1/31/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Hello, reader. Meet your new soundtrack for throwing the chillest party in the land. "Cruel Game" comes from the L.A.-based producer Mike Harris (who has chosen the moniker VOKES because, I assume, Calvin has kind of ruined that surname for anyone tryna be anyone in the producing world. Or perhaps Mikey's just a huge fan of European football, who's to say rLy?) Many blogs are comparing this guy to Lostboycrow and HONNE, which, I can see, but there's also something very Mayer Hawthorne-esque about the pairing of the funky, exaggerated bass and crooning male vocals here. I'm vibin'.

Opia- Falling

1/31/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Daaaaamn, this song is so gritty, but in the sexiest way. It's like the aural incarnation of Tom Hardy in almost ANY movie he appears in. "Falling" is the first from the Connecticut-based producing duo of Jacob Reske and Cole Citrenbaum. These boys met while both pursuing math and physics majors at Yale. And they are the ones responsible for the perfect little slice of R&B-driven alt-pop currently filling your eardrums. To sum it up: not only is Opia more creative and talented than you, but they are most likely wayyyyy smarter than you also. I'm filing them under the category of "boys I wish I would stumble across on Bumble." But, alas, the dating-app's "intricate" algorithm has decided to provide me options like "Mikey—Shirtless Greeter at Abercrombie and Fitch" or "Samuel—Magician at Ripley's Believe It Or Not." I would say life is unfair, but I'm just kind of a bitch and so is karma, so #cantcomplainrLy.

Gryffin- Heading Home (ft. Josef Salvat)

1/31/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Fuq yeah, this is indie-dance done to absolute perfection, y'all! With his debut original, NYC-based Gryffin has won me over already. Amidst the swirl of hypnotic piano melodies and addictive guitar work we encounter the swoon-worthy, velvetly vocals of one of our favorite Aussie lads. A-fucking-PLUS on the collab choice here, Gryffin. If I had ur keen decision-making skills in college maybe I wouldn't have left myself two weeks to write my entire senior thesis #EWPS? But, I digress. My point: Love u too, Josef. Ending this post now so I can go google your tour dates.

Lincoln Jesser - Baby Boy (ft. Yuna)

1/31/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Good morning and Happy Sunday. Do you, like me, feel you have been kissed by a dementor? Cure your hangover with a bloody Mary and this new tune from indie acts Lincoln Jesser and Yuna. "Baby Boy" is their second collab together (the first being "In My Dreams" on Jesser's 2013 EP), and lightning has struck twice! This is a rare feat and should be applauded. Think of the number of movie stars that work together perfectly in one movie, only to release garbage for the next 4 movies. Exhibit A: Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore. 50 First Dates: YES!! Blended: made me want to put my head in a blender. Anyway, the point here is just because a partnership works once, doesn't mean it will work again. But it does for Yuna & Lincoln Jesser, unlikely yet amazing musical comrades. I would like to close this post with a shoutout to Yuna. I first heard of this girl in 2012, when I came out of a weed blackout to find that I had downloaded her entire album and listened to it three times. She possesses the vocal tranquility of Feist, and her unique sound brings this song to another level.

SNBRN- Gangsta Walk (ft. Nate Dogg)

1/31/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

This song is literally the definition of a guilty pleasure jam. I was physically rocking out to this at my desk the other day so hard that my boss asked me what I was listening to. In true "guilty pleasure jam" form, I panicked, lied, and I randomly blurted out it was The Strokes. The dude is literally a walking J. Crew advertisement on the reg so admitting that I was so into a track called "Gangsta Walk" would make him think twice about our company's hiring policies.

SNBRN's latest can best be described as "Teach Me How to Dougie" on a heavy dose of cocaine-laced molly... a weird observation, but it's meant as a compliment nonetheless. The house piano in this has the previously-hibernating relics of my 18-year-old-self rearing her European-club-rat head, and those horns would make even brass-master Felix Jaehn jealous. I'm not quite sure what a "Gangsta Walk" looks like, but I imagine that dance sequence in J. Bieb's "Sorry" music video where they waddle with T-rex arms:

If this is wrong—which I am one-hundred-and-seventy-percent sure it is—please advise me otherwise don't fucking tell me. I hate hearing that I'm wrong more than Cher hates Trump (#akaALOT).


