I’m talkin bout French house

Annnddddddd we’re back. I’m sorry for such a long sabbatical but I was just researching music.
And being lazy.
So who wants to talk about French deep house?

Gonna be honest, I’m SO NOT an expert on house music, but because deep house has elements of soul and 1980s jazz-funk and this specific musician uses a lot of piano and saxophone, I’m going to say that I somewhat know what I’m talking about.

Should we meet Klingande

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A French duo composed of musicians Cédric Steinmyller and Edgar Catry, these guys don’t give the vibe of what you think of when you think of house music: electronic, boring, repetitive. They dig honest sound, and true jazz, funk, and soul. With three solid singles out, deubting in in 2013, these guys are beautiful in their sound.

There are house beats, but there are also funky basslines, eclectic vocal samples, excellent percussion and hypnotic, just straight-jamming grooves of saxophone solos that distinguish Klingande’s sound.

The two boys themselves label their music as “melodic sound,” and for sure they have this vibe of sunny beaches and the strange juxtaposition of classy, classy saxophone jazz and more modern dance pop.

I mean, take a listen to “Jubel.” You’ve got these straight up dope saxophone melodies (thank you fantastic Mr. Snake Davis) running throughout the entire track of lovely Lucie Decarne’s vocals. Reaching number one on the charts in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia and Switzerland, this track also hit #3 on the UK Singles chart.

We start out slow with bongo-drums and light layering of keys, yeah? Then a bassline melody, still good, right? Then a build up to the vocals, and you’re like, “Hmm, pretty good.” But then we hit the sax, and you’ve got to just stop and smile.

And then look at his first single ever released, “Punga.” The vocals are phenomenal combined with the saxophone layered on piano. And to be honest, the sax on this track is better than the sax on Jubel, but the standard of excellence here is just so high that either way, any of Klingande’s tracks are going to exceed any of our expectation for musical innovation.

If you like Avicii, if you like Bakermat, if you like saxophone, if you like grooves, please. Do yourself a favor. Check out his Soundcloud here, trust me, he’s worth your time.

And sweet deal because if you fall in love enough, go and check out his show at The Crocodile on May 20th.
You can bet I’m gonna be there.

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Ariana Rivera

New artist sparks my heart: JUNGLE FIRES

In this dreary period of somber winter nights, I’ve felt a little melancholy. I’m pining for sunshine, for sweet summertime nights, for nights around the campfire drinking some lemonade. I’m pining for the days of cool relaxation and no stress. Mostly, I’m pining for cool, fresh new music, and I think I found it.

So… we should meet JUNGLE FIRES.

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A New York based duo composed of artists Menashé David Israel & Kéren Or-Tayar, JUNGLE FIRES is a brand new artist that puts indie pop and indie soul on the map. With beautiful piano harmonies,some chill electric guitar, and soulful vocals, their debut album Bliss Point is sure to take center
stage.

It’s a six-track album with its number one track creating
the perfect interest into their record. Brilliant song, “Nothing Can Be
Changed,” JUNGLE FIRES builds this track up softly, quietly, but very, very
clean. Kéren, one of the artists in the duo, dominates in terms of vocals with Menashé
backseating it. However, the two harmonize well, and Kéren’s voice is beautiful
as she rolls on with excellent control. This track is full of acoustic
harmonies and some nice piano melodies that hints to me of some jazz
influences. This song sounds cool and all, right? Yet, I think what makes it
excellent is its free-flowing rhythm and very distinct lack of catchy “boppiness.”
This is no Alex & Sierra piano pop duo in which you take hold of the
predictable chorus and happily sing along. The melody in this track takes turns
you wouldn’t expect, but the artists do it very masterfully with soft vocals
and strong instrumentals reminiscent of instrumentalist artist Explosions in the Sky. Ending the first
track with some echoing whistles, I got the campfire, classy soul vibe and I
felt tranquil.

