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[new]: Oscar – Kitchen Song

By Will Oliver, July 16th 2014

Oscar

For me, British bedroom-pop rocker Oscar has been one to watch for some time. He finally released his debut EP 146b earlier in the year, and it’s been a perfect listen all summer. Pick it up right now if you haven’t already done so.

There’s this easy going nature about Oscar’s songs that just have a way of taking over you with a big sunny feeling. “Kitchen Song” is no different, featuring a solid guitar riffs and Oscar’s easygoing vocal delivery. It is everything that a good quality pop song should be

Oscar is playing the Knee Deep Festival in Cornwall on Aug 2, proving that he is fast on the rise. Stream “Kitchen Song” below, and see why.

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[new]: The Drums – Magic Mountain

By Will Oliver, July 15th 2014

The Drums

After three years, The Drums are back. No official word on the album yet (it’s coming), but today the band released a new 7″ single titled “Magic Mountain.” As frontman/vocalist Jonny Pierce told Noisey (who premiered the track), the band’s lineup now consists of just him and Jacob Graham (for the first time since the Summertime EP). Here’s the full quote from Pierce:

Not since the Summertime EP has it been just Jacob and I left up to our own devices. Now that we’re back to just the two founding members, we figured we could do whatever we wanted and run with it. Together, we had just one goal: let go of any preconceived ideas that anyone has about The Drums and make songs to be as grand and majestic as we want them to be. “Magic Mountain” is a sparkling reflection of our last three years. It’s about shedding off what binds you and protecting whats good, finding a safe place away from everyone and everything that wants to destroy you.

As a rather big fan of the band, the song caught me off guard a bit. While it is definitely very much The Drums, something about it hit in a different way. Although it has hooks, its not as immediate and clear cut in its melodic hooks as fans are used to. There’s a more raw, tense feeling in the air during “Magic Mountain”, which I think is a bit of a grower. It didn’t blow me away at first, but each listen has been better and more revealing than the last.

I can totally see this one being a monster to hear live.
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GEMS – Scars

By Will Oliver, July 10th 2014

GEMS

Between all the festivals and life, you may have noticed that I have fallen a bit behind on this stuff. I’ve been playing catch up, and it pains me to just be getting to all this stuff that I’ve had on my “to post” list for a while now.

One of these posts is for GEMS latest release, the wonderful single “Scars.” It takes their sound in a different direction, but still very much in their realm of dream-pop.

Enjoy it below.
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[new]: Grimes – Go

By Will Oliver, July 10th 2014

Grimes

Grimes has come a long way since the release of her 2012 breakthrough album, Visions. She is now a part of Jay Z’s Roc Nation management company and writing songs for big shots such as Rihanna.

In fact, her recently released song “Go” was actually written for Rihanna, but got turned down. So she and her collaborator Blood Diamonds ended up just recording it and releasing it as one of her own songs. It may or may not be included on her eventual new album.

With that said, it’s not all that surprising that the song has a poppier nature to it. There’s still some Grimes touches to be found, but this on the whole is a much different (and bigger) feel. Here’s how Grimes described it upon its release:

It’s our summer jam so we figured we should put it out cuz I am very bored of waiting to finish my album b4 releasing new music haha.

Stream it below.
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Jamie xx – All Under One Roof Raving

By Will Oliver, July 10th 2014

Jamie XX - Performance

Earlier in the year Jamie xx released a new 7″ single that featured two new song: “Girl” and “Sleep Sound.” Those will be included on his eventual debut album, which is soon on the way.

The follow-up to those is a track called “All Under One Roof Raving.” Jamie made the track last year while on tour with The XX. Featuring vocal samples and his now-trademark steel drums, it’s apparently a “homage to the U.K. rave scene.”

Stream “All Under One Roof Raving” below.
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Philip Selway - Weatherhouse

Radiohead drummer Philip Selway will release his new solo album Weatherhouse on October 7 via Bella Union.

He’s shared the spaced out and dreamy “Coming Up For Air”, which serves as the album’s open track, as well as its first single. Here’s what Selway had to say about the song:

“It’s very much about taking stock of my life. I wanted to convey a sense of release and affirmation. This was the first song that we recorded. Immediately it felt in a very different space from Familial.

There are some Radiohead aspects to it, but there’s definitely a shift that is very much of his own.

Stream it below.
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[new]: The Shins – So Now What (From Wish I Was Here)

By Will Oliver, July 10th 2014 — with 1 comment

Wish I Was Here Soundtrack

If you’re familiar with the history of The Shins, you should know how big of a part that Zach Braff’s debut film Garden State had on their career. The placement of “New Slang” and “Caring Is Creepy” put the band on the map in a big way. Now the band is a trademark name of sorts, and James Mercer is off making music as Broken Bells with Danger Mouse in between his time with The Shins.

Braff’s long-awaited follow-up film Wish I Was Here is out soon (July 18) and naturally, The Shins are back on it. Not only that, but it’s a brand new, exclusive song called “So Now What.” It’s the song that you heard in the first trailer for the film (find that here if you haven’t seen it yet).

Mercer turns the clock back a bit, giving it a classic Shins feel with their new bigger-budget sound. It sounds like it would be right on home on Garden State. My ears are very happy with this one.

Stream “So Now What” below.
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Zammuto – Great Equator

By Will Oliver, July 8th 2014

Zammuto

Nowadays, Nick Zammuto, formerly of The Books, releases his own music under the simple guise of Zammuto.

On September 2 he will release his new album Anchor via Temporary Residence Ltd. Lead single “Great Equator” is a joyous wonder, a song that toys around with many different elements of electronic-minded music that result in quite a lovely listening experience.

Enjoy “Great Equator” below.
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Childish Gambino at Firefly Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 7th 2014 — with 1 comment

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The final set I caught at Firefly 2014 came from Childish Gambino, otherwise known as actor/comedian Donald Glover (Troy on Community). After Broken Bells, a wave of teenagers came shoving towards the front as if is was a matter of life and death. I contemplated sticking around, but the crowd became too intense that I determined it simply wasn’t worth being uncomfortable for the final set of a long weekend. I made my way back and watched the show from afar, still able to take things in just fine.

As a rapper Gambino is a completely different person to the character Glover played on Community, an alter-ego of sorts. He has a handle over his audience, who absolutely love him. The young crowd was mirroring his behavior, screaming every word right back at him. While I did enjoy the set fine enough, I am quite surprised at how big of a following – and how passionate – that he has developed. Don’t get me wrong, Gambino puts on a fun show, but I was just taken aback at just how crazy his fans got. I didn’t realize how big he has gotten.
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Broken Bells at Firefly Music Festival 2014

By Will Oliver, July 7th 2014 — with 2 comments

IMG_3055

Considering Broken Bells lineup consists of James Mercer of The Shins and super-producer Danger Mouse, I shouldn’t be surprised at how great the team is live. The fact is, they are able to convey so many different genres into one highly-addictive and enjoyable pop sound that is able to win over an audience seamlessly (as they did at Governors Ball).

Mercer was in a playful mood, as was the crowd. They urge him to chug his drink, which Mercer passed on, citing the fact that it wasn’t bear in his cup (it looked brown), and that we weren’t in Ireland. The fact that they seemed to be having a good time playing for us always makes a difference, and it ended up as one of the more enjoyable sets of the entire weekend.
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