Monday, November 23, 2015

Weekly Tune-Up: Tunes for your week by Junior Boys, Ra Ra Riot, Freddie Gibbs & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the week. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 3:07 PM

You guys feel it? That's the weather finally operating like the holidays are ahead and it feels amazing. As usual, I've got 15 new tunes to guide you through your week, and to provide a bumpin' soundtrack to your Black Friday shopping, should you decide to venture out into the chaos. I want to give thanks to everyone out there, because every human life is important. Have a safe and happy Turkey Day. Eat up and listen.

Junior Boys
  • Junior Boys
The boys are back, and by boys I mean the Canadian duo otherwise known as Junior Boys. They've been one of my favorite electronic acts for quite some time, and it's been more than four years since we've had some fresh jams. They've returned and blessed us with a fantastic electro-pop ode called, "Over It." Having seen Junior Boys perform live several times (and actually getting a chance to chat with them), I can't recommend their music enough. Welcome back, boys. Ra Ra Riot just announced the release of fourth full-length Need Your Light, due early next year. Lead single “Water,” which was co-written and produced by Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, starts things off in typical Ra Ra fashion. Naytronix's "Back In Time" was tapped for a tune-up a few weeks back, but a new uptempo remix laced with keys and organ just surfaced from Money Mark. It almost has a jazzy vibe about it. Louisville psych rockers Wax Fang's new cut, "Exit Strategy" is a driving tune that packs some great energy, with frontman Scott Carney delivering a monotone bellow over endless percussion. Look for a new Wax Fangs LP in 2016.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Weekly Tune-Up: Tunes for your week by Missy Elliott, Pusha T, Beacon, Floating Points & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the week. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2015 at 11:20 AM

Guys, I'm still not used to bringing you new tunes on the first day of the week, rather than on Fridays, but I'll get into the swing of it sooner or later. With all the horrific events that took place over the weekend, I wanted to keep the commentary minimal this week and just let the music do the talking. I really wanted to make this playlist great, so great that it'll occupy the space where your sorrow resides — take your mind off the tragedy, even if it's only for a short while. I've dedicated the Tune-Up for this Mon., Nov. 16, to those lives taken far too soon, and the loved ones that were left behind to mourn them. Enjoy your new Weekly Tune-Up, be thankful and be kind to each other. 
Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams
  • Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams

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Monday, November 9, 2015

Weekly Tune-Up: Tunes for your week by Chromatics, Coldplay, Talib Kweli & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the week. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Mon, Nov 9, 2015 at 11:11 AM

At Creative Loafing, we are always trying to find ways to deliver you fresh music. That said, we've decided to re-tool the regularly scheduled Weekend Tune-Ups, which came out every Friday but will, from this date forward, be featured on Mondays and given a new title: the Weekly Tune-Up. Now, you'll have a playlist full of new tunes coming at you at the beginning of the week to serve you through the rest of it — and carry you into the weekend. Let's start the "first" edition started off with a Banks.

  • Banks

Coldplay has a new single that was released this past Friday. The UK band also revealed the name of their seventh (and final) studio album — A Head Full of Dreams — and its release date (December 4). "Adventure of a Lifetime" is a radio-friendly ode that has a heavier dance appeal. It's not surprising the UK band is dabbling in electro-pop since their "Sky Full Of Stars" collab with EDM producer Avicii was such a hit. Hip-hop great Talib Kweli is back and this time he's teamed up with North Carolina beat maker 9th Wonder. Indie 500 is his newest record and it's filled with a slew of quality tracks. "Prego" features hip-hop vets Pharoahe Monch and Slug from Atmosphere. Chromatics just released a maxi-single (remember those?) of Cyndi Lauper's "Girl Just Wanna Have Fun," and then remixed it four times. I couldn't imagine a more perfect song for this band to remake. They turned classic '80s pop into downtempo dreaminess. I approve. R&B singer Jeremih come out of nowhere with a new track, "OUI," but it's a strong offering from the birthday sex crooner, its production littered with high-hats and a looping piano. The best part is the Shai; it really caught me off guard. I wonder who else will pick-up on that little snippet? Well done, Jeremih.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by Grimes, Majical Cloudz, Miike Snow & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the weekend. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 30, 2015 at 12:58 PM

The last weekend in October is upon us, which means that Halloween is upon us as well. There's nothing scary about this week's Tune-Up, just 15 fresh tracks primed and ready for you to blare during your Halloween festivities. I dug a little deeper for the October 30 edition and found some gems from some new indie groups that you need to know about (or re-familiarize yourself with). 