I’m not going to spoil the entire album for you, as you should
take a listen for it yourself. But, we definitely need to talk about my favorite
track off this new record, “It’s Okay.” There are so many reasons I love this
track. It’s a little more fast-paced, and we hear more of Menashé’s vocals and
it’s great. But more than that, the two did something awesome, and added horns into
this track. The trumpet that’s going on gives this Middle Eastern/Spanish vibe,
and it creates this song as jazz, soul, and pop all in one. I think what I love
most of about this track is its ethnic reminiscence and its musical diversity.
They have soft vocals, and they have good vocals, but I could definitely see the two going off in this direction that is
very acoustic guitar pop, very cookie cutter radio style. And the fact they are
doing their completely own sound makes me very happy.

The rest of the album is pretty fantastic for a debut. Their
October 2014 single, “Hold,” is a track that is a bit more folk based, but has a bit
more traditional harmony with Kéren leading the vocals. I like it though, and I’m
glad they put in the record. “Open Eyes” is beautiful as Menashé softly almost
whispers “Shouting as loud as a siren of war/ Just to desperately reach to your
world” over the hints of tambourine, violin, and guitar. “Best of Me” ends the record
on a fantastically high note, with a much more pop vibe, and I’m not complaining.
These guys know what they’re doing.

Agh, have I converted you yet? Hopefully, enough for you to
listen to their album here:

http://junglefires.com/releases

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Get it now while it’s hot.

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Ariana Rivera

Throwback Thursday: Mikky Ekko / HAERTS Show (Ani Joon Review)

Something you may have missed over the break… Rainy Dawg Radio’s Ani Joon is sonically enlightened by Mikky Ekko’s performance in Seattle.

A local performance review (featuring audio and video from the show)!

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Ania Kamkar

Album Review: Gem Jones – Admiral Frenchkiss

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Lo-fi pop doesn’t tend to be too rhythmic. The bedroom musicians who produce it tend to focus more on things like melody or atmosphere, since rhythm is probably harder to create with the limited production capabilities of a bedroom or whatever. If there’s anyone out there who’s starved for rhythm (also known as “groove” or “funk”) in the lo-fi world, don’t despair—Gem Jones can fulfill your need. The Iowa City producer’s latest release, Admiral Frenchkiss, grooves hard while still retaining a ragtag lo-fi charm.

Admiral Frenchkiss opens with “Black Lantern,” which combines jazzy brass with off-kilter synth effects. The combination sounds a little strange at first, but the track is nonetheless infectious with its energy. The same can be said for “Rock N Roll Dementia” and its soulful melodies. In both songs, the real star is the rhythm section: the drums and bass keep the melodies grooving along steadily. Things slow down a bit for the keyboard-driven “Shallow Rivers” (which, strangely enough, reminds me a bit of the “Waves” record from Nintendogs) and the laid-back “God in U.” Weirdness still creeps into these tracks, though—the meandering electronic sounds at the end of “God in U,” for example, elevates it from a straight reggae tribute to something more interesting. “Grimeshock” kicks things back into high gear with drums, bass, and synths once again powering away with a fierce rhythm. And finally, there’s “Ectomorphic Love,” a spacey ballad that sounds kind of like a love song from an alien. In fact, the whole album kind of sounds like it could’ve come from an alien, since I have no idea what Jones is singing the entire time. His voice ranges from falsettos recalling the days of classic soul to manic shouts reminiscent of Damo Suzuki. Rather than detracting from it, these vocals help to increase the weird appeal of the music.

With all the wild sounds present on Admiral Frenchkiss, it can be surprising to learn that Jones played all the instruments himself. It’s impressive that he managed to coordinate such controlled musical chaos on his own, and it’s an achievement worthy of commendation. So, you can reward Jones’ effort by buying Admiral Frenchkiss at his Bandcamp or getting it on cassette from Goaty Tapes. This is the kind of music that sounds good even when blasted out of a cheap old cassette deck—it might even sound better that way, actually.

