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Eva Shaw – Rise N Shine (Justice Skolnik Remix)

Rise and shine people!! It’s a beautiful Thursday morning and I’m feeling rather refreshed! I’m usually a night owl that struggles to get out of the damn bed every single day, but I woke up bright and early and you know what…it was fucking fantastic! I had two *giant* cups of coffee, did some reading, meditated, and got some quality work done, all before the time I would usually even wake up. A few hours later, I’m already deep into my tasks for the day and I feel *so* productive that I’m pretty sure I could take on anything right now!

I feel so much of those positive vibes in this brand spanking new remix of Eva Shaw’s “Rise N Shine” by Justice Skolnik. It’s one of those songs that’s perfect to slap on in the morning and dance around my place to while I get ready on early days like today! And I’ve gotta say, I love a specific little lyric in here: “don’t let anyone take your light away, rise and shine.” I can relate to that so damn hard…after a few really tough days internally, I had to say fuck how I felt the past 72 hours and instead get stoked on the 24 hours ahead of me. I’m so glad I went with rising and shining today, cause I feel so much better for it… It goes to show that an early morning here and there can be a key to satisfaction even for the most nocturnal night owl!

Axel Mansoor – Wasted My Love

My taste in music has few grounded roots in the music I cover most often these days. In fact, I spent the entirety of my teenage years almost exclusively invested in a range of heavy genres – hardcore, metalcore, and deathcore just to name a few. Why mention this? On Axel Mansoor’s “Wasted My Love,” there’s a specific moment in the song, a bridge around 2:20 in particular, that instantly transports me back to my days as a post-hardcore fiend. The bands I found most palatable in that genre placed an emphasis on a balance between heaviness and melody; thus, bridges loaded with melodic flair that would lead into a mosh-ready chorus were ever-common.

While surely not a call to get the pit moving, the bridge on “Wasted My Love” feels like an early Tides of Man song circa-Dreamhouse. It’s a gorgeous transition that finds Mansoor at his vocal peak on the song, isolated and crystal clear, to the point that I’m waiting for Tilian Pearson to enter the equation and deliver some complimentary high octaves before diving into a guitar-driven organized chaos.

While I never expected to discover that type of vibe on SoundCloud, it’s a wonderful moment that shows how genres can collide in the most peculiar ways.

Emma Dewing | Buttons

Now that’s how you break out onto the scene in 2017. Newcomer Emma Dewing’s “Buttons” passes the “dope test” with the ease and grace of a ballerina (cause she is one). She sounds dangerously confident, her vocals accented by subtle flairs reminiscent of Shakira. Ely Rises’s production is anchored by punchy percussion that either sounds like or is a dusty old drum break from the classic hiphop days. The arrangement as a whole screams pop smash, with a quick tension-filled verse exploding into the uber-catchy chorus, and then doing it all again over slightly more fleshed out production. It feels like a guilty pleasure song AND an actual favorite song at the same time and that’s really tough to pull off.

Her style and image is striking and combined with the clever song, we’ve got something seriously compelling here. Making a great song isn’t enough in 2017 – things move so fast that even truly fantastic art is almost rendered “disposable” by people’s constant thirst for “what’s next.” You’ve got to really penetrate and create a cultural impression, and Emma seems to clearly understand that. There’s obviously no shortage of talented female vocalists releasing music every week, but this is something that truly stands out and makes me want to know more, see more and hear more as soon as possible.

WRLD x smle – Stranded (ft. Kiddo Al)

Stranded is a feeling that I’ve experienced in waves lately. Surrounded by new friends in a new city, I’m objectively doing well. On the other hand, I sometimes feel alone in rooms full of people; the familiar faces are gone, the reliable comforts have disappeared, and I realize the only person I have in that lonely moment is myself. I’m not someone who I want to be alone with, as my thoughts constantly race, almost always ending up in a self-depreciating region that serves me no positive purpose.

