2014 was a great year for D4AM, and a great year for the music outside of this humble site as well. It was so good, it's actually worth revisiting a lot of our past features. This 'best of' is basically an editor's pick on a month by month basis. These past 12 months couldn't have been done without the help of some friends, though.

A special thanks to Gio Mirage, Memo Torre, and Justin Spearman, for helping make this year all it has been. We can only hope to have such excellent talents writing for us in the upcoming year. Before we get too mushy; let's check out the month-by-month selection!


We started 2014 right with electro-rock artist Whitey's Lost Summer. Later on we heard quality rhymes with Angel Haze, some of the best indie-rock of the year with Maudlin Strangers, some amazing progressive metal with Replacire, and Emily Braden, a vocal jazz queen with less-than-enough recognition.


February proved the shortest month could still pack bunches of talent. We had Scott Nicks' indie folk-rock EP, Nick Jr. on acid with Candice Gordon, some of Chelsea Wolfe's dark indie-pop's finest, and The Mirage Theory's progressive metalcore.


Still not sure what happened during March that marked such a slow month. A lot of experimental half-done releases that should tickle many ideas, but no real 'best of' material except for electro-funk band The Precious Lo's and Sango's beats.


April picked the pieces back up with some truly diverse artists. We had Alice BrightSky's folk-pop, Shanee Pink's folk-rock, some of Deela's best cumbia/EDM combos, Thomas Blondet's world-electronica, and Butcher Knives' gypsybilly.


We took May and started daring to explore different languages. We had Mondo Diavolo's cabaret rock from Spain, some folk with Bridie Jackson, some singer-songwriter acoustics with Sye Elaine Spence, and Bossacucanova, the Brazilian pioneers of electro-bossa.


A little slow during June, but we had found some rare gems. We found Tati Ana's industrial concoction, Talisco's perfected pop-rock, and Latin-fusion band Karikatura.


Picking things back up! Keeping a short list was difficult here. Dog, Paper, Submarine showed us quality psych-punk. If you're still feeling for punk after that, we also found Van Dammes. Everything else was a little more normal. We had singer-songwriter Jackie Vension, trip hopping Doprah, synth popping Blank Paper, and prog-rock outfit Emily Danger.


A little more relaxed for August. We had one of the best R&B releases of the year with Chaz Langley, some mellowed out rock with Angus & Julia Stone, soulful trip hop with Kwamie Liv, and a stunning first math-rock effort by Fortune Club.


Continuing the autumn-month trend of keeping things smooth was September. One of my personal favorites of the year were trip hop masters Salt Cathedral. We also got a pretty sweet nostalgia trip with Al Jarreau jazzy ode, a psych rock EP to remember by The Foreign Films, Seekae's indie electro-rock, and Tangina Stone's promising R&B/rock debut.


October started a much more flexible trend. We found Labyrinth Ear's electronic pop (wink wink) alt-J's stunning second studio album, a more Halloween infused psych-grunge by The Grayces, and another personal favorite with Kinkajous' self titled debut electro-jazz EP.


Just a month ago we were listening to some very awkward sounds. The first time I ever heard of trip-rock was with Kalacoma. We also had two top quality experimental efforts, one a cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Flaming Lips, and the other just Shiny Eyed Babies by Bent Knee. If too much awkward unsettles you, Oh, Malô's Blue was just slightly more normal.


I thought December was another slacking month until I went back to see everything featured. We found Mr. Bill's amazing EDM production whilst apparently settling for mediocrity, we heard some of the best acoustic pop of the year with The Likes of Us. We finally got to hear Captain Supernova's space voyage, and Whilk & Misky's First Sip of an EP. We ended the year on smoother notes, with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's amazing vocal jazz album, and Speelburg's downtempo EP.

It was really difficult limiting the number of quality posts for some months, and with time I've noticed the quality coming out of D4AM has become more and more abundant. Be sure to stick around for our future features if your music library needs some dusting.

Until next year!
 — D4
The end of the year is right around the corner, which means these are the last decent free singles D4AM will have to offer this year. The offering calls for a pretty specific audience; this should tickle your interests if you like hip hop or electronica.

First up is Lucian's Better Off Without You featuring Tamara Usatova's crystal clear vocals. It's got a very airy downtempo meets classic EDM vibe to it, that should keep the relaxed listener in the right state of mind. All the download costs you is a subscription to Lucian's Soundcloud.



If Marc 7 doesn't ring a bell on its own, maybe Jurassic 5 does. The now-gone-solo artist brings quality rhymes over sick beats produced by Hirolla Beats. Be sure to grab Sasquatch by pressing the download button on the player or clicking here.



Next up is Arty's Night Like This, a mellowed out EDM track with club-banging potential. The house thump and trance-like background show why his upcoming effort is ready to be such a success. Until it's out, you can grab this one at his website.



Rich Quick and Rediculus want you to buy them a beer. Bouncy hip hop beats layered underneath quality catchy rhymes. I'm pretty sure it's not hard to buy them a drink, but it's much easier to grab the download. Press the download button below or click here for the single.



