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Las Aves – You Need A Dog

Las Aves are masters in edgy pop music and that couldn’t be more apparent on “You Need A Dog”. This reminds me of the bombast of Sleigh Bells with the gritty electronics of Crystal Castles all the while sounding like a main-stage pop anthem. I’m usually not a fan of spoken intros, but they totally pull it off with utter coolness and it gives a wonderfully colorful layer to the song that gives genuine context. The chorus on this is so fun and huge and warrants blasting with your friends so you can all sing along. Throw this one on with someone close going through a breakup and help them experience the catharsis of saying fuck it and letting all the stress and tension go.

It can be so frustrating watching people you love going through cyclical relationships where nothing ever seems to change. It doesn’t matter who the person they’re with at the moment – the toxicity seems like a constant but it’s not your place to tell them how you see it from an outsider’s perspective. They have to have that realization on their own and thus it becomes an exercise in powerlessness where we realize that no matter how much we hint at our opinion, it’ll be a product of their own time. Thus, all we can do is support them throughout the process and be ready to help them celebrate once they finally break free of the cycle. They could definitely use a dog once that time comes.

Kasbo – Places We Don’t Know Remix EP

I loved the ford. remix from this EP and somehow the entire project manages to be as consistently beautiful as that track. I’d heard some of these previously like the Tennyson and Billboard flips and seriously dug them, but I’m truly excited about the newest ones. In particular, my favorites are the insanely engrossing takes from Super Duper and Autolaser. I’ve been a huge fan of Super Duper for a minute now and his signature sound is a match made in heaven to take on a Kasbo song, while Autolaser has released some of my favorite singles to spin during night drives and comes through yet again with a beauty that will soundtrack some of my favorite moments. For a producer as talented as Kasbo, it’s no surprise that he was able to identify such a profound collective of musicians and deliver one of the most cohesive remix EPs I’ve ever heard.

I’m in a zone right now. Anxieties have been put to rest, self care has resumed, and the ability to be of service to people around me has blossomed. There’s room to grow, candles to be lit and meditated upon, books to be read, movies to watch, sights to see, sun to be absorbed, the list goes on and on. I redesigned my living space and it totally shifted my frame of mind into a totally new perspective. Fuck tripping over the future – the present moment is the only time promised to us. Fear simply isn’t an option if I want to live the fullest life where I maximize my potential.

Ashe – Bachelorette

Ashe is a bonafide all star of indie-pop with momentum that’s been growing for years and seems to be cascading into even more exciting territory. She dropped a killer single called “Moral Of The Story” that dropped earlier this year and it was a beautiful treatise in how to touch on melancholic topics while sounding totally engaging. The last one had a Billie Eilish cosign (aka one of the biggest cosigns an artist could possibly get in 2019) and yet she sounds even better on “Bachelorette”. It’s an indescribably gorgeous single that has all the makings of a song that’s going to connect with listeners on a deep level because it’s a visceral experience that runs chills through every fiber of your body. Talk about getting me excited for her album dropping this Friday.

Love is a weird thing. Scientifically it’s chemicals in your brain being released, but I think there’s a lot more to it than that. There’s vibrations that are exchanged between people on a fundamental level (see: communities that meditate together with drastically lower crime rates) and so it’s only natural that the principle applies to love. There’s a shared energy between partners stronger than any physical bond, but Ashe’s story proves that those bonds are still prone to break. That’s okay, though, because the potential energy people have to share with another human doesn’t disappear – energy is a finite resource and this it returns the body, waiting to be bestowed upon the next grateful recipient.

Noé – La Fève

French indie-pop is like no other niche genre. There’s an inherent grace to the enunciation of every syllable, an overarching sense of cool sensibilities, and that couldn’t be more apparent on Noé’s newest. It’s an utterly beautiful piece of introspective indie-pop perfection that sonically looks inward for inspiration and feels like an entry in a journal came to life with stunning vocals and subtle, moving instrumentation that feels like a drifting fairy tale where everything is going to be okay. I find myself lost within this track and could wander here for days at a time and feel at peace. It’s no hyperbole to stay this is one of my favorite songs of 2019.

This single inspires the feeling that The Juniper Tree gave me during its hour runtime. For those unaware, the film was Björk’s acting debut and it’s an absolutely magical black-and-white exercise in a surreal dreamscape that left me feeling fulfilled with peace upon its conclusion. It’s not often that a film immediately inspires me to go see it again (the only other recent comparison would be 2018’s Suspiria) but the visceral sensations I felt were like no other. That same feeling resonates from “La Fève”, and thus, I plan to spend as long as I can within the world Noé has masterfully woven.

WALLA – Golden Nights

WALLA have come through and delivered some of the absolute best indie pop has to offer on their new single. This one has a sticky infectious melody that grooves its way through winding guitars and synths and everything in between. It feels like the ’80s and mid ’00s swirled into an unforgettable blend that transcends time and feels nostalgic and familiar yet totally fresh. It never loses momentum and keeps you constantly engaged instrumentally and the vocals are the icing on the cake. This is one that I’ve had on repeat as soon as it dropped and will certainly continue to do so over the coming weeks.

I’ve been in a weird headspace where everything seemed smooth and fulfilling but something felt off. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I realized that my self care practices had slipped and that my spiritual equilibrium had fallen out of balance. I talked to some close people around me about this slip up rather than living in it and it brought me back to a place of gentle understanding of myself and how to right the ship so to speak. Maybe it’s like the golden nights WALLA are talking about – everything seems good on the surface, but there’s a nagging suspicion of something wrong. Fortunately I think that golden night is behind me and I hope it’s behind WALLA too.

