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Thoreau – Girls Love Beyoncé (Rework)

Oh man I have definitely been about some covers lately.  I want the old jams playing in my head and I don’t want to let them go but sometimes I want to sprinkle a new sauce on that jam to get a different flavor.  Thoreau does a nice job of spicin’ up Beyonce jams that we all know and love, if you don’t love her I may be questioning whether you love anything at all.

To be great we have to be able to re create the greats in our own way that people can connect with in the now.  It’s not being a copy cat and it doesn’t mean you cannot think of something completely new.  We all have our idols, people we look up too, people that we saw as little kids that inspired us to be what we are right now doing what we love to do (hopefully).  Because I mean, damn, if you aren’t doing what you love then you are already dead…#truestory!

I don’t feel like clubs these days, I want a sexy lounge with some bomb drinks and classy cultured people all around me who know what they want, they want old school vibes that’s why they are at this sexy lounge and not the club, but they still want something that is in the now that they can dance too.  This Thoreau cover is what comes on and makes their Saturday pump up, some good R&B jams with a twist, press play, YOUR WELCOME!

Vic Alexis – In Touch

Bitbird is at it again, dropping this driving, hypnotic banger from Vic Alexis that includes an equally compelling promo video. The high-level production never stops flowing from the Heroic/Bitbird team, which includes such beatsmiths as San Holo, Droeloe, WRLD, Smle and more. This new Vic Alexis track “In Touch” is perfectly representative of their forward-thinking, highly-curated style and sound. There’s a bit of the Kavinsky “Drive” soundtrack vibe on this one, but it clearly stands alone with it’s own chilled-out-yet-edgy-and-dangerous atmosphere.

And isn’t that what makes for the best music? The kind that you can relax to, but also vibe out to when you’re feeling a little more mischievous. I could play this while smoking a J late at right, ready to drift off to sleep. But I could also play this while tearing down the 101 at 3am taking a bottle of whiskey to the head. Just kidding about the whiskey part, but there definitely is something about this song that makes the little devil on my shoulder perk up, like when my dog hears me opening anything that’s wrapped in noisy cellophane.

Leaving aside the dangers of driving while the little devil makes suggestions, maybe this a song for strutting. You can really get a nice, cool gait going on this one…black leather jacket zipped up to your chin, collar popped, boots unlaced, truly not giving anything resembling a f*ck while you saunter down the way. Music that makes you feel cooler is really what music is all about. Nobody wants to listen to a song that makes them feel like an annoying loser…that’s definitely a record that won’t sell. But make a song that allows someone to feel like a total badass while they walk the simple stroll home from Rite Aid…that’s music, and that’s art.

EMPT Premier: Lil Uzi Vert – You Was Right (Lauren Sanderson Cover) [Launch Kontrol Remix]

Really excited to be the first to premier this one.  A fantastic twist on the original, cover/remix with beautiful vocals by Lauren Sanderson.  When I first started to listen I was immediately taken by the vocals but then the unexpected twist happens about 38 seconds thru and you take yourself from a euphoric day at the beach straight to the club, exactly the way I would want my weekend to go.  This track gives you all of those nice energies that you need and want, the slow and the fast, kind of like sex right!?  Sometimes you want it slow and sweet and then you want to change positions in the blink of an eye and speed things up a bit then slow down again to have the ultimate climax! Have I got your thoughts going in a certain direction?  GOOD, I hope so because this is exactly what this track is suppose to do for you, oil up your engine because it’s already Friday, unbelievable!

I like the unexpected, that is kind of the way my life has been the last couple of years, all good unexpected things have been happening.  I think that’s the way life is when you just let the cards fall where they want to.  When you get a good hand you hold onto it and move on to the next game.  I am really digging the vibe to this track right now, it’s a good start to the weekend and a reminder that you gotta keep changing up your rhythm in order to experience the world the way it was meant to be experienced.

Press play and enjoy!

Kwon – Reflection Pool

I’ve been staring into this reflection a lot lately and I recognize it but it’s a lot different than how I remember it and I think back to when my hair was long and my nose wasn’t crooked and my teeth were straight and my beard had a bald spot in the middle and my eyes shined brighter. My nose is a little crooked and I have a quirky gap in my teeth and my hair is buzzed down to the scalp and my beard is filled in and my eyes are a little dim but I try my best to let the light shine through them. I’ve never dealt well with change and I’ve always been gifted at seeing the bad long before the good but right now I see the good even if its obscured.

I’ve been afforded the opportunity to be molded by experiences and natural growth that have reflected upon me physically like the glimmer of a pool as the moon looks down upon it at night. People tell me I look older than my age and I believe it because I don’t feel like a college-aged man anymore and I can see that in every crook and cranny on my face as youth has given way to life. I don’t feel carefree anymore but I also don’t feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders and I’m grateful and I try to let people know that every time I smile and offer a glimpse of that gap and for a moment my eyes shine brighter. A woman told me the haze had lifted from my eyes one day and it was temporary but it gave me hope and I know I’ll never have that long hair or straight nose or perfect teeth again but my beard will flourish and my eyes will glow and I’ll feel at home once more.


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.