Deer Tick-The Rock

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The Rock is a song about being in love with an artist and subsequently having your heart broken by that artist. The silly little metaphors in the song are ‘the rock’ which is the power to destroy your relationship, and ‘the window’ which is the relationship. I like the idea of a breakup being represented by shattering glass.

My first exposure to Deer Tick is a positive one. Taken from the upcoming Negativity album, set for 24th September, this one moves through several styles with an admirable intensity that makes it a diverse and enjoyable listen. The first minute is a gentle ride, combining airy synths with delicate yet sharp vocal work, before the track explodes into life with lively piano melodies, crisp percussion and plenty more besides. The end product is a fun yet intense listen, with surprising dashes of horns thrown in at the halfway point for a jazzy touch, and the lengthy guitar strums toward the end add a further layer of diversity- the overall sound is one that hovers between rock, alternative, pop and western, and with good effect. The vocal work capitalises well on the track’s various highs and lows, whilst their consistency affords the track a sense of stability amongst that varied production, and finishes off what is a very likeable track from the band.

Queens of the Stone Age-Blurred Lines (Cover)

Ha! I’m not sure anyone saw this coming. QOTSA’s recent releases have all been rather raw and with plenty of darkness (mostly emanating from the animated shorts that preceded their Like Clockwork album), and that’s not mentioning their general style of music being rather departed from the smooth Robin Thicke original. Live Lounge does throw up some surprises though, and this is certainly one of those.

It’s not a crazy, leftfield cover by any means; instead, it’s a pretty laidback acoustic effort that isn’t a million miles away from the original in terms of its rather easygoing nature. Accompanied by a duo of guitars, Josh Homme not only delivers the vocals with his distinctive drawl, but provides a metronone/percussion layer by shaking what look like pill bottles- it’s a detail that somewhere between hilarious, incredible and bizarre, and I like it. The work of the guitars is lively enough to keep an undercurrent of positivity going, whilst also adding a little Americana style to proceedings, ensuring that whilst it may not stray too far from the original’s general vibe, this cover does deliver enough distinctivity to keep it fresh. Worth a go, if for anything to see a man use pill containers as an instrument.

Empire of the Sun-Ice on the Dune (Full Album Stream)

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Yet another album to add to that 18th June release date, though unlike the rest it’s one I’ve been eagerly anticipating for several years. Sidenote: is the world ending on the 19th? Is there something we don’t know about that’s making everyone throw their projects out on the 18th?

If the lead single is anything to go by, their dreamy, ethereal soundscapes seem to have undergone a heavy pop injection, and whilst it’ll take some adjusting if the whole album has that same piercing positivity, I’m confident the unique duo can pull it off. Time will tell if that’s the case, and you can find out if the project matches up to their own lofty standards below. Stream is available below via Rolling Stone, but be warned as oddly, it seems to be blocked outside of the US for the time being. Silly.

Empire of the Sun-Ice on the Dune (Album Stream)

The xx-Fiction (Video)

In the audio, Oliver Sim goes solo on the vocals and that’s exactly what happens in the video. It’s a downbeat, sombre watch that matches up very well with the track’s inherent elegaic qualities, and makes for an immersive audiovisual throughout.

If you’re after a colourful video with high levels of activity and a killer storyline, look away now- instead, this is a monochromatic, slow-moving piece that features Oliver walking through various landscapes in what seems an ever-escalating and rather ambiguous search. Whilst his bandmates sleep, he moves from looking out of his window to staring through the outdoor pool, in what is a nicely timed scene as it reflects the rather ‘aquatic’ melodies that enter the production around that point. That moves quickly on to walking alone through woodland, with a gaze fixed mostly skyward, before a short dance seems to lead to the emergence of daylight. It’s clearly not attempting any intricately-layered storyline, and instead it’s a piece that works with the elements and movement of the audio extremely well, capturing its dark and moody vibe without losing its hint of loneliness and desperation.

An enjoyable watch that certainly enhances the audio, and you don’t need me to tell you, but be sure to get that Coexist album into your iTunes if you haven’t already.

