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Music

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!

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/176209366″]

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Music

George Maple – Talk Talk

Now here’s something nice and refreshing: a female vocalist wistfully singing meaningful lyrics accompanied by catchy synth, instrumentals, and upbeat percussion throughout. I’m a big fan of this category of music.. that along the lines of Jesse Ware and La Roux. I have so much respect for these women. I’m not sure how much of my fancy toward George Maple is pure admiration, and how much is the actual material at hand.

All you wanna do is talk. All I wanted was your reckless heart

What do you do in this situation? One partner highly values actions, the other – words. Can this partnership survive? I’ve been in both sides of the equation. Well actually, I used to be the one to want to talk. talk. talk. But after years of this, I noticed how much fluff words are made up of. People can say ANYTHING and be genuine about NONE of it. Of course this is an extreme, but because I’ve seen so much sly and conniving behavior, I’m a skeptic of what you have to say without also observing actions that support those words.

I can feel the hurt in George’s words. She wants to just go along with this thing, and doesn’t want to talk about it. Her feelings are not reciprocated in her partner’s words, but she feels a physical connection to him. She feels powerless in this partnership, and it’s something I can empathize with.

Waiting, hesitating…

George Maple’s (real name: Jess Maple) “Vacant Space” EP is out December 1 via Sydney-based label Future Classic. I’m looking forward to what she’s coming next for her. I can definitely picture her doing good things with such artists as Nicolas Jaar and Flume. Cross your fingers that those collabs will occur!

Categories
Music Remixes

Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing (Unknown Mortal Orchestra Remix)

tumblr_ma75z1GwJ01qjyq8wo1_500-2497

Sky Ferreira is a promising artist still searching for a voice that will separate her from the pack. Unknown Mortal Orchestra have found their voice, but it’s unclear where they go from here. Their confluence on this remix offers a glimpse of possible futures for both.

Ferreira, the latest indie-ish pop chanteuse to bubble up has been grinding since her early teens. Her earliest public work was posted to MySpace, where she was “discovered” and ushered into the studio. Since then, she’s worked with notable producer Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West, Best Coast) and Garbage front woman Shirley Mason, and attracted media attention for a drug possession arrest. It’s been an upward climb to an opening slot (along with Icona Pop) on Miley Cyrus’ world tour.

Really, Sky? I get the appeal ($$$$) but somehow I don’t think that’s where your fan base lies. Her future just isn’t as a tween-facing pop star.

Rather, it’s as an indie darling with mainstream vocal abilities. The original “Everything Is Embarrassing” is cowritten and produced by Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange (formerly Lightspeed Champion). Basically, it’s a Blood Orange song, in construction and lyrical progression, sung by Ferreira, who could have easily been swapped out for Solange without missing a beat. And it’s her most popular song to date. Coincidence? I think not.

Enter Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the intensely weird future lo-fi project from multi-instrumentalist Reuben Nielson. Their albums and remixes are tied together by a sense of a detached intensity and intricate lyricism. Their sound is unmistakable: ambling guitar plucks and fuzzed-out cymbals and muted bass.

This remix is the best of all worlds. Ferreira sings in Hynes’ nu-R&B repetitive styling over a classically meandering UMO instrumental, which almost sounds like it’s broadcasting through an old radio from miles away. Nielson’s voice is unique, surely, and well suited to UMO’s sound, but, as a huge fan, I hope to hear some feature vocals on new material. The production is so good that it can elevate any singer, pushing him or her out of their natural habitat and into the woozy world of UMO.

 

Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing (Unknown Mortal Orchestra Remix) 

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Music

Paperboys – Boatdrinks

Paperboys

Øyvind “Vinni” Sauvik and Ole Aleksander “Pope Dawg” Halstensgård.

I am in absolute awe of the awesomeness of these names. The two Norwegian MCs are Paperboy, a hip-hop group with little to no internet presence, but more than enough lyrical prescience.

Two standout stanzas:

1. “Koolaid and cannabis I’m sick of these scavengers
i’m like a anarchist standing in panic demanding damages
they only flash cameras at muthafucking amatures
wanna trade a good review for some bandages?”

