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EMPT Exclusive: Countryclub – Woods

I first met Lauren Musacchio when we worked together at Rolling Stone. She came into the studio before Elle Goulding was scheduled to perform, sat down at the piano and started singing. Then a dude from the art department wandered in and picked up a guitar and started to play. The two of them sang and played until the ubiquitous entourage of assistants and stylists came and took over the space. Now fast forward a few years later and Lauren has her own band and new single…and is well on her way to having her own entourage. Lauren Musacchio and Dan Cohen have formed Countryclub— a memorable sound that might be likened to eavesdropping on a secret conversation from which you simply can’t turn away from. The EP is being produced & mixed by David Sisko (remixed // Ninjasonik, Roxy Music, Au Revoir Simone, Goldfrapp, Cut Copy) Countryclub is currently completing a video for Woods and will be announcing a vinyl/digital EP release date early 2015.

The only thing more inspiring than seeing a friend chase their dream is seeing it all come true. Take a listen below and remember- you are the ruler to your kingdom! The world is yours, do what you love.

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.


Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.

I want to hold you close like a lute,
so we can cry out with loving.

You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.

― Rumi

Banquise — Paintings and Paper

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For many of you out there 2015 will represent a moment of reflection in your lives. It will be the year that your souls get away from the norm and travel to far away lands. Maybe you’re heading to college across the country or somewhere around the globe. Maybe you are following love to lands you have never even heard of, or maybe you’re just taking a break to islands unnoticed, and riding trains barely ever seen. Whatever the case may be, and wherever you may find yourself in 2015 this new tune titled “Paintings and Paper” from Banquise will be the right fit for those days when you decide to wander in your new surroundings, and just take the sites in.

A smooth, unassuming entry into your ears begins this electro-pop treat off as we find ourselves in awe of all the new places our eyes are seeing. Beautiful restaurants in Paris, the old stone buildings of London, the countrysides of India as the tea sellers yell out: Chai, chai, garam chai’. Paintings and Paper is the soundtrack to beauty and our ability to imagine just about any story we wish to imagine while our souls are off on these foreign adventures. It maintains a velveteen softness in its instrumentation that makes it easy to follow and even easier to appreciate.

When music can whisk us off into another place while we sit right here in the snow and type away, well then that is music worth sharing; think diamond studded earrings made of sound.

I hope you enjoy this little piece of a magical getaway, and if you are off somewhere in the world out there outside of your norm, then definitely give this one a listen as you venture off into the unknown.

And I’ve drawn from the sky to the sea,
Woman’s face and sunny tree.
Searching forever.
Twisted minds will make me, lost and gone but hopefully…”


Whilk & Misky – Babe I’m Yours

The UK duo called Whilk & Misky are fairly new to the US music scene, and only recently released their first EP, “The First Sip” – in December. “Babe I’m Yours” is my personal favorite of the 4-track EP, and if you’re into Chet Faker-esque vocals paired with folksy guitar and percussion, you’ll probably get hooked too.

I woke up last Saturday with a slight hangover. Thanks tequila!! And as I woke up this song was somehow etched into my mind. Perhaps I had briefly jammed to it before bed, perhaps my brain was simply latching onto something calm stored up there from an earlier listen of the song. Either way, I hazily walked around the house singing the “babe I’m yours” line, over and over, barely able to reach the depth of Charlie’s voice. But it slightly eased the intensity of sore mind caused by the previous evening’s shenanigans. So of course I had the urge to listen to the entirety of the song, and am so glad I did! Mainly because before that morning, I’d only passively listened to the track whilst working and hadn’t truly appreciated the artistry of the duo. The only bit that had resinated with me up to that point was the one line stuck in my head. On that morning, my mind wanted something to help ease the hangover, and it just happened to be the sound of Charlie’s throaty voice and Nima’s folksy strumming. What’s your hangover remedy? Of course mine was accompanied by copious amounts of water.

Whilk & Misky will release their first full album later this year, so stay tuned to their unique sound!