The Jet Age of Tomorrow-Bonus Tracks

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With their third album now released and picking up plenty of hype and praise, the talented duo let an extra four tracks loose that didn’t quite make the cut.

Unlike the LP, there aren’t any huge guest features, which will be just fine for fans of the duo. With that said, Pyramid Vritra is credited on the album, and given that’s actually the alias of TJAOT’s Hal Williams, it should be interesting to hear how that’s going to work. Not a great deal to add here, and I’m sure Jet Age fans will be scrambling for that download link. Free grab courtesy of the duo below.

The Jet Age of Tomorrow-Bonus Tracks

The Jet Age of Tomorrow-The Jellyfish Mentality (Album)

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Truthfully speaking, this for me is the most exciting album release in months. I’m a huge fan of their previous works, and when they get their ever-experimental formula right on a track, it tends to be a fantastic listen that’ll hang around your playlists for a long time.

Here’s to hoping there’s more of that on this project, their third album. To help boost it along, this one comes with a bigger dose of help from featured artists, with (arguably) Odd Future top four rappers in Hodgy Beats, Earl Sweatshirt, Domo Genesis and Mike G appearing alongside longtime OF affiliates Vince Staples and Casey Veggies, plus Mac Miller, Kilo Kish and Jesse Boykins III. The latter two features boast real potential, as the sonic compatibility of those acts with the JAOT sound is seemingly near-perfect, and hence those could end up as real standout tracks here. Of course, with production helmed by the talented Jet Age duo of Matt and Hal, there’s going to be no shortage of experimentalism and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of variety to enjoy; free grab below.

The Jet Age of Tomorrow-The Jellyfish Mentality

Caveman-In The City (Video)

The track itself was posted under the guise of it being a bright, summery track with plenty of vibrancy, and whilst it remains so, this video completely flips that vibe and uses the audio to support a dark, horror-esque story that’s morbidly engrossing.

Julia Stiles plays the lead character, who’s seemingly spending some time in New York with her partner; it all starts rather warmly and the hazy, retro-style filter enhances the initial suggestion that this will end up being a simple and positive video of the romance between the two, fittingly set ‘in the city’. However, before long things take a rather dark turn, as a crazed hotel worker sneaks into the couple’s room, hiding behind the curtain until they fall asleep. It’s completely creepy and the menacing lighting tricks used on his face help enhance that feel, whilst his slow, minimal movements creating a sense of deliberacy that makes his actions yet more unpleasant. The initial subtlety (relatively speaking) of his ‘work’ is cleverly played, seeding slight doubts in Julia’s head about whether it was done by her partner or not, a feeling which grows as the lacerations increase in quantity- credit is deserved for her expressions and body language throughout, which express those evolving concerns with great clarity. The ending is rather smart, as the initial belief is that she simply wakes up before being ‘finished off’, but the heavy white lighting is arguably more suggestive of a post-death scenario. A clever video that’s worth a watch, regardless of whether you’re a fan of the track or not.

The xx and Jessie Ware-Lady / Music Sounds Better With You (Cover)

Seperately, they’re both incredible artists in their own lanes, and together here they remain utterly superb. The unexpected collaborative team churns out a blended cover of Modjo’s Lady and Stardust’s Music Sounds Better With You, ably supported by a slightly tweaked version of Sunset from The xx’s own Coexist album for a diverse track that works far better than it should.

Still with me? Good. In addition to providing the instrumentation for Sunset, The xx themselves deliver the ever-memorable hook from the Modjo original, taking it from its originally-upbeat style down into the sombre, moody soundscape they’re always so skilled at creating. It works almost seamlessly, and that doesn’t change at all when Jessie Ware adds her contribution, that being the iconic hook from the Stardust classic; yet again, it blends as smoothly as you could hope for, though Jessie’s natural intensity and passion prevents it from sinking too deep into the percussion, and instead injects that section of the track with a lot of vibrancy. The tweaks to the instrumentation are well-suited in context, with the guitars coming through on a slightly sharper, more lively style that suits Jessie’s work in particular, and caps off what is a unique and enjoyable performance. There are already fans desperate for a studio mix of the track, and fingers crossed that comes through at some point.

