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Sweater Beats – Enemy (feat. Sorana)

I’m absolutely smitten by “Enemy”, the newest release from Sweater Beats. It’s a sweet, sparkling production complemented by the perfect amount of sonic sass from Sorana which gives me some serious early M.I.A. vibes. The two artists have a chemistry that’s so seamless it has a sense of childlike wonderment, from the choppy, playful hook, to the wonderfully flippant verses. As soon as the track ended on first listen, I immediately hit repeat because it provides a cartoonish world where I can hide from all the bullshit in my personal life and on the grand scale of the world as a whole (kind of like the character hiding in his hoodie on the single artwork).

I know it’s a surface level thought, but the song’s title made me think about I have zero enemies in my life. I have people that bug me (much like any other average human on this Earth), but there’s not a single person in my life who I consider an adversary. Throughout high school and college, a handful of people come to mind from my days of being a hot head, but in my adult life, I believe I’ve become a genuinely centered person who practices kindness in all of my affairs. I’m fortunate to work with people I love, have a select group of friends who give me such a genuine sense of fulfillment, and daily practices that give me a base level of gratitude. In a chaotic world, I’m moving along just fine.


Pretty Sister – New Fire (feat. MarcLo)

Pretty Sister is two for two on summer smashes this year! I’m convinced this dude could write a sexy, sweaty jam with both hands tied behind his back and still deliver like no one else in the music scene. His newest is called “New Fire” and it’s a pure party starter that I can clearly picture playing in a club right on the beach with drinks in the air and any reservations or worries thrown out the window. We’re in the thick of the summer in LA and the city is always in need of a song to let loose to after days of grinding through the desert heat. Fortunately for us, Pretty Sister has that new fire and there’s plenty to go around!

We’re so fortunate to have music like this in our lives that offers such a pure feeling of release. There’s so many ways in our society to mask our stress and frustrations, whether it’s the quick hit of serotonin from a greasy cheeseburger or a night of lowered inhibitions from drinks out on the town, but nothing offers a sense of true comfort quite like music in my life experience. If I want to dance and let loose after an exciting day, I can throw on some funk; if I’m feeling down and out, I can experience catharsis through something heavier. No matter the mood and the need to contend with it, music is always there. I truly can’t overstate how beneficial and how amazing these arrays of pleasing sounds are in our lives.


10Digits – Feeling (feat. Shaqisdope, Joshua Ledet, and Jordan Alexander)

10Digits is onto something with this absolute banger of a new track called “Feeling”. It straddles so many genres while sounding totally fresh which is a major feat. His production is ace as it switches up between pop, rap, and electronic sounds that are all equally catchy and serve as the perfect backdrop for a serious collection of vocal talent. Shaqisdope is an insanely promising rapper that I’ve been following for a minute and he absolutely slays his verses with a style that is so dope it sounds effortless. Joshua Ledet and Jordan Alexander come through with beautiful, melodic sung vocals that make for a quintessential hook as their unique styles intertwine.

I’ve been feeling a lot lately – anxiety, calm, happiness, sadness, essentially the full range of emotions. It’s a blessing to be a human positioned within the vast experience having a dynamic, wholly unique experience. There’s so many outlets to avoid feelings that humans pursue, but I’ve opted to leave those behind as I’m not going to waste my time on Earth running away from the truth. The good, the bad, and the ugly should all be cherished as we only get to sustain happenings once in this lifetime.


Danelle Sandoval – Say No

This is the first time Danelle Sandoval has come across my radar, but it’s readily apparent that she brings the full package as catchy music and a killer sense of style intertwine for exactly what I want from an artist in 2018. Her newest “Say No” has an array of small touches that give it immediately identifiable character, but it also has overarching pop sensibilities that seize your attention in an instant – in short, she has widespread appeal without sacrificing personal flair. Rising stars like Sigrid, Billie Eilish, and Rina Sawayama all have an intangible sense of authenticity that puts them a head above the rest and Sandoval’s approach is no different.

Thinking about the song’s title, I’m reminded how much growth is required to say no. At the beginning of my career, I accepted an outside project that I felt like I had to take on due to a budding friendship, but it quickly became clear that I wasn’t able to devote attention to anything beyond my main focus. I was saddled with the weight of expectations that I clearly wasn’t able to meet without stretching myself thin, so from there on out, I made a point to not push myself beyond my limits. So many people value endless grinding like a form of currency, but I’m a big proponent of working within the parameters that most comfortably suit you and trust your gut when you’re inclined to say no.


Thoreau – Afraid

“Afraid of never having friends I can trust.”

This track entered my inbox at the perfect time.  I am doing a shit ton of purging lately.  Mostly with friends because I am SINGLE AF, so I don’t have a love interest making my life difficult!  I just don’t have time for the negativity anymore, nor have I ever and I am at a stage in my life where it’s just not cool to be raging every week, picking arguments and acting childish.  I want nothing more than the utmost respect and anything less is out the door.  At a certain point you have to grow up and if your friends, or just any relationship you have in general isn’t following that lead or you are falling off the pages with them, it’s time to move on.  There are plenty of fish in the sea whether it’s with love or friendships, don’t waste your time.  I think we hang on to negative relationships in fear of being alone, as humans whether you want to admit it or not being alone is scary, but you have to be able to understand what being alone is in order to truly conquer your fears.  You can only trust yourself at the end of the day, trusting yourself makes it harder to be afraid of the decisions you make.

