Category Archives: Album Reviews

Delving Into Rex Mac’s Talented Music: The Release of “ABLOOM” & More

He’s keeping it one hundo for us

Introducing a Massachusetts Asian-American native and a truly talented hip hopper in the scene, Rex Mac. This young lyrical master and hypnotic maestro has been working on music for years now.  He is also a journalist for Know Your Scene, but of course devotes his time and love to his one true craft.

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Since 2012, Rex has been transforming noise into ferocious, elegant tracks (but the passion really began when he was just 12). With a keen eye for the matching of sounds, this artist took his abilities to a whole new level when creating his recent project ABLOOM, which released this year. He demonstrates his competence and expertise in what he does each day, and it shows through the production of this album, which he did all on his own- wrote, produced, and mastered.

The songwriter mentions, “It took me four years to make Abloom, so I felt like a wholly new person by the time I finished it. I named the album after all of its songs were made, and the title just made sense. The image of a big, open flower that Abloom brings to mind was an effective way for me to visually reference vulnerability, honesty, life, the women in mine, and an overall born again feeling. Also, it’s kind of close to the word, ‘album,’ no?”

ABLOOM was created to discuss a deeper and darker topic that many are afraid to express transparently, and Rex made sure to be there to represent the masses. It is an album that touches upon the impacts of detrimental mental health and the thoughts and needs of those affected by it. With each track, he reaches into the soul and brings out the topics that matter most: doubt, self-love and relationships, and understanding. ABLOOM is bursting with various shining colors, vibes, and emotions. “Every song on Abloom tackles the idea of what it is to be your best self. For me, the album’s 10 tracks were simply the songs that materialized when I personally resolved to no longer let depression or anxiety suffocate my day to day. Those two themes have formed and still somewhat drive my narrative, but now I make my demons work for me. I use them as a means to let my listeners know they’re not alone.”

ABLOOM has received praise and review from such publications as Allston Pudding, Boston Hassle, Millennial Noise, and Mmmmaven.

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In an interview with Allston Pudding, the artist recalls, “Songs on the record that sound overly happy were actually made in moments I felt pretty down about myself and my lack of movement in life. In those moments, now that I look back, I think those songs materialized because I was writing love songs to myself in a time when I needed encouragement. ”

The album starts out with the title track, “Abloom”, which is the best intro for this compilation of ingenuity. Following that is “The World is Not Enough”, which is a fun, fast-paced single that kind of sounds like an acoustic version of a video game track. “East Meets West” is a witty tune that features a past GMAD-reviewed artist, Rowlan, a good friend of Rex’s.

To compare and contrast Rex’s music, he reminds you of new day Cam Meekins meets old-school Snoop Dogg & Slick Rick. The music itself is an impressive experimental sound like Kid Cudi’s, but incorporating more 90s West Coast G Funk and Kanye West millennial, forceful simplicity. All the beats are melodious, which is what I think I love most about his music. A healthy balance of tunes and tones, with smart, sincere lyrics.

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“How To Be Alone” is a track about learning to be isolated with oneself . What is very artistic and intriguing about his sounds too are that many of them lead down an unbeaten path of tempo change and rhythmic distortion into a whole new sounding song. It gives listeners a chance at a fresh new experience all in the same the track. At the end of this song, it concludes with a little Frank Sinatra-esque riff, without the autotune and just the raw vocals of Rex, telling the sincere truth of emotion.

“Mantra” is a bumpin’ track that gets you movin’ to the tempo, and the strings are an interesting touch giving it a more spiritual experience.

The whole album in its entirety is like a spoken journal of a man’s thoughts and emotions as he goes through his day, in his own narrative voice and locked inside the chambers of his own mind. “Sonically, I had a blast making the beats for this album. They’re quirky… minimalist. I had the Konmari method in mind when I selected sounds for its songs. The song, ‘The World Is Not Enough,’ doesn’t have a single kick drum or hi hat. ‘Rogues’ doesn’t have a single snare. There are secret songs not mentioned in the album’s tracklist. I wanted to give listeners a deep world to wander”, relays the artist.

