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GLOBAL RELEASE DAY:
THE STATE OF THE ARGUMENT
Not everybody's saying TGIF. (2/27a)
REPORTS OFF-TARGET, SAYS TARGET
"Target has absolutely no plans to stop selling music." (2/27a)
THE "GLORY" STORY
A true marriage of song and picture. (2/27a)
I.B.’s HISTORY LESSON:
THE ’90s “SUPER LABEL”
"Daddy, what was PLG?" (2/27a)
YE JOLLY OLDE iTUNES U.K. CHARTS
The BRITs effect continues. (2/27a)
NET NEUTRALITY: WHAT IT MEANS FOR MUSIC
Not to mention porn.
U.K. TOP 10
We follow Sam, Ed, Tay, Paloma, Royal Blood and the rest.
DISNEY'S FROZEN FEVER
The snowy franchise is about to heat up again, shortly.
THE 2016 GOP PRIMARY
All those clowns in one big car!
THE B-SIDE
ARCHIVE X: THINGS THAT MAKE US GO HYMMMN
2/26/15

ArchiveX's Some Ungodly Hour is an intriguing blend of pop, rock, gospel and ambient that has already invited comparisons to artists as diverse as Moby and Little Feat.

The project, managed by Hugo Vereker, is the brainchild of a West Coast musician who prefers to remain anonymous and who wields an unearthly voice (cultivated in church choirs, though he's not himself a believer--long story) and an uncanny flair for mood. 

On my favorite tracks, such as the Randy Newman-ish "Brother," he infuses classic pop-rock structure with spiritual uplift, making the most of his ravishing falsetto. Other standouts include the rousing "Drink the Water" (think A3-meets-Alan Lomax), the stomping, bluesy "Been Down," the impossibly gorgeous "What You Need" and the mysterious, intimate "Pilgrim of Sorrow." An example of his pure vocal conjuring, meanwhile, can be found in "Hymmmn," accessible below.

A companion release, which brings more electronic elements into the mix, is due in April.

 

Charles Hamilton
2/20/15

Watch Charles Hamilton return to the stage and perform new song, "New York Raining," live from Sayers Club for an L.A. showcase last night.

Back in '09, Hamilton began to rise to stardom after receiving public praise from Eminem along with an XXL cover and major label deal, all while fighting an internal battle with bipolar disorder and addiction. He bravely entered treatment alone before making his dynamic resurgance.

Recently, he performed the infectious smash back in January at the iHeartMedia Music Summit in L.A. to a rapturous crowd.


The Harlem-based rapper/song-writer/producer was signed by U.K. luminary Sarah Stennett to her own label, Turnfirst. He just inked a stateside deal with Republic, it was announced today.

The track, with fellow Stennett signing Rita Ora, will be featured on the season finale of FOX's Empire on 3/18.

Oh, and did we mention it's fucking awesome?

LONELY HEARTS CLUB: Get the Warm & Fuzzies for Harriet & PAPA
2/18/15

I spent my Valentine’s Day with eight men. Don’t get too excited. Fifty Shades of Grey didn’t inspire me to get that exploratory. Do get reasonably excited, though, because seeing locally bred bands PAPA and Harriet at The Roxy is much more scintillating than my sex life.

Both bands have hooky alternative sounds rooted in a lot of rock n roll, a little bit of electronica and a little bit of folk. Alex Casnoff, the lead singer of Harriet and former member of both PAPA and Dawes, best described the sound in an interview for LA Weekly, saying it resembled “an American Radiohead. And that means integrating electronics with rock and roll the way Radiohead does, but with a very American heart.”

He later stated, in regards to his own persona, that he’s “controlling in a fun way,” which is reflective of Harriet's music. Their sound provides well-calculated and multi-faceted brain candy, but still has the ability to get you spilling gin all over your velvet crop top as you spin around in circles like an overgrown child lost in an after-hours haze. I appreciate that quality in a man… and his music.


I first fell in lust with Harriet when I saw the video (above) for their early single, “I Slept With All Your Mothers,” off their debut 2012 EP, Tell The Right Story. It's cheeky, lyrically and literally, as a naked woman's bum features prominently in the clip.

Harriet is scheduled to release their first EP via Harvest Records, entitled Irish Margaritas, on 3/3. A little birdie tells me you can expect a video for the title-track around that time as well.

And that's not all. Their debut full-length, It's Totally Cool, I Wouldn't Even Worry About It, is set to drop later this spring/summer. Indulge in the cinematic video for its premiere single, "Burbank," below.


Meanwhile, PAPA's music has an undeniable hip-swaying quality and gentle groove that's perfect for sunshiny days filled with suckin' on lollipops and long dips in the pool. Get hot and wet with lead single "I am the Lion King," off their latest release, 2013's Tender Madness, below.


PAPA recently embarked on a special four-date Romantic Getaway Tour for the month of February, but as their official site says, they've been "locked up writing and working on a new record." Previously signed to Loma Vista, they're currently pursuing an indepedent direction. If their new stuff is even half as wonderful as Saturday's cover of Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself" I may just go into cardiac arrest. Take a deep breath and count slowly to ten; help is on the way. 

xx,
Samantha Hissong