Lay down some vocals, come up with a great disco sound, and party all night long. Jobs a gooden right? Sure, if we are talking about Exmag, as things seem to be super breezy at the moment with this funky hip-hop trio.
In their new video for ‘In This’, which features vocalist Ehiorobo, things are just that. Chilled with celestial harmonies and nostalgic guitar riffs that take you somewhere. You’re not entirely sure where this place is, but you know it’s good.
Speaking of the track, Exmag explains,
“We’re really stoked about this release. We had a great time getting to know Ehiorobo, and producing the track and video for “In This” was a really effortless, communal process…‘In This’ came together really naturally. Ehiorobo was a perfect fit. Everyone came together and we actually had the great party that is being depicted in the video. A big thanks to Ehi, Nesmith Films, and our awesome friends who made this whole production happen so effortlessly.”
It’s part of a two-track release called ‘Glimpses of a Vision’, out now via Majestic Casual Records.
Ben Khan has been quietly collecting praise from tastemakers across the music scene. The highly talented, multi-instrumentalist has just released the visuals for ‘Ruby’, his favourite track of the recent self-entitled album, out now via Dirty Hit.
Directed and produced entirely by Khan himself, the visuals perfectly marry the track’s synthetic and futuristic themes with his undemanding vocals, silently driven by anger and sadness.
A year ago, he travelled to Kashmir, the home of his father (who works in textiles, and whose floral art inspired some of the album’s artwork), “and I just walked around and took sounds on my daily rituals, and tried to put that in there somehow, so it felt like a journey through places.” The result, he hopes, is a work of “magical realism.”
Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls
Big news. Ben Khan returns with the announcement of his debut album (hurrah!) and a self-directed dystopian video for spine-tingling new single ‘2000 Angels’.
The album – set for release in the summer – was produced alongside Flood (PJHarvey, DepecheMode, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Spike Stent (Björk, Frank Ocean), with Ben playing every instrument on the record.
Always with a creative hands-on approach, Ben also plans to launch his new interactive website, The Foundation, which offers an insight into the richness and depth of the album’s story.
Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls
NAVA is the highly energetic project of Persian songwriter Nava Golchini and three other Italian musicians. Visually, NAVA is a mix of horror and fashion inspired by the works of visionary designer Gareth Pugh.
The debut single ‘Ritual’ gives us a glimpse into the NAVA world – full of electro arrangements, tribal instruments and dark metropolitan landscapes.
It could be 2014 again, and boy it feels good! During your visit, expect luscious vocals, addictive synth drops and and nu-disco undertone. All this, courtesy of Betablock3r and the new single ‘Make You Happy’.
It is the first single off their debut EP Monolith, out now.
It wouldn’t be a decent weekly gems feature without some pop in there. This week Tanners is the chosen one.
Tanners is the moniker of New York City-based songwriter and producer Tanner Peterson. Leading the way for women in creative music tech, Tanners has also spoken at TEDxTeen.
Inspired by her childhood love for the beach, ‘Holy Water’ celebrates the beauty and electricity born from allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable and enveloped by the ocean. “It’s a thank you song to the ocean for teaching me to embrace vulnerability,” Tanners says of the track.
Stockholm-based KIDDO is following in the cool Scandi footsteps of Dagny and Sigrid.
Her brazen new single is a song about escaping relating, as KIDDO reminisces “about a time when I knew I had lost everything but it was too painful to face it so I tried to ignore the truth for a little longer in every possible way.”
It’s out now via Stockholm-based independent label BLNK Music.
Sounds like: Kesha, Billie Eilish, Sigrid, Dagny, Soleima, Icona Pop
Time to get funky and sexy with Knox White‘s new single ‘You’ve Been My Girl’.
Following some unexpected advice from music kings, Lionel Ritchie and Paul McCartney, the Los Angeles-based Knox decided to hit up New Orleans to gain some creative perspective. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Knox started collaborating and touring with producer Josh Legg aka Goldroom, and the result is an exciting throwback style of chill wave pop.
Stage Republic is a two-person music project based in The Netherlands.
