Deep Down Yonder – “Strange Pilgrims” // Cesar Hdnn

When a 10+ minute track appeared in front of me, naturally, I was incredulous. Before I knew it, however, the song was done and I was yearning for more. “Strange Pilgrims” is an out of the box, experimental track that goes through phase after phase, maintaining a steady groove that keeps you wondering “how much more of this do I get?” instead of “how much longer is this track?” A definite triumph in what was trying to be accomplished, it additionally begs repeat listens to be able to understand and dissect each part properly.

 

Yacht Punk – “Existential Freakout” // Johannah O’Donnell

“Existential Freakout” is a moody, dark rock song that draws from Nine Inch Nails as much as it does The Strokes. I’m a sucker for some well placed hand drumming and this song definitely utilizes some in a great way. I’m confident that the chorus will be echoing in my head “one more time” before the day is done.

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PENPALS – “Trip to Peru (prod. by Lars Viola)” // Lil Kool

These days, there’s a lot of conscious hip-hop that has a message and an equal amount that is thoughtless club drivel. This song, truthfully, fits in neither camp — but instead a throwback to the golden age of hip-hop where it was just FUN. Taking a page out of De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest’s handbooks, “Trip to Peru” has a punchy, jovial flow full of goofy and unexpected references over a jazzy throwback beat that keeps your foot tapping and head bobbing. I appreciate this style of hip-hop quite a bit and there isn’t a lot out there doing it this well, so kudos to PENPALS.

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Sterile Cuckoo – “Details in Feathers” // Audun Grimstad

“Details in Feathers” is an overwhelmingly lush, lo-fi pop track that feels like you’re drowning in sound while an Angel tries to pull you out of the water. It’s claustrophobic in a good way. Let it wash over you, just make sure you come up for air.

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RTIK – “constellation (every blue sky)” // Wiley Wallace

Ambient/drone music is not for everyone. It’s challenging to get into for a lot of people, and I understand why. “constellation (every blue sky)” features aspects of those genres, adds sparse and lofty vocals, and mutates those genre ideas into a digestible, chilled out downtempo track that serves as a perfect entry point into that style of music.

 

wisemind – “Fights” // Morgan Blair

“Fights” uses dreamy tones and laid-back percussion to win you over from the get-go, and continues to delight as the track unfolds. With subtle and clever use of static-y Television sound samples, it’s like you fell in between TV channels into a wonderful, unexpected world.

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Women in Love – “Shamed” // Julian Glander and Jeron Braxton

“Shamed” moves and grooves harder than a 1970s Discotheque on a Saturday night in July. Seriously. A song hasn’t made me want to break it down more than this one in a long time. Funky disco inspired indie pop at its finest. Looking forward to more from these guys.

Henry Green – “Another Light” // Milo Matthieu

Intensely catchy, dreamy indie pop with a clear vision and crisp sounds. The vocals of “Another Light” serve as the consistently smooth rock floor of the swirling beat that builds and grows and tempers itself when necessary.

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