30 DAYS IN CHICAGO Preview presented by Red Bull Sound Select

reppin: chicago, usa // red bull sound select

sounds like: a mountain bike race - strap yourself in for a wild time, but stop to enjoy the view here and there

Music is such a beautiful part of life. It is worldly, it brings us together and spans the spectrum amongst the types of feels it gives us humans. That amazing principal of life is going to shine here in Chicago during the cold month of November. Summer is over and the leaves are changing colors, which usually can bring a cloud of “shit, I have to be inside for 5 months now” kind of thinking. Fuck that. In this city, we are strong souls who deal with winter to embrace summer, but staying inside is just not an option this month.

rbss_chi_facebook_keyart.png

It is time to embrace what music has to offer this month. Red Bull Sound Select is taking over just about every venue in Chicago with genres spanning the spectrum. It is an amazing chance for any music lover, no matter what level you are, to come together and be amazed by some of the best up and comers this country (and a few international) have to offer. Along with myself, my beautiful, singing girlfriend Cait and some close friends will be covering just about half of the shows.

So, if you have been closed minded about some new tunes, or simply have not had time to listen, open your ears. If you have never floated your ears into a genre, it is time to explore the unknown. And what I feel is above all, if you feel like you have not felt something in some time, take a chance on experiencing your emotions in the live setting.

To sort through the wide range of talented artists, here is your key:

Rock Out // get ready to have your face melted

Fuck You, I Just Want To Dance // Time to sweat your face off

Twist One Up // Get ready to have your face lifted

Netflix & Chill // I just want to sit down and not do anything with my face

 

whitney // NE-HI // mt. Joy // nov 2 // metro // sold out // whitney blog post, nov 2016

reppin: chicago // chicago // phili

 whitney | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

whitney | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

netflix & chill

What to expect: overall, one of the more solid lineups of the month from bottom to top. Groovy folk and indie rock beats, delicious vocals all around. While Whitney wowed the world with a nearly perfect album last year, get there early to check out fast rising Mt. Joy and drown in there swaying folk rock. NE-HI will step it up just a tad and get those feet moving over their lo-fi indie rock

spotify: whitney // NE-HI // mt. joy

kehlani // nov 3 // the riviera // sold out

reppin: oakland, ca // atlantic records // 2009 - present

fuck you i want to dance

From the start of every track, kehlani’s voice takes over in such a natural way over just about any beat. Having spent some time in the teen group, Poplyfe, she has matured extremely quickly at the young age of 22. Mixing pop with R&B and soul, she is so worth the watch

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

mitzki // hazel english // nov 7 // lincoln hall // sold out

reppin: nyc // oakland, ca

twist one up

Soothing indie and lo-fi rock at its finest from some stellar female fronted groups will be rocking out at lincoln hall next week. This gig features some incredible song writers that will have you closing your eyes and begging for more. Miya Folick will also be performing so be sure to get there for the openers!

spotify: mitski // hazel english

 hazel english | photo cred: newsickmusic.com

hazel english | photo cred: newsickmusic.com

ibeyi // nov 10 // metro // tickets

reppin: cuba, venezuela & france // XL recordings // 2013 - present

twist one up

These sisters smother you in a dark poppy sound against their melodic soft vocals. Having lived in so many different places, they offer a wide range of influence and sing in numerous languages. They have certainly separated themselves from the pack and will be a sight to see at the legendary metro.

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

sabrina claudio // nov 12 // schubas // sold out

reppin: la, usa // sc entertainment // 2016 - present

netflix & chill

The mixture of pop, indie and r&b/soul will have you at your knees. And holy shit, sabrina’s voice stands out from the rest. The music makes you sway side to side giving you positive and upbeat feels. It will be an amazing setting in the intimate schubas venue as we approach the halfway mark of the month

 pell | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.11.15 | @thefaakehipster

pell | lincoln hall, chicago | 3.11.15 | @thefaakehipster

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

parquet courts // meat wave // nov 15 // the empty bottle // sold out

reppin: brooklyn, usa // chicago, usa

rock out

For all you head bangers out there, it is time to come out and show it off. Parquet Courts brings a funky feel to their post/punk-rock sound as they have released all sorts of music. Meat Wave will be taking the stage before them, a fast paced Chicago punk group that leaves everything on the stage

spotify: pc // mw

amine // pell // nov 18 // metro // sold out (pell blog post, may 2016)

reppin: portland // new orleans

twist one up

Two truly young, talented wrappers will grace the stage this night. Amine has that song “caroline” streaming hundreds of millions of times across the internet and offers up a smooth flow. I’ve been a huge fan of Pell for some time, who brings soul, funk and jazz to his tracks with his incredible rapping ability. You’ll be hearing about these two a lot more in the near future.

spotify: amine // pell

lizzo // nov 19 // thalia hall // sold out

reppin: detroit // atlantic records // 2012 - present

fuck you I just want to dance

I don’t know if I have come across a rapper that has the blends of beautiful vocals and rapping in awhile. It is almost like she is singing as she raps with a demanding yet welcoming voice. Bouncing around from Houston to Minneapolis to Detroit, you can hear the midwest vibes, soul train fever and southern beats. This is going to be a party.

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

noname // buddy // nov 21 // concord music hall // sold out

reppin: chicago, usa // compton, cali

twist one up

If you haven’t come across noname yet I am honestly jealous as her flow and soft beats are mouth watering. She bleeds Chicago hip hop and soul. Then there is Buddy who brings the west coast vibes, the kid who has worked with just about every big name in the genre. This is going to be a fun, upbeat show.

spotify: noname // buddy

 jacob banks | sxsw, 2017 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, 2017 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks // nov 22 // lincoln hall // tickets (jacob banks blog post, aug 2017)

reppin: birmingham, uk via nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present

netflix & chill

Probably my favorite soul singer in the game, this dude mixes it up with blues and R&B with vocals that are out of this world. Only in his mid-20s, this dude has so much in front of him. Let him sooth you as somehow this show is not sold out, so go!

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

kweku collins // nov 25 // space // sold out (previous blog post, oct 2016)

reppin: evanston, il // closed sessions // 2015 - present

 kweku collins | metro, chicago | 3.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

kweku collins | metro, chicago | 3.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

twist one up

A kid on the rise fast, playing in his hometown during an incredible music month. It does not get much better than this. Kweku raps from the heart about issues that matter to the world. He also has delicious rapping vocals and a flow to match

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

jungle // nov 27 // metro // metro // tickets

reppin: london, uk // XL recordings // 2013 - present

twist one up

You’ve certainly heard their track, “busy earnin,’ all over the place. This neo-soul band creates an almost electronic, chill-wave feel filled out with soul. They have a worldwide vibe having their album chart just about everywhere. Again, how is this not sold out!

