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NEIKED – Lifestyle (feat. Husky)

NEIKED are straight up one of the best acts in indie-pop right now. It should be no surprise that they’re Swedish born and bred as that country seems to have an inherent understanding of how to make the catchiest music on Earth. I’m not sure if it’s genetic or if there’s something in the water, but every songwriter and pop star I’ve been obsessed with over the past couple decades has some sort of connection to the region. All that being said, NEIKED’s newest is pure ear candy that hits all the right mental pleasure centers with a snappy, carefree groove and effortlessly next level vocals from Husky that makes this feel like a pop smash. As soon as the song came across my inbox it was love at first sight and I couldn’t stop hitting replay – what better sign of an excellent release than that?

My personal anecdote today isn’t related to the music as much as it is the song’s general joyous vibe. I’m at the most centered phase of my life as I’m grounded by intellectual thought and spiritual understanding and people all around me that not only have their feet entrenched in those principles, but in the finer things of life like the pursuit of pure unadulterated happiness. Every moment might not be pure ecstasy but it’s beautiful stability like the sun shining over still waters. This lens through which I’m viewing the world is the healthiest lifestyle I’ve ever lived and this is just the start.

Broken Back – Breathe Slow

Broken Back released one of my favorite songs of the young year with “Young Love” and he comes through yet again on “Breathe Slow”. It’s the perfect song to take a moment and appreciate the present moment to as you observe your breath and your surroundings and become one with this very second. Music can lead toward nostalgia for the past or anticipation for the future, but this is the type of song that exists in the now. It’s such a joyous anthemic piece of work that feels like a wave of positive emotions overwhelming every pore in your body until you’re enveloped with a deep feeling of satisfaction.

I’m not one to scold for people appreciating advances of civilization through technology and urbanization, but I do feel like its an inherent fact that we’ve lost touch with our spiritual roots. We’ve separated ourselves from conscious existence with our immediate surroundings and respect for each and every step in our day, instead focused on all the excess surroundings that fulfill our instant gratification centers but never the deepest of our inner core. We need to teach our young, our old, and everyone in between the upsides of being in touch with the self, the community, and the Earth. I have endless hope for civilization yet.


I’ve been thinking about the universe a lot lately, so it’s fitting that BVRGER would come through with a meditation on looking up to the sky and getting lost in the stars. His single, “COOPER”, is a subtly groovy exploration of electro-pop’s capacity to paint an interstellar picture. It’s vividly composed and vicariously exciting as you can feel the thrill of floating to the sky above. So often I feel myself glossing over lyrics while listening to new music, but BVRGER has a knack for storytelling with broad, glossy strokes that, while musically different, give me hints of how Kid Cudi approached interstellar topics in the early aughts of his career.

What’s up in the stars? Are we alone? I think we need to find eternal truth in ourselves before we can confidently answer those questions. There’s a vast universe coursing through our bodies and brains that is as untapped in potential as the depths of the oceans we’ve yet to fully comprehend. If we’re able to comprehend what’s inside of us, the rest of the universe’s offerings will fall into place. It takes practice in a modern era centered around instant gratification to look inward, but I promise stopping and examining yourself will lead to a more fulfilling end game as you work through each and every day. 

Ammo x Kaleena Zanders – Wake Up

An absolute banger entered my inbox and I figured there was no better way to kick off Friday than write it up. It’s an insane cover of Travis Scott’s “Wake Up” with vocal dramatics from Kaleena Zanders and wild, wonky production from Ammo that spirals into a hypnotic groove. It’s apparently the launch of a new label called ABSURD NOIZE and I honestly can’t think of a more fitting song to lead with. It’s amazing how they made a track that’s only a few months old totally their own and gave it such a unique flair with a wild dance music approach

Ammo apparently has some major pop production credits under his belt so it’s especially crazy that he’s able to pivot from working with pop stars to making something so underground accessible. It shows a versatility that’s so welcomed in music. Kaleena Zanders has some major features recently and has shown herself as one of the premier topliners in the game, so it’s equally exciting to have her lending her talents. I’m all about thinking outside the box when it comes to music – you can’t just make music without something to complement it anymore – and it feels like ABSURD NOIZE is onto something as they apparently have not just music but events in store. I’ll be buckling up and keeping my eye on what they do next.

Ashe – Moral Of The Story

Ashe is straight up one of the most exciting young voices in music right now. She absolutely blew us away with her debut EP last year but she’s taking her sound to a whole new level and boy is it an experience. “Moral Of The Story” is a deep look into her divorce where you can’t help but latch on to each and every word. She’s such a talented storyteller and has a gift that people are surely going to gravitate toward. Of course, the music that she’s written is equally easy to get lost within as a chorus of harmonizing vocals and a tightly woven instrumental serve as the perfect palette for her  to shine on. That’s the moral of the story if I do say so myself!

It takes a whole lot of bravery to lay your soul forth to bare like Ashe does. She dives into such deeply personal topics and makes you feel right at home, like an old friend listening in front of a fireplace with a cup of tea and plenty of tears flowing. I get so excited when I think about how big she can get while being so damn authentic. There’s so many board room created artists populating the scene’s visible surface right now and she’s the total antithesis. I’m such a believer in Ashe and I can’t wait to see where she goes next this year with her upcoming releases.

Noé – Puzzles

I wrote up Noé’s “Pity Party” last month – a killer song to be sure – but I find myself gravitating even further toward “Puzzles”. It’s a kaleidoscopic indie-pop cut that is dripping with colorful sounds. The production is draped with clattering percussion, ancillary harmonizing vocals, and a delicious groove that sways back and forth with an irresistible swing. To top it all off, Noé’s vocals absolutely stun as she sings with an unmistakable gravitas that makes each and every word hang in the air with purpose before it slips away into the pink-hued ether. “Puzzles” sets the bar extremely high for music I’ll be writing about in 2019.

