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Tag: An EW Exclusive! (51-60 of 645)

Weaves have a hot new rock song with an NSFW title

Weaves has a slippery sonic identity that can change radically from song to song, turning on a dime from fuzzy electropop to a compellingly weird amalgamation of the B-52’s and UK postpunk to straightforward power pop. It might make for a confusing listen if the group didn’t have frontwoman Jasmyn Burke’s distinctive achey voice to pull it all together, as well as the chops to pull off seemingly whatever style they tackle.

On their latest single—whose title EW style prevents us from publishing in the headline, but which we can tell you here in the body of this post is actually “S–thole”—the Toronto four-piece sounds a little like The Pixies at their proto-grunge best covering a Burger Records stoner-pop song. The single comes out Oct. 20 through Buzz Records.

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Stream Harriet Brown's intensely funky 'New Era' EP

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The music Aaron Valenzuela makes under the name Harriet Brown is stylistically miles away from what the club-kid image he affects might suggest—it has syncopated rhythms and loosely organic instrumentation rather than the four-on-the-floor beats and quantized MIDI tracks. He’s earned every single comparison to Prince that he’s accumulated during his still-young career, and much of his New Era EP has the confidently unhinged quality that helped define the Purple One’s late-’80s material, but it’s far from an exact replica. Like fellow pop auteur Blood Orange, he makes music that’s laced with nostalgia but not reliant upon it, drifting in an ambiguous timeframe somewhere between the near future and the recent past. More importantly, it’s just seriously really funky stuff.

New Era is out tomorrow on the Feel So Real label, but EW has an early look here.

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Prince Rupert's Drops' 'Climbing Light' is mystical retro acid pop

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New York-based quintet Prince Rupert’s Drops is far from the only band right now emulating the sounds of psych rock’s first wave, but they’re one of the few who are trying to get deeper than its surface aesthetics, and striving to represent the psychedelic experience as something more than Sgt. Pepper’s and acid rock posters.

Their new album Climbing Light (out Nov. 11 on Beyond Beyond is Beyond Records) is more Alan Watts than “Mellow Yellow,” adding a slightly scary edge to the Summer of Love-era sounds they’re working with, as befits a journey beyond the veil of mana and into contact with a universe that no human mind can ever fully comprehend. It’s heady stuff, but in PRD’s hands it’s catchy, too—the album’s titular track sounds like The Zombies if they’d recorded a song based on The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

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Lia Mice searches for a lost pet and finds electro bliss in her 'Our Heavy Heart' vid

Lia Mice is an exceptionally peripatetic artist, both geographically and artistically. She started out her music career in punk and soul bands in Australia, relocated to Brooklyn’s noise scene, and finally settled in France, where she now makes music that combines adventurous electronic sounds with a distinctly Gallic brand of clever pop songwriting in the lineage of Serge Gainsbourg and the French yé-yé artists of yore. Her album I Love You comes out Nov. 4 on Old Flame Records, and it’s full of sing-alongable melodies and sonic textures that are easy to lose yourself in. Her latest single, “Our Heavy Heart,” steers the current dream pop revival toward the dance floor with help from a clanging, echo-laden cowbell that almost manages to steal the show from Mice’s shimmering vocals. Its video alternates between shots of her on the street searching for a lost snake and shots of her and the snake dancing together in presumably happier times

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Synths and psychedelia collide on Canopies' 'The Plunderers and the Pillagers'

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Milwaukee electro-psych-pop quintet Canopies have a lot of synthesizers and a lot of patience. Despite the buzzworthiness of their sound, which should resonate with fans of MGMT, the group eschewed the urge to rush into releasing its first album and instead went two solid years with a pile of vintage equipment patiently assembling their debut, Maximize Your Faith (out Dec. 9 on Forged Artifacts).

The payoff to their slow-moving approach is apparent on the intricately layered instrumentation on “The Plunderers and the Pillagers,” which you can spend multiple listens peeling apart to find the nifty little flourishes woven into the mix. Or you could just sit back and enjoy the song’s expansive hooks and crackling energy, which make it an excellent choice for starting off your weekend with a synth-heavy bang.

