“Turn Me On”
“RU Feeling It”
Ocean Park Standoff
“Platinum & Gold”
CocoRosie is hard at work on a new album, but they unleashed this single in January to combat the cultural malaise that seems to be the marker of 2017. I’ve been a fan of this Paris-based duo ever since La maison de mon rêve came out back in ’04 so I was super excited to hear a new album is on the horizon. “Smoke ’em Out” features guest vocalist, and fellow “Future Feminist”, ANOHNI. If future freak folk is your thing, I definitely suggest checking out the new single from CocoRosie below. Or, if you’re like me, you’re going to want to add this to your personal library (available here).
All you Draa fans should start getting excited now. The PHX 4-piece are gearing up for the release of a 7″ which features this brand-spanking-new single, “Even in My Dreams (All My Life)”. This dreamy post-pop number addresses the feelings of uncertainty that can arise in these unmapped lives of ours, but it does so in soothing way so as not to give rise to any additional anxiety. The 7″ will be released on March 10th through Funeral Party Records. The Deluxe Edition comes with a cassette of Draa’s Part Time Punks Sessions (previously unreleased) but that bonus is limited so get on that pre-order now.
This is another musical duo, but this time out of Los Angeles. Tashaki Miyaki has a dreamy lofi sound that has me totally enamored. “Girls on T.V.” came out in January as a little sample of the duo’s recently released album, The Dream. As you drift along on the lithe vocals, the garage-tinged indie sound will begin to dissolve into some heavy texturing before returning to its prior permutations, just to keep things interesting. This is a great single for summertime with its casual, cool kid attitude and easygoing melody. Sink into “Girls on T.V.” from Tashaki Miyaki below or head here to peruse the complete LP.
Eli Pearl is the man behind the music of Eli & The Itches. A native on the L.A. scene, Pearl grew up in Venice Beach and put in his time honing his chops in the city’s venues before he decided to focus on his own sound. Eli & The Itches is the result of that effort. Pearl assumes a gender-bending persona in the glamrock ballad “At Least Not Yet”. There is an air of drama on this track that Pearl really pulls off without sounding trite. And the music has a supercool swagger to it. Check out “At Least Not Yet” from Eli & The Itches below…
So, stay with me on this, Superorganism is a DIY musical project made up of a Japanese teenager living in Maine and seven of her London-based friends. This super chill single marks the band’s recording debut and I’m guessing we’re going to have to wait a minute for the live experience given the ocean that divides the players. “something for your M.I.N.D.” takes mellow electropop to a whole new level of zen with its trippy but unobtrusive instrumental layers. Let’s hope there are more singles in the works from Superorganism. One just isn’t enough. Give “something for your M.I.N.D.” a spin below…
L.A. transplant Eli Raybon is gearing up for the April release of his LP, Green, with this catchy new single. “Unsymmetrical” hooks listeners with its rapid fire lyrics while the stripped down production proves you can do a whole lot with just a little. The single has an alt-rock/pop fusion feel with some NYC rock club fuzz thrown in for good measure. Check out “Unsymmetrical” by Eli Raybon below, then head here to add the track to your personal playlists.
The rocknroll 4-piece out of Cleveland known as Christmas Pets crafted this catchy lofi single set for release on sweet 7″ vinyl on March 15th. “Glow” keeps things simple but nuanced with its unpolished sound and gang vocals. There is a raw energy on “Glow” that feels both intentional and authentic – a rare combination, indeed. I’m definitely interested to see what comes next from Christmas Pets and, thankfully, I won’t have to wait too long because March is just around the corner. Until then, enjoy “Glow” below…
You might be familiar with producer Brandyn Burnette. After all, we’ve featured him on YabYum before so you should know him. Anyway, Burnette wrote this track on his 26th birthday and brought it to Rillakill to help bring the hit to life. “The Freshest” has that slick radio style that immediately gets you dancing and stays stuck in your head for days. Consider that your only warning. The crisp production and catchy hooks of “The Freshest” won’t let go of listeners. Give the single from Rillakill and Bradyn Burnette a listen below or head here for your very own digital copy.
