Author Archives: Brooks Hays

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Where George Harrison is lush, Real Estate is stripped down. While George Harrison channels the rolling hills of the English countryside, Real Estate mine the boredom of East Coast suburban cul-de-sacs. Yet, both Harrison and Real Estate possess a sort of sad but sweet disposition, a soft-spoken, understated intelligence. And it’s this central quality that […]

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Thank you Busta and Q. This brings me back to the days when a high school kid in pink polos first discovered Midnight Marauders and everything changed for the better. The newest joint from the-hit-or-miss-but-always-lovable Mr. Rhymes, “Thank You,” featuring several stellar verses from my favorite MC of all time, Q-Tip, is a reminder that […]

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For those of you who still think “Washed Out” is just what you call taking acid while wearing white jeans after Labor Day, I’ve got news for you. Washed Out is also the name of a one-man Chillwave act from rural Georgia. His name is Ernest Greene, and he has a new video out for […]

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COIN isn’t the first band to declare the world too serious and opt for a carefree, fun-loving sonic aesthetic. But where other bands, having cast of the shackles of Emotionally Serious Art, pile instrument on top of instrument, sound on top of sound, COIN has with their new single “Time Machine” opted for a more […]

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Earlier this year, Small Black, the Brooklyn synth-poppers who emerged from music’s Chillwave phase a few years ago, released their sophomore record for Jagjaguwar, Limits of Desire. It’s a solid, if not spectacular, effort. While the fuzz and haze are toned down a bit, all the hallmarks of the band’s late-night, laconic drone-pop remain: the […]

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Though deserving of more, KHUSHI has so far garnered just a small bit of press and praise. But what has been said seems consistently positive: they’re beautiful, the blogs have concluded. We announced as much just last year. Indeed, “Magpie” is beautiful. But its beauty seems a bit deeper than some of the other pop […]

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When it comes to Afro-pop, the concomitant discussion of appropriation is nearly unavoidable. That’s unfortunate, as it’s often a distraction. Luckily, John Wizards — a Capetown-based band composed of five white South Africans and one black Rwandan transplant, the vocalist Emmanuel Nzaramba — sidestep this problem with their multiracial composition and uncompromising commitment to the […]

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On today’s internet, anything that wasn’t posted in the last 15 seconds is already old. The upside is that so much wonderful stuff gets left behind. Here’s something from 2012 (really old) I recently rediscovered on a great website called Sleepover Shows. It’s a video of Bhi Bhiman, singer-songwriter currently based out of San Francisco, […]

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Need a break from the electro-pop sugar assault? Turf War has the remedy; it’s called rock n roll. Falling somewhere between Confederate soldiers and hipsters in their aesthetics and attitude, the Nashville quintet have just released their first single, “Born To Run Free,” off their forthcoming EP, The Great Escape—and it’s a doozy. These Americana […]

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