filous – Let It Snow


With snow on the way in many parts of the country today, what better time to check out a modern twist on a Christmas classic from 19-year-old producer filous. A rising star in electronic music, the Austrian artist’s debut EP Dawn was a commercial success — with the lead single “How Hard I Try” (featuring James Hershey) amassing over 50 million plays on Spotify.

On his reinterpretation of “Let It Snow,” filous deconstructs the warm tones of the original, using electronics to create a chilled out, downtempo edit with a cool and enticing vocal from Florence Arman. Let it snow, indeed.

THE COVERUP: Tierney Sutton Band – Every Little Thing He Does Is Magic


As a seven-time Grammy nominee, jazz artist Tierney Sutton is more than qualified to be featured on this installment of THE COVERUP — a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. Still, jazz is an underrated modality so we couldn’t help but share. Sutton’s latest project, The Sting Variations is an ode to Gordon Sumner, recorded with her longtime ensemble the Tierney Sutton Band. “The challenge was to uncover something about these songs that wasn’t obvious before,” says Sutton. “And I think we’ve done that.”

With their rendition of the legendary Police song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” the Tierney Sutton Band showcase their mastery of improvisation and ability to push the boundaries of the jazz repertoire. Adding to their list of impressive accolades, the band also recently collaborated with Clint Eastwood to create the score for his new film Sully. Stream the bewitching cover below.

THE COVERUP: Colouring – I Heard It Through The Grapevine (Marvin Gaye Rework)


A couple years back, we fell for a UK outfit by the name of Osca, who in the time since have underwent a rebrand and changed their name to Colouring. Whatever the reason for the change, their emotive and ethereal esthetic remains intact, and this week they’re supplying content for THE COVERUP–a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. Colouring takes on Marvin Gaye‘s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” giving it a modern facelift through a dystopian, post-dubstep yet soulful soundscape. Vocalist Jack Kenworthy captures all of the hurt and confusion of the original, coloring us captivated in the process. Hear it straight from the source below.

THE COVERUP: Night Drive – Whole Lotta Love / Too Much Love


Before you ride off into your weekend, we’ve got another installment of THE COVERUP today, a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. Today’s cover comes courtesy of Night Drive, a new wave band based out of Texas who create modern, dark synthpop inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes. While they’re in the midst of working on their new album, they were inspired to do a reimagining of Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love,” coupled with LCD Soundsystem‘s “Too Much Love.” According to Night Drive, it’s “what you might expect if Jimmy Page and James Murphy had a child in a dystopian NYC landscape, circa 2025.” Listen below.

THE COVERUP: Amy Syed – You Go To My Head


We have a new installment of The Coverup for you today, a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. This week, we wanted to showcase a modern recast of a jazz standard — Amy Syed‘s reworking of Billie Holiday‘s “You Go To My Head.” The ethereal cover, which also serves as the introduction to the unsigned singer-songwriter, is the first recording with musical collaborators Ali Thynne (MNEK) (drums) and Peter Lee (keys) — which will be included on the London trio’s forthcoming EP.

Maintaining the jazzy undertones of the original, Syed reimagines the song as a haunting blend of trip-hop and electronica. Speaking on the song selection, Syed says: “I heard the original of ‘You Go To My Head’ a few years ago, and it always stayed with me as some of the most beautiful lyrics I had ever heard. We wanted to see what would happen if we stripped away all the original music from an old classic, and rewrote the harmony and production from scratch.”

As a professionally trained jazz singer and backing vocalist, Syed also has experience supporting established acts such as Florence Welch and Bat For Lashes in the studio. And with influences ranging from Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald to Robyn and Daft Punk, it will be interesting to see what kind of original works she and her bandmates come up with for the EP. While you wait for its release, let this cover cast a spell on your ears as you listen below.

Nouvelle Vague – Athol Brose


After a six-year hiatus, the critically-acclaimed bossa nova cover band, Nouvelle Vague is returning this fall with an anniversary album and brand new material. The project of French producers Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux, ‘Nouvelle Vague’ refers simultaneously to the French New Wave cinema movement of the 1960s, to the new wave music movement of the ’70s and ’80s, and to bossa nova (Portuguese for ‘new wave’), naturally.

Co-opting classics from the punk and post-punk cannon and reinterpreting them through a Brazilian bossa nova lens, the Parisian outfit is now set to release a four-song EP entitled Athol Brose September 2 on Kwaidan Records / !K7. The title track is a reinterpretation of the Cocteau Twins‘ song of the same name, featuring the smoky vocals of Liset Alea. The EP will be followed by the as-yet untitled commemorative LP, which will feature original compositions by Collin and Libeaux for the first time.

Stream the luscious new cover via Spotify below. If you’re excited as we are, you can also peep the EP tracklisting and check out the choice remix of classic cover “In A Manner Of Speaking” (Tuxedomoon) by German producer Freiboitar.