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The retro hip hop tunes are honestly really invigorating because we don’t really hear this kind of sound anymore. “One Hundo” gives  us a taste of that. The whines of the 808’s and the slow and smooth flow of the voice and words remind you to appreciate the history of hip hop. Rex perfectly reflects that sound. Definitely my top pick on the album!

I wanted to understand what Rex thought of the current climate of the Massachusetts music scene, especially since there are so many talented ones out there, but such an underground niche hidden beneath the surface of it all. He thoughtfully answered:

“People keep asking why I never moved to New York or Los Angeles upon graduating college to pursue music, implying that the creative grounds are infertile out here. I’ve chosen to remain firmly planted in Massachusetts because I see all of its personality and potential. This is why when I’m not performing I’m writing articles on Boston artists and their backstories. I’m invested in why people do what they do, especially in an area where the infrastructure isn’t as supportive as it should be. Human spirit in the face of resilience is gangster. I thrive off the energy of our underdogs and channel it into my own work”. The artist proceeds with his reasoning:

“Massachusetts is so heavily revered for its leaders and establishments..from academia, to medical advancement, to sports. But for some reason, only a small number of the scene’s current hip hop artists are brought up in national conversation. I’m happy for all of Token and Joyner Lucas’s recent success, but I see so many more hip hop folk out here really executing thoughtful, creative visions.”

He also mentioned that even the female music and art scene is rising and is very strong.  He offers a few suggestions of women that are currently making waves of their own to see for ourselves, such as Jamilah Unique’s multi-genre showcase Art Plug; hip hop artist Oompa’s album, November 3rd; Amanda Shea’s Hope Inc. Showcase; and Anna Rae’s All Together Now POC/LGBTQ/Female focused showcase. “Ultimately, I just want to see a futurist rise out of Massachusetts. I want to see a Kanye or Pharrell pop up out of Boston. I’m not sure who it’ll be, but I won’t stop working till I see that person emerge” enthusiastically chimes the sonic connoisseur.

Rex is working hard, and putting his heart and soul, and every inch of being that there is of him in it. He’s proving that and no question will this artist be able to rise to more fame in which everything will finally blossom and bloom into a stunning career.

To hear more of Rex’s tracks off the album, listen HERE.

Also: Check Out This Exclusive Playlist of Some of Rex’s Favorite Tracks Right Now Both In & Out of Boston!

Be sure to follow him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, and Soundcloud. Check out his site HERE.

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An Exclusive Interview with Newest Member to Team Elysium John Lindahl

John Lindahl feels very lucky to have known his passion from the start.

He has the right to be! With a voice like his and a kind, down-to-Earth personality, no wonder he’s such a heartthrob. With the perfect retro-pop sound, he brings a new age flare to his fun, classic-like tunes.

As mentioned in a previous article, the pop star released his latest EP Changes, which includes six exciting and exhilarating tracks of his own and features the founder of Team Elysium himself, Logic.

I really enjoyed this chat with Lindahl as he explained how thrilled he was to have released this EP finally! He admits that he never really listened to it in full, only because it seemed weird at first, but by the time of our conversation, he gave it a run through. His final conclusions? Proud.

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The artist was originally born in Maryland, but grew up for most of his life in Southern, California, where he resides currently.

We dove into topic spanning across the spectrum from his experiences in music to past concerts he went to things to be looking forward to, and for the season, what holiday traditions his family had. Lindahl began by explaining how his humble beginnings in music started at a really young age. He would find himself amongst performers and back stage with them a lot of the time, and his influences came from some of the legends such as Gene Kelly, Michael Jackson, and others. You can even hear it in his sound, a little George Michael here and a little Prince there, and more. He admitted that these artists “inspired me to perform and be on stage  and try to pursue my dream in that way… I’m lucky enough to have always kind of known what my passion was, which I know people search their lifetime for a passion, so I feel very grateful to have known what I wanted to do since I was 5 or 4!”

I asked him what song he is currently jamming out to, to which he chuckled and replied, “You’re gonna laugh, but I’ve been bumping “Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump.”

The last concert Lindahl attended was LCD Soundsystem, only showing you how big of a variety his taste in music is. “I went with Brian who produced the EP… and Daniel who played guitar for the EP. The light shows  were my favorite part of the show!”

