With the New Year comes hot new music…and the men are the one’s to watch in January!
Here’s the best music that’s heating things up from guys who rock the underground to the mainstream.
Crosstown Rebels Records
Eric Estornel, now known as his House music moniker Maceo Plex, has been sweetening the kitty in the world of music since 1993 as a producer, composer, and artist under the names Maetrik, Mariel Ito, and Estornel.
He’s been influenced by his Latin roots, techno, and electro, but now, it’s house music takes a front seat and opens up the New Year with the deep and flavorful offering called Life Index.
As Maceo Plex, Eric is exposing a more soulful, housey, groovier side of himself. The lead single “Vibe Your Love”, with Peter King on vocals featuring Stevie Wonder’s classic For Your Love, has an early ‘90s deep house vibe to it and is sure to be a long-running club sizzler.
Maceo had specific goals for this project, “I wanted it to be very versatile with varied moods. Sexy futuristic music spread over 12 totally different tracks. Kind of like a 12 page excerpt out of a Kama Sutra book but set to beats!”
“You and Me” and “Your Style” (featuring Maceo on vocals) are go-deep dancefloor scorchers also destined to become late-night classics, the mid-tempo beauty “Love Your Mama”, and the closer “Bring It Back” are some of the best tunes here.
watch the video for “Vibe Your Love”
Moshi Moshi Records
The new Hercules & Love Affair joint is a one, two knockout punch, an awesome collaboration of talent and music. Andy Butler et al get nasty, and give it to you harder, faster, stronger…and now, deeper.
The first single released is “My House” features il divo Shaun Wright taking H&LA reigns to a more house-y, more deep sound than ever heard by them before. He gets his diva moments by soaring with the slick beats and the catchy, melodic hooks. Shaun also shimmers on “Falling”, refusing to stop the House party.
Check out the new video for “My House”
The opening track “Painted Eyes” and “Answers Come in Dreams” allow Aerea Negrot to sing the hell out of it and belt it out in both songs. She’s refreshing, powerful, and enigmatic. H&LA vet Kim Ann Foxman adds her sweet-n-spiciness to standout “I Can’t Wait” and guest star Kele Okereke sets it off on “Step Up”.
Blue Songs will undoubtedly come with so many (i can hardly wait) fierce remixes, but it will colour your life now with dance and is a must-have for any music monster, so go get it!
Here’s a very cool remix to “My House (Leo Zero Remix)”
Terrible Records / 4 AD
I was first introduced to the music of Dominicano George Lewis Jr. (aka Twin Shadow) last Summer when I heard the single “Slow”. I warmed up quickly to it and eagerly awaited his full-length album.
Twin Shadow draws inspiration from trips abroad to Europe, classic cars, and an unmistakable new wave sentiment. Forget is a synth-pop rock world that offers a panoramic view of a musical landscape that spans decades.
From the full-throttle power ballad “Slow”, to the glam-pop rock of “Shooting Holes”, to the shimmering disco of “At My Heels”, the feel good, synthesized rhythms of “I Can’t Wait” and “For Now”, and the daydreamy “Castles In The Snow”, Forget is non-stop, alt-pop with a spirited, and light-hearted air of fun to it.”
Take a listen to “I Can’t Wait”
watch the video for “Slow”
More info about Twin Shadow at http://www.twinshadow.net
All You Need is Now
Duran Duran revisits their distinct sexy sounds of the past and modernize it with a gilded voice of the here and now. Simon and company return to the spotlight with their first indie record All You Need is Now produced by the neo-soultastic Mark Ronson.
“Being Followed”, “Girl Panic”, and “Runaway Runaway” are fun, vintage-sounding Duran Duran reminiscent of their “Hungry Like The Wolf” glory days, but it’s the collabo tracks that standout and shine. “Safe” (featuring Ana Matronic of Scissor Sisters), and “The Man Who Stole A Leopard” (featuring Kelis) fuses the proven sounds of Simon Le Bon’s trademark croon with the contemporary funkiness of these alterna-pop princesses. A couple ballads are thrown in for classic Duran good measure but a little less sparkly, but not so-so if you are a true fan from the Rio get-go.
Listen here for “Safe” featuring Ana Matronic
Listen here for “Runaway Runaway”
Watch the title track video for All You Need Is Now
ATLAS / A&M Records
James Blake was a very busy young man in 2010 releasing 3 EP’s, all of which were eclectic in style, but 2011 brings us his self-titled debut and full-length album of new material.
He’s classically trained, and for someone in his early 20′s, James sings with a lot of conviction of someone much wiser, someone who has lived and loved. His brand of soul music is introspective, torchy, haunting, folksy, and experimental with slick beats, electronica, and some bass and piano that come along with him on the journey.
His stark, soulful yet flat and non-ostentatious vocal style is a staple throughout his debut. And, his chillingly beautiful cover of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love” updates the song with his captivating flair, it’s the most accessible of all the songs on the album.
Listen to “To Care (Like You)”
“To Care (Like You)”, “Wilhelms Screams” and “I Never Learnt To Share” are other Blake multi-layered gems. If you like Antony & The Johnsons, the XX, downtempo, and brilliantly austere musical landscapes, you’re gonna love James Blake too.
Watch James Blake’s stark and mesmerizing cover of Feist’s “Limit To Your Love”
Dirty Beaches is self-described minimalist rockabilly and lo-fi sensation Alex Zhang Hungtai, and Badlands is his ghost-themed album.
The concept behind Badlands, is about a man who is possessed by the road. His mother used to say to him, “You walk at night often enough, sooner or later you’ll run into a ghost.” Alex has said that he thinks “its very true, as the devil comes in all forms…Just here to fuck your shit up.”
Badlands are songs about leaving, and being chased on the road, and driving a burning car into oblivion mixed with ballads, and dirges laced with murder and lament. Kinda reminds me of a cross between Twin Peaks, Elvis, and 60′s beach party music all rolled up into one.
Here’s a preview of “Lord Knows Best”
and “Sweet 17”
More info on Dirty Beaches at http://dirtybeaches.blogspot.com
HOT TRACKS NOW
Starfucker – “Bury Us Alive”
A somber theme, but infectious and lively electro-pop from Portland’s finest STRFKR, from their upcoming Reptilians album.
Funky and fun rock/pop had me humming all weekend long…from PB&J’s new album Gimme Some
If you love the original, you’ll love this dancier version even more, way more!
Check out the video of the original version of “Holidays” from Miami Horror’s Illumination album
Sam Sparro – “Pink Cloud”
Sam Sparro quickly cements himself into the current 90′s dance re-craze that is trending now in today’s music with his new song “Pink Cloud”…awesome!
more info on Sam at http://samsparro.com