This is only a selection of new music – dig into more.
3 New Music flavours:
Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.
Veronica Fusaro – ‘Pluto’
I can’t decide if Veronica Fusaro’s vocal likeness to the rekindled Lorde is a bad thing but it makes for a flattering comparison as it’s no easy task writing great pop music with authenticity as Lorde does. ‘Pluto’ is some intro to a new artist who has been working with some top producers and was on Switzerland’s version of The Voice. It’s a confident single from the Swiss artist with modern pop and electronic R&B in its DNA.
Overcoats – ‘Leave A Light On’
It’s an absolute pleasure to hear the progress of Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell’s music as Overcoats. Two years ago, the New Yorkers spent the summer in Ireland and made a dent on the scene with their minimal harmonic-lead songs. Now with an Autre Ne Veut-produced album due on Arts & Crafts on April 21st, the duo have bolstered that folk harmony magic with some technicolour magic. ‘Leave A Light On’ adds some urgency to their craft that was missing through its beats and arrangements. It’s the closest these two will come to a banger.
Little Dragon – ‘Sweet’
Two for two from the new album from the Swedish electronic pop group. ‘High’ was a slow reintroduction but ‘Sweet’ has that Little Dragon wonky magic thing going on.
Soulwax – ‘Missing Wires’
From DeeWee, the Soulwax album recorded in one take will be out on March 24th and the Dewaele brothers have shared a second helping from it after ‘Transient Program For Drums & Machinery’. ‘Missing Wires’ is a live playful tune that recalls Soulwax’s earlier guitar-free song-based work.
Here’s the personnel and gear list for the album:
Playing on this record are Stephen and David Dewaele, Stefaan Van Leuven, Iggor Cavalera, Victoria Smith, Blake Davies and Laima Leyton. The instruments used are two Staccato drumkits, one clear crystalline Meazzi Wooding drumkit, one set of Rototoms, various Hofner bass guitars, a Macbeth M5n, an Oberheim Two-Voice Pro, a Two Thousand Six Hundred copy built by The Human Comparator, one Oberheim OB-Mx, an EMS Synthi AKS, an Arp Odyssey, a TB-303 clone, a Mellotron M4000D, a Sequential Prophet 6, a Waldorf Streichfett, a Burns Sonic guitar, a Vox Phantom guitar, one Syncussion clone built by Loudestwarning, various solid state Roland, Peavey and Acoustic amplifiers and a wide range of effects, all going through three Trident Fleximix consoles, straight into Pro Tools.
Forest Swords – ‘The Highest Flood’
Forest Swords, aka acclaimed Merseyside-based producer Matthew Barnes returns to his Forest Sword s project with ‘The Highest Flood’, a song that takes his MO of electronic ambient textures with beats and presents it in the most pristine way. It has an epic sweeping quality that is maybe informed by Barnes’ recent composition work for the Assassin’s Creed game. It’s out now on Ninja Tune and an album is coming.
Frank Ocean – ‘Chanel’
Surprise! Frank dropped his first it of new material since Blonde over the weekend and let’s be honest, any Frank Ocean is good Frank Ocean. After this and the Calvin Harris and Migos’ ‘Slide’, that’s two Frank Ocean tracks in a month.
Peaking Lights -‘Little Flower’ (feat Chloë Sevigny)
A companion piece to Chloë Sevigny’s spoken word appearance on Soulwax’s ‘Heaven Scent’, this is Peaking Lights’ version of the project that puts Prayer to Sainte Thérèse to music, which was also done by Johnny Jewel and JD Twitch among others.
Posted on March 13th, 2017
Well that was unexpected.
‘Slide’ is a laidback summery pop jam with a funky bassline. It’s pretty good.
Posted on February 24th, 2017
Primavera Sound has just announced its lineup for the festival in 2017 in Barcelona from 31 May to June 4th next year and it’s ridiculous.
Headliners on the lineup include
- Arcade Fire
- Frank Ocean
- Bon Iver
- the xx
- Aphex Twin
- Grace Jones
- Van Morrison
- Run The Jewels
Also present and correct:
Flying Lotus, Mac Demarco, The Magnetic Fields, Angel Olsen, Teenage Fanclub, Seu George plays the Life Aquatic: A Tribute to Bowie, Grandaddy, Tycho, Swans, Bicep, !!!, Badbadnotgood, King Krule, Glass Animals, John Talabot, Fatima Yamaha, Henrik Schwarz, Joy Orbison, Julia Jacklin, Sinkane, Skinny Puppy, Operators, Weyes Blood and Tuff City Kids.
