Tag: Hype Machine

Over the course of 2017 and 2018, I wrote a bit about Trent Prall, a Southern California-born, Madison,WI--based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter, and his solo recording project Kainalu, which derives its name for the Hawaiian word for ocean wave.  The music that the Southern California-born, Madison,WI-based producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter has worked on for the past decade or so have drawn from psych pop, psych rock, dream pop, Tropicalia, synth pop and funk, as well as his childhood trips to Oahu, HI visiting his mother’s family, coalescing in a breezy and nostalgia-including sound that Prall has dubbed “Hawaii-fi.”

Finding Peace of Mind” and “Folds Like Origami” consecutively landed at #1 on the Hype Machine Charts and received placements on some top Spotify playlists, and with the growing buzz surrounding him, there was high expectations for Prall to quickly write and release a career-launching debut EP. But rather than get swept up into the current of premature opportunities and expectations, the Southern California-born, Madison, WI-based JOVM mainstay spent the next year in isolation, exploring the unfiltered daydreams of a wandering mind and capturing ideas on tape whenever they drifted by. Interestingly, the end result is his long-awaited and highly-anticipated full-length debut Lotus Gate.

Slated for release this fall, the self-produced Lotus Gate is reportedly a retro-futuristic exploration of Eastern philosophy and contemporary groove and self-exploratory  psychedelia. The album’s latest single “Kamikaze Mushroom Palace” is centered around a warm and trippy, disco-tinged groove, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a soaring hook and Prall’s ethereal falsetto — and while the single sonically sounds indebted to Tame Impala, but with the song’s narrator expressing an inward yearning to get their shit straight by any and all costs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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With the release of last year’s debut EP The Call, the Paris-based electro pop duo SACRE, which is comprised of Hawaii and Sukil, burst into the international scene, as the EP received praise from the likes of Billboard, The Line of Best Fit, Clash Magazine, Impose Magazine, Earmilk and others, as well as a co-sign from Pharrell Williams. Building upon a growing, buzz worthy profile, their follow-up single “Lemonade” reached #2 on the Hype Machine charts — and their debut EP received the remix treatment, featuring remixes from Gigamesh, the Victoires de la Musique-nominated Elephanz, Chopstick & JohnJon, JOVM mainstay Uppermost and NTEIBINT.

Slated for a December 2019 release, the duo’s highly-anticipated, full-length debut Love Revolution will further cement the duo’s reputation for being full-circle creators, who write, sing, produce design everything related to their musical project with the album reportedly finds the members of SACRE meshing music, photography and narrative storytelling with each track of the album telling the story of 12 different characters over the course of 12 hours. The album’s fourth and latest track “10:00PM FIRE IRAE (which translates into “fire wrath”) is a sultry and propulsive trance-inducing, house banger, centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, sultrily delivered ethereal vocals and a soaring hook — and while bearing a resemblance to Giorgio Moroder, Daft Punk, and Kylie Minogue, the song is set at 10:00pm. Bebe, the star of the evening, appears on stage. The crowd cheers for a moment, then hushes, hypnotized by her fire dancing, with her performance ending with Bebe triumphantly setting the entire bar on fire. Show over, time to go home, now — with the crowd slack jawed and with that space cadet glow, as an old song says.

 

 

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New Video: Up-and-Coming Singer/Songwriter Minke Releases an Emotionally Honest Visual for Anthemic “Too Late”

Over the past year or so, I’ve written a bit about the London-born and-based based singer/songwriter and musician Minke (pronounced as to rhyme with the word “link”), and as you may recall with the release of singles “Gold Angel” and “Armour,” the British singer/songwriter and pop artist quickly became a buzz-worthy artist: “Gold Angel” received airplay on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show, was featured on Spotify‘s New Music Friday and Pop Rising playlists and was a Hype Machine #1  — within a two week period. The Line of Best Fit  praised “Gold Angel” for its “elements of pop, rock, soul and R&B,” and “guitar riffs mingled with understated vocals like curls of smoke in a darkened bar” — while “Armour” was praised by Billboard, who said the song was “a female empowerment anthem about letting go of your defenses and learning how to be vulnerable, especially with those closest to you.”

