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du0 – It’s OK

This is my first taste of du0’s work but I’m immediately hooked – “It’s OK” is an absolute banger of massive proportions. The verses are subtly dramatic, but the hook is an utter monstrosity that emanates rumbling sonic waves of sound that shake the headphones with each pulse and feel cinematic enough to score the crux of an action movie. This is a song that, simply put, has an “it” factor that’s impossible to quantify but makes it readily apparent that it’ll have a lasting impact on each and every set of ears it spreads its Richter Scale registering sounds to. Good luck listening to “It’s OK” and not feeling utterly empowered, ready to take on the day with brute force and make sure everything goes your way!

We don’t remind ourselves enough that it’s ok. As humans with the ability to self reflect, we beat ourselves up so much over mistakes (or what we perceive as mistakes) rather than accepting the course of life for what it is, learning lessons, and moving onward and upwards. Whether it’s sleeping in, overeating, not exercising all week, you name it, that’s ok! Sometimes we need to hit the reset button and whatever lesson you take from that will only benefit you in the long run. Appreciate all aspects of life and our blessing of free will, even when you regret acting out, and things will fall into place.


Noé – Rabbit Hole

Noé has to be the most consistent artist I’ve stumbled upon in 2019. Each and every release she’s unveiled has been a meticulously crafted gem that finds indie-pop at its finest, and like clockwork, she delivers yet again with a brand new single. Titled “Rabbit Hole”, it’s a hazy mist of snappy percussion and vocals that channel pure soul with layers upon layers that slowly reveal themselves as the track marches along into an echoing, blissed out head rush of pure fascination. I can only imagine what’s coming next with her debut EP which is without a doubt one of my most anticipated releases over the coming months.

I love a good dive down the rabbit hole. Sometimes it’s a a short-lived journey that takes me to the depths of Genius videos of one-hit wonders explaining their songs, while other times it’s a truly sustained journey into the expansive knowledge of something that I’ve been blind to for so long. That goes to my discovery of the knowledge of ancient civilizations over the past six months – one of my best friends gifted me a book about cataclysms on Earth and a cautious interest led me toward resonating with the material, and in turn, slowly evolved into listening to podcasts on the subject. That turned into checking out books on ancient civilizations lost to the marching forward of time and a collective amnesia of the human mind, and now, my life is enriched with knowledge that I never knew existed. I suppose that’s a more productive and sustained dive down the rabbit hole.


Jesse And The Wolf – Talk To Me

Jesse And The Wolf is one the premier production start ups in the game right now and they come through with a straight up scorcher on “Talk To Me”. It’s like my favorite old school soul rockers came together and decided to chop up a legendary genre into an offering that’s purely for the dance floors. Its jumpy stop-and-start hook is some infectious ear candy that would be just as good being performed by a live band as it would be dropped in the midst of a sweaty DJ set on a beachside hall where bodies are constantly moving, handheld fans are waved, and the ocean breeze cruises in for constant comfort. I loved last year’s “Hurt Me No More” but this new one is without a doubt my favorite Jesse And The Wolf joint to date.

I honestly detest when people beat around the bush – just talk to me and tell me what’s on your mind. We only have limited time on Earth as we know it so there’s no point in concealing intentions – be honest, be forthright, and let me know if our paths are meant to align or not. Forgo the facade that society has told us is acceptable and leave your true self to bare. Honesty opens the gateway to the true breadth of a spiritual pathway that we should all desire and you’re not only interfering with your own growth, but the growth of others as well when you aren’t forthright. For better or for worse, talk to me!


Mirage Club – Communication

Who better than the French to deliver an effortlessly cool indie-pop jam? The answer is truly no one as Mirage Club make readily apparent – their new single “Communication” is a funky, groovy tour through ’70s and ’80s influence channeled via the lens of crystal clear modern production stylings. It’s a track best suited for sweaty dance floors where any sense of time is lost and sensory overload leads to being suspended somewhere between the past, present, and future as the swaying of bodies moves from one point to the next. For a song that sounds so good via headphones alone at home, I can only imagine hearing this with the presence of dynamic buzzing bodies where everyone’s vibration and energy mixes into a potent spark of positivity.