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

xavier omar // nov 28 // chop shop // sold out

reppin: san antonio, tx // soulection // 2012 - present

netflix & chill

I am really stoked to close out the month with Xavier. He has dreamy soulful vocals that almost give you that 90s feel with modern beats. I love his funky beats, melodic verses and honest lyrics. Watch out for this dude and his next album

spotify // fb // twitter // ig

encouraging your ears to discover new sounds

Go see live music

new music: JACOB BANKS

reppin: birmingham, uk by way of nigeria // interscope // 2012 - present // 26 years old

 jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

jacob banks | photo cred: next2shine.com

sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from all the bad

last album drop: the paradox (july 2015)

 jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

featuring: jacob

This man is here on this blue and green marble to do one thing: save soul. Without soul we have nothing in music. Jacob Banks hails from Nigeria and scooted over to the UK at the young age of 13 where he explored just about every creative arts form. He can hit the keys, strum the guitar and oh baby, can he get those pipes going. He expanded his gift of belting sounds out to writing songs about six years ago and we should all be thankful someone put him in the studio to do just that. He earned his stripes the hard way too, hitting all the open mics he could back home, something that flourished into a career that has begun to take him around the world. What impresses me about this man is his ability to tell stories with his writing. As he described to Billboard, regarding the music video for his tune “Unholy War,” “This video depicts how the world gives people shit for things that are out of their control and the sacrifices people make to keep their magic alive.”

 jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

When an individual like Jacob can not only have a commanding vocal presence, the deep ties to society make him even more relevant in my eyes. He has this delicious and nutritious mix of soul, r&b with toppings that include hip-hop and even some good ol’ rock. You can hear the 80s creeping into the 2010s and even some influence form his home country in Africa. This man is only 26 mind you and quite seasoned in the array of styles he can produce. As each song funnels its way into your ears, it will move your body in so many different ways and despite what the lyrics may write out, the sound alone will put smiles on your face.

 jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

jacob banks | sxsw, austin | 3.12.17 | @thefaakehipster

The first time I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Banks grace me with his presence was at a private showcase at SXSW this year. After lighting up a nice J of Cali’s finest with some new homies, we crept to the back of the small crowd and preceded to drop our jaws...and they just would not close shut. He gives you goosebumps with his range of vocals.. His band makes the hairs on your arms stand up straight. The chills are there in all the right ways. While he has only released a few singles on top of his 2015 release, there is no ceiling in sight for this man. His blends of genres and youth of his career can only allow this man to grow musically. Take a seat, throw on his tunes, and melt into that thing because you won’t need to move anytime soon.

suggested listening experience: making sweet sweet love // cruising along on something with wheels // getting ready for the evening

listens: unholy war // worthy // chainsmoking // silver lining // monster // sink or swim // mercy

jb // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

Lollapalooza 2017 - Recommended Up & Comers Based On Your Mood

Wake up. Get a good stretch. Maybe a little work out. Take a shower that won't matter later. Get yourself a hearty breakfast, you'll need it. Strap on those shoes that you are okay getting dirty and get ready for a hell of a 4 days. Lollapalooza 2017 is here to take over Chicago and it is time to strap in and let the good times roll.

 Lollapalooza 2016 | @thefaakehipster

Lollapalooza 2016 | @thefaakehipster

where: chicago, usa // grant park

when: august 3 - 6

7 stages // 176 bands..ish

Faake Hipster Lollapalooza 2016 Recommendations

For the second time, Lolla is bringing us 4 great days of music with genres all across the board. How the heck are you going to work out your schedule? Plan as much as you want, but it will probably blow up in your face. Not to worry, I am here to crunch those numbers, travel the vast depths of the internet and streaming services and supply you with the latest in the newest music and best acts. But, I don't just want you to see these acts, I want you to experience them, to feel them. Even if you go one day, it is a long one filled with all types of music. So, whether you want to keep it super chill or maybe get your dancing shoes on, we are going to break down this year's recommendations by mood. Your key:

Rock Out (RO) // get ready to have your face melted

Fuck You, I Just Want To Dance (FUCKDANCE) // Time to sweat your face off

Twist One Up (TOU) // Get ready to have your face lifted

Netflix & Chill (N&C) // I just want to sit down and not do anything with my face

Previously Blogged About (**) // Wrote about their faces earlier

 

THE ROSTER

The Spotify Playlist

 white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

white reaper | beat kitchen, chicago | 5.5.17 | @thefaakehipster

Thursday //

Kweku Collins** // White Reaper**  // The O'My's** // Middle Kids // The Drums

Kweku Collins // TOU // evanston, il // 12, Pepsi // sounds like: posting up at a campfire in the middle of the big city

White Reaper // RO // louisville // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like: rocking out in the basement all night long with your best friends, leaving at sunrise and not having a fucking care in the world

The O'My's // N&C // chicago // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: putting on suspenders, a bow tie, a top hat or that vintage 50s dress with your derby hat, then looking in the mirror and saying damnnnn I look good

Middle Kids // N&C // sydney // 2:50, Pepsi // sounds like: walking through the forests in the northern woods of wisconsin 

The Drums // FUCKDANCE // nyc // 3:30, Lake Shore // sounds like: you dancing by yourself in the middle of a disco dance floor and being totally cool with it

 

Friday // 

 mondo cozmo | shazam private party, chicago | 4.6.17

mondo cozmo | shazam private party, chicago | 4.6.17

SAINt JHN // San Holo // Mondo Cozmo // PUP // Mura Masa // Whitney**

SAINt JHN // TOU // brooklyn // 12:50, Pepsi // sounds like: taking a glorious, smooth shower in the coolest hotel room in Vegas

San Holo // FUCKDANCE // netherlands // 1:15, Perry's // sounds like: going through one of those installments where mirrors are everywhere reflecting off one another

Mondo Cozmo // RO // philadelphia // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: watching a city plant grow in your patio

PUP // RO // toronto // 2, Tito's // sounds like: taping yourself going out the other night and watching it the next day at 10 times to speed

Mura Masa // FUCKDANCE // guernsey // 4, Pepsi // sounds like: walking through a stripped down city in a tropical setting

Whitney // N&C // chicago // 7:45, Pepsi // sounds like: cruising in your cadillac...bright lights, big city and chill - 45ish years ago

 

Saturday //

The Shelters // Ron Gallo** // Jacob Banks // LÉON // Colony House // Royal Blood

 the shelters | beat kitchen, chicago | 4.12.17

the shelters | beat kitchen, chicago | 4.12.17

The Shelters // RO // la, usa // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like: living your life through a classic style microphone 

Ron Gallo // RO // nashville + philadelphia // 2:10, BMI // sounds like: giving the finger to those kids that bullied you later than life with a smile

Jacob Banks // TOU // birmingham, uk // 2:15, Tito's // sounds like: walking around with crazy cool, mid-evil statues on each side of you buffering you from the bad

