As much as I dislike comparing musical artists to other ones, this time I just can't deny it. Gabriel Garzón-Montano is quite obviously the spawn of Justin Timberlake and Adam Levine's late-night love sessions. Those light falsetto vocals with funk swings are uncannily similar, but one thing that really defines Gabriel on his own is the love for deep bass lines.

Sadly, if it weren't for Drake I might have never heard this, as it's his sample of 6 8 on his recent Jungle video and single that are bringing the track to the spotlight. Sure, it means Drake is capable of good taste, but the song is good enough to stand on its own without a big name attached to it.

It'll take 15 seconds to hear your first set of vocals through, and you'll hear those commercially-perfected sound waves I'm talking about. It's talent in optimal sweep-the-masses form, with great musical production to back it and make its mark. If anything, I'd wish for a slightly more dramatic ending; just a matter of personal taste.

The rest of the album has more bass, a bit more funk, and a similarly soulful swing. If you're just looking to catch on fire and spread through radio stations and teenage hearts at crazy speed, this is exactly the kind of EP you're looking to make.
iTunes | Amazon
It's not that hard to make one really good track, a lot of people can pull similar sounds off. What's really impressive to me is the consistency. This is six tracks of back-to-back tender ear-loving. I'd be extremely disappointed if the effort doesn't gain some recognition, despite the fact I also think 6 8 is the best track on there.

You can stream the EP on Soundcloud. If you're looking to buy the EP,you might be curious about the deluxe edition with several catchy remixes. If you enjoy it, or see the same potential I see, you might wanna keep up with him.on Facebook and Twitter.
“Bokeh” is the aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus regions of an image; in such regions lives the Leisure EP, masterfully crafted by the eighteen year old downtempo producer Ryan Varnell, alias Panda Coast. Released under SectionZ, a Chicago based electronic music record label, Panda Coast explores with a really creative array of sounds in this four-track chillwave / downtempo EP.

Listen on Soundcloud

The structure of this EP hooks you immediately, and for the next twenty minutes it constantly mesmerizes you with its outgoing and vibe-ful melodies, as well as with its deep introspective “drops”.

The EP starts with “Bokeh”, a beautiful introductory track with refreshing fast paced intro melodies that develop into chill downtempo harmonics, which in some instances even infuse classic oriental progressions. The intro of this track is very intriguing, it certainly manages to capture your attention and immerse you in the song since its beginning; but these vibes unexpectedly turn into very dark and rhythmic drop. A drop that reminded me very much of those produced by Canadian producer Kaytranada, in the terms of style and unexpected-ness.

The second track featured in this EP is “For Me”, which is accompanied by an official video on the artist’s YouTube Channel. The initial keys of this track reminded me a lot of Daft Punk’s “Something About Us”, although not completely. “For Me” is a very creative track, featuring a great array of slow, chill, downtempo melodies that lead into a, once again, unexpected drop. This track is very fun and easy to listen to as it has a very lighthearted intro and development beats, which lead to a disco-ish deep drop that hooks you instantly (inciting you to even dance a little as you enjoy it.)

The video of this track is very placid to watch; composed of very simple scenes and color combinations, the video suits this track perfectly. In this case its beauty lies in its simplicity, something that’s true both for the track and its visuals.

The third track of this installment, “Pastels”, is one of my favorites of this EP. “Pastels” is the most melodic track of this EP and it develops in terms of pace. The intro is rather soft and slow, but as the track builds up, the melody’s beat gets faster, leading to a very intricate harmonic drop, one that blends fast and slow paces to create beautiful harmonies.

“Stay For Comfort” is the last track of the Leisure EP. This song has a very dark and low vibe. Panda Coast recreates a soul-like rhythm, and perfectly infuses it with his characteristic downtempo production style. The track is very continuous, it has its variations, but it doesn’t have unexpected elements throughout (in contrast with the past three tracks.)The intro creates a very dark environment that develops into a very introspective drop featuring dark and bass-y synths, which cool you down and perfectly end this release.

