- anderson .paak - Following a myriad of standout appearances on Dr. Dre’s 2015 album Compton, Paak (FKA “Breezy Lovejoy” which sounds like it would be the name of a car air-freshener) has resurfaced with a can’t-fuck-with style of soul-infused hip-hop worthy of the Jackie Brown soundtrack, and a confident lyrical delivery remnicent of an early Kendrick Lamar. This is one example of the direction we hope hip-hop is heading in, with thought provoking lyrics and challenging production that isn’t solely made for the “clubs”.
- Lucius - Damn! Mom+Pop Recs are just killing’ it lately! Following their wild ride with Courtney Barnett last year, who if anyone tells you wasn’t the biggest success story of 2015 for music is a fucking liar, M+P gear up to release the anticipated new album from Lucius on March 11 (same day our pal and M+P label-mate Bayonne releases his debut!). “Madness” is the first single from the album. Delicate lyrical imagery leads you into an almost anthem-like pop chorus that speaks about living and learning life.
- White Denim - Okay seriously, has NO one realized yet that this highly talented group is just a jam-band disguised in indie rock fatigues?! I say this with love, but why haven’t more of my burnout, Widespread Panic obsessed, Phish following friends back home been turned on by this band yet?! Give them a whirl. You’ll get riff-driven rock with traces of the Dead, Allman Brothers and all that good stuff, with actual jam breakdowns all rolled into the band’s signature tone of updated rock. Plus, I’ve had the pleasure of a night of boozing with these Austin cowboys, and let me say, the only thing heavier than their guitar riffs is their hand when pouring you another glass of whisky.
- Lemaitre - Because every year needs its own Disclosure.
- Bad Wave - Don’t know much about them, but I know I am a sucker for a song with dramatic changes that take you places in the music you didn’t expect to go. For that, I am suggesting you check out their song “Runaway”, but before you judge it as anything straightforward, let it play to the 1:00 mark. And to Bad Wave: update your Facebook! We want to know who you are!
- Water Park - Special mention for this delicately electronic duo from Australia, who’s appropriately named first single “Dreaming” was not available on Spotify at the time of this post, but can be heard on their Soundcloud page. Water Park certainly comes from a lineage of Australian producers who have this neo-electro-soul sound on lock-down. Whatever they put in the water over there, keep it coming.