HipHop, funk, and electropop melt together in this banger from Lucille Crew, an international act that originated in Tel Aviv. “Something” grooves with club energy while the melody sticks to you like glue. Or sweat. The lushly layered monotone vocals really sold me though. Give “Something” from the Lucille Crew a listen below. This single is just a little sampling from their forthcoming album, Respect the Dawn, which is due out this Spring.
Retro synths and a funky hook really make “Creature of the Night” sizzle. The single was produced in collaboration as an international undertaking combining the efforts of Amsterdam-based producer Berry Juice and Brooklyn-based vocalist Josh Tobias. Part of a two-track single that dropped last December (available here), “Creature of the Night” feels like driving through has just enough contemporary cool to keep the 80s throwback style from inflating your hair. Let’s hope “Creature of the Night” is just one of the many collaborative tracks that emerge from this partnership. Give the single a listen below…
The Aussie artist known as Swindail has an uncommonly self-effacing attitude for a producer, but you can’t tell that from listening to his slick singles. “Jussright” mixes chill but upbeat energy with all the little textural niceties that take a track from amateur hour to totally pro. The vocal additions from SACHI and Naji help Swindail capture that breezy summertime vibe that defines “Jussrite”. If it’s winter here that means it’s summer Down Under, right? All of us above the equator get a a little while longer to learn all the words to “Jussrite” before we hear this single on those poolside playlists. Give the single from Swindail a spin below or head here to snag your own copy before those temperatures get turned up.
This song is about two days spent driving cross-country to visit a dying friend. Somber, yes, but funky too. The Seattle trio known as Black Giraffe offers up a foxy R&B/rock sound that’s backed by a solid groove. There’s an added experimental layer that keeps things interesting in a modern way. Give “Kansas” a spin below…
Unified Highway fuses the talents of Eric Rachmany (Rebelution vocalist/guitarist) and Amp Live (producer, DJ, remixer formerly of Zion I). The duo creates a kickback vibe on their new single, “Are You That Somebody”, with the help of a few musician friends. The track has a reggae twist but you can hear a melting pot of styles from electropop to soul and beyond. Meander down that Unified Highway with their track “Are You Somebody” below or get your very own copy here.
Chad Phillips is the Jamaican singer/producer/songwriter who performs under the moniker Dahj. His slinky new single “Size Up” fuses R&B, Dancehall, and HipHop for a fresh sound with island flavor. If you dig “Size Up”, I suggest checking out other singles available from Dahj. He only recently moved from the role of producer to center stage so he only has a few tracks under his belt. But fear not, Dahj is currently hard at work on his debut EP. Until then, enjoy “Size Up” below or head here to get your own digi-download.
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]
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 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).
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.
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.
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 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.
This duo out of Austin fuses grungy rock and retro synths for a feisty garage pop sound I can really get behind. “Hey Hey!!” might have you questioning my powers of evaluation during those first 45 seconds, but I promise you good things if you hold strong. As soon as the “Heys” kick in, you’ll be sold. There’s a fullness of sound that one might not expect from a two-person act, but it’s there. Grimy, layered pop that’s totally modern in its breath. Art Pop is looking to build some momentum before they head out on tour so toss some local love their way and maybe we’ll see a Phoenix stop (Phx/Flag/Tucson, maybe?). Listen to “Hey Hey!!” here…
This single comes to us from Femny’s forthcoming release, due out later this month. “Duck Jesus” has a slinky vibe that calls to mind 70s lounge acts, but Femny incorporates that vibe into a modern indie pop style. And the almost sulky vocals really make the single stand out with its contemporary touch of antipathy. Check out “Duck Jesus” below and join us in the wait for the rest of Instant Star which is set for release on Jan. 27th.
