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Ashe – Moral Of The Story

Ashe is straight up one of the most exciting young voices in music right now. She absolutely blew us away with her debut EP last year but she’s taking her sound to a whole new level and boy is it an experience. “Moral Of The Story” is a deep look into her divorce where you can’t help but latch on to each and every word. She’s such a talented storyteller and has a gift that people are surely going to gravitate toward. Of course, the music that she’s written is equally easy to get lost within as a chorus of harmonizing vocals and a tightly woven instrumental serve as the perfect palette for her  to shine on. That’s the moral of the story if I do say so myself!

It takes a whole lot of bravery to lay your soul forth to bare like Ashe does. She dives into such deeply personal topics and makes you feel right at home, like an old friend listening in front of a fireplace with a cup of tea and plenty of tears flowing. I get so excited when I think about how big she can get while being so damn authentic. There’s so many board room created artists populating the scene’s visible surface right now and she’s the total antithesis. I’m such a believer in Ashe and I can’t wait to see where she goes next this year with her upcoming releases.

Noé – Puzzles

I wrote up Noé’s “Pity Party” last month – a killer song to be sure – but I find myself gravitating even further toward “Puzzles”. It’s a kaleidoscopic indie-pop cut that is dripping with colorful sounds. The production is draped with clattering percussion, ancillary harmonizing vocals, and a delicious groove that sways back and forth with an irresistible swing. To top it all off, Noé’s vocals absolutely stun as she sings with an unmistakable gravitas that makes each and every word hang in the air with purpose before it slips away into the pink-hued ether. “Puzzles” sets the bar extremely high for music I’ll be writing about in 2019.

Life is one giant puzzle and I feel like I’ve finally figured out how all the pieces fit together. My relationships with friends and family and work are at their most fulfilling because I’m the most connected to the spirit world I’ve ever been which is the result of the pursuit of everlasting reliability that gets me through the good moments and bad. I’m in a spiritual center where all parts of my life have slowly but surely clicked into place and everything seems to make sense now. There’s a rhyme and a reason to this existence that I was baffled by for years, but I feel like I’ve taken a step toward a personal understanding that fulfills my life daily.

Broken Back – Young Love

Broken Back comes through with seriously infectious indie-pop on his new single. Titled “Young Love”, it has an effortlessly cool aura to it that only the French could deliver as Broken Back twists and turns through a tasteful, dance-floor ready groove. The free-spirited track is fittingly an ode to letting loose with reckless fun which seeps through its sound without even considering the lyrics at hand. The art direction is the icing on the cake here as he taps into a wonderfully throwback approach via a quintessential magazine pose, classic 20th century yellows, and of course a nicely placed Walkman to top it all off. Good stuff all around.

I always think of Ultra Music as a label that exists in the massive festival dance space, so it’s really cool to know that they also dabble with music outside the average audience’s awareness. I can enjoy some pure electronic music in a club setting, but “Young Love” is the type of shit I actually want to dance to. This is the soundtrack to endless smiles on a spacious club floor overlooking the ocean while the rest of the world melts away. I’d suggest not listening to “Young Love” at the office because you’re gonna want to break out and sprint to that fantastical club floor as soon as possible. Maybe some Monday night shenanigans are in store?

Mothica – Ashes Remixed

Mothica is one of the best indie vocalists in the game right now and is versatile enough to fit any type of production. That shines through on this collection of remixes of her Ashes EP. Each one is pure ear candy from front to back, the first one being a pure pop interpretation of “Up In Flames”. It’s followed up by Sleeping Lion’s “Burnout” which is my personal favorite here – it has a delicious tropical groove that makes me ready for summer (okay, it’s 70 degrees where I’m at right now, but I could use even warmer). Next up is Purfakt’s absolute banger of a “Water Me Down” remix that has a grimy wobble-infused trap sound that really brings out the moodiness of Mothica’s music and sends it into overdrive. Another pure pop flip comes from Out There” as he turns “Crossfire” into a bonafide anthem with a hook that’s impossible to shake once it enters your ears. It’s all capped off by Bronze Whale’s “By Now” remix which is a well rounded atmospheric take that makes the perfect bookend for this remix pack.