LÉON // N&C // stockholm // 4, Pepsi // sounds like: laying in the perfectly crafted bed made of clouds and marshmallows

 ron gallo | subterranen, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

ron gallo | subterranen, chicago | 2.20.17 | @thefaakehipster

Colony House // FUCKDANCE // franklin, tennessee // 4, BMI // sounds like:

Royal Blood // RO // brighton, uk // 5:15, lake shore // sounds like: a fight for supremacy among animals in the deep jungles of south america

 

Sunday // 

Grace Mitchell // VANT // Lo Moon // noname // Car Seat Headrest // flor 

Grace Mitchell // RO // portland // 12:15, Tito's // sounds like: your fuzzy night leading into the even more fuzzy morning

VANT // RO // london // 12:45, Grant Park // sounds like:  the soundtrack to looking back on a good day with your friends....all smiles

Lo Moon // N&C // la, usa // 1:50, Pepsi // sounds like: a casual trip into outerspace

noname // TOU // chicago // 2:50, Pepsi // sounds like: the most rocking, soulful lullaby you'll ever need

Car Seat Headrest // RO + N&C // seattle via leesburg // 3, Bud Light // sounds like: a night out in the middle of nowhere america with the sun setting on you

 

new music: SURF CURSE

reppin: la, usa // 2012 - present  // danger collective records

sounds like: a leisurely stroll down the beach behind a vintage filter

 surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

last album drop: nothing yet (jan 2017)

featuring: jacob // nick

 surf curse | photo cred: thescenestar.typepad.com

surf curse | photo cred: thescenestar.typepad.com

The simple things in life...they are relatable, understandable, beautiful and at the core just want to be your friend. When surf curse hits the stage with two skinny, young looking dudes you start to possibly wonder what they can tangle together with a simple drum kit, a guitar and two voices. When they start playing, just close your eyes and the answer will come to you in a pleasant, lo-fi, bouncy beach sound that will have you vibing for days. This duo, hailing from LA via henderson, NV has tied the laces and put on the hat to what is a punk surfer rock band. I’m across the board on getting all sorts of music in my ears, but oh boy, is there something just beautiful about two humans composing a simple arrangement that brings more energy and emotion than five piece bands. After forming sometime in 2012/13 and often splitting time between coasts, they put out their EP “Sad Boys” in 2013 and have been hard tour dudes ever since. Drawing inspiration from a lot of their favorite movies like Dazed and Confused, they almost like to create their own soundtrack to it. They have played in just about every city and hit a ton of musical festivals to boot. Both “sad boys” and their first full length, “buds” had this deep, fast punk vibe to them, moving quickly from song to song with light and airy vocals. Just give “I’m Not Making Out You” a listen and try and not scoot around and dance in your apartment...impossible!

 surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

surf curse | empty bottle, chicago | 4.25.17 | photo cred: @thefaakehipster

What I can certainly notice is this shift in in your face surfer punk to this more mellow, lo-fi jam on their latest album, “nothing yet.” When the lead track, christine f, hits your ears, it starts with a simple drum intro coupled with nick’s vocals and then boom, the guitar hits and all of the sudden, so quickly, you just get the vibe. Sing along lyrics, a relaxed yet energetic collection of riffs, swift drums, and guitar picking throughout that equates to this euphoria sound with depth. You can’t help but bounce around and feel happy hearing them play. When they hit the stage live, sometimes with an extra musician to pick up those extra notes, their ease in their composure mixed with the organized thrashing along of their instruments. As you get deeper into their latest album, pay close attention to the lyrics taking jabs at personal experiences that seem to have shaped the music they play today. In fact, those lyrics, in the simplistic form they are in, are pretty relatable on anyone’s level. There will be a sense of comfort because of their melodic approach combined with that feeling of being a kid again makes for a great time.

suggested listening experience: bike rides and walks down the street // beach hangs // backyard bbqs

listens: christine f // i’m not making out with you // freaks // heathers // all is lost // the strange and the kind // doom generation // forever dumb

surf curse // fb // spotify // sc // twitter // ig 

new music: KAIYDO

reppin: orlando, fl // unsigned // 2016 - present

sounds like: riding down the street on a summer day with a fluffy, comfy cloud as your ride

upcoming album release: tba, 2017

featuring: keiondre boone // 20 years old

 Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

There was something about the sunny day in April a few weeks back as I rolled up to the Bottom Lounge that seemed perfectly fitting in meeting Kaiydo. The vibes of Chicago spring day matched the sounds coming into my earbuds from none other than the 20 year old himself. Bouncy beats that make you smile, a flow that fills you with hearty goodness and lyrics that make you forget about all your worries. While Southern hip hop is big, bold and in your face, Kaiydo appears to be building his tunes on the other side of the spectrum. There is something that is inviting about his songs...maybe it’s the ultra summer vibe each one of his songs is lit up with. It’s the creativity right off that bat that brings you in for the hug and makes you say, “I want to get up and vibe to whatever this fresh new track this is.” Each one of his singles out there has a intro that immediately perks the ears as he lures you into an amazing hook that you can listen to over and over.

While chatting Kaiydo up for a few before the show as we set-up a few promo shots, it became clear why this kid leans towards the different and unique. The chill personality shines through as he goes with the flow. Then, all the sudden it starts to make sense. The colorful graphics he uses for each song really do represent the relatable lyrics in his young career. They are fun and sometimes goofy, yet clearly represent the hard work he is putting in early in his career. This dude really did make a bang right out of the gate. He has dates lined up at the likes of Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, Electric Forest and Firefly...not bad for a first timer tour. And sometimes, for your first tour, you have to roll around in a Dodge mini-van with your manager and crew because that is what it takes.

 Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Kaiydo | Bottom Lounge, Chicago | 4.25.17 | @thefaakehipster

Again, these vibes were perfect for Pigeons & Planes “No Ceilings” Tour with a very talented lineup featuring Boogie, Kemba, Michael Christmas and Kaiydo. For just the man himself and his DJ, there was a ton of energy brought to the table in his live set. For someone who only has a handful of shows under his belt, he can get the crowd involved and use the stage in his entirety. While there were some in the crowd who knew a few of his tracks, most probably did not, but everyone had one thing in common: bouncing to the beat. The dope part of all of this...he is freaking 20 years old! It is kinda hard to ignore this kid at the moment as he has our eyes and ears at attention. If he keeps the good vibes with him, he’ll keep opening up opportunities for himself and continue to grow as a rapper.

suggested listening experience: playing video games or any chill hang // party time! // literally doing anything during the summer

listens: fruit punch // arcade // reflections // jumpin // lottery // red freestyle

kaiydo // fb // twitter // ig // spotify // sc

new music/album release: SAINT SLUMBER

reppin: small town, jersey, usa // 2016 - present // unsigned

sounds like: a caterpillar turned butterfly slowly ascending from your cocoon in the middle of a vivid forest

 saint slumber

saint slumber

latest album drop: YOUTH//1 ep (f*cking today!)

