a listen.

Stream/Download @ Jamendo

It's not the completely different ensemble we've never heard before, but it's a well made Indie track that deserved a little more attention than it's gotten. They know how to carry a melody and how to make something as good, or better, than many another Indie success.

By no means perfect. Maybe if I heard it play in a movie, a game, or anywhere where I'd likely hear the track repeating, it'd grow on me enough to want to keep it. Maybe you'll think different, it's a free download after all.

Free Download/Stream @ Jamendo
I'm not sure if Jamendo's got a messed up track list, or if my sources were just loopy, but I had to make a playlist the way I believe the album's supposed to play out. I could be wrong, but the shoe fits. Give it a try. It basically starts real strong with Wage War, loses a bit of tempo in the middle, but works its way back up by the end of the album.

The middle chunk, say two or three tracks, aren't filler as much as background music. It's those sounds you let play while you do something else, zone into it at random and say "Hey, that's good music" right before going on with whatever you were doing.

After giving it a few listens, I think it's a bit unfair they're giving the whole thing away for free. If you feel they're worth a little more you can buy their work at iTunes. Otherwise, enjoy the free music. Share them with friends, like them on Facebook. You know how to support.
Psychedelic Garage Rock today, as I've just found Gap Dream and have been flowing in his mood's general direction for the past few hours. It's got that relaxed feel while not being too slow. Think of a productive day off.

What you'll get is that spacious 60's rock vibe combined with the slightly rough made-at-home sound. The first track is just too good of an introduction to the rest of the album to not feature, so give that one a listen.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

It jumps you right into it and right off the bat you might like the subtle bass over the mountains of instruments, the delicate guitar riffs repeating a Beach Rock-ish tune, or the wave of chillax overcoming you in the form of a gentle tsunami.

You also might not like the fact that there's mountains worth of looped instruments, the monotone vocals, the mumbled lyrics, or the sensory overload. How much you really like it depends what your ears focus on, and what you make it out to be from there.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Lyrically, it's rich in detail and odd stories that go really well with the psychedelic vibes, but lyrics are never my priority. I enjoy it most for its catchy guitar, and well used electronic sounds. The album reminds me of an eventful trip to the beach. You start somewhere, and as you arrive somewhere else, things get better.

But that's just me, and the opinion might be biased because I love how it ends. I think the last track ties up any loose ends the rest of the album might leave, and leaves you satisfied enough to continue on your day. Or just replay the album.

Definitely worth a listen if the monotone vocals didn't get to you. The mountains of combined sounds might not be to everyone's liking, but the entire album isn't made up of it. Once you leave the album playing in the background for a while you'll realize just how well it creates an atmosphere.
It's through a stream of potentially calculated chance that I've found Amapola Dry. An Electro-Tango group with a few twists and spins in directions our ears can easily come to enjoy. Giving them an upper hand in North America is the frequent switch from Spanish to English vocals.

They're fluent, bilingual, and depending on what track you're hearing they range from Jazz to Electro oriented Tangos. Today's track, the first of the album, probably has the strongest Tango feel. Give that one a listen.

I find  the beginning of the track a little ironic. We have the great Carlos Gardel giving a small speech dedicating his current work to Spain and Latin America. Then the rest of the track follows in English. It starts making more sense when you realize he's working from New York, as are Amapola Dry.

We have Sofia Juan's luscious voice seeping out of the track and into our ears. Though sometimes she may overdo it a bit, the result ends in a smooth, sensual, 007-ish feel. It goes real well with the Tango base and the amplified bass lines.

Buy: CD | mp3
The rest of the release switches up in musical direction quite a bit. It's almost as if it takes the beginning to take flight into another genre entirely. The Tango influences are always there, but they're subtle enough to get lost in the process. It'll allow many a wandering ear to feel as if they've flown from Buenos Aires to New York.

The main duo, Sofia and Martin, show promise in production quality, in vocal talents, and in ease of genre alterations. At a mere 5 tracks in length; that's impressive. Such varying sounds means it also might not be suitable for everyone, so be sure to give it a listen with an open mind.
Math Rock has been keeping me happy lately. You can mix and match it with so many other genres and still have something nice at the end of the day, it's bliss. So when I saw Giraffes? Giraffes! made a release just recently, I dove head fist and gave it a listen.

Now, I really did enjoy G?G!s side of things, but it was Goddard's half of the album that threw me around a bit. I enjoyed it, so give it a shot if Math genres are to your liking.

Its first few seconds incline towards generic, and then it just shifts over into something else. Not a completely unheard sound, but together with its transitions and time changes, it completes itself into a talented piece of work.

I just love how it sounds Indie one second, but pure and raw the next. The change of vocalists anchors each feeling separately, and allows the song to go on much longer than one would initially hope for.

