I was reminded this week how awesome the continual evolution of music is. Music, in one form or another, has presumably been around as long as mankind, but we’re still finding new ways to create it. I hot distracted by one song in particular this week (see Maggie Rogers), but managed to peel myself away enough to find some other great jams too. I’ll encourage you to do the same.
Boyfrndz – Ghosted
Math rock that throws in a great mix of shoegaze and post-rock percussion, all nestled neatly together with ethereal vocals that just make this smooth as butter. Fantastic little band from Austin, Texas that deserves a little more attention.
Listen if you like: Foals, Coheed and Cambria, This Will Destroy You
Tegan And Sara – Stop Desire
The whole ‘80s pop revival may start to feel a little generic for some people, but songs like this will keep me engaged for a while yet. The latest from Tegan and Sara is nothing groundbreaking — a little odd when you consider how innovative these two have been in the past — but “Stop Desire” is a fun and energetic pop song from one of the best indie pop duos Canada has to offer.
Listen if you like: HAIM, Rilo Kiley, Paramore
Psychic Heat – In Two
Fuzzy, buzzy, and super groovy rock from Kansas that keeps the adrenaline pumping from start to finish. These dudes embrace psychedelic garage rock without a lick of irony, and we all benefit from it.
Listen if you like: The White Stripes, The Doors, The Stooges
Bolywool – Electric Mainland
This Swedish post-rock band has been around since 1998, and you can sense the maturity in their sound. Their expansive soundscapes are passed through an unorthodox, lo-fi recording process to make this nifty little tune feel earthier and more organic.
Listen if you like: Sigur Ros, Mew, Radiohead
Freedom Fry – Shaky Ground
Bright, organic pop with an indie folk backbone that follows the fun folk trend of 2012, but remains fresh enough to keep your bopping interest. I feel like this song could be in a car commercial, but, like, a good car commercial.
Listen if you like: The Lumineers, Of Monsters and Men, Foster The People
clipping – Shooter
LA-based hip hop with enough of a solid base to keep its experimental elements from stuck too far up its own ass. The production here does a great job of building the hype without becoming overbearing. It’s noisy, it’s wild, it’s an adventure.
Listen if you like: Danny Brown, Deathgrips, Run The Jewels
Caveman – Never Going Back
We’ll call it happy indie rock. These four guys from Brooklyn use their fantastic harmonies, driving rhythms, and warm keyboards to bring you immediately into their skuzzed out ’70s sound. This is well-crafted and dynamic songwriting.
Listen if you like: The War on Drugs, The Killers, Kurt Vile
Danny Brown – When It Rain
I was hesitant to put two nutty hip hop jams on this list, but this song is just too good. Eccentric and dark production, yet Detroit’s finest emcee keeps the flow as only Danny Brown can. This is one of the more exciting rap acts to watch this year.
Listen if you like: Earl Sweatshirt, A$AP Rocky, Deathgrips
Kiasmos – Orgoned
If you haven’t listened to this dynamic duo of electronic producers, it’s time. This track features six breathtaking minutes of dark techno that, simply put, allows you to escape. The sound is deep and dynamic, yet simple in nature and never overwhelming. These guys can do no wrong.
Listen if you like: Moderat, Jon Hopkins, Nicolas Jaar
Maggie Rogers – Alaska
This is one of the better songs I’ve heard this year, if not the best. Spine-tingling, meditative, amplifying. It’s this tantalizing blend of folk, pop, soul, and I just can’t get enough of.
Listen if you like: Night Beds, Hannah Georgas, Twin Shadow
Ryan Hemsworth – Burying the Sun
This Canadian producer has made a name for himself in both the indie and hip hop industries with his remixes, but this solo track needs no premier artist to help him impress. Controlled electronic beats and vibrant tropical elements make this an awesome song, through and through.
Listen if you like: Chromatics, Purity Ring, Phantogram
Gradient’s Favorite Songs of 2016 Complete Playlist
Jason is the cofounder of the iconic non-profit Invisible Children which was founded to increase awareness of the horrendous activities of the LRA in Central Africa. Jason was also the director of the iconic Kony 2012 film that took the world by storm. In this two-part interview Jason and Branden talk about what it means to create a movement, what Jason experienced during his breakdown and subsequent recovery, and Jason’s experience in the world of theater.
Aharon Rabinowitz is the head of marketing for Red Giant based in New York City. During our conversation, we discussed the importance of work life balance, his start as a production intern at Sesame Street and why artist’s feel personally offended when you reject their work.
United gets their cheap on, fake news, and Trump hired who?
Welcome to Episode IV. This week, Dan spends some time with his favorite singer/songwriter, Matthew Perryman Jones. Matthew and Dan talk about panic attacks, growing up in Atlanta, the way music is informed by pain and suffering and the way music gives freedom.
If you have spent any time watching television in the last decade you have most likely heard one of Mattew’s songs on shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Little Liars, One Tree Hill and many others. His insightful writing and voice have drawn comparisons to Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley, and he is on the short list of songwriters who skillfully weave the deeply philosophical and the vivid utterly human without ever losing sight of either.
To get his new album Cold Answer, (which features the three songs from him you heard on this episode), visit MPJmusic.com.
Branden sits down with writer and speaker Tyler Huckabee days after Donald Trump was elected President of the United States to talk about empathy, justice, listening, and where we go from here.
Special Election Edition, President Trump to legalized weed and everything in between.
This week we reflect on the election and discuss our strategies for staying sane.
Luca and Ilenia are the founders of Illo, a studio based in Turin, Italy. During our conversation, we discussed their self-driving video bot named Algo, how Illo was formed and how they’ve crafted a unique office culture.
This week we discuss Beyonce’s night at the CMAs, last minute election plans and how SNL might save us all.
We appreciate everyone sticking with us through this long hiatus but are planning our return even as we speak, with a bunch of new goodies and an updated format. In the meantime, here’s a brief primer on Marvel’s Sorcerer Supreme, Doctor Strange — just so you can go into the movie knowing what you’re getting yourself into.