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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (101-110 of 642)

Watch BLKHRTS party hard in their 'Porties' video

BLKHRTS

Denver’s BLKHRTS are part of an insurgent movement that’s given hip-hop its own version of punk rock, overflowing with anarchic energy and intensely distorted sounds. They’re a little more gothed out than the other acts that fall under the umbrella of “noise rap,” like CLPPNG and the recently disbanded Death Grips. In an interview with their hometown alt-weekly, the Denver Westword, the group’s producer Yonnas Abraham–who makes the band’s beats on an outdated, not entirely functional, 20-year-old sampler–calls himself, “obsessed with romance, obsessed with death, and obsessed with the color black.”

BLKHRTS goth tendencies come through loud and clear on “Porties,” where they rap about romantic complications over a beat that samples Bauhaus’ “She’s In Parties.” The video, with its moody, high-contrast visuals and party-hardy action, sums up the group’s mission nicely.

Golden Coast delivers sunshiney vibes with 'Dream and an MPC'

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Golden Coast hails from Los Angeles, and their electronics-enhanced pop projects some of the same eternally sunny optimism that the city often gives off in movies. The band’s latest single, “Dream and an MPC,” is a follow-your-dreams anthem about hustling in the music biz, a trope as old as rock ‘n’ roll that they’ve updated with a modern technological twist, both in the shout-out to Akai’s iconic sampler and the streaks of ravey synthesizers laced throughout. Between the synths and a bouncy vocal melody that recalls Vampire Weekend’s cheerier moments, it should satisfy EDM fans and indie rockers alike.

Zeus gives '70s soft rock a fuzzed-out twist on '27 Is the New 17'

With the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack recently winning both the top spot on the Billboard 200 album chart and a place in the hearts of the movie’s surprisingly enthusiastic legion of fans, ’70s soft rock is once again back in vogue. That’s good news for Toronto band Zeus, whose upcoming third album, boldly entitled Classic Zeus (out Sept. 2 on Arts and Crafts), draws from a wide range of influences but leans particularly hard on a similar strain of AM gold.

Classic Zeus offers a look inside the minds of a group that has matured greatly over the past few years, and particularly so during a bumpy period of time after their last album that brought them to the verge of breaking up. It’s weighty material, but for their latest single, “27 is the New 17,” they lighten things up with a presentation that resembles a fuzzy, indie-fied take on ELO’s brand of effervescent psychedelic pop.

Hear Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer's 'Human Divine'

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When Chilean singer-songwriter Yael Meyer began working on the song “Human Divine,” it was “much more mellow and acoustic track than it is on the record,” she writes. “I wrote it late and night and recorded a very rough demo of it and you could hear the keyboard making this really cool clicking sound that kind of made it sound like there was a beat underneath the song. So even though it was very mellow song, the implied beat made gave me the feeling that maybe this could be a dance song.”

The end result is bouncy, ebullient electropop that should appeal to the considerable number of people who are still waiting for Grimes to write another “Oblivion.” It also contains a timely, uplifting lyrical message: “You always hear in the news about the worst possible things happening in the world,” Meyer writes, “because that’s what sells, and that generates a fear-based society built on the idea that everything that happens is horrible. But I believe that there is a balance between good and evil. Yes, there is a lot of bad stuff happening, but there are also a lot of people doing good and it makes me believe that really good is leading the way after all.”

Meyer’s Warrior Heart drops Sept. 16 on KLI Records.

Watch the latest video from Meshell Ngedeocello, 'Shopping for Jazz'

Meshell Ndegeocello has had a remarkably long and successful career in the music industry for someone who’s steadfastly refused to fit in one of the easily recognizable categories that that usually entails. Since the late ’80s, she’s dabbled in pretty much every genre imaginable, from roots rock to techno. (Trivia tidbit: She got her start in the funk-heavy D.C. go-go scene.)

Her latest single, “Shopping for Jazz,” dabbles in several distinctly disparate styles at once, combining a bossa nova foundation with a country slide guitar and slinky soul vocals. It’s the first video from her new album, Comet, Come to Me, which features contributions from a fittingly broad range of guests including Amp Fiddler, Doyle Bramhall, and My Brightest Diamond.

Ndegeocello will start touring behind Comet in September. You can find her itinerary here.

Watch Amoureux's gorgeously choreographed 'Lost the Plot' video

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The ability to make and distribute music videos used to be limited to a relatively elite level of performers, but with cheap technology and free digital distribution, anyone with at least a song and a smartphone can make one. Consequently, there’s been a biblical-level deluge of them, forcing creators to take increasingly contrived routes to getting noticed—hence the numbing amount of NSFW clips trying desperately to shock viewers, or elaborate, Rube Golbergian ones like nearly all of OK Go’s videography, where the gimmick far overshadows the music itself.

