Christopher Baio has played bass with Vampire Weekend since 2006, but now he’s stepping out on his own with an album of pure pop deliciousness. The Names will release September 18th via Glassnote Records and will include the Mika-esque, Bowie-influence ditty “Sister of Pearl”, a song with killer hooks. The record is sounding pretty summery to our ears.
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A collaboration between American singer Justin Taylor, Finnish producer Jaako Manninen (of Beats and Styles notoriety), and multi-instrumentalist and producer Ryan Malina, Jutty Ranx scored a surprise European hit in 2012 with “I See You”, which went double platinum in Italy and topped seven million views on YouTube. Three years later they’re set to release Discordia, an ebullient blast of R&B-tinged EDM, whose modern, international take on soul and dance is certain to appeal to fans of Daft Punk and Chromeo, and which we’re more than pleased to premiere here today.
“It’s all rock n roll”, Empty Flowers say of their genre of music on their Facebook page. One spin of “Comb Over”, a track from their upcoming record Four, and all you’ll be able to say for yourself is, “No kidding.” With a brooding, palpable energy, “Comb Over” is evidence enough that rock music runs deep in Empty Flowers’s musical DNA.
The group’s rock cred is made even more apparent by the collaborations it did on the remix record The Air You Found, released last year, which features interpretations of the tracks from its previous LP, Five. The remixes were done a a who’s-who of hard rock and metal players, including members of Gorguts, ISIS, and Khanate, among others.
In a review of Galactic‘s gig at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California earlier this year, PopMatters’ Greg M. Schwartz calls the group “one of New Orleans’ best sonic flavors.” Although these road-worn instrumentalists have more than aptly proven their musical chops over the course of their 20 years together as a band, they are certainly capable of reining in the solos and focusing on songs. “Into the Deep”, which features Macy Gray‘s powerful pipes at the front of the mix, is a fine example of Galactic’s songcraft, and it bodes well for the rest of the forthcoming Into the Deep LP. Soulful and groovy without ever being overly flashy, “Into the Deep” is a snippet of Galactic at their most enthusiastic.
Just after summer 2015 comes to a close, Minneapolis, Minnesota songwriter John Mark Nelson will drop his new record, I’m Not Afraid. PopMatters is proud to premiere the LP’s lead single, “Dream Last Night”, which is buoyed by a nice chord progression played through an electric guitar tone reminiscent of the snappy tones of Dire Straits picker Mark Knopfler.
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