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Carter Reeves – Pay Day

It’s Friday and you know what that means – that’s right, it’s pay day baby! Time for the collective masses to cash those checks and fantasize over how to spend their hard earned money over the coming 72 hours. Maybe they’ll head downtown and hit the bars or hit the pier and get some game time in before catching those infamous West Coast waves, but either way, it’s the best possible outcome after a week of nose to the grindstone work. Work is obviously an essential part of life, especially if you love what you do like myself, but you’ve gotta go all in on things that make you feel happy and fulfilled during your free time too.

The carefree vibes on this new Carter Reeves’ new single absolutely nail the thrill of “making a buck or two” and the ever-relaxing kickbacks that ensue; from how I see it, “sand in my hair for the past four days” sounds like a dream come true. Reeves does a picture perfect job of delivering such a relatable story as you can hang on to every word and find an endless amount of ways to relate or simply throw it on in the background and mirror his experience in real time. While it’s totally different in sound and style, “Pay Day” is such an amazing follow up to “Fly High” that shows just how much versatility as an artist that Reeves has to offer. There’s no doubt I’m gonna try to hit the beach this weekend with “Pay Day” turned all the way up and good times in tow.

HOANG – Don’t Say (ft. Nevve)

Nevve is an absolute favorite of mine – the project has been the key element to so many of my favorite songs since its stunning female vocals emerged onto the scene a couple years ago. Thus, I couldn’t think of a more perfect voice to be a part of brand new producer HOANG’s debut single. It’s called “Don’t Say” and it finds the versatile electronic talent laying out a bed of ethereal sounds that hit all the right sonic pockets for maximum impact. It’s sugary sweet goodness that you can’t help but keep coming back to again and again.

There’s also a nostalgic element to the track that makes you feel like you’ve been here before as it teases out a range of emotions from past and present. Much like the picture for the single cover, it’s like a warm summer day that overwhelms the senses and leaves you in a wholly content daze. Days of youth spent wandering around in nature with an eager sense of discovery intersect with a current sense that there’s still more out there to experience. Embrace the inspiring feeling “Don’t Say” offers and go forth!

KREAM – Deep End

KREAM takes dance-ready electronic music to tasteful territory on his new single (complemented by some museum ready single art to match). Titled “Deep End”, it’s an ultra smooth track with an infectious groove that whisks you in immediately. There’s a tinge of melodrama to the track that runs through its mood, yet it still makes me feel genuinely good while listening. On the other hand, the song’s title makes me consider how I went off the deep end for months without even realizing it.

My life looked good on the outside and I thought I felt okay, yet I was in shambles on the inside. Friendships were drifting away as we saw each other less and less, my self care had dwindled to a bare minimum…I desperately needed a change. Over the past few weeks I’ve taken the necessary steps to right the ship. I have a written to-do list that helps me break down all the little things that add up to me feeling good. I maintain contact with the universe daily, I reach out to other people in order to avoid a self-centric existence, I write my thoughts on paper, the list goes on and on. It’s all part of a slow and steady evolution toward me living my best life.

The Russ Liquid Test – Fanghorn

Bass music is in a fascinating space as it seems to be in the midst of a renaissance where artists like Ivy Lab, LSDream, Rezz, and a countless list of others are pushing low-end sounds to their limit. While The Russ Liquid Test are generally associated with the funky live cornerstones of the scene like Griz and Gramatik, their newest is a part of that deep down revolution. Called “Fanghorn”, this single has a deceptively danceable groove while grimy bass wobbles churn at the song’s core, putting the proverbial nose to the grindstone.

The versatility of this track is a testament to how talented The Russ Liquid Test are as a group. You could imagine “Fanghorn” being dropped during an outdoor Tipper set in the sweltering Florida heat with hula-hoop dancers and pockets of fans dancing freely as much as a sweaty, packed downtown venue collectively raging en masse for an Excision set. The possibilities for their music are virtually endless which is such an exciting prospect! The balance they strike reminds me of Bassnectar who I could totally see dropping “Fanghorn” during a set – fingers crossed we can manifest that and make it a reality.

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.