Posts in Some Kind of Mixtape
New #Content Alert: The 'di-SKOA-ver weekly' Playlist
 "Play it! Don't you wanna hear what's next?!"

"Play it! Don't you wanna hear what's next?!"

I've noticed that a lot of my friends who use Spotify have developed a new habit. Every Monday morning without fail I watch in my friend feed as they all pour over their Discover Weekly playlists throughout the course of the day. This is all well and good. I'm actually happy to see that my friends in and out of the music business are anxious to find new music to bring them joy. 

In terms of what happens post-playlist, though. I'm never really sure. I only really hear about when the magical Spotify-powered algorithm "fails" someone during any given week. I never hear the celebratory "THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE BAND!! THANKS ALGORITHM!!" or "GOING TO SEE MY NEW FAVORITE BAND TONIGHT THANKS TO A PLAYLIST!" 

How does one communicate with a playlist/algorithm exactly? 

This is where yours truly comes in to play. 

Starting today, I'm launching what I will playfully be referring to as the di-SKOA-ver weekly playlist. (You know me and my love of puns! I couldn't help myself.)

This is how I intend to run such a playlist: 

  • Just like Spotify, once a week the dedicated playlist below will be updated with a fresh crop of songs. 
  • Just like Spotify's playlist, some will be old, some will be new. 
  • I will mostly be sourcing the music on my own, but will occasionally be taking recommendations from Sprout, Shey, and Fam Like You! 
  • Unlike the Spotify playlist, should you find yourself in love with a song/band, upon adding that music to your own collection YOU'LL HAVE A HUMAN TO TALK TO ABOUT IT.
  • Another important thing! All the artists in said playlist I will learn things about before updating the playlist for the week so when we talk it'll actually be a stimulating conversation! 
  • More importantly, if I notice that a ton of people are interested in the same artist, I'll make it a priority on the site to do more coverage for them in the form of tour updates, interviews, etc. 

Obviously you are encouraged to follow this playlist from your Spotify account, but I'll also make sure the playlist is sitting pretty on the homepage for your convenience. 

BTW we can be friends on Spotify too if you're into that. I love stalking my friend feed for new music and getting inboxed things to try! 

ALRIGHT LESS TALK MORE ROCK ENJOY THESE JAMS, FAM! 

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: October 2012

So this month's mixtape is terribly late but it doesn't discount how great all the selections this month are! As the year is coming to a close we're starting to get some previews of what we can expect for the beginning of 2013 as well as rounding out a year of great music. As always, you can read about the selections after the jump and be sure to follow us on our mixtape medium of choice on 8tracks.

<3 <3 <3

kibbe, rocko, shey & adrian

Some Kind of Mixtape - October 2012 from skoablog on 8tracks Radio.

 

Ace Reporter - "Untouched & Arrived"

Ever since we premiered Ace Reporter's "Untouched & Arrived" it has turned into one of those ear worms that will get stuck in your head for days on end. Fortunately, that's a very good thing, as it always seems to resurface in my brain at times where I'm stressing out the most as a way to calm me down. If this is an indicator of what we can expect from his upcoming debut album, Yearling, we will most certainly be starting 2013 off right. - kibbe!

Black Moth Super Rainbow - "I Think I'm Evil"

It's been a while since the release of BMSR's last album Eating Us. I, like the rest of the hardcore BMSR fans, have been patiently waiting for the groups return and oh did they return. The groups latest LP Cobra Juicy is all and then some. It brings a nice polished feel to it while remaining weird and original as we expected from the continuously evolving experiment band. Take a listen to one of my favorite cuts from the album "I Think I'm Evil" from the album the band classifies as Demon Skater music. Enjoy! - Rocko 

Wazu - "Councillor"

With the release of their debut full length on Halloween, it was only natural that Wazu's lead single, "Councillor" be included in this month's mix due to the reaction I had the first time I heard it. After spending a lot of time with their self-titled EP, this first cut from Robobo had me even more excited about the band then the first time I heard them. Unlike the EP, this time around singer-guitarist Matt is fearless behind the microphone to a point where he can make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end while Rizz carefully sends chills down your spine. A lot of growth in only a few months since the EP. I expect to continue to hear more great things from the duo in the coming year. - kibbe!

AlunaGeorge - "Your Drums Your Love"

Every now and again I hear a song that just just automatically puts me in a good mood. Vicious hangover? Forget it, cured! Can't be bothered with work? Wooosh, it's gone once you hit play. This track from AlunaGeorge does that for me. It may perk me up but the lyrics touch upon a turbulent relationship, and it's as though we're looking in but we never truly find out the answer. Nevertheless, I find this track is a great way to start the day, so see if you do too The track is out now and we can expect a full length from them next year. - Shey

Hot Sugar - "Honeycomb Hideout" ft. Aaron Livingston + Izza Kizza

I said it once and i'll say it again, I need some more Hot Sugar and Aaron Livingston in my life. The duo known as Young Vipers (Hot Sugar and Aaron Livingston), along with Timbaland protege Izza Kizza, hook up for another astounding track from Hot Sugar's latest FrEP Midi Murder. Sugar's sexy production comes correct with The Hunter S Thompson of R&B (Livingston) dropping an even sexier hook and the contribution of some dope rhymes from Kizza make this track an absolute banger. Check out the track on this mix and head here to download Hot Sugar's newest EP which features more dope beats and nice guest features. - Rocko 

Local Natives - "Breakers"

I've seen Local Natives once in concert, but that one experience solidified them as one of my favorites in the muddied waters of indie rock. Their debut album Gorilla Manor has seen its fair share of replay over the past three years, and deservedly so. The album had captivating instrumentation, great harmonies, and a cohesive sound, but most of all it had charm and personality. Local Natives is a band that has fun when they play, putting their individuality forth in a genuine way. That mentality stays true with the band's new single "Breakers", the first song from their upcoming sophomore LP Hummingbird. Everything the band does so well, the harmonies, the quirky and alluring combination of instruments, and the charm, all finds a rightful home here. January 29th isn't too long of a wait, right? - Adrian

Foals - "Inhaler"

So I did have another track in my last spot before the whole madness of the last few weeks took hold of everyone but that all changed earlier this week. Back with one hell of a big bang are Foals with a brand new album announcement in the shape of Holy Fire for February next year. Teasing fans with this track titled "Inhaler" it starts with a foot stomping delicate guitar line and a vocal hook that not many ill be able to sing along to (well). What grabbed me by the hair and iced me in the nuts about the track though was the heavy guitar riff after the chorus. Turn it up loud and look forward to 2013 and more new sounds from these guys. - Shey

Kendrick Lamar - "good kid"

Kendrick Lamar's major label debut good kid, m.A.A.d. city was well worth the wait, but in the end it's pretty hard to deny that the Compton rapper aimed for a darker, more depressing tone on the album. That's why the track "good kid" stood out so much, as it envelops the brooding lyrics of Lamar in a mellow, Wu-Tang-style beat that works amazingly well. But seriously, with The Neptunes on production duties, how could it not be amazing? - Adrian

