BØRNS – The Emotion

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LA-based act BØRNS, aka Garrett Borns is a rising new talent who’s made a splash for his sunkissed indie-pop hooks. The newcomer, who originally hails from Michigan relocated to LA where he wrote (with heavyweight producers like Emile Haynie) and finally debuted his highly-anticipated album Dopamine last month. No doubt his new surroundings affected the singer’s sound, as a press release calls his music “pure Southern California in a bottle.” Listen to the heartfelt track “The Emotion” below for a sample of his sensibilities.

People in the DMV can catch BØRNS live at Rams Head Live on December 1.

Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better

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Sufjan Stevens, the musical genius from Michigan released his new album Carrie & Lowell March 31, and by this point you’ve likely already heard a few tracks if you consider yourself a fan. Named after his mother and stepfather, the elegiac album is essentially a cathartic meditation on death in musical form — after losing his mother to cancer in 2012.

Regarding the record’s subject matter, in a compelling interview with Pitchfork Stevens said: It’s something that was necessary for me to do in the wake of my mother’s death—to pursue a sense of peace and serenity in spite of suffering. It’s not really trying to say anything new, or prove anything, or innovate. It feels artless, which is a good thing. This is not my art project; this is my life.

Without question Stevens’ most profound and personal album should be listened to as a whole, but you can hear a couple of our favorite dirges — “Should Have Known Better” and “All Of Me Wants All Of You” below.

Stevens is going on tour in support of the album next week, and will be bringing his majestic sounds to DC’s DAR Constitution Hall May 5.

RMX ROUNDUP: Shakarchi & Stranéus + HNNY / Bag Raiders / Hundred Waters + Shigeto

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Welcome to another edition of Remix Roundup, a segment in which we bring you the latest and greatest mixes circulating the interwebs. First up is a refreshing upbeat edit of Swedish duo Shakarchi & Stranéus‘ “Hissmusik” from fellow Swedish producer HNNY (pronounced honey). The track amounts to insanely infectious dance music, complete with playful bass, an addictive vocal hook and even a flute solo. Treat your ears to this aural nectar below.

In keeping with this breezy and convivial vibe, we take a short remix interlude to bring you this blithe electronic track from Sydney’s Bag Raiders that we’ve had up our sleeves for some time. The now LA-based duo, Chris Stracey and Jack Glass import the tropics with “Nairobi,” an instrumental track infused with marimba melodies and conga rhythms that make us anxious for summer. Although the track was released on an EP of the same name last year, the group is allegedly at work on their second album.

Lastly, Michigan producer Shigeto recently was tasked with reworking a Hundred Waters track for their Remix album of The Moon Rang Like a Bell. While “Cavity” is a dark and spectral tune perfect in it’s own right, the Ghostly International-signed artist manages to add some levity to the original in a way that doesn’t detract — but rather gives it a new form entirely.

Exquisite instrumentation with Shigeto’s signature chimes and an intricate melody make for a revivifying final product, that sends our hearts soaring when the looping begins around 1:35 minutes in. Stream this Little Dragon-esque delicacy below, and be sure to pick up the entire Remix LP on iTunes while you’re at it.

Chrome Sparks – Marijuana

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Jeremy Malvin, who creates music under the name Chrome Sparks is a young musician and native of Ann Arbor, now residing in Brooklyn. His obsession for synthesizers can be clearly seen in Marijuana, a song from his EP Sparks released March 2013. Influenced by a background in classical percussion, Chrome Sparks’ music is filled with a cloud of arpeggiators and lead sounds. Jeremy can currently be found on tour with a couple of friends — with upcoming performances at DC9 April 30, and Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn May 2.

I feel music in your eyes
Rainbows, in your ears