John Grant – “Pale Green Ghosts”

John Grant

Totally unexpected. I discovered John Grant by listening to a remix. I liked the remix so I decided to check out his stuff and I was in for an awesome surprise. John Grant is folk-rock artist with thoughtful and sometimes hilarious lyrics. According to his bio, John suffered from depression and then moved to Reykavik and recorded Pale Green Ghosts. The LP is a “show of strength and survival, of moving on with life, on what will continue to be an incredible journey.”

He’s mainly touring in Europe this fall, check out dates here.

Stream the whole album below. The whole LP is really worth a complete listen, but some of my favorite songs include GMF, Why Don’t You Love Me Anymore, You Don’t Have To, Ernest Borgnine, and I Hate This Town.

I should not be attracted to males
But you said that I should learn to love myself
Well, make up your mind, Dr. Frankenstein.

I hate this fucking town
You can not even leave your fucking house without
running into someone who no longer cares about you

And here is the badass remix that I first heard before of hearing of John Grant:

[LP release date: May 16, 2013]

Jaymes Young – “Dark Star”

Jaymes Young

It makes me feel fuzzy in my tummy when I find new music to fall in love with. So refreshing and sweet. Jaymes Young releases a full Mixtape (or LP?) that is available to download for free. From beginning to end, the mixtape is a very impressive contribution to the dark pop/R&B genre. Kinda reminds me of James Blake and Justin Timberlake mixed into a new handsome J dude.

Jaymes Young is touring with London Grammar this fall. It makes my soul sad that they aren’t coming to Atlanta. :( See tour dates here.

Stream the whole mixtape below. A few of my notable favorites is Two More Minutes, Moondust, and Northern Lights.

[Mixtape release date: August 20, 2013]

Rhye – “Woman”

Rhye - Woman

Rhye

Rhye is a duo based off of LA, but they’re originally from Canada and Denmark. Mike Milosh and Robin Hannibal makes some of prettiest music you’ll ever hear. Sex is mainly the subject of their silky and seductive R & B music, but unlike modern music, they certainly don’t exploit the subject.

“Most pop, and what used to be rap, it’s derogatory, it exploits sex,” says Hannibal. “There’s nothing on this record that’s derogatory. There’s a worship in there, there’s an admiration, there’s love.”

You can stream a couple of songs from their debut album here:

[LP release date: March 5, 2013]

K-X-P – “II”

KXP - II

Here’s a nice little surprise. II is sophomore release from K-X-P, a Finnish group that infuses sounds of “free jazz, drone, noise, pop, and rock”. Maybe it’s not something that we would normally hear at a party (although I would love to), but I don’t think these guys will have a problem making you move.

[LP release date: February 11, 2013]

Butterclock – “First Prom”

Butterclock - First Prom EP

Butterclock (Laura Clock) is from Berlin and she reminds me of a much more tolerable version of Grimes. Sorry, Grimes, I certainly don’t mean any dis because I love your beats – it’s just your voice can be a little much after a few songs. Butterclock on the other hand, has a more mature voice that balances well with her quirky beats. I love her 80’s look, it’s cute and sometimes sexy. But what’s up with the hideous EP cover, though? :-/

Stream the EP here:

[EP release date: April 15, 2013]

Willow Beats – “Alchemy EP”

Willow Beats - Alchemy

Willow Beats is an uncle-niece partnership of Narayana Johnson and Kalyani Mumtaz from Melbourne, Australia. They’re “other-worldly” tunes and beats have gained a lot of attention lately, check them out!

Stream the whole album here:

[EP release date: May 24, 2013]

$3.33 – “$ .”

333

[Post updated 8/19/2013 – see the end]

This, my friends, is a hidden gem. I don’t remember how the hell I found this band, nor can I find ANY damn information on them. I’ve tried googling “$3.33” and “three thirty three” and have had no luck finding out who these guys are and if they have any other releases. It also doesn’t help that all their song titles consist of a line of underscores and a couple of letters. This cringing, but exciting mystery has made me develop a crush on the woman who sings in many of the songs. I can’t help that I’m a sucker for everything awesome!

