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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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.
In his 2010 PopMatters review of Whitey Morgan and the 78’s’ self-titled sophomore outing, Stephen Haag wrote that the group “an album meant to be played -– and loud -– in a shitty dive bar jukebox. And yes, that’s a compliment.” He finished his review by saying the music will make you want to “to crank this record and turn up the bottle.”
Now, four years later, Morgan and his band have readied their followup to Whitey Morgan and the 78’s, the live LP Born, Raised, & LIVE From Flint, which was recorded in Morgan’s Michigan hometown.
Fans of Bon Iver will have their ears perk up with they hear the name of the latest project by Albert Cerny (of Charlie Straight fame), called Lake Malawi. While the band’s name is an allusion to that somber American indie titan, Lake Malawi the band makes music for large arenas, not rustic Wisconsin cabins. The group’s latest single, “Chinese Trees”, begins with a verse backed by staccato keyboard notes, which then give way to an anthemic, melodic chorus.
“Chinese Trees” follows the single “Always June”, both of which are the early offerings of this young enterprise.
Described as a “part avant-garde vocal ensemble and part wildly experimental pop group”, the Red Hook, Brooklyn-based Anawan (formerly TWVE) just recently announced the forthcoming release of its newest, self-titled LP. Combining intricate vocal harmonies with visceral and grabbing pop melodies, Anawan writes chamber music for a pop-centric generation. Below you can get a taste of the vocal experimentation that’s to come on Anawan in the form of “One of Us is Dead”.