She’s So Rad – Levels

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Nobody wants to be derivative. We can imagine the last thing She’s So Rad want to hear after you hit play on “Levels” is “Oh, this sounds like Phoenix.” While a comparison to Thomas Mars and co. wouldn’t be wrong, there’s more to consider here. These up-and-coming New Zealanders take cues from said French indie-pop pioneers while also adding a bedroom dream-pop edge that makes their sound infectious, personal and, most importantly, their own. Give “Levels” a listen below and you’ll see what we mean.

STREAM: She’s So Rad – “Levels”

M83 – Wait (Kygo Remix)

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22 year old Norwegian producer Kygo had some big breakthroughs in 2013, including an audacious take on Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing.” He’s back with the first of two free remixes as a thank you to his growing fanbase with a reworking of M83′s “Wait.”

Kygo isn’t the first EDM artist to use M83 as a base for a remix, and with good reason, as the French dream pop outfit’s music is particularly accepting of changes in pitch and tempo. That’s the case here as Kygo speeds things up slightly and adds snare drums for a bit of bounce. The synths are somewhat of a signature for him at this point, and they are worked in seamlessly here, providing some excitement and meshing well with the structure of the song. It’s not quite a dance track, even with the changes, but for anyone who’s familiar with the original, it will be quite a surprise to find yourself nodding your head to the beat. Give it a listen below.

STREAM: M83 – “Wait (Kygo Remix)”

Introducing: VEDAS

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I’ve heard a number of people compare DC to other cities as if the District is automatically inferior. To that, I say:

          • DC smells like roses compared to Cities That Shall Not Be Named.
          • House of Cards is based here. Really, can you beat that? Can you?
          • When it comes to dream pop, we win.

Perhaps more than any other District art form, our music scene is wrapped up in escapism that helps us get lost in something that isn’t politics or scandal. GEMS have been bringing audiences to another world for a while now, as have their slightly poppier compatriots in PLOY.

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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)”

HAERTS – Call My Name

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Everyone’s favorite dream-weavers HAERTS are back with a brand new original: “Call My Name.” Their first foray into self-produced work, “Call My Name” is more dialed back than anything you’ll find on their Hemiplegia EP but is just as, if not more, dreamy. Stream this timeless gem below.

STREAM: HAERTS – “Call My Name”

Now, Now – School Friends (Ansible Remix)

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More people need to listen to Now, Now. Their 2012 album Threads is a phenomenal collection of dreamy indie rock and about as perfect as they come. Those of you who missed out now have a chance to catch up thanks to the Minneapolis outfit’s latest project: Threads Remixed. The upcoming remix collection — out March 25th via TRANS- — features six new takes on select tracks from the LP. The latest to grace our ears is Ansible’s ambient electro-pop version of “School Friends.” Give it a listen below.

STREAM: Now, Now – “School Friends (Ansible Remix)”

Beach House – Saturn Song

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It turns out that Beach House and space go together more or less perfectly. Beach House’s “Saturn Song” is a part of the Lefse Records Space Project compilation, supposedly utilizing recordings from the Voyager space probes, and once it starts it makes plenty of sense. Beach House’s use of deep dreamy synths and Victoria Legrand’s otherworldly vocals come together to create something vivid. A gentle guitar riff and dripping keyboard loop are in and out of the song as well. Legrand’s singing is put through various effects to the point that it almost sounds like another synth, or as if she is singing through a telephone. The lyrics are fit for the isolation of deep space, as she croons, “I just don’t matter / Out on my own.” There may not be a beach in space, but there is Beach House, who utilize the Voyager space probe audio so well on this song that it is indistinguishable from their own sounds.

Check out Beach House’s “Saturn Song” below, and look for Space Project from Lefse Records, out April 19th via Lefse.

STREAM: Beach House – “Saturn Song”

Dawn Golden – All I Want

“But life is short / And I don’t care for most of it / Because you’re all that I want.” These are the lines that walk you into the chorus of Dawn Golden‘s heartbreaking single “All I Want.” The track is a slow-burner that begins with nothing but keys and Dexter Tortoriello’s voice, but all that swells into a cascading, percussion-heavy breakdown that still gives us chills every time we listen. It’s a hell of a payoff.

The track has a beautiful video to match thanks to one of our favorite directors, Tyler T. Williams. It’s a sci-fi tale of love and dementia that, despite sounding a bit over the top, fits the song perfectly. Watch it above.

“All I Want” appears on Dawn Golden’s Still Life, out now via Mad Decent.

STREAM: Dawn Golden – “All That I Want”

M83 – I Need You

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Since the release of their last album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming, M83 have managed to stay busy by trying their hand at soundtrack work. While their prior film work suffered from some unevenness, new release  ”I Need You” from the Divergent soundtrack is more in line with their usual quality. M83 has always been a cinematic band, and here they harness that energy for an explosive 3 minutes. The song starts quietly enough with some ambient synths, piano chords and soft vocals. Then it all comes together with a heavy drumbeat and thick guitar riff as Anthony Gonzalez’s vocals rise to a shout. The track also acts as continuing proof that M83 might be the only band who know how to properly apply a saxophone in modern pop music. It’s an M83 song, so it might be best listened to with the windows down on the freeway at 3 am. Anthemic, beautiful and hopefully a preview of more to come.

Check out M83′s “I Need You” below and look for the Divergent soundtrack, out March 11th.

STREAM: M83 – “I Need You” 

Tei Shi – Nevermind The End (Saint Pepsi Remix)

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We’re hoping that the moment our heads hit the pillow tonight, Saint Pepsi‘s new remix of Tei Shi‘s “Nevermind The End” starts playing. The Long Island artist builds a beachside dreamworld out of this future-pop gem using twinkling keys, body-warming synths and hazy percussion. Those finger snaps help too. Close your eyes and hit play on the remix below.

DOWNLOAD: Tei Shi – “Nevermind The End (Saint Pepsi Remix)”