Monday, June 30, 2014

Stream Mr. Dream's "Ultimate In Luxury"

It's been a long time coming, but Mr. Dream's Ultimate In Luxury is finally being released.  The album was preceded by a slew of singles, all of which were pretty amazing, and now it's up for streaming ahead of the July 7 release date.

Ultimate In Luxury will be released on a limited run of one hundred cassettes, complete with hand-crafted artwork in a stunning shade of hot pink (see picture below).  One little detail found on the pre-order page calls the album "the new and posthumous release", so it looks like this could be the band's grand exit.  Although if you're familiar with Mr. Dream at all, they could very well release another album next week just for kicks.

There's probably going to be a follow-up "review" post for this album a little later on, but after listening to the record once, I had the overwhelming urge to immediately play it again.  It actually has a fair amount of danceable moments mixed in with their go-to racket of a sound.  My mind is still stuck on the opening riff to "Work Faster".

Ultimate In Luxury is out on July 7, via GODMODE.  You can pre-order the cassette, bundled with a digital copy, here and then stream it below.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Grimes - Go (Feat. Blood Diamonds)

Grimes' upcoming album is easily one of my most anticipated releases for this year.  There's a rumored September release date, but that could very well change at any moment, if it hasn't already.  Yesterday, Grimes premiered a new song on Zane Lowe's show and it happened to be the much talked about track that was originally intended for Rihanna.

"Go" is a collaboration between Grimes and Blood Diamonds, who previously worked together on the fantastic "Phone Sex".  Claire hasn't confirmed whether or not the single will appear on the full album or if it's a sign of what's to come, in terms of genre.  The self-described "summer jam" incorporates the recently successful synthline breakdown trap sound and completely flips around everything you thought Grimes to be.

You can stream or download "Go" below and be amazed by the new press photo pictured above.  Claire describes the look as an "anime elf assassin who is a big fan of dolly parton and patsy cline".

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Penguin Prison - All Night Long

Look at that amazing artwork.  Yes it's that "All Night Long".  Before I even hit the play button, I knew this cover would be incredible.  Penguin Prison's throwback dance vibes mesh perfectly with Lionel Richie's 1983 hit, "All Night Long".  It has that light and airy breeze and could very well end up on a summer playlist or two.  It just makes sense, you know?

The song is a part of Penguin Prison's summer cover series.  There's no word on how often these singles will be released, but color me excited.  Even better, "All Night Long" is available as a free download, so grab it below and party... all night long.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

School Of Seven Bells - I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up)

On December 29 of last year, Benjamin Curtis passed away after battling T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.  Prior to his diagnosis, School Of Seven Bells had been working on the follow-up record to 2012's GhostoryBenjamin continued to record his parts of the album while undergoing treatment and Alejandra Deheza has announced that she's finishing the album for release.

Today, Culture Collide premiered the video for School Of Seven Bells' cover of Joey Ramone's "I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up)".  The single was Benjamin's final recording and it's a stunning and powerful piece.  Directed by Toby Halbrooks and Alan Del Rio Ortiz, the video opens with live footage of Benjamin and features desert scenes with Alejandra.  You can watch the video here or stream the song below.

"I Got Knocked Down (But I'll Get Up)" is available for download on iTunes.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

FKA twigs - Two Weeks

Okay, so I'm really really late to the FKA twigs party.  I've seen the name floating around for a long time now, but you know how someone asks you if you've heard an album or artist and you'll say "I'll check it out", but it somehow never happens?  Yeah, that's me and FKA twigs.

Anyways, I finally did a Youtube sweep of her work and discovered that she's an absolutely amazing visual artist.  "Water Me" is reminiscent of the alien portrait imagery found in Björk's "Hunter" video and it's impossible to look away.  Her music is exceedingly hard to categorize.  It mixes elements of electronic, R&B, and minimal hip-pop music.  You can basically just forget about labeling her.

Her new song and video debuted this week and the visual component is directed by Nabil.  It's called "Two Weeks" and will be included on twigs' upcoming debut, LP1.  Your idea of depth perception and size will be thrown off a bit as the view pans out.  Check it out below.  You can pre-order LP1, which will be released on August 12, here.  "Two Weeks" is available for download, here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Is Lana Del Rey's "Black Beauty" Demo Better Than The Album Version?

If you've heard the deluxe edition of Lana Del Rey's Ultraviolence, then you'll notice that the first bonus track is "Black Beauty", a song that leaked last year in the form of a demo.  There's always that age-old debate between preferences towards the demo version and the album version of a song, and "Black Beauty" is an interesting case.

