7 Rad Live Music Videos

Laura Jean Anderson
“Won’t Give Up on You”

Live at Kingsize Soundlabs

Jared & The Mill
“Still Alone”

from BalconyTV

Lowlife
“Oh, Memory”

Lisa Prank
“Turn It Up”

from The Trundle Sessions

Orouni
“The Lives of Elevators”

Live on Findspire

General Crush
“Virtue”

Sara Robinson Band
“Sledgehammer (Rhianna cover)”

7 Eclectic Electropop Singles

electropop singles featBe Charlotte

“One Drop”

The Scottish trio known as Be Charlotte crafted this dance pop number with just enough gritty energy to reel you in on that first spin. The layered vocals can move from a too-cool-for-school monotone to ethereal flourishes, all brought to you by Charlotte Brimner; the band’s teenage frontwoman (who also provides programming, guitar, and keys). I don’t know what I like more: Brimner’s scrappy vocal style or the vibrantly constructed music that supports it. “One Drop” is a must-hear track for all you music lovers so give it a listen below. You can also head to iTunes to add the single to your personal playlist.

Letronz

“Tropic Trap”

This chill single comes to us from emerging artist Letronz who was previously counted as part of The Holy Coast. And, I must say, “Tropic Trap” is a promising start for this Phoenix artist. The production is spot on, the vocals dreamy, and the relaxed atmosphere has a club-gone-coastal feel I’m all about. Listen to “Tropic Trap” by Letronz below and then head to Soundcloud to peruse some of artist’s additional musical offerings.

Magdalena Bay

“Neon”

This song was inspired by “80s ballads and roller disco” – how could you possibly go wrong? Lyrically sparse but richly textured, “Neon” is perfect to listen to while you’re reading Brett Easton Ellis or driving through L.A. at night with enough hairspray to keep your look in place if you put the top down. Magdalena Bay (@magbae, of course) provides a super cool single to kick back to with “Neon”. Give the single a spin below…

Naïka

“Call me Marilyn”

I must say, this track takes on a whole new meaning following our recent POTUS change. What was a smooth and sultry number only a few weeks ago, now feels a little dirty – and not in a good way – something a little darker and, well, a little more rape-y. Okay, okay, let’s pretend it’s any other time in American history. In that case, “Call me Marilyn” by Naïka  is a smokey single that sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack to some grand cinematic effort; anything with cocktails and a lot of velvet. Give “Call Me Marilyn” by Naïka a listen below or head here to purchase the single for your personal collection.

Luke Minx

“Say Anything”

If I’m being totally honest, I wasn’t sure about “Say Anything” during those first (often crucial) 30 seconds. That’s how fast it takes for a listener to change to a different station in the car. Holding strong, however, led to immediate and gratifying results. “Say Anything” shifts as suddenly as a sail catching wind. The music is effervescent and carries a measure of hope with it when placed in juxtaposition to the wavering romance of the lyrics. Kansas City’s Luke Minx is already garnering some warranted attention for this single (his first, btw) which also features Mike Dupree. “Say Anything” is radio ready. Hear for yourself below…

Chad Anderson

“Born in the Fast Lane”

Anyone can change, right? Maybe not. According to Tallahassee-based musician Chad Anderson, some of us were just “Born in the Fast Lane”. This electropop single creates a chill atmosphere perfect for night driving to some back alley club or maybe on the way to some Hotline Bling. But, to the muse for whom this single was written, I think a break-up is in order.  Give “Born in the Fast Lane” by Chad Anderson a listen below…

Dante Klein

“Harder”

Amsterdam’s Max Krul creates club-ready bangers under the moniker Dante Klein, but if you ask me, Max Krul is a pretty stellar name. No matter, we’re not here to discuss that. Dante Klein’s 2017 single – featuring the vocals of HAILZ and released through Spinnin’ Records – packs a pop punch with an EDM undercut. “Harder” carries an insouciant air and a dance-able groove. Check out “Harder” by Dante Klein below or pop over to iTunes for your own digi-download.

