Beat Tape 2 is an excellently produced album when presented in its entirety, and that's the magic of it. It's not just beats, it incorporates guest vocals very frequently, but it's more than music, it's a mood. This is the album you leave in the background; these are the songs that make everything blend, that fit the mood when you're just lounging on your own or in good company.

I really thought today's featured track would be Nightgowns with Loyle Carner, but after the listen I realized Nightgowns is the kind of track that fits best with the rest of the album, as are most of the songs on the album. Eventually I settled for Wander With Me as the kind of track you can hear on its own to understand the feel of the album just right, which is interesting because it features Carmody and the first time I felt obsessed with a Tom Misch song, it was with Carmody.

It's important, if you're looking for a feel of the album, to listen to this song as a finished product. Yeah there's great lyrics, yeah the bass is great, but listen to the melody. Listen to the way the composition revolves around each component of the song, listen to the simplicity of something that took so many intricate details to create. That's almost the essence of Beat Tape 2, for me.

I can only compare the rest of that essence to watching a movie with a cliche plot by an award winning director. The bottom line may be simple, but the journey towards it is stunning. Tom Misch and friends have made an album with true replay value as an album. The concept of that alone is difficult for the masses, and it's still a very enoyable listen for the general beat-loving public.
iTunes | Amazon
Listening to this effort reminds me a lot of Kanye West; not because the music is similar, but because of the artists' musical dominance. I think Mr. West is a significantly better producer than performer, and I think similarly of Tom Misch, I just also think it's sad that Tom doesn't have the recognition that such a good producer deserves. There's shared blame as far as the "why" of it is involved, but I don't think his call to fame will reach its peak until he pushes out an album where most of the songs are single-worthy, and I imagine it'll be even better if the album's chemistry is just as good as this one's.

If you enjoy beats, if you enjoy good vocals over them, if you have a thing for acoustics mixed in with digital play, I can't recommend this album enough. You can find it on Spotify or Soundcloud, it's not even an hour long, and by the time it finishes it's gonna feel all kinds of fulfilling.

Keep up with Tom Misch via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest news and info.
It doesn't let you step away. When I heard Christian Rich's Compromise for the first time, I wasn't really impressed. I dug it, I thought it was a cool track, but I never would have thought I'd find an addiction for the offering. Those first moments, the album's first listen even, felt like nothing but decent electronica. I think my mind was still in a rock mood, because a few more listens made me realize the brilliance lying consistently throughout FW14.

Let's start things off with Compromise. It's a great single, displaying many of the producers' tricks and personalized sounds. It introduces the idea of trap without giving everything they've got away, but also presents odd times and interesting warps in melody.

My problem initially included the music video. It felt like the song alone wasn't really clear, like we needed the video to explain some missing details. I later realized the video is just one take on an idea, that the song is open to interpretation, and that as far as musical production goes, the single is sound.

Even the songs I don't like (and there's a few) have been handled and produced to perfection. Take for example the predominantly trap based songs. Now don't get me wrong, the album is predominantly trap, but some songs go beyond the genre's standard definition. I love the thick bass, but I don't love when the bass is so overwhelming that you lose the surrounding details. Christian Rich are guilty of this, but the bass, the details, the melodies and their transitions, are all untouchable from a technical point of view. There's no iffy mistakes or shortcuts; just hard work, dedication, and talent.
iTunes | Amazon
The album was meant to be heard as a whole. It's a body of work that might stand out in individual chunks, but is much more rewarding as a completed effort. The twins knew what they were doing. They knew how to perfectly transition each song from each other, and they knew which tiny details they had to spread evenly throughout every song to add the right kind of character.

You can stream the effort on Spotify, but I'm sure with a little searching you can find it on Youtube or something, FW14 has gotten some well deserved recognition that's gonna make it a little easier than usual to stream online. Go find it, indulge, enjoy.