Toro Y Moi - "So Many Details"

Speaking honestly here, I wasn't the biggest fan of Toro Y Moi to begin with. His sophomore album Underneath the Pine took quite some time to grow on me, but it was ultimately Chaz Bundick's debut Causers of This that roped me in. The funky beats, the mellow vibe, the '70s and '80s throwback style, it all worked so well and has made Toro Y Moi a mainstay in my music library. When I heard "So Many Details" for the first time, it reminded me instantly of why I enjoy listening to Toro Y Moi: atmosphere. As an enthusiast of chilled out, downtempo beats, there was no need for a sales pitch, I was sold. What can I say, I'm a sucker for good music. - Adrian

The D.O.T. - "Right Side of Madness"

After waiting months following my first listen of the new project from Mike Skinner (The Streets) and Robert Harvey (The Music) in the form of "And A Hero", I knew that the debut album from The D.O.T.. And That, was going to speak to me in a way that I have wanted an album to do so in months. It did not disappoint me when it dropped last month, specifically with songs like "Right Side of Madness". Once again as he did on "And A Hero", Harvey delivers a vocal performance that will kick you right in the feels. The give and take happening between Skinner and Harvey for the album as a whole yielded a much more deeper emotional response than I had been expecting, as I wasn't exactly sure what to assume from the two of them.  One thing's for sure, it's definitely one of my favorite albums of the year. - kibbe!

 Alt-J - "Taro"

So as I've mentioned I witnessed one of my all time favourite gigs a few weeks ago and the band that I witnessed was Alt-J. The lads have since gone on to win the prestigious Mercury Music Prize for their wonderful album An Awesome Wave. An album that sounds like each intricate noise is meant to be there and is placed perfectly. Album close "Taro" has come to be my favourite with it sounding a little different from the rest while similar too. Nice use of kids shouting "Hey taros!" mid way through too. A perfect end to one of my favourite albums from this year, it seemed fitting to put it on here this month as we begin to round out the year. - Shey

Adrian Younge Presents The Delfonics - "Stop and Look (And You Have Found Love)"

To most the name Adrian Younge doesn't ring a bell much. Now if you see the movie Black Dynamite or its recent cartoon series on Adult Swim, you have heard his soulful tunes already as he provides most of the score for both. Aside from the score, Younge and his band Venice Dawn released an album titled Something About April, a nice soulful album that feels like a throwback to the motion era and he recently collabed with Brainfeeder producer The Gaslamp Killer on his newest album. Younge is currently set to release 2 new albums, one is a collaboration with Ghostface Killah titled 13 Reasons To Die and the i'm super excited about which  marks return of the legendary Delfonics. Take a listen to this awesome single above its so throwback its perfect. - Rocko 

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: September 2012

Some Kind of Mixtape - September from skoablog on 8tracks Radio.

It's the most wonderful time of the yearrrrrrr.... well, for releases anyways. Now that fall is officially hear, everyone and their next door neighbor are releasing something (or are about to) and we are more than ready to embrace them all with open ears. Don't be surprised if we end up doing multiple mixes a month for awhile to make sure that none of the good stuff makes it to the cutting room floor in the SKOA HQ. Please enjoy Some Kind of Mixtape: September 2012  courtesy of the 8tracks player above. Make sure you head over to 8tracks and check out our other mixtapes, to. Oh, and as always, make sure you have a look below to learn more about the tracks selected for this mix.

<3

kibbe, rocko, shey & adrian

 

Tame Impala - "Elephant"

When they released their debut in 2010 I was kind of indifferent towards them. Not because I didn't like what I heard but I don't think I let myself listen to Tame Impala all that much around my normal listening patterns. With album two this will not be happening. Lead single from Lonerism is a psych-rock chug of a track called "Elephant" and yeah, it's been floating around the net since back in July but it's a bloody great track that just gets better and better with each listen. The album is just as good and set for release next week on October 9th so why not pick it up. - Shey

P.O.S. - "Fuck Your Stuff"

For the 2nd month in a row, Doomtree rhyme spitter P.O.S. makes it on our SKoA mixtape with his 2nd single "Fuck Your Stuff" from the upcoming album We Don't Even Live Here dropping later this month. The Lazerbeak production on the track has a nice mainstream rap feeling but P.O.S. keeps the track true to his roots with his anti-material rhymes and punk demeanor making this one to bump loudly in your whip while flying your rebellion flag high. - Rocko

Lucius - "Turn It Around"

I simply cannot stop championing NYC band Lucius. I am so proud of how far they come, especially with tracks like "Turn It Around" off their most recent self-titled EP. The song stomps through your ear drums as singers Holly Laessig and Jess Wolfe boldy belt and blend their beautiful vocals and walk you through the trails of a girl  who is unable to let go of a failed relationship. The sheer power in this song as well as the rest of the EP is why I can't stop coming back to it. - Kibbe

Ricky Eat Acid - "(stay)"

Sam Ray's ambient soundscapes are always a pleasure to indulge in, and "(stay)" is in no way different. Using a somewhat out-of-left-field Ashanti sample, the producer builds around it with a pounding haziness and echoing synthesizers. It's easy to get lost in the dreamy sounds that Ricky Eat Acid offers here. Who knew Ashanti was still a viable presence in music? - Adrian

Deftones - "Leathers"

We've been waiting for Deftones new album for what seems like forever. I'm exaggerating of course but their last studio release was Diamond Eyes and with that they raised the already high bar they'd set themselves. That album was devine to listen to from front to back and their new tease of LP number seven, Koi No Yokan, seems to have picked up just where that one left off. Titled "Leathers" it's a rather chilled out introduction before your head is knocked off your shoulders with Chino's screech of a vocal. It's the kind of track your parents might tell you to turn down if you're living at home with it on yet all you want to do is turn it up louder. The new album is set for release on November 12th via Reprise and we are oh so excited. - Shey

Breakbot - "Break of Dawn"

It's hard for me to talk about Breakbot without comparing his music to my favorite Daft Punk album, Discovery. With the release of his debut LP, By Your Side, Breakbot brings back the funk with his signature electronic disco style which will keep you grooving all night long and again reminds me of all my favorite parts of Daft Punk's sophomore album. Don't believe me? Take a listen for yourself with the opening track "Break of Dawn". By Your Side is out in Europe and we hope to see a stateside release very soon. - Rocko

Blackbird Blackbird - "All"

My addiction to Blackbird Blackbird has everything to do with how effortless every lushly layered track that they release seems to be. "All" is no exception to this. Since we first met the electronic outfit it's quite apparent that they have most certainly continued to step up their game. This time around they pair dark hazy vocals with bright chiming synths and gentle murmurring guitars. Definitely worth grabbing for yourself. - Kibbe

Patchwork - "Cigarettes"

