Covers Music

Ibeyi – Better In Tune With The Infinite (Jay Electronica Cover)

Not many words are necessary to describe this song, and if you watch below you’ll see for yourself. It’s simple and to the point. It somehow evokes multiple spouts of goosebumps with beautiful harmonies and minimal percussion. The twins of Ibeyi took out none of the soul of Jay Electronica’s original, but twisted it in a way that touches a different part of my inner being.

Go take a walk, listen to this song, look up at the sky, let the melody take your mind away from your physical being. Let your mind wander.. because when’s the last time you truly did?

Ibeyi’s album is set to be released in February, so keep your eyes peeled!


Tom Misch & Carmody – We Used To Know

But we let it go, let it go, let it go…

Embrace your somber side by listening to Tom Misch & Carmody’s lovely track, “We Used To Know”. The pair has been working on an EP that will be released later this year. Both musicians are from South East London, and actually live down the road from each other!

There’s something about Tom’s music that is soothing to my soul. It’s not just this song that caught my attention. After hearing only a few of his songs, I knew he was an artist I should pursue. And I did! I downloaded his first album named “Beat Tape 1” earlier this week and have been thoroughly enjoying it. In “We Used To Know”, his use of barely-there guitar strums and minimalistic percussion alongside his sultry voice captures me straight away. Carmody’s voice only amplifies the melancholy atmosphere conjured up by this song. The track is about breaking apart and drifting away; about the empty feeling that ensues after a breakup. The song carries soul, and the pair work well together to evince those familiar feelings of loss.

Be careful! This song isn’t forgettable. I’ve been humming it all day! Maybe it’s my current mood; it’s been dreary out, and my mood has been negatively affected by the sudden cold. We can’t be happy all the time! Life has taught me that a bout of sadness is natural and shouldn’t be ruminated upon. So let the blue songs speak to you; appreciate your varied emotions!

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]


Kaytranada – Leave Me Alone ft. Shay Lia

Foggy city from Bernal Heights

He’s been hot for a minute already, but if you haven’t yet booked your ticket on the overnight bus to the netherworld that is the Kaytranada bandwagon, step right up. It isn’t that the songs are downers – in fact, they all feature an inignorable positivity – but rather that they are down. They don’t take you soaring through the clouds, blasting towards the stars in blinding flashed of energy; they slither you through the settled fog, close to the wet, living earth. The bass is organic, the samples (his music is heavily sample centric) soulful. It’s as if an ancient griot stumbled across RZA’s EPS16+.

One thing Kaytranada is not, at least in my eyes, is an EDM artist. EDM has come to connote a specific type of electronic music, and in many ways has become a super-subgenre that no one applies correctly. I’m not saying I know what it is, but this isn’t it. In interviews, Kaytranada cites Flying Lotus as a contemporary influence, and you can really hear it: the jazzy undertones, unsyncopated drums and late-nite vocals. If he’d been performing in the 30’s, Kevin would have been one cool cat.

And not only because of his music. This guy is clearly very cool and original. Born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, he had this to say about living in Canada: “I usually chill around at the part or I’ll just go to bars because I don’t really go to clubs. The bars play the best music. I see finer girls in there. Clubs aren’t that cool but bars are awesome.” And this to say on “trap music”: “I think it’s kinda corny…all of that kind of cliché trap stuff is so annoying. But, I ain’t gonna lie, I was hot on that shit before, but now it’s turned out to be corny.” (both quotes from an interview with Noisey)

Voice of a generation? I’m kidding, but seriously, who doesn’t agree with both of those statements.

“Leave Me Alone” is a fair representation of his music. It is both dense and spatial, allowing the listener to breath but not catch a breath. As we transition into the autumn, it’s songs like this that begin to take hold, leading us away from the sunny skies and into a contemplative realm.


Kaytranada – Leave Me Alone ft. Shay Lia



Dee Edwards – (I Can) Deal With That


Sometimes it is necessary to take a break.

There was a point yesterday where I was siting at work (yes, we work in offices with horrible fluorescent lighting and mandatory skirts too) and nearly cried when I got another request for another project due two days before I ever saw it.

It is these times where you need a reality check the most. As much as I scorn the people who post those little quotes every day with their spirit phrase or whatever. I openly scoff, but deep down, I sort of love them. “If you fear failure, you will never go anywhere.” “Life is what happens outside your comfort zone.” “You are a victim to the rules you live by.” “Live each day….” you get it. So stupid, but something about it makes me feel like I just pet a puppy.

But I think it helps sometimes that you get your cheerleading squad going for you. However you find it. I called my boss which helped. And watched Bridget Jones with a bottle of champers and a good friend which really helped.

