Most modern rap is either so saturated in pop that it can't stand its own without constant repetition, or so well done that it begs to be taken more serious than we, as listeners, often want to. Here to claim new ground is Pause, an MC with a memorable vocal tone and ideas that you can take seriously, if you really want to, or that you can sit back and relax with. Maybe you'll crack a smile, or sing along while understanding that you're listening to something healthy. Music for the modest and educated.

Get High was featured on D4AM socials a few months ago, and after listening to that one and today's Breaking Bad, you'll notice the similarities the entire album will glue itself together with. Stoner charm and heavily funked out beats are important to the album at its core, and it doesn't even take long to get used to.



I think the reason he sells himself so well is because he doesn't lie. Unflattering things will pop up occasionally. Rather than hide ugly truths, Pause is willing to expose himself for the sake of the music, and you'll hear it in the album. By the end it does nothing but good for him.

No Small Order is a dozen tracks to stamp his name with, and almost as importantly, to share the spotlight with. I think he acknowledges how much the help aided the well being of the project, and he hence not only embraces it, but draws it out to make sure the listener understands.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/pause-no-small-order.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Don't make it out incorrectly, with his voice and talents, Pause could do well without anybody's help. His style and scope of subject matter are sure ways to succeed. If not alone, that success will (hopefully) come much quicker. It's up to the fans to decide, and all it takes is a little support.

Stream the album for free on the above Bandcamp link or on Soundcloud. If you enjoy it as much as you should and you can spare a few dollars, be sure to snag it quick and show some love. Otherwise you can find Pause on Facebook and Twitter.
Earlier this year, Dog, Paper, Submarine frontman Martin Månsson Sjöstrand released a solo EP under the alias This Heel. Antenna is, I guess, a solo-solo album, where one's name is applied to understand the more classic nature? If that's the case, it'll make sense. Antenna still creates a lo-fi atmosphere, but with classic acoustics that separate his ideals from the rest of his other, much more rebellious projects.

It's also best heard straight through until the end. The completed effort has these recurring moments that sound like separate songs when taken out of context, but sound more like alterations of the same movement on grand scale. It's a delight to fall into when you're listening.


Be sure to start it on Ankylosaurus

Lo-fi acoustics have a way of capturing small moments of bliss. It's these crumbling lapses of time in Antenna that make it stand out. This could be negative if you prefer well defined sound, but with only one instrument and no vocals, the theme simplicity ends up working really well for Martin on this release. If you like where it's headed, go on and grab the album.

It's a name-your-price release so pay what you want (or what you can) and always be sure to share. If you're a fan of the lo-fi sound in general, you should really look into his other projects more closely. Lots of fuzzy rebel goodness will ensue. Alternatively you can keep up with Martin on his blog or his Soundcloud.
South London based Loyle Carner released A Little Late back in September of last year, and it's one of the smoothest hip-hop EPs I've heard in a good while. I'm pretty sure it's only free because he's just starting to peek out into the mainstream, because this effort is worth spending a few dollars on.

I wouldn't have heard any of this had it not been for the latest single, BFG, which along with the rest of the EP is dedicated to Steven Vengeance, Loyle's step/surrogate father. It's quick to pull your attention in, and by the time it's ended you'll have felt the emotion and the closeness of the personal story.



There are few times when rhyme is of enough quality to not only reel you in, but stab you in the gut when you've warmed up to it. As terrible as that may sound, it is an art all its own. With this single alone you can see some of the potential the 20 year old has to offer, and that's without taking into account he directed the video.

The EP will have five more songs, all varying in quality and theme, but a couple of things hold true for all of them. Jazz based beats will never fail, and the quality of each verse could hold their own without much help.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/loyle-carner-little-late.html
Download
If you love hip-hop, chances are there's something in there for you. From top notch beats, to more subtle tracks where every word pieces the ultimate melody together. A Little Late was made with passion, and either consciously or subconsciously with a desire to reach far and succeed. I think it shows, and I think it accomplishes.