Buy @ Giraffes? Giraffes! or Goddard's Bandcamp
But Goddard is just one side of this precious release. They do have another track to offer, but Giraffes? Giraffes! has one whopping 10 minute track, appropriately titled In The Middle Of The Night Someone Tore Off The Ceiling And Sucked Me Into The Sky / Before My Eyes Began To Boil I Saw Billions Of Tiny Webs Connecting Everything. Be sure to give that one a listen if you don't mind a 10 minute track.

G?G!s side is much more Prog oriented, or just more Math dominant than Goddard's two tracks. But together in the same release the bands compliment themselves perfectly. It's this kind of team work that makes me think maybe a two-band compilation album wouldn't be such a bad thing. At least for these guys.

Until that happens, if it ever does, be sure to grab this release in its limited edition vinyl. There's only 500 made, and I don't know if that's per band, tallying to 1000, or in general. If you enjoy it, don't take your chances.
I've been hearing a lot of talk, and a lot of praise in Pharrell's general direction. It started with Daft Punk's latest Get Lucky, and after a week or so has turned to Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines. The single isn't bad, and it won't hurt to give it a quick listen if you haven't already.

My problem isn't with the music. I'm actually happy Pharrell's taking a liking to that era, and I really do hope he continues to bring just a spark of talent from the past to the future. I like him as a producer; there's definitely a lot worse out there.

But I digress. My real problem is with the people hearing all this modern music, saying they enjoy the sound, and not taking a moment to look back at why it exists. This upsets me because there's no way Thicke's Blurred Lines is better than Marvin Gaye's Got to Give it Up, which just happens to be the song Pharrell sampled.

And let me just make it perfectly clear that I have nothing against Robin Thicke's single or Pharell's production. I don't think the song got ripped off, and I don't think any quarreling should be in play. That "modern" track is one very small step in a very positive direction.

Not what I'm aiming for.

I'm just saying, you know, if you like that booty bouncing bass so much, why not take a look at actual 70's music? I know, I know, how could I say such a thing? That would be too simple. All that amazing music is already documented and finding the good stuff is just so easy. Most of us are so used to weeding through all the garbage on the radio that it's not even an idea to begin with.

Try it anyway. If Pharrell has it in him to listen to something old and make something out of it, maybe the rest of us can too. Worst case scenario you start saying groovy a lot more often. Sure beats YOLO though, doesn't it?
I've been meaning to give this one a listen for a long time now, but only recently found a decent stream. The wait was long enough, and the Cuban trumpeter does not disappoint. On the contrary, he represents Dizzy quite well.

The album is an homage to his mentor, and hence, should be full of talent and raw emotion. If you enjoy Bebop, a finely played trumpet, or if you already know you're a Dizzy fan, give today's track a listen.

Just beautiful; a brilliant display of Bebop as could only be written by Diz himself. And to hear Arturo's version is a treat. Taken under the wing of the great, he has a lot to offer and he shows it off. Modernizing slightly, and keeping the overall freshness of the original.

It's not difficult to make a great album made up almost entirely of Dizzy Gillespie tunes, and yet here I am, appreciating the fact that it exists. Smiling from the moment I hit play, to the moment it ends in a satisfying farewell.

Buy: CD | mp3
The oddest thing for me is the fact that a Cuban professional didn't include a more Afro-Cuban sound to an album with plenty of room for it, in an homage to a person who loved the sound himself. This doesn't take anything from the album, the release was probably better off without it!

At the beginning of the album we hear Dizzy introduce Arturo, and at the end we hear Arturo's own Every Day I Think of You. It's a letter to Dizzy, from Arturo, and it's probably the most heartfelt piece on the album. It's not the best written, or the most talented, but it shows why the album was made.

I'd definitely recommend the stream if today's track was to your liking, or if it's been a while since you've properly enjoyed classic Jazz. Give it a listen at Myspace.
It's been a while since I've stumbled onto something electronic on my own, but yesterday was my lucky day. I found Gloom and a series of recent releases. The most recent is a bit easier to stick to. There's varying genres, and little details that are meant to hook onto you.

My favorite of the bunch has a strong bass line to it, a mythical transcending sound, and just enough layering to bring something new after every listen. Give it a try.

I was unaware what Post-Dubstep was until reading this song's tags. More apparent to me was the IDM and Future Garage, but it's nice to know we owe that chill overpowering sound to some wobs.

That same overpowering wob can be found throughout the album, but there's so many other influences keeping this piece fresh that it's easy to get lost in any of the other influences. He just pulled off a sweet blend of genres for your ear's palette.

Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Not all tracks are as bass heavy as today's feature. There's a lot more Chillwave and some great, near meditative samples that are great for just sitting back and relaxing with.

I wouldn't listen to it twice in a row, but every other listen you end up giving it is full of surprises. Details you didn't realize before, or hidden melodies you end up singing later on. If you enjoy it but it strikes you a little rough, I found his previous release makes for a good appetizer.

Subliminal Fortress is a name-your-price release, so if you're low on funds go ahead and grab it for free, but otherwise pay what it's worth to you. I'm sure every little bit counts.
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