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Mild Minds – SWIM Remixes

Talk about taking amazing sounds and rocketing them to a whole new level. Synth-pop newcomer Mild Minds has tapped a dream team of talent that includes some of my personal favorites like ford. and Roland Tings and there’s not a second on this release that’s not spine-tingling goodness. Cabu kicks things off with a groovy, almost r&b flavored take that has a whole lot of delicious swing to it. Christopher Port follows it up with a lesson in garage-driven hypnosis that’s like a psychedelic haze in music form, while Roland Tings comes in hot pursuit with some extraterrestrial house that feels like getting a lobotomy on a spaceship cruising down the interstellar highway (surf’s up!). ford. brings things back down to Earth with a gorgeous, subdued number that finds beauty in simple pleasures, like watching a sunset wane into the ocean and peace stretching over the horizon. Daedelus wraps up the EP with a funky little fever dream to keep us dancing into the night and I couldn’t imagine it ending on a better note

Remixes can feel like unnecessary momentum extenders (cough, Skrillex’s “Sicko Mode” remix, cough) but there’s such a genuine purpose to this package. You can feel the passion of each producer taking their assigned track to places that are not only exciting in their own right, but give a welcomed perspective to just how wonderfully versatile Mild Minds’ EP is in the first place. There’s so many good vibes to go around here and it gives me a sense of ease knowing that there’s plenty of purity still thriving in the music scene.

Noé – Pity Party

There’s no need to throw Noé a pity party – the multifaceted, international talent’s newest is overflowing with dynamic attention to detail that makes it a must hear for the beginning of 2019. The production on “Pity Party” is super intricate indie-pop with layers upon layers of atmospheric goodness while Noé’s vocals absolutely deliver upon its instrumental potential. They have a naturally gravitational essence to them that’s impossible to turn away from – after a few spins of this song, each and every word enunciated sticks to the brain. It’s hard to quantify, but all of this leads to an aura of next-level mastery that sets apart Noé from a crowded music scene.

I’ve learned that throwing pity parties for myself does no good. Feelings are fleeting if you learn to not let them control you. You may experience an emotion throughout your mind and body, but if you put your mind toward viewing the world through a positive lens even for an instant, your view on the situation will endure a slight shift that points you toward the return to a happy emotional equilibrium – slowly but surely. As intelligent beings with free will, we’ve been endowed with the capacity to determine how we view the world from moment to moment, so I suggest learning to take advantage of that and reap the benefits in those moments when you need it most.

Honors – Falling Down

I feel like I’ve written about Honors pretty extensively over the years, but on their new single, these dudes have kicked into a new gear I didn’t even realize they had. “Falling Down” is a magnum opus that transcends their alternative r&b roots and takes a dive head first into electronic sounds. It starts off with arena ready trap, rises up into an ethereal breaking point, and releases into an atmospheric wave of breakbeat sounds that feel suited for an underground rave. All of these components sound totally seamless together and it feels like Honors have found a sound that’s truly going to take them to the next level. As a longtime fan, I’m so excited to see where they go next.

Thinking about the song title, it’s helpful to do small preparations that will keep you safe and sound once things start falling down. If you establish a groundwork for your life that’s not shaken by your mood from day to day, you’ll be able to weather any storm. For me, I meditate and write and express gratitude and talk to the universe on a daily basis. If I’m feeling good, that’s great, but if I’m feeling bad, it’s an even better opportunity to further establish that practice. I had a shocking day last week that would’ve shaken me to the core in the past, but with all the tools at my disposal, I worked through it and trusted the process and came out of it none the lesser.

Bussauto & Felish – Lost Momentum

Bussauto and Felish created a killer first single called “Come Back” earlier this year and they return with an even bigger one. It’s called “Lost Momentum” and it’s an atmospheric treat that feels contemplative and slowly but surely pulls you in second by second. The production is so subtly smooth but naturally cascades into a more outright driven sound with house keys and punchy percussion. Felish’s vocals are so essential to the song as she delivers a gorgeous, soulful performance that you can truly feel the power from with each intonation of each and every line. These two really make a powerful duo that I can’t wait to hear more of in the future.

Last night I was in an exploring mood and drove up Mulholland Drive to look at Los Angeles from far above. The city feels like an endless gridlock when you’re driving through it, but from above, the lights are seemingly endless and make it feel like a vast ocean of potential. The centerpiece of downtown’s skyscrapers never fails to be breathtaking as the Wilshire Grand Center is now lit up with Christmas colors for the season. The chilly air and dead silence from my vantage point made it all the more soothing. Of course, the winding drive through the hills was complemented by ace music and I’ll make sure to include “Lost Momentum” next time.

Kazy Lambist – Work (ft. Pongo)

Kazy Lambist always comes through with French indie pop music at its finest and “Work” is no different. It’s a mellowed out groove that floats along like a lazy river where you can enter and exit as please. There’s a world influence to it that’s not only in the instrumental but comes through multilingual vocals from Pongo as well. The two have an insane level of chemistry that feels like a natural bond between two artists that can’t be artificially replicated. It reminds me of one of my favorite songs called “Summer Romance” by Coral Casino that also features a male-female duet and subtly infectious instrumental coursing beneath it. These two make a nice double feature when played back to back which might make the perfect micro-playlist for the weekend.

Work as a necessity is a depressing notion, but they’re not really talking about it in the oppressive capitalist sense. This is more so about what you’ll go through with those around you to sacrifice for the art you’re so passionate about. You have to leave family and friends behind, you have to put relationships on hold, it’s all a matter of how far you’re willing to go with it. Some people give up art to give their all to their families, some artists like David Lynch actively talk about how family has held them back from creating the full extent of the art they want to make. It’s truly a spectrum and interesting to think about where different people fall on the grey scale.

