The Brooklyn ambient pop collective Cigarettes After Sex are back with a poignant new single in anticipation of their debut full length, due out on Partisan Records in 2017. Sensual, hazy and wearily romantic without holding any self-delusions, “K” is a minimal, moody gem of a shoegazey track guided by frontman Greg Gonzalez’s evocative vocals — recalling Mazzy Star‘s “Fade Into You.” Get intimate with “K” below, and then go have a cig.
[VIDEO]: Anna Wise – Go
Fresh off a Grammy win for her vocal contribution to Kendrick Lamar‘s “These Walls” on To Pimp A Butterfly, pop siren Anna Wise released her debut solo EP The Feminine: Act I earlier this year. The EP marks a bold entrance onto the pop stage for the soulful singer — sonically as well as lyrically — addressing germane subjects such as wage equality, slut-shaming and feminine sensuality. Recently she teamed up with director Emma Kanter to create the music video for the power anthem “Go,” which features Wise as a badass, rule-bending, rollerblading nun that sparks a full-on congregation dance party. The vid is sure to get you dancing into your weekend so watch below.
BLKKATHY – Lemon
New Brooklyn duo BLKKATHY want to make your booty bounce and ruin your makeup, according to their bio. They actively encourage crying on the dance floor. So who is this duo exactly? They’re a couple of women living in BK who share the name Kate, and make understated yet potent pop music via 808s and plenty of heartbreak. Their new single “Lemon” features tasteful beat work, intricately placed synths and polyrhythms with subdued R&B vocals that denote healthy skepticism. Look out for their EP of the same name to drop later this summer via MANIMAL VINYL RECORDS and listen to “Lemon” below.
Von Sell – Stay
Back with the third installment of his handful of releases, Brooklyn-based German artist Von Sell shared his latest electropop offering this week. The new single, “Stay” was crafted in conjunction with producer Nick Stumpf (Cavemen, NVDES) and is a brighter, more upbeat number than previous slow-burner of an effort “I Insist.” Speaking on the inspiration for the track, David Von Sell states “I remember thinking about these archaic roles men and women assign each other in relationships, emotionally, sexually, temperamentally, intellectually. We’ve evolved in every way until it comes to how our relationships actually materialize. It’s like we’re still wearing our kids clothes and they hardly fit but we refuse to buy something new in our size ‘cause of our programming.” Layered with glittering synths, thick bass, and playful vocal effects, the new track is another infectious addition to Von Sell’s collection and further assurance that the soulful artist has staying power.
Stream “Stay” and if you’re in the NYC area, you can catch Von Sell at his artist residency this month at Pianos on August 10, 17, 24 and 31.
Von Sell – I Insist
Von Sell came onto our radar in 2015 with his infectious electropop track “Ivan,” making CCP’s list of electronic artists to keep an eye out for in the future. Now the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Berlin musician has made good on that prediction with a new song out called “I Insist.” More mellow and pensive than previous effort, “I Insist” is a soulful electro jam with smooth production and delectable vox.
Listen below, we insist.
Paperwhite – Get Away
Brooklyn’s brother-sister synthpop duo Paperwhite haven’t released any new music in over a year, and their new track “Get Away” is a welcome return. They’ve been doing just that for the past year, spending their hibernation period writing, creating and generally “going deeper into the Paperwhite world” according to Ben Marshall. Expanding on what that means, he explains: “We’ve been talking a lot about this idea of ‘future tribal’ as an aesthetic. Primal drums, pop songwriting, and instruments from a parallel electronic universe. The music we’ve been working on feels like a step in that direction and we’re so excited to hear what people think.” Listen below.
Chrome Sparks – Ride The White Lightning
Parallelism, the transfixing new EP from Chrome Sparks shows off the ability of Brooklyn-based electronic artist—otherwise known as Jeremy Malvin to keep the listener hooked in to characteristically long tracks. With “Ride The White Lightning” for instance, Malvin steals you on a near 10-minute journey, fraught with sequencers and synthesizers and a roller coaster of arpeggios. The track is backed by a strong beat and progression of melodies that makes the absence of typically distorted vocals go unnoticed. Listen to the effort, along with “Moonraker” below and pick up the EP on iTunes via Future Classic today. Those in the DMV can also catch Sparks spinning at U Street Music Hall January 15.
