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Justin Caruso – More Than A Stranger (feat. Cappa & Ryan Hicari)

I’m a sucker for a good vocal duet and that’s the centerpiece of Justin Caruso’s new single. Featuring Cappa and Ryan Hicari, the two provide beautiful and melodic performances that intertwine with one another like holding hands with someone you love. It also fits the songs theme of becoming more than a stranger as you can hear the two progressively becoming closer until their vocals overlap. Speaking of vocals, I’m equally a sucker for the vocal effects on Hicari’s voice at choice moments. It reminds me of my favorite ’80s vocalist like Phil Collins who’d add robotic effects that work as an emotional extension to give their work even more layers.

Of course, I’m also a massive fan of the production Caruso has done here. It’s super nuanced and seeping with serious pathos that sets the stage for all of the above. It really does well to flesh out the concept of realizing a stranger will be essential to your life, whether it’s a future friend or significant other. It’s a beautiful moment that’s hard to quantify but we’ve all felt it at one point or another. Here’s to embracing what the universe puts in front of you and going with the flow!


KHAI – For You

I often use music to soothe the soul every Monday as I ease into the week; it squashes any anxieties I may have about the days ahead and grants a base level of positivity for me to build upon. KHAI’s “For You” is a wonderful addition to that soundtrack as the single is a slice of sultry, atmospheric bliss that puts me in zone difficult to describe. I’ve spun it on repeat since it entered my inbox this morning and it makes everything around me seem in place, and in turn, puts me at peace.

The view overlooking the hills here in Los Angeles is gorgeous with the overcast skies draped atop them like a blanket. The palm trees are bent at perfect angles aside the roadways where cars move in tune. KHAI’s vocals bring forth much of these observations in particular. His harmonies are mesmerizing as they build upon one another toward the skies, all the while a hazy instrumental atmosphere unfolds below. It’s impossible to keep “For You” on as background noise as it utterly envelops the senses…I might need to turn it off if I’m going to get any work done today.


JUICY – Cast A Spell

I expected moody indie-pop from the opening moments of Cast A Spell, but after a mellow introduction, was greeted by playfully powerful bars from the duo that deliver female empowerment with an edge. There’s something wonderfully seething how they casually bounce around lines that taunt men for underwhelming genitals and hold their sexuality above the subject’s head as they declare “we won’t turn you on once again, this is the time to pay your dues to the women.” Not only is the lyrical content top notch, but the synergy between the duo is wonderfully natural as they trade back and forth before reaching harmonic perfection on the hook.

Their sonic versatility continues throughout the record as they deliver hazy r&b and sassy downtempo pop that’s all equally impactful. My personal favorite cut is “For Hands On Ass”, a nuanced cut with ominous production, simmering vocals, and a chorus that’s impossible to shake. It’s a track that points toward potential for their music to become an essential part of the conversation when it comes to artists that are pushing sonic and topical boundaries. I look forward to spending more time with this record and hearing whatever JUICY concocts next.


BoTalks – Weekend (ft. Laura Marano)

It’s almost the weekend in Los Angeles and it couldn’t be a more picture perfect day. The sun is shining, the temperature is nice and warm, and work is close to completion. There’s so many options for what do – maybe hit the beach, maybe go cruise through the hills, maybe go on a hike…who knows? The possibilities are endless in a city like this and no matter what activity I choose there’s going to be good vibes aplenty. Too many choices for fun? That’s a damn good problem to have if you ask me!

It’s also essential that this weekend has good company and good music. BoTalks’ new single that’s fittingly called “Weekend” is a perfect edition to the soundtrack I’ll be working on since it has a seriously carefree atmosphere. It’s one of those joints that you say fuck it and let loose to while surrounded by friends. I’m very ready to go ahead and experience that in just a few hours! Let’s go!


TOKiMONSTA – I Wish I Could (feat. Selah Sue) [Sofi Tukker Remix]

TOKiMONSTA was one of the first artists that got me into the more delicate, nuanced side of electronic music as her record Midnight Menu soundtracked a lot of late nights during my early high school days alongside classics like DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing….. Thus, it’s been a pleasure to see her receive widespread acclaim on Lune Rouge, an album that’s almost certainly her crowning achievement to date, over the past year.

I’m equally excited about the fact that TOKiMONSTA tapped Sofi Tukker for an “I Wish I Could” remix – it’s a serious collision of worlds as one of my favorite new acts takes on an artist paramount to my music taste’s development. The music lives up to the hype and then some as Sofi Tukker flips the track into an absolute banger of a house outing with a deep groove perfect for Selah Sue’s soulful vocal performance. It makes me wonder what would come from an outright collaboration between the critical darling and sync sensations – hopefully the universe wills that into action.