The Tune-Up launches with the lovely Grimes and her new appropriately-titled-for-the-spooky-holiday single "Flesh Without Blood" off a long-awaited fourth album, Art Angel, which finally sees the light of day when it's released digitally on November 6. It's been three years since the Canadian synth-pop songstress issued her breakout, Visions, an album I still jam. Majical Cloudz delivered a new LP, Are You Alone, a deeply intimate and emotive work I've listened to several times and definitely worthy of some attention. It's the sort of album that needs to heard in its entirety to be fully appreciated. I chose "So Blue," a minimalist tune that sprinkles electronic keys in the shadows of Devon Welsh's earnest lyrics. Highly recommended. We have a Miike Snow sighting! The Swedish avant-pop trio has been in deep hibernation, and to be honest, I thought possibly disbanded. Thankfully they're back with "Heart Is Full," their first new material in three years. It's an ambitious song with soulful samples and hip-hop-style beat-hawking that pairs well with Andrew Wyatt's earnest crooning. Lookout for their new record, III, dropping sometime in 2016.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

Listen: 7 horrifying hip hop tracks for your Halloween playlist

Get your hip-hop Halloween playlist started with these seven scary tunes.

Posted By on Mon, Oct 26, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Tech N9ne
  • Tech N9ne

Since its inception, hip-hop has been a storytelling genre. And some rappers elect to take a more gruesome approach, vividly describing murder scenes, nightmares and brutal fantasies. Here are seven truly terrifying and horrific rap songs to jump-start your hip-hop Halloween playlist.

1. Gil Scott-Heron, "Me and the Devil"
A sinister cover of guitarist Robert Johnson's bluesy hit, this song details how Satan himself showed up at Gil Scott-Heron's doorstep and demanded that he get to steppin'. Watch the video below as the undead stalk the city, with the late Scott-Heron reciting his poem "Your Soul and Mine" over a dark extension of the instrumental at the end.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by Neon Indian, St. Lucia, Merchandise & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the weekend. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 2:56 PM

Sorry I missed you guys last week, but it's good to be back. As usual I have a plethora of new tunes to share with you, and set the soundtrack to your weekend. Let's get to it!
Tampa's own Merchandise
  • Tampa's own Merchandise

Neon Indian finally released his new album last Friday, Vega Intl. Night SchoolIt's been a little over four years since we had some tunes from the Texas synth-popper, but it was worth the wait. I've included "The Glitzy Hive," a groovy dance tune that will pair well with some weekend fun. GEMS is back with another fantastic track from Kill the One You Love, a debut that drops next Friday. "W/O U" is the fourth single that's been issued so far, and each one seems to be better than the previous. Lush electronic R&B never sounded so good. New Zealand band Leisure is hot right now and "All Over You" continues that trend with a sexy R&B-funky jam. Keep an eye on these newcomers. Another Beach House album? Yup! The Baltimore duo just dropped the excellent Depression Cherry back in late August and it's one of my favorites this year. If that wasn't great enough, they surprised us with another LP, the aptly titled Thank Your Lucky Stars. It's not a b-sides album or old songs, but all new material and in the same vein as Depression Cherry, which is perfectly fine with me. "One Thing" is a standout. 

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by Young Galaxy, The Game, Bloc Party & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the weekend. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 9, 2015 at 4:12 PM

Back again for another fall-like weekend, bringing in some some cooler breezes and fresh tunes. This edition has 15 more jams awaiting your ears below.
Young Galaxy
  • Young Galaxy

Starting off the playlist this week is a new duo from L.A. called Coast Modern. Quirky indie-rock track "Hollow Life" is their debut single. The Game dropped his seventh and latest LP today, The Documentary 2, and I grabbed the best track off it, "Mula." With Kanye on the beat and hook, and a timely sample from Phantogram's "Fall In Love," Mr. West along with Sevn Thomas have come up with one of the better hip-hop grooves I've heard in a while. Bryson Tiller is a singer-songwriter-producer out of my homestate, Kentucky, and he's making waves with his debut record, TRAPSOUL. It's in the same R&B-hued vein as Trey Songz and Weeknd, but with more of a rugged, underground appeal. "Exchange" is about a breakup that shouldn't have happened and Tiller wants a second chance.

