Rooms – Cry Baby

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From the opening discordant strings of “Cry Baby,” you know something is amiss. And the intent of Rooms‘ smoldering new track becomes plain when you read their statement on the piece: “I know you cheated on me at the Loews in Santa Monica.” Classy. The smooth production of burnished bedroom pop that follows, however, belies the feeling of enmity that clearly underlies the song.

Way to turn your broken heart into art, we way. Listen to the track from the new LA duo below.

Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

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Everyone’s favorite goof slash secret sentimentalist, Mac DeMarco has announced his new album, This Old Dog, the follow-up to his 2015 mini-LP Another One. Written just before DeMarco relocated from Queens to LA, the latest effort marks a new, more polished direction for the Canadian singer-songwriter, who allowed the tracks to simmer before releasing.

In a press release he acknowledges as much: “I demoed a full album, and as I was moving to the West Coast I thought I’d get to finishing it quickly. But then I realized that moving to a new city, and starting a new life takes time. Usually I just write, record, and put it out; no problem. But this time, I wrote them and they sat. When that happens, you really get to know the songs. This is a different vibe.”

Recorded with acoustic guitar and synthesizers, the album has a definite more ripened sound. Continuing the statement, he says “this is a new thing for me. This is my acoustic album, but it’s not really an acoustic album at all. That’s just what it feels like, mostly. I’m Italian, so I guess this is an Italian rock record.” Look out for the album to release May 5 on Captured Tracks and listen to the title track below.

Incredible Change – Slipping On Ice

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DC’s own Incredible Change is back with new music following their 2015 eponymous LP with latest effort “Slipping On Ice.” The local synthpop outfit has gone through several iterations since their inception, and currently consists of Brock Ross and Greg Balleza on production and Ken Quam on drums. The track also features AIVA on vocals, a DC-based singer and frequent Incredible Change collaborator.

Ross spoke to CCP about the inspiration for the release: “Originally, I intended to put out another song before this, but with all the currents events and election, this song took over. And the title fit. This track is definitely a slower tempo, and has a slight tempo increase through the middle. Towards the end of the song, I feel we did some interesting layering of AIVA’s vocals that give the track a definite lift, and fits with the meaning of the song, picking yourself back up.”

It’s an earworm of a track, with gliding synths and AIVA’s silken pipes on full display. No show dates on the books yet, but look for Incredible Change to be performing in the DMV sometime this spring. Stream “Slipping On Ice” below.

RMX ROUNDUP: XYLØ + VASTA / Autograf + CLOUDCHORD / ODESZA + True Myth

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Remix Roundup is a segment in which we share the latest and greatest mixes and beats on the blogosphere, and today we’ve got a fresh new installment for ya. First on the docket is a new revamp of XYLØ‘s “Dead End Love” from Vasta and N2N. The two house producers team up to create a powerhouse, enhanced edit of the original pop slow-burner, infusing it with a driving beat and crisp synths, while keeping Paige’s clear vocals at the forefront. Play it loud and pick up a free download on Soundcloud.

We’ve featured Autografs stunning electro number “Heartbeat” on RMX Roundup previously, and now we’re delighted to share the official reimagining from Austin-based house producer CLOUDCHORD and synth guru and fellow Austinite Francis Preve. Cloudchord, aka Derek VanScoten describes the mix as a “Brian Eno meets Nu Disco banger” and we couldn’t agree more. When the synths kick in around 1:06, the track takes on a euphoric state and you can’t help but wanna dance. Stream below and find a complimentary DL of this one on the cloud also.

Lastly, if you thought you were done with the ODESZA‘s “Say My Name” mixes following the official remix context in 2014, you’d be wrong. Check out this amazing redux of the track by newcomers True Myth. It’s a fairly minimalist take, but the reprise takes on a funkadelic vibe at the 0:50 mark that will make you want to immerse yourself in this dance jam all over again. And guess what, True Myth is also giving it away on Soundcloud so we recommend adding all three pieces to your weekend playlist stat.

Code Walk – Guess What (ft. Smerz)

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Guess what? We love a good Scandinavian club banger, and Copenhagen-based production duo Code Walk deliver on their debut single. Soliciting the help of Norwegian act Smerz, “Guess What” was written during a two week session on a small island off the coast of Norway. The single sees the duo — consisting of Søren Gregersen and Jesper Nørbæk — fuse a saucy feminine vocal with hypnotic, hard-hitting production, sinuous synths and trippy electronics. ‘Do you still feel sorry for me?‘ query Smerz, aka Henriette and Catharina in coy triumph on the effort.

Speaking on the track, Nørbæk explains: “Initially when ‘Guess What’ was still living on a drum machine what caught our ear was that we had programmed the drums to play a small kind of melody. It was something between a bassline and a beat, and after adding a few chords we arrived at a vibe we liked. Having this melodic yet sparse approach to rhythm gave it a certain attitude that we thought Smerz would be great for, so we laid down the main ideas and they took it from there. The girls did a killer job.”