Athol-Brose Tracklist:

1. “Athol-Brose” featuring Liset Alea (Cocteau Twins cover)
2. “La Pluie et Le Beau Temps” (composed by Olivier Libaux)
3. “Love Will Tear Us Apart”
(Dream Koala Remix of Nouvelle Vague, Joy Division cover)
4. “Ever Fallen In Love” (Unlocked Destination) (Buzzcocks cover)

THE COVERUP: The TVC – Hold On We’re Going Home


We’ve received a good amount of noteworthy cover tracks lately, so we’re resurrecting the CCP segment we’re calling The CoverupThe TVC is the project of LA-based musician Spencer Riley, who solicited Nashville recording artist Connor Foley to sing vocals on this Drake cover of “Hold On We’re Going Home.” Slowing down the beat of the original R&B number, the addition of an addictive piano riff, guitar and Foley’s soulful voice renders The TVC rendition a commendable cover of the Grammy award-winning superstar.

The song was recorded live in the Hollywood Hills, CA studio of Tommy King (keyboardist for HAIM), adding to the authenticity of the cover. Look out for original material from The TVC coming soon, but in the meantime enjoy this bluesy acoustic cover of Drake’s instant classic.

So Much Light – The Barrel Keeps Rolling Forever


Video game nerds, take heed. Sacramento’s So Much Light (aka Damien Verrett) has reinterpreted an instrumental track from the celebrated game Donkey Kong Country into a “sad boy R&B jam,” and it is a beguiling beaut.

Explaining the inspiration for the revision, Verrett says: The song is originally called ‘Stickerbrush Symphony‘ by the composer for all of the Donkey Kong Country games David Wise. This song in particular is really popular among people who are into video game music — it’s kind of the magnum opus as far as songs from Donkey Kong Country go. Growing up with video games I was always fascinated with the soundtracks and their ability to transport the player into different environments.”

Verrett’s reimagining, entitled “The Barrel Keeps Rolling Forever” will certainly transfix the listener with its stunningly smooth vocals and R&B intonations. Signed to Anti- Records, the singer released his debut EP Idiot Soul on the label late last year. Anti- Records is killing it right now with their roster, so you know he’s doing something right. Look out for more from this burgeoning artist on the horizon and stream below.

[CCP Interview]: Young Galaxy on Making Connections through Myspace, Being Influenced by Bowie, and Subverting Expectations of Live Shows


Montreal-based synthpop act Young Galaxy have been busy the last decade, generating an impressive amount of work and creative output that has manifested in the form of five albums, including their latest, Falsework. Originally formed by Stephen Ramsay and his spouse Catherine McCandless, the group has since evolved into a four-piece that continues to push themselves artistically. Even with two kids now in the picture, the constraints of family life hasn’t stopped the group from moving full speed ahead.

The quartet has just set out on tour in support of the new album, which is sure to be a spectacular affair as the band enlisted the help of Adam Hummell — whose production credits include Madonna‘s Super Bowl Halftime performance and Miley Cyrus‘ Bangrz Tour — to help them design a music-triggered light show for the set. Their live show will also feature dancers from Montreal’s Street Parade, all in an attempt to challenge people’s expectations of small club shows — which we for one can’t wait to witness at their Black Cat show tonight in DC.

In advance of the show, we spoke with Stephen about his time touring with Stars, Catherine overcoming stage fright, meeting their producer Dan Lissvik through Myspace, being influenced by unconventional acts like David Bowie, and of course their adorable, record-loving children.

Where to begin…you have a breadth of work and we’re loving the new album, Falsework. For new, prospective listeners though, could you tell the story of how you got started, and where your name comes from?

The origin of the name is cringeworthy. It was my (Stephen’s) first hotmail account name. I randomly opened an astronomy book to a page and put my finger down… that was the phrase I hit.

The story started in Vancouver with me in University and working a day job, writing and recording late into the night. I was recording demos — one of the great offshoots of having a computer for school was that I could also record music on it, and this was in the early days of being able to simulate a full band…it definitely allowed me the ability to flesh out my ideas a lot more than previously. I wanted Catherine to sing but she was too shy to even sing with me in the room, which is why I feature more heavily as the lead singer in the early recordings. Anyway, I had just befriended Torquil from Stars, who I played the demos to. On the strength of them, he offered me a job as the touring member of his band as long as we moved to Montreal. Once we had done that, I toured with Stars for a year and a half, and got to know their label, Arts & Crafts. In my downtime between tours, Catherine and I began recording with Jace and Olga from The Besnard Lakes at their studio, Breakglass. Catherine began to warm up to the idea of singing in public more at this point, thanks in large part to the friendship we had with Jace and Olga who were wonderful to record with. Once we had about five songs recorded, we played them for Arts & Crafts and they agreed to sign us before we’d even played a show. It all happened rather quickly and fortuitously — we were in the right place at the right time.Where did you draw your inspiration for the new album?