I think communication is a mixture of inherent and learned behavior. Some people have a knack for knowing exactly what to say and how to say it, while others have to go through trial and error to best discover how to reciprocate ideas and feelings with others. For me, it was absolutely a learned behavior as I over communicated to the point of hurting others during my teenage years and had to develop a filter for my thoughts. Funnily enough, I ended up being a communications major during college and am much more sensitive and lucid with what I have to say. It’s all personal and hopefully one day all humans can properly communicate to the point of rising our collective vibrations and empower our collective consciousness.


Taylor Beau & Lil Anne – Faded

Anne Winters might be best known for her award-winning acting chops, but she shows an equally exciting knack for singing on her debut music single. It’s a fitting release for the newly anointed Lil Anne as it comes alongside none other than her partner in crime Taylor Beau, a connection that can be felt through the song as it oozes romantic chemistry. The back-and-forth trading of verses from one to another makes for a perfect duet in a classic r&b style as Anne plays the one asking pertinent questions while Beau tries to explain them away with utterly smooth vocals that make his past boyband involvement more than apparent. I look forward to hearing these two cross paths again musically and also seeing what Anne can do when she goes solo. There’s so much potential here all around!

I feel like “Faded” touches on a classic case of lust that we’ve all experienced at one point or another. One of my worst romantic experiences was a time where I had fallen for a girl and wanted to be in a relationship, but she increasingly only hit me up when she was drunk until it hit a point where I essentially never saw her sober. I desperately wanted to believe that she was into me until the day she cut things off. It was unfortunate but it gave me clarity for when she hit me up a few days later at midnight saying she missed me – I knew she didn’t miss me, she missed the drunk idea of me, and from there on out I left her in the past where that fling belonged. It was a demoralizing experience at the time, but it gave me a newfound confidence in my worth that I’ve carried to this day.


Lo Lytes – Take The Whole Bottle

Lo Lytes dropped a quality track called “Winter” earlier this year, but “Take The Whole Bottle” is a next level release that really feels like a collision of pop and r&b at its absolute finest. The intonations of his vocals and the moody pop instrumentals immediately conjure up images of The Weeknd – a lofty comparison, I know, but it’s just that good. Not only is the music amazing on its own right, but he totally nails the mood and energy of a relationship collapsing around you – it’s an inherently dramatic scenario deserving of an equally dramatic song and Lo Lytes delivers and then some.

Even if it’s not facing a bottle, we all have some form of escape. It can be exercise, it can be food, it can be television, the list goes on and on. We’re conscious beings that sometimes suffer the consequences of self reflection and need to run from that blessing and curse. It’s a learned practice to use healthy methods of escape like meditation that actually treat the root cause rather than glossing over it and storing it away while it sits and grows until eventually resurfacing at a later date. We only have limited time in our physical incarnations so we deserve to treat ourselves right and maximize a grounded, rewarding existence.


okaywill – Pretend

okaywill has blessed us with a song that sits comfortably between the indie-pop juggernauts of old and forages toward a new, contemporary class of its own. I personally get serious hints of The Postal Service via whimsical storytelling and Neon Indian via chillwave-esque vocals alongside the twinkling synths, but I’m sure any listener will be able to mine this further for wonderful connections to the past. I’ll try to avoid talking about the past any further, though, as okaywill’s sound is just as much of the here and now. He surveys his world with a keen eye for understanding the emotional stylings of situations as seen by his lyrical treatise on relationships that delivers poignant lines like “Our time, will be forgotten.” These observations are strengthened by calmly commanding vocals and intricate production that weaves all of his emotional sentiments together.

