Roosevelt – Small Hours (John Martyn Cover)

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Cologne-based producer Marius Lauber (Roosevelt) gives us a blissful spring stargazing tune in this unlikely cover of John Martyn’s 1977 jazz-fusion opus “Small Hours.” A steady drum machine pitter-patter and buoyant synths transform what was originally an ambient, introspective track into lush slow-motion disco. Roosevelt, who cites Arthur Russell among his chief inspirations, gives a nod here to experimental pop and jazz-folk influences you might not expect from a dance producer. Stream the cover below, then check out a haunting live rendition from the original artist here.

Roosevelt’s debut EP Elliot is out now via Greco-Roman, the Berlin/London imprint (co-founded by Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard) that helped to launch TEED and Disclosure.

STREAM: Roosevelt – “Small Hours (John Martyn Cover)”

X priest X – Isn’t It So

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Emotion Records, Sweden’s patron saints of synth pop, have found something good in Florida. The Stockholm imprint that brought us Karl X Johan and World Tour just unveiled this stunning new track from X priest X, an Orlando duo who make what Noisey is calling “post-apocalyptic dream songs.” Celestial melodies and elegant, understated production cut straight to the heart in the prettiest song about drug addiction and the end of days you’ll hear all week. Stream “Isn’t It So” below.

“Isn’t It So” will appear on X priest X’s debut Samurai EP, out April 15th on Emotion.

STREAM: X priest X – “Isn’t It So”

Small Black – Lines Of Latitude (Ft. Frankie Rose)

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Hey do you remember chill-wave? I know it was like a few years ago and you just got another tweet and Instagram and Snapchat and what were we talking about? Oh right, a made up genre that no one liked the name of so the internet decided to kill it, like there aren’t still waves of chill out there. But, if anyone deserved to make it through all that hoop-la it was Small Black, which they proved perfectly with last years sophomore album, Limits Of Desire. They managed to strip down their layer-heavy music, elements that really defined bands like Washed Out and Neon Indian five years ago, and not rely on a hundred different samples to make their songs interesting.

Here we have “Lines Of Latitude,” off their forthcoming appropriately-titled Real People EP and we find Small Black continuing to do less things way way better. Frankie Rose does a wonderful job of barely being noticed here yet really rounding out Small Black’s new minimalistic approach beautifully. Chill out to the new track below.

STREAM: Small Black – “Lines Of Latitude (Ft. Frankie Rose)”

Ellie Goulding – Life Round Here (James Blake Cover Ft. Angel Haze)

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No strangers to a good cover, Ellie Goulding and Angel Haze team up to deliver their take on James Blake’s “Life Round Here.” The track sounds like it belongs on the same album as Ellie’s version of “Tessellate,” with a suspended, miles-high production and airy vocals (that somehow still come in at a lower pitch than Blake’s croon). Angel’s verse, like everything else she’s been putting up, is crisp and brilliant, even better than Chance the Rapper in the first remix. The best covers balance the borrowed and the new, and while this track leans more on the borrowed, it’s a gorgeously precise rendition – and by no means the last we’ll see of either artist taking on a cover.

STREAM: Ellie Goulding – “Life Round Here (James Blake Cover Ft. Angel Haze)”

Alpines – Oasis

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Alpines‘ brand spankin’ new single “Oasis” gives us a taste of what to expect on the UK duo’s highly anticipated LP #3, and it’s fresher than peppermint. The alt-pop track is wrapped around soothing sounds as Catherine Pockson and Bob Matthews channel the chillest waves with looping pianos and bongo drums. There’s something ethereal in the experience of a lover scorned, but the passion that comes from within flows so naturally here. Get jiggy with it and bump this relaxing track below.

Alpines’ Oasis is scheduled for release via Untrue Records this May.

STREAM: Alpines – “Oasis”

Anthems – Up In Mine

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Parisian boutique label 25 Years & Running recently unveiled this blissful slice of balearic pop from new signing Anthems. Produced by labelmate Champions League, “Up In Mine” presents an inviting array of glitchy pan flutes, wobbling sub-bass, flitting hand percussion and reverb-drenched vocals. In the style of other atmospheric dreampop artists like Air France, Southern Shores and Postiljonen, it’s less a traditional song than a lovely, evocative piece of sonic ephemera. We’re feeling it. Stream it below.

STREAM: Anthems – “Up In Mine” 

Youth Lagoon – Worms

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Having avoided a sophomore slump with Wondrous Bughouse, Youth Lagoon seem poised for even more success going forward. New track “Worms” comes from an upcoming compilation on Lefse Records, and it provides a nice taste of what Trevor Powers might have in store for us. The song seems slightly darker in tone than many of their previous works, with the warped vocals and actual recordings from outer space giving it a psych-pop MGMT vibe. Distorted guitars and synths and a skipping drum beat provide support for a beautiful piano melody. It’s a definite evolution for the band as they manage to keep the important parts of their sound and still add elements that we haven’t heard before. It’s only January and Youth Lagoon are already impressing after a big 2013.

Check out “Worms” below and watch out for the Lefse Records Space Project compilation

STREAM: Youth Lagoon – “Worms”

Blood Cultures – Mercury Child

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It’s been four months since mysterious New Jersey based Blood Cultures released his (their?) debut track “Indian Summer.” For anyone who heard that sleek, booming production, it’s been four months of distinct anticipation. New song “Mercury Child” is along the same lines; it’s awash in synths humming and jumping over a heavy drumbeat and thick bassline. The vocals are dreamy and delicate, recalling Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, or maybe Jai Paul.

It’s difficult to find things with the power to surprise anymore, let alone to stay secret for more than a few months. This is pure musicianship. It doesn’t get much purer than a musician with no Facebook, no prior reputation and even no face giving us songs when he feels like it. If you found “Indian Summer” to be a delightful earworm, then “Mercury Child” will be another morsel to tide you over until his next release. Check it out below.

STREAM: Blood Cultures – “Mercury Child”

Nick Leng – Crawled Out Of The Sea

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It’s too cold outside. Don’t dance too hard––you won’t melt, just shatter. Nick Leng’s “Crawled Out of the Sea” is the quiet thawing out necessary for the coldest day of the year. Leng released this song in the heat of summer, a warmth that carries over in his track’s gentle layers, underwater bliss and slowly emerging beat. An experimental artist from San Diego, specializing in “chill out ambient drones over trippy stuttering beats,” Leng has released a handful of singles over the last months, hopefully with more to come. Until then, stream “Crawled Out Of The Sea” below.

 STREAM: Nick Leng – “Crawled Out of the Sea”

Introducing: SOLO

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Australian newcomer SOLO (Sophie Lowe, get it?) makes music with warmth and polish. That’s a difficult balance to strike, but she walks the tight rope perfectly on new track “Dreaming.” Jangling, scratchy guitars strum behind her lightly reverbed vocals, and actually form the beat as well. As the title might suggest, this is music that evokes staring up at a blue sky, lying on a grassy hill. If that’s hard to imagine in the middle of the snow, keep in mind that Sydney is plenty warm this time of year. Lowe’s voice is emotive, but soothing. She sings, “I am dreaming. You take me by surprise.” When it comes to her easygoing, but affecting pop, Solo is the most pleasant of surprises. Check it out below.

STREAM: SOLO – “Dreaming”