Here it is in full:
Posted on November 30th, 2016
Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from all the below along with Cassius, Indian Wells, Jagwar Ma, Sundai, Bon Iver and more.
Check out the Songs of the week Soundcloud playlist.
Frank Ocean – ‘Pink & White’
Blonde will sustain many more listens this year.
I wrote about Blonde being “the year’s most hyped record that reveals itself in subtle ways” on Friday. While there’s sill much to unpack, ‘Pink + White’ is the album’s most immediate cut, beautiful sunshine soul, a showcase for Ocean’s honey-toned voice.
Vince Staples – ‘War Ready’
Outkast x James Blake x Vince Staples.
Grabbing you by the scruff of the neck with a classic Andre 3000 Atliens sample, ‘War Ready’ is a James Blake-produced track from Stapes’ new Prima Donna EP that is rough and ready.
Hazel English – I’m Fine
Swooning indie synth pop anxiety.
Californian-based Australian singer-songwriter and indie musician Hazel English makes hypnagogic indie pop music that comes from a place of guitar band roots. The 25 year-old has a debut EP coming on Marathon Artists/Canvasback in October and following on from the impressive title track, I’m Fine’ is a song about anxiety (“For most of my life I’ve felt a sharp uncertainty/ Now it’s just become a part of me.’) that is shimmering and summery in delivery.
See also: ‘Never Going Home’
Carriages – Moving Parts
The Irish folktronica duo create magic from found objects.
Harry Bookless and Aaron Page’s brand of field-recorded folktronica makes for a unique rhythm. ‘Moving Parts/ was made from some interesting sources: drain pipes, gravel, puddles, branches and a starter melody that features Harry’s three year-old nephew Alex singing. it’s wrapped up in a lush tune that nods to Bronksi Beat while sounding like Four Tet.
Thundercat – ‘Bus In These Streets’
A breezy 70s-style song about modern technology.
Thundercat has grown in stature recently, for his work with Kendrick Lamar and his own tunes like ‘Them Changes’.
‘Bus In These Streets’ is a song that sounds like a breezy 70s TV theme but is actually about technological dependence in the 21st century. It’s also a bit yacht-rock in tone.
The song is a once-off single out now that also features Louis Cole (keyboards, drums, programming); and Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus (programming, editing).
Phillipi & Rodrigo – ‘Mantra’
Soulwax’s label DeeWee is essential listening these days.
As proven by this recent Beats 1 show, Soulwax are well and truly back to the top of their game. Their label DeeWee has knocked out killer tunes by Emmanuelle, Bolis Popul, Asa Moto and Phillipi and Rodrigo, a Sao Paolo duo. Their first release ‘Gueto De Gent’ featured a Twin Peaks reference and here, the pair build up a mantric percussive electronic groove.
Posted on August 29th, 2016
After its neverending goal post shifting release date since Frank Ocean first announced the retitled Boys Don’t Cry in April 2015, the hype and expectation had reached fever pitch more than once. Deadlines passed. No music came. The expectation was for songs that would resonant to the same level as ‘Thinking About You’, ‘Swim Good’ or ‘Lost’- grade A R&B music from a bright new talent. When it finally arrived, you would be forgiven at first, for wondering what all the fuss was about, if Blonde (or Blond as it’s titled on the cover) was your first listen to a Frank Ocean release.
It was proceeded by Endless, a 45 minute visual album, that with was visually boring wallpaper (Frank working on a spiral staircase) but musically, a scattershot of fragmented music with a demo feel, albeit demos with James Blake, strings from Jonny Greenwood, an Isley Brothers cover and some German techno bookending it.
It’s been suggested since, that the visual album was Ocean fulfilling his obligation to his label Def Jam for another release (Blonde appears to have been self-released). It remains to be seen if that’s true, but regardless, Endless had the feel of a clearing of decks, a reset, a warmup, an acknowledgement of the expectation.
Two days later, Blonde debuted and surprisingly barely feels unburdened with expectation. In fact, it feels like a more polished version of Endless, yet equally withdrawn, more fragmented and even more insular. The atmosphere is muted, the instrumentation minimal, beats and percussion are largely ignored. Even the calibre of the marquee guests on this thing are put into the deep background – to the point where you may not even realise Kendrick Lamar and Beyoncé are on it until you’ve read the credits. Only Andre 3000 (who appeared on Channel Orange too) gets to leave his mark, thrillingly so.
