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Video: EULA goes retro for dance-punky 'Orderly'

The art-punk band EULA got its start in New Haven, Connecticut, a few years ago as a home recording project for frontwoman Alyse Lamb. A handful of records, several tours, and one move to Brooklyn later, the group has solidified a sharp-edged, frenetic sound that ties together postpunk, No Wave, and Riot Grrrl revivalism, producing something that could work equally well as the soundtrack for a riot or a dance party.

Last month, they released a new single recorded with Martin Bisi, who manned the boards for seminal albums by alt-rock icons like Sonic Youth and the Swans. Now the track, “Orderly,” is getting its own video that mashes up images of Lamb and some old-timey dancing ladies to kaleidoscopically psychedelic effect.

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Blood Orange releases wonderfully sad remix of Sia's 'Chandelier'

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Dev Hynes, better known as avant-R&B genius Blood Orange, has been lying low since suffering a catastrophic apartment fire back in the winter. But he’s been starting to regain some of the momentum that last November’s Cupid Deluxe album had begun to generate. He’s been getting back to releasing his series of consistently entertaining videos for Cupid Deluxe tracks.

Now, he’s released a radically deconstructed remix of Sia’s summer jam “Chandelier” that strips the song of its triumphal arena rock swagger and, well, pretty much everything else, which he’s replaced with his own vocals, a twitchy drum part, and a tasteful thumb piano part. In the process he’s remade one of the most inspirational get-pumped anthems of the year into an anxiety-ridden slow jam, stripping Sia’s chorus from its surroundings to let it hang almost unadorned in a way that transmutes its YOLO-ness into something starkly desperate. It does the exact opposite of the original, but it’s just as compelling.

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Liam Bailey shares new single 'Villains'

Liam Bailey is a singer-songwriter who works miles away from the navel-gazing acoustic approach that his job title suggests. He cites Oasis and Led Zeppelin among his major influences, boasts an encyclopedic knowledge of vintage R&B and soul, and has collaborated with dance, pop, and hip-hop musicians.

After a pair of EPs recorded for Amy Winehouse’s Lioness label and a crossover hit with British dance music crew Chase & Status, Bailey is about to finally release his debut LP. Definitely Now comes out August 19 on Salaam Remi’s Flying Buddha imprint. It’ll include the track “Villain,” a psychedelic stomper that sounds something like Hendrix covering a White Stripes track. We have an exclusive early listen below.

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Blood Orange releases moody 'High Street' video

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Near the end of Blood Orange’s outstanding 2013 album Cupid Deluxe, the psychic tension that’s been building up over its course finally has a moment of release as project mastermind Dev Hynes veers sharply away from the retro-tinged funk that makes up most of the record. The result is “High Street,” a gentle, meditative ballad where he takes a secondary role providing hooks for British rapper Skepta’s verses.

Despite the novelty value of the its Parade-era-Prince-meets-UK-grime approach, it’s a subtle composition that finds a steady balance between its two sides. With Skepta’s introspective lyrics, Hynes’s echo-soaked vocals, and the weightless flourishes of piano and synth pads that prop it all up, it sounds like a song made for contemplative late-night walks.

Fittingly, its video is heavy on atmospheric shots of Hynes wandering the nocturnal streets of London, and it also features a visually impressive setup with Skepta rapping in front of an array of unmanned double-decker buses. While there are significantly fewer of Hynes’s fantastic dance moves in “High Street” than there were in Cupid Deluxe‘s first three videos, it’s still pretty great.

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Haim teams up with A$AP Ferg on 'My Song 5' remix

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“My Song 5″ is one of the more surprising moments on Haim’s breakout album Days Are Gone, interrupting a collection of clean-lined songs with an eccentrically gangly mishmash of angular melody, hard-rock drums, and a blatting, cartoony parody of a dubstep bass synth. The trio has doubled down on the song’s weirdness by releasing a new version with a verse from rapper A$AP Ferg, of “Shabba” fame.

Ferg’s verse is way raunchier than the original lyrics, but they continue the theme of confusion and garbled communication between romantic partners, and his raps work well with the song’s big-ass drums. Haim and Ferg are both coming off of highly successful records, and are well positioned to doing whatever they want next. They should consider messing with people’s heads and making a whole album together.

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Bliss out to Jessie Ware's 'Tough Love' video

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A couple of weeks ago, British techno-chanteuse Jessie Ware released her first new music since her 2012 album Devotion. Produced by superstar beat-maker Benny Blanco (who’s done work for Rihanna and Katy Perry) and London “post-bass” producer Two Inch Punch, “Tough Love” has ethereal, Kate-Bush-esque vocals, a crisp, Prince-ly beat, and enough thick, delicious bass to satisfy the fans who came to her via electronic artists like SBTRKT and Joker. Now it also has a video that seamlessly translates the song’s gossamer vibes into visual form, which mainly means lots of shots of roses and lights and the very pretty Jessie Ware herself.

