Spotlight: This Week’s 10 Most Notable Artists – 11/30/12
Hey y’all! I’m baaaaaaackkkk! Does that scare you? It should because I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, so I hope you have a lot on yours. Here’s your hot list and a bit of BONUS listings to get your weekend burning bright.
1. The 1975 – “You”/Sex EP
This Manchester band manages to captivate listeners once again with their industrial drum/guitar laden track “You” from their new Sex EP which is the follow up to their debut EP Facedown. Although I’m a huge fan of their “Antichrist” track from their debut, “You” falls in tow with their synthesized, alternative rock vibe. The beat itself is lighter, the lyrics still on the heavy side (And you’re a liar/at least all of your friends are), and it dwells on the ever tragic awkward moment when your relationship turns to crap. It captures the ear (especially with its catchy of “do you wanna dance, do you wanna dance” breakdown. Their EP was released on November 20th here in the US and is streaming via soundcloud.
2. Abbe May – “Karmageddon”/Kiss My Apocalypse
Abbe May is an Australian artist who has been placed in the “doom pop” category. She’s a little odd, to say the least, and may even turn off listeners at first, but I’m a lover of potential. Yes, she’s weird (openly so) and she looks like a Katie Holmes and Jessie J had a baby (nothing wrong with that) but the foundation of her music makes for good dance scene. A few remixes, and she could top a chart list. Her “doom pop” may be a bit of a downer for some, but a few synths and a voice loop later, and you’ll be warm and up in no time (that came out so wrong). At any rate, we have more than enough time to get this girl a dubstep partner or two because Kiss My Apocalypse is due out in April 2013.
3. Rita Ora – “How We Do (Swagrid Remix)/How We Do (Party)
I’m not really a huge fan of Rita Ora, but I’ve been given this remix by Swagrid and I must say it lessens the burn. Swagrid already wins because he took the most awesome character in all of Harry Potter and gave him the street swag credit he madly deserves (#teamhagrid), but he has taken this run-of-the-mill sound and made awesome. His synthesized magic is a notable achievement on this piece and all he wants is for you to tweet it to Ms. Ora herself, so stream, listen, and tweet…Not necessarily in that order.
4. Jillette Johnson – “Pauvre Coeur”/Whiskey & Frosting
Jillette Johnson is a striking singer/songwriter from New York. “Pauvre Coeur” is one of several tracks off her brilliant Whiskey & Frosting EP released earlier this year on iTunes. Her voice is unconventional and noncommercial, much like the subject manner and lyrics to her music. Jillette gives the impression early on that she is far from interested in Disney music production, but her controversial honesty and crass language makes for thought provoking conversation. Jillette said “Pauvre Coeur” speaks about an unhealthy, emotionally abusive relationship she lost herself in before finding the strength to leave. The classical piano promotes the poignancy of Jillette’s heartbreaking desperation and realization. Other featured tracks on Whiskey & Frosting include “Torpedo” and “Cameron,” which talks about a transgender boy’s struggle with acceptance. She’s deep and she’s good.
5. Vato Gonzalez – “Ganja Riddim”/Ganja Riddim
Vato Gonzalez is a DJ tearing it up from the Netherlands. “Ganja Riddim” on Dirty House Records is controversial, to say the least, but awesome at the most. Its attack is not subtle and the Rastafarian elements make you feel like you’re on the islands in no time. Gonzalez’s message is clear; he really wants to blow some trees, but he also wants to make it clear that most club hits promote alcohol usage when the elephant in the room is supposedly marijuana. Take it to the White House if you want to, but definitely blast it at your next house party.
6. Bela Tar – “Black mark”/Black mark
Zoe Polanski’s solo project Bela Tar continues on after her departure from Katamine & Ex-Lion Tamer. The new single “Black mark” is as hauntingly soft and mystic as she’ll ever be. The video is eerily hazed and blinding at some parts; don’t stare too long and your eyes may forgive you. She manages to keep a straight edge peace and gracefulness throughout the track mastered by Yossi Applebaum. It’s a chiller!