1/26/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

This song is so bi-polar, I love it, LoVe it, LOVE IT!! There are parts of it that make me feel as though I have the weight of the world on my shoulders. But then other parts of BISHOP's latest make me feel as invincible as I imagine Donna Meagle feels cruising in her Benz. An odd observation, but I stand by it. Who wouldn't wanna feel like fucking Retta?! There's no wonder I love this track so much seeing as BISHOP is an L.A.-based singer/songwriter with Scottish parents. If there's anything I love more than the sounds coming out of L.A. right now it's the sounds coming out of the U.K. always. "River" manages to resemble a perfect aural fusion of both these two global cities. It harnesses all the brooding distortion oozing from the SoCal music scene these days, and yet has those powerhouse vocals we come across in so many British-pop acts. To quote Miley Cyrus before drugs fucked up her brain (and her fashion sense), "River" is the best of both worlds, y'all!

P.S. That album art can go die, tho...it looks like a bad hallucination I would see on acid. And not like pure acid, but acid that's sold in like pan-handle, bumble-fuck Florida and is like 45% meth. But, I guess u do u, BISHOP. You're music is so good, I will still listen to it despite the nightmares I will undoubtedly have from staring at what I can only guess is Betty Boop's make-up wipe placed over your head.

Chet Faker- In-Between

1/26/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Chet Faker. tho, guysssssss. Maybe it's just that I feel kinship to the Aussie lad since we're both gingers*, but I love him more and more with every run-in I have with him and his music. I've watch the "Gold" music video at least 34 times (5 during the Jonas lock-in, no lie), I've listened to "Drop the Game" so many times, my mother knows the song's name**, and Mr. Faker is approximately 76% of the reason I decided to buy a Gov Ball ticket and, as a result, the reason I have eaten ramen for the past 18 lunches. I'm not sure I'm cool enough to totally get Faker's latest, but I'll give it the good, old college try (something, ironically enough, I did not do in college rly -____-). My main observation is that "In-Between" sounds like something Tame Impala wishes they created. It's so percussion-driven and psychedelic, but in a way that even a DMB fan would be into, yah know? Oh, and if y'all couldn't tell, this song is about last week's blizzard #fuckingDUH.

*there's a strong bond there. Just look at the entire Vikings empire. or Li-Lo's characters from "The Parent Trap"

**the true test to determine whether any act has "made it," honestly

Lawrence Taylor - Bang Bang

1/25/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

PressPlayOK described this dude as a troubadour. Thanks to those peeps for bringing this word back from the Dark Ages. I think it's the funniest, best word. Maybe it will become the "on fleek" of 2016? Mainly I want it to replace the word "playa". For example, "Yo did you see those pics of Leo DiCaprio hanging out with 16 Latvian models on his private island? Dude's a real troubadour." Not bad right?! Together we can make this happen guys. Moving on from the dumbest sentences I've ever typed...Lawrence Taylor is a troubadour, both in the traditional sense and my Urban Dictionary definition. The latter part I'm projecting, but listen to his song "Bang Bang" for confirmation of the former. His voice is soulful and possesses great range. It stands up with acoustic accompaniment, as well as when it's surrounded by the frantic production that kicks in toward the end. T4L loves u sir. xoxox

Eliot Sumner - After Dark

1/25/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Listen to this. Does it sound familiar? Does it sound EXACTLY like Sting? Well surprise people, this girl is the offspring of Mr. Roxanne himself. I'm pretty sure Helen Keller could have figured that shit out. Aside from the vocal comparisons though, it's unfair to boil Eliot Sumner's music down to just "Sting For Millennials." Her debut album Information (although she released music under the moniker I Blame Coco a couple of years ago), hit shelves cyberspace January 22nd, and not only does it surpass expectations for celebrity spawn (tbt to when Kelly Osbourne had an album and it was the worst***), it's stronger than the majority of indie albums that get churned out. The tracks aren't rambling or indulgent, they have a solid pop structure and great production. "After Dark" is my fav, mainly because there's a satisfying steady build, a hypnotic drum loop, and it contains the phrase "I don't really care after dark." So simple, but so true. I mean, when you're doing body-shots off some dude named Rico at 3am, that phrase was never more real.

***Jk it was so dope, especially the single called "One Word." It was most likely written by Swedish pop gods, definitely paid for by Ozzy, and I still know all the words.

Elohim - Pigments

1/22/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Sometimes, when I'm feeling especially emo, I think about the fact that songs are basically just poems set to music. Not all songs obviously. As much as I would like to label Pitbull the Shel Silverstein of the Top 40, I don't foresee history remembering him this way. Sure he brings a great beat, but his music doesn't contain too many vocab words besides "Mr. Worldwide." What I'm trying to say is that I think the best musicians not only construct great melodies, they come up with clever and meaningful lyrics to complement. Elohim is a special lady because she does this. Last year's "She Talks Too Much," not only possessed an addictive chorus, it contained phrases such as "It's like the sound of crazy." For real, I think that's one of the best lines ever. (shocking). "Pigments" is no different. Elohim's floaty voice carries a melancholy vibe while she delivers lyrics like "I can't make you love you." Idk maybe that's dumb and not that cool to u guys, but that phrase usually goes "I can't make you love ME" and I think the reversal is cool. Alright.... wrapping up this emo post. Elohim rulez. BYEEEEEE.