You can expect more free music this next year on D4AM, so be sure to keep up with us (and the artists you love) via Facebook, Twitter, RSS, or whatever really works for you. We're not going anywhere.
At first glance, Rachel Potter isn't quite my preferred experience. She dedicates to pop and country, and kinda sells herself to the public. What we've got here is a different kind of magic. Stripped down acoustics, Christmas classics, and an absolutely stunning voice.

The EP's lead track, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, is a duet with Aaron Marsh. It's subtle, keeping its classic tones, but those vocals will create enough space to attempt to hold itself as one of your favorite versions.



By no means is this my favorite song on the release, but I understand how difficult pulling off that emotion so minimally can be. From here, leaping towards my favorites is a small task. It should be just as easy for you, too.

The power of the release comes from its length. Not even 20 minutes of song means this is short and sweet and relatively inexpensive. Add its potential to become a home-library classic, and it's pretty hard to go wrong.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/rachel-potter-simply-christmas-ep.html
Stream/Buy @ Website | iTunes
There's no better way to make sure than to give it a stream, so go ahead and give it a whirl at the link above on her website. If you have your preferences, Spotify will also stream all five songs. Just remember to support what you love once you love it.

After the Christmas EP stream, you should find out if her prior EP is sounds good to you. If it does, know that her debut full length should be out early next year. Be sure to keep up by following her on Facebook and Twitter.
I often find myself growing distance between myself and electronica. Similar ideas start becoming algorithms and everything else becomes notably repeated. Mr Bill's latest release sets itself aside from these patterns, as its focal point is the view of an artist. An artist often tackles an idea, only to see the end result fall short. It's during these instances that said artist begins to settle for mediocrity.

It's pretty hard to measure the settlement from the ears of someone who doesn't even dabble with digital production. I try to imagine what Mr. Bill might have wanted from each song on this effort, but each track is unique enough to have branched through dozens of different directions.



It starts off with an ambient/experimental air, and only truly comes together after the percussion has been spun to its breaking point. Stick around for a minute if you're not feeling it right away. This is just one of the many songs that need open-minded ears to be properly understood.

Let's not compare the full album to this one track, but we've got an idea of how the talent is spread out. There's some interesting ideas being pushed forward, but after knowing what the idea behind the album is, I can't help but wonder what it's supposed to sound like.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/mr-bill-settling-for-mediocrity.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Considering its very name mentions mediocrity, Settling For Mediocrity is anything but. You'll find quality production, a well balanced ego, friends, and a lovely collection of genres. You'll hear some well layered dubstep wobs just as well as booty-bouncing house beats, just in case you even considered a dull moment.

Sitting comfortably at, technically, over ten tracks in length, the album is not only at a great price but at amazing accessibility. You should definitely give the stream a full listen if you can, and be sure to find it on Soundcloud if you prefer its quality. Once you're done and after you've bought it, be sure to show some love and keep up with Mr. Bill on Facebook and Twitter.
I spent two months ignoring this short free hip hop release, and all because the first two songs on the album were a little too space-y for my tastes. The third track, the most recent single, gave me the willingness to revisit the effort. It's safe to say my mistake was ignoring it at all to begin with.

The single that caught my ear was Searchin, and you should definitely click its play button below. If you want to see a music video get itself done in a more eye-opening way, you might want to check out the Youtube video for the same song.



It won me over with the mix of rhyme and production quality. It's balanced just enough that in either state of mind, your ear will get along. Add a third verse by Aaron Cohen and it's pretty hard to go wrong. If you're watching the video, you'll get the added point of view to really place you in the song.

After Searchin, I was surprised to hear the consistency on Kyle and Hefna's release. Even the first two songs start making sense after a full listen, I'd just take them far away from the album's intro.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/kyle-rapps-hefna-gwap-european-tic-tacs.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Eight truly well crafted songs make up European Tic Tacs. Some of those songs significantly better than others, but all of them hold their own little chunk of lyrical magic. Where a listener might find a more notable difference is in the production. A heavy bass-driven trap-like background will surround some songs, and more intoxicated beats will squirm their way into the rest.

After you've downloaded the free album, and you should, you might want to show your support as a fan. You can find Kyle Rapps on his Facebook and Twitter, and Hefna Gwapp on Facebook and Twitter, too.
There's not enough great jazz coming out these days, but this little gem by jazz organist/keyboard player Brian Charette is a great find heading into the new year. You can expect an hour of quality instrumental jazz with Brian and a few talented friends.

We'll be featuring the title track, an original piece with Avi Rothbard on strings and Jordan Young on percussion. The three create a chemical explosion, an absolute blast of a listen. While they show off their chemistry, they'll also produce layers perfectly and truly give depth to the finished single.



It's quick to start with ease and grace, Avi's guitar dominating the entrance and setting the mood for everyone's fine talents. The song will keep its upbeat charisma, and sway the listener back and forth through the layers. This piece is ear candy for the jazz aficionado.

Most of the album contains original compositions, and those alone will showcase fine talents and ideas, but the jazz covers are pretty impressive too. The latest single, a cover of Zombies' Time of the Season, shows their ability to take a classic and spin it in a desirable web.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/brian-charette-good-tipper.html
iTunes | Amazon
Streaming this gem is a little more difficult than I'd like it to be, but if you like either of the two released singles you'll undoubtedly enjoy the rest of the album just as much. If you can, you should give all 12 songs a listen on Spotify.