Madison Mars Feat. Caslin – All They Wanna Be

As long as there’s sunny weather and packed out music festivals, summery house tracks will always have a place to shine. Madison Mars keeps that uplifting trend in motion on “All They Wanna Be”, a shimmering cut that feels like a breath of fresh tropical air on the California coast. The airy production comes alongside fittingly anthemic vocals from Caslin as she adds another layer of sweet carefree vibes. It’s a formula for success that’ll almost certainly pay off in the coming months as the temperature rises.

It’s insane that spring starts tomorrow – it feels like winter just started (maybe because it was only cold for a cumulative two weeks in Los Angeles). It always seems like my inspirations start to flourish around this time of the year and I’m hoping that it’s no different in 2018. The warmth of the sun, the flowers blooming, it’s all a perfect blend of sources to tap for assistance in furthering my goals.


William Darc – My Drug

The art direction for William Darc’s “My Drug” is absolutely insane. The callback to horror tropes like the bat, the ominous red-soaked skull, the death metal font – it all wraps into an expertly curated aesthetic that oozes a grim ethos. Speaking of grim, this track was produced by one of my favorite Toronto duos, Rainer + Grimm. These dudes credits between their r&b inflected work for others and their own organic electronic sounds are top notch, so I always have lofty expectations for them.

Darc uses their killer behind-the-boards work to lay out a hazy, decadent take on “My Love” that easily surpasses its source. His voice glides atop the moody production with a nonchalant sense of utter coolness that makes you want to take a dive into the edgy world he’s building, not just through sound, but also vivid lyrics that paint a fittingly red-soaked picture of drugs and lust. He’s flipping the Toronto sound on its head with a daring approach that makes me way too excited to hear what he delivers next.


Molly Moore – Tough Love

“Put in the work, sometimes it hurts, can’t give enough, give me tough love.” Molly Moore is laying down straight wisdom on her brand new single. One of the most important conversations of my life came after a major misstep at work as my boss gave me a wakeup call that made me realize my habit of receding and being uncommunicative when things got rough wouldn’t fly in the professional world. It was an uncomfortable moment that situated the greater good above my own perceived needs – in other words, a worldview I hadn’t encountered throughout a previously egocentric lifestyle.

Since then, I’ve become an infinitely better worker and friend who’s insanely committed to those around me. Simply put, tough love strengthened bonds in all aspects of my life. Molly Moore’s single is a perfect complement to that as its methodical and nuanced atmosphere along with her driven vocals echo the necessary process from pain to gain. It’s such a killer track and I can’t wait to hear what she comes up with next.


LEVV – Hands On Me

This track speaks specifically to a situation that we are facing today here and now.  This track is a true story that speaks on sexual assault, about the artist who trusted someone who stole her trust.  This is such a touchy subject, but one that many of us are finally speaking out about, I know I am.  I am also a victim of sexual assault, it is a subject for so many years that I was afraid to face, afraid that someone might call me a liar, or maybe I was just being over dramatic.  That’s how many of us were made to feel right? #metoo, it’s something everyone should be taking very seriously.  I want my tiny little daughter to grow up in a world where she won’t have to worry about anyone taking advantage of her beauty inside and out.  Hopefully we can all make this world a safer, in the work place and outside of it as well.  I know that I am trying to get my message out there.  I recently finished a book about being a single parent and some of the tough shit I had to go through in my life that has allowed me to be a strong Women able to bring up a daughter on my own.  Until the release of the book I hope you will follow my blog correlating to the book along with the social media to get you hyped for the release! www.singleafworld.com  

I hope more artists such as LEVV make music with messages such as this because people really resonate with music and lyrics in a beautifully emotional way.  Please take a listen to this, listen to the message and whoever you are, Women or Man, be respectful, enjoy life and remember that we are all trying to make our planet a wonderful place for the budding generation of little humans!

 

 

 

 


ARONA MANE – Oscar (feat. P.T)

Released at a fitting time as any, this new joint from ARONA MANE and P.T. is a jam that lives up to its gold-plated source material. It’s sleek and smooth, like riding through Beverly Hills with the top down and soaking up the entire moment. The retro-future tag is also super fitting as the track flips a soulful sound at its core into a worldly r&b outing whose hook is utterly infectious. Seriously, good luck getting this one out of your head once you’ve spun it once.

Speaking of the Oscars and Los Angeles, I just started at a brand new office on Hollywood Boulevard today. It’s a coming-of-age moment for my career that finds all the work I’ve been putting in since I was 14 paying off in a new and exciting way. I’ve come from writing music reviews on Tumblr from my couch in Georgia to working in a space with a 360 degree view of all of Los Angeles – the Hollywood hills in one direction, Beverly Hills in another, and downtown off in the distance. I think I’ll consider this my own personal Oscar.