Zhu – Paradise Awaits

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The enigmatic ZHU has once again risen from the shadows to present us with a new track: “Paradise Awaits.” The L.A. based producer/singer has only released four songs, but his unique sound has had a tendency to go viral very quickly. ZHU has taken an interesting approach to PR by actively disassociating himself with his music. He explained the method to his madness in a recent statement…

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Jack Steadman – In The Morning

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Jack Steadman has been building an electronic portfolio on the side for the past three years. His day job — lead vocalist for Bombay Bicycle Club — deals primarily with indie rock, delving into the electronic world on occasion. Steadman’s solo project, however, is all electronic, making use of non-Bombay sounds like hip-hop beats and distorted samples to create something entirely different.

Steadman’s body of work consists largely of experimental vignettes and remixes, but his latest track “In The Morning” is his most complete piece yet. The track centers around a sample of a gospel rendition of the classic American folk song “O Death,” which when coupled with a fast-paced, sinister beat evokes a sense of eternal (but listenable) dread. With the ominous plea to a higher power, asking to “spare me over another year,” Steadman reminds us fools that we won’t be tearing up dance floors to these sounds forever and each year is a grace. Download a free copy of “In The Morning” below.

DOWNLOAD: Jack Steadman – “In The Morning”

Glass Animals – Holiest (Ft. Tei Shi)

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If experimental pop is your thing, then consider Glass Animals‘ “Holiest” your wet dream. The Oxford outfit teams up with Tei Shi on this one, and apparently it’s a match made in heaven. The Brooklyn songstress’ dreamy vocals navigate effortlessly through the band’s murky tribal sounds, making for an interesting take on electro-soul that is well worth a listen or two. Stream “Holiest” below.

STREAM: Glass Animals – “Holiest (Ft. Tei Shi)”

bAnoffee – Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis Cover)

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Nobody said covers have to be timely. For her latest effort, bAnoffee takes on Leona Lewis’ 2007 hit “Bleeding Love.” The Australian songstress strips the soul-pop original of its polish, rebuilding it with some warped vocal effects, warm synths, frenetic sample work and, of course, her enchanting voice. Stream/download it below, and if this is your first time listening to bAnoffee, make sure to listen to her stellar debut single “Ninja.”

DOWNLOAD: bAnoffee – “Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis Cover)”

Ben Khan – Youth

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With “Youth,” Ben Khan proves he has the Midas touch. Usually I wouldn’t make a big deal of it, but all four of the songs he has released on his Soundcloud are certified jams. It’s tough placing any of them under a genre, but one thing is for sure: he pays meticulous attention to detail. On “Youth,” Mr. Khan recalls artists like Jai Paul and Blood Orange, but he adds a seductive distorted bluesy guitar here that wraps things up nicely. This guy is not just a flash in the pan, so start paying attention now. Stream “Youth” below.

STREAM: Ben Khan – “Youth”

tUnE-yArDs – Water Fountain

We couldn’t be more excited to see a new song from Merrill Garbus (a.k.a. tUnE-yArDs). She is due out for a new album, Nikki Nack, on May 6th via 4AD, a follow up to 2011′s acclaimed W H O K I L L. “Water Fountain” bubbles over with the youthful enthusiasm of a schoolyard at recess. Garbus’ recording process has been notably DIY; her first album back in 2009 was self-released on recycled cassettes and taped using only a handheld recorder. However, her highly sophisticated, almost prog-rock-ish compositions put her light-years ahead of that guy you know at work who records guitar tracks in his garage on weekends. Though reportedly compromising by bringing in outside producers on her new album, Garbus still yelps and chants over tinny, found-sound percussion and crunchy synths that sound like she pulled them out of the dumpster. We’ll be waiting impatiently for the rest of the album. In the meantime, stream “Water Fountain” above.

James Blake – Roman Patience

When I was introduced to James Blake’s eponymous debut album in 2011, it was like nothing I had ever heard. It was jazz, in the truest sense of the word, set to modern synths and those strained, pleading vocals I would come to love. With a Grammy tucked securely under his belt, Blake went on to become one of the most influential underground artists of the last five years. Never satisfied settling for sales success over content, his new track “Roman Patience” proves Blake is still keen to experiment.

The track begins with a traipsing piano line, reminiscent of a ruminating drunk stumbling along the street in the drizzle of an early afternoon. The drunk takes a wrong turn, careening into a sinister bass line punctuated by eerie, alien grunts. With minimalist percussion and running fewer than two minutes in length, Blake dropped this track during his late night DJ session on BBC One Radio right next to his remix of Kendrick Lamar’s “m.A.A.d City,” which you can listen to here. Take a listen to “Roman Patience” above. festival

Abuela – True Colors

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This past July, as I sat against the goat-hide walls of a ger on the steppes of Mongolia listening to an ancient nomad perform the even-older style of two-tone throat singing known as Khoomi, a feeling crept into my frontal lobe: What if I dropped a fat beat right now? That would sound good. I knew it would.

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Solomon Grey – Last Century Man

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Solomon Grey have proven themselves to be a duo of maney talents. The London/Australia two-piece wowed us back in 2012 with the minimalist electro-pop of debut single “Firechild” and have since gone on to craft beautiful tracks like “Gen V” and “Gascarene Sound.” Their latest effort “Last Century Man” carries on in the same vein as their more orchestral work, starting off with an acoustic Justin Vernon-style serenade. It’s the pay off, though, that matters here; after two minutes of build-up, the track explodes into a stunning of horns, piano and percussion. Stream it below.

STREAM: Solomon Grey – “Last Century Man”

Introducing: Kimono Kult

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Time Magazine ran an article in 1974 about the reunified Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young titled “Return of a Super Group.” The piece claimed that although super groups “played enormous arenas and made megabucks, and sometimes mega-music,” their prevalence was an ephemeral sales gimmick of big record companies. Forty years later, time has proved Time wrong, and to demonstrate, allow us to introduce Kimono Kult.

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