As Phoenix grew more popular, their music felt more populated, frantic and frenzied, like a time-lapse video of a busy downtown intersection. You could feel their blood pressure increase on the singles they released over the years—the causal Strokes-y strut of 2006’s “Consolation Prizes” gave way to the clock-ticking synth-pop of 2009’s “1901,” which begat the white-light synapse overload of 2013’s “Entertainment.” Indeed, the entirety of their last albumBankrupt!felt like the band was hitting a breaking point where exhilaration turned to agitation. So it’s nice to hear that, on the first single from the upcoming, Ti Amo, Phoenix have given themselves—and us—a much-deserved chance to exhale.
At first, you could be forgiven for thinking Phoenix had swung too far in the opposite direction—“J-Boy” begins as a sputtering electro dirge that sounds like it’s running out of batteries. But that’s merely the dingy, back-alley entrance to a dazzling, neon-lit discotheque whose doors swing open and whisk you in at the 10-second mark. The radiant synth sheen of the band’s recent records remains, but here it’s slathered onto a steady bass bounce that more readily recalls the soft-focus fantasias of M83 than anything in their own catalog.
Gotta love saib. The Morocco-based producer has been working really hard this past year and I’m so happy to see his efforts paying out. We premiered his beautiful exotic beat “Acapulco” earlier this month and the track got quite the traction. One would think he would take a breath of fresh air after releasing his flawless Buena Vista EP, but that wasn’t the case.
Here’s a beautiful Bossa nova-inspired beat titled “Brazil”. If you have followed my featured, you know I’m a sucker for such vibes, so was pretty easy to pick the song. The absolute chills.
‘Love Is A Bitch’ & ‘Had Some Drinks’ are the latest singles from New York City artist Two Feet, which are just as bluesy, bold and troubled as the material on his 2016 ‘First Steps EP’, and are also just the first taste of his upcoming ‘Momentum EP’.
I have a grave affinity for the blues and I find it quite refreshing to listen to it in a contemporary form that feels more natural than forced but still finds its own identity with the help of modern percussive sounds and elusive song-writing. The stripped down sounds throughout the two releases reveal as much as its lyrics do; “I promise myself not to slip back on old habit/Cause’ heartbreak is savvy and love is a bitch” from “Love Is A Bitch”. Guitars weep at a slow, tantalizing pace over electronic percussions; the whole stir feels honest and simple with the entrusted emotion feeling troubled and haunted.
Two Feet’s new singles are an ode to love-desperate love but a ‘cool’ love-that refuses to seize. A relentless inner pursuit of the person in question. You hear it in the guitars that sing a yearning melody in the chorus. You feel it in his quiet, yet very present vocal tones that simultaneously weave a sense of desire and apathy. Two Feet is not hopeful about his feelings in these tracks, nor is it pessimistic, he’s not intent on any resolve, he is simply content in acknowledging his demons and taking us along for the ride.
Belly Squad are the London trio from East and South London that are mixing UK rap with Afrobeat melodies so well that they are due to make a huge impact this year. Their raw sound can be found on their brand new track ‘Like That.’ It’s infectious and showcases their African and Caribbean heritage. The production has irresistible production along with catchy lyrics that inherit their London hometowns, “I told her don’t worry I’m a nice guy, chilling in the ends chicks wave when I pass by, yea she heard that I’m a fly guy, hitters in the Germans beep beep when they drive by.” ‘Like That’ can be found also on Belly Squad’s recently released ‘Banana’ E.P.