Overloaded by all the “new music” options you keep hearing about? We’re here to help. Here’s four songs we think you should fucking know (this week). Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments too.
*POST-ORIGINAL POSTING EDIT*
Article-regular friend and Hy.Gen.Ic founder Corbin Cones just alerted me to the plight of musician/video remixer/creative artist Pogo, who is getting screwed by a technicality by the US Immigration Services and is about to be deported for 10 years on April 13th. Watch his very well-done explanation video here, read The Hy.Gen.Ic’s take on it here, and, since it takes literally like 10 seconds of your day, sign the White House petition for him here. Thank you in advance. #TheManKeepsTryingToHoldUsDown
- Project Maldonado – Seraphim (and their whole 4-song EP)
I wrote this post right after I heard Project Maldonado for the first time…
I had been poking around Hype Machine Saturday afternoon when a song called “Seraphim” posted by the website Earmilk came on. It’s cavernously-open and well-bottom-deep sound floored me, and I knew that I had stumbled upon something special. I immediately posted it to the Facebook new music group that I’ve nabbed great artists like Crystal Fighters and Chloe Howl from thanks to friends and other writers. As you can see, I told All Things Go editor Adrian that I would write about it Thursday (after I had included it in this article first…). I thought all was well and good until today (meaning Tuesday), when I received a frantic GChat from Adrian…
You see, in the world of competing music blogs, being one of the first on the next best thing is like knowing insider information on a stock that’s about to rise. You have to get in on the ground floor before the inherent “coolness” associated with knowing about a certain artist loses value.
The minute the shark-infested waters smell the next fat seal of a buzz band, it’s a feeding frenzy. So I scraped something together as quick as I could, and All Things Go made sure to get that notch on its belt. It was stressful and awful and what I assume it’s like being a stock broker. I’m just not meant for that kind of life.
But now I get to breathe and truly reflect on just how special this debut album is…
There’s not much of a web-presence for Project Maldonado, though there are rumors that English musician Liam Bailey is behind this stellar, ethereal R&B. I’m sure interviews and background information will leak their way onto the interweb soon, but for now, just take a listen to the impressive 4-song EP. “Seraphim” is a confession turned rallying cry that’s parts Citizen Cope, parts Damian Marley, parts something else indescribably soulful. “Drug Fueled” is a sex ballad that at times makes me think about all the reasons I love the song “Wicked Game” and how I wish Kid Cudi would do a version of it. “Rebel” has a bass-led breakdown that is one of the reasons to celebrate good headphones, and “Confessions” is a testament to being simple but effective.
The confessional drug analogies throughout the album and the raw familiarity of his casual vulgarity bring the listener almost uncomfortably close to possible-Bailey’s open-wound lyrics that bleed throughout each song. The result is a very chill album that’s able to use tension and anxiety to keep it anxiously enthralling. Stream it, and you’ll be really glad you did.
And remember, ALL THINGS GO WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PLACES TO WRITE ABOUT IT.
- Wildmen – Haters Gonna Hate
If I timed this right, you probably hit the play button and just about……………NOW got to the kick-in of the intro. It’s disorientingly hypnotizing, begging you to nod along with its surf rock riffs. And if the timing is still right, then about………..NOW the vocals kicked in and the duo out of Rome have officially blown you away.
Drummer/vocalist Giacomo and guitarist Matteo are able to fit so much into such a low-fi sound that I’m scared to know what they’re high-production bizarro alter egos might be like. With just drums, guitar, and snarling vocals they construct a song that has so much swagger that it wears off on you as you listen to it. It’s an empowering experience to crank this song a little too loud in your headphones.
They borrow a bit from Black Lips and a bit from Black Flag, but they have a distinct energy that is all their own. The B-side to “Haters Gonna Hate” is a track called “Trouble” whose Chinese Water Torture piano line erodes instead of explodes in its destruction, and their recently released self-titled LP has more tracks available to stream here.
I have a feeling I’m going to be coming back to this band a lot this summer, if only to feel that empowering energy again.
Also, here’s a great version of them performing “Haters Gonna Hate” live on a European music show .
- Mesita – Kingston
Back in December, I established a possibly-recurring segment called Mesita Watch after the Colorado artist released both “XYXY” and “Hostages” within a few weeks of each other in advance of his upcoming album Future Proof and I felt compelled to share both. Well, 4 months later, and the Mesita Watch sirens are going off again thanks to the release of the newest single, “Kingston”.
It astounds me that James Cooley, the person behind the name Mesita, isn’t more well-known yet. His transition from the near-folk Living/Breathing EP (I highly suggest checking out “For The Best”) to the electro-soul of his recent releases over the past few years has been flawless, and I find myself falling in love with each new song he releases. The most recent LP, The Coyotes, and three Future Proof tracks released find a way to be soothing, yet gripping (Perfect for if you’re in the mood for doing some music-backed yoga; and if you are in that mood, check out namaste.hai. this weekend brought to you by Mallory Hemerlein and Micah Greenberg).
With “Kingston”, Cooley gets downright whimsical, as swirling sweeping keyboard lines dance around his piercingly smooth vocal line and the last minute of the track is a slow-burn, beautiful deconstruction that lets the song settle back to earth gently.
I’ll be patiently awaiting Future Proof‘s impending release, but until then, this has been another edition of Mesita Watch.
- Generationals – Trust
My friend Ali posted “Trust” on the previously mentioned Facebook group and, while it’s apparently been out for a while (and does sound vaguely familiar), it’s new to me, possibly new to you too, and a great early April jam.
Generationals were born out of the ashes of the Baton Rouge-based band Eames Era (who are apparently noteworthy for having a song played on Grey’s Anatomy, (according to Wikipedia) and currently reside in New Orleans.
As Generationals, they’ve released two EP and three LPs, including the recently released Heza, that “Trust”, with its uptempo swing and shimmeringly bright riffs, have me anxious to check out. They’ll also be playing Rock and Roll Hotel on April 17th which seems like the perfect venue for them and something I’ll most likely be going to after having “Trust” stuck in my head all week.
SUPER! BONUS! BRYCE IS A DOUCHE! BONUS! THOUGHT!
Because there’s nothing people like more than a writer’s self-congratulation, I’m hiding this at the bottom, but I’m basically Nostradamus. For my first article of 2013, I made a few predictions about the upcoming year in music. My ballsiest prediction, and the one I was least confident about, might have just come true (depending on who you ask). Basically, I kind of shit on A$AP Rocky’s new album, but then I gave the caveat, “HOWEVER, this blind critical acclaim will help A$AP Rocky’s next release, whenever that is, as it will force him to expand into more experimental, possibly more introspective territory in hopes of living up to even higher expectations.”
Well he may not have a new album out, but his remix of Jessie Ware’s “Wildest Moments” is absolutely stunning. A$AP is subdued, introspective, and sounds like a natural fit on the British singer’s single. I’m surprised, but incredibly impressed. It’s almost like whoever wrote, “With this newfound critical appreciation and mass commercial appeal, I’m hoping that he gets exposed to more diverse inspirations, and ends up incorporating them in future releases,” had come back from the future just to write bullshit music journalism.
So after I finish patting myself on the back, I’m establishing Nostradamus Watch 2013. 1 prediction down, 3 to go.