It's pretty much the same song in both forms when it comes to the lyrics, but everything else has completely changed.  The demo featured minimal production and was a tragically beautiful song in every way possible.  As far demos go, "Black Beauty" is fantastic.

The album version keeps the low-key intro, but switches things up once the first chorus hits.  The album version was actually produced by Paul Epworth and sounds like a piece of Ultraviolence, which serves the record better in terms of continuity.  It's grand and triumphant, which replaces the original atmosphere a bit.

So here's the deal, which version do you prefer?  Does the "less is more" demo feel more personal or do you prefer the fully produced album version?  You can pick up a copy of the album, featuring "Black Beauty", here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Porter Robinson - Lionhearted (Feat. Urban Cone)

Back in 2012, I had the opportunity to see Porter Robinson and Zedd play a duel set at the Virgin Mobile FreeFest and I chose to see M83 instead.  It was just one of those dreaded festival decisions where you have to pick and choose between artists that you love, and unfortunately the Porter/Zedd show was snubbed.

That little anecdote dates back to before Porter's recent Worlds project, and by project I mean upcoming album.  Worlds is coming out on August 12 and so far it sounds like a more developed and fleshed out view of electronic music.  "Seas Of Voices", a track from earlier this year, was an extended atmospheric piece.  It's a big change from "Spitfire", to say the least.

His newest single is "Lionhearted" and it features the Swedish band, Urban ConePorter has managed to make electronic focused music without sounding like a DJ, sort of how RAC creates pop music without sounding like a mass market producer.

"Lionhearted" also has an amazing music video, showcasing a harajuku gang outfit mixed with a touch of Scott Pilgrim.  It was directed by Jodeb and has Porter glitching up the city.  You can check out "Lionhearted" below and if you're interested in grabbing Worlds on translucent vinyl or possibly tour dates, then head on over to Porter's website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sinéad O'Connor - Take Me To Church

Sinéad O'Connor is one of those artists that I discovered a few years ago and absolutely fell in love with.  That makes me sound excruciatingly young, but it wasn't so long ago that I only knew of Sinéad's name from her version of "Nothing Compares 2 U".  It was her second album, I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got, that really struck me.  Even to this day, the politically charged and highly emotional album sounds as fresh and relevant as ever.

Sinéad's career after that record has been scattered and experimental.  Her third album, Am I Not Your Girl?, would be a collection of jazz standards.  In 2005, she released Throw Down Your Arms, a reggae record.  That sense of musical diversity and freedom has made her an unpredictable artist, and quite honestly, it's exciting to see what's to come.

On August 11, Sinéad O'Connor will release her tenth album, I'm Not Bossy, I'm The Boss.  The album artwork features a polished photo of Sinéad wielding a guitar and wearing a dramatically black bob instead of that signature shaven head.  It's drastic and intriguing, but what will the music sound like?  Well, NPR has debuted the album's lead single and it's called "Take Me To Church".

"Take Me To Church" builds and builds momentum through a guitar driven production.  Speaking of production, John Reynolds tackled the album, and it's very low-key for the most part.  The single features some surprisingly tame vocals when compared to Sinéad's recognizable and distinct howl.  You can stream "Take Me To Church" below and pre-order a signed copy of the upcoming album over at Sinéad's website.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Santigold - Kicking Down Doors

Doesn't that artwork just look like a lame compilation album from the dollar bin?  The Pepsi branding, along with the general "royalty-free stock photo" vibe, is a bit discouraging.  Technically, it is a compilation album, some sort of World Cup thing.  Well, despite that aesthetic disaster, the song within is actually pretty awesome.  Santigold's post-debut music has sounded especially M.I.A. inspired, and "Kicking Down Doors" continues that trend.  I love Santigold and all, but let's be real here, M.I.A. paved the way.  That's another post for another day, so here's "Kicking Down Doors".

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Ting Tings - Wrong Club

I think it's safe to say The Ting Tings enjoyed Random Access Memories.  They've gone with a nu-disco sound for their latest single, "Wrong Club".  It's actually the duo's first release since 2012's Sounds From Nowheresville, an album which seems to have been overlooked for the most part.  "Wrong Club" starts off with a guitar riff that could unfortunately cause some "I'm up all night to get lucky!" comments from the average passerby.  Fear not, because "Wrong Club" avoids that level of mind-numbing repetition.  Instead, it's quite refreshing.  The Ting Tings really needed a triumphant return and it looks like they found it.

"Wrong Club" will be released on July 28.