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Kendall Morgan – Undertow

One of my best friends bought me Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms for my 20th birthday. I loaded it into my iTunes and spun it while laying on the beach, the sun soaking my skin as I faded away into a daydream state. It was the perfect soundtrack, like a lazy river had come to life in sonic form and let me float through its calm currents. I get the same sense of hazy serenity on Kendall Morgan’s “Undertow”, a cut with buzzing synths that tap into an endless summer while Morgan’s vocals emanate r&b introspection – if Psychic Chasms was a kaleidoscope of colors, “Undertow” is a grey scale.

On a personal note, Morgan’s newest has me thinking about undertows that have sucked me along throughout my life. For example, I just emerged from a depressive episode that lasted for over 3 months. Totally devoid of energy and borderline hopeless, I slowly floated along until the solution revealed itself – rather than aiming for sweeping changes, I made small, attainable goals that built upon one another and gave me what I needed to pursue a renewed sense of self. I wish I had the energy to fight back against my depression and recalibrate my life sooner, sure, but just like an undertow in the ocean, I took the counterintuitive action and rode it out rather than fighting back with attempts at major changes that would’ve led to drowning in despair.


Marble Room – Islands

I have a serious sweet-tooth that goes beyond devouring candy every chance I get (seriously I ate a king-sized Kit Kat bar and a bag of M&Ms within 5 minutes last night while allegedly having a cavity) and into sugary sounds. It’s why I have a special place in my heart for literally every song artists like Danny L Harle put out and most recently why I love this track from Marble Room. It’s fresh, it’s exciting, it’s uplifting…simply put it’s everything I could want from a song.

The unlimited amounts of joy here reminds me of why I got into music in the first place. I loved music from the moment it reached my ears and knew it was going to be my passion, whether it was making it or helping others get their music heard. While some music in the realm of happiness can feel too sleek or overdone, Marble Room finds a perfect medium where you can feel the honesty behind the uplifting music he’s creating and thus why I’ll be spinning “Islands” for weeks to come.


Paradise and Grace – Letting Go

Letting Go is something I’ve never been good at. I’ve always struggled to let go of people, places, and things. With people, I’ve never been able to let go of romantic relationships even when they were done – I couldn’t accept the end and would do anything I could to maintain even when the writing was on the walls. When my dogs died (who definitely count as people) earlier this year, it was impossible for me to let go even when they were gone – I still haven’t processed the emotions from their deaths. With places, I’ve always struggled to leave, even if it was somewhere I’d lost all love for, due to a massive fear of change. With things, I’m the person who holds onto random items because of nostalgic purposes – it took me a long time to be able to readily throw things away from important periods of my life.

All that being said, Paradise & Grace’s powerful, multifaceted new track “Letting Go” comes at a perfect time in my life. While I’m not a religious person, I handed my resentments and fears over to the higher power of my understanding last night so that I could better pursue inner peace. While I’m still processing it now, it’ll be a defining moment in my life that found me turning over the anger and disgust inside me to something greater than myself. I look forward to being enveloped in a new perspective that emphasizes positivity – it’s a notion that Paradise & Grace exude via towering synths, Grace’s echoing vocals, and a wonderfully simple phrase: “I’m letting go.”


Xains – Set Me Off

There’s nothing better than some groovy indie house that covers the spectrum of romance and Xains’ debut single does just that. It’s the sonic equivalent of thinking about a current relationship and all of the passion it entails, boiling it all down into one powerful phrase: “you really set me off”. There’s a sexual connotation there, sure, but it also considers how another human can activate impassioned actions and emotions that others in our life simply couldn’t spur – one person is out there who can truly flip the switch, the one person we spend our lives searching for.

“Set Me Off” feels like a whispered conversation in bed at 4am, a brisk walk through downtown late at night, a drive up the coast, all with the love of your life by your side. All of those things are great with a friend or a hookup or a partner, but when imagined with a soulmate they become way more impactful as they strengthen the bond between hearts and minds. All that being said, it’s amazing how many mental images can stem from a gorgeous song and a visual compliment that’s so simple, a single flame soaked in red. If Xains is able to invoke so many thoughts and feelings on his first single, I can’t wait to see what story and sound he explores next.


Parker – Spark EP

I really dig the surprise in the track, you will hear it around 46 seconds and what you think is going to happen doesn’t.  When I first took a listen I assumed this was the moment the big techno beat was going to come in for probably a solid 30 seconds but much to my surprise it was more of a beat drop, some cool effects and a really dope/chill rhythm that I could really vibe too without feeling too hyper.  Well done, I love a good surprise.

Everything that “sparks” the world today has been a surprise.  At this point we should all expect the unexpected.  I am glad that music is still keeping me on my toes with tracks such as this one but in terms of the world, nothing surprises me anymore, in fact the bigger the situation the less surprised I am.  Shock factor is what the world is all about right now, turning us all into robots that are unfazed.  Sad, but I think there is still so much to look forward too if we can look beyond the drama.

