Yours Truly

Australia is currently making a lot of waves for creating some of the best pop music on the planet right now. Mansionair is no exception, with their original track ‘Hold Me Down’ being released on their forthcoming debut EP. On top of being released on CHVRCHES Goodbye Records, the EP contains some unreal remixes. One of those, by one of YT’s favorite producers, Maths Time Joy, flips the original ‘Hold Me Down’ from sultry to sultrier, adding a slew of echoing pianos, booming bass hits, and tinkling claps and vocal samples. Like deep sea diving in the warm water of Australia each element comes through crystal clear and encompasses you sonically. And the remix actually does what a good remix is supposed to do, hints of the original still peek through but this feels fresh enough that I keep hitting the replay button.

 

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PREMIERE

We’ve all been in that moment, the moment where everything’s been left to your own volition. Be it your crappy job or a love run its course, you have been left a fork in the road and the time to choose is approaching. COMPNY, the UK collective that “creates music, video content, fashion and artwork” unveils their latest track with us today. ‘Something Had To Give’ is a song that’s ultimately an ode to forced decisions, moments in time where you need to turn left or right at that fork. It’s cut deeply with melancholy-tinged piano and a sweeping choir that provides for an overwhelmingly strong feeling of escape. Not much is known about COMPNY right now but with the way each song is sounding there’s bound to be plenty more goodness on the way.

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There is no changing of the seasons in the electric city, and no real darkness. So in the summer we go to lie together beside the water. All of things of the city mean half as much when we finally take them inside ourselves: the slow water lapping the sun on our skin and the shadows we cast that echo for ages. In and out of sleep with ancientness hovering over like a protecting hand. Things that stay real, you say, are all that you really want now. Here comes the rising tide, here comes the weather, here comes everybody, but we reach into our memories for the magic, blank our minds with the lightning and fire of the receding sun, and push away all this.

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Two pairs of eyes stare out as the car drives on the dirt road. Save for the rain tapping on the roof and windshield wiper moving the dirt we couldn’t reach-there’s silence between your blues and my greens. The luminously gray clouds of this desert monsoon hang over us, threatening to crack open. Blurring, merging – the passenger window grows hazy. There’s more to say. It’s much easier to find smiling faces in the rain droplets as they race down the glass. The air’s electric and pulsating- let me reach out and touch the hem of your sweater while you drive, “I could be the drops that chase you.”

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Step into the future. Did you picture our lives like this? So far apart, crowded by over analyzations and misjudgments. Seas away, yet our eyes meet across the platform. Hearts wrapped in heavy netting. Beating, but the palpations aren’t strong enough to break through. Instead our organs shrivel, tracing every recollection like fingers running down broken words in novels we used to grasp. As anxieties unravel and guards let down, we fold in all our bent cards. Go fish, you say.

Do U miss me? I miss U too.

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PREMIERE

Ex-choir boy Daniel Wilson must believe in the powers of chance and skill. In his new song Killed Ya, Wilson croons about the chance you could meet someone and a switch is flipped, creating a downward spiral in your life. But in that crooning there’s the skill to make a tightly crafted song bubbling with all the right parts. Based from Detroit, Wilson’s latest takes on the stylings of a gospel song but steadily marches with soulful synths and drums. It’s built upon a rock-solid foundation of a pop song nonetheless, and as he sings “it almost killed ya / yeah yeah yeah”  gets stuck in your head you know there’s a solid chance that the skill he showcases will get stuck in your head all day.

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Little Simz has continued to impress over the past year. Everything ranging from the Sango-produced Mandarin Oranges Pt. 2, to the recently released AGE 101, has illustrated how a growing artist is ready to take bigger steps. AGE 101 standout Have I, takes everything that made Simz such a threat to begin with and pushes it even further. The song is basically a case study on how to have a bulletproof flow with rapid fire lyrics all laid upon a sultry beat. And despite what seems like a barrage of constant lyrics, Have I might be the first time (and hopefully not the last) where we see Simz showcase the vulnerability in her voice: “I treaded carefully only to spare your feelings / I sing this song from my chest so you know I mean it.” Little Simz is someone to look out for, and watching her get better and better makes us that much more excited to keep our eyes peeled. Find more here.

 

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PREMIERE

Oscar Key Sung and Andras Fox, as a duo are like a match made in heaven. Both make complex and endearing music with deft ears for groove and soul. The music itself for their latest collaborations Everytime I Go has the feeling of a perfect summer haze; light and airy, soulful and playful. Yet the lyrics are melancholic in the sweetest way possible. ‘I’m only my best when you’re with me, so please stay.’ Endearing and simple, Andras & Oscar have crafted a song that’ll make you dance alone in the mirror and singalong with your best friend while the August heat drones on. And just as you wish that your love comes back into your life, you’ll be pressing replay on this one for a while.