featuring: joshua // aaron // matt

Okay, so that is a weird and “high-statement” to say about a band, but for a debut ep from seasoned musicians, I expect nothing less. The impression that ensued a few minutes in had to do with the type of tunes you come across, if you are to split them down two lanes. There are those tunes that give you the singular ability to make you feel something in that moment, while others have a sound that builds on a longer timeline and takes you to a vast area that allows your imagination to run. This is the latter and I love it. These three make you feel warm in all the right ways with their balance of rock and electronic beats. Quick story: They were once upon a time ago named Dawns, and I saw them play at a tiny place they call Berlin in Manhattan, and they were really good and now they are even better. End story. Now, these guys are starting a new story, and being unsigned gives them all creative freedom a band could want. This is so evident as you move through these five songs that gives one all the feels.

 saint slumber

saint slumber

When COOL kicks in, the bass is clearly heard and you notice the careful placement of instruments. They are spaced out properly to let themselves be heard at the right moments. YOUTH really slows things down and gets super trippy and electronic with vocals effects. When the guitar comes in for the kiss at the end it really adds another tasty treat. HUMAN brings more keyboards to the party with lyrics of crazy depth, but with a simple message in the story. It’s one of those songs that is sweet as is, but probably on another level in person. Next up we travel to GETAWAY, which wants to give you a hug with a more mellow vibe. I can only guess that it is meant to set up the anticipation for the final song, which it accomplishes. NEED brings her home with a powerful beat and crazy good build up to the last half of the track, perfectly fitting with the lyrics. This EP -->  a volcanic eruption of eargasm(s).

suggested listening experience: in the office to drown out your shit colleagues // chill weeknight with some friends // deep thinking alone time

YOUTH//1: spotify // soundcloud

ss // fb // twitter // ig

new music: DEAP VALLY

reppin: la, usa // cooking vinyl records // 2011 - present

sounds like: rebelling against who the fuck ever you have a problem with and giving them finger with a smile

 lindsey & julie | photo cred: milkccater.com

lindsey & julie | photo cred: milkccater.com

last album drop: femejism (sept 2016)

featuring: lindsey troy (guitar, vocals) // julie edwards (drums and vocals)

 julie of deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

julie of deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

There is a sense of just pure rock bliss when you listen to lindsey and julie melting your eardrums through the speakers. Almost that sense that they are in your living room or your phone playing a set just for you. Born just a crisp six years ago, these ladies hit the studio early in 2012 to record their debut track, “Gonna Make My Own Money,” and were London a month later making their debut across the pond. I know, fuck our lives, right? But, fortunately when we all see that fuck our lives moment, usually on the other end there are musicians turning out crazy good music. Jump to year later and their four song EP, “Get Deap” is released followed quickly by their debut LP, “Sistrionix.” That landed them some rave reviews and support for some very well known groups into the next year. Finally, they followed up a great opener to an even better sophomore release, “Femejism” back in the fall of 2016 and have not looked back at this point.

 deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

 deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

deap vally | schubas, chicago | 4.3.17 | @thefaakehipster

I haven’t had a chance to talk to these two yet, but it seems like they were shot out of cannon with the attention they have gotten since femegism and very deservedly so. The range of their sound, yet at the core just blues/garage rock n’ roll has landed them on tour with the likes of The Vaccines, Marylin Mason, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Wolfmother. I usually dig into two paths of a group’s sound early on...can you continuously evolve your sound to stay current or build on the depth of the sound you own. Julie and Lindsey are the latter and they are just getting started. There blues riffs carry into their choruses so well. That dirty garage rock will kick in at exactly when you need it to give them a good balance. With both ladies killing it on the vocals, there is something to be said about there straight up “fuck you guys” lyrics (And I am not ashamed of my sex life // Although I wish it were better // I am not ashamed I am no one's wife // Although the idea does sound kind of nice). Telling it like it is: “i said come on everybody, listen up // there is no time like the present. And finally, the live set...holy shit. A glam 80s rock look, two girls, lights and beers. Those recordings are channeled through the PA, if not better than the actual recordings because you get that expressiveness in their voices, axe and drums. If you are in concert seeing mode, go check these two out at the nearest festival or wherever they are playing. You will not be disappointed.

suggested listening experience: sunny saturday daytime bbq // a fuck you day at the office // physical activity (would not recommend marathons, they’ll get the heart rate going too fast)

listens: royal jelly // smile more // gonnawanna // little baby beauty queen // baby i can hell // walk of shame // end of the world // lies

dv // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: SALT CATHEDRAL

reppin: brooklyn, usa via columbia // unsigned

sounds like: being on an outdoor dance floor in the middle of the rainforest

 salt cathedral | photo cred: villagevoice.com

salt cathedral | photo cred: villagevoice.com

latest album drop: “big waves / small waves” debut album out in 2017

featuring: juli (hooli) // nico

 salt cathedral | photo cred: newyorklatinculture.com

salt cathedral | photo cred: newyorklatinculture.com

Where did these two come from? I mean, I know they are posted up in NYC, but they shot out of a cannon last year and are very much set to make that “boom” noise this year. Before we get into their completely revamped sound, we must go back to 2014 (probably earlier, my sources are thin) to set the story up. Once a rock outfit they were called Il Abanico with a very in your face guitar pop sound. Whatever caused the change of heart, I do not know; but they made a name switch and introduced more of a dancey vibe with synths and keyboards. Originally from Columbia, these two put the weird in music and are not apologizing for it. Their last EP was out in 2014, “Oom Vet,” was exactly that weirdness we all need in our ears. Crazy samples mixed with that soothing voice of Juli wrapped in between slower, groovier beats. Fast forward to now...you better believe they are getting weirder, groovier and….weirder. The good weird, duh.

I'll admit it, just about every "with it" publication that I can think of has already written about these two...and for good reason because they are quite tasty. They have over 250 shows under their belt and will be heading to a few festivals this summer. From what I gathered with the latest tunes, picture yourself in a Jamaican Dance Hall with a slew of different collaborators from Assassin to Lee Scratch Perry to Matisyahu. The pop gets your feet moving and then you are all the sudden taken into this tropical sort of vibe, and yes, Juli’s vocals are still soothing as fuck. I sadly left SXSW before they performed but was told by a birdie they killed it with the performance, energy and lights...the full package if you will. I think it is time to sink your teeth into this duo because something tells me they have just scratched the surface of weird...and I like weird.

 salt cathedral | photo cred: saltcathedralmusic.com

salt cathedral | photo cred: saltcathedralmusic.com

suggested listening experience: anything on the dance floor // strolling through the street on a summer day // beach hanging

new music: ASTRONAUTALIS

reppin: jacksonville, fl // SideOneDummy Records // 2003 - present

sounds like: chocolate bacon...at first they don’t belong together but then you are like, duh, sweet and salty rules

 astronautalis | photo cred: mnoriginal.org

astronautalis | photo cred: mnoriginal.org

last album drop: cut the body loose (may 2016)

featuring: charles andrew bothwell

 astronautalis | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | @thefaakehipster

astronautalis | schubas, chicago | 5.5.16 | @thefaakehipster

So technically Mr. Bothwell is far from a new music dude from the rules and standards I have set forth to categorize these bands and artists. But I’m an adult and can make my own decisions so fuck rules. While Astronautalis has been at it since 2003, I still see him as an underdog in the hip hop world and it brings a little tear to my eye. Charles Andrew Bothwell’s journey started in Jacksonville with a self-released album in that same year, “You and Yer Good Ideas.” From there he signed with Fighting records and released “The Might Ocean and Nine Dark Theaters.” His third album release came with Eyeball Records and it was apparent at that point that this man could crossover from hip hop to indie and sprinkle a little rock in there. This was time when more of the hardcore rap was dominating the genre as well and Astronautalis said fuck that, I’m going to be different. After releasing “This Is Our Science” a slew of singles, EPs and collaborations came through, to me signaling growth in an already talented artist. Bring in some other smart minds and it may change one's perspective for the better.