I then wanted to get insights of what it must be like to be an artist now, so when I asked what’s his favorite part of the music industry, he genuinely responded with, “being an artist and creating music is definitely the best part, and all of the little victories to get along the way. Because there are the times where you get pulled down and shot down and you feel a little discouraged, so the little victories along the way when you pour your heart and soul and you start to see a little return on it I think is the best part.”

One of his close friends and co-workers happens to be Bobby himself, aka Logic! How they met was a serendipitous and sweet story of how Lindahl met Logic’s audio engineer and how through a few writing and listening sessions together, the two became friends instantly. That is when he introduced Lindahl to Logic, hanging out with him in the studio during the making  of The Incredible True Story.

I love music. #TBT 📸 @allyironsmorris

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Logic then decided he wanted to start this label (Team Elysium) and asked Lindahl to be a part of the formation of its foundation, and Lindahl couldn’t pass it off. “I feel like a member of his family”, so it only made sense for him to be apart of this crew of amazing and talented people.

As every album should have, Lindahl did have an experiential and eye-opening moment. “My biggest revelation [during the making of Changes] was finding that I was truly coming into my own,  as an artist and as a creative. I know that you’re always learning and that you’ll always get better, but I finally feel very comfortable in my own skin in the studio, on stage when I’m performing, the words that I’m singing, the way I’m conveying the message that I’m try to say. I think it was an overall revelation of comfortability with myself as an artist, which is great, because I have always struggled with confidence in myself, and now I feel like I have arrived today.”

My favorite song happens to be “My World” and “Contagious”, so I asked him what was the influence at least behind “Contagious?” “I’ve always loved ‘All Night Long’ by Lionel Ritchie or “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, all these fun records I’ve always wanted to capture and emulate. And I just wanted to make a really fun song about the power of music in general, because it is contagious, the one true universal language is music. I would say my main thing behind this process was I just wanted to make an infectious feeling that people would want to sing and dance to, and just be together with other people.”

If the young songster could collaborate with anyone, he explained that it would be artists like J.Cole, Ariana Grande, Kanye West, and Mayer Hawthorne, but he also say that he would be willing to collaborate with anyone.  He loves hearing their talent and finding what makes them uniquely their own being in the music scene.

Music is not the only area he shows talent in! He also dresses really well, so when asking about his fashion, he talked about how he goes about picking his outfit of the day. “I look kind of normal, and so do my clothes, but what I do have to do is make sure that my talent is extraordinary! So in my fashion, I try not to go too over the top. It’s the little things in my outfit that pop, nothing too extravagant…nothing that’s too insane, but something that draws your attention”. His fashion-icons are Michael Jackson and A$AP Rocky, and a few other artists, but overall, he explained how just by adding a denim jacket to a look, or wearing an all white outfit and pair of different colored shoes, you can really make a look pop in the chillest way possible.

Describing himself in one word? “Imaginative”, Lindahl elaborates, ” I’m such a dreamer to my detriment. I am always  looking at the future, and always think about if I do this, and if I do that, but I am very lucky to have parents and people around me who know my goals and dreams. My parents have been super helpful in creating an environment to show me how I have to work to achieve my goals, because if I didn’t have that proper training, I would still be dreaming and never act on it. I have to thank my mom and dad and the Elysium team for believing in me.”

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Being only 21, I thought it would be daunting to be in this scene of experienced pioneers, but Lindahl explained that there never was a disconnect, and he was always the youngest in the room, from the start, so he has grown up amongst these people.

“I never want to be the most talented or the smartest in the room, because I can always improve upon myself.”

So, what do we have to be excited for in the near future? Lindahl expressed his excitement of releasing videos to go along with the songs from the project! He sees it as being able to give every track it’s own moment. “I feel like ever song deserves a chance at its own visual.”

Since ’tis the season, I had to know if the artist had any special holiday celebrations or traditions that he did with his family…”My mom is driving my sister home from college, and we always go to a Christmas tree farm and play this intense game of tag. All my family are athletes, so it gets really crazy but it’s so much fun. We knock down so many of the trees”.