7 Stellar Singer-Songwriters

stellar singer 00by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Ivory Tusk

“Ripples”

The folk songwriter known as Ivory Tusk enchants listeners on his new single, “Ripples”. This single provides an engaging opening for Ivory Tusk’s recent release, Rising Lights, which came out on Jan. 8th. Ivory Tusk originates from Buenos Aires where he also recorded Rising Lights. His forthcoming release, Zephyr, due out later this year, was recorded in Nashville. Ivory Tusk is planning a European Tour this year, but we at YabYum are hoping still for a Phoenix stop to be added. Last time Ivory Tusk passed through he shared the Trunk Space stage with Justin Moody. Now, that I’d like to see. Until we get those tour dates, enjoy “Ripples” below and then head here to listen to the complete EP.**[See Note Below]

Lea Thomas

“Want for Nothing”

The smoky vocals of Lea Thomas drew me into “Want for Nothing” – the title track from her 2017 album.  Calm but in no way aloof, “Want for Nothing” manages to attain soothing and emotionally tumultuous in the same stanza. Originally from Maui, Thomas is Brooklyn-based these days. There is definitely a citified air to her sound, one more cloudy than sunny. I can get behind that. Check out “Want for Nothing” below and then head here for the complete LP.

Justin Levinson

“Homewrecking Machine”

Justin Levinson applies a 60s slant to contemporary indie pop for a refreshing, summertime sound. This East Coaster definitely has some California vibes buried in his heart of hearts. “Homewrecking Machine” carries some Beatles-esque motifs in the soundscape, including rich harmonies and uplifting energy. The single comes to us from Levinson’s 2017 release, Yes Man, so if you dig what you’re hearing, I suggest procuring the complete album for your personal collection (available here).

George Linton

“That’s Okay My Dear”

I’m totally enamored with the musical stylings of George Linton. This songwriter from the U.K. has a stripped down style that hinges on the storytelling of his songwriting. “That’s Okay My Dear” has a sweet-tempered sound to match its doting lyricism. Definitely spend some time with “That’s Okay My Dear” below. This demo track is a tremendously promising start for young Mr. Linton.

Nilu

“What I’m Looking For”

L.A.-based songbird Nilu offers up this simple and soulful single, “What I’m Looking For”. Only single guitar provides the stripped bare melody over which Nilu’s voice flies. Lithe and powerful, Nilu’s vocals define this track and make it shine. Check out “What I’m Looking For” by Nilu below and then head here to add the single to your own playlists.

Lewis Dalgliesh

“My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel”

Gah! What’s with this British songwriters totally ripping out my heart this week? “My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel” comes to us from Lewis Dalgliesh’s recent release, From a Journal, which was written over a seven month period while the songwriter was driving with companions from London to Cape Town. Yes, folks, driving. And, for those of you who aren’t sure where those places are, look at a goddamn map, you’re embarrassing the rest of us Americans. This single has a wayfaring air and a calm, pensive attitude. Just the sort of thing you would hope might emerge from traveling across the world. Listen to “My Bluebird is a Storm Petrel” below. From a Journal, in its entirety, can be found here.

Swan Levitt

“You Were Human”

Swan Levitt comes to us from Isle of Wight, UK – surprise, surprise. Apparently, it’s Brit Songwriter Day here at  YabYum and no one told me. Whatever. This song, like those that came before it, is a new gem in ancient tradition. “You Were Human” has some real emotive energy and a sci-fi slant, how could I not love that? Levitt goes beyond the guitar-and-vocals combo to add some vibrant but subtle textures that really elevate the track. Take the single for spin a below. The track is also available for your private collection here.

 

**Correction: There was an error in the piece so the original content was changed to reflect the correct information. Our bad.

7 Fresh HipHop Music Videos

G.I. Magus
“Go Home”

El Capitán
“Sun Tzu”

Joshua Luke Smith
“Heart of Man”

L’Orange & Mr. Lif
“The Gentle End”

Teammate Markus
“Cup of Tea”

Eclectic Method
“Meta Hip Hop”

RealLifeEmojis
“Low Top Nikes”

Nightair Premieres New Single “Jamie”

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

We first featured Nightair last October with their single “Supernova” from the band’s 2015 EP and then again a couple months later for their music video, “Clouds”.

