New Music Tuesday
written by Claire Chaney, Emily Nelson, & Jaycee Rockhold
Next to You // St. Lucia
Spilling their beachy vibes on to a more moody track, St. Lucia is back with "Next to You." Their latest in a slew of singles brings us to a spot that's unexpected from the South Africa native group. While most of their tracks are built on synths and upbeat sounds, "Next to You" is almost reminiscent of a piano ballad of sorts. This slow build creates an atmosphere of thought-provoking romance. Despite the differences in sound, St. Lucia never fails to impress. (And how about that sax gently layered in at the end?)
Hot Heavy Summer // Ben Howard ft. Sylvan Esso
This summer, after what seemed like forever, Ben Howard released his long awaited Noonday Dream album. Now, just a few weeks later, we've been treated to a three-track EP that exudes all of the late summer night sounds we've been waiting for. "Hot Heavy Summer," featuring Sylvan Esso, dances along like a cool breeze. Gentle harmonies carry the track along with one of Howard's signature solo guitar moments (that's enough to make you take a breath).
Reasons Not to Die // Ryn Weaver
Alt-pop overnight sensation Ryn Weaver is back, three years after the release of her glittering debut album The Fool. Since going viral on Soundcloud with the release of the glitchy, gleaming OctaHate, in 2014, Weaver has quietly been honing her sound, which places her somewhere at the crossroads of Passion Pit and Joanna Newsom. On her newest release, "Reasons Not to Die," Weaver dives into her baroque pop roots with an intimate waltz, complete with echoing piano and carousel horns. Weaver's vocals are delicate and wobbling, threatening to shatter as she wrestles with insecurity and and toasts to those "who hide the bullet from the gun." The song will be featured on NGX's upcoming Ten-Year Retrospective record, titled, "NGX: Ten Years of Solid Gold."
In A River // Rostam
With his second musical project in a year, Rostam seems ready to outpace his former Vampire Weekend bandmates two to none. What starts out as a jangly mandolin tune quickly spins into a full-fledged orchestral experience in Rostam's first release since "Half-Light", which fuses folky, foot-stomping sensibilities with a thudding electronic heartbeat. Flush with strings and Rostam's trademark murmuring vocals, "In a River" is a joyous ode to end-of-summer skinny dipping that you'll want to clap along to.
can i receive the contact? // The Spirit of the Beehive
Philly-based band The Spirit of the Beehive has released their new album Hypnic Jerks, with the track "can i receive the contact" being one of the most dreamy and catchy standouts. The lyrics are ambiguous but evoke specific emotions, like the temperature being "109 degrees" and drawing the shades to remain "M.I.A". The narrator seems not stuck in sort of a heat blazed, barren land, but is okay with the time for self reflection. Fuzzy vocals, crashing cymbals, and an ominous instrumental build-up provide to be reminiscent of successful garage-rock, but don't lean too far into overdone territory.
Disarray // Low
Slowcore isn't for everybody. I've heard people snicker, spit on, and downright refuse to listen to slowcore. Low is an act known for quietly ushering slowcore into the music world, and their track "Quorum" off of the newly released Double Negative reintroduces the genre in an intriguing way. It's still slow in some aspects - the instrumental build up, crunchy, textured noise fading in and out and blips of more melodic tones. However, Low combines blurred baroque-rock and slowcore, creating a hyper-textualized version of the genre that sounds like church music from hell.