The marvelous evolution of Bob Moses continues with sophomore LP ‘Battle Lines’

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The marvelous evolution of Bob Moses continues with sophomore LP ‘Battle Lines’Bob Moses Battle Lines Album Review 1

At it’s best, dance music has championed the misfits, and been a home for the one-of-a-kinds. When this happens, a club can become a safe haven and temple for anyone willing to embrace others as they embrace themselves. But what happens when it isn’t the outside world that can’t contain an idea, but the club itself? The answer, it seems, is Bob Moses. Originally honed in New York’s effervescent music world, the now LA-based duo were warehouse warriors with a destiny that sets them apart from every indie rock act and dance DJ in rotation. The brainchild of an Ultra Records trance savant and a rock band bassist, Bob Moses has aspirations beyond every pre-made path; the weepy indie scene needs more kick drum, and the fist pumping dance hoards need to be subject to more songwriting with soul. It’s from this thrilling, precarious position that the duo deliver their second full-length studio effort, Battle Lines.

The album begins with a bang, as the towering vocal harmonies of “Heaven Only Knows” leads to a thundering four-to-the-floor romp. Despite grungy guitar work woven throughout the track, the song has an undeniable royalty to it that belies the track’s tellingly conflicted lyrics. As the LP flows forward, it’s clear the group is presenting their unique tastes, and nothing else. It’s a lucky thing; the compositions range from the shimmering cool of album’s title track to the rattling thrum of “The Only Thing We Know.” It doesn’t take long to realize this latest incarnation of Bob Moses has shed another layer of dance floor disco. In its place is an extra pour of smoke and fuzz that brings the duo deeper into indie rock territory than ever before — at least in terms of texture and instrumentation.

Beneath the surface is a group feeling freed to try on every song structure and arrangement inspiration that grasps their interest. The record’s final complexion reveals a lot about what the studio sessions were probably like. Guitar lines and echoing piano power Oasis-esque sensibilities on “Selling Me Sympathy,” while “Nothing But You” drenches Maroon 5 pop stylings in saturation and warmth. Dig deeper, and there are those uniquely effortless dance roots that put the group’s scene-straddling abilities in the spotlight. “Listen to Me” and “Enough to Believe” are atmospheric deep house in indie rock clothing, and “Heaven Only Knows” possesses a gritty stomp that would sound right at home on a more recent Justice record. In less capable hands, the collection of ideas would border on chaos. Ever the masters at toeing the genre line, Bob Moses cover the entire project in two bulletproof ingredients – sonic cohesion, and a supreme confidence and command of musical elements that come from the natural maturation of an artistic journey. The various inspirations push and pull the listener back and forth, but the space Bob Moses’s music lives in remains the same. The feat is duplicated in rich, bittersweet, and conflicted lyrics. They speak of loss, doubt, remorse and ultimately resolution — consider, “Back Down” begins with the phrase “Caught in the tide of our own divide.” If Battle Lines represents a group with a foot in multiple worlds, Bob Moses should hopefully aim to ride that tide right into whatever fascinating canvas of expression they draw up next.

Kasbo releases first single off upcoming debut album, announces NA tour

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At only 21 years of age, Carl Garsbo is becoming one of Sweden’s most dominant forces in the indietronica scene. Known to most as Kasbo, the artist caught the early admiration of influential tastemakers ODESZA for his commitment to sweeping sound designs that are as organic as they are meticulously crafted. After releasing a free five-track EP, Umbrella Club,  just last year, and a dazzling single on Foreign Family Collective recently, Kasbo has been working diligently in the studio to build an arsenal of original music for his imminent LP debut. The young talent announced the forthcoming album on his SoundCloud:

“Today is a monumental step in my career and life. I’m beyond ecstatic to announce my debut album called ‘Places We Don’t Know’ is out March 23rd. I’ve been working on this for the better part of two years and it’s been the most challenging, developing and inspiring thing I’ve done in my life. I couldn’t be happier with myself of what I have been able to make and am counting the days till I get to show you guys. It’s a very personal piece and I can’t wait to tell you more about it.”

Unveiled concurrently, the  LP’s first single is a brightly crafted original titled “Aldrig Mer” — which translates to “No More.” The song, which features London-based vocalists Tender, is about getting over a past love. The song’s message posits, however, that there is nothing regretful or vindictive about letting go of someone.

Kasbo weaves fluidly between bass-heavy, synth-fueled sequences and airy, lush atmospheres. Aesthetically, the young producer proves himself time and again with his savvy for building dreamy soundscapes that are expressive and idyllic, yet wildly aloof.

“I wanted to make a song based solely on the words “organic”, “harmonic” and “atmospheric” and wanted to take those terms to their edge. I wanted to use as little synths as possible and keep the bulk of the sound as recordings. I wanted the defects of recordings to make it as personal and human as possible, while also keeping the energy and drive of electronic music. I really hope you enjoy it as much as I do.”

If this track is any indication of what is to come, one thing is certain: Kasbo’s first album will be wildly intuitive and wise beyond its years. In support of his debut album, Kasbo is also embarking on his first headlining North American tour this March, with the final stop appearances at both weekends of Electric Forest in late June.

