Feeling the need to express herself post election, Steady Holiday, the solo project of Dre Babinski picked up a pen on November 9 and composed a collection of tracks in the span of a month. Culminating in an EP called Terror, the effort features contributions from Josh Adams (Jenny Lewis) and Gus Seyffert (The Black Keys, Beck). In the title track, Babinski writes about a fictional character’s fear of the unknown, which also serves as a metaphor for the xenophobia sweeping the country. The dark subject matter juxtaposed with her romantic ’60s-inspired arrangements and soft lilting vocal adds a rich layer of irony to the track.
The follow up to her 2016 breakout LP Under the Influence, the new EP will be released this April on Infinite Best Recordings. Steady Holiday will be supporting Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Mitski on the road this spring, and doing a hometown EP release show April 7 at Resident in LA.
Hear “Terror” along with standout earlier effort “Your Version of Me” below.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two female vocalists, an Austrian multi-instrumentalist and a DJ/producer from Seattle. Such is the composition of Karmic, a new indie pop band based out of LA who just dropped their debut effort on Soundcloud. The offering, “Higher Self” is an infectious, upbeat slice of electropop that stylistically reminds us a little of Wild Belle. Get in touch with your higher self whilst you stream 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.
We’ve received a good amount of noteworthy cover tracks lately, so we’re resurrecting the CCP segment we’re calling The Coverup. The 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.
“I feel like a man, haven’t cried for weeks now,” Daniela Gesundheit opines on the latest Snowblink single. Borne out of a career-related, ambition-exhaustion, masculinity burnout, “Feel Like A Man” is a song about the exertion it often requires of women to have their voices heard. Speaking on the inspiration for the track, Gesundheit states: “I pictured myself as a man, feeling both the elation and intense frustration of being powerful.” Pretty potent, especially when buoyed above sparing strings and a suspenseful synth pattern.
For those unfamiliar with the duo, Snowblink is a folk/pop act comprised of Gesundheit and Dan Goldman of Toronto and Los Angeles. Purveyors of non-denominational devotional pop music, Snowblink draws influence from a background in South Indian vocal studies and a Jewish Cantorial repertoire. Gesundheit — who was also a featured vocalist alongside Brian Eno on Owen Pallett‘s In Conflict LP — has an amorphous sound that shifts effortlessly between dispassionate soprano and unapologetic animalistic tones. In conjunction with Goldman’s intimate and narcotic harmonies, together they construct an opulent, hypnotic aura inspired by the Japanese concept of beautiful imperfection called wabi-sabi.
It’s a lovely foundation on which to build a musical soundscape, which is why we’re looking forward to the coming of their new album, Returning Current. The record will be released on Outside Music September 9, but in the meantime, stream the new single and get in touch with your inner man below.
This is our first time covering LA artist Elohim, but she’s racked up quite a following with the few tracks that she’s released thus far. The new one, premiered yesterday on Complex is called “Sensations” and is the lead single off her forthcoming self-titled debut EP. The mysterious singer is a classically-trained pianist who prefers preservation of musical artistry to the merits of frivolous fame. Her new song “Sensations” is a synth-driven ode to love, sex, and vulnerability. Elohim explains, “That unbelievable uninhibited-can’t breathe-is this a dream-I love you moment, where nothing exists or matters but the person next to you. That’s what sensations is to me.”
Elohim’s EP is out May 20 via B3SCI Records — available for pre-order here.