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Swedish electro-poppers Kate Boy drop 'Open Fire'

In 2011 Kate Akhurst moved from Australia to Stockholm, Sweden in search of musical collaborators with more in common with her aesthetic vision than she could find at home. Producers Hampus Nordgren and Markus Dextegen seem to have fit the bill, bringing a quintessentially Swedish flavor to the electronic arrangements they bring to their group Kate Boy. “Open Fire,” from their upcoming debut LP, has all the sonic ambition of The Knife mixed with pop hooks worthy of Max Martin.

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Brazilian psych-rockers Wannabe Jalva want to take you higher

Brazilian quartet Wannabe Jalva hail from southern Brazil, near the country’s borders with Argentina and Uruguay, and not coincidentally, their music largely forgoes the tropical flavor the country’s best known for in favor of a more sere sonic approach that seems to reflect their proximity to the Pampas. Their latest EP, Collecture (out Oct. 15), offers a compellingly austere take on psych rock that avoids the clichéd gaudiness that often afflicts the form, and brings to mind The Strokes as often as it does Os Mutantes or Pink Floyd. Run through with heavy, Jodorowsky-esque mysticism, the album’s a straight up trip.

“We’ve extracted moods and textures from ourselves and put them out there in an almost collective epiphany,” guitarist Tiago Abrahão emails from Brazil. “Nature comes from the fact that we realized that the right path (the essence) was to lock ourselves in there (in the basement) and just get out when we all felt fulfilled (and, at the same time, empty from those temporarily undefined urges).” Maybe a tough statement to wrap your head around, but once you put Collecture on, it makes more sense than you might expect.

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Icelandic indie rockers Ourlives unveil 'Blurry Eyes'

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Over the past few years, Iceland has emerged as an unlikely indie rock hotbed. Sigur Rós remains the best known of Iceland’s bands, but there are a bunch coming up in their wake, including Reykjavik duo Ourlives. The pair consider themselves indebted to acts like Coldplay and Radiohead, but on their upcoming album Den of Lions (out Oct. 14 on Spartan Records and available for pre-order on iTunes and vinyl), they aim for something less ostentatiously grand but just as interesting, and on the track “Blurry Eyes,” they sound almost like a dreamier, less anxiety-ridden version of Interpol.

Member Jón Björn Árnason calls the track “a song we wrote about addiction. It’s about addiction being an easy escape from the everyday life—and about being afraid to face each day and the duties that come with it. The lyric ‘blue heaven’ is a reference to the way the summer is in Iceland, as it doesn’t stay dark very long—in fact, the sun is up most of the night.”

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The Voice's Michelle Chamuel returns with 'Face the Fire'

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Michelle Chamuel’s best known for her second-place finish on season four of The Voice. But she was already a fairly well-established independent musician before the show, and she’s continued to work steadily after, releasing EDM under the name Reverb Junkie. Despite her sizable catalog of work, her upcoming Face the Fire (due out next February on The End Records) is Chamuel’s first official solo album to be released under her own name.

The titular lead single promises good things for the full-length—with its big hooks, eccentric sounds, and spark-throwing energy, it sits somewhere between Taylor Swift and Le Tigre.

Chamuel writes in an email, “‘Face the Fire’ is about the innate desire in you to go for it and follow your passion. It can be daunting—but at some point you just start going after what you burn for. That’s facing the fire.” The song will be available for purchase tomorrow, Oct. 7, but you can hear it here first.

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Hear Butch Walker's weepy ode to classic rock 'Chrissie Hynde'

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Butch Walker‘s been knocking around the music biz since the late ’80s, playing in bands, recording solo records, and writing and producing for a bewildering array of artists ranging from Bowling for Soup to Taylor Swift. After spending so much time he’s somewhat predictably developed a jaded view of the whole machine, which is probably why he gets along so well with similarly seen-it-all types like Ryan Adams, who produced his new album, Afraid of Ghosts, and Johnny Depp, who plays on it.

But like a lot of guys who like to project a sardonic front, Walker’s kind of a softie at heart, which comes through loud and clear on the Ghosts track “Chrissie Hynde.” It’s an aching, country-tinged ballad about a universal condition: the desire to give the world the middle finger and just put on some Pretenders records.

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