Smith Westerns-3am Spiritual

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A second release from their upcoming Soft Will album, due to land on 24th June, and one that’s markedly different from the bubbly, upbeat style of their previous effort.

Whilst there’s still plenty of positivity in here, it’s rather more earned in its nature. The track begins with rather melancholy string work, with the backdrop being one of airy synths and distant string plucks, and hence it’s not inherently negative and rather bittersweet instead. That emotion grows into eventual positivity, with the vocals becoming more expansive and passionate, moving the partially-unchanged lyricism away from disappointment into acceptance, whilst the production keeps up with a lively final third packed with keys, more freedom within the strings, and bursts of backing vocals that add a vibrant finishing touch. Another good listen, and be sure to grab that album next month.

The Jet Age of Tomorrow-On

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Jet Age’s Journey to the 5th Echelon remains one of my favourite chillout albums to date, whilst Voyager isn’t to be slept on either, and they’re gearing up for their 3rd release this Friday, The JellyFish Mentality.

In absolute honesty, this particular track won’t rank in their upper levels. Interestingly though, their experimental nature usually has hit-and-miss moments, and yet this one instead falls somewhere in the middle; listenable, but neither excellent nor terrible. The track’s broken into two segments, with the first taking several cues from the hip-hop and alternative genres with slow, bassy percussion delivered in a sharp, crashing fashion that adds a hint of punk to proceedings, whilst the cacophonous synth work only serves to enhance those raw edges. The vocals are as drifty as ever, but in this context they work in a much more menacing manner, and it’s a display of musical progression from their more electronic origins. With that said, they return to that chillout style for the second segment, throwing gentle melodies under a more vibrant vocal layer, and it’s this section that’ll probably win back the original Jet Age fans, whilst also making for a good introduction to their work if you’re previously unfamiliar. A solid track with touches of progression and quality, and I’m looking forward to getting the full project on Friday.

Smith Westerns-Varsity (Video)

The sheer happiness of this song is unbelievably infectious, and despite my skip-happy nature, I find it impossible to press skip when those first few notes hit. That, my friends, is high praise.

Of course, this is by no means for everyone-it’s got a heavy pop influence, and is no doubt wrapped in a squeaky-clean veneer that’ll turn a lot of people off, but nonetheless those of a happy disposition will probably find some kinship with it. The video mostly plays on that vibrancy, with a lot of the scenes having a visceral approach due to their focus on the five senses; in particular, there’s a lot of emphasis on touch, whether that’s the oddly-mesmerising squeezing of citrus fruits, or the interactions between the seemingly happy couple. The colour palette veers between sunny, bright scenery through to darker environments, though the latter aren’t ‘moody’ as such, more of a warming nature that creates a nice sense of enclosure around the two characters. The second half of the clip expands the setting somewhat, with a little rooftop frolicking from the duo creating a sense of freedom in front of an expansive backdrop, and closes off what is just a video that can best be described as ‘nice’. Worth a watch for fans of the song, and you can either grab the single now or wait for the Soft Will album on 25th June.

Tripwires-Shimmer

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Another chance for us to showcase some great local talent here, with this four piece emerging from my once-home of Reading. They’ve got an excellent blend of styles in their work, from classic British indie-pop through to harder, edgier rock elements, and the outcome is a sound that feels widely accessible.

The guitar work progresses well throughout, with the first few seconds’ gentle strums being quickly displaced by chunky, driving chords, which themselves take on more power and prominence as the track grows, particularly for the closing third. The softer strums are still left in throughout though, adding a piercing yet easygoing layer to the production, whilst the consistent intensity of the percussion combines well with the guitar work to create a thick, well-rounded soundscape. The vocals add a great finish to the offering, with the melodic yet comparatively laidback (against the angsty instrumentation) delivery keeping the track tempering that production, and packing it with enough harmony to make it listenable to more casual listeners. In itself, it’s got a rather anthemic vibe, and that singalong quality will certainly make it a crowd pleaser at any live shows.

