‘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.
In years past, the challenge of compiling CokeCanPoetry‘s top tracks was in the distillation of songs. This year, however, the difficulty was in the inverse. Although 2016 certainly had its crowning moments, we struggled to assemble a list of inarguable top 20 tracks that were not only solid as a standalone effort, but indicative of an artist’s output in 2016 as a whole.
That was not always possible, but from Thom Yorke‘s breakup album to Blood Orange‘s political referendum and Leonard Cohen‘s final poesy, 2016 was not without merit. A potentially glaring omission is the lack of Lemonade, but in fairness, Bey — who is famously uncatalogued on Spotify is doing just fine without our backing. So without further ado, enjoy our collated playlist on Spotify below and click on the individual entries for further reading.
As always, thanks for following along with CCP this year. We fully realize this is not a comprehensive list, so feel free to leave your faves in the comments.
1. Holy Fuck – Xed Eyes
2. Mt. Si – Either / Or
3. Porches – Hour
4. Young Summer – Alright
5. Frank Ocean – Ivy
6. Flock of Dimes – Semaphore
7. Field Music – Disappointed
8. Phantogram – You Don’t Get Me High Anymore
9. Rihanna & Drake – Work
10. D.D Dumbo – Walrus
11. Radiation City – Milky White
12. Andrew Bird – Roma Fade
13. FKA Twigs – Good to Love
14. Nicolas Jaar – No
15. Poliça – Lime Habit
16. James Blake – I Hope My Life (1-800 Mix)
17. Blood Orange – Hands Up
18. Von Sell – Stay
19. Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
20. Radiohead – Ful Stop
When he isn’t working on his main musical project Bad Wave, Patrick Hart spends his time tinkering around with his side passion and solo gig, The Golden Peppers. “Think of Patrick Hart’s project title The Golden Peppers as The Mothers Of Invention to his Zappa, the E Street Band to his Boss, The Shadows to his Cliff Richard…just without the physical presence of an actual band,” explains a press release. “Patrick’s is the kind of dry humour that’s encouraged him to call a solo project after a would-be ensemble that doesn’t exist. The Golden Peppers is an homage to all the Daptones and King Khan songs Patrick was listening to before he took a trip from his LA base to Miami in June 2015 to work with an old musician friend, an expert in horns.” Inspired by such soul acts and armed with his brass-savvy compatriot, Hart set to work on an EP and The Golden Peppers was born.
While Hart’s solo music tends to be tongue-in-cheek, his latest effort, “If You Don’t Love Me” accesses a darker and more personal place in the songwriter’s arsenal after a purportedly rough year. Harnessing those feelings, Hart infuses bluesy keys, questioning lyrics, and of course a blazing horn section into the stirring new threnody. Hear it below.
British artist Bruno Major considers himself a jazz musician at heart. “I learnt how songs work through learning the American Songbook. Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald and later on Randy Newman and Rufus Wainright. Those are my heroes,” explains Major.
His latest offering, “Easily” is the 4th release of his current 12-month project, and is reflective of his penchant for nonchalant, jazz-inflected chord progressions — blended with bursts of modernity. Written on a hazy August afternoon with singer-songwriter Emily Elbert, and an assist from Phairo on production, the track showcases the London-based artist’s talent for crafting classic, minimal and melody-focused compositions.
With soulful vox and universally relatable lyrics such as ‘Just because it won’t come easily, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,‘ Major’s music is certainly easy on the ears. Listen below.
Fans of Belgian band Balthazar may already be acquainted with Jinte Deprez, the co-frontman of the aforementioned project and multi-instrumentalist now making music under the moniker J. Bernardt. Emerging from his home studio in Ghent with an altogether different sound, Deprez’s solo enterprise takes a turn into a more soulful category, reminiscent of Nick Murphy FKA Chet Faker.
Drawing on a range of influences from his father’s love of Kraftwerk to his own pop sensibilities, Deprez’s first single “Calm Down” is a seductive groove draped in delicious, broody vocals. The effort, out now via Play It Again Sam will be a part of Deprez’s debut record, slated for a 2017 release.