You can stream the album on Soundcloud, and at least for the time being you can download it on his website. I wouldn't hesitate to download it, though. It doesn't have its own page, I could see it getting lost after future releases, and I'm sure future releases are quickly on their way.

After you've become a fan of the work, tag along on Facebook or Twitter. If you feel like supporting, go check out the website and grab some merch or figure out how to catch him live.
It was six years ago when The Raah Project released their debut 'Score', and now they have the perfect follow up with Take Me Elsewhere. I consider this an orchestral trip-hop on most levels, but tying the duo down to a genre is about as harmful as listening to just one song from the release. There's no other way to take in the influences put together; ultimately it's the imagined culmination of jazz, R&B, and other smooth but powerful genres, with electronics and enough knowledge and understanding to please the finest connoisseur.

The debut single, Kill Me In The Summer, is a pleasing track on its own, but it hardly emulates the album's magic. There are few songs that accurately portray the beautiful whims and emotional transitions without the aid of their neighboring songs. Within those few songs lies today's feature, Hardest Part.



Allow the song its first two minutes before you make up your mind. At nearly six minutes in length, I could understand growing tired at the thought, but they're creating the entire atmosphere, and deserve the chance to begin the idea before you pull away. Just trust that the transitions and its own essence will glue you to it. There will be moments of ecstasy, of serene bliss, and, if heard together with the album, a twisted kind of accomplishment.

It's not easy comparing this album to any one of its songs. It's difficult precisely because of the emotional transitions I mentioned earlier. You get an idea of how they move with Hardest Part, but Take Me Elsewhere has a way of captivating the senses and holding them hostage similar to how a good book or movie would. Maybe it's purely their progressive work, or maybe it's more. I think they made something true to themselves; I think the magic is equal parts talent as it is that the duo were made to make music together.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/the-raah-project-take-me-elsewhere.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
Often dramatic, Take Me Elsewhere is as dark a you can get with bright movements and defined melodies. Think Tim Burton meets Georgia O'Keeffe. They've narrowed down their own genre into a depth most won't be able to imagine until it's been heard, and others will surely unsuccessfully try to imitate. The beauty here, in my opinion, lies in the irony of their own attempts at commercialization. Not only is the end result a near perfected blend of genres, but it's made to be heard by the masses. The album is intended for anyone with the attention span to take it in, and those who do can expect a certain kind of fulfillment.

The moments that'll stick out the best will usually involve excellent use of bass or violin. The hip hop influence will see the album through, and the composition of it all will make it impossible to tire of. At just past an hour in length, the finished album is an accomplishment, with more beautiful melodies in synchronized order than most musical efforts can handle. It was worth waiting six years.

After you give the album a listen, you might wanna check out Score if you haven't already. Once you've become a fan, you can follow the Australian duo on Facebook and Soundcloud.
Electro-soul duo Mr. Sampson released this small gem of an EP last month, and they've made sure you can't pay a dime for it. Hip hop influences might seem prominent in their efforts, but so does jazz and funk. This is the well rounded electronic piece a lot of producers can only hope for.

The title track comes early on in the EP and lets you entertain all I've mentioned. You'll hear from sweet R&B-like bliss, to practically straight urban beats, to their own special blend of mixed sub genres. Its most dominant feature, as with the rest of the effort, will be the urban touch.



Immediately after The Gathering Storm comes Weight of Time, which I initially thought was co-produced by Pretty Lights. That whole glitchy-experimental-electronica feel is all them, though. It took me a while to feel out the differences, but it goes back to their foundation: a little more jazz, and a little more funk.

A little goes a long way throughout the course of six tracks, each of them creating a small part of a pretty well told emotional story. Lyric-less beats aren't for everybody, but Mr. Sampson have created a nice little foundation that I think more of the public will be open to exploring.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/mr-sampson-gathering-storm-free-download.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
By the end you'll have heard digital melody progression, and enough percussive talent to respect each aspect of the duo individually. I just hope that individual talents grow further, and allows future releases to stand out much more than this one did. Then again, this is free.

