Category Archives: Spotlight

Who and what we are looking forward to

Smooth Waves: Best of April Playlist

bestofapril

What a month it’s been. New music from all sorts of people, Mick Jenkins, Lil Yachty, Drake and Action Bronson to name a few. We also got a new album from ASAP Ferg and Drake’s Views From The 6 is coming out in the next 3 days. What a time to be alive. The playlist below has sounds from all the big names of the month and some new names that you might not know. Spanning from Appleby, the mysterious Chicago artist who has yet to show his face, and I’m willing to bet you haven’t heard before, to “All The Way Up” by Fat Joe (yeah that rapper from 2006). Give it a listen below, you won’t be disappointed.

Written by Jesse Wiles

Playlist by Asa Hatten and Jesse Wiles

Advertisements

Kanye West continuing to mix “The Life Of Pablo” is a significant step for all artists, producers and engineers

3056803-poster-p-1-the-life-of-the-life-of-pablo.jpgTired of hearing about Kanye? Well as a music producer myself, I’m not. Yes I’m a fan and yes I might be one of those kids who will sit there and try to defend Kanye to anyone who completely bashes him but so what? From a musical standpoint, what he is doing with his latest album The Life Of Pablo and “Wolves” especially, is amazing.

Yesterday, Kanye updated one of the most talked about songs, before it’s release, on Tidal. He changed quite a bit actually. The original “final mix” consisted of a song structure that went from; Kanye’s auto-tune intro/chorus,  first and only long verse, vocal interlude that slides into Frank Ocean’s outro. Ye dropped both Vic Mensa and Sia’s part from the live performances they did late last year. That is a significant amount of heard content that Kanye excluded.

Kanye West, Vic Mensa & Sia live performing “Wolves”

As an aspiring music producer and audio engineer, the fact that Kanye and only Kanye is in complete control of the final product that is being streamed on Tidal, is so amazing creatively but also a big deal for the music industry and other artists. Yes, Kanye works with a lot of people to put out this final project in the studio, but just the fact that he has the final say on how something sounds and how it is being broadcasted sonically is a huge step forward for any artist. This is something that music hubs like soundcloud and audiomack have been offering for year. But Kanye, a major label artist, is doing this through Tidal, one of three major market streaming services beside Apple Music and Spotify.

For “Wolves 2.0,” Ye adds some more drum layers, adds Vic Mensa and Sia’s part, changes a ton of vocal effects and adds some ad libs on his ending sequence. What else is crazy is that he pushed Frank Ocean’s little vocal ditty to it’s own song. This is so much music to re-engineer, mix, master, edit and manipulate three weeks after the official release.

What this means for artists, producers and engineers is this, why settle for something that you already released to the public if you still believe you could do better. A lot of people that I have worked in music with before have all expressed how musicianship is full of constant changes. Hell, this is half the reason I can’t hardly finish a song because I’m never satisfied with final mixes and song structures. I always want more and more change. If you ever have preformed live in any matter, you’ll know that no performance is the same. You are constantly adjusting almost every small detail in your sound. That is why they say music is a gift that keeps on giving.

By Kanye West continuing to change a major label release such as The Life Of Pablo, it is helping pushing the boundaries of contemporary artistry and musicianship and challenges the idea that the music that he is making is in his complete control and not in the hands of these major labels. Artists, producers and engineers keeping making music, keep updating it and never be satisfied. Because that next edit or change you want to make to a mix could be what ends up getting noticed. Who really knows?

“Wolves” is one hell of a song though no matter how many times Kanye changes it. I hope he continues to mix and changes his stuff. Who really knows what could come next??

Written by Erik Lindberg

Review: Schoolboy puts together a masterpiece only he could

915C20E9-C990-2D53-39DD9C2F29CAFAC9

 

At first glance, Blank Face appears messy and out of control. With 17 songs and 13 features it seemed impossible that anyone could organize all of that into a cohesive, well rounded album. Somehow Schoolboy Q and TDE have everything under control. They have packaged and delivered one of the best albums of 2016.

The album begins with the bizarre, slightly cracked-out street banger, “TorcH,” which serves as the best intro of the year. Schoolboy drops some of his toughest bars in recent memory while the irresistible Anderson .Paak can be heard at the beginning, and is presumably supplying ad-lib style background vocals. If one song could encapsulate an artist, this would be the one for Schoolboy Q due to it’s eclectic assortment of sounds and emotions.