Off the EP,  the R&B crooner explained to me that “Changes” would be the the most important track in the project, but “Contagious” is the one that would best describe his demeanor in his current state.

What’s Lindahl OnTheVerge of? “Success.” TRUE. Check out my last article, check out his EP Changes below, and keep on the look out for this emerging artist!

Sounds Limitless is Emerging in the City of Boston

Sounds kind of limitless, right?

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Welcoming to you a new electronic vibe to the city of Boston and hopefully to the entirety of the industry, Sounds Limitless brings you positivity in the form of sound waves. The group that was formed by two music producers from Windsor, CT, brought everyone together as of earlier in the year, and they have been making music since. With such a young reputation in the industry the team has already made massive moves to perform in some extremely well known venues such as Royale, Whiskey Saigon, Icon, Cure, Candybar, and Wonderbar.

Their music is bubbly, emphatic, and spirited, and with more time together, their music is sure to get better and stronger. Sounds Limitless recently released their EP #SummerVibes back in August of this year, and they have been working on more material soon to come. They also have shot music videos that you can watch here: “Royalty” and “Til We Meet Again”.

Their music is much like the EDM summer festival sounds we all love to hear at pool parties, get togethers, and more, and could definitely be seen in a setting like Ultra or Coachella where people are around for a good time. Bits and pieces could use more smoothing out, but all in all, there is hope that they will bring themselves to a point where audiences will recognize their name.

To listen to the EP check it out above.

Bringing their music throughout the New England region and New York, Sounds Limitless honestly sees the power in not preventing yourself from going higher and reaching for more. We will be having them live with us on our radio show On The Verge, November 18th, at 98.3 FMSo be sure to tune in!

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Follow along their journey on their website and on Facebook.

 

Artist Spotlight: April + Vista Magically Open for GoldLink

 

A magical duo you don’t want to miss out on.

I had the chance to cover the Goldlink show in Boston, at the Paradise Rock Club, two weeks ago. Let me tell you, it was a wonderful experience! I had arrived at the venue by 6:30, thirty minutes before the doors opened, and already, there was a line out the door and down the sidewalk. The kids were all chatting as everyone had arrived to the show in crews or as couples to the event.

Now, the crowd was already excited for the headliner who started as nothing but an underground rapper, but who is now known as the ring master to his artistry and devoted fans. With the energy filling the space, the first openers were to take the stage, and wow, did they own it. Enter April + Vista, an indie-R&B, neo-soul duo that emulated the vitality and power of The Fugees and the vibes of  NAO, Anderson .Paak, and Frank Ocean combined. Their music is practicality “genre-less” as they bend the status quo and concoct their own cocktail of music.

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Made up of April George and Matthew Thompson, these two, hailing from the DMV, released their debut EP Note To Self back in July of 2016. Their single “Beasts” reached about 53 K streams alone on Spotify. Now, of course, they have given themselves a huge opportunity by opening for both Masego and GoldLink.

Known as the “Stresswave pioneers”, April + Vista’s eclectic sound is truly what separates them from other artists. Honestly, everyone in the crowd was so extremely happy. It was just sheer love for the music, and it felt as though everyone in that room was truly a person who appreciated the noise produced rather than just the person that is the artist. From start to finish, April + Vista mesmerized us. They enchanted and captivated us and used this beautiful aura of melodies and vocals and instrumentals to lift us into an unearthly dimension. The audience was supportive, cheering at the top of their lungs and getting into it. No one minded if you bumped into them or if you decided to dance with them. People were not afraid to dance stupidly and sing at the top of their lungs. They echoed and called in unison, being cooperative to the duo. I had never seen anything like it before, and in the the darkness of the worn venue that is Paradise Rock Club, the intensity of the provocative and innovative pair stole our hearts.

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April surprised us all when she suddenly pulled out her valiant steed, the violin and began to stroke it in this array of beautiful whines! People didn’t know how to react except scream in excitement.

If you have not hear them yet, then you must now! Listen above to be completely engulfed by the magic of these two’s creations.

Follow them on Instagram and Spotify now!

