NEW MUSIC: Champ Major – Enjoy

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Madison Major of Brooklyn, New York is Champ Major, an experimental folk artist who’s aesthetic is one of creating a sonic environment to match her songs and stories. In the case of ‘Enjoy’ from her EP Receipe For Baking Two Humans Together, it’s a thick and foggy sound, akin to a radio transmission from a distant time and place. Acoustic guitar and a yearning voice is all Champ Major needs to convey her imagery and emotions.

NEW MUSIC: Obstacle – Unknown Number

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Obstacle are a USA trio comprised of Annie Murnighan (Found Object), Elias Jarzombek, and Amos Damroth (AJE). They’ve only been around for a year and a half but they already have three digital releases under their belt, including this latest one ‘Unknown Number’. It’s a track that runs its sounds through murky ominous filters with heavily treated and unrecognisable vocals and really interesting rhythms and hyperactive percussive programming. It’s electronic music for the headphones and the feet, conveying a sense of playfulness while still lurking in the shadows of the dance floor.

 

 

NEW MUSIC: Windy & Carl – Forest Trails

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A while ago we posted about a track from Joey Beltran called Childhood Memories which was our first taste of this new compilation Pure Sounds of Michigan, an ambient album that invites listeners to take a sunrise-to-sunset tour of Michigan from coast to coast as interpreted by some of the state’s most talented musicians. The album came out a few weeks ago on Detroit-based Assemble Sound, and was imagined, created, and released by Michigan’s tourism arm, Travel Michigan.

This track is by ambient stalwarts Windy & Carl, and it’s a beautiful piece, soaked in environmental sounds and melancholic wanderings through a real and digital landscape. There’s a sense of wonder and curiosity that permeates the sounds coming out of the speakers.

“I am a musician. I am in love with sound, and parks offer me so much of what i am in love with. […] To this day, Carl and I would rather be outside than in. We would rather see the wind cause the trees to sway and dance, listen to all the voices of the forest animals, and hear the chorus of insects, than be stuck inside […] I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have been invited to be involved in a project to celebrate the anniversary of State Parks in Michigan– To have been given a way to say THANK YOU to everyone along the way who said that this space needed to be preserved and protected; to every one who understood how a human body and mind needs to sit in the trees and see the sky and listen to the sounds of a park; listen to the sounds our body knows and understands. What a wonderful gift we have all been given in the creation of our state and local parks. It’s a gift we can all share in, everyday, all year long. We are all so lucky.”

– Windy Weber of Windy & Carl

NEW MUSIC: Wine Flies – Business

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Some wonderfully weird-pop here courtesy of Wine Flies, the solo project of Swedish musician Henrik Lennartsson. It hits that same spaced-out, fever dream vibe of John Maus and Ariel Pink with a warped, lo-fi production aesthetic that accentuates the haunted feel of the music.

“Business was the result of me, merely improvising keys over a beat. I never know what I’m gonna get, since I don’t write the songs beforehand. I’m not at all classically trained in any form, I always just play whatever chords or notes I know until I get something that sounds alright (at least to me). My biggest inspiration is all the bad/boring music I’ve ever heard, because it makes me feel absolutely no pressure what so ever. I simply aim to create something listenable, preferably a hit, but mostly just barely okay. I’m basically just trying to have fun with it, because why not? 

I’d say that my fuel/drive in all of this comes down to the concept of irony. It completely destroyed me as a person, when it first hit me as a younger man, but it is also now the thing that makes me sane and keeps me going, because life is ridiculous, and so am I.“

 

NEW MUSIC: John Beltran – Childhood Memories

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It’s the tension and mood of this piece that caught our ear when we came across it online. The way that John Beltran sonically suspends the mood before introducing the tentative snippets of piano that flutter and suggest, like a butterfly unfurling wet wings. The back half emerges with greater weight on the back of swells of synthetic drift that rise and fall with heavy emotion.

This piece comes from Pure Sounds of Michigan an ambient album that invites listeners to take a sunrise-to-sunset tour of Michigan, from coast to coast. The album is set for a May 22nd release on Detroit-based Assemble Sound, and was imagined, created, and released by Michigan’s tourism arm, Travel Michigan as a part of the Pure Michigan campaign, in conjunction with the label.

The music was executive produced and mixed by composer Blair French, mastered by Eddie Logix, and features songs composed by the likes of Michigan-based heavy hitters John Beltran, Waajeed, and Windy & Carl, along with up and coming names such as Greater Alexander, Dave Graw, Todd Modes, and more.

 

FIRST LISTEN: Prudence – Major Tom

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Sydney artist Prudence releases his debut EP Major Tom tomorrow on Bandcamp and streaming platforms. Prudence is songwriter (and bassist for DMAs) Tom Crandles who also releases music as Au.Ra with Tom Jenkins.

Major Tom’s six tracks were recorded in Margate, Kent UK, completed in Sydney and finally mixed in Auckland earlier this year. The results are a kaleidoscopic blend of post punk, new wave melancholia and art rock.

They are songs that dig into dark corners one moment and shine psychedelic colour wheels of sound across the speakers the next. Languid guitar chords hang in the air on songs such as ‘Caramel’ while ‘Save It For Me’ is an intoxicating blend of New Order and liquid pop dance-floor shapes and ‘Euphoria’ is an aching wander through rhythm and dark synth textures.

Major Tom is out May 10th on Forged Artifacts.

 

NEW MUSIC: Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein – Affluenza

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Two of the guys from S U R V I V E, Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, who are best known for the soundtrack work on Stranger Things, have composed the music for Rashid Johnson’s dramatic directorial debut Native Son, which was Sundance’s opening night film.

Based on Richard Wright’s seminal novel of the same name, the modern reimagining of Wright’s 1930’s coming-of-age drama chronicles Bigger Thomas, a young African-American man who takes a job working for a highly influential Chicago family — a decision that changes the course of his life. HBO Films and A24 released the film on April 5th with Milan Records releasing the score on the same day.

‘Affluenza’ is a billowing, gaseous synth bed that envelopes the listener with a tense and foreboding quality.