We felt it was a logical continuation of the previous two with Dan Lissvik, an end to a trilogy as it were. I was listening to a lot of minimal dance and electronic music — and given our mandate of making the songs more sparse and energized over the previous albums with Dan, we tried to stay that course with Falsework. I had also come into a windfall of analog synths quite by accident, so my entire workflow changed with this new gear. It became way more process based, more about patterns and arrangements and rhythms than ever. The beauty of analog electronic gear is it’s very quirky and has real personality. The challenge is to harness that personality using your personal sensibilities. It’s harder than it seems…so as a result we were very in the moment — we let the machines shape the overall sound of the record.

How do you think your sound has evolved over the years?

We started in a much more traditional rock formation — in retrospect I think we were working out our early influences, or our original idea of what kind of band we wanted to be in when we first started dreaming of being in bands…I think I imagined it should be like a gang — a lot of my favourite bands growing up were that way, like The Stone Roses, The Verve, The Happy Mondays…but over time I realized we’d never really be that way, that by virtue of the band being centered around a couple it would be very different. With Catherine involved, we realized our band would always have a very feminine energy at the heart of it. Our influences eventually gravitated away from those more male, rock-oriented models to more androgynous, less conventional ones… acts like Bowie, The Knife, New Order — they all challenged preconceptions of whom bands should be comprised of — they flipped stereotypes back on themselves. So it stands to reason that as the band’s personality shifted, so too did its sound and its influences.

What is your writing process like, and how did you first become connected with producer Dan Lissvik?

As I mentioned, it’s very process based now. It started with me more or less just being emo with a guitar into a 4-track recorder… I haven’t written a song on a guitar in years now, it seems. It’s changed a lot, it’s a bank of synths and drum machines talking to each other these days. If I want to go acoustic, then I start with drums or bass. Rarely guitar now though.

We became connected to Dan through Myspace believe it our not. His band Studio was kind of ending at the time we contacted him, and I think he was looking for something different to cleanse his palette with. It was a matter of good timing. He had expressed his interest in finding new collaborators to his girlfriend, and apparently we messaged him the next day or something. So we both kind of took it as a sign.

We understand that you have two young kids at home. How has parenting shifted the dynamics of the band?

We were really worried that our kids would somehow cramp the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle of the band in some way. But it turns out our kids take the edge off the crustier moments in the van; they’re sweet and naive and make everyone smile for the most part. But then we haven’t toured with both of them yet. That starts tomorrow… maybe you should re-ask this question in a week, haha!

They seem to love the music — our oldest is four and wants us to play our records to him before he sleeps, it’s pretty adorable. Our youngest dances constantly… music stops him in his tracks. He’s a chip off the old block.

What song do you feel most connected to or enjoy performing?

Right now, I’m loving “The Night Wants Us To Be Free” — playing it is super fun — it grooves and gets me into a playful mindset when I’m playing it. If I’m worried or have a furrowed brow before that, it’s gone by the time we’re playing that song.

What artists are you listening to right now? All-time favorite?

As you can imagine, we just went through another obsessive Bowie phase. He is the greatest pop star of all time with the greatest breadth of output, hands down.

The trailer for the tour looks super intriguing. Can you elaborate a bit about what you’re trying to achieve with your live show? (We can’t wait to see it!)

We’re trying to cheat the game with this show. Bands like us aren’t supposed to have production values or choreography. We wanted to prove that a band that doesn’t make a lot of money can put on an amazing show. These days commerce gets to dictate people’s perceptions of what is good, cutting edge or exciting in the live setting. Somehow we manage to put a show together that subverts that expectation — we want people to see it and have their jaw hanging on the floor by the time it’s over.

View the Falsework tour trailer below, find Young Galaxy’s 2016 tour dates on their website — and as a bonus check out their amazing modern cover of Madonna’s “Open Your Heart.”

Jaakko Eino Kalevi ft. Farao – Everything Nice (Popcaan cover)


Farao had one of our favorite albums of 2015, so when we saw she’d collaborated with fellow Scandinavian artist Jaakko Eino Kalevi on a Popcaan cover we couldn’t help but pay attention. If you’re not familiar with Popcaan, you’ve probably at least heard him on his contribution to Jamie XX‘s 2015 smash album In Colour. In any case, it’s a cute story how the collab and cover of Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan came together. Kalevi explains: “I got obsessed with ‘Everything Nice’ about a year ago in Iceland when I met Kari [Farao]. She was singing it all the time and soon I was singing it too, even without hearing the actual song. It became my power song.”

Sprinkling some tropical disco vibes on the original, Kalevi and Farao turn the more subdued Popcaan track into a bright pop banger. Get into this nice lil’ ditty below.