Once you realize Charette's work is that of the finest quality, after you've decided you need to keep up with his future projects, you might want to consider tagging along for easy accessibility. You can find him at Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
I was ready to dismiss Justin Hunter's latest effort until I realized the hidden gem of work. Piano based electronica can often border boring ideas, but on Keyism, Justin managed to add classic electronic influences with modern day ideas. The end result is an equally nostalgic and up-to-date release, for fans of instrumental electronic genres.

With such varied beginnings, it's only natural to expect an equally varied overall sound. Give the album's debut single a listen and you'll hear a very general idea on what Keyism's all about. Equal parts bass, classic electro beats, and keys.



T.H.R.O.N.E.S. might sound like a mess to a new listener, with layered sounds and vocals stretching the comfort of their reach. After a minute or two you'll be able to more easily distinguish divisions and understand where Justin is coming from, though I do admit there's other tracks that might explain the album's background a little better.

Sadly, the album doesn't always work. Some songs walk a line too fine between cheesy animated soundtrack and classic electronic beats. These occasional slip-ups are made up for with an eye for detail and the ability to perform more than one style at a time.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/justin-hunter-keyism.html
iTunes | Amazon
This one's best left for those of us with a special place in our hearts for breakbeat or techno, as long as those of us also don't mind opening new doors for much more harsh sounds. It's meant to open minds, and hopefully it does that rather than alienate stubborn newcomers.

The full album stream is most easily available through Spotify, so go give it a listen if you can. Once you're done and the retro-futuristic sounds have settled on you, go ahead and tag along for the ride. You can find him at Facebook or check up on him on his website.
I've had my eye on this release for a while now, and anyone following the D4AM socials will be just as up-to-date as I am with Speelburg's debut EP, Kline & Aubrey. Unfortunately that would also mean you already know everything the EP offers, Kline and Aubrey.

Speelburg's created a perfectly funked out downtempo electronica. It's just bubbly enough to move you, but it's chill enough to keep playing while you read a book or rest your head back. It won't take very long to know if his production is for you.



Out of the 20 minutes the EP offers, Kline is the more heavily promoted track. If I had to pick the best radio friendly single, I'd pick Aubrey. But hey, if you dig the Aubrey stream you can hear all four versions of Kline available on the EP. There's plenty of Kline to go around.

This all being said, do not expect monotony. There's remixes by Cesare and Eagles for Hands that add volume as well as spice. One often expects such well produced quality to buckle under the stress of someone's remix, but Speelburg's fundamental structure for each of his songs is of enough quality to withstand a little tampering.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/speelburg-kline-aubrey.html
iTunes | Amazon
This is a tease of a release. It's two original tracks, some well crafted fluff, and a radio edit of a song that I doubt anyone feels the need a radio edit for. It shows talent, promise, and that special spark that so many other artists lack.

You can find and stream most of the EP track list on the Speelburg Soundcloud, otherwise Spotify is the easiest listen. After you've decided on your love for the singer/producer, keep up with him and watch him grow. You can find Speelburg on Facebook and Twitter.
Earlier this year we heard Zoo Books for the first time with their debut math-post-punk Demo, and they've come a long way since then. They've fine tuned their production, they've played around with their own ideas and styles, and prior to this effort they even had a pretty sweet two-track EP. Joining them this time around is emo/alt-rock band Water Polo, which surprisingly combines into a real decent split listen.

My personal preference is still Zoo Books, so today's featured track is my favorite of their four offerings. Slappers Only is three minutes of intense twists and turns with the band's signature post-punk vocals. The music never loses itself, but it dares explore uncomfortable areas.



I'm digging this side of the release because I'm seeing evolution. Throughout the progression of the ZB side, we can see cohesive tension and melodic story telling. It wets my appetite for what's to come. On the other side, Water Polo prepares my mind for a more nostalgic sound.

Water Polo tag themselves as emo or alternative, but that's only because there's no other name for the distinct sound of the 2000s rock scene. It's memorable, it's fun, and it's only two songs on their side so it doesn't hurt to give them a shot.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/water-polo-zoo-books-split.html
Zoo Books | Water Polo
This is one of those really odd split recordings where the only recordings are digital, everything is name-your-price, but the two sides are downloaded separately. If not for the name, I'd just consider this two EPs from friendly bands. The truth is they sound good together though, so it works and it's worth checking out.

After you've given the streams a fair listen or three, after you've helped support the bands any way you can, be sure to keep up with them. They're both on Facebook, find Zoo Books here and Water Polo here.
I've had my eye on Dave Kerzner's solo project for a few months now. Now that it's finally released and I can soak in the prog-rock in it's completed form, I can also say it was worth the wait. We've got one big giant nod to the original progressive rock greats with the influenced style alone. From there, he's managed to nitpick some great ideas and install his own to achieve his own epic 78 minute concept album.

Now let's stop you for a second, any D4AM regulars might notice that I very rarely use the word epic to describe any effort. It's important to know that Kerzner has composed something of enough greatness to merit such a description, and it's equally important to know that it's easily taken for granted if you skim past the album to see if it's okay or not.