“Lord Have Mercy” is the second, shortest and undoubtedly the most intimate song on the album. A soul sample is looped in the background as Schoolboy gets personal. “I’m a gangbanger, deadbeat father and drug dealer… Runnin’ from God’s creation,” raps Q. He seems to be torn between sticking with his old ways and pursuing different possibilities for him and his daughter.

The Kanye West-assisted “THat Part” gets the album back on an upbeat, in your face direction and creates a perfect segue into the two-part song “Groovy Tony/ Eddie Kane.” The first half of the double feature, “Groovy Tony,” features a guest verse from the OG Jada Kiss. His gravelly delivery scrapes across the beat, flirting with discord. Schoolboy is incredibly aggressive on both parts of the song, supplying a relentless barrage of rapid fire gangster rap.

A few songs later, the Ramona Park legend Vince Staples jumps in to help Schoolboy on “Ride Out.” The bass in this song is so heavy that it could crack a windshield. Staples and Q trade violent verses while reflecting on their respective hoods, a gangster ballad not for the faint of heart.

Another West Coast legend, E-40, drops by for a verse on “Dope Dealer.” E-40 dances over the Metro Boomin’ and Southside produced track with ease while Schoolboy flaunts his skills as a drug dealer extraordinaire.

The most lighthearted song on the album, “Big Body,” is an ode to big Benzes, thick women and big money. Tyler The Creator handles production and offers up a bouncy beat that is a breath of fresh air compared to the previous 10 songs.

As things begin to wind down Schoolboy once again calls on .Paak. This time for the title track. “Blank Face” begins with a sing-song verse from .Paak that lasts for over a minute, possibly the strongest guest contribution on the album. The combination of the no-holds-barred rapping from Schoolboy and the groovy singing from .Paak is like yellow mustard on potato chips – surprisingly good.

On a radio-friendly, but underwhelming note, the album nears its end with “Overtime” featuring Miguel and Justine Skye. Against Schoolboy’s wishes, the label insisted on including this song. “Tookie Knows II” is the last song and part on an ongoing song series that spans back two albums to the 2012 release of Habit’s & Contradictions. These songs don’t take anything away from the album, and likewise don’t bring anything to the table.

 Blank Face is a schizophrenic arrangement of sounds that continues TDE’s winning streak. Q picks up where Oxymoron left off, albeit unconventionally. On Oxymoron there was a fine line between party anthem and introspection. Blank Face blurs that line and creates an even stronger project where one can find something new with every listen.

Written by Jesse Wiles

Wildwiles’ top 10 albums of 2015

  2015 was a wild year for rap. There was almost too much music. Every week there was a new Future album or mixtape, almost everyday there was a new song featuring Young Thug & Meek Mill’s career came to a tragic end while Drake continued to flourish as only he can. With everything happening it was tough to pick favorites, but everyone loves lists. So here’s my list of the best albums of 2015, in no particular order.

SremmLife/ Rae Sremmurd

rae-sremmurd-sremm-life-ep-cver

If you didn’t think this was one of the hardest albums of the year stop reading right now. Swae Lee and Slim Jimmy created the most energetic and fully charged project I’ve heard in years. These songs are made for Vine, you can layer these over any World Star video and the outcome will have thousands of views. At first that bothered me, then I stopped taking things so seriously and realized I loved this album. Writer Eric Zaworski wrote that “SremmLife sounds like how cheap vodka works — it burns a little, yeah, but it gets you there.” Pretty much spot on review of the album.

Listen to “No Flex Zone,” “Come Get Her,” “No Type” and “This Could Be Us.”

Listen to SremmLife while you’re pregaming or throwing a banger.

Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?/ Father

fd59d420eada361b6faab1c52462efbc.560x560x1

In Father’s own words, this album is “32-mins of pure, unfiltered debauchery,” and he’s exactly right. Father had a big 2015. To be heard in Atlanta right now you’ve gotta be good, and Father is. His delivery is strictly his own, you won’t mistake a Father track for anyone else. For those of you who insist that the only reason he’s big is because Makonnen was on “Wrist,” please step off. The man has created his own, original aesthetic that looks as though it was influenced by everything from the early Odd Future days to tumblr to amateur porn. Every single one of the tracks on Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? is addicting. As a white kid that’s not super musically talented I can rap along to this with no problem, and that makes me super happy. This isn’t “New Atlanta” or “that ATL sound” this is Awful Records at its best.

