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BEAUTIFUL BUZZZ

Alternative

NIGHTSEASON - NOTHING CALMS MY MIND

Music, Original MixMike DooseComment

Choosing a debut single as a brand new act is probably one of the most difficult decisions in an artist’s career. It’s the first impression, and you never get a second chance at it. Automatically and instantaneously you’re defining your sound and crossing your fingers in hopes that listeners have a meaningful reaction. Nightseason’s “Nothing Calms My Mind” is one of the more exciting and inventive debuts in recent memory, and it feels like this group already has a very developed idea of what their “sound” is.

Somewhere between the alternative/indie rock of bands like Kings of Leon and Sir Sly and the left of center pop stylings of groups like Electric Guest and Alt J, this new duo composed of drummer/producer Patrick Zeinali and singer/guitarist Jordan Caiola has come together as Nightseason to craft innovative yet infectious music. “Nothing Ever Calms My Mind”, which was released Friday by artist-friendly curation platform and label Noon Pacific, has already caught the attention of key industry tastemakers such as Hillydilly and landed on Spotify’s New Alternative playlist. An honest and introspective tune featuring Caiola’s gritty, mature vocal prowess and Zeinali’s slow-burning, forward-thinking production, it’s nothing short of an impressive first offering. What's more impressive is these dudes met over the internet and made an entire EP together over email while across the country from each other. We're eager to hear that EP and can only hope for more Nightseason soon in the weeks and months to come!

Left to right: Patrick Zeinali and Jordan Caiola are Nightseason.

Left to right: Patrick Zeinali and Jordan Caiola are Nightseason.

STEPHEN - CROSSFIRE, PART III (FEAT. SABA, RAVYN LENAE, THE O'MY'S & J.P. FLOYD)

MusicMike DooseComment

Okay so Stephen is one of my all-time favorites. The LA-based artist has 100% blown me away with everything he’s done and to see him collaborating with a whole crew of artists from my home town of Chicago is so cool. Hell, I’ve fucked with Saba since way before his collabs with Chance back when my college’s student-run record label released a compilation featuring him on multiple tracks. If you know Chicago music, you know The O’My’s have been killing it around the Windy City for a hot minute, and while I’m unfamiliar with Ravyn Lenae and J.P. Floyd, they both bring something incredible to this collab, Lenae with her silky pipes and Floyd with the badass brass swagger. All in all, while turning a track into a trilogy could be seen by some as a lazy move creatively or that he’s “milking” the hit, I for one am not at all mad that Crossfire has turned into it’s own little movement. The song’s message, supported by the powerful track artwork, also speaks to the violence that’s continually prevalent in Chicago’s South and West Side neighborhoods and the difficulties local children face growing up there that much of us can’t even imagine. I’ve been told 15 percent of all earnings from this record are going to Young Chicago Authors, a creative after school program serving 10,000 youths per year.The only thing better than dope music is dope music with a meaningful message.

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VANESSA ELISHA - FRIENDLY SKIES

Cover, MusicMike DooseComment

R&B may not be my favorite type of music, but there's something to be said for the way it can really set a mood, tug at emotions, and get you feeling some kinda way. Vanessa Elisha is not only the homie (we got late night Mexican food once) but she is also one of the hottest artists coming out of Australia right now that isn't a future bass producer or indie pop/dance group. Her brand of Alt/Future R&B can be seen in the form of massive collaborations with a slew of incredible producers from XXYYXX to Ekali. This cover of the legendary Missy Elliott and Ginuwine's "Friendly Skies" is as close to perfection as you can get for a 2016 tribute to this 1997 classic from Missy's debut album Supa Dupa Fly. The complete rework of the production is so fresh, and her signature vocal delivery doesn't just tug at the heartstrings, it melts them. This comes ahead of her long-awaited debut EP, "It's a Day and Night Thing" due in November, which will boast production from Sweater Beats, Different Sleep, XXYXX and others, and is bound to be a breakout piece of work for Vanessa. 

XYLØ - DEAD END LOVE

Music, Original MixEricComment

Happy hump day! I'm gonna start things off with this awesome new single from XYLØ. The Duddy's are simply getting it done giving us some really great radio friendly tunes, and "Dead End Love" is no exception. The track has a mysterious, but pensive angle to it like much of their other songs. The darker lyricism teams up with the solemn soundscape of the instrumental creating a terrifically moody tune, "If we drive right off a cliff, we can live dead end love forever," Paige sings casting a shadow over the tune. However there's enough ear candy in her melodies, and the vox chop sound in the chorus lightens things up just enough to let this track shine. Add another great song to their growing catalogue. You can purchase on iTunes here and stream the single on Spotify here.    

