“I Be Missin’ U” by KOWL (feat. Stax Osset)

Hobart Australia’s KOWL teamed up with Stax Osset to create “I Be Missin’ U” – a dancey electropop song with Prince-inspired guitar riffs.

KOWL’s upbeat “beach house house” instrumentals counter the breakup lyrics Stax Osset sings reminiscing on a two-year relationship that led to feeling used but still missing the feelings of infatuation during those Summers and Winters.

The realization that Stax Osset does not even describe the situation with an overt sadness or anger toward being left adds to the complexity of these situations. Yeah, someone did something shitty and stole your heart away then left, but sometimes you can’t help but remember that before that it was beautiful and warm.

Or maybe it’s a delayed Stockholm Syndrome response.

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Filed under Australia, Beach House House, Collaboration

RIP Crystal Castles

This morning, Alice announced that she is leaving Crystal Castles.

The Reddit thread OP commented that Alice also posted the following on the Crystal Castles Facebook page but deleted it shortly after:

I am leaving Crystal Castles.
My art and my self-expression in any form has always been an attempt towards sincerity, honesty, and empathy for others.
For a multitude of reasons both professional and personal I no longer feel that this is possible within CC.
Although this is the end of the band, I hope my fans will embrace me as a solo artist in the same way they have embraced Crystal Castles.

Crystal Castles were amazing, especially live. Sad to not get to see their concerts, especially at the Fox Theater, anymore.

H/T Reddit

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#TBT: “Snow White” by Labyrinth Ear

4 years ago, Labyrinth Ear took a classic Snow White song and gave it electrobeats.

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“Endless” and “When The Light Lands” by GULLS


When the Light Lands

GULLS – a self-described “unsigned 5 piece from all corners of the UK” – released “Endless” this morning, adding another amazing track to this iteration of the dream pop genre.

They sound like very much like Surfer Blood but with a British accent. Fun, at times intense, and toeing the line to bravely express a vulnerable broken-heartedness not often allowed outwardly, GULLS bridges this generation to that of the early 90s and even the more generalized British Isles rock of that era – bands like Touch of Oliver – but with less distortion and more floor toms.

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Filed under Dream Pop, UK

[ALBUM] Points of Departure by Big Still

Coming down from the Outside Lands high, you can relax to tracks by Big Still. The San Francisco band brings back sounds of indie’s 2000-2009 period, with a more country twang. Think the wholesome frolic-in-a-grass-field harmonies of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with the cadence of Stars’s Heart album (particularly tracks liek “The Woods,” “Romantic Comedy,” “Don’t Be Afraid to Sing”) and the flavors of Brokeback Mountain’s score.

Big Still takes you through a journey with Points of Departure – giving you the feel of a late summer road trip across the Southwest. Even the track titles (“Purple Fields” and “Beauty of California” among others) reflect leisurely traveling through various points of interest or sights even Tunguska – despite it being in Russia and being the location of an explosion.

You can see Big Still at Hotel Utah in San Francisco on Friday, August 22 as they open for The Fontaine Classic.

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Filed under Album Alert, Concerts, SF

“Oh” and “True” by Mt. Si.

Not sure what Mt. Si. stands for. First impression was “Mount Sinai” but it could be “Mount Sithelie” because their/her/??? Soundcloud URL is mtsithelie. Is it a place? Is it a name like Nathalie? Not much more to discover from their/her/??? Soundcloud, Bandcamp, and YouTube profiles other than the fact that they/she/?? are/is from LA and a corrupt hard drive contains all the Mt. Si. recordings. Their music has only been posted 15 days ago. Similar to the SRSLY mystery.

The hi-hats are nu-disco, but the bass and synths are chillwave.

But it’s seriously the vocals that tie it together, somewhat reminiscent of Blondie’s Debbie Harry but airy and slower tempo-ed.

“Oh” begins with quick cymbals and the static of a shaker. Simple then a smooth buildup. A feel of the tropics somewhere inside all the synths. At 1:29, it slows down to almost an airy standstill with the shaker’s static noise holding it together. Almost a full minute of standstill is broken by an litany of “He don’t call” as Mt. Si. laments an absent male figure.

“True” begins with a mix of the tropical and the cosmic. Where “Oh” had a sound built upon a static feeling, “True” is neater, more controlled. “True” is slower. “True” is more direct.

BoxSpeaker Prediction: Mt. Si. will become an up-and-coming musician/band in a few weeks.

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“Go” by Grimes ft. Blood Diamonds

Grimes collaborated with Blood Diamonds to create “Go” – a slowed down track deviating from her previous songs’ ethereal feel, complete with Ellie Goulding-esque harmonies.

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L’été EP – Musique Le Pop

Musique Le Pop just released their “L’été EP” – a five-track collection of Norwegian dreampop for Summer 2014.

Building upon their 80s-influenced “Turn to Sand,” Musique Le Pop spreads out their sound in both directions from their first single. On one end of tempo, “Mateo” lends itself to “Into the Groove” dancepop. “In My Arms” is slower and sadder with Camera Obscura heartbreak vocals. “Falling in Love” has almost a CHVRCHES feel, particularly at the 2:10 mark when the guitar riffs lead the way to two beats of synth chords. The EP ends with “Dream Out Loud” which stands out due to its ethereal, subdued nature, exemplifying Musique Le Pop’s wide range of styles.

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Filed under Dream Pop, Electro, EP Alert, Norway

Say Hi Releases New Album: “Endless Wonder”

After a period of hibernation in the Pacific Northwest, Say Hi has released Endless Wonder on Barsuk Records! Much like in previous albums (especially The Wishes and the Glitch), Eric Elbogen mixes distorted guitars, robot love lyrics, and drum machine beats to tell stories of heartbreak. “When I Think About You” resonates early-relationship nerves as the antithesis of post-relationship sorrow in “Dots on Maps.”

Check out the rest of the album preview on A/V Club.

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VIDEO: “Before You” by PORTLAND

French trio PORTLAND released their latest single and music video “Before You” this morning.

“Before You” visually and auditorially exists on the cusp of two worlds – 70s disco and 80s electropop, dawn and dusk, land and ocean, love and heartbreak.

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Filed under 70s, 80s, France, Music Video, New Music, New Single, Nu-Disco