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LeAnn Nguyen

gnovs’ groove: a traveling (or not) playlist

if you’ve gone home for thanksgiving, and theres a bus ride/train ride/long drive/plane ride involved, don’t you worry. i’ve got the playlist for you. this will make the longest of rides easy with an hour and a half of hip hop to bob your head to.

however, if you’re like me and you’re stuck thousands of miles from home, this is a great playlist to bump so you don’t miss home, quite as much. 

safe travels 

Sky’s The Limit (feat. 112) – The Notorious B.I.G.

Backwards – Tame Impala, Kendrick Lamar

Multiply – A$AP Rocky, Juicy J

Lean and Weed (feat. Problem) – Skeme

Can’t Stop (feat. Kanye West) – Theophilus London

Hol’ Up – Kendrick Lamar

See No Evil – The Game, Kendrick Lamar, Tank

Chaining Day – J. Cole

Who I Am – Pusha T, 2 Chainz, Big Sean

Sorry Momma – YG, Ty Dolla $ign

PMW (All I Really Need) – A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q

Do You Think About Me – 50 Cent

Drive Slow – Kanye West, Paul Wall, GLC

What They Want – Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz

God’s Reign (feat. Sza) – Ab-Soul

Blow My High (Members Only) – Kendrick Lamar

Driving Ms Daisy – Logic, Childish Gambino

Pain – A$AP Rocky, OverDoz.

Cold Blooded – Kid Cudi

Chapter Six – Kendrick Lamar

I Won – Future, Kanye West

Black People (feat. Kendrick Lamar) – Jay Rock

Ain’t That Some Shit (Interlude) – J. Cole

Jesus Piece – The Game, Kanye West, Common

hop out my lane

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gnovs

“Sunday Candy”: something to be thankful for (New Song)

this thanksgiving, i am SO thankful for Chance the Rapper, Donnie Trumpet, Peter Cottontale, and Nate Fox.

the four, commonly known as The Social Experiment, dropped a song on November 25th, with help from Stix on drums, vocals from Jamila Woods, Jabari Rayford, Eryn Allen Kane, and Macie Stewart, J.P. Floyd on trombone, and Patrick Paige on the bass.

the track, named “Sunday Candy,” is a single from Social Experiment’s upcoming album Surf, set to be released before 2015. 

and, as i said earlier, if you were looking for things to be grateful for during this lovely holiday break, search no more. this song is a blessing. the vibrant and upbeat trumpet accompanies a soulful, smooth beat that makes you want to sing at the top of your lungs, probably in the shower, or at all times, whatever works. 

another reason to fall in love with this song is the lyrics. the first verse Chance the Rapper raps about how much his grandmother loves him and Taylor Bennett, his younger brother, because of everything she has done for them. 

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as if i’m not already madly in love with Chance

the second verse, Chance expresses how important his grandmother is to him. he says “I’m pessimistic on Monday if I had tweaked and missed you,” referring to the thought of skipping seeing her at church on Sunday. given how chance is relatively open about his skepticism towards religion/God, this speaks volumes to how much inspiration his grandmother provides. it’s just so cute, okay! Take a listen:

the song is about waiting to see someone that improves your day, your life, any aspect of yourself. its about cherishing the people who are important to you, which is so great to have on a day like today.

anyways, the song is awesomely put together, with so many contributions from so many great artists. Nico Segal (better known as Donnie Trumpet) is noted in The Fader as saying ”this song specifically is a great representation of [The Social Experiment’s] collaborative efforts. It’s my curation, but then bringing it to the table with all these beautiful people and including them in their own way. Jamila sang on that hook, then I brought it to the collective. Peter added some great layers of texture and helped produce, Nate added a bunch of drums, tons of our friends from Chicago played instruments and added their ideas.” 

everything about this song is feel-good, and the people involved are people that you can also feel good supporting. Nico Segal and Chancellor Bennett went to high school together, and have been making music together for years, like Zion released on Donnie Trumpet EP in July 2013 and Wasting Time released from Traphouse Rock EP in 2012. it’s amazing to see the two, and other Chicago natives, succeeding on a larger scale, and releasing an album together years later.

so now, i sit and wait for Surf.

