One of my favorite types of music is the kind where the melody and the beats are absolutely killer and the lyrics are basically poetry, but the theme of the song is a bit hard to interpret. The Staves fit perfectly into that category. A proper way to describe this band of sisters is like if Mumford and Sons and Haim had a musical baby, The Staves would be it.
These three sisters, Jessica, Camilla, and Emily, originate from Watford, Hertfordshire in the beautiful country of England. Their first EP, Facing West, was released in 2010, which was a perfect starting point for the band and their slow rise to fame. This EP also displayed each of their individual talents aside from singing, such as Camilla’s ukulele skills and their striking harmonies.
Though they are initially from across the pond, they have a bit of American influences such as gothic folk and hippie rock. Their most recent album, If I Was, was actually released in 2014 but has only gained legit fame this past year. The album is a great extension to their past EPs and first album. A personal favorite off the album is the first track, “Blood I Bled.” It’s a great first look on the album and the type of music the sisters create. Their style is perfect for almost all music lovers; whether it be the hippies or the hipsters, The Staves will fit in their daily playlist.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Friday, August 28th, 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 »|
There’s a lot of hyperbolic praise swirling around Beijing-based artist Nova Heart (aka Helen Fang), from being called “the Queen of Beijing Rock” to “the Blondie of China.” My knowledge of Chinese music is nonexistent, and while Jpop and Kpop have both had their turn in American pop culture (even though both were treated as fads), America is long overdue for a Chinese crossover. Maybe that’s where Nova Heart comes in.
Fang, a mini celebrity in her own country, has been fronting bands and touring across Europe for the past few years. Nova Heart, her much-anticipated solo project, has been swimming in critical accolades since her 2013 debut EP, Beautiful Boys. Since then, the imminent release of her first full-length album and a song of hers appearing in an episode of Hemlock Grove have both boosted her exposure here in the states.
Although I personally don’t get a “rock” persona from her, Fang is excellent at spinning dark, moody sounds that are as ominous and puzzling as her eye-catching videos. There’s a story to everything she does, and her commitment to strong visuals helps solidify her vision. And exactly what is Nova Heart’s vision? You’ll have to dive into her world and find out.
If you liked this, don’t forget to pre-order her self-titled debut album.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Tuesday, August 4th, 2015||No Comments »|
If it seems like we’re posting an awful lot of recs for female indie sirens lately, we are. Of course we always try to diversify our recommendations when we can, but the truth is 2015 has been full of amazing debuts from female singer-songwriters that are all too good to ignore. The latest name to join the pack is Pixx. The 19-year-old Londoner is about to release her debut EP in August 2015 and, in the meantime, has released a music video for her haunting first single, “Fall In.”
Pixx, real name Hannah Rodgers, has the kind of voice that can make anything sound ten times more layered than it really is. Songs about complicated love are a dime a dozen, but Pixx convinces us that her love is more than just the grumblings of a frustrated 19-year-old. Her music is worldlier and mature, transporting simple heartache into something distant and beautiful, where we can admire the beauty of sadness without being bogged down too much in reality. Maybe it’s the dream-like quality of her voice, but “Fall In” is the perfect song for those entire Sundays spent daydreaming on the couch. If you don’t believe me, you should try it. You’ll be forgetting about that guy from last summer in no time.
If you liked this, don’t forget to also check out her other single, “A Way to Say Goodbye.”
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Monday, July 20th, 2015||No Comments »|
DC-native Young Summer (born Bobbie Allen) creates music that has soft beats, a smooth melody, and a bit of an ’80s vibe to it–in a good way, of course. “Taken” captivates that style almost perfectly. The music video for this song, directed by Allister Ann, is very basic, yet captivating. It’s basically just Young Summer singing in a blue, shiny dress (that reminds me of a mermaid with mirror scales) in the desert amongst various geometric shapes. The simplicity of the music video doesn’t distract you from the actual song itself, which I think is awesome. It allows us to enjoy Young Summer herself and her melodic song at the same time, giving us the best of both worlds.
This song tugged on my emotions a bit; I mean the chorus itself made me want to lie in my bed and cry for no reason. At all. But that is the beauty of music, it can cause us to feel emotions and such that we may have or haven’t felt before. Although I haven’t listened to her full album, Siren, I am pretty sure all of her other songs carry the same brilliant lyrics and melodic, chill vibe. Forget about your troubles this morning, listen, and unwind.
|Recommended by Alecxis Rubic||Monday, July 6th, 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 »|
Stacks on deck, patron on ice… we can pop bottles all night, baby you can have whatever you like.
I said you can have whatever you like, or actually, Anya Marina said it, after T.I. did. This cover of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” is a weird, trance inducing, ultra addictive version you’ll never want to take off repeat. Marina’s voice is one of a kind, and though she may be singing about “late night sex” and “rubber band banks in [her] pockets,” you’ d never guess it if you weren’t paying attention.
I mean, it is a T.I. song, so it’s bound to be catchy, but Anya Marina takes it to a whole new level. She also doesn’t bother changing the gender references in the lyrics to match that of her own, which for whatever reason makes it that much cooler. The music video is pretty ridic as well, so go ahead and have a chuckle while uncontrollably singing along (it just happens).
|Recommended by Chelsey Grasso||Friday, June 26th, 2015||No Comments »|