It's because of this that today's feature track is Crossing of Fates, an instrumental track that speaks volumes of the ability and talents in a mere five minutes. If you don't have three to spare to see if it's to your liking or not, there's no way you'll ever be able to understand the layers of sound that were carefully stitched together on the project as a whole.

This all being said, the sound does cater to a certain prog-loving demographic. It shows some occasionally cheesy moments that are as good as nostalgic moments of passion. In a perfect world, everybody could understand these influences and smile when it needs to be done, but I understand that many unknowing listeners might think these moments are a little odd compared to the melodies of grandeur.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
If you're good with names check the Bandcamp out for the entire musical cast. That's 20 names, the likes of which include Genesis' Steve Hackett, Yes' Billy Sherwood, Pink Floyd backing vocalist Durga BcBroom, and Chicago's Jason Scheff, just to name a few at random. If those alone aren't a clear sign of talents involved, go check the entire cast out for yourself.

Once you've picked your jaw up from the floor at the thought of so many brilliant creative minds coming together to help Kerzner make a killer album, go stream it all from beginning to end. It's a beautiful piece and it deserves recognition. Make sure you grab a physical copy if you can, and tag along Facebook or Twitter to show your appreciation.
Jazz composer Nostalgia 77 teams up with his live band the Monster in his latest release. Measures is a very playful, very varied jazz experience, with a strong enough composition to keep you focused without straining your ears.

Archipelago is one of my favorites from the effort. It starts off with a gentle sway and spreads its wings into the airs of contentment. Some of the transitions would probably sound better live with more obvious emotion, but even in the recording everything sorts itself out with a little patience.



It'll take about two minutes for the anticipation to reach its goal, the musical freedom wind instruments can bring. It's still playful, it's intentions remain clear, and its emotional value begins to transcend. By the time the track's finished your mood will have settled and readied itself for the company of the next song.

The rest of the album helps itself like that. It shows diversity but it keeps a very similar mood, so when one track makes way for another the only thing you shouldn't expect is a drastic change in emotion. For some people, the ups and downs of feeling are the very essence of their music listening experience. This is for the rest of you, for those of you who wouldn't mind staying 45 minutes bird watching at a tropical sunrise.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/nostalgia-77-and-monster-measures.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Measures is organically imperfect. It doesn't sound like there's five or six people from the outside trying to fix anything, rather it sounds like one guy did his honest best, and occasionally you'll hear something that probably shouldn't belong. These awkward moments might take some getting used to, but in the end they give the album its defining character.

If you enjoyed today's featured track, give the album a stream. If you enjoy the stream, go grab yourself a copy. There's currently a few limited edition vinyls left (they're selling at ridiculous speed) which might be worth your attention. Otherwise you can keep up on Facebook or Twitter for the latest.
Because I'm extremely neutral when it comes to both of today's names, I've ignored this release. I thought the idea was interesting and knew I'd give it a quick listen eventually. I think it's because I'm so distanced and unbiased towards these artists that I'm so excited to realize just how great their album, Cheek to Cheek, is.

The idea is simple. After a few successful collaborations, Bennett and Gaga would get together to make an effort displaying the beauties of jazz for the youth. There's no age marker for the release; having Lady Gaga represent it and Tony Bennett oversee it is a surefire way to deliver the best possible experience for the young and the well matured alike.



I've noticed a lot of people nitpick; you can't expect anyone to sing better than Bennett at 88, and you can't expect Gaga's voice to surpass some of the very best the genre has ever encountered. With a little wisdom you'll see that Bennett brings a kind of suave and experienced charisma that's on the verge of extinction, and that Gaga's smoothest moments could probably only be surpassed by the very greats who've etched their names on time itself.

After you've settled with the vocals for what they are; you can go on and experience the rest of the album for what it can be. It's so common to lose a producer's interest in the background music that people of modern day have forgotten how inspiring it can be, especially in an album like Cheek to Cheek where the focal points are the lyrics and vocal aesthetic. Where they went from good to great is with every single backing musician. There's not a note out of line, there's talent seeping from every second of recorded time, and there's a passion within the chemistry that allows the effort to radiate.

Tony Bennet & Lady Gaga - Cheek to Cheek
iTunes | Amazon
Now, in modern day, could someone do it better? Could the musical experience possibly enhance to a higher form of ecstasy? Could an artist (or a set of them) with better skills or more evocative feeling, make a better version? Absolutely. Not only is that the point of an album glued together by jazz standards, but that's what these two are hoping for. The talent they've put into this is undeniable, and it'll stand on its own through time to prove that, but I think the more important battle will be won when it inspires a future generations to breathe life back into jazz themselves.

Until and after that happens, Cheek to Cheek will be a great album with plenty of talent to inspire many happy memories. You can most easily stream it through Spotify, but there's a Youtube video or two with the full album stream as well if it better suits your comfort. Remember to show support for the music you love, and to pass it along when it feels right to do so.
If you don't remember Allora Mis, right now is the best time to get acquainted. Today they release their debut EP, an exquisite blend of talent and experimental ideas over a very general rock background. There's gonna be progressions, instrumental tracks, and a whole lot of emotion.