If there is anything Patchwork absolutely nails with every release, it's mood. The guy knows how to evoke a certain atmosphere and emotion in his songs, such that it translates seamlessly to the listener. "Cigarettes" is the type of song perfectly fitting for those nights where you find yourself in the city late at night, being swept up in all kinds of crazy experiences and meeting new people left and right. It has a certain mystery to it, a sense of ambiguity and curiosity that urges you to continue listening, despite the uncertainty. It is charming yet skeptical, a song that is somehow as addicting as its title implies. - Adrian

Danny! - "Evil"

It's been a long time coming for Danny Swain who has been trying to out his latest record Payback for the last few year. After running the gauntlet and overcoming the label circus, Danny! has found a home with buddy ?uestlove of The Roots and his newly revamped OkayPlayer label. After being signed to the label, Danny dropped the first official single from Payback titled "Evil" featuring Gavin Castleton and Amber Rose Tamblyn which I haven't been able to stop playing since its release and witnessing Danny's domination of Jimmy Fallon performing the track alongside The Legendary Roots Crew. Payback is out now. Go pick it up. - Rocko

Muse - "Panic Station"

Haters gonna hate. I've been an avid Muse fan for quite some time and with each release they get more and more wacky and crazy. Their new album The 2nd Law is no exception and with it being released this week the world over people are struggling to find a set theme for the album. It jumps from genre to genre like a fly on crap but if you throw enough of said crap at a wall it's bound to stick eventually, right? Some indeed does and an early favourite of mine is track three; a funk filled, slap base heavy eccentric piece just showcases how well Muse can be Muse when they want to be. Yeah they're going to be everywhere for the next 12 months or so but so be it, when they can go from playing heavy RATM riffs to something like this and then a dance-filled Dad rock number all in the space of 10 minutes it's going to get weird. - Shey

Y LUV - "Driftin"

Following their EP How Chill Can You Let Go comes a new track, "Driftin" from LA rockers Y LUV. This time around the four-piece show a new depth that they hadn't explored in tracks like, "All Night" as the song slowly gets ahold of your heart strings and refuses to let you go until the very end. It's easily just as beautiful as it is heartbreaking. "Driftin" is off their new EP, It Doesn't Have To Make Sense, which was released yesterday. You can stream it over on Soundcloud.


Teen Daze - "Garden 2" (from his upcoming LP The Inner Mansions)

I've listened to this song over and over since Vancouver producer Teen Daze dropped it two weeks ago, and every single time I come to the same conclusion: the song is absolutely stunning. In a way that quickly recalls the tranquility that Sigur Rós so often exemplifies, "Garden 2" is a beautiful and dazzling arrangement. It is a sensory overload, yes, but one that you want to submerge yourself in and listen again and again. I tweeted this to Teen Daze yesterday, and it sums up this song nicely: ""Garden 2" is an amazingly tranquil song. I just wanna lay in a field and smoke with a pair of headphones on." 'Nuff said. - Adrian

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: August 2012

Things are slowly but steadily starting to cool off as summer comes to an end. It seems once we all stopped running around doing our collective festival and bar hopping that we all were able to focus on things that we've been missing out on that we hold dear to our hearts. For Shey, he was missing sweet ass guitar riffs, Rocko was in dire need of a new P.O.S. & Kid Koala fix, I've missed obsessing over vocalists and Adrian was keeping his ear to the ground for some rich new sounds from bands both new and old(er). Thanks to Shey, I can happily say this is one of the louder mixtapes that we've done in awhile. With that said, please enjoy Some Kind of Mixtape: August 2012. Make sure you follow us on 8tracks and let us know what you think of our picks!

<3 your SKOA fam,

kibbe, rocko, shey & adrian

 

Some Kind of Mixtape - August from skoablog on 8tracks Radio.

Biffy Clyro - "Stingin' Belle"

When a band releases a single ahead of an album, especially when it's a band you hold close to your heart you can't help but be a little nervous. With Biffy Clyro, they're about to follow up the highly successful Revolutions with Opposites recorded with Garth Richardson. The aforementioned first single is titled "Stingin' Bell" and it opens up with a ferocity of early Biffy yet it grows into an arena filling track, even casually throwing in bag-pipes like it's no big deal in the bridge. It's fair to say after the first listen I was happy that the band were back on top form and hadn't slowed their ever growing pace. I expect big things next year upon the release of the album.—Shey

Plugs - "Set Fire"

I've been on this band's bandwagon since day one when frontman Morgan Quaintance announced that he was leaving Does It Offend You, Yeah? and be working on new music with his band, Plugs. After about 3-4 years since they emerged on the scene, Plugs have finally released their self titled debut earlier this week and it does not disappoint. Check out the rocking track "Set Fire" off their new album. - Rocko

Bloc Party - "We Are Not Good People"

Bloc Party's triumphant return happened a few weeks ago with the release of their long awaited album, Four. The track I've picked from their album is the last on the album and after my first play of the LP in full it just stuck with me. A brash and in your face riff heavy track that I did not expect. I say that yet others on the album like "Coliseum" and "3x3" are also 'big' but this, "We Are Not Good People" is just phenomenal. I've always loved these guys and this is just an awesome track from and awesome band. Pick up their album if you haven't already!—Shey

Big Black Delta - "Betamax"

Team SKOA fell pretty hard for Big Black Delta when BBDLP1 was released last year, so naturally when some of the songs were being re-released as part of his tour EP for his recent tour where he was supporting Janes Addiction, M83 and even headlining some shows himself I jumped at the chance to re-state just how much we love "Betamax". Between the dark sensual synths and singer Jonathan Bates' chilling falsetto in the chorus, it's hard for your heart to not feel lighter and to find your hips involuntarily swaying. - Kibbe

Young Cairo - "Ghosts"

Although relatively unknown and yet to release more than a single song, Young Cairo has incredible talent. The moment I heard his debut single "Ghosts", I was immediately sold. From start to finish the song is pure fun, a relentless barrage of summery guitar riffs and energetic vocals. This is the kind of song that would perfectly soundtrack a day at the beach, with waves crashing, people laughing, and good times to be had all around. Not too shabby for a debut.—Adrian

Trash Talk - "F.E.B.N."