NEIKED – Best Of Hard Drive

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so excited to write about one of my most anticipated albums of 2019. From NEIKED, it’s called Best Of Hard Drive and it’s the best of the best in Scandinavian pop which is high praise for a region that’s produced the absolute highest tier of pop music for decades. NEIKED explores so many variants of pop music masterfully throughout this album with something truly for everyone – there’s tropical tinged grooves, wonderfully soulful rapping, carefree anthems, and everything in between. My personal favorites are “Une Lettre” which infuses stylish French sensibilities into its DNA alongside “Gunilla” which feels like an outright radio hit, but I could happily spin this front to back without a single skip.

I know some people complain about how globalization has stripped away regionalism from music, but I personally love how sounds have transcended borders and given everyone in the world every way possible to innovate and express themselves. Music is a universal language and the fact that we can all speak to each other through the lens of any given choice in sound is a beautiful thing. When we all enter the same vibrations and frequency it strengthens our collective consciousness and makes us all more apt to work together and understand each other on a deeper level. Music like NEIKED’s album will strengthen these bonds and result in the slight furtherance of our species if we allow it!

Harry Nathan – Sweet Vanilla Sky

Harry Nathan’s “Sweet Vanilla Sky” is an absolutely beautiful way to begin a productive Friday morning. I’ve had this one on in the background while drinking coffee and soaking up the sunshine through my windows and it’s a picture perfect scenario. The track is a gorgeous, atmospheric piece with airy production that feels like a nostalgic daydream while Harry Nathan’s vocals have a comforting sense of introspection to them that makes you reflect on your present moment. My attention span is admittedly short these days but I can’t help but connect with every second of this track while hitting repeat over and over.

I woke up stressed today for no apparent reason, but I had the choice to change that with my morning routine. Chatting with the universe, entering a deep state of meditation for 20 minutes, getting some rewarding work done, messaging with a friend, and doing some reading all primed me to return to my central state of equilibrium. In my eyes, there’s no excuse to blame waking up on the wrong side of the bed for prolonged negative energy – if you have the tools and practice in place to shift your state of mind, you can restart your day at any moment and make it a positive experience. It took me a lifetime to arrive at that conclusion, but I’m so fortunate that I made it there.

Carter Reeves – Alone Time

Carter Reeves is one of the smoothest voices in pop and he keeps delivering on “Alone Time”. It’s a tropical tinged bop that feels like sipping a fruity drink on the beach while the sun sets. He has such a naturally charismatic voice that oozes coolness and and the production is so fittingly crisp as infectious guitar flair and a swagged out beat blend together into a total ear worm. I’ve been following Carter for a while now but I think I’m comfortable saying “Alone Time” is his best song to date and that goes without mentioning the introspective yet catchy lyrics that take it to a whole new level.

I need my alone time but sometimes I can revel in it too much. There’s a fine line between self care and isolation and I think it’s a learned practice to figure out where one ends and the other begins. It all depends on the person too – for some people self care is staying put on the couch all day and recharging while for others it’s going on a hike to clear your mind. For some people, the former is isolation and they can’t get caught up in it or they risk feeling worse before they feel better. It’s all suited to your needs so get your alone time however you need it but make sure to stay plugged in with your friends, family, and romantic interests so that you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture!

L D R U – Lay You Down (ft. Muki)

L D R U is an absolute boss when it comes to electronic music and that’s been a fact for years at this point. He’s constantly evolved which has kept him ahead of the competition and he continues to prove that to the fullest on “Lay You Down”. It’s a sexy banger that feels more like r&b-inflected pop than what you’d expect from a former OWSLA affiliate and that’s equally owed to Muki. She’s an insanely talented pop voice that also comes from Australia and packs a serious punch. I’d heard her solo music before and really dug it but she’s equally powerful on this cut.

There’s something about passion between romantic partners that is difficult to put into words. It’s a mix of the conscious and unconscious – there’s thoughts that crystallize your feelings, but there’s also feelings that are totally visceral and impossible to describe. It’s a sentiment that people have tried to describe for the entirety of humanity’s existence and has never reached a conclusion – people are continuously documenting their experiences in new ways that excite us and give us fresh perspectives to reframe our thought. It’s such a dope concept and makes “Lay You Down” just that much more exciting.

Kasbo – Places We Don’t Know (ford. Remix)

Kasbo and ford. are two of my absolute favorite producers in the game so I’m genuinely blown away by this powerful Monday morning release. It’s an utterly beautiful wave of dopamine inducing sounds that feel like a moment of clarity where everything in the world just feels right before you succumb to being overcome with unadulterated joy. I want this song constantly playing in the background as I go through my everyday life because it puts me in such a positive headspace. Talk about absolutely stunning electronic music that transcends the genre and takes it to a totally new level and plane of existence.

Life is good right now. People ask me how things are and I keep telling them that I’ve never felt as steady as I do right now. Every day I wake up knowing that my work is going to be fulfilling, my friendships are going to prosper, my spiritual life is going to blossom, my romanticism is going to be beautiful, everything is exactly as it should be. It’s taken so much work to get to this place – you don’t achieve growth without tons of conscious input over years and years – and I’m finally seeing the rewards in all their glory. That’s a sentiment that’s as beautiful as this ford. remix and I love the sound and feelings intersecting as I sit here writing this. Here’s to more euphoria and joy.