Today's feature track is the first on the EP, and the first official track to feature any play from the effort. The Passage About Prato easily welcomes rock inclined listeners with an instant percussive hook and catchy guitar licks. After you've kept yourself you'll hear the differences Allora Mis offers when compared to your average rock band.



The magic moment here, for me, comes after you've settled yourself with the track. It's a fun and upbeat listen, with decent vocals and well written lyrics. You get comfortable, and halfway through the song layout shifts to more unknown areas.

From here the EP follows with a range of what you already know to expect. From more commercially acceptable rocked out ideas, to eclectic instrumental progression. The fact that they can combine it without making a mess of the release is enough to outweigh some of the separation from track to track.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/allora-mis-we-were-once.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
The first four songs feel like they belong, while still keeping an awkward tone between each other. It feels a little like a dysfunctional family. The fifth song is the previously released July 5th, it's there as a bonus and it sounds like one. However you picture it, it sets a precedent for a well produced full length in the future, they only need to find the songs that'll carry the album through together.

Be sure to give it a stream, you can find it on Spotify if other methods aren't working well for you. Remember to support what you love, and if you end up loving them be sure to keep up on Facebook or Twitter.
SideOneDummy Records are getting festive and earning points with today's free sampler. The compilation album contains some of the best singles the label has offered this year, which pretty much means it's a great listen if you're looking for alt-rock or pop-punk.

One of my favorite finds hid itself midway into the album. Jeff Rosenstock's Hey Alison! has a very traditional punk feel that's ever so slightly warped by a pop presence. It also features some very agreeable melodic changes that almost don't fit, but are still pulled off with excellence.


Stream/Download @ NoiseTrade

This is the shortest track on the compilation, and probably one of the most well packed punches. It also serves as good middle ground for the rest of the collection. More well known ideas are thrown around, but it doesn't stray too far from the classics.

Not to say the entire compilation maintains recognized sounds and genres, there's a few tracks crammed in between everything else that test your musical comfort. I'm all for this kind of thing, and even more so if the hesitant listener doesn't have to pay a dime.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/sideonedummy-records-2014-winter-sampler.html
Stream/Download @ NoiseTrade | SideOneDummy
Unfortunately the only available stream is on NoiseTrade, which means you have to click play for every individual song. Fortunately, downloading the entire album is about as easy as clicking play. They'll ask for your email but you don't even have to register if you feel this is the last time you're stopping by.

You could tip a few dollars for the efforts and be a good fan, or you could wait through the listen and find what you really like. Support your favorites on the SideOneDummy store/Bandcamp.
Whilk & Misky's excruciatingly slow debut release is finally out, and I'm glad it's taken its sweet time. The electronic folk-soul duo make a sound that takes some getting used to, but now that I know them and understand them, I can appreciate their offer. Today's four tracks are a work of exemplar talents.

Today's feature track is the latest single; released just a few days ago. Love Lost shows the folk-y background, the soulful vocals, and the seemingly effortless electronic twist. It's the last track on the EP, and it sounds like it, but it's still a stand-out single.



It sounds better in context. After hearing the bubbly entrance and the depth the two following songs display, the ease of Love Lost serves as the perfect dessert. It holds up on its own because it shows the capable versatility in just one song.

Everything that comes before this is just as tasteful. It might range to be a little more playful in the sense that it won't feature everything. Sometimes the absence of an idea is just as provoking as the addition of one, and W&M make the most of that.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/whilk-misky-first-sip.html
iTunes
I wouldn't say this is literally The First Sip. Remixes, remakes and singles spread apart took care of that. I do think the effort is a reflection of what that first taste can be. It's a little odd, somewhat unsettling, and easy to dismiss for some. There are people out there that will instantly understand what they want to share, but everyone else is gonna have to dig a little until it can be understood as more than average.

If you're looking forward to the ride, you can stream it on Youtube and Spotify. Once you've heard it all, once that first sip beckons a glass, be sure to be there before it pours. Keep up with the duo on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I have been waiting for Captain Supernova's space-synth debut album since February. Now that I've finally heard it all; I can say every minute I had to wait has been worth it. Nothing could please me more than understanding that Imaginary Voyage on its own is nothing compared to the greatness it achieves when heard with the rest of the effort. Now I can better understand where the voyage leads, what the visions are, and what they sound like.

They sound like disco, funk, jazz, and synth-based electronics, each got each other ready to meet the future. The resulting sound has been attempted by many before, and many have pulled it off, there's just a certain mystery to the Captain's sound that sets it apart from all the others.



Lost in a Dream is one of the few songs on the track list that start off relatively straight forward. It'll change into a much more upbeat tune within a few seconds, and shortly afterwards you'll hear the disco-friendly thump and exquisitely layered vocals.

What you're missing with Lost in a Dream is the full picture. Out of context it's possible to groove, but when everything starts fitting together, excitement becomes inevitable. When interruption becomes a higher nuisance to the music, you know you've found a gem.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/captain-supernova-visions-of-unknown.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
I wish Visions of the Unknown were a vinyl release. The bright shiny red CD you can find on Bandcamp is pleasing to the eyes, but I'd pay a little extra for the smoothness of sound a vinyl could achieve. This is to say, I believe the effort contains more value than what is currently being offered.

