Say Lou Lou “Everything We Touch” http://youtu.be/TtRYHdfxtoE
I’m sorry, Tegan and Sara, but Say Lou Lou are officially my favorite twin act. I am a big fan of French music label/clothing line Kitsune Maison, and I first heard Say Lou Lou a few years ago on a Kitsune Maison compilation. It was their debut single “Maybe You,” and I was hooked. “Everything We Touch” is the title track from their 4th EP. I’m hoping for an album sometime this year, but honestly if they keep releasing solid EPs like this every few months, I’ll be a happy fella. There is not a track of theirs, b-side or single, that I have not loved. If you are a fan of gorgeous, catchy dream pop, then just go to iTunes and buy every Say Lou Lou song. It will probably cost you less than $10 (unless you want all the remixes too, which, of course, I did).
Hercules & Love Affair feat. John Grant “I Try to Talk to You” http://youtu.be/BTFf8jqPNu0
If you don’t know who John Grant and Andy Butler are, then you are a) missing out on some great music, and b) probably oblivious to the fact that they are both gay musicians working in the club and rock worlds respectively. Grant used to be the lead singer of the indie band, The Czars, and Butler is Hercules & Love Affair. I highly recommend that you read this interview: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/may/24/andy-butler-john-grant which beautifully sums up their histories and their collaboration. Or, skip the article and just enjoy this video. Two beautiful men doing a number that appears to be straight out of So You Think You Can Dance. What’s not to love?
Kimbra “90s Music” http://youtu.be/s0yi8D15r7o
She’s back! It’s that crazy Kiwi who supported Gotye on the song that everybody loved until they hated it, “Somebody That I Used to Know.” This is the first single from her upcoming sophomore album, The Golden Echo. I love Kimbra’s bizarre aesthetic, which is equal parts Gaga and K-Pop. Check out all the ‘90s references in this video. If you don’t blink, you will see my favorite hidden reference, the “Sup Bro” hat in the style of the Sub Pop record label logo that one of the dancers wears.
Charli XCX “Boom Clap” http://youtu.be/AOPMlIIg_38
Charli XCX is currently making a big splash with the Iggy Azalea track, “Fancy,” that we featured a while back. I feel like this song is destined to be big this summer as well. Not only is it featured in the tween-bait film The Fault in Our Stars, it is also pure sugar for your ears. She recently said that she wants her next album to sound like a Ramones record, and she is working with members of Weezer and Vampire Weekend. It appears to be no joke. Check out her 1:11 punk song “Allergic to Love” on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/charlixcx/allergic-to-love-charli-xcx
Dum Dum Girls “Rimbaud Eyes” http://youtu.be/QDYRQX6FPQQ
Rock break! Time to take us out of the club for a few. Though Kimbra reminds us that Sub Pop made their name in the ‘90s, the label is still putting out some glorious indie rock from artists such as Band of Horses, Washed Out, Iron and Wine, and Dum Dum Girls. Originally the DIY project of Dee Dee Penny, Dum Dum Girls has featured other indie greats such as Frankie Rose (a former member of her touring band and a great artist of her own), and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is my favorite song from her latest album, Too True. She reminds me of Debbie Harry on this track.
J Roddy Walston “Same Days” http://youtu.be/lrjbaj1Cj1w
Rock break part two. J. Roddy Walston & The Business were one of my favorite last minute discoveries of 2013. This is, I believe, the fourth single from their album Essential Tremors, although honestly nearly any track off the album could be a single. It’s solid from beginning to end. There’s definitely a similarity to the Black Keys, but with a bit looser feel. This is road house music. It’s loud and raucous and it’s powered as much by the soulful piano-pounding of Mr. Walston as it does to the fuzzed-out guitars of his bandmates. And their energy is infectious.
Lorde “Tennis Court (Flume Remix)” http://youtu.be/8ATu1BiOPZA
Flume was one of my other favorite discoveries of 2013. There have just been a lot of great sounds coming out of Australia in the past few years. Flume’s self-titled debut is worth tracking down if you like the sound of this remix. Oh, and you know, this Lorde chick, she’s pretty good too. I think she might do okay. This is technically the second Lorde/Flume collaboration, if you count the excellent mash-up of the Flume single “Sleepless” and Lorde’s “Love Club,” which I do. Download it for free here: https://soundcloud.com/edmtunestv/lorde-vs-flume-sleepless-club-wekeed-boot
Movement “Us” http://youtu.be/jpIz5sAu0B8
Continuing on the Aussie kick, here’s another band from down under, Movement. They have released one EP and a couple of very sexy singles. The video may be melancholy, but this is bedroom music, spacious, lush and sexy. Oooh, that whispered falsetto vocal makes my naughty bits tingle.
Ariana Grande “Problem” http://youtu.be/iS1g8G_njx8
This is definitely a guilty pleasure track. I keep telling myself, “Self, you are 34 years old. That is too old to be shaking your ass like a fool every time you hear that dirty sax!” But my ass just won’t listen!
RAC feat. Matthew Koma “Cheap Sunglasses” http://youtu.be/__yVuReTu3Q
RAC stands for “Remix Artist Collective,” although strangely almost all of the music and remixes are created by one man, Andre Allen Anjos. Still, when you consider that there are collaborators on nearly every track from his new double-album Strangers, perhaps the “collective” part still makes sense. This is RAC’s first proper album, though they (he?—I’m still confused) also released an album of some of their best remixes a few years ago called Chapter One. The signature RAC sound is very warm and poppy. It’s all relatively mid-tempo and bouncy, but not quite club floor ready. Still, the tunes on Strangers, such as this track, “Cheap Sunglasses,” are all quite addictive. Oh yeah, and that singer guy… I’m not familiar with Matthew Koma, though after looking him up, he seems to be the EDM guest vocalist du jour, having collaborated with Zedd, Tiesto, and Fedde Le Grand among others recently. If you like this song, give a listen to his recent collab with Tiesto, “Wasted”: https://soundcloud.com/tiesto/wasted-ft-matthew-koma-tiesto