This mellow indie single sneaks up on you. It begins with a stripped down sound before amping up the orchestral pop for stunning effects. The track continues to oscillate between these two modes for the remainder of the song. Quiet the Pilot out of Los Angeles craft a quiet (and I’m not talking volume) indie pop that will sweep you up in its shifting sea of sounds. Listen to “Bikes” below…
Twin Ponies dropped a 4-song split release with another Valley favorite, Dent, on December 30th. “Name Tag” comes to us from that release. The single starts with an extended dream sequence that carries the listener along gently through shoegaze-y sounds. And, just when you think you know how this story is going to end, the sound erupts after three and half minutes into total turbulence. And I mean that in the best way possible. Listen to “Name Tag” below and don’t forget to check out the full Dent // Twin Ponies split (available here).
The smokey-sweet vocals of Pyschic Love frontwoman Laura Peters really shine through on “Red Sun”, a single from the band’s 2016 LP, The Hive Mind. Dark but dreamy, “Red Sun” fits well with the band’s self-proclaimed “dream grunge” style. This three-piece from Echo Park is definitely a band to keep an eye (or ear) on this year. Listen to “Red Sun” by Psychic Love and, if you dig what you’re hearing, head here to add the complete LP to your collection.
The Redemptions released two new tracks under the portentous titled, The Worst. Summer. Ever (Side A). That implies a Side B is coming, right? “Call It” is the first single from the aforementioned Side A and features the trademark vocals and retro rock that first put The Redemptions on the map with their 2016 debut, Broken Hearts and Shattered Glass. Listen to “Call It” below and then make sure you stick around to check out “But Anyway”, the second single from The Worst. Summer. Ever (Side A).
This single comes to us from a three-track release Captain Baby dropped on New Year’s Day through Sunset Alliance Records. “On the Path” combines layered vocals and staccato rhythms for a unique indie rock sound. Check out “On the Path” by Captain Baby below or head here for the full three-track release.
It sure feels like we’ve been following Diners for quite some time. Back in 2012, we gave them the award for Best New Band and, since then, we’ve watched as the band continued to grow their sound (and fanbase) without losing the heartwarming innocence that stands at the core of their sound.
This past year was a big one for Diners. The band signed with Asian Man Records, expanded their tour routes, and released their stellar indie pop LP, Three, which came out in September.
The record, recorded by Jalipaz over at Audioconfusion, goes beyond the crystalline lyricism that initially secured our love to achieve a richly textured album that will restore your world-weary soul with its bright but calm exuberance.
From start to finish, Three stands out as one of the best albums of the year and not just for Arizona. The entire world should listen to Three by Diners and we’ll all be better people for it.
The Blurst is the undertaking of Sydney-based multi-instrumentalist Liam O’Shea. His latest single, “Dogdog”, comes to us from The Blurst’s November, 3-track release of the same title. O’Shea fuses lithesome vocals reminiscent of Elliott Smith with a gritty, back alley, noise pop. Check out “Dogdog” by The Blurst below and then head over to Bandcamp for your free digi-download of the three-track release from whence it came.
The Psychedelephants add a grungy, psychedelic edge to their own brand of indie rock. “Lunar Treatment” brings together trippy organs, richly textured vocals, and crisp guitar work for a powerful number. Hopefully, this new single means The Psychedelephants might be hashing out a new album. Hopefully? Maybe? It’s been a more than a minute since the band released their 2014 (and much loved by YabYum staffers) LP, Asymmetrical Geometry. Give “Lunar Treatment” a listen below…
Smoky vocals meet magical storytelling on “Golden Mountain”, the new single from Emily Afton. The soundscape shifts suddenly from gently meandering to forceful and driving. It’s the completely fluid juxtaposition of gritty garage energy and the jazz-tinged indie that really sold me on this single. “Golden Mountain” is as compelling in its aural variance as it is lyrically. This single comes to us from Afton’s 2016 LP, Archetype. Listen to “Golden Mountain” by Emily Afton below and then head here for the complete LP.
If you’re a regular reader here, there’s a chance you’re already familiar with the musical stylings of Mateo Katsu. As part of his Fourteen Weeks project (and album), Katsu recorded a song a week for (you guessed it) 14 weeks. “Diplomatic Boner” is another stellar single from that undertaking. The indie rock Katsu creates has a relaxed summertime vibe – like friends jamming in a garage – but the lyrics are often pensive. “Diplomatic Boner” is no exception. The lyrics on the track suggest wry amusement as the world stumbles into chaos. Even as the texture shifts, the tone remains strident: amused, if slightly despondent. Listen for yourself below or head here for the complete album.