Give the stream a listen, find it on the above Bandcamp link, or right on his Soundcloud. Make up your own mind and see the value it might have for yourself. Once you fall in love, keep up with the voyage. Find Captain Supernova on Facebook and Twitter.
Look no further if you're keeping your ears alert for beautiful vocals over tasteful electronics. George Maple's Vacant Space EP is an excellent debut, showcasing her voice throughout five tracks with musical production worthy of her talents.

Today's featured track, the debut single Talk Talk, was co-produced by Flume. If that alone isn't enough guide for the taste this electronic blend will bring, nothing could better put you in perspective than clicking play. It's a little more commercial than I normally go for, but know this is probably the most mass-friendly song on the effort.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

The first few seconds feel imitated, simple and generic. It takes more time for the melodies and production based ideas to separate themselves from the norm. The backing monotony might not be to your liking, and the song won't be getting any better if you focus too hard on the percussion. The real beauty here is in the minor electronic details and in the form her melody molds to.

Keeping the EP fresh, in my ears, is the constant fluctuation of electronic mood. Some songs a little darker than others, some ideas a little more raw. The EP's feel is reminiscent of tumbling youth. It's a beautiful phase, it's over quickly, and it's complex while maintaining a very simple purity.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/12/george-maple-vacant-space.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Even if Talk Talk just barely won you over, do yourself a favor and give the rest of the effort a listen. The Vacant Space EP is best enjoyed in its entirety while in a relaxed state of mind. It's far from perfect, it's quite obviously a debut effort, but a lot of those tiny mistakes found here and there are what give it such a natural counterweight to the often overdone electronics.

After you've given it your time and decided you're a fan, show your support for the rising talent. Buy the EP, grab the vinyl if you really fell in love, and keep up on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
For the first time in a long time, I'm featuring the oldest effort a band has to offer. The Likes of Us' debut was so rich in simplicity and tender emotion that I couldn't help but feel distant from the slightly more commercial Time Traveler (which you should still check out.) They couple acoustics and romantics to near perfection while rarely ever delving into cliche territories. The sound is classic, and their songs could be timeless.

The duo know how to apply the right amounts of power to make their music shine, but when you strip the melody and the instruments, you still have the grand power of their written lyric. Today's feature track, More Than Friends, shows some of that combined magic.



This one shows some middle ground. Upbeat but not over-popped, and smooth enough to manage pairing it off with lounging jazz. Silky vocals and intertwining melodies are gonna be common the whole album through, but I doubt anyone would be complaining about those.

I wouldn't say the album is perfect at all, there's many an occasion where I wonder what their mood really was. Aside from those few seconds sporadically appearing between songs or choruses, the effort is a gem. A rare example of unique sounds over classic ideas.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/the-likes-of-us-likes-of-us.html
Stream/Download @ NoiseTrade
Part of the appeal for me was their willingness to accommodate variety within the album. Maybe it was just experimental for them, to reach towards different ideas and find what best suits them, but the flavors offered because of this are of tranquil quality. Songs like Smooth Movin' or Lovesick complete the album with distant ideas that meet because of unshakable airs.

Don't be afraid to give it a stream, they announce all their music as free downloads. Do note, however, that NoiseTrade allows tips for music if you can afford it. If you're unsure, you can always go back and give them a tip just because you feel they deserve it.
The '90s bass and smooth vocals weren't enough for me the first time around, but when I heard the Silent Type EP all the way through I found Hannah's magic. She's got a different kind of sweet spot, the kind where she's more of the music's acquaintance than she is a part of it. It's a little off but it makes wonderful moments.

I don't think there's a better place to start than with the beginning, the title track. Silent Type starts off with a vintage rock sound, too new to be called classic but still able to reminisce in decades past. Give it a nice long listen, progressions will make it a memorable listen.



It takes a while to start switching things up, and that might bore some of you away from it. Maybe it's just not for everybody, maybe most people really need that click between band and voice, but I see the beauty of an amateur organism in a very controlled environment.

Those of you who might not be in the mood for droning rock very often, know that the remaining two songs tug at completely different influences. You'll hear something similar to indie garage rock and even a dab of Americana. It shows more versatility than consistency, but that's what EPs are for.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/hannah-lou-clark-silent-type.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
If you're a general rock fan, you should definitely give this one a listen. I admit, it points in no specific direction for Hannah's music career other than smooth vocals and electric guitars. If you don't mind vague beginnings or short but varied efforts, you won't be disappointed.

After you've heard it all and settled your thoughts on the rising talent, consider a little digital love. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud, and Tumblr.
Before we can define Whitewash's debut EP, we have to define 'The Magic.' In just about all forms of art, there's that thing that flips a switch, in music's case it's usually  series of notes or melodies that work together in such a way that your brain finds its switch and screams magic. Whitewash will never ever make that switch flip at the beginning of a song, on the contrary, they will wait until you think the song is over to start something completely different and attack you with magical musical powers.

That being said and acknowledged, there's no better place to start the EP than at the beginning. I can't really point out why other than that's how they put it together and it works. Each song is decent on its own, but hearing the transition from song to song probably wouldn't sound so nice without the context they give it all.



