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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (31-40 of 640)

Electropop chanteuse Chela channels vintage Madonna on 'Handful of Gold'

Chela

EW recently reported that IHEARTCOMIX, stalwart pillar of the LA dance music community, is launching a new singles-only label called IHC 1NFINITY. Now we’ve got a first look at some of the music they’ll be releasing.

Its first release is by Australian electropop artist Chela, who’s previously recorded for the taste-making French record/fashion label Kitsuné. On previous releases, she’s offered a contemporary update of bouncy ’80s new wave from the brief era when synthesizers had come into the picture but the influence of UK punk and post-punk hadn’t quite taken over yet. Her new track, “Handful of Gold,” has a bigger beat and a bigger chorus than her earlier singles; the results make Chela sound almost spookily like Madonna back before she reached a superhuman level of fame, when she could still be caught kicking it at Danceteria. It’s an auspicious start for an audacious new venture.

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My Gold Mask finds goth-pop ecstasy on 'Explode'

My-Gold-Mask.jpg

Chicagoans Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo have been making music together for almost as long as they’ve been romantically involved.

After playing in a “sex rock” band together for a few years, they launched My Gold Mask as a more electronics-based, pop-oriented project that over the past half decade has found a sweet spot between Siouxsie & the Banshees and Robyn. After last year’s Leave Me Midnight LP the band–now a trio thanks to the addition of drummer James Andrew–is focusing on the release of a series of singles recorded by metal guru Sanford Parker. The latest, “Explode,” is heavier than anything they’ve ever recorded, filled with dense synthesizer tones and a relentlessly pounding drum part, but with plenty of big hooks the song can gracefully slide into your brain and wedge itself there.

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DMA's give the Britpop revival a boost with 'Laced'

DMAS

It’s been 19 years since Oasis released (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, so it’s about time for Britpop to have another day in the sun.

There’s already been a marked increase recently in bands sonically referencing Britain’s crunchy but unabashedly poppy response to the relatively dour American alt-rock movement, and a few, like Newtown, Australia’s DMA’s, who seem to consider it a primary musical touchstone. The handful of home-recorded songs they’ve released so far have not just the slurry, ragged lead vocals of classic Oasis, but that band’s buoyant sense of melody as well.

Their latest, “Laced,” combines that with some of The Verve’s stoned ambience and Britpop godfathers XTC’s fizzy bubblegum edge. “Laced” and “So We Know” be released as a single in November, available digitally via Mermaid Avenue in the U.S.

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Ta-ku puts a dreamy spin on Young & Sick's 'Heartache Fetish'

YOUNG-AND-SICK

Young & Sick is the brainchild of Dutch artist Nick Van Hofwegen, a multimedia project that encompasses not only his visual art (which has graced the covers of records by Maroon 5, Robin Thicke, and Foster the People, among others) but also the music he produces under the same alias.

Back in the spring, he released a track called “Heartache Fetish” that doses ’90s bump-and-grind R&B with the same heady surrealism that infuses his artwork and has become one of his most popular songs.

Now he’s recruited Australian electronic artist Ta-ku, who previously turned Chet Faker’s “Talk Is Cheap” into a syrupy sonic puddle, for a remix that injects the song with bits of cloud rap and two-step and transforms it into a mellower but substantially stranger listening experience.

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Museum of Love combines synthesizers, sculpture, and sadness on 'The Who's Who of Who Cares'

Like their DFA label mates, Museum of Love‘s Pat Mahoney and Dennis McNany make music that seems to come from an alternate universe where guitar-based rock ‘n’ roll died out in the late ’70s and was replaced by electronic musicians with analog gear and more delicately nuanced sensibilities who in the timeline we inhabit have been relegated to cult status. The first single from their brand new self-titled debut LP, the funky but vaguely bummed-out “The Who’s Who of Who Cares,” offers interlocking synthesizer patterns, an archly theatrical vocal melody, and plenty of horn and percussion embellishments.

Together, the combination sounds like a collaboration between Roxy Music, Arthur Russell, and the Salsoul Orchestra that was handed off to a Chicago house producer for remixing. For the video, Mahoney shows off the sculpting skills he developed in his pre-music career working for the toy industry to create a reproduction of McNany’s head which the then promptly destroys.