Alunageorge - I'm In Control (ft. Popcaan)

1/21/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Everyone needs to muster the willpower to survive winter (as if you had an alternative), because on the other end of it is a new Alunageorge album. It's called I Remember, and will be setting the internet on fire around the time of Coachella. I would be more specific but Alunageorge only gave us this terrible milestone as a map. Until then, the world can rejoice at their new single. "I'm In Control" is their first non-feature material in almost 3 years, and it's definitely ushering in a new era for these bitches. I think they've ratcheted up the dance vibes. Obviously the entire Alunageorge back catalog is electronic, but their older stuff ("Your Drums, Your Love," "Outlines") tends to have a hazy, Majestic Casual aura. "I'm In Control" sounds like Diplo. Billboard also just compared them to Disclosure, so expect the album to maybe sound like that. THE TOP 40 IS CALLING U GUYS!! Good luck. Send us postcards from Kylie Jenner's house.

P.S. Shout-out to Popcaan, who you may remember from 2015's #1 hipster track, Jamie XX's "Good Times." Your rap delivery on this song makes Sean Paul weep sir!

argonaut&wasp-The Sneeze

1/19/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Well isn't this a fun tune! I sound like a 86-year-old grandmother with that statement, but I also like watching Jeopardy! and wearing keds, so I'm pretty sure I'm too far deep into senior-citizen territory to try to sound cool, hip, and young now. Veering away from the depressing topic of my expedited internal aging, there's nothing old or dated about Burlington-born argonaut&wasp and their latest track. It's a refreshing burst of indie-funk discovered among all the synth-heavy songs and mediocre remixes currently clogging HypeM's charts. The variation in the guitar here—going from crisp to delightfully punchy to gritty under 4 minutes flat—makes "The Sneeze" all the more addictive. I can't stop pressing that repeat button. A couple blogs mention that these boys sound like a present-day Talking Heads and WoWeEeE WOW, that is so on-point. They are aurally identical. I don't h8 it in the slightest.

Lemaitre - Stepping Stone (ft. Mark Johns)

1/18/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Mark Johns first entered our lives last year with a killer cover of Niggas in Paris. She followed that up with a rendition of another Kanye jam -- "All Day." Both songs conquered our hearts, but since then, we have not heard a ton from this lady. She's basically been Adele -- eerily silent while the public (Hype Machine community) salivates for her return. Well, we are going to STFU about that absence now, because this song is a great comeback. "Stepping Stone" pairs this indie songstress with Norwegian producers Lemaitre, and the result is a sultry banger. Over some slow-burning bass, our girl sings about navigating the world solo. At least that's my interpretation. For all I know, this song could be about pineapple. But consider the following lyrics: "I'm sure you might have heard / All that glitters ain't gold / Wake up another day / I need to find my way home /Just me / traveling alone" Come on, it's like the bad-ass version of Alice and Wonderland. T4L loves it, and so should you.

P.s. Our love for Mark Johns hijacked this post, but Lemaitre is actually the main artist here and they are awesome too. Buy their EP 1749 on January 29. 

Rationale- Something For Nothing

1/18/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

I could tell before even looking up Rationale that he was U.K.-based. And if you know anything about t4L and our love all-encompassing OBSESSION with British music, you know that's the highest compliment one can receive. "Something For Nothing" is the Zimbabwe-born, London-based soul singer's latest and it's an absolute, electronically-tinged, R&B banger, y'all! Okay, maybe not a "banger" in the traditional sense, but I would still definitely groove to this any day of the fucking week. And I think most people would agree. The combination of that distorted vintage guitar and Rationale's swoon-worthy, rounded-out vocals is everything here. And, side note, that Cali-styled guitar going on in the beginning belongs in a Nelly song from 2002, STR8 UP. Again, one of the most admirable compliments an artist can garner from us. We love mid-2010's European electronic music and early-2000's rap more than we will probably love our first-born children here at t4L. That's not called being heartless, it's just called have good music taste #fuckingduh.

LIVE! Review- The Knocks (Baby's All Right 1/14/2016)

1/16/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

When I die, please have my tombstone say "Saw Wyclef Jean cover the Bee-Gees in Brooklyn Club" All right, maybe I wouldn't lead with the Wyclef fact, but that is what happened to us on Thursday night. It was the coolest, and we have been total losers about it by telling everyone. I mean EVERYONE. Our roommates, clients on conference calls, employees in Hale & Hearty, etc. So while we have zero chill, let us stop and celebrate the talent and total showmanship of both Wyfclef Jean and The Knocks (!), whose show we actually bought tickets for. They had a varied and substantial set-list, and more importantly, brought the house down. Here are some notes on the show.