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TULA - ANOTHER KIND OF RED

Music, Original MixEricComment

I stumbled across this record perusing soundcloud and instantly fell in love. I did a little research and I knew Tula is a group BB listeners need to hear. "Another Kind Of Red" starts with sporadic plucks meandering around sparse rhythm while her voice is so smoothly layered above. The chorus hits and you instantly understand why I'm bringing this to your ears. This crossover pop meets indie record showcases excellent songwriting laced with A+ production. Listening back to their other two records "River" and a cover of Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" I'm happy to say this is the real deal, better hop on board the bandwagon now.

STEPHEN - YOUR LIFE + NEW LP 'SINCERELY'

Music, Original Mix, AlbumEricComment

Stephen's quick rise to prominence has been absolutely incredible to witness. Record after record he's sculpted wildly enjoyable, thought provoking, genre defying, emotionally charged music that has, to say the very least, impressed. I've been waiting for his 'Sincerely' LP to arrive and now that it has, we can look back and enjoy what has occurred and appreciate the groundbreaking tenacity of this young artist.

As a constant purveyor of electronic music, sound design is often the focal point of my discerning ears: the way in which sounds and oscillators are combined with filters and matrixes to construct musical notes unlike anything in current existence. It is this movement of scientific musical advancement that keeps me intrigued and addicted to music discovery. While Stephen has developed a sound design uniquely his own, he has also married it to blues guitar, and piano breathing new life into a relationship that for some new listeners has become seemingly antiquated.

However the ingenuity doesn't just stop there, lyrics make music relatable, singable and above all emotional. In a day and age where many pop lyrics are simple placeholders for notes or rhythms, it is easy to forget about the powerful impact thought provoking lyricism can provide. Lyrics and societal frustrations have always been interwoven, which is why music has continued to be such a beautiful catharsis. It's 'Sincerely' refreshing to see all of this come together in such a robust way.

According to Stephen,

"My album is a story of triumph, of letting go of all the uncertainty in my head and learning to walk the path of my own heart. Sincerely's about realizing how much better this world would be if we all loved ourselves, if we weren’t afraid of being vulnerable and honest. It doesn’t matter who’s president or what technology we invent or what extremists we destroy, the only thing I know is this:

"There will never be peace if we do not all love ourselves."

"And so I believe my generation needs a revolution. We don’t love ourselves. We are trapped in our heads because we were told to figure it all out and in our failed attempts we stopped having fun. We abandoned everything we loved doing because we thought it was slowing us down. We thought growing up was the process of holding on instead of letting go, and now we’re all collapsing under the weight. We don’t know what to do anymore."

"But we can do so much. We can change the world. We have to stop complying to the doubts in our heads and start following our hearts. We have to stop judging each other and start accepting ourselves. We have to stop living selfishly and start giving back. We have to have the courage to take a chance. My generation has all the power if we work together. This is my invitation to the ones who love."

Stephen's album is a perfect realization of where I thought music of the 2010's would be heading, but yet hadn't quite eclipsed. Music artfully crafted using the old with the new. Skillfully articulated and performed with such prowess that I see this album as a exciting roadmap of what lies ahead. Many have pointed out that much of a decade's defining music comes from the latter 5 years and with 'Sincerely,' the music of the 20teens takes flight. 

Listen to the entire album courtesy of Halfway House here.

JORDAN RAKEI - TALK TO ME

Music, Original MixEricComment

I love discovering tracks like this. We cover a lot of electronic music at BB, but first and foremost we strive to cover good music, and damn we have a golden beam of musical bliss right here from Jordan Rakei. If you're not familiar with him yet you might know him from his work with Disclosure on "Masterpiece." Where do I start, the beginning is somewhat simplistic with ambient textures of jazz piano puffing billows of sound around the enthusiastic percussion and droning bass. As Jordan's mellifluous vocals persuade us into his world of "fake reality" we are moved, turned and coaxed along this musical journey. The end comes far too quickly with an african sounding vocal hook at the end with crescendos of harmony that leave you feeling chills. I saw a debut album is coming June 3rd? Well I definitely can't wait. 

JUNIOR PROM - STAND!

Music, Original MixEricComment

Feel good tune time! Brooklyn's Junior Prom has delivered a fantastic get up and jump around dance pop record that strikes a wonderful balance between indie rock, alternative and dance. Showcasing their ability to give us earworm hook after hook, this radio friendly record has instant like-ability from the second you hit play. Starting with a synth line and a deep kick, we're quickly moved into the jovial guitars and melodies that sweep us through the song finishing with an "ah ee yay" chorus that's soo infectious. I'm totally on board lets "Stand!" Nab this on iTunes here.