Christian Rich was one of D4AM's Top Picks of 2015 for this effort.
There's a certain beauty in punk rock production. In the raw idea of it and its execution. This effort was produced in six days, and I don't think you'd really think it based on the album alone. But this punk rock lacks certain qualities I usually indulge in. The messages aren't particularly inspiring, the purity often converts to pop, and the direction isn't even consistent. Why is it, then, that I can't stay away from this album?

Apparently i'ts the punk rock charisma. That sensation that nothing else matters, that this is what's thought and this is what we're gonna put up. The latest single, I Like it Short, is that kind of song. It's not really about anything anybody cares about, but they do. The track might explain where their name came from, and it might show a point of view many others also believe, but really, it's not the lyrical content that I appreciate. What I appreciate is that they made it.

Alright, the video also helps, but I don't think their videos are the reason they're climbing the ladder. I saw their video for Far Side of Mexico a long time ago and it's not the video I remembered when I heard the album, it's their sound. A pretty difficult thing to achieve with such a straight forward interpretation of a genre.

Then there's everything else. I kinda wish the track list had some kind of shape to it, but it feels all over the place. Maybe that's the punk touch, but I'd like a transition from garage punk to pop punk, without feeling like it was put on shuffle and left to us as-is. The experience isn't negative because of this, just somewhat inconsistent.
iTunes | Amazon
I'm criticizing some of this but I also acknowledge all there's left to go through. This is their debut album, it was recorded in six days, and they're far from the punk rock mainstream, which in itself is impressive. This is a garage rock band from Norway and they made this. These are punk rock heroes right now.

You can stream the rest of the album on Spotify. If you don't happen to find yourself near Norway, you'll have to keep up with them elsewhere. Find Short Skirts on Facebook and Twitter and keep up with future releases.
My first listen was intense. I heard that first track, I heard the following songs play in such a way that made sense. I heard the roller coaster dive, and just when I was willing to give up on it, it picked itself up and continued the ride. This mostly instrumental album is an entire experience, it's a wonderful constant to those with an open mind, to those who like their rock with a little synth touch, or those who like the smallest math-y details.

The defining track, the one that brought the roller coaster back up the first time, was Shades of Memory. Maybe it's just me, maybe the downwards spiral I felt was simply my own lack of understanding. Shades of Memory is still one of those stand-out songs from the release, and just as excellent a first listen as the first song on the album.

I don't know if I'd say this track is a little less alternative than most of the effort, but it is a little more defined. It's got that nice bass touch, some interesting electronics, and enough spice to keep you intrigued past the monotonous moments. It's honest, progressive, and it has its pleasingly awkward details, too

It won't take more than a couple of minutes for you to realize the kind of instrumental rock Zenith Myth aim for, but it'll take you the entire effort to understand what they're capable of. They switch the mood up more times than I could count, but they do so in a way that could probably have been handled better.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
A few cons are some small mishaps with general production, and some issues with the mixing. I'm sure most people wouldn't even care about these details, but as soon as they become under control the future experience will be that much better. Until then, I'd pay good money to catch these guys live.

You can stream the entire effort either on the above Bandcamp, or this Soundcloud link. Give it a nice long listen if instrumental rock is for you. If you like what you hear, you can keep up with the band on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
OWSLA became a thing a while back, and I remember my intrigue with the variety of music after they signed Hundred Waters just months after I wrote about their genius effort. Lately, the label hasn't been keeping my attention too much, but this release by Basecamp is the reason I was intrigued in the first place. What you've got is an R&B base with smooth and excellently produced electronic backgrounds.

The entire EP is a delight. The trio have come up with a way to make modernized dance-worthy R&B without relying on cliches or overused ideas to stand out. The production and execution is nearly perfect, and frankly if it were any better it'd be a full length effort. This Greater Than EP is nothing but a quick display.

It starts off with Watch My Back which has gotten insanely popular, it's a great introduction. It's not necessarily the best track on there, though, just the very well executed lead single. Mara will follow it, using intriguing vocal sample use, and from there the tracks just keep going. The mood is consistent, the music is ever evolving.