Minke released her highly-anticipated debut EP The Tearoom last month, and from the soulful and self-assured “Maybe 25,” the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter revealed an uncanny ability to powerfully heartfelt and emotionally honest songs with soaring and anthemic hook. Continuing in a similar vein, The Tearoom’s second later single “Too Late” is centered around an enormous, shout along worthy hook and an unvarnished, lived-in emotional honesty — in particular, the bitter pettiness, ambivalent feelings and fury that’s inherent in a dysfunctional relationship and a nasty, heart wrenching breakup. 

“This was a moment after a bad breakup that I needed to get out of my system,” the up-and-coming British singer/songwriter and musician explains in press notes. “I was trying to rationalize it and take the high road but knew what had happened was wrong, so I was annoyed and reveling in the petty, just for a second. Thank you, next.”

Directed by actress, comedian and director Aisha Taylor, the recently released video stars Minke and Baby Daddy star Jean-Luc Bilodeau as a couple waiting for a train in a metro station, and the video manages to capture the ambivalence, bitterness, confusion and pettiness at the heart of the song.  As Minke says of the video “The ‘Too Late’ video was a joy to be a part of, mainly due to the limitless talents of Aisha who thought of the concept, directed and edited the video,” she gushes. “I couldn’t have asked for a more talented and supportive screen partner in Jean Luc to bring this broken relationship alive and I’m proud of the end result. It feels wholly representative of the song as it captures the dizzy confusion I was feeling at the time when I wrote it and I can’t wait for people to see it!” Adds, director, Aisha Tyler, “Minke is a stunningly evocative songwriter. Her music is visceral and emotionally intoxicating — dreamlike melodies encircling a razor’s edge. ‘Too Late’ is so intensely captivating that coming up with a visual language for the video was a delight — all I had to do was let her creativity and rock star quality shine through. We had an absolute blast filming a relatively unseen part of Los Angeles; I can’t wait to do it again in the future.”

Ethan Snoreck is a 19-year-old, Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based electronic music artist, DJ and electronic music producer, best known as Whethan. Snoreck first made a name for himself as a SoundCloud producer, who gained attention from the likes of Skrillex and Flux Pavillion; but he hasn’t forgotten where he came from, as he continues to feed the SoundCloud producer community with bootlegs of artists like Clairo and Brockhampton, which have received attention from the artists — and have led to Hype Machine #1s.
Building upon a growing profile, Whethan has toured with the likes of The Chainsmokers  and made festival appearances at Lollapalooza, Billboard Hot 100 Music Festival and Coachella. The Chicago-born, Los Angeles-based electronic music producer, electronic music artist and DJ is set to play a few West coast dates with Zedd in April and will make a return appearance at Lollapalooza in the fall; but in the meantime, Whethan’s first single of the year, the starry-eyed club banger “Win You Over,” a collaboration with up-and-coming Norwegian artist Bearson and up-and-coming Irish aristocrat’s SOAK. Centered around SOAK’s sultry yet ethereal vocals floating over a disco  house production featuring thumping beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, chopped up vocals, and an enormously anthemic hook — and while slickly produced, the song captures the first swooning moments infatuation that border on obsession.

Raised in the Atlanta suburbs by Chinese immigrants, the Los Angeles-based electro pop producer, multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Kenny Zhao studied classical piano and composition before he relocated to Southern California. Largely inspired by M83, Charlift, RHYE, Miguel, Washed Out, and Gorillaz, Zhao through his solo recording project, the aptly named Zhao had a breakthrough year last year, with tracks landing on Spotify‘s “Fresh Finds” and “Summer Heat” playlists, eventually reaching #9 on the Hype Machine charts. Adding to a growing profile, Zhao has contributed vocals on tracks by Eric Sharp, Armand Van Helden and Black Coffee — and he’s played at a number of venues across the Los Angeles area, including The Moroccan Lounge, The Satellite and at LA Chinatown’s Lunar New Year Festival.  And while his sound is evolving, he has generally taken a dance floor friendly path.

