tracking and scanning the latest and greatest in music today. moving forward; proceeding step by step.
Vampire Weekend bassist, Chris Baio, has released his first solo effort, a three-track EP, entitled Sunburn. Baio’s EP bears considerable likeness to the Vampire Weekend discography, as Baio infuses an islander aesthetic reminiscent of his band’s 2010 full-length, Contra. Title track, “Sunburn Modern,” which can be streamed above, includes a dizzying array of bongos, xylophones, and steel drums, underpinned by a strong electronic bassline.Around minute 3:00, the song descends into a melancholy sequence of piano chords, which eventually return to an optimistic arrangement of sounds for the track’s close.Each of his songs follows a similar pattern, as Baio bridges the buoyant island aesthetic with his own profoundly melancholy undertone.The final track of the effort, “Tanto,” includes a feature from Chilean producer and vocalist, Matias Aguayo. The full EP, released by label Greco-Roman, can be streamed here and is available for purchase on iTunes.
In 2010, the duo entitled Sonnymoon made huge waves in the blogosphere when they reworkedDrake’s So Far Gone track, “Houstatlantavegas.” Consisting of Anna Wise and Dane Orr, the group released their 2009 album, Golden Age, and a 2011 EP entitledBlast Off, both of which exemplify the artists’ distinctive mixture of abstract pop, electronic, trance, and R&B. Their new EP, 2012, is no exception and includes an amazingly eclectic cosmic vibe that is inherently their own. Wise’s voice is overlaid over a mixture of spacey production and sounds, creating a space-aged aesthetic quality to their music. My favorite track on the EP is “Machinery,” which you can check out above - however, I urge you to download the EP in its entirety, which can be streamed here. I look forward to hearing more from this artist, including their upcoming collaboration with rapper Kendrick Lamar, which you can read more about in their interview with Life+Times.
It’s been almost a year since Canadian producer Jacques Greene has released an EP (his January effort, The Look); however, the past couple of weeks have seen two highly-anticipated tracks from Greene, both off of his forthcoming Concealer EP. The first track, “Flatline,” features fellow Montreal label-mate, Ango- the preview of which can be found here. The song includes Ango’s vocals as he croons, “How could you go?” overlaid over Greene’s production that draws inspiration from both UK garage and R&B. The second release, “Arrow,” includes help from Glasgow-based producer, Koreless, and clocks in at exactly nine minutes. The song features a soulful, texturized sound typical of both producers, beginning slowly and gradually gaining speed. The song fluctuates between upbeat, kick drum-heavy segments and blurry, mellow sections featuring chimes and eery piano chords. Towards the end of its nine minutes, the song culminates into a climax of indiscernible white noise. Based on the striking differences between these two tracks, I’m definitely excited to see what else Greene has in store for his new EP. As for now, enjoy these two songs and definitely check out the Concealer EP, to be released on January 30th on Greene’s new, self-made label, Vase.
Last month, I posted the title track of producer Jim-E Stack’s debut EP, Come Between, scheduled for release early next week on the Good Years label. Easily one of the most impressive debut efforts of the year, Stack’s EP follows along the same thread as his earlier releases, featuring dance floor-ready sounds and strong vocal samples. It’s currently available for download exclusively on Juno, and can be streamed here. Definitely check it out and make sure to download Stack’s full EP on the 16th when it becomes available on all major online music distributors.
Recent newcomer to the B.YRSLF Division label, Stavrogin, also known as Theo Darton-Moore, recently released his Reflections EP on Bandcamp December 19th. The distinctive EP ranges from standard 2-step UK garage to a more reflective, smooth production reminiscent of James Blake or Shlohmo. My favorite track on the EP is of the latter variation, entitled “Reflections,” which begins rather slow with tribal-like percussion and mechanical clicks. The track gradually becomes more melodic and introspective as the song progresses, featuring chopped-up Ashanti-sampled vocals. What starts off as a hauntingly sparse sound steadily gains speed to become a complex yet still methodical song. The Reflections EP rounds off a big year for this style of production and I’m definitely looking forward to hearing more from this young artist in 2012.