Trash Talk are set to make some noise in October when they release the follow up to Eyes & Nines, and last year's EP Awake, in the shape of 119. Our first taste of that album is 1 and a half minutes of in your face bass heavy hardcore that will make you want to stomp your feet and smash things. I got introduced to these guys a few years ago by a friend and after witnessing their chaos in a live setting shortly after I was converted into a fan. More energy than a kid after 3 packs of Smarties. Very much looking forward to the LP's release.—Shey

Birds & Batteries - "Be My Girl"

From their latest album Stray Light, "Be My Girl" is one of the most beautifully heavy songs I've heard in a good while. With every thud of the bass and the sincerity in singer Mike Serpent's voice it manages to slowly start tugging away at your heart strings. If you manage to catch them on their current tour I highly recommend it. You can have a look at dates here. - Kibbe

 

Wild Nothing - "Paradise"

Wild Nothing's sound has always been grounded in '80s nostalgia, and his sophomore album Nocturne hasn't lost that one bit. In fact, it is even more wrapped up in this nostalgia than his debut LP Gemini. The song "Paradise" is a shining example of this. Beginning with sweeping wave synths and deep, groovy basslines, the track evokes all kinds of '80s-influenced goodness. Catchy rhythmic guitar riffs, strangely alluring flutes, and Jack Tatum's deep, wandering voice all work amazingly well together, resulting in five-and-half-minutes that you will want to repeat over and over again.—Adrian

P.O.S. - "Bumper"

Our favorite Doomtree returns with a vengeance with the first single from his upcoming album, We Don't Even Live Here. Much like his previous single "Drumroll" off the album Never Better, P.O.S. continues to push the envelope with his style of punk and hip hop and this time around adding a lil electronic/industrial feel to his sound. After hearing just one track from his new album I, myself am on the edge of my seat anticipating the release of the new album and the always entertaining live show from P.O.S. and crew. - Rocko

Kid Koala - "8 bit blues (Chicago to LA to NY)"
As some may already know, i'm a big fan of innovative DJ/Producers who continue to push their craft beyond just the basic mixing and scratching of hip hop tracks (i.e. DJ Shadow, RJD2, Dan The Automator). So of course it comes to no surprise that we wouldn't be excited for Kid Koala's upcoming LP 12 Bit Blues. The new album has 12 wonderful tracks mixed with dirty drum breaks, soulful blues and Koala signature scratch technique and feels like what I would have on repeat if I owned a modern day Saloon. Check out one of the first tracks from the album, "8 Bit Blues" and make sure you pick this album when it drops later this month. - Rocko

Grizzly Bear - "Yet Again"

Every song from Grizzly Bear's upcoming album Shields has already proven that the Brooklyn outfit is expanding their sound, exploring more aggressive avenues and tinkering with their old formula. "Yet Again" fits right into the band's new mentality, never letting go from the moment the first drum kick hits. Every high and low moment is never without a dazzling array of instrumentation, drawing you deeper and deeper into the brash soundscape they have created. If "Yet Again" is any indication, Shields looks to be the most impressive Grizzly Bear project to date.—Adrian

Ultraista - "Bad Insect"  

I am nothing short of delighted to have been caught up to speed on Nigel Godrich's latest project, Ultraista. There is something about their latest single, "Bad Insect" that feels so oddly familiar but in the best of all possible ways. Something in Laura Bettinson's voice is so interesting and calming at the same time that it just sort of makes me want to put the track on repeat for about an hour. The song comes from the bands forthcoming self-titled debut that is scheduled to drop on October 2nd courtesy of Temporary Residence. Additionally the band has some dates coming up in the US that would be foolish to miss out on. - Kibbe

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: July 2012

The heat is ON! Many parts of the US are reaching record breaking temperatures resulting in all sorts of things melting that shouldn't (and obvs many that should). From the sounds of Some Kind of Mixtape: July we were all on the same page and provided you all with some tracks that are perfect for laying around to while beads of sweat collect on your forehead. So sit back, relax, and press play on this month's mix. As always, you can learn more about each track below. Make sure you add us on 8tracks and if you have mixtaps you think we should check out, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook and let us know!

Stay cool (literally)!

kibbe, rocko, shey & adrian

Some Kind Of Mixtape - July from skoablog on 8tracks.

Divine Fits - "Would That Not Be Nice"
Sometimes I feel bad for side projects featuring musicians from multiple different bands because you KNOW that everyone is going to be analyzing every last note to see who has the most influence. Such is the case with indie super(?) group Divine Fits - which consists of Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and Sam Brown (New Bomb Turks). Admittedly, I fell for "Would That Not Be Nice" for it's obvious Spoon-esque sounds, but I've found the other tracks from the upcoming album titled A Thing Called Divine Fits to tickle my fancy in non-Spoon-loving ways as well. Make sure you pick up the "My Love Is Real" vinyl which dropped this past week and be on the lookout for the full length coming up on August 28th.  - kibbe

Tame Impala - "Apocalypse Dreams"

I've said it multiple times. Tame Impala rules all. These Aussie psych rockers amazed me with their 2010 debut album Innerspeaker. Now the boys are back to do it again with their sophomore effort, Lonerism. The first single "Apocalypse Dreams" continues right where Innerspeaker left off with it's spacey/dreamy landscape of amazing. With their take on the classic psychedelic rock sound, I don't see Tame Impala going away anytime soon.—Rocko

Carnivals - "Departners"

The atmospheric style of Sheffield producer Carnivals has had me completely addicted since hearing his debut Mavi Kara EP last year, and his latest cut has heightened my addiction to whole new levels. "Departners", the first offering from the soon-to-be-released Humility EP, sees the artist embracing the sounds and influences of India, medling them beautifully into his ambient, sprawling soundscapes. This is the kind of music you can put on late at night and fully lose yourself in, the type of song that treads the line between dreams and reality.—Adrian

Bat for Lashes - "Laura"

Taken from her third album, Haunted Man, Natasha Khan aka Bat for Lashes seems to return to form in her new single "Laura". Cast your mind back to 2009 and I must say I wasn't a great fan of Two Suns and her single "Daniel" (what's with all the first names for song titles?) but with this new single she seems revived. A stripped back sound and the results are stunning and certainly something to be excited about in the coming months. Of the sound she's gone for with the new album she says "I really wanted to strip things back in honour of women like Patti Smith." Can we argue with that? The album is set for release on October 15th but I'm sure we'll see more of it before then.—Shey

Dirty Projectors - "Gun Has No Trigger"

Swing Lo Magellan is on the shortlist for my top albums of the year, and rightly so. Each song the Dirty Projectors delivered on their sixth full-length is perfection, but "Gun Has No Trigger" stood out above the rest. As a whole, the song evokes a strange mood, entering a near-Radiohead level of weird, and it's so damn addicting. The atmospheric instrumentation is fantastic, but it is Dave Longstreth's vocals that stand out. The way he bends his voice, contorting it in amazing ways and hitting the oddest of notes, is what makes this song. It's just so good. I. Can't. Stop. Listening.—Adrian

Two Door Cinema Club - "Sleep Alone"

As Olympic fever sweeps not just the nation but the entire world, it's easy to forget that Two Door Cinema Club have to-date only released one album yet last Friday during the opening ceremony of London 2012, lead Alex Trimble performed alongside rocks biggest names. Pretty big for a band that have not long had their training wheels off. Lead single from their forthcoming sophomore album, Beacon, sees the band doing what they do best. "Sleep Alone" features soaring melodies intricately woven around exquisitely placed guitar hooks resulting in a single you want to play again and again. The single drops on September 3rd, the same day as the album.—Shey