Indulging on a steady diet of ABBA during the genesis of their new EP, Houston-based band JERK generate dark, danceable pop songs as illustrated on their self-titled debut. JERK is comprised of group mastermind and multi-instrumentalist Austin Smith along with drummer Zach Alderman and keyboardist/vocalist Vicki Lynn. Speaking on the EP, Smith states: “I originally wanted to make slow disco songs. I’d been a layer-heavy songwriter in the past and I wanted to experiment with limitation. Before, I’d use anything at my disposal to fill maximum room in a song, so for JERK I worked inside a set of rules where I couldn’t do that, which forced some inventive creativity on my end.” The result is a minimalist take on dance rock replete with eerie synthesizer swells, trippy guitar lines and mildly menacing vocals.
It’s a solid debut so don’t be a jerk — stream lead single “Accidents” below.
We love supporting local outfits, especially when they prick our ears with electronic earworms such as this. Meet Brompton Collective, an experimental electronic band based out of D.C. comprised of Julian Nienaber and Andrei Mamonau. The duo formed after Mamonau declined his return flight to Russia, endeavoring to pursue his musical proclivities stateside instead. Since their inception, the collective have amassed an underground following through mixtapes, homemade lo-fi melancholic productions, and their unruly live shows. Their debut single “Collide,” freshly released via Admirable Traits Records is a pulsing, electric guitar driven dance track with an alluring vocal.
The guys are currently in the studio working on their debut EP, so look out for more soon. Hear “Collide” below.
If you, like us, consider yourself fans of early Coldplay, this one from LA-based artist We The Dreamers is for you. Comprised of frontman Myke Wilken and guitarist Ethan Rose, “Parasol” marks the second single for the indie outfit. From the opening Chinese gong to the romantic imagery and silky vocals laced throughout, this simple and melodious piece — written for Wilken’s girlfriend at the time — is sure to send you into a blissed out state. The cover art for the dreamy track was painted by Wilken, atop a landscape that his ex-girlfriend had painted previously. Stream it below.
On any given night of the week in the DMV, there are myriad options for live music, which is why we’ve started the segment DC LIVE to call out our picks.
Currently on tour with EDEN, LA’s Elohim will be stopping by Rock & Roll Hotel this evening, which we highly recommend you checking out. After being hailed as “Mariachi meets new-wave” by Wonderland Magazine, her latest single “Hallucinating” was recently flipped by Elohim herself into a Mariachi Version of its original iteration, in which colorful mariachi horns and strings replace the synthetic sounds of the prototype. As self-professed lovers of synthpop, this might come as a shock but we dare say we prefer the mariachi rendition — so get into it below. After her run with EDEN, Elohim will also be embarking on a tour with electronic duo Louis The Child in November.
The London-based musical project Still Corners has been kicking around for some time, and this September they released their latest full-length Dead Blue. The dreampop outfit, comprised of songwriter/producer Greg Hughes and singer Tessa Murray has developed a low-key solid following since their inception in 2008. Revisit their earlier single and cautionary tale of a track “Don’t Fall In Love,” and come out to see them perform live October 18 at DC9.
And finally, indie rockers and longtime CCP fave Trails & Ways also just released a new album that they’re currently on tour promoting. On the new record Own It they go for a more raw, grittier rock-and-roll sound than their 2015 LP Pathology — achieved through the use of live drums and distorted guitars. Fragments of their former bossa nova flavor are still intact, however. Stream “My Things” from the new album and come rock out with Trails & Ways at Black Cat October 24.
The new single from Rolls Bayce bursts right out of the gate with a rollicking guitar riff and a catchy, ebullient vocal. Formed by three friends in 2014, the psych-soul trio from Brisbane fuse a familiar, classic pop/rock sound from the ’60s with a modern, psychedelic twist and the result is no short of spectacular. The first taste of the band’s forthcoming debut full length, “Inside Out” is a tight arrangement of a track and is sure to get you toe-tapping.
Rolls Bayce will be performing a launch show for the single at Brisbane’s The Foundry on November 10. Rock out to this number by pressing play below.