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Jen Dan: July 22, 2016

1. Ramsey – “Pay”

A star is born in the form of the raw and riveting electronic noir artist Ramsey. The SoundCloud sensation has released a string of compelling singles that spotlights her electrifyingly emotive vocals. “Pay” is Ramsey’s latest seductively stalking and psychologically dark track that’s not to be missed and tough to resist. Emotional torment never sounded so harrowing, or alluring…

2. Swoone – “This Bullet Never Kills”

This swoon-worthy, trip-hop-dipped torch number comes from the musical pairing of Siobhan De Mare of Mono (Remember the hit tune “Life In Mono” in the mid-90s?) and Violet Indiana (with Cocteau Twins ’ legend Robin Guthrie) fame and musician/producer Gary Bruce. Together they craft self-described “dream-folk” tunes, but “This Bullet Never Kills” is all seductive smolder and forlorn regret draped with De Mare’s velvety, bittersweet vocals. The duo recently signed to Wyatt Parkin ‘s much-respected label Saint Marie Records, so expect more tunes soon.

3. Aloric – “When Doves Cry” (Prince cover)

The enigmatic and magnetic entity known as Aloric delivers an epic and atmospheric cover of and tribute to the artist known as the dearly beloved and departed Prince. London-based Aloric has already composed a haunting ode to Jeff Buckley with “Grace” (Same title as Buckley’s, but totally different tune.), but this time around Aloric’s “When Doves Cry” is a direct cover (Well, at least lyrics-wise.) done in an electrifying style, flying to the skies with the vocalist’s high and dramatically aching cries, sweeping guitar immolation, and a swelling finale of bittersweet synth strings.

4. Puro Instinct – “Tell Me”

Sisters Piper and Sky deliver a dreamily gauzy and nostalgic electro-pop number that sounds like a lost track from early-80s Madonna. The duo made waves in 2011 with its debut album, Headbangers In Ecstasy, which came out on Mexican Summer, and now the sisters have released their enticing sophomore album, Autodrama, June 24th on Manifesto Records.

5. Yishay – “Night Games”

South Central LA trap-rock up ‘n’ comer Yishay may not be a household name now, but he deserves to rise up from the underground. He draws out and wraps his intense vocals around the dark, gritty, and lively electronic-rock percussion and rhythm of “Night Games” to arresting effect. His 2nd EP, Trinity Tapes II, comes out August 8th and he describes his sound as a combination of Radiohead and Yeezus – and that’s a good thing!

6. Katie Burden – “I Can See It Clear”

Los Angeles-located alternative rock/pop artist Katie Burden channels David Bowie sonically/composition-wise, and Polly Jean Harvey vocally, on her bold debut single. Sounding like an old hand, Burden drops her words with authority against a “Let’s Dance”-like swaying rhythm and then segues to a spikier chorus where she coos and exclaims amid sprightly jags of guitar, wavering organ notes, rubbery bass line, and kinetic drum-work. Her debut album, Strange Moon, is scheduled for released September 16th on Cautionary Tail.

7. Kindling – “Weightlessly”

In the spirit of the dynamically careening tracks by My Bloody Valentine, Massachusetts-based dream-rock/shoegaze band Kindling drops the buoyantly propulsive single “Weightlessly”. Gretchen Williams ’ submerged, but glowing vocals, which are shadowed by the male vocalist’s duskier tone, surface occasionally while a siren-like, driving guitar line winds through the whirl of densely textured guitars, bashed cymbals, and frantically flailing drums. The band expanded its Galaxies EP last November and is preparing to embark on Everywhere Else, its debut album, August 12th via No Idea Records. Buckle up for the ride!

8. Strata Florida – 3 Track Album Sampler

While Strata Florida may not ring a bell, perhaps the name Louise Trehy does. That’s because Louise was one half of 1990s dream-pop duo Swallow on the revered 4AD record label. Louise’s sweet, breathy, and sky-high vocals grace a 3 Track Album Sampler she’s just posted – a teaser for her upcoming sophomore album as Strata Florida. Her ethereal vocals float over spangled, reverb guitar chime, bass line undertow, and quickly ticking beats. Debut album Made of Stars from 2014 was a dream-pop stunner and based on these current 3 tracks, Louise’s 2nd album will be as well!

9. Vogue Dots – “If You Stay”

The Canadian electro-pop duo of Babette Hayward and Tynan Dunfield delivered its 3rd EP, If I Stay, May 20th via Austrian label Seayou Records. The pair has been crafting broodingly cool and wistfully dreamy electronic pop numbers since 2014. Hayward and Dunfield released the EPs Toska and Mauka the year they formed. The duo has a penchant for mixing complex contemplation with crisp and fluid instrumentation and “If You Stay” shows that to full effect. Babette’s melancholic and introspective, Chan Marshall-like musings drift alongside the smooth, yet sparkling electronics.

10. Shikobi – “Here We Go Again”

LA-based hard rock hybrid band Shikobi is composed of two brothers, Aaron and Luke Hession, who are originally from Australia, and Marco Barrientos and Dylan Hayden. The act is blowing up big with its new single “Here We Go Again”, a raw and energetic rock/hip-hop/funk number that raises a rousing ruckus and recalls the 1990s heyday of alternative rock bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Linkin Park. The four-piece is set to Pull The Trigger EP on September 23rd.


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