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Khamsin – My Way (feat. MOONZz)

MOONZz is without a doubt one of my favorite vocalists in the overarching electronic sphere right now. There’s a soulful quality to her delivery that’s accelerated by her cosmic presence as an individual. She’s thus an expectedly perfect fit for Khamsin’s newest, “My Way”. The two artists connect for a single with intense dramatic flair as Khamsin lays out a bed of intricate production that rockets into another dimension with a propulsive drop.

It’s a fitting addition to the rapidly expanding Lowly Palace empire which I have such a high level of respect for. The label has curated an extensive roster of releases that all make sense together as a collective. The unification of their releases through neon, forward-thinking artwork takes their approach to the next level as each release is given an individual visual approach while still immediately recognizable as a Lowly backed single. Khamsin and MOONZz’s atmospheric collaboration is a perfect addition to that rapidly expanding collective of unforgettable sounds.

Future Love Hangover – Secret Waters

One of the most compelling singles of 2018 came through my email recently and I haven’t been able to shake the feeling of elation since. From an artist named Future Love Hangover, “Secret Waters” is a release that frees itself of genre constrictions as it contorts unnerving sounds and synths into a strangely infectious groove. One moment the airwaves are being penetrated with a maniacal cackle that splinters into a million sonic pieces, then sharp guitar work adds to the already frantic atmosphere the next. It’s a constantly evolving piece of work that never sits still which is a component that I adore; there’s always something new to latch onto and examine before its swept away, all the while the song’s catchy undercurrent continues.

In a world where the online music scene is totally oversaturated by artists making music in a playlist-ready mold to generate a million streams and cut a royalty check to fund their endeavors, “Secret Waters” exists in experimental territory that’s honest, organic, and still manages permeate the brain with an unforgettable rhythm. For anyone who’s worried about the passing of electro-pop into a Los Angeles centric, overly commodified product, rest assured that Future Love Hangover is part of the ongoing proof that unique tunes are still alive and well. Without further ado, dig into this track and prepare to enjoy the ride that awaits you.

Molly Moore – Third Eye High

Molly Moore has been on a hot streak with her past two singles so I couldn’t be more excited about the premise of an EP from the Los Angeles songstress. With two brand new tracks, it’s a release that shows off all of her various strengths across various genre lines as seen by the smokey r&b and celebratory indie pop of its first looks. The back half of the EP is without a doubt my favorite of the bunch, though, as it finds her taking her sound to a completely new level. First and foremost, “Catch and Release” is an easy, breezy, beautiful flow of carefree vibes that feels like being whisked away into the warmth of the coastal sun with all of its rays shining down. As for “Lighten Up”, it’s pure pop goodness that fuses all of her talents into one final product…the bouncy, hip-hop propellant of a hook, the airy yet totally swagged out vocals, it all just works.

As if Molly’s work wasn’t phenomenal enough in its own right, she’s also crushing with a new Cosmos & Creature single more grounded in the electronic realm. She’s such a versatile artist and the ability to release multiple projects at a time that all sound fresh is a serious testament to the talent she carries. Across the board, it’s music that I’ll be playing with the volume up high this summer with no plans in sight of turning it down. Here’s to all the memories her Third Eye High EP will soundtrack in the near future.

Win and Woo – Chasing Tail (Madnap Remix)

Madnap is one of my favorite rising producers on account of his Moving Castle backed track “Honey”, so it’s always exciting to hear the next sonic step he takes. On his remix of Win And Woo’s original, he transitions the song to new atmospheric heights that’s tailor made to trigger a rush of endorphins as the synths swell into a grandiose, kaleidoscopic blast. It’s a drop that does well to complement the stunning, super melodic vocals on display – in short, it’s what a killer remix is all about.

I have an insanely inspiring view as I write this piece – a massive rolling hill peppered with houses, palm trees as far as the eye can see, Beverly Hills in one direction, Century City in another. Combined with Madnap’s remix, it’s feel-good sensory overload that I live for. It’s important to find beauty in these moments and not let them go to waste as an afterthought soon to be forgotten. My quality of life significantly improves when I appreciate what I have from minute to minute and routinely practice gratitude. I’ll continue to do just that today.

Zolita – New You

A new you is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. There was in a point in my life where I chased my past as a way to contextualize my present. I so desperately wanted to recreate not just the emotions, but the scenarios whose memories were like shots of dopamine straight to the brain. Without fail, going back to my old stomping grounds with old faces would never result in the euphoric rush I hoped for or imagined. Instead, I was left to examine fragments of the past through the unmistakable lens of the present; things were not the same and would never be the same again. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it also offers a branch toward mastering of the human mind and emotions by grappling with now.

Zolita’s new single offers a gripping take on the evolution of relationships with piercing lines that tackle losing the version of a person you once loved – “every time I think we’re alone, I see his name come up on your phone.” Her vocals are insanely powerful and convey every shred of emotion she experiences, especially on the hook which is a melodic treat. That goes without mentioning the production which is an excellent fusion of moody r&b with layered electro-pop sounds. The sonic landscape is a perfect basis for Zolita’s examination of disappointment and loss and I can’t get enough of it.