Baby's All Right (the venue of my dreams & nightmares) - Normally The Knocks play larger venues, so it was dope to see them in a club-y setting. It didn't feel like a concert, it felt like a dance party with the best DJs in the land. A European club I actually enjoy being at. Any place that lets you storm the stage during the encore is the place for me. The downside to this? 250 people had this same idea. It was so hot in this club I briefly thought I had contracted malaria. Coat check was for quitters here, so we suffered July heat with our puffy jackets.

The Knocks - I'm not over-exaggerating when I say that every single track these boys performed was memorable. Their sound is even more dynamic and addictive live than it is on record. The punchy drums and synth-heavy ditties spilled over the crowd, energizing the sea of drunken toddlers Brooklynites in front of them. It's always tempting to dismiss producers as less talented than say—a power-house singer, but they were really impressive musicians. Definitely the best act we've seen in 2016. And that will probably remain the case at least through May.

Lights & ambiance - A big part of a performance is presentation of the music. Yeah the singing & instruments were great, but what about the lights show!? Funny you should ask that, reader! The stage lighting happened to be epic. Not seizure inducing, but creative and complementary to the tunes. The Knocks brought great energy to the room as well. They didn't talk too much (thank god, I paid to hear music not hear about your supportive mom), but their scattered one-liners felt genuine and like they were truly psyched to be up there.

Lady guest stars - Seeing as they were at home in New York, The Knocks had plenty of buddies to call upon. Throughout the evening, they brought up not one, but four different guests to help them onstage. "Collect My Love," "The One," and "Classic" were all performed by bad-ass bitches with amazing stage wear. Not only was there a blue sequined jacket and a Little red riding hood capelet pumping up the crowd (and their Twitter numbers), they all had voices of pure gold. I wanted to steal that shit like Ursula did to Ariel. Not to mention the biggest surprise of the evening....

WYCLEF IS IN THE FUCKING BUILDING!! Scratch that, he's in the mother fucking room. He is so close that I can see how terribly he is aging, it's gr8! The 12-year-old inside me is catastrophically freaking out right now and the 23-year-old me is... also catastrophically freaking out actually. Everyone loves Wyclef, no? He transcends age. He's like diamonds. Or Sour Patch kids. It's hard to pin down the best moment, but it was either "Ready or Not", or the epic rap battle that commenced between him and The Knocks. Although we must also highlight the fact that Wyclef Jean was involved in a cover of "Walk This Way," a cross-over I never thought I needed, but that I now can't picture my life without.

Most ironic moment of the evening - When Wyclef waxed poetic about growing up in ghetto Brooklyn to a mostly white Millennial audience filming him with their cell phones. He is a musical God and his audience is garbage. You deserve better than us sir.

In closing, The Knocks were great. They have just begun their tour, so look and see if they are coming to a city near you!! Hurry!! Plus don't forget to download their new track with Wyclef, "Kiss the Sky," as well as any oldies you may have missed. T4L out.

Flume- Never Be Like You (ft. Kai)

1/16/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

This is purely magical. Like the aural, electronically-transgressive incarnation of Hogwarts*. Flume you never disappoint. (that seems to be a trend from Aussie artists and I don't hate it at all). I love everything here from the twinkle bells in the beginning to the final explosion of duphonic synth that ends the track with a bang. Not to mention that weaving some symphony-styled strings throughout a track has never been a bad decision, and "Never Be Like You" is no different. Plus Flume also continues his trend of expertly picking his collab partners, showcasing another amazing singer in his latest tune. Like, Regina Spector is that you?! Nah, she would never do anything this cool. Analyzing the vocals further, this girl sounds uncannily like the love-child of Regina Spector and Nao #weirdbuttru. But alas, no, this is not the spawn of falsetto-royalty, it's a canadian singer named Kai. Idk what our neighbors to the north put in the baby formula, but it results in amazing vocalists: Queen Celine, Joni, J.Biebs, Shania, Alanis, The Weeknd, and Michael Buble, who I don't really give a fuq about but, sure, I'll throw him in there too.

*Sry, I think I still maybe drunk from last night, but onwards I write! Don't judge, we've got a post quota to reach this month, fools!