Black Moth Super Rainbow - "Windshield Smasher"
For me, what's always been so nice about Black Moth Super Rainbow has been the music's ability to seemingly float around in my head and get into all of the creative nooks and crannies that I sometime forget exists. "Windshield Smasher" from their upcoming album Cobra Juicy speaks well to that same feeling. For more feel-goodness make sure you take part in their Kickstarter to fund the upcoming album, which is slated for an October 9th release. Even though the kickstarter project is already completely funded, it's hard not to pass up the sweet deals that come with each tier in the funding process. - kibbe

Frank Ocean - "Forrest Gump"

With all the hype surrounding Frank Ocean it's easy to get lost in the sea of Orange he's managed to thrust upon the world. That performance on Jimmy Fallon and the surprise release of his album certainly added fuel to the fire but once you hit play you're left reeling of a man haunted by his own past and one that's wise beyond his years. A stand out from the release for me was "Forrest Gump" being as it's a little different, it's playful in its lyrics and it puts a smile on my face when I hear it. Music that evokes emotion is always going to be a winner.—Shey

Flea - "Pedestal of Infamy"

This. This is just amazing. I knew Flea was a great musician but I had no idea he could create something as beautiful as this track from his recently released EP Helen Burns. If the Chili Peppers were to break up and we'd get continuous album's from John Frusciante and Flea, i'd be completely okay with that. If you disagree, just listen to the awesomeness of this track. It's completely mind-blowing.—Rocko

Flying Lotus feat. Earl Sweatshirt & Captain Murphy - "Between Friends"

Adult Swim's Singles Program has delivered some definite gems so far, but Flying Lotus' collaborative track with Earl Sweatshirt and Captain Murphy is easily the top contender. FlyLo never ceases to amaze us with his mesmerizing experimental style of instrumentals, and the added spitfire delivery of Earl Sweatshirt blends seamlessly into that. It's the addition of the anonymous emcee Captain Murphy that makes this track so interesting, though, as he comes across as a more intelligent Tyler, The Creator with a smoother lyrical flow. Who is Captain Murphy? Who the fuck cares, because when Flying Lotus' captivating instrumentals, Earl Sweatshirt's smooth flow, and Captain Murphy's intelligent charisma combine, it makes for an amazing listen.—Adrian

John Frusciante - "In Your Eyes"

I wish I could just limit this blurb to "It's John Fuckin Frusciante. Nuff Said." He's the reason most people got into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and is one of the greatest guitarists of all time, and now he's back for the first time since his departure from the Chili Peppers with a new solo EP titled Letur-Lefr. Frusciante is a master of melodics from his production down to his harmonic vocals and his masterful licks. Although he's no longer part of RHCP it's great to see him back in the driver seat creating beautiful artistry. /fanboy—Rocko 

Snowden - "The Beat Comes"
It's been six long years since Austin-based band Snowden dropped their debut full length Anti-Anti and I fell for their catchy post-punk sound with songs like "Black Eyes", "Counterfeit Rules", and "Like Bullets". I had seen bits and pieces over the past few years that frontman Jordan Jeffares had left his hometown of Atlanta, GA and spent some time in New York City before settling down in Austin, TX, but I hadn't heard anything about new music in the near future until a few month ago. To my delight this past month I finally got to lay my ears on the first single from the upcoming sophomore album, No One In Control. "The Beat Comes" is a great avenue for Snowden to travel down since last we heard from the band with it's dark but inspiring undertones. It could have been because my first listen was by way of its outstanding video directed by John Merizdale when it premiered on Stereogum last week, but I still love it either way. No One In Control is slated for a fall 2012 release on Kings of Leon's label Serpents and Snakes. - kibbe

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: June 2012

Summer is finally upon us! It seems almost everyone far and wide is caught in a nasty heat wave. Now that the season is in full swing, it's time to grab the coldest of beers, put on some sunscreen, toss on some killer jams and make the most of all of the sunshine. Of all the mixes we've made up to this point, I think all four of us can agree that this is the one we're the most pleased about. It seems the warmer it gets the tracks just get better and better.

Make sure to follow us over on 8tracks if you happen to enjoy the mix below. As always, you can learn more about why we've chosen the tracks that we did after the jump!

<3 <3 <3

kibbe, rocko, shey, & adrian

 

Some Kind of Mixtape - June from skoablog on 8tracks.

The Fresh & Onlys - "Yes Or No"

Coming from humble beginnings in San Francisco The Fresh and Onlys have released a decent back catalogue of music. We've not had a full length from them since back in 2010 when they dropped Play It Strange but later this year on September 4th they'll return with a new LP titled Long Slow Dance, via their new home at Mexican Summer. This track is the perfect introduction to the band and is the lead single from the forthcoming release. Check out "Yes or No" below and look out for more tracks in the build up to release. —Shey

Maximo Park - "Hips and Lips"

Maximo Park take me back to being a kid and blasting music out of my bedroom window in the summer months whilst jumping on my trampoline. You know, as you do. When I heard they'd announced a new album I was anxious, you can't help but not be when a band you like is making new music. What if you hate it? The led single from The National Health, "Hips and Lips" is as infectious as the classics. A statement and a band back on form. Paul's vocal delivery will ring around your head for the rest of the day after you hit play and I bloody love it. —Shey

Aesop Rock - "ZZZ Top"

About a week away from his upcoming release Skelethon, Aesop Rock dropped the second single from his forthcoming LP alongside an awesome fucking video (SERIOUSLY GO WATCH IT) for the tune "ZZZ Top". It's been a good 5 years since Aes' last solo outing and this time around he's solely producing without his buddy Blockhead or El-P for the first time. The album also marks Aesop's first solo release away from Definitive Jux (currently on hiatus). But no worries Aesop is good hands with Rhymesayers, who along with Def Jux were the top indie hip hop labels of the new millennium. However, back to the music, "ZZZ Top" is filled with filthy cut drum breaks, razor sharp guitar riffs provided by Dirty Ghosts and that signature wordplay Aesop is known for making this track one of our favorites. —Rocko

Cruiser - "Moving To Neptune" (from his Cruiser EP)

After discovering Cruiser through our good friends at Listen Before You Buy, I immediately loved the blissful, summery sounds of the Philadelphia-based solo artist. It's not just the feel good nature of his songs that stood out, though, but rather his fantastic instrumentation. "Moving To Neptune" is the perfect example of Cruiser's multi-layered approach, as he blends layer upon layer of beautifully timed melodic guitar riffs. The result is something so enjoyable to listen to. From the moment I heard it, it became a welcome addition to my summer listening. His debut self-titled EP comes highly recommended, so make sure to head over to his Bandcamp page to check it out. —Adrian

Unknown Mortal Orchestra - "I'll Come Back 4 U"