Building upon a growing profile, Zhao’s latest single is the summery “Feeling Today” will further cement his developing reputation for crafting breezy and funky synth pop, as the track is centered around a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, shimmering and arpeggiated synths and Zhao’s sultry and soulful vocals. Sonically, the song is a slick amalgamation of 90s neo soul and 80s synth funk that manages to nod at some of Zhao’s influences; but thematically, the song touches upon treating every situation in life as valuable and necessary and putting aside fears of being taken advantage of and processing the idea that all people deserve love. That’s the message – that kindness will set you free. That resentment and fear put you in a cage, and the solution is to forgive yourself, forgive others and move on. There’s also an element of reassuring myself that whatever happens, the best thing I can do is operate within what I can control – honing my craft, and checking in with people I care about”, explains the Zhao.  “I’ve always viewed my songwriting process like a form of self-psychoanalysis…like finding out what I’ve really been thinking about.”

 

 

New Audio: Minke Releases Her Most Emotionally Honest Song to Date

If you were frequenting this site last year, you may have come across a post featuring the London-born and-based based singer/songwriter and musician Minke (pronounced as to rhyme with the word “link”), and as you may recall with the release of her first tow singles “Gold Angel” and “Armour,” the British singer/songwriter and pop artist quickly became a buzz-worthy artist: “Gold Angel” received airplay on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 Radio show, was featured on Spotify‘s New Music Friday and Pop Rising playlists and was a Hype Machine #1  — within a two week period. Additionally, the song received praise from The Line of Best Fit for its “elements of pop, rock, soul and R&B,” and “guitar riffs, mingled with understated vocals like curls of smoke in a darkened bar.” “Armour” was released to praise from Billboard, who said the song was “a female empowerment anthem about letting go of your defenses and learning how to be vulnerable, especially with those closest to you.”

Minke’s first single of 2019 “Too Late,” is the follow up to the critically acclaimed “Maybe 25,” and the soulful and self-assured track, which is centered by Nile Rodgers-like guitar, thumping beats. a soaring hook (which she has an uncanny knack for) and an unvarnished, lived-in emotional honesty — the sort of bitter pettiness we all can get caught up in after a nasty breakup. And as Minke explains in press notes, “This was a moment after a bad breakup that I needed to get out of my system. I was trying to rationalize it and take the high road but knew what had happened was wrong, so I was annoyed and reveling in the petty, just for a second. Thank you, next.” 

Her highly-anticipated debut EP The Tearoom is slated for a March 8, 2019 release. She’s been confirmed to appear at this year’s SXSW and from what I understand there will be more tour dates forthcoming. Hopefully, they’ll be a New York City stop. 

New Audio: Introducing the Urgent Power Pop of Norway’s Spielbergs

With the release of their urgent debut single “We Are All Going To Die,” the Oslo, Norway-based indie rock trio Spielbergs, comprised of Mads Baklien, Stian Brennskag and Christian Løvhaug, quickly established themselves as a band to watch as they received attention across the globe, eventually topping the Hype Machine charts as one of the most blogged about bands in the world and eventually receiving airplay on Steve Lamacq’s BBC Radio 6 program. Building upon a growing profile, the Norwegian trio released their debut EP Distant Star to critical applause — although after such immediate success, there was one question that frequently followed: “How do you follow that up?” Well, if you’re an up-and-coming band, much like Speilbergs you continue on the momentum of the previous year with the highly-anticipated release of your full-length debut; in the case of Spielbergs, their full-length debut This Is Not The End is slated for a February 1, 2019 release through By The Time It Gets Dark Records. 