Charles brings new meaning to how one can stretch the range of this genre. His lyrics make that brain of yours go to work. His vocals are unique. He can change his vocal speed, suddenly throw more aggression in his voice all within a split second. He’s toured with Tegan and Sara. Are ya getting the picture? He is a damn unique dude, bringing hip hop storytelling to a whole new level. Most of his lyrics are inspired from him being a descendant of an Earl of Bothwell, in Scotland..fun fact. This lineage is noticeable in his lyrics as some songs are just straight up historical fiction. Imagine taking a freestyle kind of blues inspired rant and throwing it on top of some hip hop beats...hello Astronautalis! His latest releases, “Sike!” And “Cut the Body Loose” are clear signs that he is continuing to blend genres, collaborate and bring the energy in his live shows.

suggested listening experience: getting ready to hit the town at night // summertime daytime hanging // twist, puff, pass

listens: this is our science // the wondersmith and his sons // sike! // papillon // attila ambrus // the story of my life // the river, the woods // kurt cobain

ast // spotify // fb // twitter // ig // sc

new music: THE O'MY'S

reppin: chicago, usa // unsigned // 2011 - present

sounds like: putting on suspenders, a bow tie, a top hat or that vintage 50s dress with your derby hat, then looking in the mirror and saying damnnnn I look good

last album drop: a humble masterpiece (2013)

 the o'my's | photo cred: upc.fm

the o'my's | photo cred: upc.fm

featuring: maceo haymes - vocals & guitar // nick hennessey- vocals & keyboard // boyang matsapola- bass & vocals // baron golden - drums // erick mateo - tenor sax & guitar

 maceo haymes | photo cred: illroots.com

maceo haymes | photo cred: illroots.com

A band that can truly be loved by everyone from your Grandma to your little baby barely being able to stand while dancing. Now that is special. A beautiful blend that constantly changes its core sound...you will get some rock, soul, R&B, hip hop, jazz and funk smacking you in the face before you even know how wide your smile is getting. Since they were born, their roots have been planted in the windy city and have held onto the foundation of music that chicago was built on. You can hear it from the bass line all the way to the soulful lyrics that fill each track. Start with “the wonder year” featuring chance the rapper, who works his flow into a that soul and rock. Chuck Inglish of the Cool Kids joins them on “bout a dolla” a more bouncy hip hop delight. Next, move your way into “the wonder years,” where those vocals really shine. Just from those 3 tracks, you can tell the range of style they can pack in. Once you feel satisfied, run through the 2012 release, “chicago style,” quite arguably one of the best albums to come out of this city over the past five years. Those slow beats will have you swaying back and forth even if you are one of those shy ones and don’t want to.

Ohhhhh and Maceo’s vocals are so delicious and unique it makes you tingle as he works his to the chorus. While these guys may have not done a lot of touring, and I very much think they should be getting out on the road more, they have nailed this sound so good. When you are sitting around wondering why you don’t have a good go to for soulful rock, well don’t you worry no more. If you are in Chicago, keep your eye out for randomly scheduled last minute shows, especially at the Tonic Room...does not get much better than that.

suggested listening experience: getting through the workday // a sunny sunday afternoon outside // when you invite your parents over to your apartment

listens: the wonder years (ft chance the rapper) // bout a dolla (ft chuck inglish) // cough drop // chicken noodle soup // feeling like a king // living wrong

tom // twitter // fb // spotify // sc // ig

new music: THE ACADEMIC

reppin: mullingar, ireland // global publishing // 2013 - present

sounds like: getting into one of those ball pits at the discovery zone when you were a kid

last album drop: loose friends (2015 // debut ep)

 the academic | photo cred: goldenplec.com

the academic | photo cred: goldenplec.com

featuring: craig fitzgerald (lead vocals + guitar) // matt murtagh (guitar) // stephen murtagh (bass) // dean gavin (drums)

These young millennials are just another reminder of how little I accomplished in life, which sucks for my career, but is awesome for music listening! When a rad band like the academic is getting attention as young as they are, well there is only room for these kids to grow both personally and musically. With just an EP under their belt, having already opened for the likes of The Pixies and Little Green Cars, the story goes back to as far as 2009. Matt, Craig and Stephen had always been jamming and messing around as a band, but things got a bit more serious when dean jumped on board about four years ago. When we are young and stupid, trying to learn and grow, in the moment it doesn’t mean much. As we slowly start to evolve and find the right pieces, all of the sudden that formula of success kicks in earlier than anyone expects. Craig, along with his bandmates, have found that balance of what they like vs. the structure of writing a catchy hook and gaining fans.

 the academic | photo cred: nocatgotmytongue.blogspot.com

the academic | photo cred: nocatgotmytongue.blogspot.com

Speaking of finding their sound, this straight up indie rock quartet has some powerful stuff. The track, “different” really got things rolling for them, a song released back in 2015, but written long before that (oh, teenage love). From there, they crushed their debut ep. A fantastic blend of simple builds, rocky riffs and catchy choruses with just enough distortion. You can certainly hear the pop bounce off the indie rock, a pleasing sound that any music fan can really enjoy. Last year, the single “mixtape 2003” came out, proving that there is still some gold in those minds. While there has been a bit of a hiatus in the music last year, I expect some big things for this band. Another year under their belt and the opportunity to continue to evolve and craft their rock/pop sound....stay on these guys.