The lyrics that stuck out to me most across the remix pack are “Crossfire, I know it’s gonna burn me out”. Mothica’s cadence is killer and makes me think about all the times I leaped into the crossfire knowing the consequences ahead of time. I’ve always struggled setting boundaries and wanted to please everyone even at the expense of my sanity. I had a moment this month where I finally set a boundary for someone who I desperately wanted to save and realized they would have to have their own moment of clarity. I couldn’t force it upon them and couldn’t bare the weight of that on my shoulders. I finally left the crossfire and I feel so much better for it.

Loveday x PYNGU – Breathless (Like This)

We’re halfway through the week and PYNGU’s first single is prepared to rocket us toward the weekend. It’s a beautiful collaboration with a rising vocalist named Loveday who has an effortlessly amazing voice that gives the song genuine dramatic flair. That feeling is accelerated by PYNGU’s driving production which subtly flows under Loveday’s vocals before giving way to a hook with an insane bass line that reminds me of Nero’s peak early 2010s work. PYNGU and Loveday’s performances weave through one another into a stunning final product that’s been stuck in my head for days and looks to continue as the week marches along.

What leaves you breathless? Moments like walking through Times Square in a blizzard and seeing all the lights reflect off the snow was a defining moment of my teenage years. These days, more subtle occurrences like laying in the dark and staring at the stars or seeing the moon at its closest to Earth gives me chills. I had a moment while meditating recently that I won’t describe in detail because it’s difficult to explain, but being in direct contact with the universe during that stretch of 20 minutes left me in awe. It’s the little things that affirm our place in the grand scheme of life as we know it that make me stop and appreciate the present.

Jesse And The Wolf – Hurt Me No More (Eyes Everywhere Remix)

Talk about ecstatic electronic perfection. This Eyes Everywhere remix of “Hurt Me No More” takes an already potent track and sends it into dancefloor bliss over drive with a pulsating beat that will keep clubgoers’ heads nodding and feet moving for its entire runtime. The percussion has a crisp aesthetic, the song’s vocal sample finds new life with even more energy, and the tech house break is pure ear candy – it hits every pleasure center imaginable and sends good vibes throughout your body from head to toe. Eyes Everywhere truly gives the track new life and shows just how exciting remixes can be. It’s part of a remix pack that also has contributions from UNIIQUE, Jayceeoh, and Vanilla Ace which is about as diverse of a musical palette as you’re gonna get.

This remix conjures up vivid recollections of my past weekend in a sweaty warehouse with strobe lights flashing so quickly that my brain was immediately sent into a dizzy frenzy. People were dancing without inhibition and it was a beautiful sight to see. That’s definitely one of the perks of living in a metropolis like Los Angeles – we’re blessed with the best of the best when it comes to the music scene. You could throw a dart on a map and go there for the night and almost certainly stumble into something great. If this track gets in the right producers’ hands I could totally see Eyes Everywhere permeating those sweaty warehouses and beyond.

Mild Minds – SWIM Remixes

Talk about taking amazing sounds and rocketing them to a whole new level. Synth-pop newcomer Mild Minds has tapped a dream team of talent that includes some of my personal favorites like ford. and Roland Tings and there’s not a second on this release that’s not spine-tingling goodness. Cabu kicks things off with a groovy, almost r&b flavored take that has a whole lot of delicious swing to it. Christopher Port follows it up with a lesson in garage-driven hypnosis that’s like a psychedelic haze in music form, while Roland Tings comes in hot pursuit with some extraterrestrial house that feels like getting a lobotomy on a spaceship cruising down the interstellar highway (surf’s up!). ford. brings things back down to Earth with a gorgeous, subdued number that finds beauty in simple pleasures, like watching a sunset wane into the ocean and peace stretching over the horizon. Daedelus wraps up the EP with a funky little fever dream to keep us dancing into the night and I couldn’t imagine it ending on a better note