I am really diggin’ this track for the chill vibe, talking about a deep message that has meaning for all of us.  I like that, chill, yet deep.  It’s much easier to connect to a deeper message when it’s being delivered with a chill attitude.  Good stuff!  If your week didn’t start off too hot, I believe this will get you on the right track.  Own your life and your decisions and remember you deserve all the best so purge the assholes and move on!

xx


Luna May – Silly Boys

Luna May’s newest marries the forward-thinking with the timeless on “Silly Boys”, a stunning new single that’s simultaneously atmospheric and gritty. She has the vocal poise of a seasoned songstress as she strings along each and every word with a sense of importance that lends itself to a natural storytelling ability. The production is a perfect complement as it’s churning and minimalist, providing a broody undercurrent to an authentic meditation from May’s present self to her younger iteration. From top to bottom, it’s a track that warrants getting lost within on repeated listens.

If there’s a message I’d relay to my younger self, it’d probably be a message of acceptance. Don’t get caught up in possibilities or worries and allow myself to be immersed in the beauty of the present moment. My natural state is trip about the future, so much so that I become drawn into a web of falsities conjured up within the confines of my mind. When engaged with repeatedly, anxieties become your perceived reality, but if you don’t engage with them in the first place, there’s no chance for them to plant seeds and grow. I’m still not perfect at heeding this advice, but it’s wisdom that I think my younger self would’ve liked to hear.


Kaerhart – Losing My Mind

There are individuals who transcend a single medium in favor of a breadth of artistic talents. Kaerhart is no stranger to that notion as the Los Angeles based creative is the founder of the conscious clothing collective Mystic Tribe, an experienced numerologist, and an absolutely stellar pop vocalist. The latter makes its way to the forefront on “Losing My Mind”, a smash of a single that synthesizes her ultra-positive vibes into infectious, unforgettable goodness. Kaerhart’s keen ear for production is essential to the release as she glides with ease atop a nuanced instrumental that’s equal parts summer bop and intricate, sonic introspection.

Viewing “Losing My Mind” through the lens of all of Kaerhart’s endeavors, there’s a spiritual element to the song that’s impossible to ignore. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s a spiritual creature from the onset – from what I understand, the road to awakening is prefaced by a breaking point that leads to acceptance and initiates the process of change. Even though she’s singing about losing her mind, the atmosphere is undeniably celebratory as she embraces reality for exactly what it is and engages in an empowering sense of release. It’s a powerful sentiment that leads to Kaerhart’s most impactful work yet.


Honors – X2UO

The dudes in Honors are simply put some of the best in the r&b game and immediately need more shine. They sit somewhere between a band and a collective but whatever you want to call them, the music they put out absolutely slaps. “X2UO” is a natural step into an even catchier direction for them as they deliver a marriage between hook ready vocals and top class production that I’ve come to expect. From the first time I heard “Over” in 2016 I knew these guys had what it takes to make it in the Toronto r&b scene and the international network at large.

Not only is the sound on “X2UO” big, but the lyrics paint some vivid damn imagery. Peep the lines, “You say it’s nothing, but we’re all a slave to something/So you pray for the unknown, and you’ll stay for it all.” That’s not just a song to be mindlessly digested, that’s a story that you can get lost within and imagine the drama playing out in realtime. It’s one thing to make catchy music, but to give it substance is a whole other ballgame and in this instance Honors have knocked it out of the park for a grand slam. I have to give credit where credit is due and there’s plenty of it here!


WITHOUT – Talking Bout Me (ft. Empara Mi)

WITHOUT came onto my radar with “Love Liike This”, a tropical infused single that conjured up the perfect sound to get me through the oh-so-cold Los Angeles winter months (it’s tough living in a city with the best weather in the world)! The duo’s newest is a collaboration with Empara Mi that builds upon their already refined sound with what’s undoubtedly their best work yet. It’s a sleek, smooth production with an intricate percussive approach and subtly swelling synths that blend with one another to make the song a borderline meditative experience. Every moment of the song feels necessary and intuitive as every passing second truly counts.

Empara Mi is critical to the release’s success as well – her vocals are pitch perfect and give a sultry, smokey layer to “Talking Bout Me” that wouldn’t be possible from a purely instrumental perspective. I couldn’t imagine a better fit for WITHOUT’s production here. The bond between and producer and topliner is delicate – so many songs out there feel forced and you can tell there’s just no sense of connection between the artists. WITHOUT and Empara Mi totally avoid that issue as you can feel the pure synergy between them. That’s a notion that warrants returning to this song again and again.


Lucas & Steve – I Could Be Wrong (feat. Brandy)

This one has summer smash written all over it. Featuring an insane talent in Brandy as Lucas & Steve sample her hit debut single, “I Could Be Wrong” hits all the right notes of beach and festival ready house music as purely anthemic vocals are mixed with blissful production. It’s a perfect fit for Big Beat and Spinnin who have the structures in place to make sure this massive single is heard across massive swathes of sweaty fans worldwide. There’s truly nothing to do to this track except dance the day and night away, so I suggest getting to it right away if you’re able!

While I won’t be heading out from my office to dance anytime soon, the views are keeping my spirits high. Palm trees are gently swaying back and forth en masse over Hollywood Boulevard, clouds are dotting the sky like a painting, the houses sprawled across the hills are as striking as ever, Beverly Hills and the ocean are in the distance. It’s another beautiful day in Los Angeles that I need to soak in and not take for granted – it’s easy to forget that I live in one of the most beautiful cities and biggest cultural centers in the world!