There's no real nice way to put this, it's gonna start off sounding like generic smooth rock band. It's nice, kinda jazzy with overly relaxed vocals. This is and isn't an accurate representation of their music. The style is pretty much right, but it's not half as boring as it might feel it could be. I'm not sure it should be called progressive rock, it feels more experimental in the way it crams several tracks into one. You'll get it soon.

It also kinda doesn't sound experimental at all if you don't pay attention to the track list. It feels more like shoegaze psychedelic rock without its ADD medication. This is probably gonna be amazing to your ears if you have attention problems, but it'll suit anyone who can enjoy a variety of sounds just the same.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/whitewash-fraud-in-lisbon.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Fraud in Lisbon is just about the most LP sounding EP I've ever heard, or at the very least it's one of the top five. It's "six" tracks in length, and those won't even cover 30 minutes, but it still feels like depth and understanding create a completed album.

After you've gotten past their surf rock and intergalactic softcore porn star tendencies, you might want to give the album a nice long stream and/or download. The digital is a name-your-price release, and Human Sounds Records were nice enough to make it a (reasonably priced) physical one as well. Once you're done grabbing what you need to, find them on Facebook and Twitter, show your support.
Almost as bad a tease as a single is the two-track EP, but Oh, Malô take the opportunity and turn it into ten defining minutes for their ambient-alternative dark indie-rock baby, Blue. What might take many other musicians four or five songs to accomplish, Oh, Malô can do in two.

When we're talking about something this short, there's simply no other way to start than at the beginning. If you can, the video will continue the playlist through to the next track, and the Bandcamp link won't be limiting you either.



I didn't think they could make the experience any better, then I saw the videos. Equally experimental, adequate representation of the sound. It's as if they could see the soul of the music they played. It doesn't have to make sense to be enjoyed; it's more primal than standard logic.

I highly recommend you continue the listen (or the view) onto the next song. Feed is my favorite of the two tracks, but Sweet Dreams has a certain magic that ends everything on the right note. It has to be heard to be understood, and all it's gonna take from you is a little bit of time.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/oh-malo-blue.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
After you're done with the stream, if the music's growing on you, know that Blue is a name-your-price release. Grab it free if it's tickling your fancy, and spare a few dollars if you think it's worth it. It's not every day these kinds of ideas are offered away, so make the most of it.

Donate or not, if you like what you hear you should show your support. You can catch them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. If you happen to find yourself in Boston, you might even be able to catch them live.
I'm noticing the growing popularity of today's punk-grunge movement, and because of its popularity I've become particular. I first heard Bugs in the Dark a few months ago, and they've held up through time with what I consider a failed attempt at passive aggression. It's basically what you get when you couple the roughness of grunge, the erratic punk side effects, and an indie musical production. It sounds badass.

Today we'll be featuring the lead single, Dirty, because it should be your first listen. It's not too awkward, it shows the grunge side with the right kind of flawed display, and the punk aspects give it new life. It won't compare to the complete listen, but all we're looking for is a starting point.



It's not exactly quick to start, but that only builds the anticipation. Once the riffs start to settle and you can grasp the action-villain-walking-down-a-hall vibe, everything turns to the right direction. Just a little play with commercial tones and catchy vocals will twist the end result into something agreeable to the hard rock loving community.

Listen carefully to the way they repeat sounds into a hypnotizing tantrum. That's probably the one thing that's repeated throughout the five-song track list, and you better be ready for it because it comes on strong. In fact, I'd say it's the EP's only down side.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/bugs-in-dark-cross-my-heart-little-death.html
iTunes
Cross My Heart Little Death is best enjoyed when you're basking in a bubble of negative emotion and you don't feel like showing it off. This isn't to say that's the only emotion to enjoy it in, but the listen becomes significantly more enjoyable. I'd also have to assume that live, in person, chanting and hopping along has to make for a killer experience. Don't miss out if you have the chance.

Be sure to stream the album any way you can (you can find it and all their prior efforts on Spotify.) If you're looking for the opportunity to catch 'em live, or just feel like keeping up with the band, tag along. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I'm not usually a fan of Canadian pop. In fact, Canadians have this knack for over-commercializing their music that's usually far beyond my comfort zone. Adrian Underhill is my first exception. Now, don't get me wrong, pop is rarely ever my preferred genre, but Adrian's got this soulful R&B tendency that would likely stand out anywhere a mellow mood is appreciated.

I think the most balanced track on his latest effort is the lead single, Bed of Roses. It's got that soulful swing while maintaining a delicate air, and the background music doesn't work too hard but still remains talented. It feels composed lightly, but it's executed with a detailed performance that drapes the listener cozily.



This song will start the EP. It's quick, but subtle. It's the perfect pillow for the comfortable nap you're about to go through. By the time the song finishes, you'll be ready for the slight electronic twists and the much smoother sides.

Sadly, those three sides are the only ones we get to see here. The EP is three tracks in length, which falls a little shorter than I can usually appreciate. The truth is there's enough quality on there to hold you over for a future release. Tons of replay value.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/adrian-underhill-gone-for-too-long.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The careful layering of tracks and sounds on this EP, together with the vocal and written talent, lets my mind bask in the possibilities. I've no way to be certain if he'll be any good live. The production aids to such perfection; it could just go either way. That thought is followed by potential for future releases. We're seeing three very different yet incredibly similar songs on this release, could the material keep its quality in a full length LP?