7. DoublePlusGood – “King for a Day”/King For A Day EP
DoublePlusGood creates an alternative-soft-rock-dance-pop-noise sounds with “King for a Day.” It’s breathy and synthesized, but charming and catchy. It serves as an appropriate soundtrack for a solo-motion marathon of exaggerated melodrama in an indie movie scene. That’s no disrespect either; he got the creative mojo going in my puny brain and that’s saying a lot.
8. Owl Vision – “Zeremony”/Zeremony EP
Owl Vision is a Swedish death electro artist who has mean mixing capabilities. His new release “Zeremony” enthralls listeners with its ominous build up before breaking down into finer threads of woven sound. I don’t know whether to hide or funk up the dance moves to “Thriller.” Either way, I envision a Claymation directed by Tim Burton having some kick ass steps involving zombies…Yeah, I said it!
9. Die Eternias – “To The Monkeys”/sould out
These guys from Vienna are kinda hilarious. Their sound and video are tongue-in-cheek to the maximum. I can appreciate the humor and rhythm. Besides, anybody dressed like a Shakespearean poet running through the woods is all alright with me. Check out the vid.
10. Crash & the Coots – “Don’t Have Any Legs”/John Coles Park EP
The UK’s Crash & the Coots are so fresh I can barely contain myself. They jam and they jam hard. The way they fine tune the lo-fi-high-rock-grit of their unique sound makes me a happy girl. These boys could rock out a basement or take the stage at the Troc as headliners. I love it when I can feel the sincerity of an unaffected beat and these folks have it. Their John Coles Park EP holds its own and is available on cassette via BandCamp.
B O N U S T R A C K S
1. Alex Kelly – “Catalyst”/Orange Circle
Alex Kelly is on the scene with the release of “Catalyst” from her Orange Circle album. She’s described as electro power pop and it holds true. Her rocker vocal qualities are charming and have elements that are reminiscent of Evanescence’s Amy Lee knock out voice. I am a lover of artist potential and can see Kelly taking her music to the next level by allowing audiences to take her more seriously. In short? Lessen up the all the “sexy.” Granted, she’s a gorgeous girl, but you only need a pair of eyes to see that much, not near nudity.
2. Young Guns – “You Are Not”/Bones
UK’s critically acclaimed band Young Guns released the video for their newly released track “You Are Not” from their album Bones. It’s their final single and the boys continuing touring both in Europe and the US. The vid is a rewind of the worst day ever.
3. Robert Francis – “Perfectly Yours”/Strangers in the First Place
Oh, Robert Francis, if you’re reading this: you make me swoon. I’m shameless in my confessions of girly crushes, but what can I say? Robert has a way with a guitar and tender tone; his lyrics are equally captivating. This is syrupy sweet without bordering boy band and it fits in with the saccharine melodies throughout Francis’ Strangers in the First Place album. If you ever find love, find a love like this, even if it ends.
4. Sound Remedy – “Runaways (The Killers)”/Runaways Remix
Sound Remedy shifts the sound of the Killer’s “Runaways” track with his tight remix. Its techy-electro dance renovation does the song justice and makes listeners even more anxious to get off their butts and enjoy the track. Sound Remedy keeps the beat pulsating and thumping; a slow moment is allowed for a minor drop at the end of the track, but the upbeat is steady throughout. It’s a charming re-mastering that stands with his other remixes. Sound. Remedy. Download.
5. Gary Clark Jr. – “Bright Lights”/Blak and Blu
Gather ‘round, little ones; this is for the grown folks, but I’ll let you in early. Gary Clark Jr. is the kind of musician that makes “the stank face” rise. You know the one I’m talking about: nostrils flaring, lips curling, air guitar in place. There’s a spirit in this man that can’t be tamed (and should never be). His tenacious blues and rock causes soul convulsions, so listen with caution. Blak and Blu is full of his sound and we can only be thankful to be graced by his musical presence. Besides his impeccable strength and grit, Gary can tone it down and caress the guitar with an ageless love. He’s the epitome of a timeless musician. Listen and buy.