For this week’s #TBT we’re not going that far back. After all, 2011 wasn’t that long ago. But Pink Playground’s debut album Destination Ecstasy came and went with little fan fare, which was unfortunate considering gems like “Never Was” and “Dark Bloom” was on there.
From Houston, Texas, the duo has a post-80s shoegaze sound that sounds as thick and nostalgic as you could imagine. Probably my favorite thing about “Never Was” is how proudly it hat tips the dreamy proto-rock bands of yore, creating an ethereal experience that you want to experience again and again. It’s a shame the duo hasn’t released an album since, but here’s hoping they have something lined up on the horizon.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, December 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
I’ll be honest, I originally only checked out The fin. because of a remix done by Petite Noir. However, the original track surprised me and was far better than Petite Noir’s choppy reinvention. From Japan, The fin. is an indie rock quartet that straddles that area of Euro-shoegaze and dream pop. The lead track off their upcoming EP of the same name, “Night Time,” is a song that proudly stands by its title. Written at night during band member’s Yuto Uchino long, lonely walk from the train station, the song is a chilly reminder of the quaintness of silence. It’s the kind of track that doesn’t entice you on first listen, but it gradually warms you up by the second and third. If you like this, remember to check out their full EP when it drops December 4.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, November 18th, 2015||No Comments »|
Excuse me if I’m late to the Heather Woods Broderick train. I only recently got a chance to listen to her sophomore album Glider, but I’m glad I did. Broderick, a former member of Efterklang (who I’m also a big fan of…well, before they started making crap like “Modern Drift”), has one of those dreamy, languid sounds that’s immediately familiar. I mean, at the top of my head I immediately think of Grouper or Cocteau Twins. I know the formula of soprano voices smothered by hazy, twinkling music can sound affected after a while, but Broderick holds her own and spins a world that can easily exist in the forefront or lazily drift into the background.
On first listen, “Wyoming” immediately stands out for its introverted intensity, and so it’s no surprise that it’s one of the lead singles. But please don’t let the boring music video mislead you into thinking this is forgettable music reserved for providing ambiance to coffee shops (I actually quite enjoy my boring coffee shop music, thankyouverymuch), but Broderick has a voice that’s intimate but powerful. Don’t underestimate it.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, August 26th, 2015||No Comments »|
The Urban Flora EP has recently hit my personal top 100 list to the point where it’s one of the only things I listen to. I remember when this EP stumbled into my music library; I was scrolling through my never-ending dashboard on Tumblr and discovered one of the songs on the EP, “Fantasy”, and clicked play. The rest, as they say, is history.
Alina Baraz and Galimatias consists of singer-songwriter Alina Baraz, originally from Cleveland, Ohio but is currently living in LA, and Danish electronicist Matias Saabye Køedt from Denmark. This being the duo’s debut EP I wasn’t expecting much, but it definitely delivered. Alina’s soothing voice matches almost perfectly with Matias’s mellow, downtempo techno style and creative beats. Regardless of the fact that some of her lyrics are a bit difficult to understand, the music itself is very easy to fall into and even easier to get addicted to.
Their music is the type to really push out reality and allow this listener to just relax. It’s also ideal for those aesthetic late night drives, calm days at the beach, or my personal favorite, sleeping. This EP is the perfect way to introduce Alina Baraz and Galimatias’ music to the public ear–the music lovers, haters, and all in between.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Wednesday, July 15th, 2015||No Comments »|
When it comes to Japanese dream-pop musicians (Cokiyu, Sapphire Slows, Cuushe), sometimes it’s hard to distinguish their sound from one another. There’s a particular formula to the genre–whispery voices floating over twinkling, glitchy electro–that hasn’t really changed much since 2003. But Noah, a new voice in the scene, is changing that. While the foundation of what makes J-electro is still there, she manages to finally drag the genre kicking and screaming into 2015, complete with a fresh r&b/trip-hop sound that conjures FKA Twigs or Jessy Lanza over any of the other Japanese musicians I mentioned. Her appropriately titled 2015 mixtape, Mood, wavers between ghostly hip-hop with an ambient air, while her debut full-length, Sivutie, hints at an even more fully-realized sound.
I haven’t listened to Sivutie yet, but its single, “Flaw,” gives a taste of what to expect. While a slight departure from Mood, “Flaw” shows that Noah is more than willing to take bold new steps outside of what people typically expect from dream pop. And the video ain’t bad either. Double win.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, July 1st, 2015||No Comments »|
Soley‘s debut We Sink was barely a blip on people’s radars when it first dropped in 2011. But gradually over the years, her popularity grew thanks to standout track “We Sink” that was featured prominently throughout YouTube. After taking a brief parental hiatus, she returned with an EP in 2014 and released her sophomore album, Ask The Deep, earlier this month. I haven’t gotten around to listening to the whole thing yet, but judging by the singles, Soley branches away from the “girl with a piano” sound of her debut, showing growth and maturity and a new sound that’s richer and more confident. Like the soundtrack of every girl’s psychotic skip through a fairytale forest, “Ævintýr” taps into something deeper. It might have taken her awhile to get there, but we’re a lot better for it.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Wednesday, May 13th, 2015||No Comments »|
Copenhagen indie rock duo Darkness Falls has their song “Night Games” tagged as “pop noir” on Soundcloud. I usually find it silly when musicians insist on using weird tags on Soundcloud (tagging something as “music for lovers!!” for example), but “pop noir” is a faux genre I can get on board with. “Night Games” is a song full of darkness, moody smokiness, and silky silhouettes. It’s the type of song you hear while having a long, cold walk through the city while smoking a cigar and doing your best Bogart impression. The song appears on their sophomore album Dance And Cry, which you can stream here. They also have a video out for their single “Dance and Cry,” which combines a little of everything I described above. Now all I need is a fedora and a trench coat.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Friday, March 20th, 2015||No Comments »|