Monday Music: Hayden James, Slushii, Kinkajous, Prince Fox & Jai Wolf


EDC NY is next weekend, so to celebrate, I looked for the least retail, non-EDM I could find. It took me on a journey that I think you’ll love, so dig in!

About a year ago, SAFIA’s Embracing Me hit my filters and I needed to immediately yell about it. To his credit, Hayden James has taken a spectacular track and given it a similar, although strikingly different feel. It’s got a surprisingly peppy house beat under it. The source material is used splendidly, while the chord work remains euphoric without approaching tropical. The breakdown during the 2nd half of the tune has a summery sunset vibe to it, as the vocals flutter above. It breaks back into what would’ve been an anthem two years ago, but is totally devoid of those elements now. Hayden James does some really good work, so don’t sleep on his ish.

I totally missed the pop tune this remix is based on, and I don’t actually recommend going to look for it, as this is vastly superior to the original. Slushii‘s  Future Pop style melds with an almost Chibi sensibility, and glides along like a Porter Robinson mix when he’s in a good mood. Great sound, strong lyrics that honestly make me think That Poppy needs to be a dance music vocalist. That kind of almost spunky style is sorely lacking. Also “you’re the highlight of my lowlife” is a smart as fuck lyric that needs to be in more party people’s minds. (via Fresh New Tracks)

I don’t usually post jazz on this blog, but I had to make an exception when I heard this. It’s moody, exceptional, forward looking and perfectly mastered. When lots of high art snobs complain about the decline of the classical & jazz listening markets, I’m just going to point them at Kinkajous. This 5 piece live-act is frankly something I could listen to every day. Their previous EP is a big helping of this, so if you’re into this kind of stuff, there’s lots more for you. Thanks to Stamp The Wax for this one.

I fucking love Prince Fox so much. Ever since seeing him kill it at BangOn! last summer, he’s been one of the artists I always toss out when people ask who is up & coming in Brooklyn. Plenty of bad producers have produced this kind of sound and it never comes off correctly. Either it sounds like big room, brolectro or some weird LA pop tune. Prince Fox was able to inject some Flume-y Future Bass style vibes into a some Indie Pop that is going to find itself in dozens of sets this summer. You heard it from me first.

Jai Wolf is another one of those Soundcloud success stories that warms my cockles. Why? Tracks like this. A soft, post-EDM tune that pulls some amazing elements from indie, pop, and where the festival circuit will be by the end of the year. The Foreign Family Collective, created by ODESZA, has some amazing music on it, that you won’t hear in a lot of other places. The collective and the track are a great way to glide through your Monday.



Midweek Music: SAFIA, EDEN, GRiZ, Lemaitre & Mos Def!

summerLabor Day is Sunday ladies & gentlemen. How’s it feeling? Any last adventures? Crazy nights to spend out? Here’s five tracks to bomp as September rises.  SAFIA is so good. This trio makes some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard, and I am terribly mad they are thousands of miles from my shores. This soothing, soulful indietronica track does work and makes me think of that 40min just before the sunset. Great job SAFIA, you’ve got so much more to show us.
EDEN hit it out of the park on this one. The vocals on this are stupendous, with Leah Kelly joining in to push it to the next level. This is track 2 on a 9 track EP that’s surprisingly good from someone I’d never heard from until they showed up on my feed. I highly recommend Nocturne by him as well. HIGHLY.
 GRiZ has become the institution that we all knew he could be. Feelin’ High is quintessential electro soul that proves just how established the genre has become. When you’ve got so many haters you drop a track reminding people to leave em behind, you know you’ve done something right.
Lemaitre takes a tune from Madeon and cranks it up a couple of notches. The Bubblegum electro feel here is the quick pick me up we all need on this September Wednesday. The energy is infectious, with the vocal work from Passion Pit adding to the delight. It’s a great remix, taken from Madeon’s excellent source material. Definitely dance around in your chair kind of stuff!
 Last, but certainly not least, the new hotness from Mos Def. He’s rapping under his old name, giving all the upstarts a reminder why he’s one of the undisputed kings of flow. There is a lot to dive into here, so I’m just going to say that you probably need to listen to it multiple times to pick up on all the lyrical genius he’s crammed into the 3:40. This is his first in years, so don’t miss this, your hip hop brain will thank you.

Midnight Music: SAFIA – Counting Sheep [Aussie Dance Pop]

I’m switching things up for tonight’s Midnight Music. This was a group that I’d been following for the last year or so, after their jaw-droppingly good Paranoia, Ghosts & Other Sounds blew me away 11 months ago. This kind of ethereal dance makes me think of Scissor Sisters and a bunch of distinctly non-American bands that keep it uptempo while not slouching on the vocals. That may or may not be Vincent Price midway in the track, but I really want to focus on the ridiculously excellent vocals that were laid down in this century. There’s an outrageousness that is also creepy at the same time that makes me want more. Frankly, next time I can’t sleep, I have a feeling this is going to get put in my face. Give it up for SAFIA ladies & gentlemen. (via Stoney Roads)