2. “Yo, whatever turn of events
it’s only paper that’s concerning ma gets
this tournaments leaving permanent dents
I’ve got a burning of earning cents and I’m bent
only human, thinking bourbon or rent? hmmm..”

l’m not a big “conscious” rap guy, though Kendrick has definitely moved the needle for me. And you know those Norwegians, always conscious. But I dig Paperboys, and I respect them for continuing to utilize grassroots efforts to push out music in a tough commercial environment.

Enjoy the track, and give Vinni and Pope Dawg some love next time you’re in Norway.

Paperboys – Boatdrinks

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Music

EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: The Snooze – “Chills”

The Snooze

One of the best things that can happen when you’re combing through troves of music to feature on a blog like this is to come across a new and incredibly talented band, especially one whose music is untouched by the hands of the industry. No management, no publicity, no chorus of voices to taint the obviously precocious songwriting/recording ability of the nascent band. This week I came across French upstart The Snooze, whose talent is present, but whose presence isn’t.

For classification purposes, the Snooze can be blanketed under the now meta-genre of indie rock. And like most who fall under the term, their style is anything but beholden to simple categorization. Their sound is fun, it’s slightly off kilter, and most importantly, it’s catchy. From the front-woman’s understated delivery to the rhythm guitar, each element works with and weaves into the others forming a cogent song. Thinking about how to frame them in a musically way, I settled upon this equation:

(Blonde Redhead – Shoegaze) + (Nurses(surf rock idiosyncracy?)) = The Snooze

But of course, the music itself has more to say than I do.

Chills

Check out the Snooze on Facebook and listen to more music on Soundcloud

Categories
Music

EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: DJsiah – “Lights Are Getting Closer”

DJsiah

Jesiah, AKA DJsiah, is a busy man. Between his professional music pursuits creating music for commercials and major labels, he finds time to indulge himself in the artistic. His sonic creations are always immaculate, with transparent mixes, effective sounds, and a clear production style.

One of his recent efforts, “Lights Are Getting Closer”, is the perfect mix of EDM maximalism and indie melodic ideas. It’s infections melody is reminiscent of Passion Pit’s hit “The Reeling”, and is just as adept at working it’s way into your mind. Framing the melody are seriously dynamic drums, which ground the whole tune with a hard hitting foundation. Try and sit still while you listen, it’s not that easy.

Lights are getting closer

You can checkout more of DJsiah’s work on Indaba Music Soundcloud and on his website..

Categories
Music Remixes Video

Ginuwine – Sø Anxiøus (GRUMBY REMIX) [OFFICIAL VIDEO]

Just a month after their Mt. Fuji debut on EMPT, GRUMBY has quickly returned to the scene with another masterful piece of artistry. In this remix of Ginuwine’s “So Anxious,” the duo take you on another charged journey exploring the depths of the frequency spectrum with incredibly mesmerizing soundscapes.

In the accompanying video, directed by the talented KEY10, we see a man restrained to a past love, so much so that he’s lost within his own mind, obsessed with thoughts of her image. As he tries to break the chains, the memories grow in intensity and the man finds himself in a desert wasteland, surrounded by televisions broadcasting her image. Yet, as the intensity rises, he chooses to face his past, and we see him move forward into the future, the TV shutting off as he walks into the distance.

Equally stunning is the soundtrack, pairing moments of high anxiety with driving bass and heavy drum patterns, and moments of calm with ethereal synth vibrations.

Grab your FREE DOWNLOAD below:
Ginuwine – Sø Anxiøus (GRUMBY REMIX)

Follow GRUMBY here:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE
FACEBOOK
TWITTER
SOUNDCLOUD

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Music

Kate Boy – The Way We Are

The first thing you’ll notice about this song is the drums. The driving drums, while not tribal, certainly inspire tribal movement. Uninhibited swaying, limbs akimbo, and pure delight, is what I experience when I listen to this song. The lyrics are a slap to the face, but not in a negative way. They demand your attention and the song is nothing but an ode to self.

This song essentially encapsulates the feelings that I experienced when I saw Kate Boy perform at Glasslands in Brooklyn earlier this week. I wish all bands demanded the attention of a crowd in a particularly small venue the way Kate Boy did, because there wasn’t a single person that wasn’t engaged in some way. I attended the show by myself, and quickly squeezed my way through the couples and adorable fan boys to something that was sort of the front. I was close enough to make eye contact with the lead female singer. The entire band wore the same outfits: black baseball caps, black loosely fitted outfits that showed no figure and no skin, with metallic strappy bits that came around their upper torsos.

