Electronica newcomer Kofi Holmes Attivor, aka Mined was born to a Ghanaian family in London and raised on the RnB and soul found in his parents’ record collection. Granted his wish to get his first “sleek, silver Casio,” Attivor began investigating the sonic landscapes of Brian Eno‘s Music for Airports, as well as the work of artists such as Spooky Black, Majical Cloudz and Foals –ultimately developing his own sound embodying his philomathic outlook.
Mined mines earnest emotions mixed in an intricate, minimalistic space, and has been compared to the likes of James Blake, Caribou and Boards of Canada. “I’ve always been more drawn to poignant honest music that evokes a sense of melancholy, or sadness or nostalgia,” Mined explains.
This is readily apparent on “Mistakes,” a piece off his forthcoming EP Loves Low’s. Written as a means of escapism, Mined wrote his latest tracks in his room in London. The EP is due out spring 2017 on Peacefrog Records.
LA-based indie-pop artist RYDER is of the new school musical generation, mixing future-pop melodies with classical structures and striking originality. Songwriting since age 13 and further honing her craft at NYU, RYDER has had extensive training and worked with a range of talented producers since the inception of her budding musical career.
Speaking on her influences in relation to her recent single “Nirvana,” RYDER states: “I grew up around classical music and used to perform in choirs as a young kid, where I’d sing classical choral arrangements and folk music as well as a brief stint in opera. The hauntingly beautiful melodies and harmonic layers from those genres are inspiring motifs I try to constantly incorporate in my music wherever I can. ‘Nirvana’ to me is a blend of classical melodic moments with contemporary pop music.”
Lead by RYDER’s unconventional vocals, “Nirvana” starts out with sparse instrumentation and builds tastefully throughout–bolstered by understated synths and colorful beats to the end. When RYDER reaches the apex of her register around the one-minute mark, she’ll take you right to the song’s namesake–just open the door and tune in below.
Though released in the summer of 2002 and discovered while getting accustomed with the discomfort of adolescence in Canada, Interpol’s inaugural Turn on the Bright Lights will always be inextricably linked in my mind with two things: winter and New York.
From the opening chords of the LP appetizer “Untitled” to the doleful refrains that close out “Leif Erickson”—the whole album’s defining sound shimmers under the cool detached vocals of Paul Banks and Daniel Kessler’s angular guitar strokes–their tone straddling the line between crisp and harsh, balanced against the ebullience of Carlos Dengler’s bass. The whole rhythm section so strongly grounds the understated groove of the record that when it drops out during a few notable moments (the intro on “The New” for example), you can’t help but lean in closer, only to have the warmth of the band’s full sound return to swaddle you.
For all the derision aimed at Banks’ lyrics (fair) and the similarity to Joy Division ‘s Ian Curtis in his warbled delivery, it’s the quality and stylistic consistency of Interpol’s sound that makes the album still resonate so palpably fifteen years later. Be it the opening riff of “Obstacle 1,” the hopeful restraint of “NYC,” or even the sinister whispers underneath the knife-edge creepiness of “Roland,” each component and passage fits together with the same painful detachment that underpins the album.
It’s no coincidence that I’m pressed to look back on this record tonight as New York braces itself for Winter Storm Stella, evoking the title of the eighth track and fan favorite of the compilation. As I sit here overlooking the traffic of 2nd Avenue trickle to a slow drip in anticipation of the impending snowfall, I can’t help but look back on the years since this seminal album cemented itself as a permanent part of my rotation.
Raised in a snowy Canadian town on a constant glut of awareness and appreciation for the city (my mother landed in Queens after fleeing Iran), coupled with the post-9/11 zeitgeist in those years that refracted New York anywhere it could, it’s really no wonder I make the association. Maybe this album was really written by and for turn-of-the-century New Yorkers, taking bumps off their keys somewhere in the stairwell of a Brooklyn walk-up, but frankly, if this stuff doesn’t remind you of the time and place where you started abruptly becoming acquainted with your interior self, then you missed out.
Now that I’ve been lucky enough to live in the city awhile, if ever I’m wandering around in the snow as I’m wont to do in the coming days–turning on this record is one of the few things that will make me reexamine the sights I’ve become prone to ignore—and admire the bright lights anew.
Tei Shi struck a nerve in the zeitgeist in 2014 with hit song “Bassically” and has been running full speed ahead ever since. The NYC-based singer, born Valerie Teicher will release her debut full-length, Crawl Space March 31 on Downtown / Interscope records. The first single of the LP “Keep Running” is sonically aligned with previous efforts — a confident confluence of deconstructed pop, electronic and left-of-centre indie influences.
Speaking on the track, Teicher remarks: “‘Keep Running’ was the first new track I wrote shortly after releasing my last EP. It’s a kind of call to arms to someone you love, to take on and confront all of life’s obstacles together. To fight to stay together through thick and thin. A ride or die kind of love.”
It’s a highly evolved sentiment, much like Tei Shi’s sound itself. Stream below.
Happy weekend everyone! Whether you’re looking to get a party started, get your party on, or find a party this Saturday night — look no further than Sandra Sample‘s new single for some quality preparty motivation. The nascent Australian producer caught our attention with her second single and kinetic electronic jam “Get a Party.” Not much is known about the artist, but look out for more material allegedly on the way this year. Cue the confetti.
One of the UK’s best kept secrets, London songsmith Sam Brookes is back with new music following his acclaimed 2014 LP Kairos. Brookes’ latest single, “My Girl Drinks Coffee” is an elegant elegy of a track written after the dissolution of a relationship. The ruminative lyric and through-line of the song, ‘My girl drinks coffee now without me’ is evocative of a person in disbelief, particularly with the use of the possessive pronoun.
The simplicity of the thought is complemented by the song’s ethereal and stark sonic backdrop, which marks a new direction for the alt-folk artist. Having spent a few years out of the game gigging and experimenting with new equipment, the new track is indicative of a more minimal and synthesized sound. Produced by Grammy nominated Dom Monks (Ray Lamontagne, Laura Marling) and Greg Freeman (Goldfrapp, Mumford & Sons), “Coffee” was arranged and recorded in a remote boathouse on the Isle of Skye and completed at Guy Chamber’s Sleeper Sounds studio in London.
The single is available for streaming on digital outlets now. Watch the entrancing video below and look out for more music from Brookes on the way.
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.
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.
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.
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 Autograf‘s 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.