Tame Impala-Prototype (Cover)

Over the last few years, several artists have delivered covers of Outkast’s fantastically heartfelt song, most notably Jesse Boykins III and Arima Ederra, and now an act outside of the soul/R&B sphere opts to give it a go.

This release coincides with my belated listening to Tampe Impala’s Lonerism album, and though it’s taking me a little time to fully get into that LP, there’s clear evidence they’ve got both talent and a distinct sound nailed down. The latter is a slightly trippy alternative style, with a heavy 60s/70s pop infusion (imagine Unknown Mortal Orchestra, with slightly crisper production values), and that sound is smoothly injected into the soulful sounds of this cover: it opens in very similar fashion to the original, with wailing guitar licks accompanied by delicate, gently-pitched vocals, before throwing in a chunky synth groove and a little atmosphere courtesy of backing vocals for that Tame Impala touch. The track closes with a nice percussion line to fully close off the soundscape, adding a sharpness to the track that supports the vocals well, and it ends what is a very enjoyable and respectful cover (in terms of not warping it beyond recognition) of a now-classic original.

Eluvium-Happiness

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When I wrote ‘Happiness’, I knew that vocals would play an important part, but I wasn’t sure how to express them myself. Being the last song on the album, would it be a grand statement – or a smaller piece focused on minute details? At some point in time the fantasy of having Ira singing just came to me: “That would be amazing,” I thought.

A fantastically simple track, and one that might not be part of your daytime summer listening, but will definitely slide right into those warm, laidback evenings and nights. Gentle piano keys are the bulk of the backdrop here, and though they’re eventually joined by a touch of synth and what sounds like organ pipes, their sombre nature is what really holds this track together. That aforementioned sprinkling of vocals from Ira Kaplan help add depth to the track’s middle section, and their brief inclusion makes for an excellent intermission between the instrumental sections that surround it. There’s nothing complicated about this one, and as a result it’ll cut right through you with tons of emotional appeal. A great listen, and look out for the Nightmare Ending album on 14th May.

The Great Gatsby OST (Full Album Stream)

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We’ve heard full versions, snippets and rough edits of various tracks from this official soundtrack, and ahead of its release on Tuesday we get a full stream of the album in its completed format.

As listed previously, artists include Beyonce, Andre 3000, The xx, Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, Emeli Sande, Q-Tip, Jack White and many more. Of course, Jay-Z also contributes a track in addition to being the album’s executive producer, rounding off what is surely one of the most star-studded film soundtracks in recent memory, whilst also remaining sonically diverse through its range of artist choices. I’ve got no doubts that there’ll be something on here for everyone, and you can stream it all courtesy of NPR below.

The Great Gatsby OST (Full Album Stream)

Daughter-Get Lucky (Daft Punk Cover)

Wow. Take the summery, addictively-upbeat vibe of the original, and imagine its complete inverse. Doesn’t seem possible, and even if it does, it would be terrible right? Wrong.

Daughter have taken the infectiously positive song and completely shifted it into a gloomy daydream of a track, replacing the sharp percussion with minimal clips, swapping buzzing synths for those of an airy, gentle variety, and throwing in grave bass plucks. The combination is moody, relaxing and yet with an inherent intensity that adds fantastic depth and power to the original’s relatively easygoing, singalong lyricism; those features come via the vocals, which are part-delicate, part-emotional, and that mixture ensures those simple lyrics gain tons of atmosphere and gravitas. The track ends with an excellent instrumental finale, combining the darker elements of the production with a sharper, more energetic guitar to close things off in a satisfying manner, and it caps off a cover that really shouldn’t work, but completely does.

Matthew Santos-October Falling Demo

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This is a studio demo of an older tune that was slated to be released on This Burning Ship of Fools in 2010. Unfortunately it didn’t make the cut.