This year, the O.C. act is gearing up for a brand-spanking-new EP this summer. And, in prelude to that release, they decided to offer up a little sample of what’s to come with an exclusive premiere of their new single, “Jamie”.

“Jamie” provides a shining example of Nightair’s spirited air sound – just the slightest smudge of garage grease on that crisp retro rock vibe. Check out the single below and then keep scrolling for our Q&A with Nightair!!

YabYum: Do you mind telling me a little about the concept behind the lyrics on this single?

“Jamie” deals with the concept of wanting someone for what they are rather than who they are. The song follows a girl, Jamie, who attends an 80s high school – something straight out of a John Hughes’ movie. Her ex-boyfriend is the narrator, who explains to her new boyfriend that Jamie wants him for what he is, “a shiny new toy to be used”. He’s a popular dude, but “she [doesn’t] really care about [him]” as much as what he represents in the social food chain. The chorus is spoken directly to the girl, making a crude joke about how she’ll never be sexually satisfied by her new boyfriend. The reason for the tongue-in-cheek lyrics is to capture the position of the narrator, who is also immature and having trouble dealing with the loss of his girl. The lyrics definitely come from a place of naiveté, and I thought that making them any less crude and explicit would be dishonest storytelling.

The music video, which comes out on February 14th, aims to directly explain the lyrics and set you in Jamie’s world. I think it will paint a more vivid picture of the scene than my words can.

This track is from a forthcoming release. Can you tell us a little bit about that? Is there a release date?

This will be the first single off an EP coming out this summer. Working title is Sunsets and Cigarettes: The Sad Boy Struggle, for obvious reasons.

Can you tell me little bit about the band? How did Nightair come into being?

Lucas (Bass) and Tony (Vocals) started the band in high school. They put out our first single “Clouds” in summer 2014. After the release, Brandon (Guitar) joined the band. We’ve had drummers come in and out (6 of them – it’s bad…we know), and we’ve been playing tons of shows throughout the lineup changes.

Do the members of the band share musical influences? Or do you guys diverge when it comes time to music preferences?

We definitely all appreciate the same music. We just like good music of any genre. Outside of Nightair, Tony releases ambient music as Statuetoe, Lucas has a proclivity for hip hop and raps under the alias Hop Louie, and Brandon produces EDM as BB Gun. So it would be fair to say that our collective taste could seem a little all over the place from the outside.

I thought it was funny that the band specifies that they are not garage rock. I wouldn’t call Nightair’s buoyant indie sound garage rock, but why the effort to distance yourself from that label?

[Haha] I’m glad you asked about that! When someone asks what kind of music our band plays, it’s always hard to respond. Cause like, what do you say? Rock? Indie? No labels seem to be relevant anymore since we’re the product of modern music technology and are making music in a completely new way. At this point, the best way to define our genre seems to be just saying what we’re not rather than what we are. We definitely do not consider our music garage rock, which bloggers seem to enjoy labeling us as. Hopefully that narrows it down a little.

What’s next for Nightair? Touring? Etc?

The music video for this song on Valentine’s Day. We’ll also be playing some shows around OC/LA, and hopefully up the coast in San Fran, hyping our upcoming EP. We need a booking agent, so if you’re reading this and thinking ‘damn these guys sound cool’ you should probably email us at nightairband@gmail.com. C’monnnnn, we’d look so good on tour.

Additional Links for Nightair:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Soundcloud

Youtube

Radio Phoenix Podcast: 2016 Awards Preview

2016 awards 01At the end of year, in preface to our Annual Awards, the YabYum Editors like to take a moment and play their favorite tracks from all the Arizona bands and artists that left an impression on them. This is that show, the 2016 Awards preview. No guests. No witty banter. Just kick-ass jams. Enjoy!

PS. Thanks to everyone who came out to our 2016 Awards show at the Trunk Space, it meant a lot!