Episode — Hold On (Salda Remix)

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The world is full of people that just don’t know how to listen to the words of others. Eventually, these people find themselves in relationships with other human beings, and within those relationships they tend to find themselves in trouble. Not the kind of trouble that is unfixable, just the kind that starts fights or creates resentment within those unions. The reason always reverts back to the simple fact that they just don’t know how to listen.

Last week my friend Erv came over to my place to talk about some issues in his latest relationship. He couldn’t grasp why it seemed that his partner was steering clear of him more and more as the days went by. During the evening I discovered that he was rude to her and even compared her to his ex, which is a no-no. I mean, why bring up someone from your past and compare them to someone from your now when it’s completely pointless and irrelevant, right? Anyway, that was just one part of something we found while scratching the surface. His problems ran a little deeper.

Erv had taken his girl to dinner the night before. He spend a total of $300, and when they got home she fell asleep on him. He felt a bit annoyed because he assumed and had anticipated having some sex. His frustration made him question her love. Aside from the obvious issues of putting a price tag on some ass, and then getting frustrated by it, his problem came from not listening to what she wanted. Many times she has asked him to do small things for her. For example, whenever she goes out to the grocery store or the supermarket she brings him back a little gift. Usually it’s a small container of his favorite ice cream, or a six pack of his favorite beer; something that he will love and appreciate. Does he do the same with her? You guessed it: No. Instead he figured that one $300 meal would make up for all those times that he did not come home with a $10 trinket…

And it’s drivin’ me crazy, but what more can I do?
I am so fed up losin’ sleep ova you”

All we have to do sometimes is listen to exactly what our significant others tell us. We cannot go out and do extravagant and unexpected things for them because we want something out of it; that is when we will get frustrated and annoyed. Why do something for someone else in the first place if the reason your are doing it for is for your own gains? What’s the point really. Instead, we need to learn to communicate and discuss things so that we are never caught under the assumptions that things will last forever, or that who you planned to live with for the rest of your life changes on you. Holding on to these ideas that we ourselves have put into our own minds without any merit is merely unhealthy for you and everyone else around you. It shows that your fantasies are lived selfishly and supremely entitled, and that will come around one day to slap you in the face right when you least expect it or want it.

Why are we becoming something different?
Than what I predicted?
Holding on to nothing
I’m holding on to you”

I guess the point of it all is that relationships are a puzzle to be figured out, and that if you don’t allow yourself to see the proper pieces to the puzzle then you will NEVER ever figure it out. Sometimes, in order to see all of the pieces of a puzzle in their proper form, all we need to do is listen.

Falcon Punch – Silk

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Every night, before I go to sleep, I lay in bed in complete silence. More often than not, a figurative gnat starts buzzing in my ear or a faint police siren goes off.

That’s what living with Tinnitus is like, and it truly sucks. I think Tinnitus–a ringing in your ears–is a bigger threat to our youth than any amount of ecstasy powder.

I’ve touched on the topic here in the past, but for 10+ years, I didn’t wear ear plugs to shows nor did I even consider the level of irreparable damage I was doing to the one body part you can not fix with surgery.

My right ear is gone, and I don’t think it will ever truly come back to what it once was.But I deal with it and live through it despite the sadness–missing shows, not DJing–that comes with it.

One way I cope with Tinnitus is, ironically, through music. You see, when there’s sound in the background–preferable ambient or soothings sounds–the White Noise from Tinnitus goes away.

As much as I’d like to constantly have music on, silence is something that I (and all of us) must deal with or else I would probably lose my mind. But for the 8-10 hours a day during which music allows me to get through the day, these are the types of tracks that soothe the ears and the soul.

Falcon Punch, who should need no introduction in these parts anymore, did what he does best: extracted a very sweet and small sample and turned it into a lush piece of balearic bliss.

Mocki — Weekend (Jai Wolf Remix)


The weekend begins tonight for me and I plan on taking it by the horns. I have a ton of shit to do this weekend, so I’m planning out the next 48 hours and making sure that I get in some time for basketball on Sunday morning and, of course, writing. 