Everytime I Go is the first track from Andras & Oscar’s album Cafe Romantica, coming out on Chapter in October for Aus/NZ, and Dutch label Dopeness Galore for the rest of the world.

 

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The water is warm from the summer sun, but breaking the surface releases a rush of dark cold. It’s that pulsating rush; the bite that takes your breath away. Hidden in the darkness of the river fish dance around your ankles as plants tangle around your thighs. It’s a nice day to feel helpless and alone. Lying on the shore, the water unfolds like an envelope, lapping away at toes as birds call out- they’re flying right below the sun. Black specs among the heartbreaking yellow. Shielding eyes from the piercing light, the sun is now setting. The now orange sphere begins to disintegrate- it’s finding a home behind the mountains where it belongs.

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Until recently, I wouldn’t have guessed that the idea of a dude digging through sofa cushions for loose change would give me high school crush-type butterflies, but Andrew Balasia a.k.a. Gracie’s “Hood Rich” has done just that. According to him, the track is “an open love letter to whoever you spend payday with,” and its galloping electronic drums and oodles of kooky synths make me wanna spend every dollar I make on ice cream sundaes for everyone, forever. Gracie will unleash another single before summer’s over and record an LP after that. Until then, download “Hood Rich” and check out some New York dates below.

Saturday, July 26th @ 54 Knickerbocker – Brooklyn, New York

Monday, July 28th @ Cake Shop – New York, New York

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The Smoke pirouettes leisurely from her cigarette. For an instant it hangs in the air – as if grasping for something – before dissolving silently into the dark. You struggle to trace the smoke back to its origin. Eventually, it leads you to a porcelain figure that blends effortlessly into the dark room around her. From behind her slender frame, a neon sign reads “discotheque”. Written in a purposefully kitsch cursive, its errant flicker takes hold of you.

You’ve been here before. You’ve been here several times. It’s the same: the smoke, the lights, the girl.

My heart is tight, makes my blood go wild. 

This time, you say, it will be different. This time action will trump inaction. You anticipate the forced conversation, the awkward gestures. The minutes go by as faceless forms shuffle around you. Soon, you’re back where you started, smoke twirling around you. Your feet are heavy and it’s impossible to move now.

Your heart’s here, but your lips are so far away. 

Tomorrow you say. Tomorrow.

Yuko Yuko is a Netherlands based artist that creates 80’s inspired pop music. Their entire discography is available on bandcamp.

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Heart defeated, tears strike down your face. Energy doesn’t stand as an option and there’s no room for a fresh start. Body quivers, walking down the street where hands were first held. An autumn scent of crushed leaves fills your soul with hope that tomorrow will be better. The fallen branches only send reminders of what once was. Spirit gives every stem life, but once the season ends, the cold distance takes over any existing breath. At least we have blossoming to look forward to.

This will be the last time.


“Last Time” (produced by Sacred Animals) is taken from London-based newcomer, Blooms‘ debut EP, If. Available to download for a limited time here.

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Many people would simply fade into the background of a video that includes a live tiger and a shirtless dancer draped in streamers, but Minneapolis’ Lizzo isn’t one of them. The 26-year-old rapper’s ferocious eyes and commanding body language are enough to outshine her own head-to-toe gold jewelry and bedazzled McDonald’s box in this clip for “Bus Passes and Happy Meals,” which was directed by Annette Navarro. The standout track from her Lazerbeak-produced solo debut Lizzobangers features a soulfully-sung hook—I’m buryin’ y’all alive—that sounds less bombastic and more like plain fact alongside sharp-tongued verses which, as the visuals suggests, she could probably deliver in her sleep.

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Gilded wings touch down from the red eye. The seasons feel fresher when we’re on new ground. Saba’s HOTC TV directed video is spread smoothly between LA and Chicago hotspots. The staccato bounce of “Butter” nods to emerging sounds from both worlds. Jamila adds the syrup with her bridge. They love you, you’re here. They hate you, who cares. Let’s grease up and spend this summer baking in the sun. Saba’s new mixtape COMFORTzone is out July 15.

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Courses on the road were so naive. We were concurrently traveling everywhere and nowhere. There we lied on La Jolla Shores, our coats as blankets on the sand.  The day before, gazing across the sea at the Golden Gate. Jumping out of the van wondering what we’d encounter next. Touching feet while watching our best friends fade away into the shimmering waves, joyously smiling back.