The performance started and ended with a tremendous amount of energy and power. I’m talking about the kind of synth and drum playing that wasn’t created by hands, but by bodies. Full body involvement in this concert, and that reflected on the audience. I was alone and I danced my ass off. If that doesn’t say something, then the fact that almost everyone I could see was involved in some sort of bodily movement, surely relays my point. At this point in my life, I think enough people (including the you all, the readers of EMPT) know that dancing and what it unleashes in me, is one of the most important activities I can do for myself. It’s like a drug, the mind just goes on autopilot. It’s also a beautiful thing to watch the people responsible for making music get so into that their audience reflects their movements. I did it, I totally tried to copy the lead singers dance moves. Was I successful? That’s not the point.

Kate Boy showed me that they were not only supremely capable musicians on my headphones and in my iTunes library, but on a stage too. I was blown away by this intimate performance (not to mention, their first in the US), and I urge everyone to see these phenom performers as soon as possible. They’re on tour. So you can do that.

Here’s my favorite song of theirs, even though nothing beats the incredible build up from In Your Eyes. The beat in this one trumps all.

Enjoy!

Kate Boy – The Way We Are

Categories
Music

EMPT Presents: French Press, Vol. 1

Artwork by Evelyn Wilroy

The idea for the French Press playlist series was a simple one. Create a playlist for a blog with a french name with the word French in it. Voila, the French Press series. Ironically, I’ve never used a French Press to make coffee, but I’ve heard great things, so I’ve stolen the name because I want these playlists to be compared to the quality of product delivered by these devices. Just kidding. Like I said before, French Press was literally the first name that popped into my mind when I decided to name the playlist. Blame it on the blog name. I could give a rats ass about a cup of coffee. I’ll take a woman in the morning instead.

The French Press playlists won’t cover a certain genre, or feel, or attitude. Simply, they will contain my favorite songs of the month (sometimes new discoveries from the past) and will hopefully take you through the motions of your day. These are turn up playlists, these aren’t turn down playlists, they’re both and sometimes neither. For me, that’s what I want a playlist to be, and maybe I’m selfish, or bias, but after you listen let me know where it took you.

I’d also like to extend a massive thank you to the talented Evelyn Wilroy, who designed the first tape’s cover art and who will also be designing the artwork for each of the following volumes. Follow her blog pleine de vie where you’ll be able to purchase her work and bask in her cool.

Jusqu’à la prochaine fois que nous parlons,

RC

French Press, Vol. 1:

1. Seyi – Icecold (feat. my flatmate)
2. Sampha – Without
3. John Wizards – Lusaka By Night
4. Waterstrider – Midnight Moon
5. X PRIEST X – Samurai
6. j.viewz – Far Too Close (2013 Edit)
7. Clubfeet – Cape Town (Panama Remix)
8. Capital STEEZ – King Steelo
9. Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle – By The Time That I Awoke
10. Duke Dumont – Hold On (feat. MNEK)
11. Lion Babe – Treat Me Like Fire (Star Slinger Bootleg Mix)

[soundcloud url=”http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/103286746″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Categories
Music

EMPT Presents Indaba Music Weekly: Venkman – Martial Law

What’s with the British and their impeccable track record of forward thinking bands? From the recent emergence of Alt-J and the XX to the older mainstays of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, it makes me wonder if something’s added to the water by Parliament to foster musical creativity. Whatever the cause Venkman, an upstart from the small town of Lichfield in the UK, has found it.

Venkman – Martial Law

Their debut single “Martial Law” is an incredible show of musicianship. A dance tune at its heart, the rhythm isn’t your standard 4 on the floor fare. As the verse melts into the chorus, the rhythm becomes an over the bar line phrase of 6 while the infectiously catchy “oh well” climbs into a mess of guitars and anticipation.

As treat, check out their cover of the Daft Punk/Panda Bear collaboration “Doin’ It Right” below.

Daft Punk – Doin’ It Right (Venkman Cover)

You can check out more of Venkman’s music at their official website.