PSS. That sound is Scott taking pics in the background…

Complete Playlist:

Katterwaul “Follow You Home”

Wyves “Spoils of War”

Fairy Bones “Pink Plastic Cups”

Asian Fred “Kick Back Your Head”

Diners “15 On A Skateboard”

Sonoran Chorus “Cartons of Bottles”

US Depressed “Fault & Pepper Salami”

Phantom Party “Derby Daze”

Foresteater “Very Friendly People”

Aesthetically Sound “In My Feelings”

The Foster Family Band “How Can I?”

Gene Tripp “Here It Comes”

Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra “Come With Us”

_

Recorded live on December 21, 2016

7 Energizing Electronic-Infused Music Videos

Yelle
“Ici & Maintenant (Here & Now)”

Sam Woolf
“Fast n Dirty”

Little Destroyer
“Rattlesnakes”

Papillon Rising
“Things Are Looking Up”

The Gift
“Clinic Hope”

Tribal Leader
“Renegade”

Vian Izak
“World of Trouble”

The Tastemaker’s Ten: Jason P. Woodbury

Photo by Becky Bartkowski

Jason P. Woodbury is a pop culture writer, essayist, and podcaster native to Arizona. His work’s appeared in Relix Magazine, FLOOD Magazine, Phoenix New Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, Pitchfork, Tucson Weekly, and elsewhere. He’s a regular contributor to Los Angeles-based music blog Aquarium Drunkard, where he co-hosts the Transmissions podcast, and contributed liner notes to Light in the Attic Records’ The Microcosm: Visionary Music of Continental Europe, 1970-1986 and Aquarium Drunkard’s Lagniappe Sessions Vol. 1. When he’s not managing social media for Arizona-based retailer Zia Records, he tweets @Jasonpwoodbury.

(1) Sunn Trio
“I Had This Moment Upon a Painted Ocean”

Sunn Trio makes wild, untamable music. Post-punk spiritual jazz, evocative of the Sonoran Desert in a way that feels very profound to me.

(2) 75 Dollar Bill
“I’m Not Trying To Wake Up”

NYC duo Che Chen (guitar) and Rick Brown (drum) joined on this ecstatic track by saxophonist Cheryl Kingan and trumpeter Rolyn Hu. My friend Tyler Wilcox put it best regarding 75 Dollar Bill: “…something about [Chen’s] tone cuts right to the quick, with North African riffs blending into juke-joint boogies into more avant territory. Brown’s impressively minimalist setup (he mostly plays a wooden crate) is a perfect fit, adding a hypnotic thump to the mix.”

(3) Sonny Sharrock & Nicky Skopelitis
“First of Equals”

Everything Sharrock recorded is worth hearing – especially his 1991 album Ask the Ages, with Pharoah Sanders, bassist Charnett Moffett, Elvin Jones, produced by Bill Laswell – but I went with this duet with Nicky Skopelitis because it typifies both his violent attack and gorgeous tone.

(4) Laurie Spiegel
“Patchwork”

Electronic composer Laurie Spiegel’s The Expanding Universe is what I think of when I imagine the “music of the spheres.” “Patchwork” is my favorite recording from it – truly celestial.

(5) Howe Gelb
“Terribly So”

Tucson’s Howe Gelb gets better with age, honing his one-of-a-kind approach in exciting ways. He kind of goes jazz on his new album of piano standards, Future Standards. But what really seals the deal for me on this song in particular is the voice of Lonna Kelley (Cherie Cherie, Make My Baby, Giant Sand). Impossibly tender stuff.

(6) William Tyler
“Cadillac Desert”

The history of the American West is defined by the struggle for water. Wordlessly, with a 12-string electric guitar, Tyler evokes the beauty of the desert’s desolation.

(7) Joanna Brouk
“Aurora”

Bay Area sound poet Joanna Brouk’s approach is rooted in pure minimalism – she listens for the drones and melodies beneath and in-between sounds, forcing the listener to reconsider the concept of silence. This one comes from her 1981 tape Sounds of the Sea, and is featured on the must-purchase Hearing Music compilation.

(8) Beans
“One For the Clock” [on KCAC AM with Bill Compton, 1969)

Late last year my mentor John “Johnny D” Dixon put together a really fantastic 10” by Phoenix psych rockers the Beans. Members would go on to form the Tubes (and keyboardist Vince Welnick ended up in the Dead). This broadcast – featuring the voice of legendary Arizona broadcaster Bill Compton – isn’t on it, but I love the AM ambiance of this recording.