Really enjoyed receiving this track in my inbox, I hope gives your Monday the start to the week that you have been looking for, that element of surprise that you might need in your day, enjoy! xx

 

 


Azad – Mottola

Many think pieces have already dived into this on a more detailed scale, but I think it’s fascinating that hip-hop has finally splintered off into sub-genres. I’ve always had a preference for old school sounds, but I have the utmost respect for the kids doing their thing and taking the genre to new territory. So many old heads think hip-hop culture should be frozen in time – think Han Solo in carbonite except it’s Nas – but that shows an utter lack of respect for the genre’s very roots. It was street culture founded on echoing the sentiments of youth, sentiments that resulted in empowerment anthems, brutally honest memoirs, and everything in between.

All that being said, today’s bass-driven soliloquies and the genre’s traditional take on bars are still able to coexist on the same song. Case and point: Azad’s “Mottola” freestyle. He spits with a sense of finesse that runs circles around his perceived competition, throwing dagger after witty dagger, all on top of THEY.‘s booming “Nu Religion” beat. As someone who signed a genre-bending rap act and bends the conventions of rap himself, Azad is a prime example of how to appreciate hip-hop’s past, present, and future.


CHEF BAER – Summertime (feat. TeaMarrr)

It’s official. Summer has ended and I couldn’t be more pleased.  I love Fall and the vibe of this soulful track brings me there with the leaves slowly falling off the trees and the winds picking up giving me that cool air that I have been craving oh so much.  I haven’t been posting as much lately, been leaving the responsibilities up to our other wonderful writers.  Reason being that I am currently writing a book that is due on January 1st and trying not to break my focus but alas I have some writers block and need to turn my attention somewhere else for the moment so that I can get out of my head and take a little vacation to write about music.  I feel like this Summer has been about a lot of electro pop, dance tracks.  I needed something a little more relaxed, with some deep meaning.  The lyrics are the female version of so many men I know, hard to trust, always scheming, totally full of themselves.  Maybe it’s the world right now and everything we are influenced by that is taking away the ability to be honest and real, thank goodness I haven’t lost my realness through all the “plastic” changes, you know what I mean.

I hope everyone is enjoying the change is seasons as much as I am and the chill vibe of this track to balance the mood. Shout out to our readers for staying as loyal as you always have. Happy Fall!


Moglebaum – Echo Of Time

Words that came to mind during my first spin of Moglebaum’s newest: ethereal, organic, otherworldly. “Echo of Time” is a track that stretches beyond sonic boundaries in such a way that feels more natural than any conformist genre piece out. The guitar-work has as much to say as a vocalist, echoing underlying sentiments of the past and future, the present nestled somewhere in between. Its transition into actual vocals is utterly stunning – I sense a blend of passion and wisdom that can’t simply be conjured – and the addition of electronic elements is an enthralling bonus.

Tracks like “Echo of Time” are why I love music – it inspires thoughts of fascination that other forms of art rarely accomplish. It allows me to push my imagination to the limit and envision an amorphous vibe or a fully fleshed out story that’s unique to how a sound influences my mind in particular. It creates worlds that I want to dive into and explore as long as possible. I hope you experience a similar sense of wonderment when you hear “Echo of Time”.

 


Lash – I’m Gonna Be There

Lash’s newest tells the story of a couple enduring hardships and maintaining their love for one another. Called “I’m Gonna Be There”, it’s a gorgeous, layered track that exudes a passionate vibe between sincere vocals and bouncy synths to match. The song’s notion of maintaining a relationship through the good, bad, and ugly is something that goes beyond romance as I’ve recently experienced. When I moved out to LA in January, I made close friends in the same industry I worked in who saw my progression as a person and professional – sure, there difficult times, but it felt like a natural part of the process of dealing with a host of personal issues while moving across the country.

Once tougher events began to occur and I felt like I wasn’t living up to my standards of handling those events, I slowly began to fear that my friends would begin to distance themselves from me – in my mind, I was a drain on their time and energy. I internalized that feeling and it only got worse, but I finally brought it up to the tightest friend I’ve made in LA and their response was nothing more than laughter. It made me realize that real friends (how many of us?) are there to offer support and guidance, not dip out when times are tough. For such a simple concept, it’s hilarious that it took me almost 10 months to figure it out, but it’s all part of the journey.


Madnap – Honey (feat. Sophie Meiers)

I’m a huge fan of Sophie Meiers’ work – much like industry contemporary Ashe, she’s found a wonderful balance between topliner and enthralling solo artist. “Honey” is an impeccable look at those worlds colliding as her vocals soulfully float atop Madnap’s catchy production with a graceful aura that feels suited less for an electronic festival’s main-stage and more for an intimate environment (think the local coffee shop or your nearest beach hangout).

I could even go without hearing this in a communal setting – in fact, I might prefer laying in the grass solo and let the California sun shine down upon my face as a gentle wind blows inward from the coast. There’s a rolling hill off of the 1 near Pepperdine that would be the perfect spot, not only to nap while “Honey” drifts through a pair of headphones, but to sit up and watch waves gradually dissipate into the rocks below. That’s a peaceful moment I’ll aim to experience soon.