I think for the majority of people, $3.33 may seem a bit too “experimental” and may require an inquired taste to appreciate. I can appreciate experimental music more than the average person, but trust me, I do have boundaries before I get annoyed and sometimes confused. With this said, I don’t feel like $3.33 pushes my boundaries of being “too weird” (except I could do without the second half of song #8). Frankly, it’s the opposite, I think they’re almost on the perfect side of their genre. But shit, I don’t even know what genre their music would be in. Actually, I kinda dislike trying to label everything I listen to into a genre. That’s like trying to put a label on an individual’s musical preference, political preference, sexual preference, etc. The more you try to, the more you separate yourself from the beauty of just letting it be.

And don’t be fooled, these guys are far from amateur musicians. Give them a proper listen and you may just fall in love, too. They have a knack of adding elements of tease and then when you least expect it, but subconsciously crave, they add their unique charm that makes you stick around and keep listening. At least, that’s what they do for me. The experience may be completely different for you and that’s okay. Since I have NO information on this band, the feeling their music gives me is all I have… and that makes me feel fuzzy inside.

P.S. Hey $3.33, if you happen to see this, that fuzzy feeling won’t be there forever so don’t hide from me. I’d like to eventually learn more about you! :)

UPDATE 8/19/2013: After a day of this post, Celia Hollander – the woman behind $3.33 contacted me to let me know who she was. Yea, I think that’s really cool, too. :) Her websites are still just as mysterious as $3.33. I dig it. And you should read this insightful essay she wrote on music.

Stream the whole album here or buy the album:

[LP release date: February 22, 2013]

Classixx – “Hanging Gardens”

Classixx - Hanging Gardens
Classixx

Blast this one on your stereo for the next party and I guarantee everyone will mutually appreciate it. Great for dancing AND chillin’. Only brilliant artists can make music like that.

Classixx (previously known as Young Americans) consists of two DJs from LA – Michael David and Tyler Blake. They are touring with Toro Y Moi this fall (see tour dates below).

Stream the whole album here:

CLICK HERE TO SEE TOUR DATES

Buy tickets here: http://toroymoi.blogspot.com/p/shows.html
10-08 Tulsa, OK – Cains Ballroom
10-09 Austin, TX – Emo’s East
10-10 Houston, TX – House of Blues
10-11 Dallas, TX – House of Blues
10-13 Kansas City, MO – Riot Room (solo)
10-15 Nashville, TN – Exit/In
10-16 Atlanta, GA – Buckhead Theatre
10-17 Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club
10-18 Columbia, SC – Columbia Museum of Art
10-19 Charleston, SC – Music Farm
10-21 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club
10-22 Baltimore, MD – Ottobar
11-01 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Hall Ballroom
11-02 Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
11-03 Madison, WI – Barrymore Theatre
11-04 Omaha, NE – Waiting Room
11-06 Lawrence, KS – The Granada Theatre
11-07 Aspen, CO – Belly Up
11-10 Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre
11-12 Seattle, WA – Showbox at the Market
11-13 Portland, OR – Roseland Theater

[LP release date: May 14, 2013]

Elliphant EP

Elliphant EP

Elliphant

Surprise, surprise — here is another Swede that has stolen my heart. Ellinor Olovsdotter performs as Elliphant and her music is like a mix of Santigold and M.I.A. She is perhaps the sexiest edition of 2013. Looking forward to hearing more.

[EP release date: January 20, 2013]

TOKiMONSTA – “Half Shadows”

Tokimonsta - Half Shadows

TOKiMONSTATOKiMONSTA (Jennifer Lee) is a DJ and producer based off of LA. Half Shadows is her second full length LP since 2010. It was inspired by Haruki Murakami’s 2002 novel Kafka On The Shore.

I love TOKiMONSTA’s style. I’m a sucker for good hip hop beats with poppy hooks — she blends them perfectly and it makes my ear taste buds happy. I know this is cheesy, but I’m proud to see a fellow Asian woman with such a badass style! :)

Stream the whole ablum below:

[LP release date: April 9, 2013]