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Anna Dadnia – Take What You Want

Anna Dadnia comes through with an insanely confident new single called “Take What You Want” that flaunts serious pop and r&b swagger. She glides on the beat so smoothly and hits all the right pockets with precision. Her vocals are really refreshing and are perfect for the moody trap instrumental. That all goes hand in hand with an amazingly curated art direction that channels the single’s vibes into visual form and drives home Dadnia’s approach. Good luck not bumping this one on your speakers on repeat (which is definitely what I’ve been doing all morning without fail).

“Take What You Want” is also the perfect vehicle to detail a gloomy relationship that’s crumbled and putting the pieces as a solo individual back together. You spend so much time investing into another individual that it’s a process to get back on your feet again after feeling like that other person has drained you of your emotional resources. There’s a certain point where you just let them take what they want because you’re spent and just want out regardless of the end result. It’s notion a situation I’ve experienced in a very long time, but it’s helpful that Dadnia lays out all the particulars of this experience to bare so that listeners can relate.


Gill Chang & Stonefox – Vibrations

Talk about a beautiful way to start this sunny Tuesday morning. I’ve never been super up to date on Gill Chang or Stonefox but this single has made sure that I’ll be looking out for everything they release from here on out. It’s the perfect mix of really pretty indie-pop and bouncy modern electronic sounds. This is one of those songs that blends multiple genres together until you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins. I just want to get lost within that colorful mixture and let all the sounds soak my senses. I’ll have to make time for that soon and allow myself some much-needed time outside and assimilating into the natural world.

Feeling vibrations is so essential. We all give off frequencies that can be felt between one person and another. If you’re emitting positive frequencies, then you’re going to attract positive relationships and events as the universe reciprocates the good you’ve bestowed others with. If you’re emitting negative frequencies, then you’re going to receive negative results, whether it’s not achieving goals or allowing toxic people into your life. Whether it’s through meditation or prayer or mantras or anything of the sort, make sure to center yourself with positive frequencies and vibrations so that you can rightfully receive good things to come your way.


mai.la – Crash

This single from mai.la is absolutely beautiful and I’m at a borderline loss for words. It’s like the best moments of Purity Ring are fused with an indie-pop edge and turned into something totally stunning and fresh. This is electronic music at its absolute finest and it’s no surprise that Foreign Family Collective were the ones to discover them – the music coming out of their roster this year has been at such a high level of quality that it’s just ridiculous. “Oh your lovin’ comes in waves” is a hook that’s been stuck in my head from the moment I heard “Crash” and won’t be leaving my head anytime soon. The way it echoes away into the abyss and insanely pretty synths twinkle over its slowed down remains is impossible to shake. I don’t mean it lightly when I say this is one of the best songs I’ve heard in a long damn time.

Some love comes in passionate waves but I always hope that the love I experience is sustained and everlasting. I know there’s ebbs and flows to friendships and romantic relationships and the like but it would be nice to maintain a constant level of affection that doesn’t waver even under the most dire circumstances. That’s the best iteration of love and obviously it’s hard to expect it of everyone in your life but it’s okay to desire consistency from the people who you hold close. Here’s to hoping love comes in constant rather than rising and falling waves.


michael casper – black lipstick

michael casper blew me away on “teenage apathy” and he delivers again on “black lipstick”. It’s a brand new single that fleshes out his sound to make him feel like a sage of r&b. Every line he delivers is hypnotic and puts you in a trance state where you’re totally engrossed in the world he’s creating. His sound might be laidback but his lyrics feel like high stakes with lines like “if I die today, just know I was thinking ’bout you.” You can really feel the intensity of the emotions and I love how he pulls it off with vocals that might be sung but you can feel some rap influence (I get hints of late Mac Miller with a dark twist but that might just be me).

The concept of codependence of this track is interesting. It makes me think about how we rely on others to fulfill our innermost desires. It’s so easy to get lost in fascination with another person and pursue the high they give you. We’re social creatures by nature who pursue dopamine and serotonin and the easiest way to get it is affection from someone else. It takes practice and the pursuit of self discovery to not let other humans dominate your thoughts and feelings. I might be thinking about this the rest of the day and am fortunate to have music like “black lipstick” that makes me consider life beyond its run time.


Tommy Newport – On Top

Tommy Newport’s new single, “On Top”, has a timeless quality to it that makes it transcend the present moment. It could have come out this year, a decade ago, or decades ago and I wouldn’t flinch (which I mean as a total compliment). It’s organic alt-rock at its finest that taps a bit of funk and a bit of soul to give it serious depth of character; groovy guitar-work and driving percussion lays down the groundwork for Newport to confidently deliver vocals fit for intricate storytelling that paints a vivid picture. You can imagine this song being laid out to bare in a smokey club with bodies swaying and drinks clanking in unison.

I like visceral moments where conscious thinking goes out the window. It’s cool to actively intellectualize things and analyze them as they’re happening, but sometimes I just want to shut off parts of my brain and get lost with only the primal senses kicking. When UGA won the Rose Bowl in overtime, the pure exhilaration I felt was a full-body experience. When I met my favorite actor from Twin Peaks, the joy I felt was overwhelming. These are the moments I live for and I imagine hearing “On Top” in a live setting would be comparable.


Cait – Stay Out

I’m feeling fortunate to start this November morning off with some understated pop perfection. Cait’s “Stay Out” traverses borderline ballad and uplifting anthem territory without ever sounding overproduced or overdone. It’s an exercise in how to deliver infectious melodies while still feeling honest and organic. The instrumental is crisp and gives room for Cait to wax poetic as she proclaims “I’m gonna be just fine, if you just keep me in the back of your mind” while hitting all the right vocal pockets that make each and every line unforgettable. From top to bottom, “Stay Out” establishes Cait as a diverse pop talent with endless potential.