After you've snagged the download, you might want to keep up with the band. Live performances will be much better than the digital formats available on Bandcamp. Go on and find Mr. Sampson on Facebook.
It's been a while since I've heard a shift in shoegaze. With this double A-side release, Manchester based producer Hazia adds a spice of percussion to the positively hazy scenario. You can expect uplifting melodies and a rock-like smoothness.

 For some it might feel a little short, with a mere nine minutes of music, but the songs compliment each other in such a way that a larger movement could have disrupted the overall feel. Give at least Bull of God a listen and see for yourself.



Bull of God will set the mood early with dream pop tones, but those tones are quickly overshadowed by quality percussion and background vocal samples that aid the song a tremendous amount considering it's in the background. Changes in tempo, melody, and sometimes style, will complete the track despite some repetitive moments.

When it comes to writing it down, Lamb of God is surprisingly similar. The elements are near the same, just with different style and execution. It's pretty much like hearing both sides to the same coin, and the song you like best will be up to a metaphorical coin toss.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/hazia-bull-of-god-lamb-of-god-free.html
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
Both songs are absolutely free on the above Bandcamp link. Not name-your-price, no email subscription, no catch or hidden agreements anywhere. It's being given away, if you like it, download it. Keep the music, share it with friends, enjoy.

Once you're a fan, be sure to keep up with him for future material by tagging along on Twitter or Tumblr. Alternatively, check him out as in non-solo project boxboxbox.
The single came across me not too long ago. I was captured by the obvious amounts of talent poured into it. The singer-songwriter's EP follows a similar route. Percussive guitar strums, beautifully written lyrics, and impressive melodies.

I think the title track shows the culmination of these talents perfectly; despite the fact other tracks on the EP exceed in certain areas. Breather, as a song, just balances everything Charlie has to offer in such a way that it can be more easily admired.



The swiftness the guitar and vocals bring almost immediately, sets the mood early on. Following that mood will be tempo changes, memorable vocal melodies, and an air of simplicity that sure does sound like it's easy to pull off. Therein lies the talent.

Three songs later and you've finished Charlie Cunningham's second EP. The remaining songs will show beautiful lyrics and the furthest limits of well produced melodies, but none tie together as well as the title track does. The effort as a whole, however, holds just enough replay value for you to remember it.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/charlie-cunningham-breather-ep.html
iTunes | Amazon
At times the EP inches towards commercial grey areas. There are lapses of time that almost feel like popularly overused melodies or ideas. For the most part it's just similarities, and if those similarities help him blow up to where he needs to be, I'll have no problem with it.

You can stream the EP in full and see if it suits you over at Soundcloud. While you're there you can check out his prior work. You know, in case you're in need of more. If you're a fan of the music, tag along on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, for any news he might have to share.
There's a moment, immediately after realizing that jazz hip-hop is a thing, that allows you to embrace its own completeness. Combining smooth jazz-driven beats with equally powerful or subtle rhyme, is an art. It's this art that Roga Raph has expressed throughout 11 tracks, for free. I can't help but hope that making said art available to everyone will expand closed minds.

The debut single, Fck Wut They Say, sounds like it's gonna take an extremely commercial and over-used base on paper. When you hear it start and take a turn into smooth brass and echoing backgrounds, you'll breathe the best of both worlds. I think the single's shock value is the reason it's a single.


Stream/Download @ Soundcloud

I'm sorry to say it, but what threw me off initially was the quality of rhyme coming from the same person who made this slick beat happen. It's almost complete musical control. Granted, these aren't the best rhymes I've ever heard, but I acknowledge the way he's stringing his flow and his beat, on separate accounts, is nothing short of inspiring.