*RELEASE* Caius - Without You

1/16/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

I like that Caius covers his face in all his album art. He's like Sia, only instead of Cousin-Itt wigs he uses pleasant color blocks. More importantly, it creates an aura of mystery. When he reaches jet-setting levels of fame, he will be able to go to the drug store and buy laxatives no problem. Anyways, we are not here to discuss Sia or digestive issues, but instead Caius' new track "Without You." Armed with just an R&B sample and some mellow synthesizers, this Danish producer has crafted an A+ gem. The world should embrace it with 1 million plays on Soundcloud. For starters, because of that sample. If you lived under a rock at the turn of the millennium, you might not know that Caius is using Ashanti's "Foolish" on this track. Which is a GREAT choice. I'm glad that even though Ashanti never got the super-stardom she deserved***, her spliced up vocals have gained traction in the indie world. We look forward to hearing more from u Caius!! (with or without Ashanti)

***I'm serious guys. Beyonce stole this bitch's career. You listen to "What's Luv" and tell me it's not a masterpiece.

*SUBMISSION* El Mar- The Road EP

1/16/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

1. Favorite Songs- F. YEAH. The start of "Favorite Songs" kicks-off El Mar's latest EP in such a raw and enjoyably dark way. It's perfect for when you have the Sunday scaries—I have learned this from first-hand experience here. The opening verse is so ominous and female-driven, it's like the aural interpretation of that new movie "The Forest." (Maybe that's just because I watched a commercial for Natalie Dormers' latest attempt to be a serious actor while listening to this but 'tevs, I stand by my statement y'all.)  But then **PLOT TWIST** the track evolves into this happy, beachy ditty. I'm a sucker for some lighthearted guitar strumming and a huuuuuge shout-out to that Fleetwood-Mac-styled tambourine in the background! U get me <3.

2. Grow- OoOoOoO, that ambient synth in the beginning. That minimalist yet effective bass. Those idiosyncratic percussion details. I bet Jessica Day from "New Girl" would jam to this while knitting or reading up on the history of women's sufferage (or doing whatever the fuck Jessica Day does for leisure^).This is like the ultimate soundtrack choice if your trying to imitate a super chill 60's L.A. beach party. A weird observation, but you can't deny it's accurate fools.

^but I'm pretty sure I hit the nail on fucking head with those predictions, just saying...

3. Strangers in the Dark- This is so grungy and guitar-heavy, it needed to be created 18 years ago so it could have been used in some quintessential late-90's rom-com. You know, in the scene where everything goes to shit and all the teenagers are angsty AF? This would play and at least two characters would be seen walking down an empty dark road in the pouring rain. I love the inclusion and accentuation of the electric accompaniment here. Who doesn't love a little vintage distortion in their songs, am i riiiiight? (You know, except like 13-yr-old girls and—i assume—the Kardashians, I mean).

4. Dance For The Dead- Okay, so I know it took me until song no. 4 to bring up the honeyed and dynamic harmonies El Mar is serving up, but they are present throughout "The Road." If I had to sum up "Dancing For the Dead" in one sentence, I would say it's reminiscent of an Elle King track with better production. (You'd think if your father was Rob Schneider you'd have some polished percussion backing you up, but, hey, Mr. Schneider never seemed to be the type of man who invests his money—or time—wisely... just look at his IMDB page for evidence).

5. The Road- I feel like this song belongs in a Sara Bareilles musical. It's got an infectious, almost sock-hop-styled bounce to the production prevalent in so many theatrical tracks. But the vocals are pure Barielles-esque bliss. I think it's necessary to say I'm referring to the naturalistic, mid-2000's Sara, not the pop sell-out she is now. Don't get me wrong, "Brave" is amazing, but this sounds nothing like that. This is emotive, it's mellow, and it was the purrrrfect way to end this folksy little indie EP.

Sampa The Great- Blue Boss

1/13/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Big promises with that stage name, Ms. Sampa. That is some Kanye-level narcissism being implied there but I'm kind into it. Judging Sampa on just "Blue Boss" and this DGAF-looking promo photo, I wanna be her best friend, like, yesterday. I need her coat, her dynamic rapping abilities and her air of youthful attitude STAT. & in that order. That coat is fly AF and I'm actually pretty set in the sass department without Ms. Tempo lending me some of her spare 'tude tbh. Maybe that's why I feel such a kinship towards this Australian rapper and the #bo$$bitch quality of latest single. Production-wise, It's like Mura Masa meets Angel Haze but the thing I'm most in love with here is the timelessness of the track. It's so quintessentially twenty-sixteen and yet also so soulful and jazzy. I mean, I obviously don't see a girl scatting these slick verses at a speak-easy in the 1932, but it would definitely soundtrack a Sofia Coppola film about The Cotton Club during it's heyday, yah know?

