Tag: singles

New Audio: Les Flâneurs’ Trip Hop Inspired Debut

Alessando “Alex” Marchetti is a multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known for his work in Italian indie band Il Disordine delle Cose, an act which has released three albums through Quite Please and Warner Chappell Music.

Marchetti’s solo side project Les Flâneurs — Les Flâneurs  in French means “stroller,” “lounger” “saunterer” or “loafer” — can trace its origins to when the Italian multi-instrumentalist began writing and recording material with a different vibe and feel from his primary gig; but with artists he had met while as a member of Il Disordine delle Cose. Sonically, the project’s sound features elements of indie electro pop, indie electro folk, complete with synths, drum machines and orchestral sections.

Interestingly, Marchetti views his work with Les Flâneurs as part director, part producer, in which everyone brings their talents to create — or improve upon the material. So far, the Italian producer and multi-instrumentalist has collaborated with an array of up-and-coming internationally based artists including Italy’s Carlot-ta, Sweden’s Hanna Turi and Brazil’s Priscila Ribas among others.

Marchetti’s Les Flâneurs debut single, the slow-burning and contemplative  “Dark Souls,” is centered around a sparse and atmospheric production featuring twinkling piano, stuttering beats and Alice Greco’s haunting and expressive vocals. Indebted to 90s trip hop — in particular Dummy-era Portishead and Massive Attack, the song manages to possess a chilly and air,  evoking a walk in a brisk and clear night. 


Earlier this year, I wrote about Charleston, SC-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Kyle Lacy, and with the release of the Squeeze meets Daptone Records-like “Hangin On,” the up-and-coming Charleston-born, New York-based singer/songwriter and guitarist established a sound that draws from vintage rock and soul. Interestingly, Lacy’s latest single, the first official single off his forthcoming debut full-length debut Bad Days is the uplifting “Believe In Tomorrow” finds Lacy digging deep into the rock and soul sounds of his previous Dala Records single, but while finding his song leaning heavily towards Mavis Staples/The Staple Singers-like spirituals. Produced by Dala Records founder Billy Austik, best known for his work with Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones, Mark Ronson, Lacy’s latest single was written and recorded in just one day, while utilizing the old school, analog production approach the label has developed a reputation for.

Interestingly, the forthcoming full-length album reportedly finds Lacy delving deeply into soul and gospel — while affording the up-and-coming singer/songwriter much more freedom. “Now, I don’t have to think in terms of, ‘will people dance to this in a bar’, but I can actually say to myself, ‘would I listen to this song?’” Lacy says in press notes. Along  with that came a great deal of artistic and creative growth — in particular, the sessions that produced “Believe In Tomorrow” were the most formative for him. “It felt like we were all stepping out of the shadow of our fears, and collectively trying to tell a story of hope.”





New Audio: Acclaimed Canadian Act BADBADNOTGOOD Releases a Cover of a Slow-Burning 80s Soul Classic

BADBADNOTGOOD, the Toronto-based jazz-inspired act, currently comprised of founding members Chester Hansen (bass), and Alexander Sowinski (drums) with Leland Whitty has received attention for a sound and compositional approach that draws from hip-hop, electronica, jazz and prog rock — and for jazz based interpretations of hip-hop tracks, which have allowed the act to collaborate with the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Tyler The Creator, Earl Sweatshirt, Denzel Curry, Danny Brown, Mick Jenkins, Ghostface Killah and others. (It shouldn’t be surprising that the act can trace its origins to the band’s founding members bonding over a mutual love of hip-hop — in particular MF Doom and Odd Future.)

As the story goes, the band’s founding members, which also included Matt Tavares played a piece based on Odd Future’s music for a panel of their jazz performance instructors, who  sadly didn’t believe it had much musical value. But after they released the composition as “The Odd Future Sessions, Part 1,” the track caught the attention of Tyler the Creator, who helped the video go viral. 

The Canadian act followed that up with the 2011 release of their full-length debut BBNG, which featured interpretations of A Tribe Called Quest, Waka Flocka Flame and Odd Future. Building upon a growing profile, the members of BADBADNOTGOOD recorded a live jam session with Tyler The Creator in Sowinski’s basement, with videos from the session amassing more than a million views each.

2012’s sophomore effort BBNG2 was recorded over the course of a ten-hour studio session and featured Leland Whitty (saxophone) and Luan Phung (electric guitar) and featured their own original material, as well as renditions of songs by Kanye West, My Bloody Valentine, James Blake, Earl Sweatshirt and Feist. That year, the band was the official Coachella Festival house band, backing Frank Ocean and Odd Future over the course of its two weekends.

2013 saw the release of III, which featured “Hedron,” a track that was also featured on the compilation album Late Night Tales: Bonobo; “CS60” and “Can’t Leave the Night,” which was released with the B-side “Sustain,” and they were involved on the soundtrack for The Man with the Iron Fists, assisting with the production and composition.

