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Tag: Buzzworthy (11-20 of 600)

Teen-pop veteran Tinashe grows up and out on 'Aquarius'

Tinashe

Aquarius, released this week, may be Tinashe’s first proper album, but she’s far from a rookie in the entertainment game. The 21-year-old singer got her start early as an actor, appearing in Robert Zemeckis’s CGI Christmas flick The Polar Express and the Bob Dylan-starring surrealist sci-fi project Masked and Anonymous before being recruited at age 14 to join a manufactured teen-pop group. That may not sound like a very auspicious start for a serious music career, but she says it was valuable nonetheless. “I think I learned a lot being in a situation where I wasn’t necessarily able to create music that was totally true to who I was or to present the person who I was,” she says over the phone from her home in Los Angeles.

If anything, her time in The Stunners helped give Tinashe a good idea of what she didn’t want to do when she struck out on her own. After the group split up in 2011 she started working on solo material in her home studio, sans record contract. “When you’re part a group,” she says, “it’s definitely a group effort, creatively. When I wasn’t signed to a record label I was free to make my own decisions. I definitely felt the need to create stuff on my own and just do things and make my own decisions and just put things out there. It was a really important step for me because it really opened the door so that now I have so much creative control in my art.”

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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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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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A$AP Rocky returns with 'Multiply'

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Pop in your grills and give a pitch-dropped “unh,” because A$AP Rocky’s back.

Thursday at midnight, the Harlem rapper released “Multiply,” his first new recording in the nearly two years since his debut album LONG.LIVE.A$AP. Although Juicy J gets a feature credit, the former Three 6 Mafia member’s role is limited to a spoken-word intro and outro, and providing the inspiration for a brief reference to “Stay Fly.” Flacko spends the rest of the track big-upping Houston rap legend Pimp C, sh– talking over trendy streetwear labels, and revealing his interest in going all New Jack City by making Jeeps a thing again—all over a beat by emerging producer Curtis Heron, which takes Rocky’s signature icy, slow motion psychedelia to trippy new levels. READ FULL STORY

Listen to Leo Justi's menacing new dance track, 'Devils Horns'

Leo-Justi

Rio-based electronic producer Leo Justi is far from a household name, but his star is most assuredly on the rise. He’s a leading figure in a Rio-based style called “heavy baile” that builds off the foundation of Brazilian baile funk–aka funk carioca, aka favela funk, aka the stuff M.I.A. emulated on “Bucky Done Gun”–but manages to incorporate everything from drum ‘n’ bass to heavy metal. It could be the next regional style to blow up on the global EDM scene, with A-Trak a fan and M.I.A. flying Justi out to India to record.

The title of Justi’s latest track, “Devils Horns,” from his HVY BL NSS PRR EP for the Waxploitation label, may be a nod to heavy baile’s heavier influences, or it could refer to the menacing brass stabs scattered throughout the track, or maybe both. Either way, the song’s got intensity to spare–it sounds like just the type of thing to turn a dance party into a full-blown riot.

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Chicago rapper Alex Wiley continues his streak with 'Sexual Dolphin'

Twenty-one-year-old Hyde Park native Alex Wiley is an increasingly important player of a movement of Chicago hip-hop artists–with Chance the Rapper at the forefront–who are uniting the city’s history of smart, bohemian backpacker rap with cunning pop sensibilities that have helped earn them a far broader audience than their biting social commentary and emotionally raw personal narratives might suggest. “When I was younger I had a turning point in my life,” Wiley writes in an email. “It made me what I am right now, set that in motion. I guess now, I’m trying to make music that that kid who was going through a lot of shit would have wanted to hear, and would have helped him get through his day.”

Back in June, he released his Village Party mixtape that drew more attention from outside of his city than anything else he’s released. His first song since then is “Sexual Dolphin,” a far deeper and heavier song than the title would suggest, produced by Odd Couple and Carter Lang. “With this,” he writes, “I’m trying to pick up where I left off from Village Party and take people to the next place. I’m really excited to drop it. It’s my first song with two verses. It’s a new sound for me, but I think it still feels relatable, it still feels like me.”

“I’m trying to make rock music,” he writes. “I don’t want rock n’ roll to die. I think Kanye said it best: Rappers are the rock stars right now.”

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Purling Hiss conjure weird, gritty VHS vibes with a playlist

Singer-songwriter Mike Polizze occupies the weird zone where experimental art music and eccentric rock ‘n’ roll overlap: an odd but fruitful territory that’s been home to generations of Weird Rock heroes from Frank Zappa to Ariel Pink. Recently Polizze’s expanded his project Purling Hiss from a solo endeavor to a trio, upping the music’s pop quotient in the process, and in the process created his most accessible album. Weirdon, released today on Drag City, delivers classic rock tunefulness enveloped in a haze of freaky vibes that feels a bit like the group’s label mate Ty Segall but just a touch more tweaked out.

To celebrate Weirdon‘s release, Polizze compiled an exclusive playlist for EW that he says has “a gritty lo fi/VHS aesthetic.” If you like your rock music weird and obscure, you’re in luck.

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Danny Brown has a psychedelic house party in 'Smokin' & Drinkin' video

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Back in July, EW visited the Greenpoint, Brooklyn location where Detroit rapper Danny Brown was shooting a video for the Old track “Smokin’ & Drinkin’.” Wednesday, the final product hit the Internet in all its hedonistic glory.

Director Alan Del Rio Ortiz described the clip’s theme as “like a house party, but in a dream,” and to that end, he dropped Brown (clad in a leather jacket and Dead Boys tee) into a group of pretty young people going bananas in a psychedelically lit apartment. There’s a lot of dancing, a lot of glitter, a lot of 40’s being chugged, and since it’s a rap video, a generous number of attractive women just chilling in a shower.

Superhumanoids share 'Flipping Out' and a beat-heavy playlist

Superhumanoids

You don’t find many electropop groups covering Nine Inch Nails and Queens of the Stone Age, but that’s exactly the kind of thing that LA’s Superhumanoids excel in.

The band’s preferred tactic is to juxtapose singer Sarah Chernoff’s lilting, dreamy vocals against harsh electronic sounds, like the grinding synth bass on its otherwise intensely mellow new single “Flipping Out.” This adds an intriguingly rough edge to a track that otherwise conjures up images of languorous Californian decadence. If any music directors are looking to score a scene of good-looking young people swimming underwater in slow motion, they’re in luck.

Along with the single, the group has shared with EW a playlist that, like its music, blends hooky pop and ambitiously experimental electronic beats. Superhumanoids will be hitting the road shortly to open for electropop godfathers Erasure.

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Kanye West collaborator Arca releases album details and a new track

You may not be familiar with the name Arca, but there’s a good chance you’re familiar with his work, even if you don’t know it. The 24-year-old Venezuelan electronic musician contributed to four tracks on Kanye’s Yeezus and has worked on a number of songs with FKA Twigs, including the LP1 standout “Lights On.” While his own work is considerably less pop-oriented than his collaborations, his sprawling solo instrumental recordings—like last year’s mixtape &&&&&has found a surprisingly large audience of people who bliss out on aggressively dark synthesizer soundscapes.

On Thursday, Arca announced the upcoming release of his first official full-length solo album. Xen (which comes out Nov. 4 on Mute Records) is more nuanced and more ambitious than his previous efforts, mixing dreamy, ambient passages in with his trademark harshly noisy, borderline-industrial sound. Along with CD and digital versions, vinyl fetishists can cop a hand-numbered limited edition LP that’s sealed in black PVC and includes an additional 10″ record of bonus material.

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