This new single from Monte Del Monte kicks off with a mellow lounge sound, but it quickly gains energy until you find yourself dancing at a seaside bar in the middle of the Pacific with one of those little umbrella’d drinks in your hand. Okay, maybe this magical transportation is more metaphysical than, you know, physical-physical. Whatever the case, Monte Del Monte lifts spirits and sways hips with “LA Mental” so make sure you give it a spin below…
Bridesmen is the new project from Kenton Chen, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. Combining indie, electropop, and soul for a chill sound that will have you reaching for the repeat button, “You and Me” delves the complicated web of communication that exists within relationships. Produced by Eric Cannata (of Young the Giant), “You and Me” by Bridesmen really stood out amongst the insane number of indie/electro tracks that flood in everyday for its supple vocals and precise production. Give the single a spin below or head here for that digital download.
This indie-pop single from Portland producer/songwriter/musician Rob Daiker has the romantic charm of candlelight and scented bubble bath. I have to say, there’s just something about a piano-driven love song that really hits home this time of year. “All for a Kiss” is just that: sweet, if more than a little sentimental, but executed with serious musicianship. The single comes to us from Daiker’s 2016 LP, Binary Affairs, which can be procured for your personal collection here. First, give “All for a Kiss” a listen below…
Phoenix might be Luna Aura’s hometown, but this pop potentate spends a lot of time in the Los Angeles area these days. Luna Aura’s latest single addresses that “infamous LA/Hollywood lifestyle,” pairing her introspection with an uplifting energy. If you dig, “The Next One” I also suggest checking out the super fun video Luna Aura made for the track (available here), but the single is available for your listening pleasure below…
The artist who has created music under the moniker Kill Paris for more than a decade faced unexpected outrage for that name in the wake of the Paris attacks, but fans and new listeners alike should readily recognize that the zen, richly textured tracks of this producer do not encourage violence. Quite the contrary. “Junkie”, which delves into the chemistry of love, features the talents of Nevve (who co-wrote this song) and Monster. Love certainly has its ups and down that can leave those subject to its whims feeling like an addict. “Junkie” addresses these emotional constraints as the chill beat and ethereal vocals alleviates the weight of rumination. Give “Junkie” by Kill Paris a listen below (or download it here) and then delve further into the artist’s extensive catalog.
This track from Papa Ya is bound to be a new weekend classic. “Sunny” will have you looking for a bottle of champagne to pop before the first hook. The duo known as Papa Ya is relatively new on the circuit, but they’ve already hashed out some viral hits. I expect “Sunny” will enjoy quite a similar reception. The summertime vibe and fresh production style will hook listeners from the get-go. Consider that fair warning. Listen below and then download “Sunny” by Papa Ya for your personal playlist (available here).
If I’m being totally honest, when I saw the name Mushroom People I expected some clunky, psyched-out electronica; basically, the rave equivalent of a jam band. What I found instead was a chilled out electropop track highlighted by the smokey vocals of Bahamian artist Sophie. Two brothers from Germany make up the musical duo that is Mushroom People and both performed in rock bands before embarking into electronic realms. Maybe that’s why Mushroom People demonstrates such a strong understanding of song construction. Far too many artists look to electronic instrumentation as a means of creating music without having to study traditional modes. Not these guys. Listen to “Favorite Sweater” from Mushroom People below…
A lot of tracks that have crossed my path of late have a retro-style synth sound that harkens back to the early days of my youth (i.e. 1980s). Now, the important thing to remember when adding some retro-chic flair to your project is to adapt that sound for a contemporary audience. Don’t just rehash New Wave or some equally played out sound that has already come and gone. Scavenge the remains and make it your own. That’s exactly what PLAYDATE does on “My Mistake”. Coming from the indie side of the electropop spectrum, PLAYDATE has a style that transcends both time and genre to create something funky and a little familiar but totally fresh. Listen to “My Mistake” below or head here to score your own copy.