Bad Wave- Runaway

1/13/2016 tunes4loons 0 Comments

Ugh, I'm not quite sure how I feel about this one friends. On the one hand, I'm digging the throwback power-synth driving the song forward, but I hit some parts of "Runaway" and get the teeniest tiniest voice in the back of my head telling me this kind of belongs in a musical written in 1984... NAWT my favorite genre of music. Nor is it anyone's... except maybe Helen Keller #toosoonstill?. But overall, I'm vibing to Bad Wave's latest. The track is a journey and a fucking half, giving us a delightfully unexpected (but welcome) history of electronic music. "Runaway" is laced with everything from '60's vintage electric guitar to real heavy, emphasized '80's synth. Yet the whole thing still somehow manages to sound contemporary and fresh. Not to mention the whole of track is dripping in perfectly-honeyed pop vocals. That Thomas Mars / Jon Bellion styled singing is the key to any girl's heart, Bad Wave. Never smoke cigarettes. Or insure your vocals chords like they are David Beckham's calves and smoke all yah want! Ur choice. I just thing you should be making some serious denario off of those wonderfully saturated vocals.

Kehlani X WSTRN - In2

1/12/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Yo as it turns out, this song hit #4 in England and has 13 million views on Youtube. Your 10 year old cousin probably knows about it. And now u will too. "In2" is by WSTRN, a trio of Londoners who are signed to Atlantic Records. I assume because they have one song to date, a member of this band is the kid of someone important there. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. After all, nepotism has given us George W. Bush and Gwyneth Paltrow! Nah but for real, this song is perfection. Is islandy R&B a genre? Because it is now. My only complaint is about the arrogance of the male singer in these lyrics. Take for example, the lines, "You'd be lying if you said I wasn't something that you're into / ...Don't need to hide it / You could be mine." I mean....ugh. Did Donald Trump write this? I'm going to get very Lena Dunham for a second and tell you guys that no woman has this much false confidence. Except Jennifer Lopez. Every smoulder she flashes toward a camera screams "YOU'RE WELCOME." She could sing a verse on this song. I would actually like that a lot.  #Remixwishes

Kiiara - Say Anymore

1/12/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Girl, that is the most epic topknot I have ever seen. I rock the topknot most days, and my pitiful hair looks like a deflated ping pong ball. Yours looks like brunette Rapunzel trying an up-do, and I am the most jealous. Besides amazing hair, Kiiara also makes killer tunes. "Say Anymore" is this lady's first 2016 offering, and it's got all the elements we have grown to love about Kiiara. Firstly, hypnotic production. That drum loop is addictive and dance-y. The strings are new for her, and they work really well. Secondly, the electronic chipmunk vocal. I thought for awhile Kiiara was significantly distorting her voice with up-pitching, but I heard some Insta footage and she really sounds like that. It's cool as fuck and makes me excited to one day see her perform. Nothing is worse than discovering someone you loved on Hype Machine actually made their voice with garage band. It's like musical cat-fishing. Well Kiiara don't catfish no one y'all.

*RELEASE* CHINAH - We Go Back (Jarami Remix ft. Skizzy Mars)

1/12/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Oh hell yes. CHINAH's cut "We Go Back" has been given a glorious remix treatment, incorporating superstars (of my heart) Skizzy Mars and Jarami. The tempo's ratcheted up, the vocals are slightly distorted, and there's a dude delivering pleasant rap at the end. There's nothing not to like about it. And I think we need to appreciate that. A remix is like plastic surgery. When it's done right, you don't even notice it. You're basically Jane Fonda at the Golden Globes last weekend (seriously bow down bitches. She's 70 and looks better than I do at #24). When done wrong, you could look like...all the Real Housewives combined. This remix is the Jane Fonda of remixes. Bravo. Plus, that album artwork is so pretty. It looks like Jumanji without the aggressive wildebeests and poisonous flowers. A+.

LIVE! REVIEW & INTERVIEW: XYLØ (Mercury Lounge 12/15/2015)

1/09/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

Tunes4Loons has been following XYLØ and their brooding pop for an indie eternity (9 months), so naturally we freaked over the chance to see them live last month. This was their first New York gig, and they did not disappoint. Not only did they bring a stellar performance, they let us black out with them afterwards. Plus they were so kind and gave us an interview. Here are some notes on our almost-"Almost Famous" evening.

The band goes on promptly at 8pm. The crowd is filled with hipsters, Robert Pattinson (no lie), and a lot of A&R people. For those who don't know, A&R = talent scouts from record labels. I identified these people because they were old men wearing suits. Who knows though, maybe the partners at Goldman Sachs just have hip taste in music. Anyways, XYLØ's music was as magical live as on record. Paige Duddy's voice sounded exactly the same. For as tranquil as their tracks seem ("America", "Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea"), they did a great job of pumping the crowd up. Very high energy vibe in the room. Or they spiked our drinks with molly. There was a more rock vibe to their older tracks, but I suspect that will fall to the wayside as they build a longer set-list.  

