Category: NEW MUSIC

HAIM – I Want You Back

After years of touring, HAIM have released what amazingly is just their second album. The rawness and uniqueness of their debut album is offset by the obvious advancement of their craft in the followup. This is a really solid album. I highly recommend you listen to the whole thing, but their first single is certainly a standout in its own right.

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Porter Robinson & Madeon – Shelter

Another track I should have posted awhile ago, but I figured it would turn out to be a much bigger song than it ultimately was. Lately I’ve found quite a few people that I assumed had heard it, and I know would enjoy this track, that had never experienced it. For that reason I’m posting this inevitably good collaboration between young American producer Porter Robinson and young French producer Madeon. Honestly, combining the genius of these two could either produce a fantastic track (although not necessarily mainstream) or something so very obscure that very few could appreciate it. Luckily it was the former.

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Ed Sheeran – Castle On The Hill

I held off for awhile before posting this as it seems almost pointless. I’d be amazed if someone hasn’t heard this song yet as it’s been #1 or #2 in the UK and USA for quite some time, but I have to admit that it gave me a real respect for this songwriter for the first time. I’d of course heard a few solid songs off his last couple albums, but none of them spoke to me like this track did and I think he’s really reached another level of songwriting on this latest album. Forgo the fact that he delayed release to consult Rick Rubin (of countless masterpiece albums fame, seriously, if you don’t know who he is, google his name and prepare to be impressed), I’m giving Ed Sheeran a lot of credit for his new direction. I also love that there is no snare drum. Seriously, name the last popular rock/pop track with no snare drum anywhere in the track…

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Starley – Call On Me (Ryan Riback Remix)

I always wonder if artists get annoyed when a remix turns out to be more popular than the original. The interesting thing with this track is that it was specifically commissioned along with 5 other remixes as an small remix album to compliment the main release. Turns out though that Ryan Riback pulled out the best parts of the track, added some great house piano, sped it up a bit, enhance the beat, added some synth backing layers and voila! 4 million views on Youtube versus just 46 thousand for the original. Maybe that was the point of the remixes to begin with though: as a backup in case the original doesn’t quite hit the mark.

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One Ok Rock – We Are

While this is a great song off their newest album, the live version of the song performed below really surprised me. I’ve never seen a band integrate their fans into a live performance like these guys did for this song. It’s really incredible to watch. I hope more artists try similar things as I think the result is quite powerful. Enjoy the video!

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Maggie Rogers – Alaska

Maggie Rogers who gained fame online for seriously impressing Pharrell in a NYU guest musical lecture has released the track that got both Pharrell and the online world’s attention. It certainly has character, and the uniqueness that so many heard on the initial video still holds true after some further mixing and mastering. I’ve included the video that brought her fame first, followed by her more recent release of the same track.

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Shapeshifter – Stars

These guys defined the standard for a live drum and bass group with vocals as far back as 2001. I’m honestly amazed that they are still turning out jams. This recent release is not just another generic musical offering for a band that has already established credibility, but a real banger that competes with any of the classics they’ve already released in their 15 years on the scene. These guys show no sign of slowing down and good on them. I hope they keep turning out more tunes like this one for as long as possible. I’m certainly going to keep paying attention.

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Calum Scott – Dancing On My Own (Tiesto Remix)

I feel like Tiesto did very little for this remix, and yet it’s all that was needed to make it perfect. It’s annoying when you hear so little created or added, and yet it’s the perfect touch so I can’t argue with the minimalism. Either way, if you’re outside of Britain you may not know this story. Essentially Calum Scott did his own slower re-work of the Robyn classic as his audition for Britain’s Got Talent (right after his sister was denied) and soon enough had his own release of his version of the song followed by a Tiesto remix which just was the icing on the musical cake. I’ve included his initial Britain’s Got Talent audition as a reference to how this all came about. There really isn’t any doubt that you won’t like the track either, it just works…and it’s even better than the original. Sorry Robyn.

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