Courtnie is Back with the Release of Her Glittering EP ‘I Feel Like Color’

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She’s back, and back with a full project of alternative energy which she titles I Feel Like Color. Courtnie now drops the EP that she had been working on for quite some time.

The EP consists of the alt-R&B track we featured before “Take a Dip”, “Slipping”, which is a winding, crooning melody, “Mesmerized”,  a dark tune with that atmospheric touch of Björk, “Never Be” a bellowing harmony, with the layers of her voice sounding like a ghostly lullaby, “U Don’t Have to Call”, which is a more 80’s soprano track with neon emotions and metallic falsettos about being self-assertive and self-dependent, and “LTMF” here we are offered a more funk-centric track that has the sounds of psychedelic guitar plucks and keyboard riffs along with rich lyrics and vocal tunes.

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You can see the range of Courtnie’s artistry which spans various genres across the board from just this project, but also from her past work. Each song fits within the EP as if it’s meant to be there and as this self-defining compilation slowly unravels before your eyes, you hear the transformations her voice travels through to embody each sound. She still has work to do to create a solid production, but she is a majority of the way there, with an undeniable talent that has to be heard and needs to be recognized.

Her music can lull you to sleep, but it could also arouse you, and getting blood and emotions flowing, and have the soul want to sing along to the cries she makes in her tracks. With love wrapped around the notes and lines that she confesses to us, we find a place for her music in our hearts and in our playlists.

 

For more from Courtnie, follow her on Instagram, SoundCloud, and Spotify

Emmit Fenn Tells an Electric Indie Story Via his Masterful EP ‘Prologue’

 

The soundtrack to life

Emmit Fenn is a singer, songwriter, and producer of indie electronic melodies and with those tunes he has accumulated over 23 million  Spotify streams thus far. It’s no secret that offbeat, downtempo music has become a sub-genre of the mainstream sounds, but Fenn is taking that noise and restructuring it into the cinematic soundscapes he now produces. These are the songs that will not only capture your soul, but will also instill a feeling of mystery and seductive darkness you weren’t aware you adored. It is the phantom of music that creeps in your dreams and that continues to keep you dreaming. It’s a lullaby with harmonies that shoot out in different directions and sounds. Each song takes you on a new adventure and every time it is never short of an exhilarating experience.

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I had the chance to interview this young producer from Berkley, CA  and there is no denying the fact that Fenn is a talented and intellectual artist. The first debut of his EP Painting Greys released back in 2015 and peaked at #1 on Spotify’s Global Viral chart for over a week! Now, the artist just released his EP Prologue in June of this summer, and it is one to not forget. With features like YUNA and Nylo on the record, there is only room for good vibes to fill the airspace. (You can listen to the project above!)

Fenn’s music is like watching a Terence Malik film- artistic, imaginative, and haunting. Wandering down his own black and white realms, the man who not only writes stories and composes the music, but also sings in them, walks us through these realms where hardcore synths, orchestral fabrications, and indie-pop vocals intertwine and fit in broken rhythms and fragmented beats. His music is complex, and you can hear the passion as he paints in the grey tones to his music.

Fenn’s alternative world sounds like a mixture of Godspeed, James Blake, RKCB, and Shy Girls! In each track of this EP, he travels down another exotic stream of consciousness.

So now Fenn, the jock/surfer-dude and sonic designer that he is, explained to me more of his story and how it all came to be.

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“I make electronic music, or that’s what they have categorized me as, but I kind of make everything across the board, from electronic to acoustic stuff to classic stuff and it started when I was 12, like the most stereotypical story in the world”, he chuckles to himself and continues, “I found my friend’s keyboard in his garage when he was moving and he just let me have it and i kind of just became obsessed with playing it. I would make all these Christmas albums for my family and friends every year and then I would keep making them for random holidays like Valentine’s day, and then I would have all of these classical albums then finally in 2013 when I graduated high school another one of my friend’s showed me how to use Logic, and showed me how to  make my own sound and then I started to make electronic music, and then it slowly kind of morphed into what I am doing today.”

The conversation went on about how that was an extremely movie-esque situation, and we laughed a bit more. The artist from the Bay Area then went on to discuss how he had grown up in kind of the perfect neck of the woods in terms of being a musician then.

