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Monday, May 20, 2013
Chicago rapper/producer Tree flips a sample of the Elvis classic "Can't Help Falling in Love" and makes the track his own with his gruff, elastic vocal delivery and alternately tough and clever lyricism.

An Elvis song, let alone the schmaltzy classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, seems an odd choice at best for a rap sample (at worst, we’re talking Dipset “Built This City” territory). But Chicago rapper/producer Tree manages to flip the sample into a soul-trap hybrid that, I don’t know, just works. He spits gruff, elastic, occasionally pinch-voiced tough-talk and hippie street guru bars, slipping in affecting lyrics like “Drunk as hell, man / I probably shouldn’t have a pistol.” As much as the drill scene has dominated its recent rap coverage, Chicago is a city of many voices just like any other, and Tree happens to be, along with steadily rising Chance the Rapper, one of its more interesting and talented.



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Monday, Apr 29, 2013
America's Got Internet Laziness

Imagine you are a jazz drummer who has played with almost every famous modern jazz musician from A to Z. You scored music for a circus in Moscow and released an album on the Tzadik label where each track you composed was inspired by sculptor Joan Miró. During your downtime, you assemble five “albums” of sample tracks for the purposes of showing off your film scoring skills. You post these little experiments as free downloads on your Bandcamp account. This grabs the attention of a scout from…America’s Got Talent.


Tagged as: bobby previte
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Thursday, Apr 25, 2013
Wonderlick are one of the finest unknown treasures in the overwhelmingly vast world of indie pop and it's songs like "Sixteenyearoldgirl", their first sign of life in a couple of years and possible first sampling from their upcoming third album, that showcase their knack for the sort of great songwriting that deserves more accolades.

The loving four-minute tribute to all the Darias in the world is a little rough around the edges (hence appropriately tagged as “rough mix”), but it doesn’t stop the layered vocal harmonies, the ingenius hooks that get you singing along right from the very first listen and the brilliant lyrics from shining. They’ve not strayed anywhere from their past direction, but when a band focuses on what they do the best and the results are as irresistably affable as this, it’s impossible to complain. Most importantly, it’s got the timeless Wonderlick sound to it that stirs nostalgia from your personal good old days in an abstract way that doesn’t directly sound like anyone else: “Sixteenyearoldgirl” already feels like something you’ve treasured for years.



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Thursday, Apr 25, 2013
The remix of Young Man's single "In a Sense" still brings out the essence of Colin Caulfield's yearning sound, drawing out its tender grace.

While he may have gotten on the radar thanks to YouTube covers of the likes of Deerhunter and Beach House, Young Man’s Colin Caulfield has steadily grown into his own identity as an artist. That’s something that stands out on Young Man’s recently released third album, Beyond Was All Around Me, a confident, fleshed-out effort that showcases plenty of classic art-pop chops, while also revealing some inventive touches all Caulfield’s own. Indeed, the distinct qualities of Caulfield’s songwriting voice can’t help but come through even in this remix of the single “In a Sense” by London producer Maths Time Joy. More focused on rhythmic elements than the melodic synth-pop of the original version, the remixed “In a Sense”, premiering on PopMatters, still manages to bring out the essence of Young Man’s yearning sound, drawing out its tender grace in a distilled state.


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Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013
by PopMatters Staff
Keith Top of the Pops & His Minor UK Indie Celebrity All-Star Backing Band have returned with a new album featuring more of the idiosyncratic, clever pop that is the band's trademark.

On this lead-off track from TOTP2, “Morrissey Will Never Forgive Me”, Keith Top of the Pops takes the piss a bit, using snippets from Morrissey lyrics and then saying how the former Smith would never forgive him. The song was recorded live with full band in one take to preserve the sense of urgency in the tune. TOTP2 will be released May 17th via Corporate Records.



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