The Leisure EP is a very well structured compilation. It gets deeper as it progresses and it certainly creates a very introspective and emotional listening environment. In my opinion this album is perfect for both a long car ride, as well as a good sit-down music session. Each track of this EP is unique, and each manages to capture a certain array of emotion without the necessity of using a vocalist as a medium of expression.

Panda Coast’s Leisure EP proves that age doesn’t define skills, or talent.

— Memo Torre
Memo produces and mixes.
Keep up with him at:
I first heard this gentle blend of folk over a month ago, and I thought the self titled release had some potential. It's been out for about a month now, and I've taken the time to acquaint myself with it. Some areas are a little more Americana than I've yet found myself comfortable with, but for the most part it's quality folk.

My favorite track, hands down, has gotta be Maple Sap. Beautiful guitar intricacies, classic folk vocal tones, and forward movement. It might not be the brightest shine this side of the picnic, but it's all clear and it leaves its mark. It serves its purpose.

The bass and percussion really do an excellent job bringing the track to life, but I think it's the even more subtle backing vocals that give the song that perfect chill. It's occasional strings will constantly remind you of joyful emotions, but I think it's that glimmer of darkness that makes it for me.

The rest of the EP takes its own course. It's classic in that sense, too. It's made so you understand the band, you know where they're coming from and where they're going. If that and the talent displayed isn't enough to intrigue you, maybe they're just not for you.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
I like the album. It's a fun listen, and it's a great addition if you're looking to expand your folk music library. It's not exactly innovative, but it exists well. There's no obvious open seams, no awkward moments, and no room to question the effort. They did a pretty good job. I hope next time they try to raise the bar a little higher, but for now, this will do.

If it does well by you, too, you might want to consider tagging along for the ride. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.
The last time we wrote about Teck-Zilla, he was sampling Sade's vocal jazz into perfected hip-hop beats. Today he's inspiring rhymes with a more classic hip-hop production, and when I say classic, I mean it sounds like the better chunk of '80s-'90s hip-hop was his inspiration.

My favorite track features Sonyae over Zilla's smooth beats. It'll give you an idea on what he was aiming for as far as style, and his taste in vocal talent. The end result is just nostalgic enough to inspire the genre's veterans, and clear enough to hook the younger audience.

I think, more importantly, it shows that a beat can loop without literally being 7 seconds on repeat. He likes to play to the lyrics and allow his beat to put key phrases on a pedestal. This should be a more common practice among beat-smiths, but it takes a special kind of effort to pull it off.

That classic beat is gonna be key to every track on the compilation. If you liked today's production, you'll definitely enjoy it on the rest of the album. What might shake things up is the diversity in featured talent, but after a listen you realize Teck-Zilla's got taste in artists, too.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
I think its only setback is what sets it apart: all the music has a classic feel. On one hand, at least he's not doing what everyone else is, that being thick bass and "future" sounds. On the other, I'm not sure how many other producers could get away with doing an entire compilation off such a similar, albeit varied, style.

What matters to me is that it's all good. There's no half-assed beats, no under-cooked rhymes, and no lack of talent anywhere. If you're feeling similarly about it, you might want to keep up. You can find Teck-Zilla on Facebook and Twitter.
Canadian singer-songwriter Elliot Maginot has laid down his debut alt-folk effort for our ears. It's a little odd in more than a few ways, adding pop elements and robust details to the simplistic fingerpicked folk. It's also the kind of debut every artist wants that first time around, Elliot just nailed it.

I knew the album was golden by track #2, Monsters at War. I can't say it's my favorite track, though it might be; what's really important to note is this is the first time I realized the album's potential. There are other songs, scattered perfectly, that show off the available quality.

It's quick to capture you, but it takes its sweet time to transition and progress to more open and commercial musical ideas. Nothing is ever over done here, it just hits a sweet spot and keeps itself in that groove. Maintaining that sweet spot is one of his most powerful talents, it's one that he exercises throughout the entire album.