Best songs are “Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First?” “Spoil You Rotten” and “BET Uncut,” but honestly the entire album is beautiful and short, so listen to everything.

Listen to Who’s Gonna Get Fucked First? while you’re turning up, turning down or anything in between.
*Awful Record songstress Abra also gets a nod for her debut album ROSE, which was awesome and would definitely be on this list if it was top 20.

I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside/ Earl Sweatshirt

6283beab

Earl isn’t one of my favorite artists, but I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside changed that for me. I think I listened to this album the most out of any on the list. This is the best piece of work that Earl has ever put out, much better than Doris. From the first song to the last it flows effortlessly. The moody, slightly dark (but not too dark) production is very similar from track to track and if you’re listening while doing something you may not even know the song has switched. As a whole, I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside is incredibly grim and to the point. This rap shit isn’t a game. Earl is finding himself and it sounds good, very good.

The best songs on the album are “Mantra,” “Faucet,” “Grief,” and “Wool.”

Listen to I Don’t Like Shit I Don’t Go Outside when you’re deep in your feelings, but not on some Drake shit.

Summertime ’06/ Vince Staples

staples_CVR-db71ba9f248d7a88288a8820dd029db8d25e5022

Vince Staples likes to joke on Twitter, but when it comes to rapping there’s nothing funny. Summertime 06 is scary, it’s honest, it’s dark and it’s straight to the point. Staples has always had a straightforward approach to rap and Summertime 06 puts that on display. The album has two discs, 20 songs and somehow comes out to a little less than an hour in total play time. No I.D. handled the production on the album and did a great job of telling the story alongside Vince. Harsh, distorted guitar strings and deep, empty synths paint a foreboding, dark image in the listener’s mind.

My favorite songs on the album are “Norf Norf,” “Summertime,” and “Dopeman.”

Listen to Summertime 06 while you’re hanging out with your homies or chilling by yourself. There’s a few turnup tracks but that’s not really what they’re made for.

iLoveMakonnen2/ Makonnen

ilovemakonnen-2-ep-560x560

From his smash hit “Tuesday” to his release of Drink More Water 5, to the present Makonnen has been growing steadily as an artist. ILoveMakonnen2 is the most mature project the singer/rapper/trapper has put out. His limited voice shines throughout. Each song has its own mood, ranging from melancholy to upbeat to hopeful. From rapping about talking to his plug on the phone (“Trust Me Danny”) or singing about wanting a second chance (“Second Chance”) Makonnen’s musical arsenal is on full display and every song is a hit. His voice isn’t for everyone, but everyone should give ILM2 a chance.

Some of the best songs are “Trust Me Danny,” “Second Chance,” and “Being Alone With You.”

Listen to ILoveMakonnen2 while you’re getting twisted in any way, shape or form.

GO:OD AM/ Mac Miller

4fc1aead02c11b811983fecd8bb712ac.600x600x1

From frat-rap nonsense that started a whole sub genre of white college aged rappers (horrible), to his experimental sounding album Watching Movies With The Sound Off (not that bad), to the ambitious 2014 release of arguably the best mixtape of the year in Faces (super good) Mac Miller has had a crazy career. The music has been changing steadily and so has Mac. Both he and the music are finally headed in the right direction. GOOD AM was the perfect follow up to Faces for Mac. This is a very large and involved album. You can tell there was a lot of time taken in choosing the final songs and who would be featured on it. While there is a lot of serious content on the album, especially concerning Mac’s drug problems and depression, it doesn’t sit on the listener in a heavy way. There’s something upbeat about the whole project. Mac is back, in a better place, refreshed and rejuvenated.

Standout tracks are “Brandname,” “100 Grandkids,” “Cut The Check” and “Time Flies.”

Listen to GOOD AM in any setting, not necessarily party music but definitely nice to throw on in the background.

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late/ Drake

drake-releases-if-youre-reading-this-its-too-late-mixtape

Do I even need to say anything about this? Honestly. Even your grandmother has heard a track off this. Drake is at some unprecedented levels of hot right now. Even that “Hotline Bling” video was hot and he looked like a suburban dad who had one to many Bud Lights tryna dance on the patio. That being said, IYRTITL was awesome, in every way possible. 17 tracks long and only three features (two of which were PND). It was all Drake in the best way on this.

My favorite tracks were “10 Bands,” “6 Man,” & “Star67.”

You can listen to this album at any time of day, in any mood, and it’ll still be relevant. Thanks Drake.

