Music, Singles, The Revue — February 15, 2017 at 5:30 am

Melodic Tonic ’17, February 15

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Your mid-week serving of new music cocktails features six tasty concoctions featuring artists from England, New Zealand, Sweden, and the US. From sultry electronica to upbeat soul and indie psych-pop, these tunes will instantly elevate your day.

 

Little Dragon – “High” (Gothenburg, Sweden)

RIYL: Morcheeba, Portishead, Massive Attack

This time last year we were writing about Little Dragon’s exquisite remix of the Emma Louise hit, “Underflow.” Now we’re basking in the glow of a new track from these Swedish electronic giants. Cool and sultry, “High” arrived on Valentine’s Day and instantly set the mood for love. Yukimi Nagano’s sensual delivery of the line “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be” is enough to stoke the fires of passion. Yet it’s the band’s super-chill, electronic vibe that makes this tune a scorcher. While we don’t yet have details about a full follow-up to their 2014 LP, Nabuma Rubberband, this single is available now on iTunes via Concord Music Group.

Little Dragon are: Yukimi Nagano (vocals, percussion), Håkan Wirenstrand (keys), Fredrik Källgren Wallin (bass), and Erik Bodin (drums).

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RAVINES – “Breathe” (Auckland, New Zealand)

RIYL: Purity Ring, Little Dragon, Telepopmusik

RAVINES (the duo formerly known as Ophelia) cite Little Dragon as one of their influences, and you can hear that inspiration on this new single. “Breathe” is something you may not be able to do easily as its shimmering beauty will definitely take your breath away. This Kiwi duo make ambient electronica that dazzles with its multi-faceted layers. If you’re a fan of songs that seduce you with a “come hither” wink while slowly turning up the heat, your heart will flutter over this tune. Its melodies dance around your headspace slowly at first. Soon you’re completely submerged, hitting repeat again and again.

Patrick Shanahan’s hypnotic production lures you in, but the magic comes from Alex Louise’s soaring vocals that transport you to another dimension. Close your eyes, crank this one, and immerse yourself in the ethereal bliss that awaits. But be warned: “Breathe” is seriously addictive. The only way we could love this song more would be if its length were doubled. Perhaps an extended remix that emphasizes the brooding synth riff could find its way onto their next album?

You can find this single on their Bandcamp page or iTunes via The A&R Department.

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James Raftery – “Hidden Mind” (New York City, USA)

RIYL: Kraftwerk, John Grant, School of Seven Bells

More electronic goodness is coming your way with this new single from James Raftery. This indie artist may not be a household name yet, but give him time. He’s been making name for himself in New York City for more than 15 years under his previous moniker, Rat Wakes Red. Now he’s changed direction a bit and is recording under his own name. The verdict based on this single, “Hidden Mind,” is simple: his brand of synth-driven electropop is, quite simply, mesmerizing.

We can see 2017 becoming his breakout year thanks to tunes like this one. It’s steeped in ‘80s retro synth (a nod to his influences, Kraftwerk and Gary Numan) yet it still sounds thoroughly modern. It will be a crime if this song doesn’t somehow find its way onto the next season of Stranger Things. “Hidden Mind” has an evocative soundscape that perfectly captures the suspenseful tone of that show.

It’s from his upcoming self-released Everything album that’s due March 24th. You can find more info here.

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The Amazons – “Black Magic” (Reading, England)

RIYL: Arctic Monkeys, Foals, The Vaccies, Sundara Karma

You have exactly nine seconds to brace for impact once this tune starts. At the ten second mark, The Amazons unleash such pure sonic magic – “Black Magic” to be precise – that your face might just melt.

Scorching guitar licks are the base of this delirium-inducing potion, followed by driving percussion and powerhouse vocals. Look, if you’re new to the bandwagon of this emerging UK group, we can’t think of a better introduction to their dynamic sound. There’s a reason we named them one of our Artists to Watch in 2017 last month. They’re future superstars with an intense sound that has us spellbound.

This single is out now on iTunes. Their debut album is expected later this year via Fiction Records. (If you can’t play the whole tune above, enjoy the video instead. Just play it as loud as possible, because it deserves to be heard and felt.)

The Amazons are: Matt Thomson (vocals), Chris Alderton (guitar), Elliot Briggs (bass), and Joe Emmet (bass, drums).

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The Jay Vons – “Want You Tomorrow” (Brooklyn, USA)

RIYL: Robbers on High Street, Reigning Sound, The Left Banke

If you didn’t get enough candy (or lovin’!) for Valentine’s Day, then treat yourself to this sweet R&B gem from The Jay Vons. The fact that they’re on Daptone’s imprint (Wick Records) should be your first clue that they’re an ace soul group. But when you consider that the group is comprised of members of other soul groups (including Robbers on High Street and Reigning Sound), then how can you resist?

“Want You Tomorrow” is smoother than any Whitman’s sampler, with a rich, full sound that will satisfy your musical sweet tooth. This upbeat number has more than enough charm to put a bounce in your step and a smile on your face. Whether you’re walking through a foot of snow in New York City or wandering down a sunny street in Sydney, this is the song you need today that is guaranteed to bring you joy.

You can pre-order a copy from the Daptone online store or the group’s Bandcamp page ahead of its February 24 release.

The Jay Vons are: Mike Catanese (vocals, guitar), Benny Trokan (vocals, bass), Dave Amels (organ), and Mikey Post (vocals, drums).

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WHY? – “One Mississippi” (Cincinnati, USA)

RIYL: Pavement, Clem Snide, Yoni & Geti

WHY? – that’s the answer, not a question. This Cincinnati-based band is the best group you probably aren’t listening to, which does beg the question: “Why not?” For starters, this trio cannot be pinned to one specific genre. They’re indie in a kaleidoscopic psych-folk-pop kind of way that is especially pleasing to the ears despite how difficult it is to pin down their sound. But however you categorize them, their newest single, “One Mississippi” will surely give your ears a case of the warm fuzzies. That’s because it’s a delectable blend of bouncy grooves, funky synths, and mood-enhancing whistles. (Yeah, whistles. Andrew Bird isn’t the only guy who can do that, you know.)

Your mid-week slump has met its match today with this jovial tune. Give it a spin and find out why WHY? has the answer to a question you didn’t even realize you had. It’s from their forthcoming sixth LP, Moh Lhean. It releases March 3rd via Joyful Noise Recordings with pre-orders here.

WHY? are brothers Yoni Wolf and Josiah Wolf with Doug McDiarmid and Matt Meldon. Their upcoming tour starts next month with support from eskimeaux, Dosh, and more.

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