I like this song because it feels like the one you have on the walk back from a shitty place or situation and you realise it was a speck in the timeline and sometimes you just got roll with it. We made it this far already.

This song from Dee Edwards is great for it. And just like a great philosopher, there are gems interwoven in this one.

“I won’t bother trouble if trouble don’t bother me.”

Dee Edwards – (I Can) Deal With That



Sam and Dave – Sooth Me (Live)


I used to be up on all the new shit.

By the time you were saying “OMG have you heard of XYZ band?” I’d have downloaded their discography, played you their best songs (though at the time you couldn’t be bothered and clearly don’t remember) and moved on to the next hot sound. I can’t tell you how many times I went to shows with under 50 people for under $20, and the next time that act came through town prices were through the roof and the rooms were packed beyond capacity.

That was then.

Now, when my friends ask me to send them good new music, I feel embarrassed and direct them to my fellow EMPT writers’ posts. I’ve lost touch. Partially this is a function of new technology, especially streaming services that offer a music discovery platform that doesn’t require any effort on my part. I can build a Spotify playlist and let those proprietary Swedish algorithms do the rest. And really, I don’t have the time anymore to “crate dig” across the blogosphere. Commute+job+pet+life.

But if a friend asks me for some “good music,” I’m never at a loss for words.

If we’re being honest, the best music ever recorded hasn’t come out in the past 10 or even 20 years, with a few notable exceptions. With the rise of studio technology and autotune-esque band-aids, much of the raw authenticity that marked early recordings has vanished.

Listen to the passion Sam and Dave exude on this recording of “Sooth Me” (which I believe was recorded in Paris, 1967). The Sultans of Sweat, as they were known, knew how to put on a show. There were no backup dancers or props. There were no illusions as to what the audience was seeing or hearing. Two men and a band, on stage, in the flesh, bringing the roof down, every night – these were the men, after all, that introduced the word “soul” into the musical lexicon of white America.

This post is for all of you who are up on the new shit. It’s cool for a while, but how much will you really remember, or will you want to pass on to your kids? Next time you go on a blog dive, take a gander at some charts from the 30s-early 70s instead. You may be surprised at the gems you never knew existed.

Sam and Dave –  Sooth Me (Live)


Stevie Wonder – For Once in My Life


For once in my life, I have someone who needs me. I dedicate this one to my new cat.

Let’s take it back to 1968. Nothing like some Stevie Wonder to brighten your day and keep the blues at bay. This is one of my favorite songs of all time: a happy-go-lucky-can’t-help-but-smiling-yes-I-am-strutting–on-the-sunny-side-of-the-street-feeling-overwhelmed-with-inexplicable-joy-kinda-track. (hyperbolize!!).

There’s a whole lotta heart in this song. If I was a doctor, I would prescribe Stevie Wonder for everything. For real though. He’s got a certain sincerity that’s especially conducive to healing.

For once in my life I won’t let sorrow hurt me
Not like it’s hurt me before
For once, I have something I know won’t desert me
I’m not alone anymore.”

Sometimes you reach a point where you’ve had enough— AND NOTHING CAN BRING YOU DOWN. You’ve already hit rock bottom, and man, you’ve survived the depths. Dark as it can get sometimes, you always manage to resurface… and keep on keepin’ on. You wake up to the reality that your experience is indeed what you want it to be. Fearlessly undertaking the unknown, in pursuit of some higher truth for the love of humanity: this is what it’s all about, man.

No matter how much shit hits the fan, you’ll be fine. Enough is enough, and regardless of the way things progress,you’re learning. Letting go. With each obstacle comes a new one to learn from. Embrace these trials and tribulations; how unique they are to the human experience.

There will be times when the going gets rough and by default you spiral into an emotional whirlpool, or lack thereof (e.g., numbness).  Then, as your expectations disintegrate over time, you may find that shit miraculously starts to fall into place. Abandoning the pursuit does wonders for miracles…

For once, unafraid, I can go where life leads me
And somehow I know I’ll be strong.”

 Stevie Wonder – For Once in My Life


MØ – XXX 88 (Produced by Diplo)


is a Danish songstress who has just recently started to capture the attention of electric and soul fans alike. Her voice is interesting with  her foreign pronunciation and added soulful nuances which make her lyrics and delivery different sounding and enticing. Although she has only been releasing music for the past year, 2013 has been filled with some amazing tracks. The most recent being XXX 88, produced by Diplo, arguably one of the most recognizable names producing today and one of Mad Decent’s premier DJs.

The lyrics and catchy soulfulness are what made this song stand out. Paired with her angelic delivery, the song is simple but  has a dark cloud over the lyrics which are as hopeful as they are haunting. Settling for the all-too-familiar thought of “who really cares in the end”.

