Former Charlottesville, Virginia musician Jeff Doyle moved to Brooklyn in 2010 and emeshed himself in the Williamsburg DIY night clubs that once dotted the neighborhood before the yuppies took over. Doyle sought to discover new sounds and really think about where he was going musically after disbanding his group Pompadour back in Charlottesville. Flash forward to 2013 and Doyle found some like-minded musical spirits in drummer Christopher Burns and guitarist Sam Ghitelman and they began developing new songs as well as reimagining some of Doyle’s old material and named the project OxenFree. Completing their lineup with bassist Sean Padden and vocalist Emily Olson, the group began releasing EPs and singles and now plan to release their debut album in May.
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In premiering the Fairground Saints’ debut album in August of 2015, we said that “Fairground Saints are on to something very, very good on their debut album… the end result is a quietly beautiful album with enough ambition to try new things” and then we gave the album an 8 of 10 and PopMatters Pick status. Fairground Saints’ virtuostic musicianship and heavenly harmonies drive their infectious brand of bluegrassy pop. We’re fans and proud to present this new performance video of the tune, “Can’t Control the Weather”, a tune just in time for the gentle budding of spring.
BETS has already scored many kudos for their singles “Don’t Give a F#CK” and “Jenny”, and now the all-female dream pop band is unveiling their new single, “Free Tonight”. The song is a longing wish for the freedom of people doing the good work of political and cultural activism who today are imprisoned in one form or another. BET’s voice mesmerizes as it lulls us into a full dream state with her, as the gentle, warm, optimistic melodies wash over us. It’s a much-needed dose of hope and empathy that we need in these harsh and most unempathetic times.
Dutch producer Lodewijk Fluttert (a.k.a. Bakermat) is known for his minimalist style of electronic music that draws in soul and jazz influences. Bakermat has released a number of successful singles since his debut in 2012, including “Vandaag”, which went platinum in Germany. He began creating music at 18 whilst attending the University of Utrecht, where he discovered his love for deep house. This year, he plans to release a series of singles that began earlier this year with “Games”. Now Bakermat is back with “Ballade”, a tune that shows off his versatility in that it’s less of a dance tune than a beautiful pop ballad, stripped down and pure. That suggests Bakermat is continuing to broaden his sound as he builds towards greater success.
California’s Xu Xu Fang create dark and mesmerizing pysch rock music full of swirling textures, ethereal female vocals and hard-charging rhythms. It’s an intoxicating and fresh sound meant for the night, either dancing at a club or chilling out at home. Xu Xu Fang’s music is flat-out beautiful and essential. Tomorrow the group will release their debut album, Daylong Secret, via the Sound Ranch, following major success with a series of splendid EPs. Rooted in psych rock, Xu Xu Fang will also appeal to electronic and dance music fans as they manage to channel a Massive Attack/Portishead vibe. Highly recommended.
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