The ending didn't play nice with me the first time around. I found it redundant, unnecessarily different from the rest of the tracks while maintaining the same flavor. It was afterwards that I realized how well the track demonstrates the finished chapter. The EP ends in such a way that leaves you satisfied, and it's all because of production and track listing.
iTunes | Amazon
It won't take long to know if you're gonna enjoy their sound or not. In fact, give any song on the EP a stream and you'll know if the sound suits you. If you're interested in what they've made, keep listening. Learn from their style, it's very easy to appreciate.

Basecamp are starting to get some real recognition, their journey's about to get wild. Be there before it does, watch for yourself as they rise. Keep up with them via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to keep up with their growth.
Words like "alternative" or "experimental" are usually, in my eyes, a cheap way of saying you'd rather not mention a genre because you feel you're above it. In Dralms' case, both words seem to fit. What we're looking at here is a unique and soothing manipulation of composition, with some very talented band members. What really does it for me is the bass, so keep your ears peeled and your mind open as you explore the EP.

Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp

It's gonna start with the title track, smooth and mesmerizing is its course. Thankfully, it also evolves, and it's quick to show you so. Captivating lyrics will lead the track, the bass will stand in place of the forward movement, and the percussion will entertain the subconscious mind. The keys are excellent, the vocals are consistent, the single is great.

The remaining two tracks keep the mood going. A Slum of Legs is my personal favorite, an instrumental track with true character; without the hassle of a seven minute epic, but with just as much power. Following that is probably the most tranquil track possible, a remix of Crushed Pleats, a previously released song.
Stream/Buy @ Bandcamp
At just three tracks in length, it takes an extra special oomph to impress me, and the oddly named Dralms has managed to do so. I highly recommend at least one listen all the way through for their magic to take hold on you. If you like it but are short on funds, they have a sampler (which includes today's featured track) on NoiseTrade.

The debut full length album should also be out this coming October. If you like what you hear you should keep your eye on that release. Be sure to tag along with the band on Facebook and Twitter.
Funky glitch-hop sounds like something you can imagine pretty easily, and that's exactly what Slynk's bringing us today. He's managed to collaborate with some awesome minds and make an extremely well defined sound while keeping a comfortable enough distance to meddle and play with his own creation. The result is an entire album's worth of nearly exclusive glitch-funk instrumentals that you can dance right through to the end.

There's a few favorite tracks on the effort. The title track starts the album off with a whopping seven minutes of slightly jazzed out glitchy sounds, synths, and a beatsmith base. There's the occasional vocal track that sticks out like a sore thumb and allows some breathing room in case monotony was even thought of. Then there's tracks like today's, Inside, that fit the best the album has to offer into a more concise time span.

What might be a problem for some people is also the very detail that makes the album so special: the sound doesn't really change. Once you hear one song, you know exactly what direction the rest of the album is going, if you're not a fan of predictable bases you're out of luck here, but the twists and turns within the genre were enough for me.

I can't say how often I'd listen to the album. It was great after months away from any kind of glitch at all, and yes, I may have replayed the album more than just a few times, but it doesn't call me to look for similar artists or anything. It's just fun for the moment.
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
I think the reason the album works at length is because of the lack of ego. Songs don't feature friends, those tracks are Slynk and "x person". By allowing that collaboration to run through to the core of the song, you see a kind of versatility within Slynk's genre that might not ordinarily come from someone too proud to share. That alone might make the stream worth your while.

If you're not a huge fan of Bandcamp you can also stream the release on Soundcloud or buy it on iTunes. If the music's calling you, you might wanna keep up with Slynk on Facebook or Twitter.
This is honest independent music. Indie's gotten pretty warped, it sounds like something specific. This is dark, slightly progressive rock with amazing song-writing. This is heavy bass influences mixed together with better-than-classic percussion. This was begun when these guys were 16, and it was recorded in their houses in Australia. You wanna get up close and personal with your music? I haven't heard something this personal in months.