JANEE – Cinderella (feat. Idyl)

“Cinderella” is, simply put, pop goodness at its absolute finest. There’s so many infectious intricacies that all wax and wane together like a symphony which is a fitting form for a genre that has been coined as “orchestrap”. JANEE has a style of production that stretches to the very ends of each pleasure center in your brain and body, sending rushes throughout that would make your body light up on an x-ray. Idyl’s vocals are a magnificent complement that vocalize all of the emotions through lyrics and intonation alike. The chemistry between these two artists has enough friction to light fireworks and it’s become impossible for me to stop hitting repeat.

I don’t wanna leave the thrill of positive emotions. I know it’s spiritually preached to maintain a neutral center where anything, positive or negative, can be approached in equal forms, but human emotions have taken hold. I crave a constant source of validation from others. I need everyone’s feelings to be known. I want to control situations in front of me and dictate them from start to finish like a puppeteer. What I need to do is dive deeper into my meditation and spiritual relationship with the universe, but human intuition will occasionally rear its head and I’ll contend with it until it subsides.

ford. – (The) Evening

ford. has an “it” factor about him that makes me gravitate toward his music for reasons both conscious and unconscious. His previous singles like “Dusk” took my breath away on their own right but hearing him do his thing in the form of an album gives a whole new context to the beautiful work he’s created. You can feel the sonic theme running through each and every song – for a young artist, it really feels like he already knows who he is as a creative and has crafted an identity that makes him stand out amongst the ambient-leaning electronic crowd. There’s some post-rock, there’s some hints of hip-hop, there’s so many sounds that ford. has made his own and fused them into a beautiful product. This is one of those albums where you can put it on front to back and improve your mood tenfold while working or concentrate on nothing but the music and get totally lost in the sonic waves.

The evening is my favorite time of the day. The moment where the sun has totally set, the streetlights stutter until they flicker on, the neon signs slowly light up on each building on the block, it’s a stunning moment that never gets old to me. It’s a feeling that I wish I could capture like lightning in a bottle and feel it whenever I please, but I suppose that’s what work like (The) Evening is here for. Even when it’s bright outside and the city is bustling away, I can use this album to tap into the gorgeous world that awaits. Hell, I’m working at home lost in a daydream about what awaits in seven short hours as we speak. I look forward to meeting the evening again soon.

Night Tales – Friends

I love music and I love good causes, so it’s amazing to see those worlds collide on this brand new Night Tales track. The Australian duo delivers some really uplifting vibes that make you want to grab a friend and dance in the living room or head for a night out. Either option is viable for some hazy house! This one also comes with a really inspiring music video featuring a young man from a charity called AIME dancing around without a care in the world. It’s a string of scenes that should immediately put a smile on your face if the song itself wasn’t already doing the job. I can’t put into words how inspiring it is to see someone across the world physically moving to “Friends” exactly how I imagined! We may be on different continents but how we feel music is the same.

There’s a force that runs through humans that makes us perceive events and manifest events on a global scale. When one person puts their intention into good or evil or anything in between, it adds to the collective consciousness. Evil needs to be confronted head on, for sure, but putting positive energy into the world’s radar will slowly but surely help the entire human race reap the benefits. Contributions like “Friends” can be felt as their impact moves from the creator, to the viewer, to those around the viewer as the positive vibes they affect move from person to person like a domino effect. Take a moment today to put your well-intentioned thoughts out there and watch as the world shines a little bit brighter.

Tibasko – Bodhi

I love electronic music that crafts an atmosphere to get totally lost within. There’s nothing to think about or intellectualize, just music to feel, every synth hitting like an aural massage and the fusion of the bass line and clicking percussion performing on-the-go hypnosis. Throughout Tibasko’s “Bodhi”, I’ve totally lost track of time much like I do during my form of meditation, where the present moment is the only thing considered and past or future become irrelevant. As I write this, it’s already been four minutes of the song’s runtime and I’m not sure whether this passage felt like a marathon or a sprint. Regardless, it’s a stretch that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each time I’ve put “Bodhi” on the past few days.

The meditative state this song puts me into reminds me of how valuable my meditation practice is. 40 minutes a day of diving deep into the mind gives me a sense of peace and patience that I never had before the past four months. Even when I’m not in the midst of meditation, I can close my eyes and access a profound calmness that makes every space and situation in life manageable. It’s an ongoing experience that makes me wonder why we as a society don’t emphasize meditation more often because the benefits are endless. I think in a capitalist society we’re so driven by the pursuit of future rewards that we don’t stop to recognize the beauty of the present, but that’s just me. Maybe music like “Bodhi” will lead people toward a spiritual path as they feel the power of meditative music.

Golden Vessel – MOONSTONE (feat. Elkkle & Akurei)

Golden Vessel has been on my radar for a minute now and he continues to deliver with transcendent results. His newest, “MOONSTONE”, is a subtle indie-electronic outing that’s deceptively dynamic as it ebbs and flows in new directions that extend from its vibey center. The production has a nostalgic aura to it that’s hard to place but feels comforting and at home while the array of vocals alternate through various modes of mood, providing a constantly engaging lead that never overstays its welcome. This is pure mastery of a thorough, established sound unique to Golden Vessel that signifies an artist confident in their craft.

This is going to sound a bit wild, but the title of this song reminds me of a recurring nightmare I’ve had. Looking up in the sky, the moon slowly comes closer to Earth before losing all gravitational distance and crashing down into our planet like a fiery comet. It’s pure apocalyptic fright that’s woken me up shaken multiple times, but in my waking moments, it’s given me a lot of respect for the celestial being in our sky that respectfully orbits us, never defying the laws of physics and providing a constant source of love. I now understand why so many civilizations have worshipped the moon and continue to appreciate its existence.