Compared to its stunt-dependent competition, the video for indie-pop duo Amoureaux’s “Lost the Plot” is an elegantly understated breath of fresh air. It stars dancers Reshma Gajjar and Hunter Hamilton (who in the past have done work for Madonna and Sia), choreographed by Kitty McNamee and directed by Miles Crawford, with little to distract from their performance. Amoureux bassist Holiday J and drummer Nicole Turley are both former dancers, and the collaboration with McNamee and Crawford highlights how much they’re still focused on rhtyhm.

“I fell in love with the rawness of this song,” writes McNamee in an email. “It swept me in. I think it triggered a very personal response to the music.”

“I was intrigued by the idea of stalemate,” Crawford adds. “All the moves have been tried, and yet we aren’t ready to give up the game. In the repetition we lose our way, our purpose. We go at it again and again, finding the same result, until finally there is nothing, but to let it go. That, and I wanted to play with flour.”

Hear Ruby Fray's 'psychedelic witch wave' single 'Photograph'

Singer-songwriter Emily Beanblossom played in about a million bands and released one LP under the name Ruby Fray while she was living in indie-rock mecca Olympia, Washington. Then, she packed up and moved to the more southerly hipster hotspot of Austin, Texas. Her move, her new hometown’s suffocating weather, and its local fauna all had a direct influence on the second Ruby Fray album, Grackle, which comes out on the illustrious Olympia label K Records on Sept. 30.

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Hear Brooklyn Shanti's 'Something Beautiful,' featuring Bollywood star Evelyn Sharma

Producer Nathan Nabin Laskar, aka Brooklyn Shanti, is on an ambitious quest to unite hip-hop, dance music, and a patchwork of styles from across the globe. So far he’s doing a bang-up job, forging connections with a diverse group of important acts like Afrika Bambaataa, Major Lazer, Karsh Kale, Camp Lo, and Jahdan Blakkamoore.

Laskar’s latest album, Bedstuyle (out Sept. 9 on Someplace Called Brooklyn), is a tribute to Brooklyn’s Bed-Stuy neighborhood, where the North Carolina native currently lives—and where Biggie, Jay-Z, and Mos Def all grew up. For the single “Something Beautiful” he offers a spacey, string-laden trip-hop beat topped by ethereal vocals from Bollywood star Evelyn Sharma. We’ve got an exclusive first listen of the track: READ FULL STORY

Watch a clip of 'Garfunkel and Oates' guest-starring the actual Oates

Comedy folk duo Garfunkel and Oates recently followed in the footsteps of past comedy folk music duos like Flight of the Conchords and the Smothers Brothers by bringing their act to the small screen. Last week, IFC aired the first episode of Garfunkel and Oates, which follows the ups and downs of a lightly fictionalized version of the pair as they play uncomfortable corporate gigs, try to land TV appearances, deal with comedian boyfriends who use their sex lives as joke fodder, and face other challenges comedy folk music acts apparently encounter.

The pair have assembled an impressive lineup of guest stars for their first season, including Chris Parnell, Natasha Leggero, Anthony Jeselnik, Tig Notaro, Steve Agee, Chris Hardwick, and, most improbably, Sir Ben Kingsley. But in terms of metatextual humor, it’s hard to beat a cameo from the group’s partial namesake John Oates. He appears in an episode entitled “Rule 34″ (airing this Thursday, Aug. 14), in which Garfunkel and Oates encounter a porn version of themselves played by Abby Elliott and Sugar Lyn Beard.

We have an exclusive sneak peek at Oates’s scene, plus a Q&A with the soul-pop star about his acting debut.

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Hustle and Drone live out their hoop dreams in 'The Glow' video

Ryan Neighbors played keyboards for the proggy rock band Portugal. The Man until 2012, when he left to form the synth-heavy power trio Hustle and Drone. After a spending the past couple years woodshedding in Portland, the group is preparing to release their first LP, HOLYLAND, September 2 on Red Bull Sound Select.

The album’s lead single, “The Glow,” has the fist-pumping energy of an arena-rock anthem, so it makes sense that the group shot its video in the Moda Center, home to the Portland Trail Blazers, fulfilling what Neighbors calls “a childhood dream.” The clip features high-flying, slam-dunking luchadores and a whole lot of fake blood, not to mention enough synthesizers to stock a Guitar Center keyboard section.

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