The debut music video was strategic. Heading into it, realize that it's probably the best produced song on the album. It feels professionally mixed, and the composition, while still showing signs of their beautiful eclecticism, is perfectly pieced together

Philophobia as a first look, to me, is like meeting someone at a party. You're definitely getting that person, but you're witnessing a false ideal, tailored perfection. What I love about the album is how, yes, there's a certain pop repetition going through the instruments, but it doesn't really try to fit perfectly. Things sound off, but the talent is there, which means if it sounds decent in digital it'll definitely sound better in person.

Some people like the courtship more than the relationship, but the only way to know with Copywrite is to dive head first. A quick summary of what I feel from the album are Tool-ish vibes, an interesting zig-zag sense of direction, raw talent, and lust.. but from their behalf. I'm not sure if they're actually eager to keep the listener or if it's their natural state, but it's as appealing as the confident crush you had in your late teens.
Stream/Download @ Bandcamp
The bottom line is character and talent over cleanliness. I'm sure once they've gained enough recognition they can step foot in a studio and make the next best them sounding album, but the purity of this one is its current appeal. It's also a name-your-price download, so grab it free if you're not convinced. Just grab it.

You can stream the effort in full either on the above Bandcamp link or on Soundcloud. Once you're a fan you might want to consider tagging along on Facebook.
Being a Falcons fan for years now, I had high expectations for this release. My expectations were surpassed. I think the only con is the fact that it's four songs and less than 15 minutes worth of music, but what you get out of it is trap-y hip-hop-y goodness with enough of a modern twist to make old school classics seem obsolete.

The EP is gonna start off ready for anyone who thinks they're gonna hate. Aquafina is the kind of bass driven track people have started to get tired of, but with enough detail and production-based genius to bring back life to the idea. That'll be followed by Flame, a track with similar design.

Now, the last two tracks are a different ball game. It's heading closer to hip-hop, quality beat production is at play, and the way they form themselves shows a lot of potential for something I wasn't even expecting. Terra, the title track, is still heavily influenced by strong rounded bass lines, but the production allows the vocal display to shine a little better than usual. Boss Mackin' takes the same turn and indulges, limiting the heavy sound drastically while keeping the little details that make Falcons a recognizable producer.

I have hopes that the beat production keeps twisting and turning, fermenting and creating itself into something totally different than even what we're experiencing now. I've been a fan because I knew what I was gonna be getting every time I listened, and because I prey on the quality, but now I'm a fan because of what can become. I hope to see some mistakes along the way, but ultimately I'm hoping his future shows as much variety as this sneak peek has shown me he's capable of.
The first listen was a little startling. I was told to expect pop but I got some amazing downtempo electronics with some kinda-sorta pop-ish captivating vocals. I guess it's unfair for the genre to be named after anything but what the lead artist dedicates to, but Julietta's taste is making it difficult for me to think of anything else. The mood is slow and dreamy, soft but bass driven, with airy vocals to glide it through your ears and beg for a replay.

My favorite track on the EP is probably the debut single, Goosebumps, but the title track embodies the direction of the debut effort so much better. Yeah, it's more than just a sprinkle of pop, but it's actually got direction. It's not monotony, it's not simplistic, and it's made with talent.

Conquest is a decent track, it's captivating from the start and it's really well composed, but it doesn't feel like the deal maker to me. The musical transition after the second half of the song isn't quite my cuppa, and neither is the slow build. I guess that could just be my problem, and if you have any bones to pick with it you might prefer to give the remixes a listen instead. They'll be waiting for you right there at the end of the EP.

The Conquest EP is a wonderful debut. It's far from perfect, it's a little stained so it has character, and it listens really well (even after listening back-to-back remixes of the same song.) It could definitely be better, it wouldn't hurt to switch the produced direction even if just once, have an acoustic bonus track or something, but these are details for a future full length effort. This one works just fine the way it is.
Buy @ iTunes | Amazon
If you liked the featured track at all, I recommend the listen. You can stream it on Soundcloud and verify the quality for yourself. It's pretty consistent so at least it has that going for it, and if you really love pop you'll wanna hear Nightmare, one of the best straight-up pop songs I've heard in a while.

