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Thursday, Nov 6, 2014
The Seattle indie rockers Smokey Brights have a complex and intriguing new album in Taste for Blood.

Right from the minute you first lay eyes on its sleeve art, Taste for Blood intrigues. The name of the album by the Seattle-based Smokey Brights suggests a vampiric theme running throughout the music, but lyrically this is miles from Twilight and its ilk. Like the music of Taste for Blood, the lyrics here are enigmatic and complex. The title track finds the band singing, “I remember / We could read the wind like braille”. Such complex imagery is matched splendidly by the music, which spans a whole gamut of sonic styles, from indie (the catchy title cut) to folk (“West Texas Vampyre”) to blue-eyed soul (“If I Can’t Change Your Mind”). It’s the kind of listen that sidesteps every expectation you could have of it.


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Wednesday, Nov 5, 2014
Trailer music production company audiomachine is getting several of its signature tunes remixed by a broad range of musicians. Below you can stream Cole Plante's remix of "Phoenix Rising", the original track of which was used in the trailer for Assassin's Creed: Black Flag.

You know those epic, sweeping strings and plodding horn sections that make video game trailers so grandiose? Well, the folks responsible for those trailers aren’t just culling Hans Zimmer B-sides; production houses like audiomachine in fact spend a great deal of time creating compositions that bolster trailer footage in an intense way. Now, with audiomachine: Remixed, 18 of the company’s songs are being remixed by a variety of different artists. The talented and young (born in 1996) musician Cole Plante took the helm for a remix of “Phoenix Rising”, a track previously heard in trailers for Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.


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Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014
The Brighton, UK-based Astrid's Tea Party have delivered the danceable pop love tune for the prenup age in "What's in It For Me?"

Astrid’s Tea Party is an appropriately British name for a band hailing from the United Kingdom coastal city of Brighton. However, don’t let the name fool you: Astrid’s Tea Party isn’t all social niceties and delicate china. The danceable beats and high energy of the group’s latest single, “What’s in It For Me?”, are more liable to shatter teacups than serve as background music. As this first single attests, this young quartet has lyrical charm and smarts to match its pop energy, which should prove valuable assets as it readies its first EP, which at the moment is set to be released sometime in 2015.


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Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014
For an adventurous, boundary-eschewing set of electronic tunes, the new self-titled EP by the latest project of Maria Neckam, Milán, is just the place to go.

In his 2010 PopMatters review of Maria Neckam’s Deeper LP, Quentin B. Huff called her presence as a musician “sincere”, “earnest”, “vibrant”, all of which play a role in her “musical intrigue”. These same qualities can be found in Milán EP, Neckam’s latest project under the name Milán, which finds her moving from a jazzy take on pop to a more electronic style. Elements of CHVRCHES’ bouncy synth-pop can be found on Milán EP, as well as more minimal electronic stylings akin to the xx. Ultimately, however, the only way to truly experience Milán’s mélange of musical styles is to dive right into her music.


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Tuesday, Nov 4, 2014
Fans of artists like Frank Ocean and the Weekend ought to give Pure EP by the Brooklyn producer and musician Loveskills.

With artists like Frank Ocean and the Weeknd garnering global attention for their updated takes on R&B, it’s no surprise that the genre has seen a significant uptick in the past few years. For that reason, Brooklyn musician and producer Loveskills (Richard Spitzer) fits right in with the musical climate of his time. Pure EP, his latest offering, is replete with falsetto vocals, sensuous synth arrangements, and plenty of wicked beats to boot. Beginning with a cover of the Smashing Pumpkins’ “Luna”, the EP is a short but nonetheless clear declaration of Loveskills’ sonic MO.


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