Out January 27 on F12 Records, “Guess What” is the first single to be shared off their forthcoming debut EP, slated for a spring 2017 release. Listen below.

 

Lyves – Darkest Hour

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Tread carefully, cautions London-based artist Lyves on the song “Darkest Hour.” Following a period of personal change and loss, Lyves (aka Francesca Bergami) wrote and recorded the songs on her newly minted EP Like Water tucked away in an attic of a small Italian villa. Lyves combines a lush and R&B-suffused sound with a deep, resonate vocal that we can’t help but compare to Rhye.

Not one to divulge too many personal details, Bergami prefers to let the music exist on its own merit. She expounds: “When I worked in mental health I had a lot of people really open up to me, really let it all out – there’s something really beautiful and courageous about that. I really hope to offer something to people who might be going through a difficult time. I don’t want it to be about me. I want the music to speak for itself and possibly give something. That’s what fuels my passion.”

So interpret it how you will, but “Darkest Hour” feels like a very relevant track in this particular place and time in our country. Hear it below.

CocoRosie – Smoke ’em Out (ft. ANOHNI)

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We’ve got an invigoratingly fresh tune for all the Future Feminists out there. French duo Bianca & Sierra Casady, better known as CocoRosie have unleashed a new protest song for crestfallen citizens and bleeding hearts everywhere, featuring fellow Future Feminist ANOHNI on vox.

While in the beginning stages of writing a new album, they were inspired to release “Smoke ’em Out” as a means of ‘welcoming’ the newest occupant of the White House. They wrote in a statement: “In the wake of this unnatural disaster, we feel a call to rise, shout, and burn the house down. The future is female.”

In addition to the share, they’ve also written a poem to accompany the politically charged anthem. Peruse it as you stream “Smoke ’em Out” below.

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Zola Blood – Islands

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London electropop outfit Zola Blood seem to be able to do no wrong. They’ve got a number of ethereal electronica singles under the belt, and their latest effort “Islands” is equally immersive. Shrouded in atmospheric synths, staccato claps and alluring vocals from lead singer Matt, the song is about getting lost with a significant other in what feels like your own personal enclave.

Matt explained: “A friend of mine was telling me about an evening she spent with her boyfriend of the time, getting rained on all night in a tent and said in passing that they felt like an island. That imagery just stuck in my head.”

The track has an excellent progression– and just as the sun is getting in the eyes of the song’s paramour, the melody is sure to get in the ears of the listener. The London four-piece will release their debut full-length, Infinite Games in early 2017. Meantime, stream “Islands” below.

XMeKate – Cigarettes

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There’s a new female voice in music, and she goes by the name of XMeKate. Of Italian and Greek descent, Katharine Kadenacy’s bicultural upbringing had a significant influence on her aesthetic, which draws from Greek mythology and classic literature. In fact, shrewd listeners will recognize the LA singer’s pseudonym as a reference from Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Kadenacy takes inspiration from Kate, who much like herself is a strong female character that rises above hardship, having lost her mother to cancer last year.

Despite this tragic narrative, pain leads to power, and now XMeKate has transformed her grief into a potent couple of EPs that are due for release this year. Produced by Andrés Rebellón (Marina & The Diamonds), part one of the EP, Expectation (out February) explores intimacy and heartbreak, while part two, Too Much (out late summer) tells the story of life after loss.

Her first single “Cigarettes” documents a story of betrayal — by way of a catchy vocal hook, melodious synth lines and and warm, hopeful horns. ‘No more lies, not even if they’re white,’ XMeKate pleads from the perspective of the transgressor on the track. The urgency is apparent in her vocal, and you can’t help but root for the resilient young artist. Hear “Cigarettes” below and keep an eye out for the accompanying EP in February.

TEN FÉ – Make Me Better

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‘Tis the season for resolutions, and Ten Fé is here to remind us that those lofty goals we set for ourselves are not always feasible. Irrespective of their name (which means “have faith”), the band’s anthemic single “Make Me Better” marries a grand string section, shoegaze guitar line and sizable dose of reality. The London act, comprised of Ben Moorhouse and Leon Duncan harmonize on the chorus: ‘Way before you’d come / I knew that you would run / So don’t tell me you’ll change / No, don’t tell me you’ll change.’ It could be construed as cynical, but the duo sound calmly resigned to their fate.

Ten Fé spent the last year or so recording their “darkly romantic” debut record in Berlin with mega producer Ewan Pearson (Jagwar Ma, M83). The LP, Hit The Light is slated to drop February 3, 2017 and is reportedly centered around the thematic tie of moving from darkness to light, of renewal and new beginnings. So maybe there’s hope for change after all.

Get a taste of the album by tuning in to “Make Me Better” below, and check out the more electronic-focused reconstruction from UNKLE as well.