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Wild Cub blend heartachy hooks and hypnotic visuals in a new version of 'Colour'

Back in the spring, Nashville indie rockers Wild Cub released a video for their song “Colour” from last year’s Youth LP, a swoony ballad possessed of a nervy postpunk energy and a visual (created by Drew Bourdet and Dustin Lane) with pretty young people doing the low-key profound things that young people do, like drive around in cars and make out with each other. The band’s latest release is a “Colour” single, which includes not only the radio edit of the song but a radically different version recorded with Spoon drummer/producer Jim Eno and featuring singer-songwriter Jessie Baylin that slows things down, smooths them out, and lets it all breathe in a way that shows an entirely different side to the composition that’s softer and even a little heartbreaky. Similarly, the accompanying video presents the original material in a different way, editing outtakes from the first “Colour” visual into a dreamy, hypnotic collage.

The “Colour” single, which also includes a remix of the Youth song “Thunder Clatter” by Jensen Sportag, is out digitally now on Mom + Pop, with a limited edition 10″ vinyl version out Oct. 28. They’ll be heading out on tour with Fun. offshoot Bleachers starting later this month.

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Manchester Orchestra share a playlist of inspired cover songs

Atlanta’s Manchester Orchestra have followed up their 2014 album, Cope, which combined indie rock melodicism with hard rock heft, in a novel way. Their new LP, Hope, is a track-by-track reimagining of Cope as a much quieter and more subdued affair, replacing crunching guitars and pounding drums with delicate acoustic picking, soft horn and piano arrangements, and the marked influence of both rootsy Americana and intricately assembled chamber pop. It’s a daring concept, but the band’s managed to pull it off, creating an album that not only sheds a different light on Cope but may even be an improvement, at least to some listeners.

In keeping with Hope‘s theme of radical musical reinvention, MO has assembled a playlist of covers songs that offer a far different experience than the originals (plus a Paul Simon demo that shows how much Graceland‘s “Homeless” changed between inception and completion).

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Grab a free download of Boundary's chilled-out, bass-happy 'Rosemont'

When Ghislain Poirier first appeared on the dance music scene a few years ago, he made a splash with gleefully noisy, jarringly frenetic tracks built out of wailing synthesizers and choppy beats. His songs offered the best parts of dancehall, techno, club rap, and pretty much everything else that’s made to get people acting rowdy on a dance floor. At the time, this sort of genre agnosticism hadn’t yet become as firmly entrenched in dance music as it is now—which meant that fans scrambled to figure out what to even call Poirier’s music. New Yorker pop critic Sasha Frere-Jones came closest to nailing the music’s highly focused vibrancy when he coined the term “lazer bass.”

When he’s not lighting dance floors on fire, Poirier records stuff under the name Boundary that does pretty much the exact opposite. His new album Still Life is richly textured chill-out music that’s calming and conducive to meditative states—but still delivers enough bass to keep beat junkies happy. Each track is a skillfully uncluttered arrangement of meticulously well-designed tones, and each spin is like entering a perfectly manicured Zen garden of sound. For a sample of its habit-forming vibes, try this free download of Still Life‘s standout track “Rosemont.”

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Hear the Afghan Whigs demo of 'Debonair,' an exclusive premiere from 'Gentlemen at 21'

The Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen, originally released in 1993, not only represents the band’s major-label debut, but it’s also the platonic ideal of the group’s sound. Over the course of 11 tracks, the Whigs melded the sultry slink of R&B with the jagged crunch of indie rock, all fueled by frontman Greg Dulli’s sly, savage take on relationships.

On October 27, Rhino will release Gentlemen at 21, a deluxe reissue of the album celebrating the fact that it has finally reached drinking age. In addition to the original remastered album, there are 17 bonus tracks that include a bunch of b-sides, live performances, and the original Gentlemen demos.  READ FULL STORY

Genre-blending German pop duo Milky Chance shares a playlist

“I don’t think we did it consciously,” Milky Chance beat-maker Philip Dausch says of the mix of pop, folk, and house music that’s helped put their “Stolen Dance” on the pop charts in more than a dozen countries. “I think it’s something that we always do instinctually. We are not the persons to kind of have a favorite song or play only one certain genre.”

The German duo, made up of Dausch and songwriter/vocalist/instrumentalist Clemens Rehbein, are flexible musicians—they previously played together in a jazz group—and even more flexible listeners. “We have a good education in music,” says Dausch, “and we always love to play all tunes. We are always interested in a lot of exotic music. We like rap, we like classical, we like jazz, we like pop. We don’t have favorites. We like to put things together.”

Their adventurous listening habits are apparent on their genre-hopping debut LP Sadnecessary, which came out earlier this week. They also come through loud and clear on the exclusive playlist that they created for EW, which includes South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, wiggy former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, and shadowy post-dubstep singer-songwriter James Blake.

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