He does rap really well, and he can also pull off a beat better than the average beat-smith. He's also willing to share the spotlight as much as his own work. In my eyes, that's what's setting him apart in the long run. He's not doing this for the money, he's doing this (mostly) for the listening public.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/roga-raph-visionary-shift-free-download.html
Stream/Download @ Audiomack | Soundcloud
Visionary Shift is consistent in quality, and almost arrogant in execution. Its overall style is very impressive considering its circumstances; and the fact that it's free means there's either minimal monetary investment, or a lot of faith in himself. The latter would be well deserved.

Give it a stream on either site above. Soundcloud will give you a great listen, but Audiomack will make a quick album download much more easily. After you've heard and downloaded the work, make sure you share with anyone who might benefit. This is music to share, not be stingy with. You can also support Roga Raph digitally on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.
Of course, after their VD EP, Finland-based punk rock band Van Dammes would come out with a Better Than Sex EP. They want to make sure that you have enough punk in your life, so they've come up with four brand new garage-punk driven singles to start the life of your next anarchist party.

If you remember last time's Lisbon, I Promise You, rest assured that it has since become my favorite modern punk anthem, and I listen to at least that single on a regular basis. This next EP has equally catchy tunes coming in, my favorite of which is Frank Tower.



It's got the same life and lack of audio sympathy as the last effort, it's just catchy enough without ruining itself, and it's true rebel-defined rock and roll. Songs like Frank Tower are the reason I'm a VD fan, and it's their own drive that makes me so proud to say it.

The remaining three songs on the EP can be just as catchy, sometimes incorporating pop-punk or other techniques not far from the original punk-rock movement.What always stays true is youthful passion twisted together with simple techniques pulled off in just the right ways.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/van-dammes-better-than-sex.html
iTunes | Amazon
If you're searching for the modern embodiment of classic punk, you've found them. Go ahead and give Better Than Sex a listen on Soundcloud, and if it's not true to it's name, no one's forcing you to buy it either. A little support can make the band go a long way, though.

When you end up liking what you hear, keep up with the band and show some support by liking them on Facebook. If you're not a fan of the book of faces you can always keep up to date via their Soundcloud.
Meet Len Sander, your new favorite night-time listening band. They self prescribe their efforts as best heard uninterrupted from beginning to end, at midnight, or in the magical moments just before dawn. It's after doing exactly that, that slabbing a genre onto them feels like sin, but if anything, they kinda-sorta sound like downtempo electronica meets those classic-rock moments where every detail of sound is absolutely crucial to what you're about to hear. Added to this magic are the beautiful vocals of the female lead, whose instrument unites both sides in their awkward moments, while allowing moments of bliss to enter your ears.

The Swiss sextet deserve not only to be heard in full, but to be heard in the best possible quality, which is why I'm certain a purchase of their effort will be much better appreciated than the Bandcamp or Spotify streams they provide. Granted, it's not easy to dig into one's pockets so early in a relationship, so they've also provided a well developed single. The single, Ungrowing, is a three and a half minute snip of their sound along with a video to enhance the experience into something similar to the fulfillment the album can bring. The end result is equal parts peaceful and exhilarating; if enjoyed in the right mindset.



You'll hear them set an atmosphere. If you pay close attention you'll hear the whirring and buzzing alongside the beautiful lyrics, and their exquisite placement over the sounds. You can start noticing here, and it'll make more sense throughout the album as a whole, but what they pull off is the ability to move through the very senses they evoke. It's that very organic, very human echo, that sways us back and forth through Phantom Garden until we reach its end. That's gonna be 46 minutes of uninterrupted talent. All six artists will blend, weave, and create together, until the blurry outline that would sound like multiple people, fades into the silhouette of just one sound.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/len-sander-phantom-garden.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
It's not absolutely necessary to hear it all in one sitting, but taking the effort apart or judging songs individually will do nothing but warp the band's intention. They've created the context, the roles, and every finishing touch. All you have to do is sit back, put on some quality audio equipment, and listen. That first listen might be through Spotify, or the above Bandcamp link. It can also be purchased through iTunes if you feel so inclined, but I'd take advantage of Bandcamp's selection of (high quality or lossless) digital formats. Alternatively you can grab the physical CD, or if you're like me, wait and hope for a vinyl release.