“So many cool kids came from my high school. G-Eazy, Lonely Islanders, and other amazing musicians, and a lot of my friends made music and the Bay Area, Berkley, and Oakland have such a culture to it, it certainly helped out a lot”.

He continues, “I did my first show in Sweden which was super fun for a Sony live event; and Tove Styrke and some others were there, it was crazy, it was so fun, that was the first ever electronic show I have ever done”.

I asked him if he had traveled down the same path that some producers had done to kickstart their musical journeys as a producer, meaning was he first a DJ before entering this realm, or was it straight into the production scene. “It was straight to production, I went from really classical music into production and DJing, and I’m still not really a DJ because everything I do live is all done live.”

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I was curious to know how the amazing collaborations occurred and he was excited to tell the tale. “It was really crazy, I had written this song, and I knew that I really wanted a girl to be on the second verse and I was kind of looking through  the artists I really like and would really like to work with and then there was, you know, musicians we could probably get, and then there were musicians who were like ‘reach’ musicians and were probably people who were not going to do it, but let’s just ask, so we reached out to Yuna’s team, which I thought like ‘no way’, but she responded like a day later and  was like ya, ‘yup, that’s good’. The song was already written, I had already written her part, so she came in a week later and we recorded and it was done like a week later. It was really amazing. She’s so cool, we talk all the time, and she’s just a beautiful human being.”

“Then Nylo, she had done stuff for Zhu, and she like followed me on Soundcloud and I followed her back and that’s kind of how that started, and I was in the middle of a song that I wanted someone to sing on and I sent it to her and she just killed it”.

If you haven’t already seen the musician’s website yourself, then you better go check it out now because it is one of my favorite designs of a website ever. It perfectly portrays his music and how he wants you to experience his music and it gives each song a character of its own to play. “We kind of had this idea when I was still in the development stage, I had so much different music from like pure piano songs and to some that were dance/house songs, and we were trying to figure out how to make a branding fit this whole spectrum that of all the music that was being made of and we couldn’t figure anything out, and we reached out to this guy who does all of my artwork now with all of these ideas. One was this little bar, like this grayscale bar for a Soundcloud banner, and we all just kind of like, once we all saw that we all decided that that’s it, that right there was like the whole project, just that little bar, and we decided let’s put that on everything and kind of run with that, so we kind of decided that the bar would represent the range of music and the range of stories through the project. It kind of encompasses everything, when we reached out to Active Theory, we knew we wanted the bar to be the front and center thing, and that’s how it started and then it kind of started tumbling into more and more things like what if each bar represented a different song, and you clicked the song and you clicked on the bar and it represented a different experience and so ya, it was definitely a process of many different ideas.”

Speaking of ideas, as I had mentioned before, Fenn is a storyteller, and like any good narrator, he writes these stories down but in musical form. I wanted to know how the musical theory behind his music worked and how he approached the songwriting process. “I get asked this everyday, I write all the time, I have a notebook that I write stories in, kind of like a journal, so when I’m writing I just scroll through all my writing and pick out a story or an idea that I previously thought of, and mostly their just relationships… Sometimes the sound comes from the idea of the song or sometimes the opposite, the idea comes from the sound, there are so many different ways of going about songwriting.”

And like any artist, he wishes to evolve and transform his sound as much as he can. It’s a personal challenge he wishes to embrace, and that was one of the things he wanted his fans to take note of. “I think the biggest thing right now, what I want to get across is that no song or EP is going to be the same exact thing as the EP before. I know that people get crazy about when things are not the exact same, like ‘Oh, you got to make the same song as so-and-so’ but each EP is going to be a completely different genre and world than the one before it.”

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We then transitioned the conversation to have some fun, and get away from the seriousness of his career such as catch phrases, favorite artists to hopefully collaborate with and spirit animals.

He laughed at this one and confessed “it’s kind of a weird one but my favorite thing to say is “juug” instead of good, like ”oh that’s juug'”.