Once you've fallen for Julietta's charm, you'll wanna keep up with future ventures. Find her on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and info.
I don't know what I was expecting when I heard the rhymes of a ski-mask wearing Camden ,New Jersey based rapper, but I wasn't expecting this much versatility. Over the course of six tracks I went from feeling the beginning depths of the urban hip-hop scene, to some of the best attempts at commercializing underground talent, and a little bit of everything in between. I think it works as a debut EP, I think that despite a sense of lost direction, what is shown is of superior quality. Someone help guide this Kid, 'cause he's going places.

I can't think of this EP as a completed effort. I think of it more as several songs displaying talents and possibilities. It's hard to tell where he's gonna go from here with such aptitude in so many different styles. Essentially the track list is a menu, and you can enjoy it all, or just some of it, but you'll never know what you'll like if you don't try it.

The first couple of songs hit hard. They're also a little hard to follow. We're talking straight-urban, really seems like this-guy-grew-up-to-see-the-worst-of-the-streets kind of action, and seeing things from his point of view for this chunk of the EP is almost difficult to take in. That's followed by Sheepbaaad, an easier song to bob your head with while still keeping a sense of reality. Sheepbaaad is, to me, the changing checkpoint on the release. It's the point where you can most clearly see the possibility of change in direction, and it'll be displayed on the remaining songs.

Keep listening and you'll hear that VH1 rapper vibe where they can keep their cred but they're wise enough to know what the public wants. Balancing that isn't easy, and this is the debut EP. It's a remarkable display, I just hope this isn't Sweet Da Kid's pinnacle moment. There's too much potential to see this spiral downward, so let's show some support and make sure he keeps the momentum going.
Stream/Download @ Soundcloud | Audiomack | LiveMixtapes
Some songs on here exist purely to show off. That's not a bad thing, I just prefer when a song isn't an excuse to rhyme. When there's a reason calling an artist to say something, you can reach a much more profound connection. The EP has some of those moments, but they lose the integrity with the tracks built to show off talent and style. Is the talent and style absolutely amazing? Definitely. But it'd be a real treat to see some depth. Reading just a little into SDK's life is enough to know there's plenty to talk about, and I look forward to those stories.

Until then we have this, and it's a free download if you want it. If you have a few spare dollars you can also buy it through iTunes. Don't hide away, if you're as curious as I am to see his future in the rap scene, keep up through Facebook or Twitter.
The first time I heard their electronic folk, I understood it, but I didn't care for it. The talent was obvious enough for me to pay attention, the quality was sufficient to hold my attention, but by the time it was done I felt a little lost and confused. Your average debut album should be a little more direct, but Malpas aren't average. Rain River Sea is a work of art, it's crafted into something more complicated than a modern day average, and takes some exploring before you can admire its truths.

For me, it was the second listen. I don't expect anyone to listen to an album twice without loving it the first time, though, that's my job. I'm gonna show you who they are as best I can with as little music as possible. Today's featured track is their latest single, Where the River Runs.

It's a slow build and the progressions are a lot more dramatic than most of their other songs, but it's a great view at what the duo are capable of. Synth-y electronics and folk-y bases are their pedestals, but it's the energy between the both of them, the connection and chemistry, that really makes that in-depth-listen such a worthy one.

I felt a kind of dark synth meets Alt-J vibe when I got really into the music, but even that's just a vague description of what they're actually capable of. I also felt like a lot of the track listing didn't mesh well with itself, which is incredibly common for a debut, but unexpected for an effort so wonderfully crafted. It takes a listen to see where they're coming from, but once you understand, they leave a lasting impression.
iTunes | Amazon
Aside from some mood fluctuations, the album is pretty solid. I think there's only one song out of the ten I didn't really care for, and even then it helps the album out pretty positively as a full length. Maybe I'm nitpicking at their preferred genre, maybe this is even better than I think it is. Find out for yourself.

As memorable as the album may be, your first listen might very well have to be on Spotify. I couldn't find a public stream elsewhere. If you can, give it a listen, if you can't but you're digging them so far, tag along. Find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Next PostNewer Posts Previous PostOlder Posts Home