This song has me thinking about the fact that I’ve avoided bringing anyone into my life, romantic or otherwise, who I’ve had to force out of my mind. I’ve gotten to a point where I feel like I have a sixth sense for who to allow into my inner circle. As soon as I get an inkling of a feeling that something isn’t right, I trust my gut and cut them out. Maybe that’s drastic, but I don’t know, every time I haven’t followed that internal lead I’ve regretted it in one way or another. I’m definitely not perfect, though, so who knows; maybe I’ll finally get lost in the haze of a passionate relationship and get hit with a rude awakening at its end. Only time will tell.


Justin Caruso – Don’t Know You (feat. Jake Miller)

Justin Caruso has always had a knack for making sweetly melodic electronic songs, but this might be the first one I’ve heard from him that delivers some wonderfully welcomed edge. Called “Don’t Know”, it’s a Jake Miller assisted bop that begins with pure pop courtesy of strummed acoustic guitar and Miller’s vocals traced through one another. The song’s drop is where the edge hits as a deep synth groove stops and starts with a swell of tension that’s virtually impossible to escape. It’s a massive sound that takes Caruso’s music to totally new territory that I didn’t even know was in his repertoire. It’s an exciting phase in his evolution that has me immediately ready for more where that came from.

“It feels like I don’t know you.” I’ve definitely experienced that sentiment before, when someone who you thought you had seen every part of reveals a dark side you had no idea existed. Sometimes there’s hints that you should’ve caught along the way, but sometimes the transition can be shockingly sudden, and thus, you’re left to contend with the wreckage that person has wrought. In terms of romantic relationships, there have been moments that have totally blindsided me and left me wondering where the hell it all went wrong. In those situations, where you didn’t know the person all along, you have to recognize that it’s not your fault and it doesn’t reflect on your character. It might be a personal blow that hurts to the touch, but don’t be confused and think it was self-inflicted; you’re not broken and you can move on to someone whose truest self is revealed to you from the start.


Pieter Oliver – Girl And A City

I write about a lot of electronic and rap music but I couldn’t help but gravitate to this new single by Pieter Oliver. It’s called “Girl And A City” and it’s highbrow singer-songwriter material for a more sophisticated audience than a lot of music that comes out these days (I personally get John Mayer vibes but maybe that’s just me). It’s anchored down by a beautiful instrumental with the perfect amount of melodic guitar touches and super powerful vocals that can hang with the best of them. I love how lyrical this song is too – it’s not just the best sounding words, it’s a detailed portrait where you can follow along and hear Oliver’s journey. You can feel a whole lot of love in the words as he describes bringing a girl he’s in love with to the city he’s also fell in love with. It’s an amazing concept with all sorts of depth that I can see myself revisiting to pick up on all the little nuances.

Falling in love with a girl and a city are both pretty comparable experiences. You fall in love with their exterior, you fall in love with their quirks, you fall in love with their interests, you even fall in love with their flaws…everything that makes them tick becomes part of a wide breadth of reasons to keep coming back to them again and again. Both loves have the chance to take your breath away, whether it’s the moment of holding hands with your girl in your favorite restaurant or driving past downtown and soaking in the skyline. I wish for everyone to have these experiences because they’re so essential to living your life to the fullest.


Godwin – i know

There’s certain music like Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Yndi Halda and 65daysofstatic that puts me in a totally different headspace. I can feel myself transcending my senses, transcending the human body, and assimilating into the sounds for a visceral feeling where all the dimensions blend into one another. It’s a serene state of mind and one that I frequently try to enter, whether it’s putting on post-rock and watching the sun rise or putting on ambient music and slipping into a state between waking and rest. I get that same full-body feeling from Godwin’s “i know” which is an insanely beautiful song from a new artist I wasn’t familiar with until now. It’s not just a song, it’s an experience that you can feel as chills rush throughout your body like they’re intertwining with the music. Simply put it’s melodic music at its finest.

I spend a lot of time staring at the sky and thinking about the relationship between love and the cosmos. They feel intrinsic to each other – what’s the universe without love and what’s endless love without a never-ending universe to move along with it? I think there’s a reason one of the most romantic activities is to lay down in the middle of nature, holding hands, and staring up at the stars. I think there’s a reason people refer to their partners as their sun and their moon. It’s hard to explain and quantify but I think love is essential to existence here on Earth and far, far beyond.


Greatness of Saturn – Greatness of Saturn EP

A good friend of mine turned me onto something called the Saturn Theory which asserts that Saturn used to be a central part of our sky, much like the sun and moon today. It’s a fascinating take to totally reimagine the cosmos and I thus spent hours reading into the great gas giant’s relevance to Earth. I’m really excited to have discovered Greatness of Saturn as the producer channels the importance of said gas giant into a forward-thinking electronic sound fitting for one of the wonders of our vast solar system. His EP reminds of me a greats like Nero and current favorites like No Mana as the production throughout is crisp, edgy, and interstellar. My personal favorite on the album is without a doubt “777” as it delivers an absolutely massive atmosphere that’s impossible to not get totally lost within.

I’ve been reading Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot and it’s really helped contextualize my place within the universe. It’s so fascinating that all of human history has occurred on a planet that’s irrelevant to an infinitely expanding space. That could make someone feel small, but for me, it spurs a sense of wonderment as we’ve been given the gift of existence at this very moment amidst a vast and beautiful arena. It gives me chills just looking at the sun and moon these days as these behemoths in our sky confirm that our cosmic body is not alone. I look forward to continually appreciating the unique roles throughout our solar system and beyond.