Lately I’ve been spreading myself thin between revenue streams and passion projects. My passion projects seem to be taking up most of time these days, and I kind of like it that way. It used to be that I would drill my passion projects to the core and not really value the final product because they felt more like jobs. These days, I don’t seem to have that problem whatsoever. Where I once felt the pressure of deadlines, I now feel the glory of seeing these little projects take off on their own and grow into behemoths.

Anyway, let this weekend be all about getting yourself organized and together for 2015. January has a way of feeling like a vacation month, and we often find ourselves trying to catch up for the rest of the year as another one slips away from our grasps, so instead gather your thoughts, do a little bit of planning, and breathe slowly.

Enjoy the weekend and this tune.

Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc. (Harmonimix)


Released under his Harmonimix alias, James Blake’s rework of the Gorillaz classic “Feel Good Inc.”, hit a spot I didn’t know existed. Damn, bass chakras. Eerie in the best way possible, this track feels like a dirge through space: so sinister, so satisfying. Gritty textures evoke an air of gloom that echoes through the deeper recesses of mind, rendering a hypnotic effect. “Ha-ha-ha-ha”

Sometimes an occasional descent into darkness can be the most illuminating anyway.

Skizzy Mars — Be Lazy

Sometimes these chilly winters in NYC make us not want to step outside into the unpredictable nights that all New Yorkers come to know New York City for. It is those unbelievably magical unpredictable nights that we get to know that keep us intoxicated with this town, but at times, we can all trade one in on a cold ass night for a lazy evening of Netflix, chinese food, maybe a hit of some good greenery and just some overall relaxation on top of your comfy mattress and underneath your cozy comforter.

Be Lazy by Skizzy Mars is an ode to just that. It’s a Hip Pop track filled with Hip Hop drums, R&B/Pop claps and a catchy hook that all sound like they came out of the Universal Records’ “Make-A-Hit” kit. Don’t bother googling or searching for that because it doesn’t exist, but once you press play on this track you will completely get what I mean. Still, the song is good enough to give it some love, relatable enough to listen to through until the end, and friendly enough to play again and share it with a few people, if you dig it.

Now as some of you prepare to Be Lazy for the night on this Hump Day, I’m at home typing this away watching reruns of Money and Violence on youtube in the background, and pre-gaming for another epically unpredictable New York City night.

My destination for the evening? Milk Studios.The DJ? Questlove. The performance? Kid Sister, aka Jane Jupiter. The agenda? Live.

Enjoy this night, no matter what it has in store for you.

The Preatures – Is This How You Feel?


Do you ever put on a song and immediately start jigging? That’s how it is when I press play on The Preatures’ “Is This How You Feel?”. The bass & guitar mesh well together in a Fleetwood Mac-esque sound. The male singer, Gideon, has a verse sandwiched between lead female vocalist Isabella’s, who takes the spotlight throughout the song. The pair balance really well together; she slides her way back into the verse seamlessly. I hardly noticed her takeover until writing this post!

The content of this song is simple.. we’ve all been there. Liking someone and being in the dark about how they feel toward you. Part of the mystery is fun, but the unknown brings on an uneasy feeling- a feeling of something that needs to burst open. Hey how about you sing this song to your crush and see how she/he reacts? Joking of course, but how about you take the plunge and just ASK!

Shake it right tonight”

The sound of the Australian band sounds rather like a pop tribute to the 70’s scenario of dance house-based compositions. Along with Fleetwood Mac, their sound is very reminiscent of HAIM, so if you’re into singing along to something upbeat, you’ll take a liking to this track. As a child who grew up with music-centric parents, I can definitely empathize with the sound of this track. Might you?

The band’s style varies tremendously song-by-song. You’ll notice this on their EP titled “Is This How You Feel”, released back in 2013. Also be sure to check out their latest album: “Blue Planet Eyes”.