This Is Not The End’s first single “4AM” is a breakneck and ardently urgent ripper, centered by big power chords, shout along worthy hooks and a heart-worn-on-the-sleeve immediacy that’s endearing and necessary within a world that’s inching towards its inevitable destruction. Interestingly, the song is underpinned by a power pop-like sense of melody that recalls Cheap Trick.  

 

Now, over the past few years, I’ve written quite a bit about Copenhagen, Denmark-based electro pop duo and JOVM mainstays Palace Winter, and the act, which features Australian-born, Copenhagen-based singer/songwriter Carl Coleman and Caspar Hesselager can trace its origins to Coleman and Hesselager’s mutual familiarity and appreciation for each other’s work in a number of different projects — and naturally, the duo were encouraged to collaborate together. 2015 saw the release of their debut single, but 2016 the duo saw critical praise from The Guardian, NME, The Line of Best Fit, and airplay from KCRWKEXPNorway’s P3, Denmark’s P6, as well as by BBC Radio personalities Guy Garvey, Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft with the release of the Medication EP and their full-length debut Waiting for the World to Turn.  Adding to a growing international profile, Coleman and Hesselager have a Hype Machine #1 single under their belts, have opened for Noel Gallagher, and have made appearances across the European festival circuit, including sets at Guy Garvey’s curated Meltdown FestivalRoskilde FestivalGreen Man FestivalSziget FestivalLatitude Festival and Secret Garden Party among others.

Nowadays, the Australian-Danish duo’s sophomore album was released earlier this year and from album singles “Empire,”  “Come Back (Left Behind),” “Baltimore,” and “Take Shelter,” their sophomore album reveals an act that has managed to expand upon their sound and songwriting approach in a subtle yet decided fashion as the material is centered around Coleman and Hasselager’s penchant for pairing at times breezy, melodic and downright radio friendly pop with dark and sobering thematic concerns — with Nowadays, their material focuses on the inevitable loss of innocence as one truly becomes an adult; the recognition of the fear, freedom and power that comes as one takes control of their life and destiny; the tough and sometimes embittering life lessons that get thrown in your way; as well as the inconsolable grief and confusion of loss. Interestingly, the Australian-Danish duo’s latest single “Acting Like Lovers” may arguably be one of the upbeat songs on the album as its centered by a production that manages to be simultaneously cinematic and intimate as it features strummed acoustic guitar, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, a motorik-like groove and their uncanny ability to craft breezy, 70s AM rock-like melodies. The song hints at a sense of closure — but with the subtle recognition that in life there is no such thing as closure, that life inevitably shoves you forward while you make every attempt to pick up the pieces and have some semblance of normalcy.

The single features two covers — the duo’s breezy, Junip-like take on Elliott Smith’s “Christian Brothers,” that feels like a subtle departure from the original, and one of my favorite songs by The Cars, “Drive,'” which manages to maintain the song’s moody and contemplative air. As the duo’s Caspar Hesselager explains, Elliott is someone who has influenced both me and Carl profoundly, and for me personally (growing up mostly with classical music and jazz) he became the guy that got me into listening to songwriters. We’ve often jammed his songs in the studio for fun and our cover of his song ‘Christian Brothers’ has been a favourite encore of ours on many shows. It’s from his second album ‘Elliott Smith’ which along with the debut album is him at his most lo-fi and raw. It’s almost ‘anti-produced’ but as always you can’t keep those songs from burning right through all of that.” The duo’s Carl Coleman elaborates on their cover of The Cars’ “Drive,” “This was a song that always followed me around growing up in the 80s and 90s. I’m a sucker for sad pop songs. I’ve just always been attracted to melancholy stuff and this song has it all. All that drama and mystery plus a beautiful simple melody. Hell, we couldn’t help but have a crack at it.”