If after the stream you're as sure about the body of work as I am, you might want to keep the band in your sights. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for easy access on any immediate info. Outside of social media, you can stalk them on their website and find the latest most important news.


Len Sander was one of D4AM's Top Picks of 2015 for this effort.
If you haven't heard Marian Hill yet, just, why? The electronic-pop duo focus on amazing music samples, excellent production, and silky smooth vocals that belong on the next best vocal jazz compilation. Their latest EP, Sway, features reworks of some of their own music as well as new material to start setting them apart.

Just recently they've shown off their remake of Kanye West's Love Lockdown (featured on Popular TV), and although in the end it turns out to be a great version, just about every other song on the EP manages to grow much quicker with an equally powerful result. Take for example Got It.



Got It is one of the new tracks being offered. It takes the first seconds to capture you, it starts bringing everything together before the minute is up, and it easily sways your perception of it before it gets to the midway point.

The downtempo style and healthy bass line mesh perfectly with the high vocal ranges. You'll notice the production is always quick to adapt to the ears. Here we hear the best of both members, and we'll continue to hear the best they've got to offer for the remainder of the release.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/marian-hill-sway.html
iTunes | Amazon
It's not every day I'm so excited about such a heavily electronic release, there's usually a lot more going wrong where Marian Hill have managed to pull through. At worst, the dramatic moments are a little overdone, but that's intentional. It adds to the thrill of the music.

You don't need to trust me, you can stream individual tracks over by their Soundcloud, or you can find the effort in full at Spotify. After you've listened and fallen in love, consider tagging along for future ventures. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Marc 7 uses When Sounds Attack to rise from hip-hop ashes after the falling apart of Jurassic 5. What we have in this first volume are eight tracks full of Marc's talent, most of which are produced by Hirolla Beats for a slick and classic feel.

It might be solely because it was my first listen, but the Sasquatch single strikes me the hardest. It feels like it's got this nearly perfected mix between harsh beats and classic rhyme style; a combination that ultimately defines the effort.



It hits hard, establishes dominance, and sets high expectations for the rest of the album. I don't think there's a better single on the effort because Sasquatch lays everything down with the confidence of the greats. All this while separating enough nostalgia to crack a smile out of you.

The rest of the effort might not be as demanding, but if you're looking for a nostalgic trip, or if you love Marc 7's rap style, there should be no question you'll enjoy it. I know I did, but when it comes to me I have to wonder if I'm as happy as I could be with the entire project.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/marc-7-when-sounds-attack-vol-1.html
iTunes | Amazon
I'm really curious to see what the second installment will bring, and whether or not it'll make the few dark spots I've found worth it. Throughout the album I could hear some delays in rhyme flow and just a few awkward moments that are easily ignored, but do damage the replay value of some of the songs.

Give it a shot yourself, the entire work is up on Marc 7's Soundcloud for streaming purposes. If you like what you hear, support the artist. If you were unaware of Marc's solo ventures, you might wanna keep up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Fresh rhymes meet equally capturing production with Mad Dukez and Fresh Kils' latest collaboration. The effort feels like the best of '80s through '90s hip hop got mixed together with modern technology and ideals. Whether or not it works out is up to the listener, but personally, I find the resulting album quite refreshing.

Not that it's all perfected, there's plenty of naturally organic material in just about every song. What really matters is the the quality of the talent here, even more so than the depth of the emotion. You can grasp that all with the first single I heard, Decadent Dilemma.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

The zombie video might draw your attention away from the music production and rhyme flow, as might the groans and sound effects. If it's too much, be sure to stream it on Bandcamp directly for full effect. Otherwise, breath in the fact that the collaborative talent extends to visuals.