Wave[s]/ Mick Jenkins

65f5df26

Mick Jenkins has been my favorite artist to just sit and listen to since The Water[s] and Wave[s] was no exception. This project was a little more upbeat and less retrospective in many ways. Mick went out of his comfort zone, or perhaps made public his comfort zone for the first time. Going in over a variety of interesting beats produced by Kaytranada and ThemPeople that I’m not sure he would have sounded as good on just last year. Overall, Mick’s transition from The Water[s] to Wave[s] was flawless and left me wondering what THC will have in store for listeners.

Listen to “Piano,” “Your Love,” “Alchemy” and “Perception.”

Listen to Wave[s] while you think about life and love, or while you’re kicking it lowkey with a group of close friends.

Dirty Sprite 2/ Future

443726-91301

Man, I don’t know where to start with Dirty Sprite 2. From a musical standpoint I can’t stand Future. From a responsible humanist standpoint I can’t stand Future. But, despite everything, I found myself turning to DS2 all the time following the release. The whole codeine thing in hip hop really pisses me off. Especially with the death of YAM$ last year. Rappers know what it’s doing to their bodies and they know the influence they have on their listeners yet they continue to glorify it. Whatever though, thanks to Future it’s once again at the forefront of rap. Know that you know how I feel about all that let me just say that DS2 SLAPS, it’s one of the hardest projects of the year. If I threw a party I would just shuffle this album. “Throught It Was a Drought” had everybody wanting Gucci flip flops. Future did us all dirty with this one.

Listen to “Thought it Was a Drought,” “Real Sisters” and “Slave Master.”

Listen to DS2 while you’re lost in the dirty, facing a blunt or hanging out.

Samantha/ Toro Y Moi

ToroSamanthaCover

Toro Y Moi came through with the most pleasantly surprising project of the year. One that I’ve found myself turning to countless times as I sit and blankly stare at my computer screen at midnight in the library or walk back to my dorm room slightly sauced on a Friday. Full of one or two-minute sketches and r&b/soul samples this project plays as more of a tv show, while everything else on the list is a movie. Kool A.D. and Rome Fortune both contribute to this album with some verses and provide a nice hint of rap. The overall feeling on the project is the struggle of being in love, which is showcased by Toro’s use of a lengthy sample from the movie The Notebook, a move that could have been VERY CORNY. This is my favorite project from Toro Y Moi in awhile, I’ll be playing this one deep into 2016.

Listen to “Stoned at the MOMA,” “Late” and “Late.”

Listen to this album while you’re studying or having troubles with your significant other.

Darkest Before Dawn/ Pusha T

bb9b04bdda63c9fbf6fcddab5bcaae84.1000x1000x1

If King Push—Darkest Before Dawn: The Prelude is really just a prelude to King Push then I don’t think anyone is ready for what’s to come from the GOOD Music head honcho. Push is currently doing his best work since his Hell Hath No Fury days. Crazy, boisterous beats, raw flow, disgusting lyricism and an aesthetic that’s darker and crueler than satan himself, Push has been finetuning this for years. While most of Pusha’s would-be competitors have been living in the spotlight, be that on Twitter or beefing with others, Push has taken a backseat and watched the landscape spread out in front of him, waiting to play his card. Surrounded by a team that’s just as hungry and talented as he, King Push will be one of the best albums of 2016. Darkest Before Dawn came and went relatively quietly with it’s late release, however, it’s undoubtedly one of the best albums of the year. All hail King Push.

Top 3 songs are “Untouchable,” “MPA” and “Sunshine.”

Listen to this before you commit a crime… Just kidding, sorta.

Written by Jesse Wiles

 

Urban Astray’s Top 10 Albums of 2015

2015 was about rulebreakers and genre benders. Independent artists shined, not as notable underdogs, but as chart toppers. Established artists had a lot to prove: Bieber did it through deliberate hard work and Drizzy did it effortlessly. Vulnerability paid off and beautiful projects were born from reflections on insecurity and isolation. The best music was often hard hitting and unapologetic on addressing social issues, yet there was still a lot of room for feeling hopeful. A fresh new year is upon us, but these projects don’t need to be forgotten (unlike the time you got too drunk and threw up out the window of a cab). Cheers to 2016 while still enjoying the best of 2015.

