Solange – Losing You

Is R&B making a comeback this year? To me it feels like it is. We have gotten some great new music from Frank Ocean, Jessie Ware, and recently Miguel and now a sweet new single from Solange Knowles (Beyonce’s younger sister). R&B seems to be moving more into the spotlight because of these talented young, new artists. This song feels like it’s straight out of the 8o’s. I love the sample and beats on here, and Solange’s vocals sound great. I like Solange’s personality in this video and in this song. She’s authentic.

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Elliott Smith – Between The Bars

This is one of my favorite songs ever. It always floors me. There is deep love within this song. I can’t say much else, I’m convinced that songs like this make the world a better place to live in.

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Lupe Fiasco – Around My Way (Freedom Ain’t Free)

Finally some new hip hop music I can get behind! Lupe Fiasco has some great flows in his new single “Around My Way”. He also has lyrics that are great food for thought. I like the sax in this song as well. After the over-produced mixed bag that was Lasers, Lupe appears to be back on his own terms with this new single.

 

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Matchbox Twenty – She’s So Mean

Just a fun, catchy new song from good ol’ Matchbox Twenty. We all need a little mainstream music in our lives.

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Melody’s Echo Chamber – I Follow You

It’s still summer right? Because Melody’s Echo Chamber has a sweet summer jam that’s worth checking out. Melody’s Echo Champer is French singer Melody Prochet. Tampe Impla’s Kevin Parker played guitar for Melody on her self titled debut record. You can hear his phased, psychedelic sound and Melody’s sweet vocals on “I Follow You”. Time to soak up the sun everybody!

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Grizzly Bear – Shields (Mini Review)

I’ve come to realize that Grizzly Bear’s music takes some time to settle in and reveal itself. This is because their music is so intricate and well thought out. Their new record Shields is one of the best records I’ve heard this year. It sounds great and I think it’s their most cohesive album to date. Shields doesn’t have exactly the same accessible pop sound that some of Veckatimest had but I think anyone can find themselves singing along to these songs after giving the album some time. I guess I would describe Grizzly Bear as a folk rock band but they truly have a sound that is all their own. Grizzly Bear’s arrangements are so unique and creative. Every listen yields new sounds and textures to appreciate. I love the jazz/blues ending on “What’s Wrong”, the sighed and whispered vocals on “Gun-Shy”, and the heavy shift of tone near the end of “A Simple Answer”. This is a record to get lost and carried away in. Shields shows that Grizzly Bear have a bright and long future ahead of them; although you might have come to that conclusion already.

Shields comes out Sept. 18. Listen to it in it’s entirety here.

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David Byrne & St. Vincent – Who

Okay it’s decided, St. Vincent is officially one of the coolest cats in music. Annie Clark’s persona is just awesome, she’s got a lot of spunk! Now St. Vincent is collaborating with legendary lead singer of The Talking Heads, David Byrne. If you added this up in your head and thought this collaboration might be a little wacky, you’d be right. This music is weird but it’s in a good way. These talented singers and songwriters work together well and each bring strangeness and playfulness to the table. I love the funky horns that are in their first single “Who”. The music video is just as fun and creative as the song is.

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Frightened Rabbit – State Hospital

I’m just getting into Frightened Rabbit’s music now. Kind of late in the game… Oh well! They’re a Scottish band as you will easily figure out when you listen to the vocals. I like their sound which reminds of me of Arcade Fire, U2, and even Radiohead. I also enjoy Scott Hutchison’s powerful, honest, and human lyrics. “State Hospital”, their newest single is a song about a broken girl who was born into a grave. The song paints a pretty depressing picture of a person beat up by people emotionally and physically. I think many teens can relate with this song because of its story of a young person that is lonely and hurting. The song ends in an uplifting manner thankfully. An encouraging reminder that all is not lost, all is not lost.

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The Joy Formidable – Wolf’s Law

Wow! This song was a curveball I didn’t see coming. The Joy Formidable are known for their fuzzy guitar tracks and heavy rock performances but this song is a mature step in a new direction for the band. This song relies on piano and sweeping strings to create a beautiful, expansive song. Ritzy Bryan’s vocals are exquisite. In the second half of the song they return to their heavy hitting sound but it’s driven by drums and piano not guitars. The Joy Formidable have proven themselves to be the real deal in contemporary rock music.

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Yuno – Sunlight

I was excited to find that Yuno (Unouomedude) is working on his debut record called V. I’ve been following this guy for awhile now and I believe he deserves more recognition. Yuno’s sound is similar to chillwave artists such as Neon Indian and Washed Out. His music is exuberantly sunnier than his counterparts though. I feel like Yuno’s music invites people to be happier. If you want to hear a great summer song, check out his new single “Sunlight”.

If you like what you hear, support Yuno and his new record on Kickstarter.

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