To be perfectly honest, you'll understand what you're getting into with a stream of any of the songs on this album. The ideals between the two artists is pretty consistent, although I'm sure to many that consistency can get a little boring. At a dozen tracks in length, the duo are just barely overdoing it, and have managed to pull it off as a sliding spin that screams security on both of their behalves.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/mad-dukez-fresh-kils-gettin-gatsby.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
I think this effort might have been picked off the tree a little too early. A little extra effort, a slight extra dose of oomph, and I think this could have been amazing. It's good right now, but it's missing a little something. To me it feels like it could have done with a little more inspiration, but I admit it could be anything else.

Give the album a stream for yourself and see if it fits. If it does and you enjoy the talents involved, try and keep up with Mad Dukez and Fresh Kils respectively for any future efforts and info.
Afro-Cuban pop-punk is about as eclectic as you can get without bashing your ear drums inside out, and that's almost The Holy Gasp's aim with their debut LP, The Last Generation of Love. The completed effort was actually much better than expected, which is always a nice surprise.

My first look was interesting, and I admit that more people will probably enjoy it as opposed to today's feature track. If intrigue dawns on you, give their video for A Daily Affirmation a listen. If you wanna get right down to what their sound is all about, try something more like Bedbugs.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

Bedbugs follows through more closely with the rest of the album in the sense that it just happens. It takes no time to wander before showing off its sound. It's also a great example of everything the band is capable of, from excellent Afro-percussion, to punk vocals, and even a jazzy alto-sax to balance things off.

You'll hear the rest of the album similarly. They've got a very in-your-face style that takes a minute to get used to before it becomes comfortable. And then you've got the track list, the ultimate success of the album lies within how well executed each song is when compared to the preceding track. By the time it ends, although in very odd fashion, you just can't help but feel the album's satisfying completion.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/the-holy-gasp-last-generation-of-love.html
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
The pleasant surprise of an LP comes jam packed with emotion and peculiar twists and turns that will catch your attention if you ever attempt at leaving it on in the background. Every other moment will be filled with their completed brand, featuring a slick sense of humor, varied talents, and emotive segues.

If you enjoyed today's featured track at all, or like what you've been reading about the completed effort, I strongly recommend the stream. It's a wonderful little cluster of peculiar punk sub-genre goodness. If you enjoy the stream half as much as I did, you might want to keep up with the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
I first heard Mr. Moonshine a month ago with their lead single Wolves on Parade. What initially reminded me of sweet Tom Morello riffs turned out to be an artificially aged pop rock with gloomy tones to it. Just a few days ago they released the debut full length, and it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

My only mistake was to expect anything in particular. The band vary their sound enough for you to wonder if they know their direction, but also perform with the skill often only displayed by the heavily experienced. Today's featured track should show just enough of all I'm mentioning.



There's a certain balance to it that takes less than a minute to grasp and appreciate. They've managed to create new sounds using classic techniques, before stuffing it in a corner and slowly pulling it back out for as long as they can. The unfolded result is the best way to describe their songs, especially in that it doesn't always create something so stunning.

Even less-than-stunning songs make a healthy addition to a track list. A dozen unfolded art-cloths later, and you have a better-than-good album with a lot of potential for a future release. It takes a particular ear to really love all of it, but the self-titled effort is easily appreciable regardless.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/mr-moonshine-self-titled-debut.html

I recommend giving it a listen, here's the Soundcloud stream. If the first three songs seem nice to you, I can almost guarantee you're gonna get on well with the rest of the effort. Otherwise, there's more than a handful of songs that are up to par with today's feature, and those are worth weeding through to get to.

Regardless of how you like their music, as long as you do and you acknowledge their talent, you should tag along with them and enjoy the ride. Find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest and future endeavors.
I've been looking forward to this one for about a month now and only just got around to listening a few days ago. That initial listen feels like they're dropping their smooth electronic base right next to your ears. The fun part is dividing the shocking twists from the mellow ideals.

