Miracle Fortress - Let Me Be the 1

Some feel-good music to help wrap up a surprisingly feel-good summer.

September 9, 2014

TOKiMONSTA - “Steal My Attention”

"Steal My Attention" stomps and lurches and glides. Not sure if I am ready to lie in bed and drift off or put on my new shoes and go dancing, but I like it.

September 3, 2014

The New Pornographers - “War On The East Coast”

Let us celebrate of the release of Brill Bruisers, the new record from The New Pornographers (touring again with Neko Case and Dan Bejar!?). A.C. Newman and co. have really outdone themselves this time – the New Pornos vibe and top-notch songwriting have not changed one bit, but rather, have evolved slightly. For this track in particular, it’s refreshing to hear both the classic sprightly rock from the New Pornos and the unmistakeable Dan Bejar/Destroyer lyricism together once again, following in the tradition of “Testament to Youth in Verse” and “Myriad Harbour.” The only difference is flourishing synth, adding yet another musically fascinating element to the polished pop that this group has been putting out for more than a decade.

August 26, 2014

M.O - “Dance On My Own”

DJs have been making remixes forever, but M.O have combined R&B girl group vocals with a UK garage beat. The result is something that sounds like the last breath of both summer and that summer fling.

August 24, 2014


Netta Brielle - 3xKrazy

I love the way that Netta Brielle starts this track with a “Naw, but I’m from here from here,” said with the same playful contempt that city folks have for suburbanites. It’s definitely trying to make a statement about RnBass music, which has grown in popularity with the Chris Browns and Jeremih’s of hip hop radio capitalizing a sound that was largely developed in California. Luckily for Netta Brielle, she can back it up. “3xKrazy” is a great entry into the genre, and Netta Brielle should be filed right next to Tinashe and Molia as ladies who can fill this icy minimalist croaking with warmth.

August 21, 2014

RAC ft. Matthew Koma - “Cheap Sunglasses”

The fact that Matthew Koma is dating Carly Rae Jepsen makes a lot of sense to me. If these two had been dating in high school, they definitely would have been king and queen of alterna-prom or something.

August 9, 2014

Speaking of how great acoustic guitar as percussion can be, “Fly Away” is one of my favorite tracks off the Tim Vocals mixtape. This sounds kind of corny, like a cheeseball with an acoustic guitar made it in the early 00s, but Tim Vocals makes me believe it. I see clouds when I hear “Fly Away,” and I’m okay with how silly that makes me sound.

July 15, 2014

Speedy Ortiz - “Gary”

I had the chance to visit the 4Knots Fest at the South Street Seaport in NYC this past weekend, and one of the highlights was Speedy Ortiz. I had previously only skimmed over their critically-acclaimed debut Major Arcana and remembered enjoying it, but without any of the songs really sticking out. Man, did that change after their guitar-heavy performance that probably impressed headliners Dinosaur Jr. “Gary” in particular is a song to be reckoned with – they start out showing how inspired by Pavement they are with a dissonant, unassuming guitar riff like a shark circling you in the water, when suddenly they switch on the distortion and jam. It’s loud. It’s great. I’m always happy to see new players making big splashes in the modern rock game.

July 13, 2014

Owen Pallett - “The Riverbed”

This song is a rolling existential crisis: And the world’ll forget any good you have done. How… comforting.

July 4, 2014

Aubergine MACHINE - “Call It Fate, Call It Karma ” (The Strokes cover)

When you hear someone is covering The Strokes, you expect it to be a pretty safe copy of “Last Nite” or “Hard to Explain.” Deep house duo Aubergine MACHINE instead deliver something out of the blue and cover the obscure “Call It Fate, Call It Karma” (from Comedown Machine, making the choice even that much more daring). This duo turns The Strokes’ synthy jazz lounge singer shtick into an electronic anthem, taking a page out of Purity Ring’s playbook in the process.

I’ve never entirely bought into the labels of “trip-hop,” “post-dubstep,” “deep house,” or anything like those, but groups like Purity Ring, Aubergine MACHINE, and Chvrches manage to craft these pulsing rhythms that I can definitely dig. Especially resonant and vibe-worthy on this tired, humid weeknight.

July 1, 2014