Surf / Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment

the-social-experiment-surf-coverThe best way to describe Surf is as a true gem: freshly cut, timeless and not to mention, literally priceless. The highly anticipated and independently produced album spearheaded by Donnie Trumpet with Chance the Rapper’s band The Social Experiment was released as a free download on iTunes at the end of May. There are many uncredited features throughout the album including Big Sean, Jeremih, B.o.B., Busta Rhymes, Janelle Monae, BJ the Chicago Kid, Raury, King Louie and many others, making it a truly collaborative effort. It’s jazzy; it’s clever; it’s positive. Chance’s unmistakable voice is essential to the record, but you can feel he doesn’t want to be the focus. It’s about what all of them love to do: make great music with their closest friends. The happiness and excitement the group has to be working together really molds the vibe of the record.

Top tracks: “Wanna Be Cool,” “Familiar,” “Sunday Candy”
Listen to Surf on Sunday nights when you start feeling sad about the weekend coming to an end.

Wave[s] / Mick Jenkins

65f5df26

Mick Jenkins followed his breakout and critically acclaimed project of The Water[s] with Wave[s] this year. Wave[s] continues where The Water[s] left off, with themes of truth seeking and critical consciousness, references to his home base of Chicago and ginger ale. “They say I be talking about water too much,” Jenkins says in the intro track, “Alchemy.” Jenkins is unaffected by public response to his work, whether praise or hate. He maintains the same confidence he had in The Water[s] as he delivers intricately crafted bars and essentially waits patiently to be understood by the majority of his audience. Jenkins is unapologetic, even when it comes to his followers like in “Get up Get Down”: “Came in this bitch with intentions to black out / The audience all white I thought we been blacks out.” One of the strongest tracks though, “Your Love” is a brief reprieve from hard hitting bars. Instead, sensual verses go straight into the catchiest hook of the album. Wave[s] isn’t just an album that should be heard; it’s an album that should be paid attention.

Top tracks: “Alchemy,” “Your Love,” “P’s & Q’s”
Listen to Wave[s] when you’re getting faded.

And After That, We Didn’t Talk / GoldLink

GoldLink-album-art

GoldLink has been making some seriously vibey music. Not even including several singles released as of late, And After That, We Didn’t Talk is stacked with quality tracks. He’s provocative and smooth at the same time. The beats on this album are major and GoldLink’s vocals are killer. Seriously, do not sleep on GoldLink.

Top tracks: “Spectrum,” “Dance on Me,” “Late Night”
Listen to And After That, We Didn’t Talk late night, drinking cheap white wine and contemplating texting an old flame.

Purpose / Justin Bieber

JB_Purpose-digital-deluxe-album-cover_lr

As soon as I heard Justin Bieber’s feature on “Where Are ü Now” for Jack ü’s (Diplo and Skrillex) album I knew they all had hit gold as far as serendipitous, symbiotic music relationships go. And Bieber remains tapped into that successful pulse for Purpose as he combines his vocal skills with sounds crafted by some of the most talented producers in the business (Skrillex, Big Sean, Travi$ Scott, Ed Sheeran, Nas) to create a vibe that even the most critical of music connoisseurs are able to appreciate and enjoy. There is a sense of earnestness and sincerity from Bieber that hasn’t been present since the “Baby” and “One Time” stage of his career. The album is filled with hits; besides the super popular singles some of the best and less overplayed tracks are “I’ll Show You”, “No Sense” featuring Travi$ Scott and “Love Yourself” featuring Halsey. Whether you publicly root for him or not, it’s hard to deny the quality of Purpose and to deny having ever gotten even a little turnt to “Sorry” at a pregame.

Top tracks: “Sorry,” “What Do You Mean?,” “I’ll Show You”
Listen to Purpose while pregaming for a night out and obviously when it comes on at the club and you have no other choice.

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late / Drake

drake-releases-if-youre-reading-this-its-too-late-mixtape

“Please do not speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago / I’m at a higher place,” Drizzy raps on the track “No Tellin’”. But his assertion is in fact “telling” of the tone of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late: a confidence and calculated chill from an artist that feels completely secure about his role in the rap game. Very early on in 2015, IYRTITL set the tone for the rest of Drake’s super hot year of hotline blinging and Grammy nominated diss tracks. IYRTITL is as much about our culture at this present moment as it is about Drake becoming a fully established, well, legend to use his own term. Despite the incessant rat race of social media, Drizzy cheekily reminds us with the album title that we’re not “on it” unless we we’re actually on it; the moment the tape dropped the events of the future (probably even collabs with Future, get it?) had already been set in motion. The idea that it was supposed to be a mixtape adds to its rawness and currency. Drizzy is serious.