The album breathes life. You can feel the pulse, the gentle ups and downs, the stories and emotions, until eventually it ends. It's a nice long listen, maybe too long, but it does feel unfinished. There's also a few songs that feel like they're missing some spark, but you don't want to start off too perfect. There's always room for improvement.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Overall, production is spot on. Right when I was getting tired of the effort,a change in style occurred. Before I could complain about the lack of instrumental play, it happened. It's like he heard and manipulated the songs and their order for the best possible result.

This all being said, the album still has some open spaces that could do with filling, and some moments that are just slightly overdone. You have to over-analyze to notice it, and even so it takes nothing away from the completed effort.

If you're already looking forward to the next one, keep up with him. Find him on Facebook and Twitter for the latest.
If you missed out on Year of the Zebra - Part One, or haven't heard of alternative post-rock band Postcode yet, today is the best day to start putting yourself in place. The second installment of Year of the Zebra has a much more genuine Postcode/zebracore sound. This is the album that could define how you feel about the band on a general scale.

My favorite song on the effort just happens to be the last one on the digital release. November is just barely seven minutes in length, and it'll use that time to show you exactly what Postcode is supposed to sound like. If you're already familiar with the band I'd recommend streaming from the beginning, but any newcomer should give these first four minutes a well deserved listen.

Eventually, it'll transition from the relaxed rock into a more upbeat post-rock. That moment, that transition and all the talent poured into it at the same time, is all the magic. It's mostly the guitar work that really wins me over, but there's a certain balance to it that allows your ears to easily continue the provided course.

If after hearing November through you're not loving the vibe, the rest of the album probably isn't for you. If you're getting excited, you might want to check it out. The name-your-price release is yours for whatever you can sum up, but the CD comes with a few bonus tracks that might just be worth it to you.
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Year of the Zebra - Part Two is a little darker than some of their more recent stuff, but it comes with new details (especially with the guitar) that help it stand out from their older darkened material. This effort shows the evolution of the band, and it's heading in a good direction.

If you're in the mood for something slightly lighter, I re-recommend Part One which even has some pop influence. If you're liking everything so far, keep up with the band and future releases by checking out their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Swimming against the current and finding uncharted territories are Lunivers and their, well, I guess it's like trip-hop and electro-pop with Russian soul and French eclecticism. Marry that any which way you like, the only people who can pull it off right now are too busy showing off their EP.

The title track is the best introduction. Components we're familiar with, like house and chillwave, get mixed together with Lena Kaufman's near-fantasy vocals. The extra spin, every twist and odd detail, is produced by DJ OOF's imagination.

On its own, the video might not seem that inspiring. The way it blends together with the ins and outs of the music is pretty special though. Even more impressive is how it creates an atmosphere "regular" enough for the average listener to take the song more seriously.

And then there's songs like Moi Mua that really need a video to help explain what they were thinking and what could possibly have been going on in their heads when they made the track. That particular song shows the other extreme the EP offers.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Happy Route is a trip. I'm not sure where to, I'm not sure how to understand it, and I definitely don't know what influences it, but it takes you somewhere and getting there is half the fun. Soon after you've given it a full listen, you'll realize how diverse and functional it is. It's then that you'll realize the value of the effort.

If you like the production, you might wanna keep up at OOF's website. If you like those smooth hazy vocals, check out Lena Kaufman's website. If you like what these two have done together, they've got Facebook and Twitter accounts ready for you to tag along.
I sincerely hope the debut LP is as good as these first two singles. I acknowledge how difficult that's gonna be, but with this we can see how perfectly they've blended folk, rock, and jazz. It's a mix so incredibly well done, that its potential alone inspires my imagination for bright futures.

It's got some stunning charisma to start it off, changing keys in such a way that confuses your ear into submission. Just as the vocals start you'll hear the beauty, and I mean genuine beauty, of the transitions and the musical talents that pull them off. Lyrics, strings, brass, and percussion, all together as one shining mosaic of sound.