Citing a strong influence from the 80’s, the duo’s new single ‘Rise and Fall’ started as a one minute piece of improvisation to test a new synthesiser and the end result now showcases a brilliant way to bridge the gap between indie and pop.
Having just signed to Terrible Records (Blood Orange, Porches, Le1f), Norwegian producer and artist Gundelach shares the imaginative ‘Control’.
It is taken from the forth-coming ‘Baltus’ LP, and showcases Gundelach’s Nordic-noir sensibilities, using delicate synths, pulsating beats and his effortless falsetto voice to tell a story of deep personal depression.
Sound like: Ásgeir, Bon Iver, Honne, Boxed In, RY X, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, The Presets
We are excited about Benjamin’s Brother – an interesting indie-pop band from Tel Aviv.
Discussing topics such as violence, death, desire and love, and citing influences across several genres including Arabic, American folk and techno, it’s no surprise that their sound is expansive, yet tender.
Watch their video below, which was shot by Indy Hait, at the Tel Aviv Museum Of Art, on a 16mm film.
Sounds like: Tame Impala, SAMA, Mumford & Sons, Solomon Grey, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Aquilo
Dutch electronic duo CUT_ share ‘It’s On’, a song about the denial towards the demise of a relationship.
But they don’t just write about internal issues found in human nature, but also discuss topics on mass psychology and by analysing these aspects of our society, CUT_ attempts to find a way of coping with the messed up world we’re living in.
We don’t know a great deal about Swedish singer/songwriter Timothy, but have really enjoyed listening to his second single, ‘Fly’.
Timothy explains, “The song is a long battle with a ghost of his, he interpreters his own song with a self-written poem. Wanting the listener to create their own story, rather than giving it all away.”
Sounds like: Bon Iver, Alex Vargas, Ry X, The xx, Keaton Henson, Matt Corby
Ohio based psychedelic pop quartet Captain Kidd share their new single called ‘Wild’, which is a blissful tune full of calming harmonies and shining production.
Lucky for you lot, Captain Kidd put together a playlist for us.
Blood Orange – Best to You
The hardest part about making this list might have been picking the right Dev Hynes track, but we would be lying if we said we’ve been jamming any other more than this one. The man truly is a genius, especially when it comes to writing parts for female vocalists, which is clearly shown in “Best to You.”
McFabulous – I Live Above the Hobby Shop
We were shuffling through discover weekly once and came across this track and thought maybe this was a live version of Glass Animals. We looked it up and realized they had sampled McFabulous for “Season 2 Episode 3,” and we absolutely loved this jam. Plus, McFabulous is an incredible name.
Ariel Pink – Another Weekend
Ariel Pink is the epitome of an artist pushing the boundaries of their sound. In fact, he has no boundaries. He does whatever he wants. Not many people can make experimental music catchy. This track off his new album is no different.
Porches – Find Me
One of our favorite current artists, still unknown to some. We fell in love with his last album Pool. It’s such a progression from his debut release. His latest, “Find Me,” combines that retro 90s house sound with modern day indie pop. We can’t wait for more from his upcoming full length.
TENDER – Machine
We discovered this U.K. based duo on a sub Reddit a few years back. They had one track out called “Armour.” We immediately fell in love with their production and the low and high vocal melody combo, which seems to have become their signature sound. Nate and Eric had a chance to see them live a few months back in Philadelphia.
La Poré – Sad Girl
La Poré is the fast rising solo project of our drummer, Nick Samson, started about a year ago now. If you’re into anything 80s or Foster the People then check out this track, and keep a look out for more of this tasteful pop coming from our percussionist!
Kanye West – Lost in the World
Kanye has been a favorite artist of ours for a long time, and has accompanied us on many road trips back and forth to Cleveland, so a playlist without him just wouldn’t feel right. Between the Bon Iver intro sample and the heavy driving beat, we have always felt this epic album closer is an underrated banger.
Frank Ocean – Self Control
Frank Ocean released Blonde in August 2016, and we instantly fell in love. His raw, emotive vocal style and minimalistic production caught our attention, and the album as a whole continues to get better with every listen. We like this track in particular because it starts out small and simple, but slowly transforms into one of the most moving songs on the album.
