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Charlz – Amaze Me

Australia is producing some of the best voices in pop right now (i.e. Kota Banks, Nicole Millar, Muki, etc.) and Charlz fits perfectly into that rising movement. Her newest “Amaze Me” is a beautiful blend of airy production giving room to breathe for her stunning vocals which naturally ebb and flow throughout the track with precision, constantly seeming like she’s reached the perfect peak then taking things a step further. Amidst all of the pop music geared toward maximizing Spotify numbers and playlist placements, this is a total breath of fresh air that feels like pop at its most sonically and lyrically honest, staying true to form.

It takes a lot to amaze me these days. I have so many memories as a kid where I was stricken by amazement – seeing Times Square during a blizzard, walking around London, walking through Boston to name a few. These days it feels a lot harder to attain those moments of awe – maybe it’s getting older, maybe it’s the after effects of depression, who knows. What I do know is that I’m a lot more appreciative when they come, like touring the town where Twin Peaks was filmed and stepping into the sheriff’s station – THAT was a moment of awe and a spiritual experience that can’t be replicated and I will cherish for a lifetime.

Haunted Days – Next Winter

Haunted Days has come through with an utterly beautiful track that just might be my favorite release of the year. It’s understated yet dramatic, freezing yet familiar, classic yet forward-thinking. The producer has delivered a blend of sounds that sit somewhere on an isolated iceberg in a sea of dusty hip-hop percussion, evaporating vocal samples, and keys that circulate through the mist with a melodramatic sigh. Everything about this song is a visceral experience that takes you away to a totally different headspace between dreams and reality, like a deep meditation where conscious thought drifts away and a deeper connection with the universe is fostered.

I’m an absolute preacher of meditation’s benefits. We might be at our most technologically advanced point in human history, but we’ve totally lost touch with ourselves amidst these urban jungles where overstimulation from lights and crowds and noise channel us into a chaotic state whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Meditation allows me to dive into a pure state of being where all the noise fades away, all preconceived societal notions of what’s right and what’s wrong to internally experience drifts into nothingness, and I become one with my truest self. I do twenty minutes of meditation every day, attempt to do 40 minutes of meditation most days, and will continue to do so as this is a vital practice that rejuvenates my earthly body with the powers of the comsos.


I wrote about BVRGER’s “COOPER” earlier this year and he builds upon the single’s promise with an intricate EP.  Titled BRAINFOOD, it’s an intoxicating blend of sonic influences that bring house, r&b, hip-hop, and soul all under the same colorful umbrella. My personal favorite cut is “KISS & TELL” which has a wonderfully bouncy beat and acrobatic vocals that are dynamic, constantly shape shifting and engaging. I appreciate how BVRGER can thrive atop electronic-tinged production as much as he can as the acoustic work on “NO SLEEP” which offers room for his sound to breathe with a super natural ebb and flow. Each track on the EP offers something new with every repeated listen which is the hallmark of an excellent release as layers continue to reveal themselves again and again.

I’m all about some brainfood. I keep myself constantly engaged with topics that force me to think on a deeper level. I’ve recently been engrossed in the theory that there was an impact upon the planet during the Younger Dryas period and that extinctions were sudden rather than slowly successional. It’s so exciting to not only ponder a theory like this one via podcasts and videos and write ups, but dig through all the empirical evidence that helps arrive at that conclusion. I know theories like this can be too out there for some people, but I love the constant questioning of our existence and expanding knowledge of the cosmos and beyond.

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.