That key melody to Selma is my favorite sound right now. Not just in this release; in general. It's the kind of hook you can sing back to yourself all day for several days and not tire of or annoy anyone with. I would know.
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
And Yet it Moves is also a perfected craft of wonder, don't let my own appreciation for Selma blind you. It's as delicate and awe-inspiring as spring blooms. I wish I was just exaggerating, I just laid there for a few hours listening to all of this over and over again. What we have here with these two songs alone is the potential of timeless melodies.

If their prior release, their debut EP The Mule is any indication, they only get better with time. I only want that future LP to par with these first two singles, and if it does it will easily be one of the best albums out this year. I think I just squealed in excitement.

If you're loving them as much as I do, keep up. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud.
What I first understood as a cryptic effort by folk singer-songwriter Alex Highton, I later found out was quite simply esoteric. In the end it probably won't matter who this was made for, and it really doesn't matter if you get it or not. This is the workings of Alex Highton's brain, and it's a beautiful view.

There's no better place to start than at the beginning. You Don't Own This Life isn't exactly a favorite, but listening to the album in any other order could potentially ruin it for you. This song is balanced, it's not too strong lyrically, and it shows just the right kind of diversity, musically.

Let's dissect the components: It's quick to show its folk roots, he's just as eager to show the emotion his voice can portray. It all feels effortless, and it slowly evolves and fits into itself. The musical transitions are captivating moments that allow the lyrics to stand out, and the lyrics themselves, well, make what you like of them. Treat them subjectively, but enjoy their brilliance.

The musical compositions themselves range from more simplistic to far more interesting. There's a few tracks on there that feel like an awkward clunking pop with heavy folk roots, and it's those awkward songs that play a key role in allowing the album to stand its ground.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
For me, this is the kind of album that forces you to think on what you normally don't think twice about. What do you know? Why are you sure? Why does it matter to think about it? But then that's just me, taking the album a little more seriously than was probably intended. On its own it does make a great set of moments, my favorite being Somebody Must Know Something, quickly followed by the instrumental title track, Nobody Knows Anything.

You can stream the entire effort for free at the above Bandcamp link. If you like what you hear, you can buy the CD, too, and you can bundle it with a bunch of other stuff if you're feeling extra generous. You can not, however, buy the digital files on their own. I'd blame that on the more-than-fair CD price.

If you feel like keeping up, find Alex Highton on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
My first glimpse of Hooka Hey was of their hard rock essence, it's their core value and it moves them, but that's not entirely what they're made up of. This could be a good or a bad thing, it all depends on the listener, the mood, and what you may or may not have bombarded towards you on a daily basis.

If generic hard rock vocals are a turn off, go ahead and turn away right now. Nickelback have exploited it, and these guys are trying to go for the same route. It's the band as a whole that saves them, and even so, sometimes the production quality is a little less raw than what it feels like it should be.

The title track is probably the best listen, with Nasty at second best, but we showed that one off on D4AM socials. Untamed shows those slightly beach-y, kind of commercial, medium-rare riffs. It's also a little slow and an easy hook, making it really easy to listen to.

There's no other way to say it, the rest of the EP is pretty much just pop rock. I can't consider it any more special than those two songs. Lots of repetition, some catchy lyrics here and there, and chunks of song that you could swear you've heard on the radio some five years ago.
But that's just my interpretation. Right now you can hear all the contents of the EP on Soundcloud, and I suppose it's probably on Spotify, too. Who knows, maybe these guys are the next big radio success. I think they could be, I'm just not sure if this effort is gonna be the one to take them there.

If you feel like keeping up you can find Hooka Hey on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
If you ever feel like the late '90s didn't get to release enough hard rock, Newborn should be right on your PDA's memo writer. They've got the same ideas, the same execution, and an extremely similar commercial feel.

That's also their downfall, but a lot of people really like that. I was being sold their sound hearing comparisons to Metallica, Muse, Led Zeppelin, or Nirvana. Clearly with expectations that high, their EP sounded like a joke. They're really more of their own sound, with a bit of '90s background production.

