I get to go on a vacation this week and I love vacations, and I love making playlists for vacations. Here are some fresh tracks that managed to wiggle on my playlist, and should they suit your fancy, they can wiggle on your own playlist too. Or you could just subscribe to our list, which is embedded at the bottom! So many options.
The So So Glos – Going Out Swingin’
These Brooklyn dudes take a little from every decade of punk since the ‘60s and mix it all together to make this track explosively fun. Get the party started and keep it going, because that’s obviously what The So So Glos are attempting to do here.
Listen if you like: The Clash, The Stooges, The Kinks
Oddisee – Out At Night
Maryland hip hop producer Oddisee released this all-instrumental track displaying an excellent balance of soul, jazz, and old-school hip-hop. It’s casual and relaxed, but the bass pulses enough to keep the hype. This is a winner.
Listen if you like: J Dilla, Madvillain, Pete Rock
Grubby Little Hands – No Such Thing
Groovy, doo-wop indie pop from Philadelphia. This track showcases just how fun these guys can be with surf rock guitars and harmonizing backup vocals that bring to mind The Beach Boys and The Turtles. It’s a very fun little summer jam.
Listen if you like: The Beach Boys, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Future Islands
Black Pistol Fire – Hard Luck
Rock and roll pumped full of Southern riffs and flair — these guys sound like they were raised by wolves in the deep south, and there’s no way they aren’t from Texas (actually they’re from Canada, but whatever). Scorching guitar work, adrenaline-filled percussion, and a colossal confidence in their sound make this an act to keep an eye on.
Listen if you like: Gary Clark Jr., Jack White, Band of Skulls
Alexander Biggs – Out In The Dark
This lo-fi acoustic number from Canadian solo artist Alexander Biggs sounds like a lullaby and feels like a bedtime story. It is collected, crisp, and rich — always relaxed, but never losing your attention. Looking forward to more from this dude.
Listen if you like: Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Sufjan Stevens
The Wild Reeds – Everything Looks Better (In Hindsight)
Delicate acoustic guitar and piano lead way into powerful vocal harmonies and electrifying chorus lines. These three LA ladies know what they’re doing with their blend of indie folk and twangy rock and roll. It’s powerful and awesome.
Listen if you like: The Oh Hellos, Milo Greene, Lord Huron
Gates – Eyes
Atmospheric post-rock from New Jersey that truly captivates. This track sends you soaring in breathtaking fashion, with its intricate guitar work and ethereal vocals. Beautiful and surprisingly effecting.
Listen if you like: Thrice, Explosions In The Sky, Anberlin
Tibet – She Don’t Know
This is technically pop music, but it’s almost too good to be called pop music. It’s drenched in raw adrenaline and sparkly melodies. This England band will have you two-stepping around like a goofball and enjoying every second of it.
Listen if you like: Green Day, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand
SHEL – Is The Doctor In Today
I don’t know what the word is for what I’m listening to here. Mysterious? Powerful? Fascinating? Regardless, this orchestrated folk pop band from Colorado definitely has a handle on whatever sorcery this is. The chemistry and cohesion amongst the band, it comes as no surprise to learn that they’re all sisters.
Listen if you like: The Civil Wars, Ingrid Michaelson, Andrew Bird
COIN – Talk Too Much
Sugary-sweet indie pop from Nashville that will just make you want to go to pool parties and eat bombpops. Bubbly guitars, catchy lyrics, and lush harmonies — it’s almost too sugary sweet, but not quite.
Listen if you like: The Mowgli’s, Vampire Weekend, Grouplove
Gradient’s Best Songs of 2016
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.