Life is one giant puzzle and I feel like I’ve finally figured out how all the pieces fit together. My relationships with friends and family and work are at their most fulfilling because I’m the most connected to the spirit world I’ve ever been which is the result of the pursuit of everlasting reliability that gets me through the good moments and bad. I’m in a spiritual center where all parts of my life have slowly but surely clicked into place and everything seems to make sense now. There’s a rhyme and a reason to this existence that I was baffled by for years, but I feel like I’ve taken a step toward a personal understanding that fulfills my life daily.

Broken Back – Young Love

Broken Back comes through with seriously infectious indie-pop on his new single. Titled “Young Love”, it has an effortlessly cool aura to it that only the French could deliver as Broken Back twists and turns through a tasteful, dance-floor ready groove. The free-spirited track is fittingly an ode to letting loose with reckless fun which seeps through its sound without even considering the lyrics at hand. The art direction is the icing on the cake here as he taps into a wonderfully throwback approach via a quintessential magazine pose, classic 20th century yellows, and of course a nicely placed Walkman to top it all off. Good stuff all around.

I always think of Ultra Music as a label that exists in the massive festival dance space, so it’s really cool to know that they also dabble with music outside the average audience’s awareness. I can enjoy some pure electronic music in a club setting, but “Young Love” is the type of shit I actually want to dance to. This is the soundtrack to endless smiles on a spacious club floor overlooking the ocean while the rest of the world melts away. I’d suggest not listening to “Young Love” at the office because you’re gonna want to break out and sprint to that fantastical club floor as soon as possible. Maybe some Monday night shenanigans are in store?

Mothica – Ashes Remixed

Mothica is one of the best indie vocalists in the game right now and is versatile enough to fit any type of production. That shines through on this collection of remixes of her Ashes EP. Each one is pure ear candy from front to back, the first one being a pure pop interpretation of “Up In Flames”. It’s followed up by Sleeping Lion’s “Burnout” which is my personal favorite here – it has a delicious tropical groove that makes me ready for summer (okay, it’s 70 degrees where I’m at right now, but I could use even warmer). Next up is Purfakt’s absolute banger of a “Water Me Down” remix that has a grimy wobble-infused trap sound that really brings out the moodiness of Mothica’s music and sends it into overdrive. Another pure pop flip comes from Out There” as he turns “Crossfire” into a bonafide anthem with a hook that’s impossible to shake once it enters your ears. It’s all capped off by Bronze Whale’s “By Now” remix which is a well rounded atmospheric take that makes the perfect bookend for this remix pack.

The lyrics that stuck out to me most across the remix pack are “Crossfire, I know it’s gonna burn me out”. Mothica’s cadence is killer and makes me think about all the times I leaped into the crossfire knowing the consequences ahead of time. I’ve always struggled setting boundaries and wanted to please everyone even at the expense of my sanity. I had a moment this month where I finally set a boundary for someone who I desperately wanted to save and realized they would have to have their own moment of clarity. I couldn’t force it upon them and couldn’t bare the weight of that on my shoulders. I finally left the crossfire and I feel so much better for it.

Loveday x PYNGU – Breathless (Like This)

We’re halfway through the week and PYNGU’s first single is prepared to rocket us toward the weekend. It’s a beautiful collaboration with a rising vocalist named Loveday who has an effortlessly amazing voice that gives the song genuine dramatic flair. That feeling is accelerated by PYNGU’s driving production which subtly flows under Loveday’s vocals before giving way to a hook with an insane bass line that reminds me of Nero’s peak early 2010s work. PYNGU and Loveday’s performances weave through one another into a stunning final product that’s been stuck in my head for days and looks to continue as the week marches along.

What leaves you breathless? Moments like walking through Times Square in a blizzard and seeing all the lights reflect off the snow was a defining moment of my teenage years. These days, more subtle occurrences like laying in the dark and staring at the stars or seeing the moon at its closest to Earth gives me chills. I had a moment while meditating recently that I won’t describe in detail because it’s difficult to explain, but being in direct contact with the universe during that stretch of 20 minutes left me in awe. It’s the little things that affirm our place in the grand scheme of life as we know it that make me stop and appreciate the present.

Jesse And The Wolf – Hurt Me No More (Eyes Everywhere Remix)

Talk about ecstatic electronic perfection. This Eyes Everywhere remix of “Hurt Me No More” takes an already potent track and sends it into dancefloor bliss over drive with a pulsating beat that will keep clubgoers’ heads nodding and feet moving for its entire runtime. The percussion has a crisp aesthetic, the song’s vocal sample finds new life with even more energy, and the tech house break is pure ear candy – it hits every pleasure center imaginable and sends good vibes throughout your body from head to toe. Eyes Everywhere truly gives the track new life and shows just how exciting remixes can be. It’s part of a remix pack that also has contributions from UNIIQUE, Jayceeoh, and Vanilla Ace which is about as diverse of a musical palette as you’re gonna get.

This remix conjures up vivid recollections of my past weekend in a sweaty warehouse with strobe lights flashing so quickly that my brain was immediately sent into a dizzy frenzy. People were dancing without inhibition and it was a beautiful sight to see. That’s definitely one of the perks of living in a metropolis like Los Angeles – we’re blessed with the best of the best when it comes to the music scene. You could throw a dart on a map and go there for the night and almost certainly stumble into something great. If this track gets in the right producers’ hands I could totally see Eyes Everywhere permeating those sweaty warehouses and beyond.