His dream artist to collaborate with would be Bon Iver. “Bon Iver, is just amazing, I don’t know if I would want to collaborate with him on a song, but just to play with him live on stage, would just be ugh, so amazing, I can’t, my first concert was Bon Iver…the other would be Marilyn Manson, first of all I think he’s a genius outside music, just politically, a super amazing speaker and really good person. And his music is just so far out there and on a different level “.

We also attempted to brainstorm a spirit animal and came across possibly a perfect choice. “Most of my music is really sad…so ya, like Eyore from Winnie the Pooh”. (Animal choice courtesy of my expertise).

Towards the end of our silly conversation, I asked him if there’s anything that we should be excited for in the coming future, to which he replied, “There is a new EP coming out… uhh haha how much can I tell you? Well, going on tour, and I’ll have more EPs out this year”!

It’s hard to believe that this budding 21-year old (same age as me!) has such a mastery in this art, and I was honored to be able to chat with him on what he is passionate form about. So… listen to his music above, drift away into this multi-dimensional world of sound, and be sure to stay tuned for when his new EP releases.

Also, don’t forget to follow him on his socials!

Soundcloud  Facebook  Instagram  Site  Spotify

Blonder Releases Project ‘$5’ and It is Thriving

 

Worth far more than just $5

Blonder’s $5 EP was released on July 23rd and fans were excited! This indie rock act puts the cool in chill vibes and revives an era of music that seems to have been lost many years ago. With a beach-house rock aura, he commands the sound waves with his impressive, natural ability to provide nostalgia in a track. With wistful lyrics and video-game tones woven into these post-punk sounds, we get what is this project of perfectly planned and designed songs. The EP includes 6 tracks: “Lean”, “Talk to Me”, “In and Out”, “What We Want”, “Upstate”, and “Just Because” (my personal favorite).

The music is honestly the soundtrack to the urban grunge of la la land and made for the cruel youth and rebels without a cause. The reckless and the free, the empowered and the dreamers. There’s something about this music that just keeps you moving and attracts the ear, even when it is not your taste.

Recently, Blonder played a residency at the Elvis Guesthouse with Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and Aaron Maine (Porches). In addition, not many know that his own band consisted of artists such as Wet, Tei Shi, and Guards (to name a few) in the past.

The current full-band just completed their previous tour with Methel Ethyl, and now, Blonder is touring with Day Wave!

All in all, if one were to compare the musical stylings of this crafty and adept man, the sounds would be very similar to those of Vampire Weekend, Years & Years, Wrabel, and Banners, making music a light hearted, fun, and dance-worthy experience– what a power combination of artists! Listen to the music above to get a sense of the musical identity! And also check out below to see what Blonder shared as his top favorite songs!

 

 

Here’s his mega exclusive and unique playlist of amazing tracks that he loves to listen to and the rationale behind it all!

Arcade Fire – “Everything Now”

An Abba song with Thomas Bangalter, I think I read it was made in Paris, I want to believe that at least and it feels like, this was on in the van a lot for the first 2 weeks, a beautiful acoustic guitar sound in the verse, and a melancholy to the whole song, chords and lyrics, made it a perfect contemplative jam. Beautiful.

Lorde – Super Cut

The most pure heroine-esque song on the new record, which I have very mixed feelings about, seemingly with the unpopular opinion. It’s not the Lorde record I wanted, and she seems to have transformed into the wrong thing an artist can do when they’ve reached success, ie. ego driven and more emotionally vanilla. The old record was about the melancholic “we” and this new one about the rush of “I.” Anyway! This song, and a lot of the record, is beautiful to me. “Be a violent overnight rush”.

The Clash – “Magnificent Seven”

just pure swag, impossible to not feel cool listening to this – intersection of rock and funk, with an experimental recording, just incredible. i’m not too aware of the lyrics for this one, they seem a little obtuse but still hot. this one on repeat for days. the clapping, the triangle, the guitars.

Playboi Carti – “Location”

The sweeping synths that open this r so swaggy it’s insane. Love the lyrics too and how it’s not even rapping really, it’s just like being cool on a track. I like that idea of distilling a feeling of cool to such an essence that it’s just almost just ad-libs, and he’s pulling it off in a huge way! It’s a v real movement. And beautiful.