I'm looking forward to finding out. I don't know when, and I don't care. If I get the chance to see him live I'll take it, and I hope to find out about a full length as soon as it's out. If you hope to get there as soon as I do, tag along and find him on Facebook or Twitter.
Just slightly out of my comfort zone, Sam Burchfield's debut EP is a folk-soul effort with an emphasis on the folk. Americana roots are obvious, but it's the jazzy tendencies and the soulful whims that make the effort such a promising entrance to our ears.

One of my favorite tracks just happens to be his latest single. She Got Your Love kinda feels like folk meets a nice soulful blues. The chorus will feel a bit commercialized, but there's a musical chemistry that really evens the setting out.



You'll hear the playful air instantly, with a jazz-scat-like melody twirling itself around your ears and with a backing band that gives active life to everything it graces. What stands out is the combination; here the culmination favors soul more than the folk beginnings, but that doesn't mean those roots are left behind.

The EP keeps a similar kind of cool, much like the centered base that gives She Got Your Love its balance. You could say that cool is a means to keep the effort safe, never delving too far deep into unknown territories, but the truth is his mix of genres is difficult enough to pull off on its own. If this is the debut, I look forward to the future.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/sam-burchfield-where-to-run.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp | iTunes
Where to Run will feature some pretty impressive vocal displays, and a clear appreciation for well played instruments. Even the simple details have more effort than the average modern day soul single. Where the EP might fall a little short is in new ideas. It keeps itself quick, sweet, and enjoyable. It doesn't give itself a lot of replay value, though I do admit it gets better with each listen.

If you're feeling the single, or were already a fan of the American Idol contestant, be sure to give the release a stream. You can find it on Spotify if nothing else works for you. When you're done getting to know the music, keep up with him on Facebook and Twitter.
I think it's a little too early for Christmas compilations to start springing up, but this one really hooked itself onto my ears. Most of the songs on here will at least mention Christmas, and of those, maybe half will actually feel like it. No, this was a Christmas effort put together by a bunch of rebels, and I like the way it sounds.

I think my favorite track could be a bit misleading. Nanaki's version of Auld Lang Syne remains true to its original composition, it just happens to have some progressive post-prog values added on for the fun of it. If you're into rock and the sounds of Christmas, don't pass this up.



Alright, so this is pretty cool. We've got that kind of slumbering rock feel at the beginning before the guitar truly picks things up, and it'll be even longer before the strength of its full force is shown. It's only six minutes long, stick around.

Here's where it could be misleading: this is a traditional holiday piece. All we see here are some alterations to make it unique. Most the rest of the album doesn't even bother with that. You're more likely to understand what the effort's about by hearing The BordellosHappy Christmas (McGee is an Arse).

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/small-bear-records-never-mind-baubles.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Don't go thinking the whole album is a humor-based Christmas spectacle, that's not what they want to portray. There's some humor, there's some new adaptations to old classics, and there's plenty of original Christmas/holiday related work. It doesn't have to be done, but they're doing it anyway.

I don't really know who the effort is or isn't for. You don't necessarily have to be in the mood for rock or the holidays, so this is more for the people who think it sounds interesting. The stream is free, and the album is name-your-price, so you lose nothing after you give it a shot.
In anticipation for his forthcoming album Misunderstood, Ethan Tucker has released a sweet live-set acoustic five-track EP. It's a free download, and we don't often get free music with such humbling emotional range. The least you could do is give him a quick listen.

Now, if you were taking the word "quick" literally, I'm sorry to say I'm going to stretch it out as far as possible. My favorite song from the EP runs just past six minutes in length, it's a cover of The Police's Roxanne with a bit of a twist. Without spoiling too much, let's just say you'd be crazy not to finish the listen. Don't spoil it for yourself, read no further, click play, and enjoy.



Don't be quick to give up on Ethan's cover. It switches a lot around, but realize everything he's going through. All this sound is coming from one person and his guitar. Take the time to admire how he switches his playing style at a whim as he sings, then follow that for an admiration of his readiness to beat box, and for how he manages to sneak in the classic Gnarls Barkley hit in such a way that it sounds like it belongs in the original recording.

The rest of the EP won't be ready to bend ideas as easily as the Roxanne cover, but that's only because it's not a cover release. You can expect three original songs from the upcoming album, today's featured version of Roxanne, and a cover of Bon Iver's Flume.

http://www.d4am.net/2014/11/ethan-tucker-acoustic-in-la-free.html
Free Download @ EthanTuckerMusic.com
If you like acoustics, and you don't mind a live setting, go ahead and download the release. Streaming it in its entirety is currently impossible, but you can check out Cool Kids on Soundcloud to make sure he's for you. The download will cost you nothing more than your email address, so grab it while you can.


If you can't quite find it on his site right now, the above embed should work fine. If you're reading this early, he might still be on tour. He should be finishing up with California soon and moving on to Mexico in no more than a couple of days. Be sure to check out his tour dates to see if you can make it, or just tag along on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
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