There’s some serious shit talking on “Napoleon Syndrome” by coyóte, a band out of the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. Of course, it’s some high-energy dissing set to a dance beat so I’m all about it. Usually, I ascribe to a no-drama policy unless that drama could possibly end in a dance off. “Napoleon Syndrome” combines super catchy hooks and electropop vitality with club rock guitars and a solid rhythm to ground it out. Make sure you give this new single from coyóte a listen below…
The pop wunderkind known as Mia Koo is “Classically Trained in Violin, Voice, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Bass, Terrible Ukelele and a fiend for Clean Audio/Pro-Tools since a very young age.” After working as a songwriter-for-hire, Mia Koo is ready to launch into orbit under her own banner. “See You Online” is available online here or you can check out the single in video form below…
by Carly Schorman
Australian artist Lucas Laufen pairs a stripped down sound with an emotive lyricism; both of which can be heard on his new single, “Boulders”. Laufen spent much of this past year out on tour, but he returned to his home nation to perform and gather inspiration for his forthcoming release, due out next year, before heading to Berlin where the artist will be living for the foreseeable future while working on his second EP. “Boulders” is peaceful and pensive – my favorite combo. Give the single a listen below and then head here for the complete EP.
Nashville-based artist Nicole Boggs has a smoldering voice and a soulful sound on her new single – the aptly titled, “Something New”. After releasing her debut album three years ago, Boggs decided to take her sound in a new direction. This single is the transitory process between what was and what she will become. And, I must say, I’m intrigued. Fusing blues and soul, “Something New” provides a stellar introduction to the sultry vocal stylings of Nicole Boggs. Give the single a spin below or head here to get your own digi-download of the new EP, also titled Something New.
The mellow folk music of L.A.’s Cody Crump heard on “Seventeen” envelopes the listener in sweet and somber sounds. This single comes to us from Crump’s ambitious 2016 album, Good Luck, which clocks in at 19-tracks. Pairing a straightforward lyricism with an orchestral layering of vocals and guitars, Crump crafts an uplifting musicality on “Seventeen” that carries through to his other songs. You can check out the complete LP right here, but first give “Seventeen” a listen below…
This dreamy number by Amy Gillespie immediately reminded me of Joni Mitchell. Only then did I realize that the “For Blue” part of the title of this track was actually a dedication to Mitchell’s quintessential album, Blue. Gillespie shares many qualities with Mitchell including a penchant for introspective lyrics and gentle shifting soundscapes. Give “Wintertime (For Blue)” a listen below or score your own copy of the single here.
Staten Island’s Justy has a unique, smokey-sweet voice reminiscent of Macy Gray. On her latest single, “Can’t Explain”, Justy meanders through the enchantment of love against a mellow, jazz-tinged musicality. The single incorporates HipHop elements for a completely modern take on the love song. At only 21-years-old, Justy is quickly establishing herself as an artist to watch. Give “Can’t Explain It” a listen below…
The music of Bethany Becker might come along with the tag “country” but you shouldn’t go in expecting Loretta Lynn. Instead, think early Taylor Swift: pop-tinged country. “I Want Love” offers an innocent, earthy, upbeat anthem for those transitioning into adolescence. Hailing from Austin, the 18-year-old Becker proves she’s got promise on “I Want Love” which was written with a little assistance from Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer, Jeff Pardo. This single is the title track from her 2016 debut LP (available here). Check out “I Want Love” by Bethany Becker below…
Madi Earl might not be old enough to vote, but she’s already garnishing attention for her songwriting skills. “Walls” has an electropop vibe and smooth vocal style. Earl’s not just a singer-songwriter, but also a pianist and violinist. Madi Earl plans to release her debut EP next year so this is definitely a young artist to keep an ear turned toward. Give “Walls” a listen below or head here for your very own copy. If you dig “Walls”, I also suggest looking into other her previous singles (also available through iTunes and Soundcloud).