 “I feel the water flow as I watch him go
Boy, life is cynical despite my heart of gold
Oh, no, buddy, don’t you cry as they go
Life changes all of us, it’s not your fault.

MØ – XXX 88 (Produced by Diplo)


Grumby – Mt. Fuji

art by Ryan Clover
art by Binky















It’s that break your neck shit that always stays with you. These are the beats that transcend the musical space and become something physical that exists with you. It sits next to you, jams with you, intermingles with the very depths of your soul.

Grumby are Texans, and good friends of mine, Andrew Why and Raj Singh, who have recently come together to begin work on their debut album. Mt. Fuji is the first offering from that album, and damn is it a good one. I’ve been watching these two grow as producers for a minute, and they are really now finding their sound as a production duo. The vibes, man…the fucking VIBES! There’s so much passion and emotive weight in the sample that I can literally feel the vocalists pain as he crys, “waiting to be there for you.” My girl has been in Italy for 2.5 weeks and I’ve been dying to see her. I’ve had this song on repeat since it’s dropped. It reminds me of how I feel when she’s around. We’ve all felt that, that burning desire to be with the ones we love, to help them, to comfort them, to laugh with them.This is the theme song for that moment. Let the bass line drown you, and may the keys lift you to the heavens. This is that Grumby thump, so get familiar.

heavy x mellow

Stream Mt. Fuji via SoundCloud below:

[soundcloud url=”″ params=”” width=” 100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]


Volta Cab – Don’t Give Up

6477508981_da75970c66_z (3)

Sundays are typically a day of rest where I like to recalibrate and recharge my batteries. And just do nothing. Then I come across a song like this that sets shit into motion.

I’ve written about Volta Cab before and if this track is any indication, he’s on the verge of blowing up in the feel good music realm. With other big releases in the pipeline, an especially tasty one on Glam Jam Artists, it’s a name that will likely storm the bloggosphere. “Don’t Give Up,” forthcoming on Illusion Records, is the total package.

I usually ignore or glaze over the lyrics in electronic music, and more and more, just all music in general. But this song is not like most electronically produced tracks. It’s a throwback–think Neo Soul with a Q-Tip twist–that fuses Hip Hop, Jazz, Soul, and House–that seamlessly blends these genres into one very smooth package. And since we live in this beat-centric world, it’s rare I find lyrics that are just flat out relatable and pack a tight punch like these do.

Life is gona test you baby and people are gona stress you baby and I can only hope and pray you understand…

Sometimes I feel as if i can’t go on but I refuse to give up, I find the strength to be strong,

I know tomorrow is a brand new day, I refuse to give up, I find another way…

Some people tell me that I lost my mind but I refuse to give up so I won’t waste my time…

While I’m enjoying a lazy Sunday, this one’s making me want to get up and get moving–cause it’s important that we don’t ever give up.

Volta Cab – Don’t Give Up

p.s. Volta Cab‘s SoundCloud is a good place to be.

Classics Mash-Ups Music

Marvin Gaye vs. Pryda – Too Busy Thinking About Leja

Think less, do more.

I tend to over think things. Whether it’s where to go to eat or what song to listen to while I’m working out, I’m constantly plagued by indecisiveness and procrastination. Maybe it’s the English major in me, but I tend to analyze every aspect of my life, from where my life is headed to what color shirt to wear.

The consequence is pretty simple: I feel like I don’t get about a tenth of what I set out to do and hope to accomplish. Ideas flow through my veins, but following through on these ideas and just acting on them can be a challenge. I have difficulty just shutting out everything and focusing on either the moment I’m living in or that one thought I’m having.

This song is about doing exactly that–allowing solely one aspect of your life to consume your actions and thoughts (in this case, that’s love).  I’m not big on resolutions, but this is definitely one I’m zeroing in on for 2013–zoning in on one aspect of my life at a time and not worrying about what I can’t control.

“I aint got time to think about money or what it can buy,
I aint got time to sit down and wonder what makes a birdie fly…”

I’ve been on a huge Marvin Gaye kick lately, and the combination of his deep, emotive voice and Eric Prydz’s ambient house is straight magical right here. It makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time, the way all bittersweet gems do.

“I got a one track mind…”

Marvin Gaye was as troubled as they come, but he still managed to put his problems aside and produce the best soul to come from the Mo-Town era. Everyone has issues and contradictory thoughts swirling through their minds–it’s how you deal with them and what art emerges from those thoughts. In 2013, I hope to do a lot less thinking and a lot more accomplishing.

Marvin Gaye vs. Pryda – Too Busy Thinking About Leja