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PLVTINUM – 12 Step Plan

PLVTINUM always comes through with infectious dance-pop jams and this one is no different. Titled “12 Step Plan”, it’s a super bouncy bop that twists and turns through wonderfully radio ready vibes. I totally mean it as a compliment when I say it feels like Backstreet Boys and The Chainsmokers fused into one pop entity, oversized swagger and all. It’s always so exciting to realize that in the internet age, an artist like PLVTINUM can make pop music with the best of them, no laundry list of songwriters and major label backing required. This is as organic as pop in all its various forms gets.

I also have to mention PLVTINUM’s knack for such vivid, intelligent lyricism that’s unique enough to identify as his own while broad enough to offer listeners the chance to relate. Lines like, “Toxic, you’re my cigarette smoke,” hit with the perfect amount of pop sass that immediately sticks to the brain and will likely lead to plenty of inspired Insta captions and tweets. PLVTINUM truly has put all the pieces together to round up a rabid fanbase and deliver his sound to audiences far and wide. It’s not a matter of if but rather a matter of when people will catch on to the pastel universe he’s concocted on a wide scale.


Faint One – Treasure

Faint One’s new single “Treasure” is hazy electronic music to die for. It feels like a lucid daydream where all the sights and sounds blend together and you’re in a total echo chamber with sensory overload. The production on this track has such a strangely danceable vibe where you find yourself moving on command to its slow, vibey track. The vocals are amazing to – they remind me of something you’d hear on a Disclosure track where soul and r&b and electronic music all collide. It’s the perfect combination while we hold on to the last warm days in Los Angeles before winter (aka 60 degrees) is upon us in full force.

It’s an indescribable feeling when you’ve found the one person who’s your treasure. You want to do everything humanly possible to make them happy and everything possible to keep them in your life. They transmit a positive energy that’s impossible to shake and pulls you in closer and closer. Love manifests through those frequencies and you’re beholden to passion. We’re fortunate as humans to experience love to the fullest extent – that’s a treasure in its own right if I’ve ever heard one. Continue to appreciate that to the fullest because even in a darkened world those diamonds and pearls will shine bright through the dark.


Pretty Sister – Gotta Move Around

Pretty Sister has gotta move around on this new single which a straight up smash. I’ve been a fan of Pretty Sister for years now and his z-funk sound only continues to get better and more refined with every release. This has gotta be the most layered song he’s put out yet – there’s so much going on instrumentally that all strings around each other into one massive sound. As usual, his vocals are picture perfect by operating at a constant state of swagger while occasionally hitting insane high notes that are the highlight of “Gotta Move Around”. It’s part of a brand new EP called Z-Funk Era Vol. 1 which is the most cohesive blend of music he’s delivered to date.

Things have always been messed up throughout human history, but it feels like we’re in an unprecedented level of chaos because technology has made these feelings global. We have insane far right movements popping up everywhere and validating each other like a domino effect. It’s important to organize and resist this hatred, but we also need to unwind and forgot about all the bullshit for a minute. Music like “Gotta Move Around” is an escape where we can dance the night away into sweaty bliss and wake up refreshed. There’s still so much to be grateful for and celebrate and Pretty Sister makes sure that we dive all the way into that gratitude. Drive to the beach, watch the ocean cascade into the horizon, look up into the solar system, and appreciate what we have today.


Half An Orange – Buzz Lightyear

This is the first time I’ve been tipped off about Half An Orange and I couldn’t be happier. “Buzz Lightyear” is such a sweet single to get totally lost within. It’s like looking up into the night sky and wondering what’s out there while thinking about all the emotions that are contained within. The production on this song is so atmospheric and uplifting while the vocals range from relatable to otherworldly. It’s like The Postal Service’s vocals on top of modern electro-pop which is a combination that I’m very happy to put on repeat.

There’s something intangible about nostalgia that inspires feelings of serious longing. You can’t help but want to go back, but do you want to totally relive those memories? Or do you want to float through as an observer and watch them with a detached perspective. Neither is possible based on our current understandings of time and space, but it’s nice to imagine a trip to the past. I’ve been particularly nostalgic about college for some reason lately – not the whole college experience, but the classes I took. I wish I had paid attention more while at a university, but I’m at least able to educate myself with books and movies in the present. Not everything has to be a relic of the past. Let’s look toward the future.


Anna Dadnia – Take What You Want

Anna Dadnia comes through with an insanely confident new single called “Take What You Want” that flaunts serious pop and r&b swagger. She glides on the beat so smoothly and hits all the right pockets with precision. Her vocals are really refreshing and are perfect for the moody trap instrumental. That all goes hand in hand with an amazingly curated art direction that channels the single’s vibes into visual form and drives home Dadnia’s approach. Good luck not bumping this one on your speakers on repeat (which is definitely what I’ve been doing all morning without fail).

“Take What You Want” is also the perfect vehicle to detail a gloomy relationship that’s crumbled and putting the pieces as a solo individual back together. You spend so much time investing into another individual that it’s a process to get back on your feet again after feeling like that other person has drained you of your emotional resources. There’s a certain point where you just let them take what they want because you’re spent and just want out regardless of the end result. It’s notion a situation I’ve experienced in a very long time, but it’s helpful that Dadnia lays out all the particulars of this experience to bare so that listeners can relate.