2015 saw the release of the band’s fourth, full-length album Sour Soul, and the album which is more of a hip-hop album that nods at jazz found the Canadian act collaborating with Ghostface Killah. They ended the year with covers of a handful of holiday standards, including “Christmas Time Is Here” with Choir! Choir! Choir!

Leland Whitty joined the band as a full-time member in early 2016, and the band quickly went to work producing “Hoarse” off Earl Sweatshirt’s full-length debut Doris and “GUV’NOR,” a remix, which appeared on JJ DOOM’s Keys to the Kuffs (Butter Edition). By the middle of that year, BADBADNOTGOOD released their fifth full-length album IV, an album that featured guest spots from Future Islands’ Sam Herring, Colin Stetson, Kaytranada, Mick Jenkins and JOVM mainstay Charlotte Day Wilson, and was named BBC Radio 6’s #1 album of the year.

Light In The Attic  Records has started a an exclusive vinyl and digital cover series — and the latest installment of the series features the acclaimed Toronto act collaborating with vocalist Jonah Yano on a cover of Majestics’ 1982 slow jam “Key To Love (Is Understanding).” Interestingly, while Jonah Yano and BADBADNOTGOOD finds the acclaimed Canadian act crafting a lovingly straightforward and soulful cover but with a subtle personal twist and a slick production. The BADBADNOTGOOD and Jonah Yano cover along with the Majestics original are available now for streaming through your favorite digital producer and will be released on “Majestic Pink” 7″ vinyl on February 21, 2020 release.

“As lovers of old soul, funk and rare recordings, ‘Key to Love’ has always been a song that has had an impact on our heart and ears,” the acclaimed Canadian act said in a statement. “We hope our version relays how special this song is and gives it some new listeners and a second life […] It’s an incredibly beautiful song that deserves to be heard, and we hope to play a small part in that.” They add, “We had met Jonah Yano about a year ago and we started to jam and make demos. After some really fun recording sessions we asked him if he would help us with the cover and we smashed the whole song out in a week.”

“It is a pleasant surprise,” Donald Cooper of Majestics said upon hearing BADBADNOTGOOD’s version of the song. “They did a good job and it was well done with their own slight personal twist […] [it’s] an honor to be recognized.”

NAYANA IZ is a rapidly rising, London-born and-based Indian-British artist, who grew up in an artistic home. Being naturally musical at a young age, the emerging London-based artist dabbled in jazz and pop with a stint in an indie rock band playing keys and singing before stumbling across hip-hop. As a solo artist, NAYANA IZ meshes Indian instrumentation with contemporary hip-hop with the goal of empowering young girls — particularly young Indian girls, who don’t have many Indian role models — and inspiring them to live their lives, find their authentic voice and have a means of genuine self-expression.

The up-and-coming British artist is currently a member of the NiNE8 Collective, an influential collection of London-based creatives that include Lava La Rue and Biig Piig, who I wrote about some time ago. Before the official release of her material, the Indian-British artist has managed to play attention grabbing sets at Jazz Cafe for Annie Mac and 100 Club for Fred Perry — and she has opened for Lil Tjay at Electric Ballroom. Adding to a growing profile, NAYANA IZ has previously co-presented and/or appeared on a number of radio stations including NTS, Balamii and Reprezent — and  she has collaborated with Adidas, The North Face, Redbull Music, Boiler Room, The Face and others.

The rising British artist is currently touring with Irish hip-hop sensation Kojaque. And all of this has happened before the official release of any of her material — well, until now. “how we do,” the Indian-British artist’s Karma Kid-produced debut single is a swaggering and incredibly self-assured statement of purpose from an artist so young. But at 19, the rising artist is boldly telling the world that she’s going to do it her way, despite the haters and naysayers who tried to dissuade her or made her goals seem impossible or ridiculous with a dexterous flow, and over a tweeter and woofer rocking production featuring fluttering flute, thumping beats and an infectious hook. Simply put, this young woman is spitting fire — and I suspect we’ll be hearing more from her, once her EP drops in 2020.




GR3YWXLF (pronounced GREYWOLF) is an extremely prolific London-based emcee. His tenth, independently released single received praise from Cult Style Magazine, DOPECAUSEWESAID and BBC Introducing. Building upon the growing buzz surrounding him, the London-based emcee recently released his eleventh single of the year, “Jaegar.”

Clocking in at 105 seconds, the track features the rising British emcee’s dexterous and rapid fire rhymes over a woozy and glitchy production centered around chopped up and heavily distorted vocal samples and tweeter and woofer rocking beats. It’s a trippy track that to my ears reminds me quite of Shabazz Palaces and Knife Knights.


New Audio: Afghan Whigs and Twilight Singers Frontman Greg Dulli Releases an Anthemic Single off Forthcoming Solo Album

Best known as the founding member, frontman and creative mastermind behind JOVM mainstays The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, Greg Dulli has a well-established reputation as a poet laureate of the bizarre whims and cruel tangents of desire and all things dark and brooding. 