Empress Of – Water Water // Kitty Kat
We’ve been primed and ready for this day for awhile now. Lorely Rodriguez (aka Empress Of) has finally released her debut LP, Me, which is nothing short of majestic. Written during a solitary five-week stint at a secluded small town in Mexico, Rodriguez’s self-produced and first full-length is an explosive and raw exploration of interpersonal relations. Pitchfork put it best — the record is a ‘requiem for a doomed romance.’
“Water Water” was on repeat on our playlist since it was offered up earlier this summer as a first taste, and hearing the rest of the album we could not be more thrilled. A dazzling blend of avant-R&B and intelligent pop, Rodriguez is in her element with the thoughtful lyricism and exhilarating synth production exhibited on the LP. Out on Terrible Records today, put your money where your mouth is and purchase the album on iTunes.
Last time Empress Of played in the DC area, she had a coveted spot opening for Florence & The Machine at Merriweather Post Pavilion, and thankfully she’ll be returning this fall to play in the intimate venue of DC9. Get your tickets for the October 14 show here.
Howard – Money Can’t Buy
Following the release of their debut EP Religion earlier this year, Brooklyn folktronic band Howard will embark on their fall tour this week. Founded by Howard Feibusch (guitar, vocals) after a former project fell apart, the nascent group is rounded out by Myles Heff (bass), Chris Holdridge (drums) and Alex Chakour (synths, guitar). Together they create hypnotic, homespun polyrhythms through the use of acoustic guitars and layered electronics. For a sampling of their work, listen to “Money Can’t Buy” and “Falling” — the latter of which was sonically inspired by Other Lives.
Howard will be playing at NYC’s Mercury Lounge August 6, then stopping by DC9 Nightclub August 7. Be sure to come out to the shows if you’re in either locale and in the mood for live music!
Tei Shi – Go Slow
Another singer being hailed as a breakthrough artist after a successful run at SXSW, Tei Shi is on a bit of a hot streak right now. The chanteuse captivated us with her track “Bassically,” and now she’s shared another effort off her forthcoming EP, Verde — due out via Mermaid Avenue / Mom + Pop Music on April 14. Appropriately mellower than the aforementioned single, “Go Slow” is an airy, mellifluous number accompanied by a metered bassline.
Don’t miss Tei Shi on her upcoming North American/European tour, which kicks off in our very own DC on April 25 at DC9. Find the full tour schedule below.
4.25.15 – DC9 – Washington, DC
4.27.15 – Great Scott – Allston, MA *
4.29.15 – The Bowery Ballroom – New York, NY *
4.30.15 – MilkBoy – Philadelphia, PA
5.1.15 – MIT – Boston, MA
5.2.15 – Theatre Fairmount – Montreal, QC
5.8.15 – Popscene – San Francisco, CA ^
5.9.15 – Lyrics Theatre – Los Angeles, CA
5.11.15 – School Night – Los Angeles, CA ^
5.14.15 – The Great Escape 2015 – Brighton, UK
5.15.15 – Beursschouwburg – Brussels, Belgium
5.17.15 – London Calling Festival 2015 – Amsterdam, Netherlands
5.19.15 – Pop Up du Label – Paris, France
5.22.15 – Dot to Dot Festival 10th Birthday 2015 – Manchester, UK
5.23.15 – Dot to Dot Festival 10th Birthday 2015 – Bristol, UK
5.24.15 – Dot to Dot Festival 10th Birthday 2015 – Nottingham, UK
6.2.15 – O2 Academy Bournemouth – London, UK
6.3.15 – O2 Academy Brixton – London, UK
6.6.15 – Field Day 2015 – London, UK
6.7.15 – The Parklife Weekender 2015 – Manchester, UK
* w/ Shy Girls
^ w/ Lapsley