Ware hasn’t announced a title or a release date for her next album, but she’s revealed that the “Tough Love” producers (who collaborate under the name BenZel) will be executive producing, and teen-beloved cornball Ed Sheeran is also involved somehow. Despite the complete lack of verified information, it’s still sure to be one of the best pop moments of the year (assuming it comes out this year). READ FULL STORY

The-Dream returns to form with 'Royalty - The Prequel'

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Last week, R&B god the-Dream released a video for his single “Black” that underlined the song’s triumphant political message–inspired by the life of Nelson Mandela–with a staged protest pulling together representatives from a diverse range of causes, from Ukrainian sovereignty to the epidemic of gun violence in Chicago. It was a remarkably solemn moment from a performer who’s biggest moment of mainstream exposure in recent memory was when he got clowned by Jay-Z for the outfit he wore to the Grammys.

At 7 p.m. last night, the-Dream that his cult of devotees know and love—the one who writes songs about things like buying women expensive handbags in order to get off the hook for doggish behavior or getting drunk on tequila and crashing an ex’s weddingcame bouncing giddily back with the surprise release of a free seven-song EP called Royalty – The Prequel. It is, thankfully, a far less serious record than “Black,” or even most of last year’s IV Play, which even his hardcore fans had a hard time finding much pleasure in.

The-Dream is an R&B artist, but he’s always had a rapper’s spirit, and Royalty is, on one level, a playful tribute to the rap music that he loves. “Pimp C Lives” transmutes Houston’s syrupy hip-hop sound into future soul with a chorus that shouts out the late UGK rapper. “Cold” samples Mobb Deep’s classic NYC thug anthem “Shook Ones, Pt. II.”  On “Outkast” he compares true love to the feeling he got from listening to Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik for the first time.

Getting to goof around and indulge his geekily obsessive rap-fan side is one of the benefits of the mixtape form. It also removes much of the pressure to produce radio hits, which seems to have begun having a detrimental effect on his work. Where IV Play feels constrained and lifeless, Royalty (and the free online album 1977 that he released in 2012 under his given name, Terius Nash) is vibrant and mischievous, the qualities that made his fans fall in love with him in the first place, and ones that help sink his hooks into you even when they’re not particularly sharp. Royalty‘s supposed to be the first release on a new “Designer and Culture Label” he’s starting called Contra Paris. Hopefully he won’t go back to a traditional label—he’s much better when he’s off his leash.

Video: UK dance duo Jungle's brand-new 'Time'

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The two lifelong friends who make up the core of the British dance music group Jungle—they expand to a seven-piece for shows—go by the initials “J” and “T” and have generally kept as low a profile as possible while simultaneously blowing up in the UK on a level that suggests they might be this year’s Disclosure.

On July 15, they’re releasing a self-titled debut album on XL. In preparation, they just released a video for the single “Time.” The song is a kaleidoscopic pileup of soul, disco, and house music with a deep groove, psychedelic flourishes, and transcendent falsetto vocals that suggest a futuristic rendition of the Bee Gees’ disco phase.

For the accompanying visual, they have two rather dapper older gentlemen engage in a very smooth dance-off.

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Video: Get hooked on Tunde Olaniran's 'Critical'

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While many of his contemporaries work to cultivate an air of mystery through secret identities and un-Google-able stage names, Tunde Olaniran is generating a more intriguingly ambiguous vibe with a fraction of the effort. A native of Flint, Michigan, better known as Detroit’s less quaint sibling, Olaniran works in the gaps between hip-hop, R&B, dance music, and punk, weaving together aggressive beats, noisy electronics, and an intuitive knack for melody into a seamless, surprisingly pop-friendly whole. His recent five-song EP Yung Archetype sounds like Yeezus as a soul record, or if The-Dream made a record with TV on the Radio.

Last week Olaniran released a video for the brooding, spacious Yung Archetype track “Critical,” which he wrote for a family member who was diagnosed with cancer. It’s an emotionally intense four-and-a-half-minute ride, but I’ve had it on heavy rotation nonetheless. Hit the jump to get hooked. READ FULL STORY

The-Dream gives 'Black' the full video treatment

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Back in April, R&B king the-Dream released a new song, “Black,” that traded in his usual strip-club-friendly beats and bedroom-focused lyrics for anthemic sweep and a political message inspired by Nelson Mandela’s death. It was miles away from the Dream that so many of us know and love with a ridiculous, almost cultish avidity, but he managed to stick the tricky landing; “Black” is like one of R. Kelly’s patented Inspiration Jams without the shlockiness that those usually come with, or the creepy feeling that you’re getting life advice from a sexual predator.

“Black” launched with a lyric video cut together out of footage of political activism in progress, ranging from Tommie Smith and John Carlos giving the black power salute at the 1968 Olympics to Pussy Riot marching defiantly down a crowded Russian street. Today he dropped the song’s official video, which continues the political theme with an almost surreally broad coalition of protesters marching against racism, classism, homophobia, Wall Street, the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, violence in Chicago, and what seems like dozens of other causes. The video’s message may be a tad muddled (especially when you factor in the singer’s recent arrest on assault charges), but with the-Dream flexing a newfound ability to manipulate emotional switches beyond horniness and regret, it still hits. It’s probably not a coincidence that it’s dropping right before a day commemorating revolutionary political activity.

Watch the video below. (It may be NSFW because of brief female toplessness.)

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