Remixes can feel like unnecessary momentum extenders (cough, Skrillex’s “Sicko Mode” remix, cough) but there’s such a genuine purpose to this package. You can feel the passion of each producer taking their assigned track to places that are not only exciting in their own right, but give a welcomed perspective to just how wonderfully versatile Mild Minds’ EP is in the first place. There’s so many good vibes to go around here and it gives me a sense of ease knowing that there’s plenty of purity still thriving in the music scene.

Noé – Pity Party

There’s no need to throw Noé a pity party – the multifaceted, international talent’s newest is overflowing with dynamic attention to detail that makes it a must hear for the beginning of 2019. The production on “Pity Party” is super intricate indie-pop with layers upon layers of atmospheric goodness while Noé’s vocals absolutely deliver upon its instrumental potential. They have a naturally gravitational essence to them that’s impossible to turn away from – after a few spins of this song, each and every word enunciated sticks to the brain. It’s hard to quantify, but all of this leads to an aura of next-level mastery that sets apart Noé from a crowded music scene.

I’ve learned that throwing pity parties for myself does no good. Feelings are fleeting if you learn to not let them control you. You may experience an emotion throughout your mind and body, but if you put your mind toward viewing the world through a positive lens even for an instant, your view on the situation will endure a slight shift that points you toward the return to a happy emotional equilibrium – slowly but surely. As intelligent beings with free will, we’ve been endowed with the capacity to determine how we view the world from moment to moment, so I suggest learning to take advantage of that and reap the benefits in those moments when you need it most.

Honors – Falling Down

I feel like I’ve written about Honors pretty extensively over the years, but on their new single, these dudes have kicked into a new gear I didn’t even realize they had. “Falling Down” is a magnum opus that transcends their alternative r&b roots and takes a dive head first into electronic sounds. It starts off with arena ready trap, rises up into an ethereal breaking point, and releases into an atmospheric wave of breakbeat sounds that feel suited for an underground rave. All of these components sound totally seamless together and it feels like Honors have found a sound that’s truly going to take them to the next level. As a longtime fan, I’m so excited to see where they go next.

Thinking about the song title, it’s helpful to do small preparations that will keep you safe and sound once things start falling down. If you establish a groundwork for your life that’s not shaken by your mood from day to day, you’ll be able to weather any storm. For me, I meditate and write and express gratitude and talk to the universe on a daily basis. If I’m feeling good, that’s great, but if I’m feeling bad, it’s an even better opportunity to further establish that practice. I had a shocking day last week that would’ve shaken me to the core in the past, but with all the tools at my disposal, I worked through it and trusted the process and came out of it none the lesser.

Bussauto & Felish – Lost Momentum

Bussauto and Felish created a killer first single called “Come Back” earlier this year and they return with an even bigger one. It’s called “Lost Momentum” and it’s an atmospheric treat that feels contemplative and slowly but surely pulls you in second by second. The production is so subtly smooth but naturally cascades into a more outright driven sound with house keys and punchy percussion. Felish’s vocals are so essential to the song as she delivers a gorgeous, soulful performance that you can truly feel the power from with each intonation of each and every line. These two really make a powerful duo that I can’t wait to hear more of in the future.

Last night I was in an exploring mood and drove up Mulholland Drive to look at Los Angeles from far above. The city feels like an endless gridlock when you’re driving through it, but from above, the lights are seemingly endless and make it feel like a vast ocean of potential. The centerpiece of downtown’s skyscrapers never fails to be breathtaking as the Wilshire Grand Center is now lit up with Christmas colors for the season. The chilly air and dead silence from my vantage point made it all the more soothing. Of course, the winding drive through the hills was complemented by ace music and I’ll make sure to include “Lost Momentum” next time.