Bullets, the title track, probably does the best job of showing all the magic off at once. It also does so relatively quickly, so dive right in and see if it suits you as well as it should.



The first few seconds set the ground, allowing the rest of the music to gradually fall into place. By the time the vocals kick in you've heard a nice selection of what they have, but it won't be until nearly the second minute of song that you'll see the depth and maturity of the overall production.

The good news is that hearing the developed maturity will give you all the tools you need to know if the duo is for you or not. If you're on the fence about them, know that the remaining two songs on the EP could be just the push you need to fall for their spell.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/drew-x-hill-bullets-ep.html
iTunes | Amazon
First I want to mention that I love how eclectic the EP is. With just three songs, they've managed to push through a large variety of sounds that all work cohesively together. Now that that's out of the way, I do think they may have slightly overdone the diversity. We go from smooth electronica straight to an experimental house, and then right back to an even smoother downtempo idea. This might have worked better with a switch in track listing, maybe, but right now my favorite way to hear it all is with a bunch of other music, in a playlist.

That's really not bad at all, so go ahead and find a stream if today's track was to your liking. I found two of the three songs on their Soundcloud, and Spotify has the third track easily accessible if you're truly curious. If by the end you like them enough, consider tagging along on Facebook and Twitter.
This modern R&B-meets-downtempo is becoming the new every day R&B. I'm not sure how I feel about that at grand scale, but Anais Aida's take on this developed sound brings equal parts hope and frustration for my ears. What will it bring for yours?

About a month ago I heard the lead single, Recover. It has emotion on the vocals, relate-able lyrics, and a similar sound to whatever's getting lots of airplay right now. I understand that's the smart single decision, but it was songs like Dancing Barefoot and the title track Out in the Waves that really caught my attention.



That's what you want a title track to be. You want it to be the epitome of the album, to be the defining forefront of the artist. It's less perfect than I'd hope it to be, but it shows her colors. More than decent production, and enough power in her vocals to carry a melody as it speaks a story.

The rest of the EP kinda snugs around this track comfortably, at least in my opinion. They can be slow-moving before grabbing your attention, or even a little more awkward than the average pair of R&B listening ears should be used to.

http://www.d4am.net/2015/03/anais-aida-out-in-waves.html
iTunes | Amazon
Maybe it's good that it's expanding the limits of the genre to new places, I really just wish it were doing it more comfortably. In the end it's your call, you can find the stream on Soundcloud and Spotify to make up your own mind.

If you like what you hear, keep up with Anais on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.
You don't normally grab my attention by yelling out "pop rock!", but this trio came at me with a killer single and an EP with potential. This isn't to say it's an excellent EP, not by my standards, but it's a fine display of talent, and a better display of their goals.

My preferred single, the lengthily named I Want To Do with You What Spring Does To The Cherry Trees, is one of the stand-out tracks on the release. We've heard its key sounds before, but they bring a dream-like state to the nostalgia and create their own brew.


Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

One song can only take you so far, and there's only one other song on the release I really like. These two songs make the entire EP worth it in my eyes, with their slight-of-sound magic and memorable details. The remaining songs aren't filler, I just couldn't get into them personally.

As a whole, the EP screams pop rock a little too loudly. I feel sometimes it empties the sound and makes them lose their originality. But maybe that's just me, and maybe that's just a biased view. If you like today's track, I still recommend giving it a listen.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
To me, the album just is, but I'm pretty sure there's something I'm not getting. The title and the EP's contents keep throwing me off, and that brain-driven back-and-forth make an excellent little internal game. My problem lies more-so with my willingness to stick around and play it.

If you like what you've heard so far you should definitely try the stream on for size. When you're done, if you like them enough to keep up with future ventures, you can find The Meaning of Life on Facebook and Twitter.
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