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gnovs

A solid find: Hollow Coves (New Artist Update)

I was recently just doodling around on the internet like we like to do when paper proposals should really be written, and I stumbled across these two beautiful gentlemen who, quote, “have that chilled vibe about [them].”

Such truth.

I’m a fan of acoustic sets and I’m even more of a fan of acoustic duos. Pretty clean, pure stuff to me, and I find that if you just have a guitar in hand and your voice, there are no real opportunities to BS your music.

Hollow Coves do not disappoint.

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Meet Ryan Henderson and Matt Carins, two dudes from Brisbane, Australia. Recently just releasing their debut EP, Drifting, indie-folk duo Hollow Coves keep it simple and keep it classy.

Just listening to the first song on Drifting, “The Woods,” is beautifully simple with an intro of a slowly building beat that develops into simple guitar melodies and soft piano chords, vaguely giving a Kris Allen feel to the song. The two boys picked each other well as both their voices truly complement each other as they bring the song alive with their relaxed tone and lyrics of “And we all sit around the fire/ We feel a little warmer now/And we all sit around the fire/ We feel so much better now.”

Drifting – EP by Hollow Coves

Take a listen, and if just chilling around the fire and feeling better and warmer doesn’t give you a “chilled” vibe then I don’t know what will.

In “Home,” the second song on Drifting¸ simple subtle guitar melodies combined with the duo’s intertwined voices also just brings you home as they sing “Take me home/To the friends I’ve always known/Take me home/Back to the place where I belong.”

Such simple lyrics right? I mean, yes, don’t get me wrong here, these pieces of music are not the most complex musically and lyrically, but the overall vibe these two have is what I think they’re both trying to achieve: simple, clean and beautiful. And hey, indie folk isn’t Bach.

I think in the last song, “Heatwave,” is actually the song that is the most complex of the three on the EP with more complicated instrumentals, but at the same time, it’s also my least favorite.  Why? 1) There’s only one person doing vocals on this song, which for me, causes the song to lose depth, and 2) The last half of the song is guitar strumming and humming which gets boring. Nonetheless, the one guy doing the vocals on this song, either Ryan or Matt (I can’t tell), does show a wider range of vocal capability, so cool to know for the future if they decide to release a full album.

Where to listen?! http://hollowcoves.bandcamp.com/releases 

Overall? I like them. I like this. I like indie folk and I like their simplicity and the beauty that comes with it. If they keep to the simple melodies of both their instrumentals and their voices, then Hollow Coves will be a duo that makes it to the top.

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Ariana Rivera

Rad Report: A digitized croc for the night!—Digitalism’s Seattle Show 11/4

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Moelle and Tüfekçi, duo of the remarkable Digitalism, walk onto the stage behind a screen of white drop down strings that hang from the ceiling. Complete with lights beaming upon the threads and the performers as well, the duo assumes each of their roles behind their computers and synthesizers. They appear nearly digital—looking as if they are part of an LED light screen.

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This is the scene that I walked into at Digitalism’s show at the Crocodile on November fourth. Standing in the crowd of people that were all there to experience the good vibes that were radiating through the room didn’t feel like your average concert; it felt more like a full experience between the extreme electronic sounds, the smooth vocals, and the amazing light show which seemed to become more intense throughout the night.

After their first album, Idealism, and their Pogo EP were released in 2007, the German duo’s success took off. I’ve personally been into digitalism for a while since I heard Pogo shortly after it was released and instantly heard brilliance beam out of my headphones. It had been a while since I’d heard that Digitalism was going on a US tour, so I was stoked to have this opportunity to be able to see and write about them. I’m not interested in all electronic music, but unlike others of similar genres, Digitalism adds unique themes within their songs. Much of their music actually has vocals, which are preformed by Moelle—unlike most other electronic artists, he even sings on stage at live shows.