LUUDE – Sink Or Swim Ft. Example & Georgi Kay

LUUDE’s new single “Sink Or Swim” finds a perfect balance of dramatics that makes it worth repeated listens. The alternation of vocals keeps the topline dynamic as Georgi Kay provides a climactic performance that peaks at the song’s drop while Example comes through with a gruffer, rapped flow as a fitting contrast. The production here provides a fantastic groundwork as it’s constantly shifting in new directions, from a minimalistic complement to Example’s bars and an epic swelling of rapid-fire percussion and synths before a dense, intricate hook that’s more than worth the wait.

On a personal note, I appreciate the notion of sinking or swimming, but I’ve been stuck somewhere in between. It feels like I’ve been treading water, doing just enough to keep myself afloat with taking the necessary steps for me to actually swim. It’s a way better prospect than sinking, but I’d like to do more than just float along with the currents. I want to swim my own way through the water and I’m taking necessary steps to do that this week.

Malvae – How It Hurts (feat. Esther Veen)

I got an email from a friend telling me that this song sounds like a combination of Sober Rob and Nero which left me skeptical at first considering those are my favorite new school and “old school” producers respectively, but after listening to “How It Hurts”, I couldn’t agree more. This song is an absolute beast that borrows from the futuristic atmospherics that Nero concocted on Welcome Reality along with the forward-thinking sound that producers like Sober Rob have begun to put forth. Don’t mistake those comparisons for saying he outright sounds like other artists, though, because that’s not the case.

On this single, Malvae has carved out a wholly impressive sound that’s not just a listening experience. It’s a visceral, full-body experience where you can feel the vibrations of the sonic energy move from your ear drums all the way down your spine. It’s so exciting when music transcends just one sense and engulfs your entire being with an artistic product that impacts you on a physical and emotional level. Part of that is due to the immaculate synergy between Malvae and his frequent collaborator Estheer Veen. The two have a sense of familiarity with one another that’s readily apparent in the music as Esther’s vocals don’t feel like a typical topline. Instead, they’re an integral part of the music that intertwines with Malvae’s production as the two outputs flow together until you can’t trace where one ends and the other begins. From top to bottom, “How It Hurts” is a fascinating release that’s going to stick with me for a long time.

Laarsen – Peace Of Mind

I’m all about intricate electronic music, so Laarsen’s “Peace Of Mind” has provided an immediately rewarding introduction to this Friday morning. There’s so many layers of nuance between the croaking, stretched out synths, piercing melodies, and tattering percussion. Not only is there a ton to dig into, but on the surface level, the song is just straight up infectious. It has a bouncy groove almost grounded in older hip-hop sentiments with signature breakbeats spliced in between. It brings to mind a more upbeat take on DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing era material which mastered the balance between genres and atmospherics.

If you play Endtroducing late at night like I do, then “Peace Of Mind” is its daylight counterpart that just sounds right with the sun beaming down. The track has an energy to it that’s hard to quantify but you can feel it through each and every second of its runtime. It feels like a celebration of all its sounds, a celebration that I want to take part in again and again as I’ve continued to spin this track since it dropped earlier today.

Nick Lopez – Carousel

Life is a massive carousel that we’re all going around and around on. Everything moves in cycles, from friendship to work relationships to love. Nick Lopez does well to describe the emotions of the latter on “Carousel”, a wonderful pop track that takes listeners through a journey of fights, break-ups, passion, and make-ups. The duet between him and a killer unnamed vocalist adds to the weight of the song as they trade lines back and forth with an effortlessly natural sense of kinship, the singing equivalent of a couple honestly talking things out. There’s no conclusion or resolve, though; the two keep going around and around. Is that a positive thing? It could very well be.

There’s a natural ebb and flow to all things. Denial of that fact will lead to a negative conclusion because you’re not willing to look past the low points. You have to embrace everything life has to offer, the good and the bad and everything in between, to experience it to the fullest. There’s beauty to be found in every moment if you maintain a level head, stay present, and look hard enough for it. So what are you waiting for? Jump on the carousel, go around and around, and enjoy the ride.

THRASHOLE – You Want Her

I’m fascinated by recent developments in hip-hop. It’s been amazing to watch a niche genre sprawl into hundreds upon thousands of sub-genres under its umbrella and become an established musical juggernaut. There’s so many exciting sounds to discover these days and THRASHOLE’s debut single is one of them. It’s an edgy new project that apparently will have a revolving lineup which is an exciting concept that I’ve seen with hardcore bands like Shai Hulud, but never in the rap scene. The group’s first single features three killer emcees including Nova Rockafeller, The Buttress, and Blimes Brixton. They bring seriously diverse sounds to the table as Nova spits forebodingly playful bars, Buttress uses a delivery that’s outright eerie, and Blimes is straight heated with precision. The song’s hook is also unforgettable after a single listen – good luck not having “you want her, you want me, you want this, don’t test me” echo through every corner of your skull.

Of course, it’d be impossible to talk about “You Want Her” without mentioning the insane music video. It feels like a three minute horror movie, like something you’d see in The Blair Witch Project or VHS, as the grainy camera bounces around a pitch black bedroom, the only source of light being the camera that keeps each rapper front and center. It’s unnerving, disorienting, and other words, exactly what keeps me coming back to watch again and again. The synergy between each rapper, both sonically and visually, makes THRASHOLE a seriously exciting project in its entirety. Who knows if these three will be present in its next iteration, but I’m ready for whatever comes next.