Those occasional, obviously talented solos, also up their game a bit. It sounds less natural, and more like a fixed goal that they knew they had to arrive to to better sell the sound. The truth is it works well, but it can be done better. The last song on the effort shows that.

When you listen to the release as a whole, you start to realize the growth they're still going through. In their favor there's talent, charisma, and an awareness of what they are capable of. All of this together makes a decent EP, and better hopes for their future.
It's honestly that last song, Passing By, that makes everything worth it for me. It's a six minute game changer that just happens to end a little more cliche than I hoped it would, but it shows the maturity I, and many others, look for.

If you think that glimmer is worth looking forward to, or if you're really liking what you hear already, find the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Noise punk makes me think random bashing of melodies into what could maybe be an upbeat rock song. What Gazer have done on their latest Fake Bulbs EP, is blend punk charisma with math rock. If you need an extra push to check this out, it's a name-your-price digital release.

The first listen is a bit like diving head-first into a murky river. You have an idea what to expect, but you're not gonna be quite sure until you've landed. It's because of this that I've switched things up, instead of listening to the first track on the album we'll be hearing Bethany. Starting with Bethany is gonna be more like dipping your toe into the river, then gradually sinking in.

And yet still, it's incredibly harsh on the ears. The punk is more defined, and so is the general melody. You'll also get a complete idea on what the band's about. The vocals seem to focus themselves on the background, the instruments playfully fistfight each other, and beginnings and ends don't fit standard molds.

If you were to start at the beginning (and if you liked Bethany, you should) you'd realize how much quicker they can show what their idea is. The soul of the music is exposed, and its brute mannerisms become the humble forefront of their essence.
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
The four songs that make up Fake Bulbs are all equally powerful, just not all as commercial as today's track. Consider it all part of a very dark, kind of obscure genre. Their prior EP, Phone Commercial, is a little easier to get into. It's a clearer punk ideal while still displaying traces of math potential. It's also a name-your-price release.

If you like both albums, there's a 12" double EP right on the Fake Bulbs Bandcamp link. It's a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. Alternatively, keep up and maybe make it to one of their love shows by tagging along on their Facebook page.
As soon as it ended, my first instinct was to play it all over again. Norwegian six-piece outfit The Switch focus on harmony-fueled '70s-inspired solo-heavy pop, which is a fancy way of saying vintage progressive rock with a psychedelic touch. But hey, that's just my take.

The album's lead single, Don't Go To Revolver, is an interesting pick for a single. Sure, on its own it shows most of what their music is made up of. Happy mood swings, amazing transitions, and climactic moments. Give it a listen and see for yourself.

My problem revolves around how much better the track is on the album. The song creates a climactic moment early on, leaving not only the anticipation of greater ideas, but a premature satisfaction that's rarely experienced in a completed effort. On its own it's still really good, it shows key focal points to the band's core values, but other songs do the same job to much better effect.

Now the album, B is for The Beast, is a great display of how quickly one can form ties with music. It takes no more than three songs to develop your emotions alongside the effort, and by the time all eight have played you should understand exactly how you feel about the album. What might be difficult is putting that feeling into words.
iTunes | Amazon
There's also a certain predictability in their plateau placement, but the magnitude of their progressions make that a minuscule imperfection. As far as I'm concerned, this piece couldn't be better, and yet Norwegian critics claim their prior effort is of superior quality. I haven't heard that one quite yet, but if you're curious its name is Big If.

You can find both albums on Spotify, and some of B for The Beast on Soundcloud. If you're looking for more than that, you're pretty much out of luck. They currently have no social outreach page aside from their website, though Norway's Wikipedia claims they once had a Myspace. The next best option is the record label, Bangles & Brass Records, on Facebook.

The Switch was one of D4AM's Top Picks of 2015 for this effort.
The London based duo released CAPO3 recently, a three track EP full of their signature folk with sweet electronic twists. With the EP came its video, an 11 minute ode to the stories their songs sing. It's as good a watch as it is a listen.