Something that really stuck out to us was their command of the stage. Paige's stage presence literally was the inspiration for Beyoncé's "Diva". And her trendy outfit only perpetuated her air of sass. She wore a Steve Jobs turtleneck and rocked the black leather pants like Ross Geller never could. I found myself distracted by whether her boots went under her pants, or she had fashioned some sort of leather pant-boot garment*. We asked her later about this, no joke, I was that determined to know the truth. They were two separate items, just destined to be paired together.

*Laugh at me now, but in 5 years one of the Kardashians will actually be rocking a pair of bants (no, poots, I like poots better), mark my words. 

After the show, we kicked our "stalk the band" mission into high gear in pursuit of an interview. I swear we were acting like Anderson Cooper after he's choppered into a Middle Eastern city by CNN. Once we made contact with Paige, she was the shit and let us put drinks on the band's tab. We were eternally grateful and now sufficiently drunk. Like young #professionals.

In the next chapter of this stranger-than-fiction night, they invited us to come back to their hotel with them and their entourage. Since we didn't care about the consequences of hangovers or our dignities at work the next day, we went with them. Our quest for an interview continued. Instead of getting it, we drank 15 vodka sodas at the hotel nightclub and gushed over band member's pics of their babies. To sum up the night, everyone was lovely, and we were boozy monsters. Honestly, their manager probably conspired with the bouncer on how to throw us out, but in the nick of time we left voluntarily. We think. Work the next morning was worse than going to a DMB concert sober. We didn't get our interview this night, but Paige and Chase filled out our questions and emailed them back to us (angels!):

T4L: How did you decide to pursue a musical career? Did you grow up playing music at all?
Chase Duddy: We grew up in a family of professional musicians. I started playing the drums from the moment I could hold drumsticks. Our grandfather Joe Porcaro (a jazz drummer/percussionist) has been my teacher and mentor since day one. He, along with our uncles (Jeff, Mike, and Steve Porcaro), and a few others were the ones who inspired me to pursue music as my career. I started making money as a drummer as a early teen doing recording sessions and playing live gigs, tours with different bands and artists. It wasn’t until I was in my early to mid 20’s that I started getting into producing, composing and playing instruments other than the drums.
Paige Duddy: I always loved to sing growing up, but it wasn't until around 18 that Chase and I started working together in the studio and something clicked. He was already a professional drummer and producer, so when we got together he was able to sort of show me the ropes. It wasn’t long after us collaborating that our music got placed in some adverts and I realized I could actually pursue this full time.

T4L: What are your musical influences and idols? What did you grow up listening to?
Chase: Theres been so many different phases I’ve gone through over the years that I think has influenced me. Classic rock, motown, hardcore, hip hop, jazz, pop. People like John Bonham, Jeff Porcaro, Kanye, Michael Jackson, John Lennon. I think for the most part Paige and I like the same music though.
Paige: My grandfather, Joe Porcaro, has always been a huge influence to me. He was the reason I initially felt a passion for music. I grew up listening to a lot of hip hop, rap and pop music. Chase and I grew up listening to many different artists, from Kanye to Led Zeppelin, but we have a very similar taste in music and pretty much share the same Spotify playlists.

T4L: How did you come up with your stage name?
XYLØ: It was our grandfathers license plate in the 70's . Short for xylophone.

T4L: How has being related affected the dynamic of the band? Do you think you're more honest with, and critical of, each other as a result?
Chase: Definitely. Artistically, we like a lot of the same things. We're very collaborative but at the same time can be pretty blunt with one another. When being in the studio I think its important to have a comfortable atmosphere. Its hard to have that experience when working with someone you don’t really know. You can’t really be as honest as you can with your sibling. This isn’t always a good thing ;)
Paige: We can tell each other to calm down if need be cause we're siblings. Overall we have grown to be a lot more patient with each other over the last 18 months.

T4L: What is your writing process like? Solitary or more collaborative?
Chase: Collaborative. Most of the songs so far we’ve written with our guitarist, Lee. The production/mixing ends up being very solitary for me. It gives me the time to experiment and not feel rushed.
Paige: Each one of us bring something different to the table and it’s the unique chemistry that we have that seems to be resonating with our listeners.

T4L: We've noticed there's a melancholy tone to your music and we feel like it's unique compared to other stuff we see out of L.A. Do you feel like your sound is different than most of the acts coming from SoCal?
Chase: Haven't ever thought about that honestly. I think were just making music that we want to listen to thats true to who we are. We're not trying to be pop, brooding, or fit into a genre.
Paige: Yes because I think we challenge the stereotype of a typical band from California. We have love songs about LA but they don't always have a happy ending.