suggested listening experience: commute to work // hanging with a few friends before heading out to the bars // summertime doing anything

listens: different // sometimes // mixtape 2003 // chasers // thought i told you

twitter // fb // spotify // ig // sc

new music: TIJUANA PANTHERS

reppin: long beach, usa // innovative leisure records // 2009 - present

sounds like: a non-stop beach party with your friends from dawn till dusk

latest album drop: ghost food (aug 2016)

featuring: chad wachtel (guitar) // daniel michicoff (bass) // phil shaheen (drums)

 tijuana panthers | photo cred: gloveboxx.com

tijuana panthers | photo cred: gloveboxx.com

You ever hit up that concert, or listen to that album and the experience front to back is consistent and more than satisfying. There really is not a dull moment and the build up just gets better and better? Well hello Tijuana Panthers. Oooo that mellow, lo-fi surfer rock kinda vibe is what TP is all about and they do it so well. The trio, who hails from long beach, all met at “church camp” (which I assume is similar to Hebrew Camp for us jews), and shared a passion for rock n’ roll. That soon blossomed into a band and their first 7” featuring the tunes “girls gone wild” and “creature.” This was soon followed up by their first album in 2010 (released in 2015), Max Barker. From there, the album Semi-Sweet was released in 2013 after sharing stages with some legends in between. There has been quite the bevy of singles and albums since then, as they have been in full force making music, tour and repeat mode.

 tijuana panthers | photo cred: youtube.com

tijuana panthers | photo cred: youtube.com

Rock. Lo-Fi. Pop. Surfer Rock. Garage Rock. These guys really blend the genres in to well. Solidifying their place in the creation of masterful, vintage song making ability, they really know how to bring it track after track. What I mean by vintage, or classic, is that every song has such a great structure, filled with just enough pop to keep you looped in. There are simple, yet attractive riffs, vocals to boot and a good time to be had. The best part about these dudes...they are super weird! And weird is the new cool so embrace it. These guys should be here for some time to come so now is when you should start jumping on the bandwagon.

suggested listening experience: sunny day drinks // gym motivation // a cruise on the skateboard or longboard

listens: NOBO // cherry street // mind how you go // summer fun // father christmas // redheaded girl // crew cut

tp // twitter // fb // spotify // ig

new music: deM atlaS

reppin: minneapolis, mn by way of akron, oh // rhymesayers entertainment // 2010 - present

sounds like: wearing your flannel and baggy jeans with boots to a rad party - not outta style and standing out in today’s age

 dem atlas @ 7th St. Entry | photo cred: citypages.com

dem atlas @ 7th St. Entry | photo cred: citypages.com

lastest album drop: DWNR (oct, 2014)

featuring: joshua evan turner // 24 years old

 dem atlas | photo cred: dematlas.bandcamp.com

dem atlas | photo cred: dematlas.bandcamp.com

Maybe it’s my midwest vibe, but I have a big, big heart for the hip hop from here in Chicago to Minneapolis. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take east and west coast mixed with some ATL, but the midwest chill and vibe just relates to me. It’s this combination of throwback sound mixed with the future evolving sound we here today. Intro Dem Atlas, the young, little known kid who signed to Rhymesayers a few years ago, 2014 to be exact. This is a label full of legends and dedicated fans, so get those eyes and ears on here.He is actually still a member of the group Sifu Hoffman consisting of rapper Guante, producer Rube among himself. DA came across my radar when he released his Charlie Brown EP, that has a total old school 90s vibe that can’t be messed with. The flow, slight pauses and ability to keep the lyrics flowing over a simple and classy beat is very impressive. Move onto a track like Lucile, and it’s like he was cut out of those 90s days! Again, while the hip hop era from a time ago is looser with simpler beats, it allows rapper like Dem to let his flow and lyrics shine (why do you think that sound is still popular these days). From a fan and business perspective, sustaining that style in today’s hip hop world can be difficult, but from a creative artist point of view, it is just the start.

 dem atlas | photo cred: youtube.com

dem atlas | photo cred: youtube.com

The growth of DA is quite apparent on his latest album and newest single, DWNR & “in the mud” respectively. It is like he has been planning for these days to rise to stardom. Once in a rock band (listen to “down in the low” and tell me you don’t think of nirvana), on a speech team, a painter...a path that is summed up by Dem: “I think all those things gave me a different vision and more balanced qualifications to do what I’m doing now” (Star Tribune, 2014). This path, his childhood, his mother coming out as a lesbian among other things has given his lyrics a deeper meaning. You can hear the soul in his voice and music and the wide range of vocal depth he can reach. It has been some time since his last full length, so we are all excited to see what is next for this talented dude.

suggested listening experience: twist and puff and pass // sleepy morning transit tunes // chillin with the friends anywhere

listens: all we got // charlie brown // lucile // drive north // in the mud (released Jan 6!) // i don’t care // down in the low // wanna be a kid again

da // twitter // fb // spotify // ig // sc

new music: BAD//DREEMS

reppin: adeladine, australia // ivy league records // 2012 - present

sounds like: a half serious “fuck you” to your friend while waving and smiling

last album drop: dogs at bay (aug 2015)

 bad//dreems | photo cred: rollingstoneaus.com

bad//dreems | photo cred: rollingstoneaus.com

featuring: james bartold // alex cameron // ben marwe // miles wilson

Throw a word like “outsider” in front of the word “rock” to describe your music, well I must investigate further. Slap that on top of these dudes meeting while playing for their local soccer club, the sport of choice for me (well, not really a choice...only so many sports you can play in high school when you are under six feet and Jewish), we have ourselves a band to watch. Forming in 2012, they immediately released their first single, “chills” followed by "caroline," which was picked up on the local Triple J radio on regular rotation. After doing some more digging around, I have come to find that adeladine is somewhat of a sacred place in Australia when it comes to music. It is home to many festivals of music and arts, a few music legends and a whole slew of ride range music genres. Growing up in a diverse setting like that can bring out the best in musicians. Fast forward to 2014 and these guys are already working with legendary music producer Mark Optiz on their hit single, “dumb ideas” (which is what first caught my attention).

 bad//dreems | photo cred: pilerats.com

bad//dreems | photo cred: pilerats.com

These dudes do an amazing job of infusing their melodic sound into tracks that you can sway back and forth to as well as others that get you more in rock out banging your head mode. A sprinkle of 80s, some 70s UK rock and a bit of pop to top it off. The way they record their music gives a raw, yet smooth flow with their instruments, but the vocals so sharp in a way that makes you feel like ben is speaking directly to you. I love simple layers of sound, culture and personality through music, something these guys express through their tunes. What stands out the most: just being normal, chill guys. Watch their music videos of them just goofing around. There really isn’t an underlying statement to what they do...it is about enjoying their tunes and having fun with it. Do yourself a favor and get lost in the young lifespan of tracks that is bad//dreems because you will not be disappointed.

suggested listening experience: slamming beers and being goofy with friends // afternoon wall hitting at the office // getting pumped up for that date

listens: chills // dumb ideas // mob rule // cuffed & collared // caroline // hiding to nothing

b//d // twitter // fb // spotify // ig // sc

new music: TWIN PEAKS

reppin: chicago, il // grand jury records & communion records

sounds like: throwing on a pair of overalls, hopping into your 60s Corvette that you don’t own and bringing the squad together for a open road trip

 twin peaks | photo cred: dailycal.org

twin peaks | photo cred: dailycal.org

last album drop: down in heaven (may 2016)

featuring: cadien lake james aka big tuna // clay frankel // jake dolan // connor brodner // colin croom

 twin peaks | thalia hall, chicago | 12.18.16 | @thefaakehipster

twin peaks | thalia hall, chicago | 12.18.16 | @thefaakehipster

Oh man, you just don’t find these stories around these days...kids that literally grow up together in the same neighborhood and find musical magic and special connections off the bat. The new lineage of Chicago music bloodlines is quickly growing as founder Cadien is the little brother of former Smith Westerns member, Hal. Split between two next door high schools, they came together in 2010 and finally started recording their song gold in 2012. Talk about DIY. Using two condenser mics and GarageBand they chugged out a rock record with bits of pop and contrapuntal melodies. The birth of their first record made it clear that they had talent to grow in such a rock heavy Chicago point in time...this is a good thing moving to present time (because they freaking rock hint hint). Once they got into the studio in 2014 to record “Wild Onion” they came across a label, some friends and producers who had some heavy hitters under their belts already.