Jamie XX – Girl
Jamie XX has been a huge influence on us as self producers, especially with our percussion. We were obsessed with his album In Colour our last year of college. We lived in this enormous house with 9 people total, constantly jamming “Girl” and other accompanying tracks. The people we lived with that year are still some of our best friends, so the combination of nostalgia and the mark Jamie XX has had on us with our production makes this an important track.
Miguel – waves (Tame Impala Remix)
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala continues to amaze us with his progression as a producer and song writer. I mean, who saw Currents coming when Parker first released Innerspeaker? It seams as though he gets poppier with each release, but somehow still maintains that other worldly psychedelic goodness that many fans initially fell in love with. The “waves” remix isn’t what one would normally think of when thinking about a “remix.” It sounds like Miguel and Parker just teamed up to make a banger psych pop track, with those warm drum tones, luscious synths, and of course, lots of flanger.
Mysterious UK-based duo Weslee share their visuals for ‘Boy Like You’.
Another lip-smacking and dreamy song, the Alexandra Gavillet-directed video for ‘Boy Like You’ takes inspiration from Kanye West and centres on the infatuation of the lead male figure through a series of personal camcorder style shots filmed around a hazy American summer.
Sounds like: Ben Khan, Kacy Hill, Blood Orange, Wet, Off Bloom
Rising Swedish teenager Amanda Mair shares ‘Empty Blockings’.
In the video, Amanda broaches the highly important topic of anxiety and depression,
“I wanted to show the feeling of the continuously searchers desperation. The every day hope for running away from anxiety and sorrow but the faith is to weak and puts you in a circle of running and running until you don’t know what you’re running away from.”
Meet Mar, a Dutch-Caribbean-Indonesian who grew up on a houseboat with his musical family in Amsterdam.
We have been blown away by his emotive and often heartbreaking music, specifically his current EP ‘Things Will Be’, which touches on key issues such as depression and suicide.
As a little introduction to the music of Mar, we asked him to put together a playlist for you.
Massive Attack – Teardrop I was born in ’87 I really think the 90s era in music had a huge impact on me. I love the video for this one, the whole package. The simple chords the simple melodies yet so powerful.
D’Angelo – Africa Big fan of D’Angelo’s album Voodoo. This song stands out to me because it’s the only lullaby, he made I think. It’s more pure and honest than the other songs. I love the choice for the snare sound.
Jeff Buckley – So Real I heard Jeff kinda recently like 3/4 years ago or something and fell in love immediately, his guitar work is brilliant and his voice and falsetto are too. This song is truth to me.
Björk – All is Full of Love Björk is not like any other artist in her presentation. I remember seeing this video and was like wtf, this speaks to my soul. Robot clones of her kissing eachother in slowmo. fkyh! The production and lyrics are gold too. Everything fits.
Chris Whitley – Big Sky Country My father, a major infuence on my musical career, used to wake me and my sis up with this song and warm milk w honey. So everytime I hear this song I feel his love. Love the song and the bass specially.
James Blake – Retrograde James to me has one of the best live shows I’ve seen thus far. So pure and everything so well played/sung. His music is so powerful, simple but well put together.
The Isley Brothers – Sensuality Part 1&2 My pianist played me this song, again the simplicity seems there, also in the solo, but the chord progression is kinda tricky to come up with. One of the most sexy tunes of all time to me
Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl Prince. The one I connected to while discovering I could sing falsetto haha. So unique. So feminine and powerful but a brought to earth as a man. What an amazing artist. Even though I’m deffo not fan of all of his work, when he touched me with a song he really did it deeply. Like this one. (Sexy M.F in playlist as Most Beautiful . . . is not available on Spotify)
Bill Evans – My Foolish Heart His trio formation live show is what I always put on when I need some background music. Love his style of chords choice. This song to me is peaceful autumn, warm ginger tea and a book.
Mats & Morgan Band – Hollmervalsen My father came back from a Scandinavian tour and brought back this weird album from fusion duo Mats and Morgan. I used to listen to this song so often, trying to learn the tempo changes. When music becomes so boring for you, you decide make a robotic fusion song. That’s this to me.