Magazine / Issue #81

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Song of the Day: Native Soul – Teenage Dreams

Pretoria-based duo Alfred Mhlanga and Kgotatso Tshabalala make contemporary electronic music full of soul and charm. Their debut full-length is a journey through 2020’s bizarre mindscape. The South African electronic music scene was only able to find its stride from the mid-90s onwards. As Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners famously walked their first steps as free citizens in the first half of the decade, cultural boycotts of South African art were lifted by many countries. Almost simultaneously, music from other countries became more easily accessible locally. This not only meant that electronic music could be imported into the country, but also that global trends would influence the South African music scene, helping to birth Kwaito music and launch the careers of producers and DJs who are now luminaries. In South African slang, born free denotes someone who, born after the onset of democracy, did not experience apartheid even as a child; ma 2000 is a term used for young people who were born after the year 2000. Both of these terms are often used patronizingly, with connotations of flimsy immaturity associated with them. Ironically, in the layperson’s view, the socio-economic adversity of apartheid is still valued above only having experienced democracy. In common parlance, the two producers who make up Native Soul would be considered ma2000, by virtue of their age. Kgothatso Tshabalala is 19 years old and Zakhele Mhlanga (DJ Zakes) is 20. Their debut electronic music album, Teenage Dreams, is not easily dismissed as a project that shows their age, though. Far from it. Teenage Dreams presents a youthful, experimental sound, but the arrangement of each song and how each of the project’s composite parts are put together demonstrate an artistic maturity beyond the two producers’ respective ages. Enjoy the title track of the album Teenage Dream from Native Soul!

Song of the Day: Inude – Noisy Floor, Silent Room

Inude are an electronic trio born in Puglia in 2014. Inude is the profound union of the three musical souls of Flavio, Francesco and Giacomo who have given life to warm electronics, with soulful and romantic tones. In 2016 they released their first Ep Love Is In the Eyes Of the Animals and started a European and Italian tour of over 80 dates in the best Italian clubs and festivals, sharing the stages with artists of great national and international importance. In 2019 they publish for Oyez! their first LP entitled Clara Tesla. A mature album that immediately conquered critics and projected them in an international dimension. In 2020 they enter the roster of the Factory Flaws label and release We Share and Ballad, the new singles that anticipate the next album. Inude are confirmed as one of the most inspired and exportable Italian realities and continue to refine their sound in the most intimate and personal way, creating new tracks with a strong international flavor, between pop soul and electronics. Intense and refined songs, engaging and emotional, it is pop without being taken for granted, it is research and evolution. Enjoy the gorgeous Noisy Floor, Silent Room!

Song of the Day: Karl Fitzgerald – Over My Head

Virginia artist Karl Fitzgerald released this indie pop gem, where a dreamy liquid production emphasizes rock guitars and a lo-fi atmosphere. It’s very difficult to escape from the catchy refrain and a minimal but fascinating final solo. Enjoy Over My Head!

Song of the Day: Lady Wray – Through It All

Virginia-born singer/songwriter Nicole Wray has everything you’d want in a singer: an infectious Jackson-5-family-member flare, a range like Aretha’s, and a church upbringing that’s brought a pure, healing texture to her voice. Here’s the beautiful Through It All, enjoy it!

Song of the Day: Bad Suns – Wishing Fountains

Los Angeles-based band Bad Suns share the next track, Wishing Fountains taken from their forthcoming studio album Apocalypse Whenever out January 28 via Epitaph Records.  The track examines the pain of waking up with a broken heart. «It’s not the end of the world, but in this moment, it may as well be,» says vocalist Christo Bowman «You try your hardest to pull it together, but every effort to repair the damage done is futile.» Produced by long-time collaborator, Eric Palmquist,  Apocalypse Whenever features dreamy ’80s pastiche flanked by Stratocasters through cranked Vox amps, pulsing synths, and palpable rhythmic energy. While all of the elements associated with the band’s signature sound are beautifully showcased, their fourth studio album sees Bad Suns take a more conceptual approach to their songwriting, resulting in their most sophisticated work to date. The 13-track album was conceived as “the soundtrack to a movie that doesn’t yet exist,” setting the scene as the album’s protagonist washes up on the shores of a fictionalized LA after a near-death experience at the hands of the turbulent ocean. In order to fully conceptualize their story, the band did what any good director would do; assembling a mood board, filtering their neo-noir version of Los Angeles through the dreamlike haziness of author Haruki Murakami, the futuristic flair of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Blade Runner, and the lifted cinematography of Spike Jonze’s HER. Enjoy Wishing Fountains!

Magazine / Issue #80

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Song of the Day: Beach House – Once Twice Melody

On February 18th, 2022, Beach House will release their 8th album titled Once Twice Melody.Tthe first album produced entirely by Beach House, was recorded at Pachyderm studio in Cannon Falls, MN, United Studio in Los Angeles, CA, and Apple Orchard Studios in Baltimore, MD. For the first time, a live string ensemble was used, with arrangements by David Campbell. Once Twice Melody was mostly mixed by Alan Moulder but a few tracks were also mixed by Caesar Edmunds, Trevor Spencer, and Dave Fridmann. Once Twice Melody features 18 tracks, and in the lead up to the physical release, will be presented in 4 chapters with lyric animations for each song. The first 4-song chapter of Once Twice Melody contains a gorgeous title track, enjoy it!

Song of the Day: Alchemy 3 – Trust In The Process

Alchemy is a «a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination» and the three alchemical principles of this band are sulphur, mercury & salt and the magic & chemistry happened during lockdown 2020. The Salt represents the Body of a thing. It is the receptacle for the energies of Mercury and Sulfur. This neutral energy resides in the salts of the material you work with in the lab, both soluble and insoluble. Salt contains the elements Water and Earth. The receiving of the influences of the Soul which are transmitted through the spirit occurs through the element Water. The Sulfur is the Male, active energy of the universe. For us it represents the Soul. It resides in the essential oils of the material you work with in the lab. The Mercury is the passive, Female energy of the universe. It unites with the Sulfur to produce a Manifestation, whatever that may be (whatever you are trying to create). This energy resides in the alcohol of the material you work with. In order for the energies of Life to transmit their influence into matter, Mercury is needed: It contains the Air of Life and the Water of Matter .The aim of alchemy is both spiritual and physical, we have made balance, and in that made music. Enjoy Trust In The Process!

Song of the Day: Oak Glen – Corner Stone

Oak Glen (Moscow), a representative of the community of Russian artists who make music in
English over the past 2 years have achieved more than 1 million Spotify streams of their tracks, most of which are America and Europe. The new song from the band’s upcoming album shows that the band’s style is changing dramatically from minor electronica towards more positive indie pop vibes with roots from the 70s. The song brings the listener into the LA mood and supports those who want to be alone, but not lonely. Enjoy Corner Stone!