But I won’t let being stranded be the end of my story. I’ve thrown out my proverbial message in a bottle, and on virtually every occasion, a rescue party has come for me. They’ve thrown out their lifebuoys and pulled me on deck with them, showering me with food and water and bringing me back to life. The past few days in particular, I was convinced I was long gone, yet new friends who haven’t known me for years came to my rescue like clockwork. It’s been a humbling, perspective-endowing experience that’s made me realize the piercing loneliness I had felt was only internal.

There are people who care about me enough to rescue me from the shipwreck of self that I often create, and for that, I’m beyond grateful.

Gramatik – Satoshi Nakamoto (The Funk Hunters Remix)

I’ve been on a hunt for bass loving funk and with this remix of Gramatik’s “Satoshi Nakamoto” it’s safe to say I just bagged the biggest buck of the herd! This is the shit that makes me want to jump up and down, sway back and forth, and bang my head all at once. I mean seriously, those horns? Those guitar licks? Those synths that bend at warp speed like an upside down rollercoaster? It’s just mindblowing!

And don’t get me started on the bars Adrian Lau & ProbCause are spitting here…it’s like I’ve been teleported back to rap’s heydey of boombastic beats bumping outside the bodega, new Timbs smell and all. They navigate The Funk Hunters’ new instrumentals with the quickness, and while I don’t give a shit if a rap song is a lyrical masterpiece or nothing but ad-libs, the lines these two dudes bring are straight heat. I mean seriously, “Epiphanies on symphonies…epigrams these words last for centuries” almost made me fall out of my seat! Combine that with music that reminds me of raging my face off to Big Gigantic years ago and you’ve got yourself a textbook winner.

Simon On The Moon – Hooked

Somewhere between the creeping synths, accented drums and keys, and sultry vocals interjected with falsetto croons, Simon On The Moon‘s “Hooked” has me reveling even deeper into my current crush.

Impressively, this is Simon On The Moon‘s first song to be released, and was created wholly in his home in Sweden. I’m enamored by the richly layered instrumentals and vocals, and the way the song ebbs and flows, dipping in and out of varying genres. “Hooked” is a style in itself, and features a dash of nu-disco, a whiff of Sade-esque soul, and the catchiest guitar riffs you’ve heard all year. I’m really looking forward to more from Simon On The Moon; he’s set to have 2 EP releases this year.

And now I’m hooked…

When was the last time you had a crush? The type of crush that has you daydreaming, drifting in and out of engagement with the world around you. When she leaves your house, all you want is for her smell to linger; you’re eager to plan the next encounter. It’s new, it’s exciting. You’re grinning wide; she asks why, but there is simply no reason other than her presence. When you have a crush, you feel the wall around your heart, built by past disappointment and heartbreak, cracking slightly. You want to let that person ooze through, and you feed off those chemicals. As this song puts it, almost as if you’ve been drugged. This is a crush, with which the thought of something “serious” hasn’t tainted the innocence of what you’re currently enjoying. If only you could freeze these moments, before reality/timing/incompatibility enters the realm! Until then, revel with me.

Billie Eilish – Bellyache

Billie Billie Billie can’t you see, how your words just hypnotize me? I thought BLU J’s remix of “Six Feet Under” was an absolute banger, but Billie Eilish’s newest has me uncontrollably pressing the replay button over and over again. “Bellyache” is like someone went through my brain, found everything I like about music, and wrapped it all up into a hell of a song…an absurdly catchy but honest voice, smooth as butter production, and a chorus that has a perfect electronic kick. It’s pop fucking perfection!