Although Dulli has been involved in a number of projects during his 30+ year recording career, his first solo full-length album under his own name Random Desire is slated for a February 21, 2020 release through Royal Cream/BMG. Interestingly, Random Desire can trace its origins to the aftermath of The Afghan Whigs’ most recent album, 2017’s critically applauded In Spades: Patrick Keeler was about to take a short sabbatical from the band to record and tour with his other band, The Raconteurs. Dulli’s longtime collaborator and bandmate John Curley went back to school. And the band’s longtime guitarist Dave Rosser tragically died after a battle with colon cancer. 

So Dulli returned to his teenaged bedroom roots, finding inspiration through the model of legendary, one-man band visionaries like Prince and Todd Rundgren with the Hamilton, OH-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter writing almost every part of the album — from piano and bass lines to drums. Much like he’s always done throughout his career, the music came first and the lyrics completed later. Written and recorded in several different locations including Dulli’s Silver Lake home; Crestline, CA, in the mountains above San Bernardino; and New Orleans — with the bulk of the album being done at Christopher Thorne’s Joshua Tree, CA-based studio.  While Dulli handled most of the album’s instrumental duties, he managed to collaborate with an all-star cast of musicians including his Afghan Whigs bandmates Jon Skibic (guitar) and multi-instrumentalist Rick G. Nelson, his Twilight Singers bandmate Mathias Schneeberger, Dr. Stephen Patt (pedal steel and upright bass) and Queens of the Stone Age’s and The Mars Volta’s Jon Theodore (drums). 

“Pantomina,” Random Desire’s swaggering and self-assured first single is centered around layers of buzzing power chords, a handclap-led hook and lyrics that alternate between sardonic, desperately lonely, and triumphant — often within a turn of a phrase.  Much like his acclaimed work with The Afghan Whigs and The Twilight Singers, the new single delves into the psyche and emotions of a deeply fucked up, dysfunctional narrator with fucked up, dysfunctional relationships — but there’s also a hard fought, world-weary wisdom at its core. 

Teknoclash is a rapidly rising Dutch DJ and producer, who has released material through a handful of acclaimed electronic labels. And with each release, the Dutch DJ and producer has firmly established a swaggering, high energy sound meant to inspire listeners and live audiences to have fun.

2019 has been a huge year for Teknoclash: he’s toured with the likes of Steve Aoki, Carnage and Virtual Riot — and adding to a growing profile, the Dutch DJ and producer has played at Electric Love, Parookaville and Mysteyrland. Teknoclash closes out a big year for him professionally with the release of “Riot of the Bass,” a collaboration with Dutch hard dance artist GLDY LX  — and much like his previously released material, the song is a swaggering, club banger centered around tweeter and woofer destroying bass, thumping beats, an infectious hook and GLDY LX’s self-assured delivery. And while nodding a bit at hip-hop the song reminds me of acclaimed German, JOVM mainstay Boys Noize. 








New Audio: Oslo’s Das Body Releases a Sultry 80s Synth Pop-Inspired Banger

Oslo, Norway-based electro pop act Das Body — Ellie, Kim, Patrik, Didrik — has a long-held reputation for crafting catchy 80s-influenced pop that has been praised byThe Line of Best Fit,who once wrote  that the Norwegian pop outfit creates “the best parts of pop without making it overly saccharine in its delivery.” The Norwegian act’s latest single, the Jorge Elbrecht-produced “Against the Glass” is the second single the act has released this year — and while marking the first bit of new material since the release of “Taller Than The Average Man” earlier this year, “Against the Glass” is a slick synthesis of Quiet Storm-like synth pop and contemporary electro pop, as sultry vocals lay against a bed of atmospheric synths, stuttering and tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an incredibly infectious hook. 

The song as the band explains “is about the claustrophobic feeling when you realize what you’ve been working towards and finally achieved is only a result of the people around you looking out for their own interests.” 

The rapidly rising Norwegian pop act’s Jorge Elbrecht-produced full-length debut is slated for a Spring 2020 release. 


Brian Collins is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, best known as the creative mastermind behind the rising, indie recording project Hurt Valley. With Hurt Valley, Collins crafts shambling and rollicking songs that sound heavily indebted to AM Radio rock, as they frequently feature elements of folk and psych rock — and while sounding as though it were released in 1967, “Apartment Houses,” off Collins soon-to-be-released Hurt Valley debut, Glacial Pace, the shimmering track is centered around a sense of being lost and lonely in an unfamiliar and new place. And yet, the song’s narrator finds a way to push onward.

I’m writing this post in a Starbucks, looking at the snow out  of the window and I’m reminded of my recent trip to Montreal. And as soon as I landed atMontreal-Trudeau International Airport, I was aware of the fact that I was yet again in a strange, unfamiliar place where no one really knew me — and where I didn’t speak or comprehend the language. But I’ve always managed to push onward and thrive. So as you can imagine, the song hits a real personal spot at the moment.