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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417


Echo & The Bunnymen, an English rock band that fuses alternative music with neo-psychedelia, are popular for many reasons. For starters, their frontman Ian McCulloch crafts brilliant, brooding song after brilliant, brooding song (“Lips Like Sugar,” “Angels and Devils,” etcetera). Additionally, each Echo & The Bunnymen album is awash with heavenly guitar licks, introspective lyrics, and a distinctly 80s sound that today’s hipsters obsess over (is there anything from the 80s that hipsters won’t obsess over?). With these observations in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that many 21st Century bands are trying to imitate the aforementioned group’s style, and chief among these imitators are Tampa, Florida’s up-and-coming superstars: Merchandise.       

Merchandise’s latest single, “Enemy” (released in preparation for After The Dark, their much-anticipated 4AD debut), succeeds in not only milking The Bunnymen’s sound flawlessly, but also surpassing it in many respects. Guitarist Dave Vassalotti’s riffs are infectiously poppy, singer Carson Cox’s voice is reminiscent of a crooning, drug-addled Morrissey, and the song’s chorus oozes from Bose headphones like honey laced with DMT. Hell, this single is so goddamn catchy that even its indecipherable (not to mention inaudible) lyrics fail to detract from the music’s overall quality. In short, I encourage those who enjoy old sounds with fresh twists to check out “Enemy,” because you won’t just be surprised; You’ll be pleasantly surprised.  Check out the video below and look for After The Dark on August 4th.

-Katt M.

Merchandise – Enemy

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Adult Jazz

I’ll be the first to admit, it has been a while.  A long, long while.  Things have been a little hectic with finishing up school and figuring out what to do with the rest of life.  But like that stain on the wall that just won’t come out, The Collective Tour is back with new and incredible music to scintillate your ears.  It’s hard to find long sprawling songs that can keep me entertained.  Usually, anything past six minutes is pushing it, but Adult Jazz have just proven a ten minute jam can remain beautiful and interesting from start to finish.  This UK band has only released a handful of singles to date, the 12” “Am Gone” paired with “Springful” and now “Spook” all of which will appear on their upcoming debut Gist Is.  The latest single features mellow but sturdy drums around which flow haunting vocal lines somewhere between Grizzly Bear’s singer Ed Droste mixed with a little Morrissey.  Although these are the most consistent musical elements, the single (if you can call it that) is also graced with quiet pianos, some stellar guitar licks and even horns.  The song never stays in one place for too long, constantly shifting melodies and rhythms, creating a swinging journey that I just can’t get enough of.  Check out the single below and look for the full album on August 4th.

-M. Kauf


Adult Jazz – Spook


lorde and flume

Remixes aren’t really our forté here at Tour De Vaap, but this one was so good we had to share it.  Two of the best artists of the last couple years, young pop-ish artist Lorde and electronic prodigy Flume join forces to create an experience unlike any heard from their individual work.  Flume takes on the concise opener “Tennis Court” from Pure Heroine, at times slowing it to a crawl with sparse, ambient synths surrounding the singer’s voice.  But where the song really takes off is about two minutes in, when everything breaks down into an infectious drop.  From this point on it’s pure gold, a regal extension of the original which plays quiet tracks against the booming, pure electronic dance against a hip-hop beat.  Check out the song below in all its glory.

-M. Kauf


Lorde – Tennis Court (Flume Remix)

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lights out2

Today is a big day for many reasons.  But let’s sidestep these details on the amalgamation of events today, because we’ve got some music in mind for one of them.  We all know the night time is the right time and this year The Collective Tour brings you music to fill your hazy room after dark.  Download the mix below and check out the tracklist after the break.  Happy holidays to everyone!


-The Collective Tour

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Although The Roots released a collab album last summer with Elvis Costello, the group hasn’t released a proper album of their own since 2011’s stunning Undun.  But now the group is set to release a brand new album called And Then You Shoot Your Cousin.  Just like their previous release this is a concept album, albeit a slightly less convoluted one, about making it in the rap world.  Today, the group gave us the first taste of this new album with the single, “When the People Cheer,” a brooding song featuring ?uestlove’s strong beats, a delicate toy-like piano and Black Thoughts dark lyrics.  The hook alone is killer, “I live in a trap/Things go crack/Wake up in the bathroom with a box of Apple Jacks/Everybody acts, like God is all that/But I got the feelin’ he ain’t never coming back…” showing the darker side of fame.  While we probably will have to wait until the summer before this album sees a release date, if the single is any hint at what’s to come, we’re looking at (unsurprisingly) another incredible album from The Roots.  In the meantime, check out the single below.

-M. Kauf


The Roors – When The People Cheer:

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There’s a special treat coming to all you readers this Friday.  But in the meantime we’ve got a great video to show you.  LOLAWOLF, the Los Angeles group composed of Zoë Kravitz, Jimmy Giannopoulos and James Levy are a super sly synth-pop group.  The group released their self-titled EP, which included the sensual song, “Drive.”  A few days ago, the group dropped a video for the song.  Adding a dark atmosphere to the already haunting electronic song, the video features singer Kravitz lying down surrounded by flashing lights and foggy images of cars.  The ending comes out of nowhere, but overall the video is the perfect match for the single.  Check it out below.

-M. Kauf



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I have to tell you a story.  I know I’ve shared this story many times and I’ll probably share it again, but it was such a surreal experience that it has to be told (again).  About a year ago, I went to a Lord Huron concert.  Arriving twenty minutes late and fearing that I missed the main act (as the tickets stated he went on first) I slumped into the crowd as this band Champs began to set up on stage.  My initial disappointment melted away as soon as they began to play.  Gentle blue light surrounded shown onto the small band as they crooned in a beautiful mix of ancient folk harmonies and indie rock.  Every song stunned me and I was literally breathless as they performed “Too Bright To Shine” and I was almost sad when they left so that the band I came to see could get on stage.  Now a year has passed and the songs I heard on that wonderful night are finally finally available as the incredible Down Like Gold LP.  “Pretty Much (Since Last November)” sounds like an old folk ballad turned modern love song.  “My Spirit is Broken” is a hard hitting jam which demonstrates how diverse and dramatic this band can get.  Although a bit lo-fi, From the breathtaking beginning to the heart-wrenching closer, “White Satellite,” the album approaches rock from an angle you’ve never heard, something both young and old, refreshing yet familiar.  On the heels of the new album, Champs have released a new music video for “St. Peter’s” the one single out at the time of the concert, which satiated my thirst for more over this past year.  The jangling folk-rock tune features a snowy background and a man on the run, perhaps from himself.  There’s a little twist in the video, but I’ll leave it to you to find out what it is.  Check out the video below and give the album a listen, it’s more then worth it.

M. Kauf

Champs – St. Peter’s

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