It wouldn’t last forever, so we soaked every last instance until they drowned. You never know when any given second will be the last time. Treat each occasion like a precious spell, gathering steps taken.

Step into the breeze.

Roman Ruins‘ sophomore album, Source of Pride is available through Gold Robot Records. Meanest Man Contest transforms “Loved One” into fantasies suit for a summer full of wanderlust.

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A hasty charcoal sketch of a familiar face is done rushed on the white apartment wall. Artisan hands move rapidly to remember details from a faulty memory, while the black dust clings to fingers and smudges on hot, reddened cheeks. Drawing his eyes was never difficult in the past- are they smaller now than before? These feelings sparked by the brief glimpse of his face in a crowd. Previously appearing in color, this man has become a rough outline of a boy- King avriel knows far too well how this pain feels. A Rorschach test for the heart- deciphering past behavior proves now to be almost impossible. “Falling for caricatures/ just an idea/ just an idea of you,” she sings about a relationship rooted by desire, yet broken by the harsh reality of falling in love with a lie.

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With a discernable ear for the quiet conversations between strangers, Grumby collects vocal samples and percussions like charms on a charm bracelet in this new remix. His reworked beats spill out of car speakers into a street filled with partygoers on a hot summer night. People lean against parked cars, laughing softly into interested ears, while parted lips slowly unveil smiles. Using only the illumination of burning cigarettes and stars as a guide, listeners are carried on the cloud of Grumby’s strange new world. This remix of “Inside Voice” capitalizes on this somehow slow jam, yet dance heavy instrumentation that begs for movement. Having captured the collective essence of the original track by Joey Dosik, Grumby makes no apologies for injecting a heavy dose of seamless funk into this track that ignites feelings of joy and nostalgia for youth. 

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The light shines so brightly through the window cracks. Eyes squinting, my face is stuck in feather pillows, attempting to release anxiety-ridden thoughts crawling on the walls.  Why don’t I want to go outside like all the rest of the kids? There’s so much to explore. Another evening rolls around, what did I do today? Nothing. As my lids slowly shut, glimpses of the snake creep around my candle-lit bedroom. It’s back again, no escaping.

Existence needs defiance. We can’t seem to let go, even if it throws us into spiraling depths of darkness.

In my dreams I’m on a mountain with the greenest forestry. Vivid blossoms and herbs garnish the trails. There is no judgement or pain here. Glancing up to the skies, I close my eyes afresh. The snake is free.

Take a short break from your reality and listen to The Spookfish‘s new album Living Room. Available on cassette via Russian label Singapore Sling.

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The sun rises but she does not. Days worth of empty glasses clutter her nightstand, while ashes and resin cling to the surfaces between. Bottles splay on the floor, parallel to her stagnant limbs. Her lids flutter open, but the darkness remains. Day and night she speaks to herself with a voice unfamiliar, working through the layers shamed to secret and vowing to navigate where no one else dares.

The video for “Conversations” is the band’s take on Group Primary Accumulation, the 1973 performance piece by the celebrated American choreographer Trisha Brown. 

Woman’s Hour releases their debut album, ”Conversations,” July 15th on Secretly Canadian.

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Hours of patience and years of retrospect have reached an ultimate verdict. Moments pile up wondering what the next step shall be. Should you rest in comfort? That bed of roses you made isn’t so peaceful after all.

Boxes and bubble wrap tightly protect your fondest belongings. Panic strikes as final goodbyes are made. Sinking feelings of misery seizes every bodily vein while your ex drives away with the cat, but at last, independence is here. It swarms every step you make with a floral suitcase in hand. Ground appears as the plane wheels touch your destination. Springing through the terminal followed by a manic taxi ride unveils a new home. 7 am – dawn awaits with steps to a freshly painted front porch swing. Any sign of regret melts into the summer sun rising.

I felt lonely because of you, so I moved to the city.

Caroline Says‘ debut, 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can’t Be Wrong is available on cassette via Happenin Records and Noumenal Loom Records.

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Bathed in the nostalgia of another morning, you welcome the embrace of summer. The warmth of the sun gently pushes your mind from the present to a place far from it. A flash of anticipatory nostalgia blankets your thoughts. These are the moments you live for. These are the mornings that you will miss.

You are stirred back to consciousness by the rattle of a tambourine. The morning light is as comforting as ever. If only it could last forever! Your eyes follow the rays of sunshine as they pierce through your window and dance playfully on the floor. Time pauses for an instant.

With a renewed focus on the present, you are momentarily freed from your anxiety of the unknown. Aspirations distort our vision; we gaze too far forward. But you have always known the truth.

“Forever morning, forever we stay”

There are no tomorrows, only yesterdays.

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