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At the Crocodile, I found myself mesmerized by the duo’s initial strong electronic build with the synths. A few songs into it, I became even further impressed as Moelle walked over to his vintage microphone and began adding suave vocals. I noticed that many of the songs had a retro feel to them, just as the microphone did. This really added an exciting atmosphere to the music and took the normal electronic feel from average to extraordinary.

The show was taken to another level as the music came to a halt after an intense build—Moelle and Tüfekçi walk off stage as the crowd goes wild for an encore. The lights begin to flash and the two once again stroll over to their synths. The drops their indietronica beats as Moelle walks over to the old-fashioned mic for the last time of the night, allowing his vocals to resonate toward the audience. For the last couple songs (ending with their most popular “Wolves” and “Pogo”), the crowd is enthralled by the funk vibe seems to rush out of the performers. “Pogo” is a bright song with creative, yet simple, lyrics—and what a great song to end with. One line from the song, “Yeah, woohoo, there’s something in the air” seems to capture the entire feeling of the night. As soon as Digitalism walked nearly weightlessly onto stage, there was definitely a different feeling in the air that continued until they played their final beats.

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Rad Rebs

Outlander in the Emerald City: Lync – These Are Not Fall Colors (Flashback Album Review)

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Formed in 1992, Lync was one of the pioneers of the indie rock scene that grew out of Olympia and Seattle in the early- to mid-1990s.  Comprised of vocalist/guitarist Sam Jayne, bassist/vocalist James Bertram, and drummer Dave Schneider, Lync’s strengths encompass discordant riffs, intertwining guitar and bass melodies and a heavy, driving beat to keep the ground solid underneath.  Jayne’s vocals are beautifully indistinct while maintaining a screechiness that is bound to make your head ache delightfully.  With only one full album under their belt, These Are Not Fall Colors showcases the band in a head-bang worthy package, drawing comparisons to hardcore favorites such as Fugazi and Unwound.

Where to listen: The full album can be found on YouTube (streaming after the jump)

Where to buy: Check out Lync’s bandcamp (http://lync1994.bandcamp.com/album/these-are-not-fall-colors) if you like what you hear!

The album opens with “B”, beginning with a bombardment of feedback extending into a melodically brooding riff and rolling drumbeat, wasting no time in showcasing Lync’s talents in the post-hardcore vein.  The song takes off into a soaring barrage of distortion and chunky rhythms, with Jayne double-tracking his screaming vocals over the chorus.  Although the lyrics maintain an ambiguous quality throughout the song (and most of the album for that matter), a few profound lines shine through, including the repeated “You only need your own air to breathe.”  Lync’s influences can be easily traced back to classics like Pixies and Sonic Youth with their use of the (now almost-clichéd) alt-rock loud/soft dynamic; however, they implement it differently, often giving breathing room in the chorus while still never losing intensity in the verses.  “Silverspoon Glasses” is no exception to this rule, featuring swelling walls of distortion that collapse into haunting yet beautiful melodies.  The album continues with the supremely catchy “Cue Cards”, featuring the classic off-kilter arpeggio and rolling drumbeat combination, with a bass-line to guide the major melodies, a trick peers Modest Mouse picked up (and perfected) in their first few records.  The last track, “Uberrima Fides,” allows the album to close out with a bang, climaxing to a kick-ass buildup before the reverb-drenched outro jam (which takes its guitar effects from space-rock gods Caustic Resin and Built to Spill).  The feedback at the end of the track allows the album to fade out as it began, ready to be replayed and re-appreciated by its fans.  Although twenty years have passed since its release, These Are Not Fall Colors remains a highly influential record in the indie rock scene that has grown to such great heights in our alt-loving society of today

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Katie Hanford