Top tracks: “10 Bandz,” “Energy,” “Know Yourself”
Listen to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late when you’re feeling yourself or need an attitude along those lines.

M3LL155X / FKA twigs

8ecb4c9b2230bae7c70179ac1f24fb2c.680x680x1

M3LL155X is only five tracks long, but it’s not too little of anything, in any way. FKA twigs continues to produce majorly intense, sexy vibes. Her unusually sensual vocals and heavy synthetic beats are really a treat to the ears. Like velvet for the ears. Honestly, twigs is probably one of the only people that can ask “Do you have a lighter?” and make you seriously feel some type of way.

Top tracks: “In Time,” “Glass and Patron,” “Mothercreep”
Listen to M3LL155X when you’re spending some quality time with yourself or a significant other, if you know what I mean.

I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside / Earl Sweatshirt

earl-idontlikeshit-560x560

 

Earl Sweatshirt’s I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside is a project that is really strong in it’s 30 minute entirety. Each track seamlessly flows into the other, creating a full dark and brooding narrative. It’s depressing and yet easy to listen to. Although the material is heavy, the delivery is casual, making it digestible. The beats are unique and interesting yet familiar; you can imagine them being made in some dingy basement on some dusty keyboard surrounded by furniture that had been there since the seventies with ancient looking half curtains only letting small amounts of light into the space. It’s an album that can’t just be listened to once. It takes time to take it all in.

Top tracks: “Wool,” “Huey,” “Grief”
Listen to I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside in your headphones while commuting and avoiding eye contact with fellow travelers.

GO:OD AM / Mac Miller

large

 

Mac Miller spent close two years away from the public, mostly just making music in his home studio. GO:OD AM is one product of the nine full length albums worth of material he said he made during his hiatus. It’s a happier, hopeful Mac to add to the maturity and growth we saw from him in Faces. The final product wasn’t completely introverted; included are a variety of features from Ab-Soul to Chief Keef. GO:OD AM has Miller’s familiar lazy flows and seriously clever lines (“But what’s God without a little OD? Just a G”), but fresher. Very dope, Mac, very dope.

Top tracks: “100 Grandkids,” “Weekend (feat. Miguel),” “In the Bag”
Listen to GO:OD AM while surfing the net or hanging out on your porch or getting ready in the morning. That seems appropriate.

Blurryface / Twenty One Pilots

top_cover_1

Twenty One Pilots hit the complete mainstream in 2015 with the release of Blurryface and their subsequent touring throughout the year. It was wild to see the Columbus, Ohio natives performing with A$AP Rocky at the MTV Video Music Awards in September, but also encouraging that their super unique style is one that appeals to many. In Tyler Joseph’s own words in the track “Heavydirtysoul”: “This is not rap, this is not hip-hop.” Twenty One Pilots is hard to categorize, but then again why does it even matter? Whatever type of music it is, it’s good. Blurryface is brilliantly meta; many lyrics speak about insecurities Joseph has as an artist and where he feels the duo fits in the music industry and his predictions on how they will be received in general. “Tear In My Heart” is the one “love song” on the album, but it’s anything from conventional with the lyric: “The songs on the radio are okay, but my taste in music is your face.” Like, if someone legitimately said that to you, you’d have to consider marriage. I’d like to think he’s pleasantly surprised by their success, or maybe he knew all along the work he produces is music people want to hear when they had no idea they were even searching for it.

Top tracks: “Stressed Out,” “Ride,” “Tear In My Heart”
Listen to Blurryface on road trips with your best friends.

Dark Night, Sweet Light / Hermitude

ACE118_Hermitude_DarkNightSweetLight_1500px

The duo of Luke Dubs and El Gusto are extremely talented and innovative when it comes to electronic music and Dark Night, Sweet Light is a testament to that. The track “Ukiyo” has a super amazing sound that evokes almost euphoric feelings. Overall the album has a unique energy, while simultaneously being very laid back and calm. If Dark Night, Sweet Light was a state of mind, it would be how you feel in the first moments of being tipsy. Do you feel the buzz?

Top tracks: “Ukiyo,” “The Buzz (Mataya & Young Tapz),” “Midnight Terrain”
Listen to Dark Night, Sweet Light while working out or dancing at a house party (bonus points if some sort of light show is involved).

Written by Claire Miller