“Our time, will be forgotten” resonates on a deep emotional level. Past friendships and past relationships have been wiped clean from the face of reality as time marches forward and the old makes way for the new. We’re constantly chasing the next moment rather than reveling in the lessons and experiences in the past. I’ve recently learned through spiritual seeking that the human experience is not linear – moments from the past, present, and future all hold equal weight and contribute toward the maximizing our time on this planet before we eventually take those lessons and ascend to the cosmos. It’s a beautiful thing in my eyes.


Charlz – Amaze Me

Australia is producing some of the best voices in pop right now (i.e. Kota Banks, Nicole Millar, Muki, etc.) and Charlz fits perfectly into that rising movement. Her newest “Amaze Me” is a beautiful blend of airy production giving room to breathe for her stunning vocals which naturally ebb and flow throughout the track with precision, constantly seeming like she’s reached the perfect peak then taking things a step further. Amidst all of the pop music geared toward maximizing Spotify numbers and playlist placements, this is a total breath of fresh air that feels like pop at its most sonically and lyrically honest, staying true to form.

It takes a lot to amaze me these days. I have so many memories as a kid where I was stricken by amazement – seeing Times Square during a blizzard, walking around London, walking through Boston to name a few. These days it feels a lot harder to attain those moments of awe – maybe it’s getting older, maybe it’s the after effects of depression, who knows. What I do know is that I’m a lot more appreciative when they come, like touring the town where Twin Peaks was filmed and stepping into the sheriff’s station – THAT was a moment of awe and a spiritual experience that can’t be replicated and I will cherish for a lifetime.


Haunted Days – Next Winter

Haunted Days has come through with an utterly beautiful track that just might be my favorite release of the year. It’s understated yet dramatic, freezing yet familiar, classic yet forward-thinking. The producer has delivered a blend of sounds that sit somewhere on an isolated iceberg in a sea of dusty hip-hop percussion, evaporating vocal samples, and keys that circulate through the mist with a melodramatic sigh. Everything about this song is a visceral experience that takes you away to a totally different headspace between dreams and reality, like a deep meditation where conscious thought drifts away and a deeper connection with the universe is fostered.

I’m an absolute preacher of meditation’s benefits. We might be at our most technologically advanced point in human history, but we’ve totally lost touch with ourselves amidst these urban jungles where overstimulation from lights and crowds and noise channel us into a chaotic state whether it’s conscious or unconscious. Meditation allows me to dive into a pure state of being where all the noise fades away, all preconceived societal notions of what’s right and what’s wrong to internally experience drifts into nothingness, and I become one with my truest self. I do twenty minutes of meditation every day, attempt to do 40 minutes of meditation most days, and will continue to do so as this is a vital practice that rejuvenates my earthly body with the powers of the comsos.


BVRGER – BRAINFOOD

I wrote about BVRGER’s “COOPER” earlier this year and he builds upon the single’s promise with an intricate EP.  Titled BRAINFOOD, it’s an intoxicating blend of sonic influences that bring house, r&b, hip-hop, and soul all under the same colorful umbrella. My personal favorite cut is “KISS & TELL” which has a wonderfully bouncy beat and acrobatic vocals that are dynamic, constantly shape shifting and engaging. I appreciate how BVRGER can thrive atop electronic-tinged production as much as he can as the acoustic work on “NO SLEEP” which offers room for his sound to breathe with a super natural ebb and flow. Each track on the EP offers something new with every repeated listen which is the hallmark of an excellent release as layers continue to reveal themselves again and again.

I’m all about some brainfood. I keep myself constantly engaged with topics that force me to think on a deeper level. I’ve recently been engrossed in the theory that there was an impact upon the planet during the Younger Dryas period and that extinctions were sudden rather than slowly successional. It’s so exciting to not only ponder a theory like this one via podcasts and videos and write ups, but dig through all the empirical evidence that helps arrive at that conclusion. I know theories like this can be too out there for some people, but I love the constant questioning of our existence and expanding knowledge of the cosmos and beyond.