Category Archives: Recommendations

Stream Hovvdy’s new single “Late”

Hovvdy, a two-part duo from Texas, have released “Late”, a new single from their upcoming album Cranberry, set to be released February 9th, 2018. The release of “Late” follows their earlier release of “Petal”, which debuted back in October. Both tracks are melodic and slow, with introspective lyrics, reflecting on past situations.

In addition to their two releases, they are currently finishing up a fall West Coast Tour, leaving fans excited in anticipation for Cranberry‘s full release. You can preorder the album here.

Stream “Late” below:

 

Sam Smith Enthralls on The Thrill of It All

Written by: Kitty Modell-Rosen

Last week, 2014’s breakout singer/songwriter Sam Smith released his long awaited sophomore album The Thrill of It All. Smith has certainly outdone himself, stripping much of this release’s songs down to just his powerful vocals, a simple piano and when necessary, a gospel choir to add layers of strength and spirituality to his already angelic voice.

The album’s first track, “Too Good At Goodbyes” served as the album’s lead single and ushered in this new era of music for Smith and his patient fanbase. The first half of the song finds Smith accompanied by just a subtle piano playing the simplest chords, joined by finger-snapping. As emotions build and tensions rise, a beat kicks in and eventually Smith is flanked by a gospel choir, echoing his verses to the heavens.

On “HIM”, Smith tells the beautiful story of a young boy coming out to the most important men in his life – his father, and the “Holy Father”, God. Outlined within the song’s lyrics is a boy standing up for the love he holds for another boy, as well as the love he insists he deserves from God and his father despite this supposed religious transgression in the form of engaging in a homosexual relationship. The track is empowering, and brings chills to the spine when the gospel choir joins Smith, adding another layer to the religious battle the boy is fighting.

“Midnight Train” takes a somber note and flips the perspective to Smith making the painful decision to break a lover’s heart this time, as opposed to allowing his heart to be broken as he usually does. The track takes on a Doo-Wop-esque feeling and sound at the chorus, as Smith contemplates whether he is a “monster” for making the selfish decision to put himself before his now ex-boyfriend, what his lover’s family will think of him for leaving and how to put into words why he must depart for good.

The Timbaland-produced “Pray” served as an additional promotional release for the album, and was inspired by the time Smith spent in Iraq with the charity War Child. The song’s opening fools the listener into thinking the song will be upbeat, when in reality, it openly and emotionally details Smith’s naiveté regarding the state of the world – citing a lack of completed education, his young age, his ignoring of the news and having turned away from religion. By the end of the track, Smith concludes that despite all of this, we all end up praying, at one point or another, for a “glimmer of hope” in the darkness of our current world.

Additionally of note is “Scars”, exclusively available as one of the album’s special edition bonus tracks. Serving as a kind of dual letter to his mother and father in response to their divorce, “Scars” is poetic, heartwarming and heartbreaking, all in the span of three minutes. Smith sings that his parents’ newfound happiness without each other as husband and wife, as well as their assistance and guidance to their children through that tough time, has healed his metaphorical scars.

Smith’s debut release In the Lonely Hour is nothing when in the shadow of this powerful and emotional sophomore release. As a whole, The Thrill of It All is hauntingly raw and real, as Smith reveals to his listeners – layer by layer, track by track – how heartbreak of all kinds has affected him and culminated in this painfully honest collection of ballads.

Listen below:

Boy Pablo’s Roy Pablo

At just 18, Norwegian-native Boy Pablo has already released 3 singles and a 6 track EP. He is joined on stage by his best friends and is currently touring around Europe. His latest release, Roy Pablo, was released this past May and quickly gained attention among the dreampop community, being compared to acts like Mild High Club and Banes World.

Check out the EP below:

(recommended tracks: everytime, ur phone, ready / problems)

10 Years Ago Today: Radiohead’s In Rainbows

Ten years ago today, on Oct. 10th 2007, Radiohead self-released their seventh studio album In Rainbows, after breaking from their former label. In Rainbows was announced and released on Radiohead’s blog, with pay-what-you-want download link. They were the first major band to do this, and it sparked international debate about revolutionizing the role of the music industry, garnering mostly positive reactions. The album received critical acclaim, won 2 Grammys, and was named one of the top albums of 2007. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked In Rainbows as #336 on the updated list of Greatest 500 Albums of All Time.

Take a look back and give it a spin:

 

Peach Pit- Being So Normal

Peach Pit, a four-piece act from Vancouver, released their sophomore album Being So Normal on September 15th. In February 2017, a YouTube channel sent their self-titled track, “Peach Pit” viral after discovering it on their Bandcamp. The group quickly started to amass a following, and are now on a worldwide tour (stopping in NY at Baby’s All Right Oct. 8th!). Self-described as ‘chewed bubblegum pop’, their latest album flows along with melodic guitar riffs and dreamy vocals. Each track sounds a bit different than the last, a clear experimentation with sound while progressing in their music-making.

Listen to a track off the new album below:

Song of the Day: Soft Sounds From Another Planet -Japanese Breakfast

Today’s song of the day is hand-picked from Japanese Breakfast’s sophomore album Soft Sounds From Another Planet, released this past July. Melodic and dreamy, this title track encapsulates the feeling of closing your eyes and laying in the warm sun. Paired with layers of masterfully crafted cosmic arrangements, the depth of the lyrics hit hard as Michelle Zauner paints a tale of an abusive ex-lover. While seemingly melancholic, the theme of this album centers on healing and release, in contrast to her 2016 debut album Psychopomp, which journeyed her mother’s emotional battle with cancer. A lap steel guitar solo and floaty vocals package this track up into a perfect cozy nighttime listen.

You can listen below, along with the rest of the album: