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Tour De Vaap

A compilation of music from 417


I know it has been a while folks and I apologize.  It’s been a slow couple of weeks looking for music that I felt I truly wanted to post.  But now I’ve found something to really perk up those ears.  Mirah (aka Mirah Yom Tov Zeitlyn) has been around for a while now, but she has not released an album since 2009’s (a)spera.  It appears the time away from recording was well spent, as her new album seems geared to be one of the best of the summer.  Her first single, “Oxen Hope” proved to be a powerful shout back onto the scene and the second single, “Radiomind” gives us another juicy glimpse into this new album.  The new song serves as the closer for her upcoming fifth studio album, Changing Light, a breakup album years in the making.  There could not be a more beautiful and relatable way to end this album.  We’ve all had that feeling of losing something or someone and the solace that music can bring to heartache.  A somber melody, featuring mostly Mirah and sullen drums seems to soak into this idea, finding comfort in music when nothing else seems to satisfy.  Like a peaceful sunset concluding a hot and vicious day, “Radiomind” brings a fulfilling end to a breakup; a terrible time turned into a soft memory.  Check it out below and look for the album May 31st.

-M. Kauf

Mirah – Radiomind:

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Hold on to your hats kids, this one’s a long and wild ride.  From the beginning, Teeny Lieberson enters in desperation and exasperation, immediately placing you in the midst of chaos and drama.  As drums enter, the song begins to swell with bursting harmonies and intricate melodies leading to what could only be an impeccable climx.  The song fades with brass, funky drums and an echoing guitar, vanishing as intensely as it begin.  TEEN combine R&B with 90s pop with jazz, electronic and everything in between.  Check out the song below and look for their album The Way and Color out April 22.

-M. Kauf

TEEN – Not For Long:

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high water

This weekend, I went to one of the greatest concerts I’ve ever seen: Darkside.  Their light show alone was incredible, let alone the powerful and intoxicating alterations to their debut Psychic.  But it wasn’t just the main act that caught my eyes and ears.  High Water, the opener and friend of the band, is a fantastic musician in his own right.  His music drifts from ambient, to dramatic 80s music to indie rock and back again using a combination of synths voice and saxophone.  One of his best songs, “Someday” serves as the perfect example.  Starting with a calm piano, the song quickly swells with soulful samples, organs and drum beats.  No sooner does this begin then singer Will Epstein enters an emotional few lines before fading into a distant saxophone.  It’s long, full of twists and turns and combines genres in new ways and it only seems to make the song that much better.  Check it out below.

-M. Kauf

High Water – Someday:

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st. vincent prince johnny

Over the past few months, St. Vincent slowly released singles from her upcoming self-titled LP.  So far, we’ve heard “Digital Witness” and “Birth in Reverse” but today brings us the third and my favorite in the trilogy: “Prince Johnny.”  A steady electric drum and an angelic choir beat step into the scene, opening the song.  Clark comes in next to lead the listener into a fairy tale world of romance, dramas and perhaps happy endings.  The song grooves straight through to the end, with a few powerful bursts of guitar.  Although it’s somewhat of a fairy tale song, the lyrics are powerful and create the perfect modern love song.  Check it out below and look for the album February 24th.

-M. Kauf

St. Vincent – Prince Johnny:

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Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso, the unlikely duo of Amelia Meath of Mountain Man and producer Nick Sanborn of Megafaun are back with a refreshing new single.  Last year, they released some truly catchy and unique electronic music in the form of “Play It Right” and “Hey Mami.”  Their new song, “Coffee” is much more mellow and downtempo, but it doesn’t stop it from being a great song in its own right.  Rather than gradually building towards a loud and powerful climax, this song focuses much more on Meath’s voice, surrounded by rattling drums, a low and dark synth, and a sprinkling of xylophone and accordion tones.  Rather than a fun, feel-good song, the new single feels more intimate; a sad love song.  Now we’ve really gotten a taste of how much the group’s sound can differ and just in time for the announcement of a full length LP due this May.  In the meantime, we’ll have to satisfy ourselves with “Coffee” below.

-M. Kauf

Sylvan Esso – Coffee:

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Young & Sick is at once a 90s boy band, a chilled out electronic artist and a soulful R&B singer.  Flowing through sounds and genres like a breeze through the clouds, this L.A. artist makes music that is nostalgic and comforting yet utterly refreshing.  Harmonies lead you from dark corners into starry skies and quiet bedrooms and back again.  It’s music made for getting lost in, over and over.  Check out the two singles below and prey for an album soon.

-M. Kauf

Young & Sick – Magnolia:

Young & Sick – Willow:

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Gem Club in roses

I first heard Gem Club on Halloween, shortly after the group released their haunting single “Polly.”  Several months later and the group is on the cusp of releasing their sophomore album, In Roses.  As the release date approaches, this Massachusetts band has graced us with another beautiful single from the album called, “Braid.”  It’s hard not to get lost in the music, slowly and delicately stretching over five minutes.  Whispered harmonies over atmospheric synths and pianos guide the song, with sparse drums like the beating of a heart coming in every now and again.  It’s just about as bittersweet as a love song can get.  Listen below and be sure to get the full album out January 28th.

***Update:  You can now stream this entire album at NPR.  Enjoy

-M. Kauf

Gem Club – Braid

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