Both the aforementioned album and the Live In Chicago project were huge favourites of mine a few years back, and this recent release offers a lovely reminder of both albums, whilst being a very good song that would have fit on either project. For longtime fans, it’ll refresh memories of Matthew’s inherently mellow style, with the first half of the song being a masterclass in acoustic work as he harmonises smoothly over soft guitar plucks, and those vocals evolve in intensity to become the tribal chant-esque hook of the track. That progressive approach culminates in a burst of energy for the final quarter, which explodes into life with soaring, emotional work that provides a fitting climax to the track. The instrumentation keeps pace well throughout and demonstrates great versatility, as it switches between the gentle acoustic and the more percussion-heavy style with relative ease, and skilfully blends together what are two relatively distinct styles. Big fan of this, and it’ll undoubtedly get me listening to his back catalogue once more.

Tribes-Dancehall (Video)

This feelgood, thoroughly addictive effort was a favourite of mine on its release just a short while back, and ahead of those previously-referenced international festival dates, they’ve let the official video loose to heighten the buzz around this track.

It’s an interesting clip, to say the least. Centred around a set of emotionally-diverse ladies, the video focuses heavily on their expressions, and whilst most of them are happy and generally quite upbeat, there are scenes of more sombre appearance that temper the audio’s bubbly qualities and serve to add more emotional depth. With that said, at times they feel slightly incongruent with the growth of the track, and its almost relieving to have one of the happier characters reappear. In particular, the ladies with the crown and glass pane respectively are fun, light-hearted watches that seem to capture the essence of the audio very well, and blend with the video’s sunny environment much more effectively. It’s a nice show of diversity throughout though, and if anything the ups-and-downs in positivity make for a more realistic emotional experience, and hence it’s tough to criticise such visceral effectiveness. Worth a watch, and most certainly worth a listen.

The xx-Together

Baz Lurhmann’s upcoming The Great Gatsby film has a phenomenal list of artists contributing to its soundtrack, and among them are Jay-Z, Andre 3000, Beyonce, Jack White, and The xx, who’ve contributed this gem to the OST.

The haunting, atmospheric sounds are right out of their debut album’s playbook, with particular trademarks being the track’s most mellow points exuding a dark, moody vibe, and the relative lack of a synthesised high point; the latter was a key feature of several tracks on their sophomore Coexist album, and hence its lack of presence here is notable. With that said, the inclusion of strings towards the end adds even further depth to their innately-cinematic work, and as far as I’m aware, it’s the first time the band have thrown in such a foreground use of strings. It’s very effective for sure, and certainly brings the track closer to ‘classic film score’ style, with its addition making for a strong climax to a slow-building track.

The vocal work is, once again, thoroughly excellent. This darker style tends to suit Oliver Sim’s voice slightly better, with the natural gravity of his voice blending well with the production, and though that’s a synergy that comes off well here, Romy’s brighter performance makes for a very likeable contrast to the otherwise sombre soundscape. Look out for this on the aforementioned soundtrack, scheduled for release on 7th May.

MGMT-Alien Days

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Released as part of Record Store Day, and also believed to feature on their upcoming album, the unique MGMT return with their first new piece of music in quite some time.

The sheer number of genres blended into here is head-spinning. To name just a couple, there are heavy touches of folk mixed in with retro pop stylings for a psychedelic experience, whilst hints of modern alternative create sharp edges to the sound that grounds the track’s otherwise-trippy nature. Somewhere between the old-school samples, distorted vocals and thick guitar strums lie hefty, pounding percussion thumps, driving through the track at a slow pace that belies the lively melodic layers sitting atop it, and hence that contrast makes for a sligtly disorienting track, but one that gains clarity as it progresses. Worth a listen for the starved MGMT fans, but it might be a bit much for everyone else.

Yuna-Lelaki

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Yuna’s one of my favourite vocalists to have emerged in the last year or so, and following her superb debut album is the Sixth Street EP, set to land on 7th May, almost exactly a year after the release of her album.