Also, I’m usually not one to be super into album artwork but can we just talk about the vibes going on here…Eilish looks like street punk, streetwear, and Kill Bill Vol. 1 all came together to make a new aesthetic. If that’s the future of fashion then count me in! That’s also a good way to look at Eilish’s music…everything she’s doing has been done before in one way another, but the way she brings it all together is just so damn unique. If she’s making art this good with tools from the past at her disposal, I can only imagine what she’ll have in store for us down the road…

Justin Caruso – Talk About Me (feat. Victoria Zaro)

Not giving a fuck is *easily* one of the most important skills I’ve started to learn. I used to always care about what people thought about me in general or something as specific as what they thought of my laugh or smile. Hell, I remember getting mad as a kid when I would hear my family talking about me when I wasn’t in the room and not even knowing what they were saying. But today, I’m starting to just throw those worries up to the wind…

I mean if I’m trying to be my best person, then why should I care what you’ve got to say? There’s only one thing in life I can control and that’s my own actions. If you want to waste your time being concerned about my actions and waste your energy focusing on me instead of yourself…go right ahead! Like Victoria Zaro says over this super smooth Justin Caruso beat…”if that’s what you think, then talk about me”! I’ll be over here avoiding useless stress and enjoying life. We only have so much time on this earth and I’d rather spend it with a smile on my face.

StéLouse – Shivers n Gold (w/ Mascolo)

all the time
I wait while you don’t know me
but you talk of how you’re lonely
I wait for it to pass
oh why

walking blind
these nights are going slowly
I wait but you won’t show me
past your sheets of gold
oh why

I’m betting on your grace darlin’ help
I’m crawling in my greed now
so call it what you please darlin’
I’m begging that you’ll come around.”

It’s a cold and rainy day where I am at, this seemed perfect for that feeling of wanting to just curl up by a nice fire and read or reminisce through some old photo books of fond memories.  I love the poetry in these lyrics, the lovely metaphors and symbolism, definitely not lyrics for someone lacking knowledge or thinking outside of the box, we here at EMPT definitely break those box barriers and enjoy the challenges of the world.

So I went out this past weekend, as I had a good friend in from town introducing everyone to her new boyfriend, in fact everyone I went out with Saturday night was shacked up, didn’t bother me at all as you may have assumed it did.  I don’t think I am begging for anything anymore, no comfort, no affection, I see the little problems all of these couples have or not even problems but the fact that one person is always checking in with the other one about something or worried about what the other person wants to do next, etc. You know what I am talking about, and I don’t miss that, I don’t miss having to check in with someone or worry whether they might give me shit for having one too many drinks, or what I am wearing or maybe I seem to be flirting too much with someone that passes by…Yup don’t miss all of control that happens in too many relationships.  I am hoping I just find that one person eventually without trying to hard, that just gets me, I get them, we move past all that typical controlling relationship bullshit.  Ya sounds good writing it right now but easier said than done right, you all are probably laughing at me like good luck girl.  Well I cannot wait to prove everyone wrong!

Another stellar track from SteLouse, sexy rainy Monday vocals that already have you thinking of the weekend ahead of us, press play and the weekend will be here again before you know it.

.dxf – Efira

Do you remember that trippy, super depressing short film MORE? It was the one with the little stop-motion dude going through life in a factory, being super disillusioned with his life before becoming his own worst enemy? I was obsessed with it years ago, mainly cause of that brooding fucking song that I couldn’t get out of my head. I had no idea who it was by so I downloaded the short film through a YouTube converter and would watch it on repeat and be on the verge of crying nine times out of ten… Years later I found out that was “Elegia” by New Order (who would end up becoming one of my favorite bands) but I could never hear the song without thinking of MORE…so when I heard “Efira” by .dxf I was taken *straight* back to that short film.

I don’t think it’s a sample of “Elegia,” but the synth on this song has a similar sound… it feels like another view on being depressed and disillusioned in our weird technological world, now with a strange autotuned flow and thumping undertow. And usually I don’t care about music videos, but the video for “Efira” drives that home with a crazy balance between rough graphics and darkness.

“Efira” isn’t postpunk by any means, but to be real I honestly think we’re looking at 2017’s answer to “Elegia”…