Built on garage and blues rock n’ roll and bolted in with sprinkles of punk rock, these kids pack a punch into their live songs. That seems a lot easier when you make track after track that is packed with sweet riffs and killer energy. As you rock out through the tracks you’ll pick up on the mixture of sweet melodies and harmonized melodies before they come out of nowhere and bust out a solo at a different pace. This translates oh so well into the live set. Between the organized chaos, the perfected edginess to the vocals and fuzzy punk ballads, you can’t help but moving around. It may be easier for one to write off a band that is all over the place with garage rock, one may think of as messy...but oh it is so not. Their latest set of shows the other weekend at Thalia Hall and The Metro made it apparent that their tunes are loved by ages wide enough to create a family, while staying fun, fresh and just goofy as fuck. That is my kind of combo and I think you will dig it too.

 twin peaks | thalia hall, chicago | 12.18.16 | @thefaakehipster

twin peaks | thalia hall, chicago | 12.18.16 | @thefaakehipster

suggested listening experience: grilling out with the squad // weekday whiskey night // “hey dad, check out this rocking band!”

new music: DAY WAVE

reppin: oakland, ca // harvest records // 2014 - present

sounds like: reliving your best moments under one of them vintage filters, everything just looks that much more fun and vibrant

 day wave | photo cred: popmatters.com

day wave | photo cred: popmatters.com

last album drop: hard to read (march 2016)

featuring: jackson phillips (previously fronted the duo, Carousel) // 25 years old

 day wave | photo cred: weallwantsomeone.org

day wave | photo cred: weallwantsomeone.org

After introducing myself to mr. phillips earlier in 2016, I did some reading on that internet about him and see some similarities in our music listening habits (by no means does this correlate with actual making music talent because I have none of that..probably in the negative now that I think about it). Anyway, I think us heavy music lovers really respect the DIY dudes, which is what day wave surely encompasses. So how exactly did he get to this point of talent? Much like fads, memes and food we go through these cycles of what we are into. This is exactly what jackson did in a music listening sense...being exposed to different genres of music depending on variables like age and the weapon of choice (that is instrument for all of you aren’t keeping up). He is rooted in jazz, but slowly morphed to this pop, alt rock sound that is so delicious and comforting in your ears these days. As he explains in his interviews, the progression of being a jazz drummer, then picking up piano followed by experimenting with production and beats led to forming the synth-pop group Carousel.

Sometimes these new ideas just pop into musicians heads and the timing of the market out there as well as where one is in their musical evolution makes sense. Enter day wave...and what is so cool about this project isn’t so much that this is the next step in his musical ladder, but a combination of all his experience and past groups. The balance of soft and shy riffs, lyrics that remind me of the glorious emo days, any 20 something can relate to, and overall laid back vibe make for a fast rising star in the making. Nothing ever gets too heavy or stretched out either, which in my opinion works so well with his vocals. This formula screams less is more, simple is better. There is no right or wrong way to run through his short but loaded track list at the moment, but I would start with “gone” or “drag.” The mellow sounds mixed with that surf pop singing will devour you ever so gently. This dude is young, hungry and already will give you all the good feels...which makes me quite excited to see what his first full length will be all about.

 day wave | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

day wave | photo cred: noisey.vice.com

suggested listening experience: bbq and beach action // whenever you are feeling down this will get you back up // a soft start to the day

listens: gone // wasting time // nothing at all // we try but we don’t fit in // stuck // total zombie

dw // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: WHITNEY

reppin: chicago, usa // secretly canadian records // 2015 - present

sounds like: cruising in your cadillac...bright lights, big city and chill - 45ish years ago

last album drop: light upon the lake (june 2016)

 whitney | photo cred: theguardian.com

whitney | photo cred: theguardian.com

featuring: max kakacek // julien ehrlich // josiah marshall // will miller // malcolm brown // print chouteau // charles glanders

 julien & max of whitney | photo cred: abglanz.com

julien & max of whitney | photo cred: abglanz.com

I’ll admit it, I get a little teary eyed when bands break up, almost as much as the real deal break up in life with that girl or guy. In the winter of 2011, The Smith Westerns garage rock sound blew up after years in the local scene and almost as quickly broke up. But sometimes, that can bloom into newer things...a brand new sound, style and direction in this situation. It also gets me a little cozy inside knowing the spectrum of genres that influence Chicago musicians. Well hello there Whitney, pleasure to meet you. Versatie and talented musicians, Max and Julien (who was also drummed for the mind-blowing Unknown Mortal Orchestra) were roomies in Chicago when their new baby was born. They combined their songwriting skills with julien taking vocals and their baby immediately grew to an adult and gave birth to the song “no matter where to go” (cause it would be weird if a baby gave birth..that’s just redundant). Last year they mainly played Chicago and a bit beyond while writing and writing. It was then time to hook up with Jonathan Rado (Foxygen) to record their debut, light upon the lake. Kids, this is nothing like the rock they were playing before...again, evolution!

