It’s that time of year again; cold drinks, live music, and hazy summer nights. After our SXSW showcase, we just had to keep the ball rolling and bring some shows out to our fans in Los Angeles. So here it is, the Hazy Summer Concert Series.
We’ve got a thick line up with some of the most talented independent artists in the industry, a 420 friendly venue with an open bar, and only a handful of tickets left to sell. Head over to the Eventbrite page to cop yours before they run out.
There is no censorship for Blackbear. The unsigned artist takes advantage of his independence in every way possible, and his ignorance for PR combined with his superb writing and production abilities makes for some extremely sexual, provocative, and all around well-made songs. I don’t think any label would let him drop a song called ‘bus it’ that is literally entirely about ejaculation, but that’s why we love independent musicians.
Not to keep ranting about how awesome Blackbear is, but he also goes out and finds the best producers you’ve never heard of. He put on our boy Rad Cat after he remixed one of his songs, and brought on another new name to us for this track, Boogie Wizard. The instrumental is essentially a ton of synth layers compiled over a distorted church organ, fat bass line, and what sounds like a sample out of Super Mario. Blackbear absolutely kills it, and the blatant disregard for discretion is sinfully amazing. The verses basically talk about all the things that she can do to “bus it”, but combined with the addicting hook and upbeat instrumental, I definitely wouldn’t call it a bedroom jam.
Give it a listen. If it’s too explicit for you than don’t listen to Blackbear, but if you love it like the rest of us be sure you give him a follow on Soundcloud and Twitter.
I honestly don’t know how I found this song, I’m pretty sure it was just one of the recommended tracks that show up after you listen to something on Soundcloud, but regardless, I’m glad I found Topaz Jones. The Montclair, NJ based rapper just came back from what seems to be a 2 year hiatus, but the development of his brand and sound is easy to see and hear just from spending a couple minutes on his page.
‘Tropicana’ is nothing like his last release Wasteland, but the switch up ended with an indie-reggae inspired hit. He sounds so comfortable behind the mic, and as a listener it’s almost impossible not to sing this hook and vibe out to the groovy instrumental with Topaz Jones. The panning pads, crisp percussion and cowbell, combined with the upbeat bass line and faint guitar rifts make for an unorthodox instrumental, but this sound is nothing shy of prodigious. It’s rare for an artist to come back from a break as long as Topaz’s and drop two great songs with elements of opposite genres, but whatever his plan is it seems to be working so far.
Check it out, and if you’re feeling it be sure to give Topaz Jones a follow on Soundcloud and Twitter to show some love.
It’s good to hear Matt Burton back on a beat like this; last month he was flowing over a heavy trap beat on 2VM in Portland and it just didn’t feel quite right. This slow, piano and percussion centered instrumental with a jazzy bass line, however, is an absolutely perfect setting for the long-haired artist to flow over.
As you can probably infer from the title, ‘A Song To You’ is a love song — in a sense. It’s an open apology, and a sensual way of asking for redemption from the girl he let down. I’m pretty sure we can connect the dots and consider this a part II of A Song To Love (Intro). Both songs sound like some form of encrypted love note, clearly intended for someone who’s listening. Although the lyrics are mildly easy to empathize with, they’re meant for easy listening, and that’s exactly how they came out. No matter where you’re kicking back, this is the kind of music you should have playing in the background.
Matt Burton isn’t new to our site at all, but if you’re just now hearing his angelic voice you should check out some of the tracks we’ve shared and throw him a follow on Soundcloud and Twitter.
OnCue really is blowing up in 2016, and that’s not an overstatement. The four singles he’s dropped since January have all single-handedly accrued more plays than anything on his last project Angry Young Man, and the Brooklyn based MC has no intention of slowing down.
‘Boy On The Come Up’ is exactly what it sounds like, and exactly what you’d expect given the vibe of his last few releases. Cuey spits fire all over this Brenton Duvall produced instrumental, kicking things off with a quick verse about grinding day-and-night, dreams of “Louis V lining and Michelin Star dining” coming to fruition, and an ever-expanding list of groupies. OnCue has always been an intellectual writer who delivers clever rhymes and analogies, but his hooks have never been consistently great until now. Once again he’s managed to create an anthem-esque chorus that is sure to have parties popping across the world. Moreover, this material is the kind of music that fills out venues. This is the sound Cuey has been growing towards, and it’s beautiful to finally see him live up to the potential I saw in him back in 2010.
The ambient keys, the hyphy drum sequences, and the fulfilling words of OnCue make this song a must listen. Check it out and show the boy some love on Twitter and Soundcloud if you like what you hear.
It’s crazy seeing how far the Dallas-raised prodigy, Post Malone, has come since we had him come out and perform at our show in Miami last year. Mr. White Iverson has been making friends in all the right places, and whether it’s his natural talent or his genuinely optimistic ambiance, everyone loves this guy.
‘August 26’ is the first full project that Post Malone has released since making his epic debut into the rap game a year and a half ago. It’s a 10-track mixtape, and supposedly the prequel to his full-length album dropping later this year. After many people classified this braided, gold-toothed white rapper as a “one hit wonder”, it’s great to see him proving the public wrong. From start to finish, this project features great production, impressive features, catchy hooks and melodies, as well as an onslaught of superb lyricism from the critically denounced rapper.
I’m a firm believer in letting projects speak for themselves, and you already know that I wouldn’t be sharing this project with y’all if I wasn’t feeling it. If I had to pick a few highlights, Made Me Do It feat. 2 Chainz, Fuck feat. Jeremih, and the outro Oh God are all solid tracks. Check it out, cop the free download if you like what you hear, and be sure you’re following Post Malone on Soundcloud and Twitter.
With summer in full swing, many of you might be on the search for new reggae bands to put on the playlist. Cydeways is a reggae trio based in Santa Barbara with East Coast roots, and their newest EP “Ride On” came just in time for the warmer months.
Compared to their previous releases, “Ride On” demonstrates a significant growth in the quality of their writing, performance, delivery, and mixing. As far as reggae music goes, the tracks are well orchestrated and far from formulaic. Clean guitar and horn parts occupy the mid-range, funky bass lines sit in the pocket, and (what sounds like) live tracked drums carry the rhythm. Also, I’ve noticed that many independent bands cut of this cloth seem to have lazy lead vocals, but I was very impressed with how good of a voice their lead singer, Dustin Parks, has.
If you’re looking for a warm down tempo soundtrack to your day, throw on this EP, roll down your windows, and let the good vibes roll. And as always, if you like what you hear be sure to keep up with Cydeways on Facebook, SoundCloud, and Twitter to show some support and be the first to cop their latest drops.
I don’t know if you’ve heard of K. Flay before, but if this is the first time I highly recommend you go check out her Soundcloud page. Her voice has become very prominent in the electronic industry, and she’s collabed with big names like Louis The Child and Kaskade, but she doesn’t release much free material so we haven’t had the chance to share her music on here yet. However, her original song FML blew up and started being reworked by a ton of great producers, including SMLE.
SMLE, which is seemingly obviously a take on the word “smile” without the “i”, has been blowing up in his own respect. He mostly drops remixes of popular tracks, but his original work is equally impressive. His rendition of ‘FML’ has proven to be one of my favorites, and since it’s free to download I figured this would be a good time to introduce you to both artists. The chill, airy and synthy production combined with hard hitting drops into a hypnotic ambient sequence is a style that SMLE applies to the majority of his mixes, while the melancholy vocals and despondent but relateable lyrics are K. Flay’s signature sound.
Both artists are phenomenal and relatively undiscovered. Show some support by giving K. Flay and SMLE a follow on Soundcloud if you like what you hear.