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by Drake, RUFUS DU SOL, Fort Lean & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the weekend. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 1:10 PM

It's the first weekend in October, a cold front is on its way to usher in some cool fall breezes, and I have 15 new jams to score your next few days. What more could you want?
Fort Lean
  • Fort Lean

Drake and Future dropped a surprise mixtape collab last week, What a Time to be Alive. Future seems to have become Drake's new substitute for The Weeknd, especially considering that particular Canadian PBR&B music maker decided to sign with a different label than Drake's own OVO, fueling barbs by Drake on various tracks. All should soon be forgotten, however, because Future is tearing it up right now. For the WTU playlist, I included "Change Locations," one of the album's standouts. Chad Valley released his new LP today, Entirely New Blue, and it's lovely, filled with earnest jangly odes dealing with love and love lost. "Moon Under Water" grabbed me with its great production, but in reality, the whole album is well-produced and worthy of a listen. Tame Impala's Currents single, "Cause I'm A Man," was recently reworked by indie darlings HAIM, and I love their version. The tempo isn't changed much, but the sisters have added extra synths and percussion to make it unique while not straying too far from the original. 

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by Kurt Vile, Ryan Adams, CHVRCHES & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the weekend. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 25, 2015 at 11:07 AM

Welcome back for another tune-up! I'm always striving to get you the freshest jams each week, and this one is no exception. On this 30th installment of Weekend Tune-Up, I have plenty to share with you. The past two Friday's have been jammed with some great releases. Disclosure, Big Grams, Kurt Vile, CHVCHRES, Duran Duran, Blackalicous and Ryan Adams all dropped new LPs. Lucky us. 

Kurt Vile
  • Kurt Vile
We're getting started this week with new music from Big Grams, the project of Big Boi (Outkast) and Phantogram. Their self-titled EP dropped today, and it's a fun listen with some excellent production. Kurt Vile is back with a new album, b'lieve i'm goin down… Since his departure from The War On Drugs, Kurt has been churning out some good tunes all on his own. His new offering is a laid back, easy blend of folk and indie rock with his usual clever lyrical turns, and unexpectedly appealing hints at melancholy. Give it a listen. Ryan Adams is one of my favorite singer-songwriters and he has a deep catalog that now includes the entirety of Taylor Swift's 1989, which may excite some and annoy others. I'm not sure if he's a huge fan of Swift or just looking to move some records, but it's an intriguing interpretation of a rather popular record and Adams somehow manages to make them his own. An album I've been anticipating, CHVRCHES' Every Open Eye, finally sees its release today. I included "High Enough To Carry You Over," a track that doesn't feature front-woman Lauren Mayberry in the lead, but rather her bandmate, Martin Doherty, who delivers heartfelt lyrics about losing someone he clearly misses. This song reminds me that CHVRCHES is a band, and not just Lauren Mayberry. Oh, Disclosure's new album Caracal was also released today. It's good. That's all you need to know. 

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Weekend Tune-Up: Tunes for your weekend by Gems, Diiv, Blackalicious & more

A playlist of 15 tunes to launch you into the weekend. Spotify playlist included.

Posted By on Fri, Sep 18, 2015 at 11:51 AM

Welcome to the 29th entry of the Weekend Tune-Up. So glad to have you with me and to share these new tunes with you. There was so much fresh music that dropped this week, I had a difficult time curating the playlist, not a bad problem to have.
  • GEMS

The one-man group from Oakland who calls himself Day Wave is back with an excellent new single about an ex, something we can all relate to. I really dig his blend of sunny pop intertwined with synths and lo-fi vocals. Disclosure released another new track from their upcoming album, and it's a jam. As long as they keep dropping new music, I'll keep sharing it. Aussie rapper All Day released his debut LP Startup Cult last year, but it never made its way to the States up until today, which marks its debut in the U.S. The entirety of it is a pleasant surprise, but I really love the minimalist laid-back beat on "Find Me." Duran Duran's Paper Gods is out today, and I have't had the chance to soak it up yet, but I've liked what I've heard so far. "Universe Alone" is a slow building tune that allows Simon to flex his vocal muscles, then drops in the beat, guitar, violins and synths.They still have it. (A review of the album by my fellow blogger, Gabe, is forthcoming.) Indie rap duo Blackalicious has returned from a 10-year hiatus with their fourth record, Imani Vol. 1. It's jam-packed full with 16 cuts and it's lovely. I chose "Inspired By," which finds rapper Gift Of Gab waxing his literate rhymes over playful production.

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