T4L: As an artist, what do you think is the most valuable thing about social media? To get your music to reach a wider audience or to see the reaction to what you've put out there?
XYLØ:I think both are important but at this point we are definitely trying to reach a wider audience.

T4L: We've noticed you're really interactive on social media (thanks for that by the way!), do you feel like seeing people's reactions/positive and negative feedback influences your writing process?
Chase: Not necessarily. We're conscious of the comments and appreciate all the support that we receive, its been really positive. But either way, that doesn't sway our writing process.
Paige: We are extremely appreciative of people going out of their way to leave a comment or like a photo, so yes we do our best to reply. We can't ever let positive or negative feedback affect our writing. We've been true to ourselves up until this point, and we'll continue to do so!

T4L: You just signed to Sony! What's next now that you've signed? Do you have any plans for an EP or tour?
XYLØ: Yes! We're going to release our EP in early 2016 with some music videos. There will be lots of live shows and touring eventually.

T4L: Do you get stage fright? If so, how do you deal with it?
Chase: For the most part no. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been doing this for a long time. If anything I get more nervous about having technical issues with electronics during our show. I do like to bring a tequila on stage with me though.
Paige: I get a little nervous. One vodka tonic before the show and a few deep breathes when we walk on stage

T4L: What are you listening to right now?
Chase: Travis Scott - Piss on Your Grave (feat. Kanye West)
Paige: I'm in a car in London and I'm listening to some remix of Hello by Adele on Kiss FM.

T4L: If you could collaborate with one other act, who would it be?
Chase: Lana Del Rey
Paige: Kanye West


Would you rather...

Wear oven mitts for a year or ski boot?
Chase: I can't make music with oven mitts on....boots.
Paige: Oven mitts.

Own an elephant-sized puppy or puppy-sized elephant?
Chase: Puppy-sized elephant.
Paige: Puppy-sized elephant.

A head the size of a tennis ball or the size of a watermelon?
Chase: Watermelon.
Paige: Watermelon.

Never listen to Christmas music again or only listen to only listen to Christmas music?
Chase: Never listen to Christmas music again.
Paige: Never listen to Christmas music again.

Live in the house of your dreams but it doesn't have internet, or live where you are forever? 
Chase: House of my dreams.
Paige: House of my dreams.

Would you rather be the famous author of Twilight or the famous author of 
every Nickelback song?
Chase: Twilight.
Paige: TWILIGHT (I see what you did there)

THANKS TO XYLØ and check them out on Soundcloud, y'all!!:

LIVE! Review: The Walking Sticks (Mercury Lounge 12/15/2015)

1/09/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

The Walking Sticks opened for XYLØ at Mercury Lounge, and damn. This D.C. trio killed it, y'all. Their dynamic fusion of 80's dance music and contemporary dream pop was the quintessential start to my Tuesday night. Usually I only associate D.C. with distopian-styled subway stations and semi-adequate BBQ, but the The Walking Sticks have changed my tune!

And dat voice! Chelsea Lee, you poetic and noble land-mermaid!! (yes, I stole that compliment from future President of the United States, Leslie Knope, but it really sums up my feelings oh too perfectly). You have a great stage presence; comfortable, but not acting like you are God's gift to Mercury Lounge. That's called Madonna syndrome, and we are thankful you don't have it. I love the Walking Sticks despite the fact that their light show is almost causing my first seizure. Highlights include "Name On It" and "The News."

A couple of miscellaneous notes: Chelsea looked like she had hit up the American Apparel fire sale right before she got on stage, but she rocked it. My only complaint is that I spent way too much of the set distracted, wondering if the two boys were twins. After an arduous research session for informational recon (okay, fine, a Google search) I can confirm that they are, and I am not crazy. Well, the jury's still out on that second part, but I digress.

Travis Scott - Wonderful (ft. The Weeknd)

1/06/2016 Tunes For Loons 0 Comments

This song makes me want to eat Quaaludes at a seedy house party. Considering the two gentlemen involved here, this should surprise no one. The Weeknd is the king of drugged-out party noir, and Travis Scott is ...the auto-tune king of it. It's funny, for as similar as I perceive these artists to be, there is a war raging between their respective fans in the Youtube comments of the video. You do you, trolls. Anyways, I dig this song. It's exactly what you would expect: an ominous auto-tune frenzy. "Wonderful" actually has a pretty slow-burning tempo, but the Weeknd's vocals are so high energy they lift the vibe up. What a year that guy's had am I rite? This is his 3rd feature appearance on a song in literally 3 weeks. Slow your roll Abel. JK, please continue to make music at the same pace Kevin Hart makes movies. #alot