Tracks are usually under 5 minutes for a reason...the attention span of us ever distracting humans, the radio and the good ol’ formula of writing a song. This is not the same under 5 minutes sort of thing in my opinion. Maybe projects before this for these guys were driven for different reasons...when we are young we sure as fuck have no idea what we want. The combination of julien’s light vocals over that bluegrass guitar, brass coming in here and there sprinkled with blues solos...it says more than just a song. This pop, vintage sound rooted in soul and rock may look weird on paper, but it is so uniquely crafted. The album tells a story and it is proof to how quickly they are finding themselves in making music.

suggested listening experience: headin somewhere on any types of wheels // when you are trying to kick it with your dad who only listens to AM radio // early start to the day

new music: OTHERKIN

reppin: dublin, ireland // rubyworks records // 2013 - present

sounds like: that night you got drunk, had a rolling brown-out, smoked weed and woke up the next morning with a smile being totally okay with it

last album drop: the new vice EP (june 2016)

 otherkin | photo cred: goldenplec.com

otherkin | photo cred: goldenplec.com

featuring: david anthony // luke reilly // rob summons // conor andrew wynne

 otherin | photo cred: rockforpeople.com

otherin | photo cred: rockforpeople.com

It was love at first listen for me with these dudes...the sweaty, head banging, screaming type of beautiful love. Still baby-faced irish kids, these guys only started in 2013 and they seem to have packed decades of British rock sound into these years. Back then, Luke, Conner and David found a dude named Rob and they formed this in your face rock n’ roll band we see before us today. The story so far reminds me of punk bands playing in the Chicago suburbs. Packing the local house party, small venue in the burbs and clawing their way to touring. Gaining a fan at a time, otherkin played college dorms in the close knit and talented Dublin live scene. You do whatever you can to get music out there as they self-released tracks and did not worry so much about putting an album together. They certainly did it the old fashion way and being rough around the edges is better than anything smooth and conservative I’ve ever come across. Perhaps the best quote I found from the guys: “We want our records to be punchy, lean and blazing. Straight in, no kissing.” If only I could get girls to think the same thing about me…

 otherkin | photo cred: irishtimes.com

otherkin | photo cred: irishtimes.com

I am all about the front to back album, but with the first few EPs you can sniff gold with the music (that was not meant to be an Irish joke). Start with their first single, “ay ay” of the 201 EP and clear some space to jump around. What is a mixture of 90s grunge and new wave punk-pop, they so clearly have perfected their sound super early. Moving along to 2016, “the new vice” ep, i mean holy shit where to start. The riffs have the perfect amount of edginess that won’t let anyone shy away. The vocals layer over the guitars like mozzarella on pizza dough and those quick solos are just the icing on the cake (you would eat cake and pizza together, admit it). Top your listening experience off with “yeah, i know” and then come sit with me as we beg for more. They sure as hell know how to rock a club to the core...can’t wait to see what these crazy cats do next.

suggested listening experience: getting rowdy before, during or after going out // waking up your friends in the morning after a night out // hanging with friends outside during a sunny day

listens: ay ay // yeah, i know // howling // i was born // feel it // white heat

otherkin // sc // fb // twitter // ig // spotify

new music: ALLAN KINGDOM

reppin: winnipeg, ca // 22 years old // part of Thestand4rd

sounds like: the chillest and most enjoyable roller coaster you’ll ever ride

 allan kingdom | photo cred: thrillerthanmost.com

allan kingdom | photo cred: thrillerthanmost.com

last album drop: northern lights mixtape (jan 2016)

featuring: allan kyariga

A Canadian who grew up in the upper midwest with true african roots, his father being from South African and his mother Tanzanian, mr. allan kingdom hits you with a wide ranging flow and unique pipes. That is a recipe for something special in my opinion. In 2013, he put out a mixtape entitled “Talk to Strangers,” which was self produced at that...and this would be a good time to tell you that this kid writes and produces all on his own. That got him on the map and catapulted him to make some noise into 2014 when a few reputable publications had him on watch lists and best rapper lists. He’s already has worked alongside the likes of Kanye West and Theophilus London, something too many kids just can’t prove these days. And shit, he has put out a ton of music for a baby-faced 22 year old. You can tell over time that he doesn’t just stick to one type of distinctive hip hop sound or anything. He is all over the place in such a good and creative way….as he puts it: my music not being mainstream is a challenge that is more of a reason to persevere.

 allan kingdom | photo cred: themaskedgorilla.com

allan kingdom | photo cred: themaskedgorilla.com

As you take yourself through his vast library of joints, hopefully like me you’ll take notice that he is across the board with singing, rapping and the types of beats he puts behind it. Slow, fast, changing speeds mixed with funky noises and meaningful lyrics stood out on my end. My favorite thing about this kid, as he is still growing, learning and taking it all in is this quote: “What’s missing in hip-hop for me a little bit is the human aspect.” says Kingdom. “The fact that we all go through the same things, even though we all come from different places. Everyone cries and everyone laughs. We can feel alone, but at the end of the day we’re not alone, we are all together.” I love this fresher vision within creating music. Not just in hip hop, but across the board. Yes, creating beats that can stick with listeners for years and get your butt to groove is great, but understanding the deeper meaning of why one is creating music is why they should do it in the first place. There is a lot of shit going on out there and if someone as talented as allan is going to keep that mindset as he crafts more tunes for us, well, i’ll take that over any other artists any day of the week. Keep learning and making us groove with meaning.

suggested listening experience: your next long road trip // sit, twist, smoke, pass // keeping your ass focused during the work day

listens: wavey // evergreens // believe // blast // the ride // northern lights // hypocrite

ak // spotify // fb // twitter // sc // ig

new music: CHAD VALLEY

reppin: oxford, uk // cascine records // 2010 - present

sounds like: taking one of those rafting rides through super cool caves --> eye opening and soothing

 chad valley | photo cred: thelineofbestfit.com

chad valley | photo cred: thelineofbestfit.com

last album drop: entirely new blue (oct 2015)

featuring: hugo manuel

 chad valley | photo cred: einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz

chad valley | photo cred: einsteinmusicjournal.co.nz

Mr. Manuel hooks you in with his chill synth-pop so you may as well call it a win for him getting you hooked. His soothing sounds at the right speeds and voice to match really set the tone for what this man has done since 2010. While it totally does not make sense to talk about a English artist on this shitshow of an election day, this dude is way more deserving of headlines than the turd sandwich and giant douche. Chad Valley started as a side project as he headed the band Jonquil, quickly releasing two EPs that were just the beginning to mastering his craft. I really dig the way way his vocals kind of drag over the synthy beats, giving it a very friendly sort of feel. Listen to “shell suite”....so good! As we move toward his first full length, Under the Radar, you could start to notice the smoothly produced tracks, blended 80s pop beats...clearly from an out there, creative thinking artist. So, to bring you up to speed, Chad Valley’s sound has truly evolved, especially when you tune into his latest, entirely new blue.

 If you love funky beats and the 80s this album is definitely for you. The range is clearly audible, be it slower songs vs more upbeat ones. There are some very creative drums involved that takes the childish sound of synth wave away (think about those silly synth pop bands from high school). “Arms away” takes you back in time, while showing one how to layer some great beats, yet have a simple overall listen. Dare I say some of his tracks even get a bit tropical, which fits well with the overall flow of the album. Throughout his career, Hugo loves using guest artists and producers on his tracks because he his in fact a solo artist. Being one dimensional is no fun for anyone. This does not take away from the talent he posses, both on the vocals and production side of things. Given his creativity and ability to collaborate with others, I can see a lot of cool and different tunes coming our way soon.

suggested listening experience: on the way home after a very long day at work // bubble bath // pre dance floor warm up routine

listens: shell suite // arms away // now that im real (how does it feel?!) // moon under water // fast challenges // true

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