Migos – “Bad and Boujee”

Hadn’t really gotten into this song somehow when it was charting, but on the road one day I was driving alone in the van to get food or something before a gig and I put it on completely spur on the moment, and was truly blow away by how good the vocal production was, the mix, and the swag was literally insane. This song definitely made me feel like they deserved the love the song and the record got, just a masterclass in cool.

Day Wave – “We Try but We Don’t Fit In”

Jackson of day wave brought me out to sing this song with them at the El Rey and I spent the entire hour after our set listening and making sure I memorized the song, a really beautiful and transcendent moment for me. Anyway, I’m so glad I did learn it because I  hadn’t heard it before and it’s a beautiful piece of music.

Bruce Springsteen – “Something in the Night”

This feels like a melancholic ice cream on a summer night in love and with a head full of tequila at 2am. My drummer Noah Chenfeld showed this song to me while we were driving late after a show, he showed me a lot of Bruce, which I always liked but admittedly never fell deeply in love with. This is a good song to help you do that with.

Frank Ocean – “Biking (solo)”

I like how this version starts right at Frank’s verse with the acoustic guitar, feels like the perfect way to make a solo version. Although I loved Jay Z’s verse and the piano underneath it, this is somehow also perfect.

Blur – “Go Out”

Kind of a weird track from the 2015 record but it’s actually so so hot. Put it on while driving and felt it in a big way. I read they recorded it in Japan, and it just feels real swaggy. Damon can do no wrong, it’s kind of weird. He doesn’t always write home runs but they always have a sense of self and definition that’s incredible.

Bjork – “Violently Happy”

No one can do what she does, and this record is from 1993! It’s absolutely insane how important this person is, who else is able to curate this amy trends and sounds and make them their own? It’s like a more elegant, Scandinavian Kanye making art pop. This song is just beautiful, love the house vibes so so much.

Well that’s it! Amazing list!

Stay tuned with Blonder on social media! Facebook I Soundcloud I Site I Instagram I Twitter I iTunes

Opia Shares Amazing, Whimsical Project: ‘Faded’

Tunes to make out to are back and the chemistry is even hotter than before

In this eclectic escapade of a compilation,  Opia brings forth its well-constructed and highly sought out EP Faded. The electro-funk duo have been creating music since 2010 and have been releasing track after track in the following years. Today, the wait is over as their full project consisting of 6 tracks finally is released for all to hear and share!

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Like Sunday morning vibes,  these melodies take you on a dreamy trip into your inner erotic subconscious and sweep you off your feet to creep under the bed sheets with you and keep you there. It’s a blissful haze of sound that builds, destroy, and builds  the guitar riffs and vocals. These talented two, Opia, are going to go very far with their skills and I am very excited what they will produce as these guys are known to be innovators of their own, bewildering and attractive tunes!

“Heart of Gold”, the slow-tempo and genuine single, was the only song that was not released along with the other tracks, and so it was the surprise in the entirety of the album’s creation.

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Other songs included are “Faded”, an uplifting and anthemic track, “YDU”, a seductive and funky record, “Devil in Disguise”, a coarse and melodic rock song, “Secrets” ft Sam Fischer, a rhythmic, soulful tune, and lastly “Falling”, their electric, down-tempoed, cool, and erotic hit single.

All of these tracks have been released before, and in fact, the release plan began as of 2016 and have progressed since. The band slowly make their way to recognition by being noticed by Earmilk, TIME magazine, and making it to the top managers of an artist. Recently, the pair came back from their spectacular tour opening for Marian Hill. The boys will once  again be on tour starting as of this fall in Los Angeles, so be sure to check them out as they open for the talented, Whethan! For your consideration, the Touring List is Below!

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Los Angeles
San Francisco
Santa Cruz
San Luis Obispo
Portland
Vancouver
Eugene
Reno
Salt Lake City
Fort Collins
Lincoln
Lawrence
Fayetteville
Nashville
Atlanta
New Orleans
Orlando
Fort Lauderdale
Tampa
Charleston
Asheville
Morgantown
Baltimore

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Be sure to follow the dudes on these sites, for more information on the act and their latest happenings!

Instagram I Facebook I Twitter I Site I Spotify I Soundcloud