“Places We Don’t Know” Tour Dates:

4/6 – Minneapolis, MN – Amsterdam
4/7 – Chicago, IL – Chop Shop
4/8 – 4/9 – Phoenix, AZ – Phoenix Lights
4/13 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre
4/19 – Brooklyn, NY – Baby’s All Right
4/20 – Boston, MA – Sonia’s
4/21 – Toronto, ON – Velvet Underground
4/26 – Portland, OR – Holocene
4/27 – Vancouver, BC – Celebrities
4/28 – Seattle, WA – Neumos
5/4 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
5/5 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram
5/18 – 5/20 – Gulf Shores, AL – Hangout Fest
6/14 – 6/17 – Firefly Music Festival
6/21 – 6/25 –  Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest
6/28 – 7/2 –  Rothbury, MI – Electric Forest

Yoke Lore drops off lush remix package featuring Yeasayer, Blackbird Blackbird, and more

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Throughout 2017,  Adrian Galvin — the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter behind the indietronica-project Yoke Lore — dropped off a slew of electrifying takes on his 2017 originals “Goodpain,” “Only You,” and “World Wings.”

Now, Yoke Lore’s dropped off an official remix package for the number. Goodpain Remix is a cathartic assemblage of Yoke Lore’s work and presents a charming spectrum of electronica offerings. There are also never before heard takes on the record, including “Level Tools” from the electronic South African and Californian duo AMINA! and “World Wings,” from the textural synth-pop outfit Blackbird Blackbird which echoes satiny sonic sentiments similar to chillwave’s pioneer, Washed Out.


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Joywave reveals exclusive Spotify Singles ahead of 2018 tour dates

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Joywave has dropped off an exclusive pairing of Spotify Singles ahead of the 2018 leg of their headlining “Thanks. Thanks For Coming” tour. The multi-track treat includes an in-studio version of “Doubt” off their 2017 album Content, which did exceptionally well on iTunes‘ Alternative Album chart.  The new Spotify Singles also features a dazzling cover of the English rock band Talk Talk’s early single “Life’s What You Make It.”

In February, Joywave will hit the road with singer-songwriter Sasha Sloan and the electronic-rock outfit KOPPS, stopping in slew of cities across the US.

Joywave 2018 Tour Dates:

Sat 02.10 – Las Vegas, NV @ The Bunkhouse
Sun 02.11 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
Tue 02.13 – West Hollywood, CA @ The Roxy Theatre
Thu 02.15 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
Fri 02.16 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall
Sun 02.18 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile (SOLD OUT)
Tue 02.20 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge
Wed 02.21 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall
Thu 02.22 – Denver, CO @ Globe Hall (SOLD OUT)
Sat 02.24 – Austin, TX @ The Parish
Sun 02.25 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa
Tue 02.27 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Wed 02.28 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East
Fri 03.02 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle
Sat 03.03 – Washington, DC @ U Street (SOLD OUT)
Tue 03.06 – Toronto, ON @ Adelaide Hall
Wed 03.07 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom

 

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Australian producer LUUDE flips Youth Group’s ‘Forever Young’

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With an official remix of RL Grime‘s “Reims,” as well as other works that skyrocketed his career in 2017, Australian-born producer LUUDE is on track for a massive year. He’s seen support from Skrillex, Jauz, The Chainsmokers, and more, recently embarking on a massive 27-stop Australia/New Zealand tour and gaining recognition on a global scale.

Gracing fans with those “nostalgic summer feels” here on a flip of Youth Group’s “Forever Young,” LUUDE adds crashes, trippy effects, and a rhythmic, indie-electronic drop, giving off good vibes to all listeners.

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David Byrne shares lead single off his first solo album in 14 years, ‘American Utopia’

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David Byrne, the former frontman of Talking Heads, has officially announced his new album, American Utopia, is due out March 9. This marks Byrne’s first solo endeavor since 2004’s Grown Backwards which he’s announced will be followed by “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.”

Byrne is leading the album with the single “Everybody’s Coming To My House,” co-written by Brian Eno and features contributions from TTY, Happa Isaiah Barr of the Onyx Collective, and the Mercury Award winner Sampha. Eno’s tapping for the track and entire record is an exceptionally notable collaboration, as the two worked closely on some of the Talking Heads’ most influential material, including More Songs About Buildings and FoodFear of Music, Remain in Light, and the 2008 album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Speaking of the new album, Byrne said,

“Is this meant ironically? Is it a joke? Do I mean this seriously? In what way? Am I referring to the past or the future? Is it personal or political? These songs don’t describe an imaginary or possibly impossible place but rather attempt to depict the world we live in now. Many of us, I suspect, are not satisfied with that world — the world we have made for ourselves. We look around and we ask ourselves — well, does it have to be like this? Is there another way? These songs are about that looking and that asking.