After a very successful debut LP, UMO drop the a taste of their upcoming yet to be titled for this year's Adult Swim Singles Program with the tune "I'll Come Back 4 U". The lo-fi psych rock tune may not be as funky as the group's well known single "How Can You Luv Me" but definitely carries that signature sound and catchiness that UMO is known for. After getting this wonderful taste, we are highly anxious to see what the band has in store for us later this year. —Rocko

Slow Magic - "On Yr Side"

Each release Slow Magic puts out impresses me more than the last, and "On Yr Side" is no exception. The song is just so crisp, with each pulse-pounding drum hit and every perfectly-timed synth note coming together in such a memorable way. The tone of the song deserves props, too, as it delivers a tense yet engaging experience, one that you will want to repeat over and over again. I don't know how Slow Magic pulls it off, but in no way am I complaining. —Adrian

Harlan - "Dirty Laundry"

Covers are a tricky thing. They can be yawn worthy if the covering artist basically carbon copies the orignial track, but if you transform it a little too much a lot of times the emotion doesn't get refocused and is lost somewhere. Harlan's cover of Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry" is neither of those things. Harlan is respectful of Henley's work but isn't afraid to add his bits of grit, polish and funk along the way. Been following this guy for awhile now, you should, too. —kibbe

Alt-J - "Tessellate"

Alt-J (∆) have been gaining a decent following and gaining rave reviews wherever they set foot and with the release of their debut in May the ball is continuing to roll and build pace at a rapid rate. The album, An Awesome Wave, has been playing none stop on my iTunes recently and this track is a great little tease of what the album has. "Tessellate" has a bit of everything. Piano, funky bass lines and a big drum beat. Get familiar with this band. Plus, any band who share my love for triangles are cool by me. —Shey

Poolside - "Slow Down"

With the temperature continuing to rise in NYC I have been daydreaming up ways to beat the heat. My mind keeps wandering to the large pool in McCarren Park that just opened up. Since hearing LA duo Poolside's latest track, "Slow Down", every single time that I have the urge to go swimming this song pops in my head. Certainly the rather simple music video for the song didn't help any with having that thought drilled into my brain. Gotta say, pretty bummed that their album, Pacific Standard Time, doesn't drop until next week, I have a feeling this would have been perfect for the inevitable daytime summer grilling on Independence Day. —kibbe

Brother Ali - "Stop The Press"

It's been a long 2 years for Brother Ali who has been constantly touring and been working on his upcoming album Mourning In America and Dreaming In Color entirely produced by Jake One. The first single "Stop The Press" documents Ali's journey from the recording of his previous album US to the present and all the heartache and success Ali's been through over the last few years. Even with the constant touring Ali has been putting work all year with releasing various free tracks and an emotional but amazing (and FREE) EP The Bite Marked Heart amping new and old fans up for the release of his new LP. There's note doubt in my mind that Brother Ali is going to have one of the top albums of the year especially after hearing all that he's put out so far which has been nothing but natural quality music. —Rocko

Purity Ring - "Fineshrine" (from their forthcoming album Shrines out July 24th via 4AD and Last Gang)

This is the second time Purity Ring has appeared on our mixtape series, and rightly so. The Edmonton duo becomes more impressive with each song leading up to the release of their debut full-length Shrines, and "Fineshrine" is the perfect example of how good that full-length will be. Megan James' vocals are once again a highlight, as they deliver the emotional core of the song, but add to that the amazing production of Corin Roddick to make it a standout track. Roddick masterfully blends heavy-hitting percussion with the duo's distinct gothic synth sounds, seamlessly tinkers with James' vocals, and paces the song incredibly well. "Fineshrine," and everything Purity Ring puts out, is worth your attention. —Adrian

Dragonette - "Rocket Ship"

From their upcoming September 25th release Bodyparts, Canada's Dragonette dropped their latest single "Rocket Ship" for the world to hear. I can't explain what it is about singer Martina Sobara's voice that i find so endearing, but I never end up feeling bad after hearing songs from their previous albums or any of the other tracks that she's done guest vocals for. She always sounds so playful but sassy with a dab of sexy in it at the same time, much like the music that accompanies her. I still can't believe they've challenged their fans to create a version of one of the unreleased songs from the forthcoming album just based on the lyrics. If you're up for for it, you have until mid-August to submit something. Until then, I'll just be waiting for the new album —kibbe

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: April 2012

Honestly, where is this year going!? It feels like last month we were doing our end of the year write ups and making plans to party on New Years Eve, but here we are nearly halfway into the year already. That means it's definitely time to start making all of your festival plans and start picking songs to listen to on the way to the beach. This month's tunes that have been hand selected by us for Some Kind of Mixtape: April 2012 are sure to point you in the right direction. As always, we've left you some tidbits about each song via our "liner notes" below and be sure to have a listen below via our 8tracks player. Our other mixtapes from earlier in the year are all over on 8tracks as well.

We luvah you facez,

Kibbe, Shey, Adrian & Rocko

Some Kind of Mixtape - April 2012 from skoablog on 8tracks.

 

 

Animal Kingdom - "Strange Attractor"

It's been hard to take this song off of repeat ever since I saw the rather bizzare video to accompany the track, but "Strange Attractor" one of those kinds of songs that you want to put on while driving at sunset with the windows down so that the glimmering guitars and airy vocals can echo up into the sky and bring the stars out more quickly. This lovely gem comes from London outfit Animal Kingdom who are a week away from releasing their sophomore album The Looking Away that's packed with their unique blend of indie pop. Keep your eyes peeled on May 8th and be sure to grab a copy of the album for yourself. - Kibbe

Jai Paul - "Jasmine" (Demo) (from the Jasmine (Demo) Single)

Somehow, with only two songs to his name, Jai Paul has managed to remain in music conversation for years. His premier track "BTSTU" initially released in 2007 as a demo, and has since been reworked several times and sampled by the likes of Drake and Beyoncé. "Jasmine," Jai Paul's second outing, delivers an even more enticing package than, with deep, pounding basslines, catchy guitar riffs and echoey, reverb-heavy vocals combining seamlessly. Despite having only two tracks, Jai Paul deserves all the hype given to him. Bragging rights are acceptable with a track record such as his. - Adrian

PINS - "Eleventh Hour"

Seeming to have come from nowhere, PINS have emerged like a butterfly, fully formed and dripping in an undeniable beauty. This, their second track with thumping anthemic drums paired with the distant yet bright guitar makes a great combination. The chant like vocal work also adds to the mystery. A lot darker than the rhythm of "Shoot Me" but just as moreish. I've had this on repeat a lot this last month so maybe you'll enjoy it just as much? - Shey

