[EP] Blackbird Blackbird – BORACAY PLANET (w/ “It’s A War “)

which are you waiting for?

  • Who: Mikey Maramag
  • What: Oversized dream pop, like Toro Y Moi, KidsOf88, Humans
  • Where: San Francisco, CA + Facebook
  • When: Buy Boracay Planet now.
  • Why: Blackbird Blackbird was booked by Joel and scheduled to play day 4 of our SXSW showcases but a transportation disaster kept Mikey from the venue for hours. Had I heard him play that day I guarantee you this post would have happened months ago. I just didn’t know what I was missing. After finally tracking down his latest EP I was immediately blown away by “It’s A War.” What a rollicking piece of slightly dark tropical pop. The rest of Boracay Planet is full of shuffling and twitching beats under dreamy guitars that blend together brilliantly. Especially “Happy With You” (& this great Yalls remix of it here!) So it turns out the guy has been making music for years. His Bandcamp is a treasure trove of previous releases. Cheers to many more!

[LP] Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – THE HEIST (w/ “Cant Hold Us ft. Ray Dalton”)

y’all can’t stop me, i go hard like i’ve got an 808 in my heart beat, and i’m eating at the beat, like you gave a little speed to a great white shark on shark week

If you’ve caught any of our posts on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis then you know the kind of freshness these two are bringing to the rap game. Macklemore ‘s intensely personal, honest, and and often funny storytelling. Ryan Lewis’ impeccable and unique production. It’s really quite remarkable. Independent since day one, they’ve obviously been courted by major labels but as “Jimmy Iovine” lays out, the current state of affairs in that world is dismal for the artist. The duo blazed on alone and The Heist is their opus. But don’t let the commercial success on the backs of a legion of loyal fans fool you. This is a fantastic album. If you never thought you liked hip-hop you will still find something here to love. Macklemore brilliantly balances his signature heavy topic songwriting with goofball party songs that keep the album from getting bogged down in it’s own seriousness. Both “Same Love” and “Thrift Shop” are shaping up to be top songs of the year but for such different reasons. But one common thread. Two really. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.


[EP] Frank + Derol – FRANK + DEROL EP (w/ “Let It Go”)

once we say forever that’s the first lie we tell each other

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Frank + Derol live a handful of times now and they are definitely coming into their own. Still a little wet behind the ears but their current tour with Wolf Gang should go a long way to strengthening their stage show. They certainly have no shortage of jams. Unfortunately only 4 of them are included on their debut EP. “Let It Go” is the one that makes me roll my windows down and sing along at top volume like a spastic. Get into it.

[LP / REMIX] Citizens! – HERE WE ARE [w/ “She Said” & “True Romance” (Gildas remix)]

you’ll taste heaven and you’ll taste hell, and those who doubt you will doubt themselves

♫ Citizins! – True Romance (Gildas remix)

  • Who: Tom, Lawrence, Mike, Martyn, Thom
  • What: Genre, like XX
  • Where: London, UK + Facebook
  • When: Buy debut album Here We Are now.
  • Why: “True Romance” is one of the great songs of the year. It stands strong on its own and lends itself beautifully to some stellar remixes, like the one above. If Citizens!’ worthwhile contributions stopped there it would still be something appreciated. Luckily for us they have more swinging indie dance rock for us. Here We Are is chock full of bendy baselines and hopping percussion, making a set of jams sure to start up your next party. Take “She Said” for example, I just hit play and already there are people knocking. And I don’t even have enough dip!

[EP] Portasound – THE SECOND RENAISSANCE (w/ “To The Colours”)

  • Who: Michael, James, Luke, Thom, Graham
  • What: Instrumental electro freak pop, like Civil Civic, Is Tropical, Joe & Will Ask?
  • Where: London, UK + Facebook
  • When: Buy The Second Renaissance EP now.
  • Why: Portasound are solid favorites at TBE HQ but the world doesn’t seem to like awesome instrumental electro party jams as much as I do! With under 1000 likes on Facebook they fall squarely into the same under-appreciated camp as similar TBE instrumental faves Civil Civic. Just try cranking up “To The Colours” on a night drive and not rolling down the windows, lead-footing the pedal, and generally feeling like a badass. You cant! EP opener “Dreadnought” may start off slow but when it kicks in it brings full-on 80s car chase grooves with it! Rage on!

[LP] Joe & Will Ask? – VIKINGS (w/ “Santander”)

With previously posted Joe & Will Ask track “Freya” kicking off Vikings you know it starts right. And if you know the legendary status of their previous jams then you can imagine it continues just as right. And then you could toast to having been 100% correct so far. Cheers. This London duo continues flying under too many radars as they drop glitchy,  bouncy, funky, groove jams that openly beg for low lights and high body movement. They may not be dancefloor crushers to everybody but the kinetic mood they set is undeniable. “Santander” builds up and then pulls back, leaving various trails of a beat in its path. Its a journey you just have to give yourself to.

Stream Vikings in full here.

[EP] Trophy Wife – BRUXISM (w/ “Canopy Shade”)

louder now, i can hear your reflections, in the distance we’ve come

♫ Trophy Wife – Canopy Shade

  • Who: Jody, Ben, Kit
  • What: Twitchy electro dance, like Foals, Polarsets, St. Lucia
  • Where: Oxford, UK + Facebook
  • When: Buy Bruxism now.
  • Why: I loooved Trophy Wife’s 2010 jams “Microlite” and “Take This Night” but lost track of them after that. Only recently did I discover that they released this awesome Bruxism EP a year ago. Each song is supposedly named after a different sleeping disorder suffered by band member and has a different production collaborator. James Yuill worked on the title track while Foals’ Yannis Philippakis helmed “Wolf.” Perhaps my favorite of the 5 is opener “Canopy Shade” with the jumpy tropical dance vibe I can’t get enough of. I hope they keep producing more jams this tight and dont keep them such a secret next time.

[LP] Jessie Ware – DEVOTION (w/ “110%”) + BONUS CORNER

no if you’re never gonna move, oh my love, you’ll make me come to you, but i’m still dancing on my own, still dancing on my own

Jessie Ware is so killing it right now. The former back-up singer for TBE alum’s like Jack Peñate (Where is he these days?), Man Like Me, and SBTRKT already dropped one of the years best songs with “Wildest Moments.” Now that I have been selfishly getting acquainted with her debut LP Devotion, I can finally come up for air long enough to make sure you get on board. It’s beautiful, sexy, and will probably stop you in your tracks on more than one song.

JESSIE WARE BONUS CORNER:

1. I was just thinking about that Jack Peñate connection and remembering that his backup singer from the 2009 tour (with Miike Snow!) struck a chord in my mind at the time. A quick zip through my iPhoto revealed these. She is looking a lot fitter these days but it’s still hott to know I was only an arms length away from her…

Jessie Ware on tour with Jack Pe̱ate РSeptember 2009. Maxwells, Hoboken, NJ.

2. Star Slinger on “Wildest Moments”

3. Joe Goddard on “Night Light.”