This album is indirectly about those aspirational impulses. Sometimes to describe is to reveal, to see other possibilities. To ask a question is to begin the process of looking for an answer. To be descriptive is also to be prescriptive, in a way. The act of asking is a big step. The songs are sincere — the title is not ironic. The title refers not to a specific utopia, but rather to our longing, frustration, aspirations, fears, and hopes regarding what could be possible, what else is possible. The description, the discontent and the desire — I have a feeling that is what these songs touch on.

America, or to be correct — the United States — was founded as a utopian experiment. One can point out that yes, there were less than noble business interests at play, and this experiment applied only to white males of means, much of which is still true. Clearly there was poison in the well, and much of what was built was built on the backs of slaves, with half the country disenfranchised. There was genocide, exploitation and land grabs. But I’m talking about perception, which is different than reality. The perception was (past tense) that here might be a new way of living, of cooperating with one another, even if the experiment was being played out only by a portion of the population. The rest of the world, for a long time, viewed the American experiment as exciting, noble and something to be emulated — at least in the ways it succeeded. It was viewed as a fresh start, a place where old, ingrained ideas could be jettisoned, and a world of both fairness and opportunity could be established. Though it never did succeed in all its aims, enough of them were realized in its brief history to give hope to many.

Now it seems — in this place, and in others — we are seeing those dreams, those possibilities, being withdrawn. The experiment seems on the verge of complete and utter collapse. So naturally, we now ask ourselves — was it too much to ask? Were we wrong about how humans can be? Can we start over? Is there another way? A different way? Do we have any choice in the matter? This asking is a good sign.

I have no prescriptions or surefire answers, but I sense that I am not the only one looking and asking, wondering and still holding onto some tiny bit of hope, unwilling to succumb entirely to despair or cynicism.

It’s not easy, but music helps. Music is a kind of model — it often tells us or points us toward how we can be.”

American Utopia is out March 9 via Todomundo/Nonesuch Records.

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Le Youth – I Could Always (feat. MNDR)

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Wes James, also known as Le Youth, is skillfully adept at crafting sounds that beckon to a nostalgic past while simultaneously incorporating the touchstones of contemporary production.

His newest single “I could Always,” featuring MNDR, is a cleansing, groove-heavy, roll-off-the-tongue dance ballad in which MNDR’s invigorating vocals are highlighted by synths that wash over the listeners ears like waves at the beach. Le Youth’s most impressive element are his impeccably vintage — yet crisp — drum samples, which serve to furnish the track with a palpable vigor.

“I Could Always” is a carbonated intersection of vintage pop, synth wave, and 90s house into a singular sounding amalgamation; a true dance floor wonder.

 

 

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RAC elevates LCAW’s ‘Desires’ with delightfully moving rework

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Each and every artistic endeavor by way of the indie electronica maestro RAC is delightfully groovy, ridden with emotion, and daringly danceable. Over the years, the Grammy-winning artist has proven his tantalizing talents over a breadth of tunes, from indie dance to disco, RAC puts a masterful touch on all that he embraces. Now, RAC’s remixed LCAW’s rousing original “Desires,” featuring the legendary Danish electronic trio WhoMadeWho.

Evidently, the two share an affinity for initial-lead monikers, but RAC proves with the rework that the two’s mutual love for invigorating instrumentals is omnipresent. LCAW, or Leon Weber, has been developing his artistic portfolio over the years, boasting remixes for the likes of London Grammar, ZHU, and more. His original “Desires” takes its listeners on a tantalizing journey beyond the looming winter season, to a dreamy world of sun-drenched sound.  While LCAW’s version is a delightful testament to their rightful presence in the realm, RAC’s rework is a masterful deliverance that leaves its listener with an insatiable desire for more from these two acts.

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Anna of the North – Someone (Acoustic)

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Anna of the North has gone acoustic for the secondary release of single “Someone.” The Scandinavian alt-pop singer originally released the synth pop single more than five months ago, and her acoustic twist on the track forsakes its bubbly keys for a moody, atmospheric experience in which Anna of the North bares her soul. “There’s something in the water” she sings, an echo transports her voice to the outer edges of a concrete room. Anna’s vocals accent the tracks sullen piano melody, a complete subversion of the structural makeup of the original track: the release is a testament to her versatility as a pop artist.

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Nyxen – In The City

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Sydney-based Nyxen has long been moved by the power of music, and in her catalog, a most fervent passion for her art oozes from all facets. From Nyxen’s tunes themselves, to her cover art, and persona; she’s clearly an artist in all senses of the word.

In 2015, Nyxen began her music career with an early-adoption into the Unknown Records family, and since then, her subdued, introspective music has graced the ears of many.

Having played the guitar for 10 years, Nyxen solely produces her own vocals and instrumentals sounds. Her influences of Tycho, Miike Snow, and the Bag Raiders are evident in her music and bring a high-energy for all listeners to enjoy.

Her latest tune, ”In The City” sees out the juxtaposition of an upbeat and rolling bassline with a darker side of her melodic style. By adding her vocal mix under the piano-laden commencement and driving instrumentals, Nyxen’s displays a broad range in her skill. The track’s insatiably danceable, but it’s also catchy, and incredibly unexpected — a most perfect tune for the city.

 

 

 

 

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