Hype

FINALLY! FRANK OCEAN TO DROP ‘BOYS DON’T CRY’ ON FRIDAY!
August 2, 2016 3:20 pm

That’s right.  The wait is almost over.

In an article announcement Monday via The New York Times, Frank Ocean announced that Boys Don’t Cry, the follow up to 2012’s critically acclaimed Channel Orange, will drop Friday.

The album will be exclusive to Apple Music for the first two weeks, before wider distribution ensues.  Apple has recently arranged similar deals with big name artists including Drake, Future, and Chance the Rapper.

Leading up to the release, Frank has given us a cryptic trail of hints.  First an Instagram pic of an old due-date library card with dates stamped leading up to July 2016 with the message #BoysDontCry.

On Monday Frank Ocean also live-streamed a mysterious video on his website, which has since been taken down, hinting further that activity is in the works.  A director by the name of Francisco Soriano is taking credit for the video art, he also shot the video for Frank Ocean’s “Lost.”

But now with the various official announcements, we can only wait in anticipation for Friday and his new album.

AGE 18, LUPA J PULLS US IN
April 11, 2016 11:16 am

Sometimes it’s difficult to enjoy a prodigy, not because their inherent level of talent isn’t drop-dead impressive, but because we’re confronted with the stinging reality that we’ve inadvertently missed the opportunity to attain a similar level of mastery.

Enter Imogen Jones, aka Lupa J, an Australian electro-pop songstress with a naturally well-built set of bells, and impeccable songwriting chops to boot.  She also happens to be a mere 18 years old.

Lupa J parses together her ethereal intone with an eclectic pallet of atmospheric samples, sharp beats, and shimmering violin, for which she’s also classically trained. Lupa J’s immersive concoctions pull you deep into her shadowy abyss: a love affair that’s equal parts Grimes, Kid A-era Radiohead, and the stylized theatrics of Kate Bush and BJork. Her music twists your nerves down your spine like the negative space in a horror film–These aren’t the dabblings of a typical high school music student, Lupa J is a true example of an Atypical Beast, through and through.  And her moniker is fitting indeed, as Lupa translate from Italian to “She-Wolf.”

Lupa J also already has a moderate collection of tracks that are available via her SoundCloud, including her newest single “Numb” which will be including on her forthcoming debut EP My Right Name, which will see release later this year. While she hasn’t ventured abroad yet, you can only assume it’s inevitable a music label scoops up an artist as ambitious and marketable as Lupa J in short order, hopefully granting us a chance to catch her state side in the near future.

5 HUNKS FROM CHICAGO: WELCOME THE WALTERS
February 11, 2016 10:56 am

Hunk: noun | a handsome man with a well-developed physique.

The Walters are a Chicago 5-piece that posses two qualities: nostalgia for 1960s pop rock and a large dose of irony.  The self-described “hunks” have dubbed their sound “cardigan” rock.  In addition to an active touring schedule, they also claim to be a minor league baseball team that adheres to a strict exercise regimen, although any supporting evidence of such activity is lacking, or at least invisible on the internet. The album cover for their self-released Young Men EP, released this past December, displays The Walters in white turtlenecks, holding a giant blank check. It’s difficult to get passed their facade.  However, once you peel back the layers, you’re left with saccharine sweet vocal harmonies, stripped down guitar riffs, and a steady rhythm section underpinning tightly composed songs.

walters

Uplifting music can be a bit unnerving at times. At face value it’s difficult to take in overt happiness in contemporary music as genuine. Fact: the modern world is scary. With smart phones constantly buzzing in our pockets, and an endless stream of information assailing us from all angles, whether via social media or email, we’re exposed to tragic and disheartening news at an alarmingly rapid clip. With song titles like “Sweet Marie,” “Hunk Beach,” “Goodbye Baby,” and “I Love You So,” The Walters’ feel-good vibe harkens back to a time when music was much simpler.  Comparisons to Beach Boys as well as 50s ‘doo-wop’ groups are befittingly abound.  Although skepticism is understandable at first, their accessible and catchy music makes it easy to reminisce a bygone culture of innocence and naivety.

Surprisingly, The Walters are still unsigned. They’ve steadily picked up steam in their native Chicago, performing at a handful of local venues and events. Even more impressive, a handful of their tracks reached ‘viral’ status on Spotify, quite an accomplishment to boast for a relative unknown. It wouldn’t come as a shock if The Walters signed a recording contract in short order. They have the creative output, and a marketable brand to boot.

If you’d like to acquire some of their tunes, look no further than The Walters’ Bandcamp page. While it’s always a nice gesture to chip in, both of their EPs are available at “name your price.” They’ve also uploaded a slew of supplemental tracks onto their SoundCloud.

MANSIONS ON THE MOON GET SHIT DONE
December 30, 2015 5:27 pm

In the music biz connections are your lifeline. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t establish yourself purely on the merits of your own raw talent or dedication to perfecting your craft. It’s just, competition is fierce. In a world saturated to the bursting point with MIDI laptop DJs and YouTube divas, it doesn’t hurt to know someone.

Mansions on the Moon are your textbook example of how to get it done. Back in 2011 they jumped on the festival-centric EDM hype train and rode it for the victory lap. Although they attracted an avid fan-base with their brand of hook-friendly synth pop, again, it doesn’t hurt to know someone.

Mansions are the collaboration between Pnuma Trio members Ben Hazlegrove on keys and Lane Shaw on drums, along with guitarist and singer-songwriter Ted Wendler. Pnuma Trio achieved a considerable following sharing stages with live music heavyweights such as String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits, and Michael Franti, eventually culminating with the release of 2007’s Character via Columbia. Upon forming Mansions in 2011, high-profile acts were eager to help the startup find their footing.  Again, it doesn’t hurt to know someone.

Their first release, Paradise Falls, was ‘presented’ by DJ Benzi and Diplo. The album is packed with collaborations from other notable names such as Xaphoon Jones of Chiddy Bang and Big Gigantic.  In 2012 the group followed up with another EP, Lightyears, this time teaming up with N*E*R*D.  Believe it or not, being produced by Pharrell Williams can dramatically boost your grade on the Hype-o-Meter.  Did I mention it doesn’t hurt to know someone?

In 2014 Mansions self-produced their Full Moon EP to commemorate their move to LA.  Most recently it seems Mansions has been someone dormant–while their Facebook page is rife with news of other EDM peers, very little recent actively can be accounted for other than a timely vinyl pressing of a few of their singles just in time for the holidays.