Blonde has the air of an album penned in solitude an ultra-white pristine mansion at dusk (one in which he occasionally takes in the homeless as he admits). Ocean parties, drives fast cars (and details them), does acid, shrooms, smokes weed, (all the while including a track where his mother warns him against substances). He enjoys it but thinks of his self-development as detailed on ‘Siegfried’ (“less morose and more present / Dwell on my gifts for a second”). ‘Ivy’ and ‘Pink + White’ suggest there’s gratitude for a failed relationship and the hurt it caused is deemed to be worth it ultimately. There’s an overall sense of the artist soaking up his experiences as positive and striving forward to be more aware, content, loved, loving, present.
Ocean’s sweet voice is one that is rare; consuming, soulful, nimble, honey-toned and it responsible for all of the highlights here. ‘Pink + White’ is beautiful sunshine soul, ‘Solo’ is buoyed by one of the year’s most memorable choruses over barely more than an organ. others, ‘Self Control’, feel like acoustic demos with some bare production until harmonised Frank drops in the memorable outro. Other tracks meander aimlessly yet Ocean continues to magnetise the listener like ‘Skyline To’ (where Lamar exists but is barely heard) while interpolations of songs from Beatles, Burt Bacharach and Elliott Smith appear adding familiarity. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon sings outro on ‘White Ferrari too’.
Blonde is all about Frank and his interactions with friends, family, strangers, crushes. A guy living the high life, a clichéd love of fast cars with a new openness about his sexuality (shouting out to the gay bar he went to on a blind date). Blonde feels like the result of someone in transition, adjusting to a new life while looking back on the old one that made him. A nostalgic boy, a sensitive man. After multiple listens, an avant-leaning minimal R&B album of significance emerges. Better still, Ocean gives insight to himself, his thoughts and his place in the world. The year’s most hyped record reveals itself in subtle ways.
Posted on August 26th, 2016
The release of Boys Don’t Cry, Frank Ocean’s upcoming album has been much promised and delayed in the last year that many are near giving up any hope of news; particularly after the last release date seemed a sure shot.
Well, last night, Frank Ocean gave us something, something different. Endless is an Apple Music-only visual album.
Taking its cues from Ocean’s recent boysdontcry.co stream in which he appeared to be building a spiral staircase, the black and white video is set in a warehouse and scored by unheard music by the singer, who does indeed build that staircase.
Jonny Greenwood provided string orchestration while James Blake, Arca, Alex G, Jazmine Sullivan and Sampha are also credited and there’s a cover of the Isley Brothers’ “At Your Best (You Are Love)”.
Other songs listed include “Alabama,” U-N-I-T-Y,” Commes Des Garcons,” “Wither,” “In Here Somewhere,” “Sideways,” “Mine,” “Hublots,” “Slide on Me,” “Florida,” “Deathwish (ASR),” “Rushes,” “Rushes To” and “Higgs.”
According to an Apple Music rep, more music from Frank is expected this weekend and it may be that the actual Boys Don’t Cry album doesn’t have that title anymore.
Posted on August 19th, 2016
Every Friday, four new music picks culled from the music blog hive mind are published as part of my Day & Night section. The magazine is out in print free with every copy of the Irish Independent on Friday so pick it up. Follow Day & Night on Twitter or Facebook.
While The Weeknd has been giving Canadian R&B a good name lately, this Toronto lady could balance out the acclaim to both genders with her penchant for cutting-edge vaporous productions. Get her free download album Pressure.
Posted on January 18th, 2013
Every Friday, I pick out four new music picks from the best of the music blogs as part of my Day & Night digital section. Follow Day & Night on Twitter or Facebook. The magazine is out today in print with every copy of the Irish Independent so pick it up to see my full section as well as the rest of the mag. My picks for the this week are…
Florida’s Blonds (not to be confused with the NY electronic duo Blondes) channel the bruised emotion of Nancy Sinatra on the melodramatic ’50s-referencing single Run from their album The Bad Ones, coming in August.
Posted on June 15th, 2012
Dropped over the busy weekend, ‘Pyramids’ is the brilliant first song from Frank Ocean’s July-release album Channel Orange. At a running time of near 10 minutes, it’s a song of epic proportions for a man who’s more used to knocking out 90 second jams onto his Soundcloud. ‘Pyramids’ is an opus, slick funk R&B production underpinned by choral backing singers, references to Cleopatra and cheetahs set to muted euphoric synths. It’s a bit like The Weeknd’s ‘The Party & The After-Party’ in terms of its length and its distinct two-part structure.
He also released a trailer for the album.
Posted on June 11th, 2012