Gill Chang & Stonefox – Vibrations

Talk about a beautiful way to start this sunny Tuesday morning. I’ve never been super up to date on Gill Chang or Stonefox but this single has made sure that I’ll be looking out for everything they release from here on out. It’s the perfect mix of really pretty indie-pop and bouncy modern electronic sounds. This is one of those songs that blends multiple genres together until you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. I just want to get lost within that colorful mixture and let all the sounds soak my senses. I’ll have to make time for that soon and allow myself some much-needed time outside and assimilating into the natural world.

Feeling vibrations is so essential. We all give off frequencies that can be felt between one person and another. If you’re emitting positive frequencies, then you’re going to attract positive relationships and events as the universe reciprocates the good you’ve bestowed others with. If you’re emitting negative frequencies, then you’re going to receive negative results, whether it’s not achieving goals or allowing toxic people into your life. Whether it’s through meditation or prayer or mantras or anything of the sort, make sure to center yourself with positive frequencies and vibrations so that you can rightfully receive good things to come your way.


mai.la – Crash

This single from mai.la is absolutely beautiful and I’m at a borderline loss for words. It’s like the best moments of Purity Ring are fused with an indie-pop edge and turned into something totally stunning and fresh. This is electronic music at its absolute finest and it’s no surprise that Foreign Family Collective were the ones to discover them – the music coming out of their roster this year has been at such a high level of quality that it’s just ridiculous. “Oh your lovin’ comes in waves” is a hook that’s been stuck in my head from the moment I heard “Crash” and won’t be leaving my head anytime soon. The way it echoes away into the abyss and insanely pretty synths twinkle over its slowed down remains is impossible to shake. I don’t mean it lightly when I say this is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long damn time.

Some love comes in passionate waves but I always hope that the love I experience is sustained and everlasting. I know there’s ebbs and flows to friendships and romantic relationships and the like but it would be nice to maintain a constant level of affection that doesn’t waver even under the most dire circumstances. That’s the best iteration of love and obviously it’s hard to expect it of everyone in your life but it’s okay to desire consistency from the people who you hold close. Here’s to hoping love comes in constant rather than rising and falling waves.


michael casper – black lipstick

michael casper blew me away on “teenage apathy” and he delivers again on “black lipstick”. It’s a brand new single that fleshes out his sound to make him feel like a sage of r&b. Every line he delivers is hypnotic and puts you in a trance state where you’re totally engrossed in the world he’s creating. His sound might be laidback but his lyrics feel like high stakes with lines like “if I die today, just know I was thinking ’bout you.” You can really feel the intensity of the emotions and I love how he pulls it off with vocals that might be sung but you can feel some rap influence (I get hints of late Mac Miller with a dark twist but that might just be me).

The concept of codependence of this track is interesting. It makes me think about how we rely on others to fulfill our innermost desires. It’s so easy to get lost in fascination with another person and pursue the high they give you. We’re social creatures by nature who pursue dopamine and serotonin and the easiest way to get it is affection from someone else. It takes practice and the pursuit of self discovery to not let other humans dominate your thoughts and feelings. I might be thinking about this the rest of the day and am fortunate to have music like “black lipstick” that makes me consider life beyond its run time.


Tommy Newport – On Top

Tommy Newport’s new single, “On Top”, has a timeless quality to it that makes it transcend the present moment. It could have come out this year, a decade ago, or decades ago and I wouldn’t flinch (which I mean as a total compliment). It’s organic alt-rock at its finest that taps a bit of funk and a bit of soul to give it serious depth of character; groovy guitar-work and driving percussion lays down the groundwork for Newport to confidently deliver vocals fit for intricate storytelling that paints a vivid picture. You can imagine this song being laid out to bare in a smokey club with bodies swaying and drinks clanking in unison.

I like visceral moments where conscious thinking goes out the window. It’s cool to actively intellectualize things and analyze them as they’re happening, but sometimes I just want to shut off parts of my brain and get lost with only the primal senses kicking. When UGA won the Rose Bowl in overtime, the pure exhilaration I felt was a full-body experience. When I met my favorite actor from Twin Peaks, the joy I felt was overwhelming. These are the moments I live for and I imagine hearing “On Top” in a live setting would be comparable.


Cait – Stay Out

I’m feeling fortunate to start this November morning off with some understated pop perfection. Cait’s “Stay Out” traverses borderline ballad and uplifting anthem territory without ever sounding overproduced or overdone. It’s an exercise in how to deliver infectious melodies while still feeling honest and organic. The instrumental is crisp and gives room for Cait to wax poetic as she proclaims “I’m gonna be just fine, if you just keep me in the back of your mind” while hitting all the right vocal pockets that make each and every line unforgettable. From top to bottom, “Stay Out” establishes Cait as a diverse pop talent with endless potential.

This song has me thinking about the fact that I’ve avoided bringing anyone into my life, romantic or otherwise, who I’ve had to force out of my mind. I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like I have a sixth sense for who to allow into my inner circle. As soon as I get an inkling of a feeling that something isn’t right, I trust my gut and cut them out. Maybe that’s drastic, but I don’t know, every time I haven’t followed that internal lead I’ve regretted it in one way or another. I’m definitely not perfect, though, so who knows; maybe I’ll finally get lost in the haze of a passionate relationship and get hit with a rude awakening at its end. Only time will tell.