This track seems to be in her traditional Malaysian language (correct me if I’m wrong!), and whilst that might make it a little less relatable than her previous works, it’s still a lovely piece that hits the right spots as far as melody, emotion and instrumentation go. Opening in a grainy, tape recorder style, the track stylishly swings into live with soft ukelele plucks, a dash of percussion and some nice digital touches for a mellow soundscape with likeably sharp edges, courtesy of the various melodic elements competing for the dominant role. Yuna’s vocals are as elegant and smooth as ever, though she also takes the opportunity to experiment with a couple of new, more aggressive deliveries in certain spots that add good flashes of emotional variety, and it caps off what is a welcome return for Yuna. Be sure to get that EP on 7th May.

RDGLDGRN, Pharrell and Dave Grohl In The Studio (Video)

In the near-4 year history of this site, I have never felt more personal pride about an act we’ve worked with as I have with these guys. Having supported them since our birth, I daresay we’ve become friends over the years, and that goes beyond common interests-it’s because they’re incredibly gifted, and have the right views and understandings of music. Now, they’re working with the likes of Pharrell and Dave Grohl, two of the most well-known names in worldwide music, and benefitting from global radio play and exposure. It goes to show that the dedication to their craft paid off, and it’s great to see such deserving guys get this kind of buzz.

It’s only the beginning, of course. One look at this video will tell you that they’re destined for even more, with both Grohl and Williams full of genuine praise for the trio, and it’s not only a superb insight into their influential opinions, but also on the collaborative processes that took place and the resulting products. Of course, the latter can be found on their EP, available now on iTunes, and be sure to catch the guys on tour out here in Europe next month.

Jai Paul-Jai Paul LP

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When Jai broke out with BTSTU (known by mainstream heads for being sampled by Drake on Dreams Money Can Buy), most expected it to be a launchpad to continued success. He’s been somewhat elusive and reclusive since then, but finally re-emerges to drop off his debut LP, featuring the above track alongside 15 new pieces.

For many, myself included, this will be the first lengthy exposure to his material. Whilst I’m sure many dedicates have pieced together his loose releases, remixes and so on, I’ve not quite been as committed in seeking out his material, and hence this should make for a great piece of diverse and eclectic listening; a quick listen suggests there are influences and sounds across the spectrum, including club electro, R&B, Asian, pop, experimental electronica, and more. Whilst there will inevitably be tracks that are a little too leftfield for some, it seems like it’ll be quite difficult to dislike entirely if you’re of an open mind musically, and you can stream or buy the album below. Do both.

EDIT: Jai Paul has confirmed this was actually an unofficial leak, as his laptop was stolen.

I Used To Be A Sparrow-Warpaint On Invisible Children (Video)

The Swedish duo amalgamate electronic, indie, rock, pop and punk – they’ve often been compared to Last Days of April and Death Cab For Cutie.. at its very core though it’s just heartfelt and earnest music!

This is one of those rare tracks that somehow takes lively, active sections and wraps them into a fairly reflective and emotional package that shouldn’t work, but does. The opening and first post-hook section are packed with sharp percussion, dominating strums of delayed guitar and a touch of synth, creating a vibe that lands somewhere between atmospheric and intense, whilst the chorus throws in punchy, more jagged guitars to amp up the energy and add more freedom and drive. From here, the instrumentation becomes somewhat freeform, not strictly adhering to the chorus-verse dynamic and instead switching the more piercing guitar in for the final verse, and leaving them off for the final hook; it adds an unpredictably that throws you off slightly, but works well with the emotional, rousing vocal work throughout. Given that vocal work’s relative consistency, the instrumentation provides much-needed diversity in behind it, though admittedly it won’t be an easy listen for many.

The clip is relatively simple, swapping between performance and landscape shots, and coating the whole thing in a misty blue layer that adds to the introspective, atmospheric side of the audiovisual. If you’re into it, head here for the album.

Dirty Beaches-Landscapes In The Mist

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I’ll be honest: it’s the wrong time of day for this. However, it’s an excellent slice of good production, and hence you’re probably just going to have to deal with that.