El-P - "Oh Hail No" Feat. Mr Muthafuckin eXquire and Danny Brown

One of my personal anticipated records of the year, El-P delivers yet again with his forthcoming 3rd LP (no pun intended), Cancer For Cure. And what better track to represent a sharper wittier El than the banging "Oh Hail No" which features 2 of the most current hyped wordsmiths, Mr Muthafuckin eXquire and Fool's Gold's Danny Brown. Although, the guest features on this track (and the album) stray away from El-P's old Def Jux partners, the trio deliver without mercy over El-P's destructive backdrop. C4C hits shelves on May 22nd, preorder here and make sure you check out El's upcoming tour featuring Mr Muthafuckin eXquire, Killer Mike and Despot. - Rocko

Norah Jones - "After The Fall"

Danger Mouse x Norah Jones = Awesome. That pretty much sums up Norah Jones' new album, Little Broken Hearts (which actually dropped today) to a T. After Jones teamed up on Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi's Rome album last year, it was on inevitable for things to come back around and have Jones and DM work together on a full LP together. Aside from the leaks and single releases ("Happy Pills", "Say Goodbye" and "Travellin' On") the track I have currently on repeat is "After The Fall" which displays that classic Danger Mouse sound combined with the amazing vocals and lyrics from Norah Jones. Check it out and pick up the album today. - Rocko

Jack White - "Missing Pieces"

No-matter what band/group/project he's working on at any one moment, Jack White can make it his own. Now, when it came to his solo project it's hard to deny that we all, yes even you there in the back, we all got excited. A man of many talents but we all wanted to see and hear what direction his very own solo album would take. "Missing Pieces" is the opening track from Blunderbuss and it encompasses everything Jack is. Multiple instruments all prominently yet carefully placed resulting in an engaging piece of music. Just listen, stop reading. - Shey

The D.O.T. - "And A Hero"

I discovered The Streets and The Music back in college. I remember being so fascinated by the tone of Rob Harvey's voice on The Music's self-titled album and chuckling to myself at how clever I thought Mike Skinner's lyrics were on Original Pirate Material. Years went by and I watched their careers unfold and was pretty upset as both bands dwindled around the same time. Little did I know at the time that the brief collaborations on The Streets' Computers and Blues album would transition Skinner and Harvey into a new project which we now know as The D.O.T. I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but after hearing "And A Hero" I could not be more excited to see this next chapter unfold for these two. The production on this track is like a breath of fresh air into Skinner's signature sound and Harvey's vocals on this track make my eyes water just a tiny bit every single time. I absolutely cannot wait to hear more - Kibbe

Major Lazer - "Get Free" (Feat. Amber Coffman)

What can I write about Major Lazer that hasn't already been said? I could try to make up some off the cuff word to describe their sound. But why should I? We all know by this point that the combination of Diplo and Switch is a beautiful one and by adding in Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors for vocal duties just takes it up another notch of ever growing greatness. No doubt we'll be having more Major Lazer treats over Summer, Diplo doesn't know how to take a break. - Shey

Purity Ring - "Obedear" (from their forthcoming album Shrines out July 24th via 4AD and Last Gang)

Edmonton duo Purity Ring are swiftly and gracefully establishing themselves as a favorite throughout the blogosphere, dropping select songs here and there. The difference? Each and every song they release is absolutely fantastic. "Obedear" is the best track they've delivered so far, and makes the July  24th release of their debut album Shrines even more anticipated. Pulsating gothic synth sounds surrounding ominous chanting and the spine-tingling vocals of Megan James, "Obedear" is the kind of song that, despite leaving you with goose bumps, has you desperately wanting more. What's not to love? - Adrian

White Fence - "Green Balloon" (from the Green Balloon 7" Single out May 22nd via Sexbeat)

Being a huge fan of Ty Segall, the psychedelic stylings of White Fence stood out immediately. "Green Balloon" is a great example of what makes the '60s-inspired psychedelic rock revival so appealing, as drowned out vocals and fuzzy guitar riffs pound in your ears like a flashback to a decade where music was at its finest. In every way, this song evokes the feeling of freedom and experimental creativity that was so prominent in the '60s, and all with a refreshingly carefree attitude. With his collaborative LP with Ty Segall out and volume one of his two volume Family Perfume LP released, 2012 is proving to be a good year for White Fence and the psychedelic rock revival. - Adrian


The Uncluded (Aesop Rock x Kimya Dawson) - "Bats"

Rhymesayers always knows how to deliver big on Record Store Day and this year was no different with the release of the 2012 RSE picture disc featuring new music from RSE flagship artists, Atmosphere and the debut of Aesop Rock and Kimya Dawson's collaborative project, The Uncluded. We've been excited for this collaboration ever since the announcement of the two working together on Kimya's recent LP Thunder Thighs and last year's Daytrotter Session. And after hearing the studio version of "Bats", we can't wait to hear more from two of music's most eclectic artists. The duo's album will drop later this year, but you can expect Dawson to guest feature on Aesop Rock's forthcoming album Skelethon this July. - Rocko

Ladyhawke - "Sunday Drive"

Relationships are such complicated things. A lot of times the central issue in a troubled relationship is a lack of communication. I really doubt that this was the case when Ladyhawke penned her latest single, "Sunday Drive". She really lays her heart bare in front of all of us as she details a relationship that is clearly not doing so well. Not only do her lyrics speak to just about anyone who's ever had a tough love life, but her delivery on this song was very well thought out. She doesn't come off sounding too miserable, but there's just a twinge of pain in her voice as she sings, "Please don't go / I need your love" from the chorus. Typically by the end of the song I feel the urge to hunt down Ladyhawke down myself to give her a hug because the song has shaken me that much. - Kibbe

[SKOA Presents] Some Kind of Mixtape: March 2012

Spring is officially here! The sun is peaking out through the clouds and all the good little music lovers on the planet are getting a head start on finding that perfectly epic summer jam. As usual, we've been pouring over tracks from artists far and wide on our never ending quest to bring you the best of the best from the past month. Rocko has even come more out of his blogging hiberation in the past month because the releases are increasingly getting better and better. Without further ado, please enjoy Some Kind Of Mixtape: March 2012 below, have a peek after the jump at the "liner notes" to see why we picked the tracks we did, and make sure you head over to 8tracks and your mixtapes with us!

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Kibbe, Shey, Adrian & Rocko

Some Kind of Mixtape - March 2012 from skoablog on 8tracks.