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(9) Rihanna
“James Joint”

What Rihanna does with one minute and 12 seconds is baffling. Such an amazing vocal (“they know about your hiss-tryyyyy”). The song lands somewhere between Stereolab and Stevie Wonder — I usually listen to it eight or nine times in a row.

(10) Yoko Ono
“Why” [Extended Version]

Few had a better response to the election of Donald Trump than Yoko and few recordings exemplify the defiant, unfuckwithable spirit we need to draw on to deal with him as our president more than her landmark “Why,” in which Yoko invents post-punk before punk existed.

7 Mellow Singles

7 mellow singles 00German Error Message

“2017”

German Error Message actually comes to us from Nashville, no matter what the name implies. Their haunting single “2017” instantly won me over with its experimental layers of sound, but it was the tempered yet deeply moving vocals of Paul Kintzing that absolutely broke my heart and locked me in as a fan forever.  My only complaint is that “2017” is the only single available from the band thus far. I need more. Give “2017” by German Error Message a listen below…

Mouse Dog Bird

“Proverba Infero”

This single from Phoenix’s Mouse Dog Bird starts much like you’d expect from a song tagged “sadcore”. Stripped down, bedroom folk that initially doesn’t ensnare the listener, but, stay with me on this one. The emotional energy builds in a really subtle and beautiful way as the song sweeps you along from beginning to end, never really breaking from the intentionally placid water but only rippling across the surface. This is definitely an artist I want to hear more from. Listen to “Proverba Infero” from Mouse Dog Bird below…

Dominic Wolf

“Thieves of Today”

This London-based singer-songwriter uses loop pedals and synths to achieve richly textured music that breaks from the forms of your basic singer-songwriter. Dominic Wolf’s latest single, “Thieves of Today”, combines this nod to post-rock with an indie rock approach to songcraft for stunning results. “Thieves of Today” is mellow and meditative and totally now. It’s a track that will sneak up on your slowly and beg for revisit. Give it a spin below…

Future Soul

“Faith”

Nicholas Tillery is the man behind the music of Future Soul. Though Phoenix-raised, Tillery passed some time in Nashville where he discovered his voice as a songwriter before returning to hometurf and establishing himself as Future Soul. The jazzy, piano-fueled “Faith” comes to us from Future Soul’s debut EP, Elastic Love. Smoky vocals mix with an eclectic assemblage of musical styles for a unique and emotive sound. Listen to “Faith” by Future Soul below and then continue on to the complete Elastic Love EP (available here).

Parisian Pass

“Each Time You Call”

This 10-piece band met while attending Uppsala University (in Sweden) and joined harmonious forces as Parisian Pass. “Each Time You Call” has an orchestral indie pop vibe that will lift your spirits with each press of the play button. This single is the closing track to Parisian Pass’s 2016 EP, The Boy and The Birds. I suggest giving “Each Time You Call” a listen and, if you like the light-hearted musicality and stellar musicianship, move on to the full release (available here).

Casey Wayne Smith

“Burn It All Down”

“Burn It All Down” is the opening track from Casey Wayne Smith’s most recent LP, Heart Break Kid. If you’re not already familiar with the work of this Denver-based musician, get ready. He’s the sort of songwriter that can rip out your heart and stomp it repeatedly in front of you before shoving it, battered and bruised, back into your chest. And, what’s more, you’ll want him to do it again. “Burn It All Down” is a soft-spoken yet stirring number that will resonate throughout the hollow places inside you. Make sure you give it a listen below and consider moving on to the full album which is available here.

Grandpa Grew Trees

“Turkish Silver”

The Memphis-act known as Grandpa Grew Trees pushes the mellow line on their single “Turkish Silver”. The song starts off softly with a stripped-down and mellifluous musicality, but the energy builds and transforms until you are caught in a dark wave of sound that will ebb, returning you to calm waters. This single comes to us from the band’s 2016 release, Songs for a Recent Lover, which came out on Dec. 5th. Give “Turkish Silver” a listen below and then head here to add the full EP to your personal collection.