Cinematic and dark in equal measure, the track is awash with atmospheric, ethereal synths at its core, creating a spaced-out, moody soundscape with grandeur. Sitting above that is a distorted saxophone, adding a sharpness that actually helps to drive this into a slightly more industrial style, evoking imagery (yep, here I go) of post-apocalyptic landscapes bathed in darkness. The freeform nature of the sax adds unpredictability too, and this is a piece of production that’s absolutely worthy of cinematic use, such is its depth and evocative nature.

Look out for Dirty Beaches’ Drifters/Love Is The Devil double LP on 21st May, whilst you can also catch him in a city near you with a tour of several UK locations between 5th and 12th May.

M83-Oblivion OST (Full Album Stream)

We’ve had two releases from the official soundtrack for the upcoming Tom Cruise film Oblivion, and the M83-helmed project is now available to stream in its entireity.

The aforementioned releases affirmed that M83 have no problems adjusting their work to the level of grandeur required here. What interesting from a very brief listen of this album though is that they’ve really pushed through into a few new styles: alongside the traditional movie score string sections and M83-esque bubbly synths, there are flashes of a darker, near-cyberpunk vibe, ensuring this OST has pretty much all bases covered as far as a big budget Hollywood film goes.

Frankly, it’s made me a little more interested in seeing that film next weekend, and if you enjoy this stream, be sure to pick up the OST on 8th April.

Golden Rabbit-I Saw Red (Video)

This video was filmed on an old Flip camera whilst travelling through the January snows from London to Manchester and back through the Midlands. It might be slow paced but the industrial, intimidating power stations and the snow represent struggle and finding strength.

Laidback, bittersweet vibes to accompany you this evening. Backed by little more than slow-paced, gentle strums of guitar, soft synths and not a great deal else, it’s a warming, stripped-back instrumentation for the most part, with a slight increase in intensity towards the end (courtesy of what could be an accordion, though I may be wrong). Golden Rabbit’s vocals are enjoyable throughout, handling the delicate verses with a subtle yet emotional delivery, whilst the occasional passionate flashes help to keep your focus on the lyricism.

We’ve all window-gazed whilst on a long journey, with either the headphones in or the stereo on, and sometimes that tends to create unbreakable bonds between certain pieces and types of scenery and audio. Given that’s also the intention of most music videos, the crossover in this clip is easy to appreciate, and hence whilst this isn’t the most “exciting” thing you’ll see, it is certainly likeable. Worth a listen.

Kid Cudi-Girls ft. Too $hort

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The newest release from Indicud, which recently had its tracklisting revealed, and Cudi’s made this one exclusively available for those who pre-order the LP on iTunes ahead of the album’s 22nd April release date.

It’s going to require a few listens to fully appreciate. There’s a rather offbeat quality to this, with Cudi’s singing/rapping hybrid being delivered at a deliberately inconsistent pace over a repetitive production, and whilst it’s initially disorienting, a couple of listens irons out the creases and makes this likeable fare. The production’s combination of gloomy synths and minimal helpings of percussion makes for dark, moody verses, enhanced by Cudi’s relatively monotonous delivery, before a slight upturn for the verses adds more emotion to Cudi’s vocals and positivity to the production. It’s not single material by any means, but feels as though it’ll be one that works well to maintain a bleak mood, and given Cudi’s penchant for proper album sequencing, that’s likely intentional. Doesn’t seem to have hit iTunes UK yet (tomorrow, I’d guess), but head here to pre-order from iTunes US.

Lauren Mann & The Fairly Odd Folk-Over Land and Sea

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Produced by Aaron Marsh (Copeland, Joshua Michael Robinson), this illustrates Lauren’s gift of songwriting with a wide array of instrumentation, beautiful harmonies, and lyrics that tell of whimsical adventures.

Fun and folsky, this is a slice of easy listening that should brighten up anyone’s day. The lively guitar and ukelele work sets the mood right from the off, with their busy yet non-aggressive nature combining with the supporting percussion line creating a rich backdrop. Lauren’s vocals are playful and passionate, matching up to the energetic instrumentation well, and the overall combination is one of a warm, summery positivity that’s rather infectious. Look out for the album of the same title on 9th April.