 

Clock Opera - "Once and For All" (from Ways To Forget, released April 23rd via Moshi Moshi/ Island Records)

Clock Opera are preparing to release their debut, Ways To Forget, later this month we've had numerous twinkles from the band since last year. "Once and For All" opens the album with a slow building intro that rises into a spine tingling track of crescendos and vocal work. It's a perfect opening album track and it opens the door to an album that truly is wonderful. Every track is impeccable, this included. You listen intently as each nose and blip you feel is meant to be exactly where it is. No filler. Just pure musical goodness. - Shey

Pillow Fight (Emily Wells x Dan The Automator) - "In The Afternoon" (from In The Afternoon Single)

Whenever super producer Dan The Automator gears up for another "passion project" such as Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron and Lovage you know its gonna be an amazing listen and down right fun. with Dan and his newest project Pillow Fight with singer/songwriter Emily Wells. The two hooked up through mutual buddy, DJ extraordinaire Kid Koala (who also collaborates on the project) and the rest has been history since. Pillow Fight are gearing up to release their debut album later this year with David Choe providing the visuals and if it's like any of Automator's previous projects its gonna be sexy. - Rocko

The Cribs - "Come On, Be A No-One" (lead single released April 23rd, taken from In the Belly of the Brazen Bull, out May 7th via Wichita)

The band of Brothers from Wakefield, The Cribs, have come a long way since their early days and their Self-titled debut back in 2004. They're readying the release of their fifth studio album, In the Belly of the Brazen Bulland this track is their first in a few years. Raw and sing along worthy it's a welcome return from the boys. The track is set for release on the 23rd of April with the album dropping a month later in May. Get your fix of what's to come in the shape of "Come On, Be A No-One". - Shey

Binary - "Modern Man" (from their upcoming single release "Modern Man" out on April 23rd)

I am so excited about what London band Binary have up their sleeves. They keep releasing singles that hit the spot for me every time. Their latest single, "Modern Man" is no exception to this. You can try your hardest, but this song will take over your brain in a matter of seconds as singer David Troster croons snotty lyrics while its moaning guitars and gritty bass line weave back and forth in the darkest parts of your mind. If you enjoyed "Prisoner" at all you are definitely going to want to grab this track the second it drops on April 23rd. - Kibbe

Rocket Juice & The Moon - "Poison" (from Rocket Juice & The Moon)

In music, 2012 so far has been the year of Damon Albarn with the return of Blur, the release of a new Gorillaz tune, producing the upcoming Bobby Womack record, the upcoming release to Albarn's opera Dr. Dee and the recent collaborative project with good friend Tony Allen and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rocket Juice & The Moon. RJ&TM's sound is that of a polished world music, funk jam session with tons of guests (Erykah Badu, M.anifest, Hypnotic Brass Ensemble and more) and is as organic as you can get for a studio album. Check out the sexy, standout track "Poison" which features Albarn on the vocals and make sure you pick the band's album which is out now. - Rocko

Future Unlimited - "The Coast" (from their debut self-titled EP)

First and foremost, I love synth pop. Holy Ghost!'s debut album was one of my favorites from last year, and Nashville duo Future Unlimited have quickly and deservedly taken their place in my recently played list. Despite being relatively unknown until very recently, Samuel D'Amelio and Dave Miller's brand off '80s infused synth pop stands out immediately as incredibly catchy and appropriately atmospheric. Their debut self-titled EP was released only two weeks ago, and since then the song "The Coast" has been heavily replayed. It evokes the prominent styles of '80s music, that being pulse-pounding synthesizers and distant, brooding vocals. On every level it displays a love for the 1980s, but with that, Future Unlimited have gone further, giving the song an unexplainable modern relatability. "The Coast" is simply a fantastic and distinct representation of '80s influenced synth pop. - Adrian

St. Lucia - "The Old House Is Gone" (from his debut EP St. Lucia)

The slow build. The glittering synths. The echoy vocals. We've heard it a million different ways over the past few years. For some reason though, the way that St. Lucia pulls it all together for "The Old House Is Gone" from his self-tiled EP that dropped earlier this month just takes it to the next level for me. This song comes on and suddenly my heart gets lighter, I have a huge smile on my face and I just want to do my best Scott Stapp impersonation and just fling my arms back and dance around in the sunlight. It's so ethereal on the ears and euphoric in your heart. I absolutely love it. As far as I'm concerned, St. Lucia isn't going anywhere but up from here. - Kibbe

Indians - "Magic Kids" (from the Magic Kids 7" single)

In a month where Scandinavian pop dominated my eardrums—I'm looking at you Miike Snow—it was a massive surprise to hear Danish group Indians' brand new single "Magic Kids." Differing from their Scandinavian contemporaries, Indians encapsulate a melancholic song in a melancholic package. It is this package that is so captivating, though, as it takes you through an atmospheric dreamscape of ambient chimes, arrays of wave synths and distant, crooning vocals. It's an alluring single that only makes me more impatient to hear more from this Copenhagen outfit. - Adrian
Jack White - "Sixteen Saltines" (from his upcoming debut album Blunderbuss out on April 23rd)
It's really hard not to worship everything that Jack White touches. Although admittedly it took a bit for "Love Interruption" to grow on me, I took to "Sixteen Saltines" within seconds. This is Jack White at his best. His signature guitar sound shines so brightly in this song that you could go blind. It's got just a tiny touch of that White Stripes feel to it as well, so extra bonus for those of us who miss them terribly. I'm also having a hard time not thinking about his somewhat-recent divorce with Karen Elson while hearing these and trying to deduce what went wrong in their relationship based on the subject matter of these latest singles. Either way, I am super amped to snatch up this album in a couple of weeks and then rock out at Roseland Ballroom in May. - Kibbe

Plugs - "On and On" (from their upcoming debut album Plugs)

For those who have yet to hear former Does It Offend You, Yeah? member Morgan Quaintance current band, Plugs, its time for you to get familiar just in time for their upcoming debut album releasing this year on Eurostar Records. These Euro rockers came onto the scene in 2010 with more of an electronic influenced, rock sound as displayed in their first single "All Them Witches" and their 2011 single "Black Microdots" and have transcended themselves within a two year period to showcase they are more than a one genre band. And that they do, as shown in their recent single, the rock heavy tune "On and On" which provides vocal melodies very reminiscent to the sound of Beck Hanson's. Keep an eye out on these guys for what is next to come. - Rocko

Tanlines - "Not The Same" (from their debut album Mixed Emotions, released on March 20th via True Panther Sounds)

Tanlines debut album Mixed Emotions had me hooked from the get go. The Brooklyn duo's experimental style, which sees indie rock infused with elements of synth pop and several worldly genres, draws you in immediately and never lets go. No matter what the mood of the song, whether it's more upbeat ("All of Me") or more contemplative ("Nonesuch"), each one has something that makes it unique yet they are all cohesively addicting to listen to. "Not The Same" is particularly great, though, as it's simple progression and evocative lyrics meld effortlessly with catchy percussion. But, what makes the song so good is Eric Emm's vocal works, which sees a lot of breadth here, hitting emotional highs and thoughtful lows. "Not The Same" is a standout song from a standour album. - Adrian

Japandroids - "The House That Heaven Built" (from Celebration Rock, released June 5th via Polyvinyl)

What's not to love about a two piece that can create this much noise! Japandroids returned in March with "The House That Heaven Built", the first track taken from their newly announced album Celebration Rock, it's big, it's brash and for me I played it on repeat about 10 times in a row upon first hearing it. That's always a good sign. For me this track also feels like Summer and the past week in the UK has been unusually great so that's another reason to play this track really loud. The perfect soundtrack to the perfect sun-filled day. - Shey