It's gonna start with Same Difference, we've shared a live version of that one on our socials. Following that, just past the four minute mark, you'll get to my personal favorite, I Spy. This will be followed by the harsh ending, Drunk, which really does an excellent job of tying everything together.

Watch the video, listen to the music, but if you feel like hearing in better quality, stream it on the Soundcloud link instead. The music speaks for itself. If however you're curious where the video inspiration comes from, it depicts lead singer Marisa's relationship with her girlfriend, who she had to leave behind in Los Angeles.

I felt satisfied with the first listen, and I think their very soft natural sound will have a similar effect on many. It's with repeated listens that I started to notice patterns and repeated ideas that felt leeched off their own other songs. It's no big deal on a three-track EP, but it allows room for concern for a future full length effort.
iTunes | Amazon
This doesn't mean I won't be checking in on future releases, and it doesn't mean this one is bad at all. CAPO3 is a great, albeit very short listen. I guess if you're hoping for more you could always check up on prior releases.

After you do, and you've heard all your heart desires, consider tagging along for the ride. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, or the Goon & Goblin Tumblr, for the latest news and tour dates.
The only problem I have with hip hop compilations is finding the good ones. Coalmine Records don't always hit the nail on the head as far as I've seen, but in this particular display I think they've outdone themselves. This remix collection brings quality rhymes and production from different times and styles, leaving the listener with nothing more to do than sit back and relax.

Today's feature is probably one of my favorites because it's been too many years since I've heard Supernatural. Just the same I was excited to hear the remix wasn't too rough with the style of the original song, while still pushing for something closer to an R&B production.

Lyrically, the song was always fine. The remix barely alters anything verbal, as it shouldn't, and you'll find few remixes really damage their songs on the compilation in any way. GMJ's addition to the song, though, that's the magic. The sway, the careful pulling of strings right before the chorus drops.

These seemingly simple details are very often ignored, and it's because they aren't ignored here that the rest of the compilation can transcend. Not only do you hear each rapper's own style over a refreshing remix, but you get quality rhymes and quality remixes practically back to back.
iTunes | Amazon
I don't want you to think I'm crazy over every song on here, because I'm not. In fact, I'm only attached to a handful, but as a complete effort it's solid. If you dig quality rhymes, or if you're just into hard hitting hip hop beats, this is for you.

You can stream the album on Soundcloud if you want to make sure you're getting the quality I'm talking about. If you're considering checking it out, odds are you'll be satisfied by the end of the stream.
I once heard a wise musician say that pop didn't mix well with hip hop, reggae, jazz, or soul. For the longest time I found it hard to argue the point, and now Amana Melome' brings her jazz-pop forward. I still admit it's a difficult marriage, but what Amana brings us is nothing short of excellence.

The title track just barely shows that soulful jazz side, but it's all there if you look hard enough. What's gonna be a lot easier to grasp is catchy musical hooks and dance-worthy beats backing the smoothness of her voice. Unless you absolutely hate pop, it's the best place to start.

I wasn't really crazy about this song the first time around, but I was into it. It's easy to shake with, and allows you to groove effortlessly. Production aside, the single doesn't show her vocal capabilities much at all, especially when compared to much smoother songs.

The power of pop on the Lock and Key EP shrinks quickly after this initial blast, and the degradation allows room for more delicate details to take place. Eventually you'll hear lapses of emptiness where her voice will create maximum impact before the caress of bass takes hold again.
iTunes | Amazon
This is the effort of someone who wants recognition without selling out. The five remaining tracks of the EP show more and more quality, but let it be known that just because it shows it more doesn't mean the prior tracks have any less of it. If you can, give it all a listen and you'll understand. You can find the effort on Spotify.

She hasn't spread like wildfire quite yet, but she has all the potential to do so. Whether or not you're ready to support her before she's huge is up to you. If you feel like catching her live or showing some love, you can find her on Facebook and Twitter.
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