Los Angeles-based songwriter and sonic experimentalist Julia Holter ushers in a new album, Loud City Song, with this gorgeous torch song entitled "World." It's appropriately operatic and subtly showy as her dense language and expressive vocals get mirrored with cavernous orchestral hits.
May 23 2013
On the impeccably-titled "Magichour," Mister Lies and KNOWER start with a slow build and it pays off as well as any electronic music I've heard this year. The entire track is a huge, open-hearted, swelling crescendo as touches of house music smash into deeper, textured sonic experimentation. When the top blows off, it's an ecstatic mindwarp.
May 22 2013
Sparkling, driving yet restrained, Natasha Kmeto's "Idiot Proof" merges house music, intergalactic R&B and a minimalist sonic palate. Kmeto brings a distinct sass to the track – almost like a contemporary Lisa Lisa that's taking advantage of the Internet while being super pissed at it.
On "Casino Lisboa," Dirty Beaches makes one of the dirtiest combinations of funk, post-punk and lo-fi muck imaginable. It feels like a nightmare set in a hellish club where everyone is dressed in leather and drinking brown fog. It's also oddly danceable – try to resist.
May 21 2013
On "Everything," Case Studies continues their exploration of post-Basement Tapes Americana. Swaying, drunk, ramshackle, a little countrified, a little bluesy, a little rocking, this one has more concern for the right emotional take than the right instrumental one. Keep it in your pocket for your next road trip.
Hugest duh ever if you read this website consistently, but my most anticipated mainstream-y album this year has been The-Dream's IV Play. Yet since I'm sensitive and don't have a bath at the office, I'm not listening yet. In the meantime, get sultry and complex with "Where Have You Been" – a duet between Terius and Kelly Rowland. It's about love, sure, but also codependence and some of the darker pitfalls that pop-up when you just need somebody.
May 20 2013
On the Kingdom edit to Cassie's "All My Love," the original gets clipped-out, fried and thoroughly crunched into a futuro-R&B sex explosion. Death to all genres – raise a glass to human emotion and late-night grinding.
Download: Cassie - All My Love (Kingdom Edit) [Zippyshare]
Hit that third record and it's time to go mature. It's one of the oldest tricks in the rock LP handbook, but Smith Westerns pull it off with poise, impeccable production and some of the most timeless-sounding summer songs I've heard in awhile on Soft Will. "3am Spiritual" is your example – flighty, dreamy, anthemic and rippling with just enough '70s-aping guitar leads to encourage a Sunday where kissing is the only thing on the agenda.
May 17 2013
On "Battle Funk," New York psychedelic warriors NYMPH return to provide a set of freak explosions, mountainous crescendos, Afrobeat extensions and pointillist guitar dots. It's crazy but it all feels intensely spiritual as the track glides around in a tangled cluster in sync with the noise-weapon vocals of Eri Shoji. Some mind expansion necessary, but the payoff is worth it.
My recent punk obsession Tweens mixes their usual snot with some tears on the rough and charming "Don't Wait Up." The guitars, still dirty as hell, echo and sputter, while the vocals exude just the right amount of loneliness to draw you in for a sucker punch.