Azul Toga

A new EP from Portland’s own Azul Toga called #2 just came out at the end of June. Azul Toga is a collection of dream pop and lo-fi surf-rock, great for the height of summer. The new EP is the follow up to Azul Toga’s previous summer’s #1. This album has a more refined sound than the previous, but still keeps that sincere closeness to it. The jangly guitars along with the muddled vocals makes for music you want to dance at the beach during the golden hour. #2 by Azul Toga is full of good songs and with it being under 15 minutes total there is no excuse not to listen to it. It is also on the bandcamp page for pay what you want here.

Nature Thief

Brand new music from Nature Thief from Portland, OR. The new EP is called Moon. Nature Thief has a really cool indie pop-rock sound to their music. The song writing is really unique, for instance they might use a minor or diminished chord where you might expect a major. The four piece is made up of really talented musicians, the most prominent piece is the lead singer’s vocals. Moon is only four songs so there’s no excuse to not listen to it.

Wild Ones

Here is another great local Portland debut album with Wild Ones. Their album is called Keep It Safe. The music that makes up Wild Ones’ sound is the realm of dreamy pop. Most of the songs derive from a great keyboard groove with amazingly cute vocals and the occasional guitar riff/solo. Keep It Safe starts off with my favorite tracks “Golden Twin” and “Curse Over Me.” Two explosive pop songs that should be on heavy radio rotation, they’re that good. My other favorite tracks are “Rivals,” a bouncy keyboard affair, and the title track which is a more low key chiller pop song. This album from Wild Ones is definitely worth buying, or at least 5 listens. This is an album that is made for make out sessions, stream it above for maximum pleasure.

Next up is a two man band called Titanics, from Albany, NY. These guys lay down some fantastic chill wave beats. Their debut album, Soft Treasure, came out back in February and is making a lot of noise. The way that they mix the drum beats with keyboards and synthesizers has a fine line between hip-hop and chill-pop. Titanics have a great touch to their music. My favorite tracks are the single, “Low Frames,” the instrumental “Table Bet,” and the one with the high flying guitar solo, “Two Days.” Check them out above.

Alt-J + The Calm Blue Sea

So infrequently do albums go beyond a loose collection of ideas and move into the realm of meticulous magnum opus. So when British newcomers alt-J (∆) released their debut album An Awesome Wave in May they caused an international crisis of blown-off socks, peaking at #18 on UK charts. Active since 2007, the members of ∆ have truly taken the time to develop both content and aesthetics before dropping it like an anvil upon the unsuspecting world.

Singer and songwriter Joe Newman uses a peculiar vocal style to achieve dimly lit visions of literary characters in the realms of their own artistic construction. With a focus on muted indie rock guitar and misty dancy synths complemented by more classic sounding piano or folk rhythms depending on the tune, ∆ defies genres even as they improve them. With the depth of vision and potent demonstration of 21st century pop music, these guys will grow on you quick.

 

Fans of the postyest of post-rock should read on and get excited. The Calm Blue Sea’s third release entitled Arrivals & Departures is just the magnanimous progressive-instrumentally focused album Killing Sasquatch has been searching for. Demonstrating the vast symphonic possibilities of the genre, The Calm Blue Sea finds a way to blend several instruments in perfect synergy, achieving phantasmagorical arrangements of emotional viscera, like a sudden hormonal mood-swing which causes you to feel elated at one moment then uncertain and isolated the next.

Their music isn’t available for streaming, but that’s good. Instead check out their accompanying live film series called Aberrations & Departures, where each of the 8 tracks are being performed and recorded at 8 unique locations of the band’s choosing. The editing is flawless and interesting, the band plays passionately and painstakingly, the locations are quirky, creating an entirely more descriptive idea of the band’s essence than typical live recordings and even some music videos. Have a listen and enjoy.

 

Dan Deacon + The Hood Internet

Hey everyone, got some really groovy music for you all today. We’ll start it off with the ever clever Dan Deacon. His newest release, America came out back in August. I’m really digging on this album, it is really good. With crazy collaboration of electro/dubby beats and an Americana folky feel to it, it’s really something brand new to your ears. I believe this is a really great soundtrack to where America is today, holding on to old traditions while exploring newer technologies to push the future forward. I also really like the way the album is laid out. The first track “Gilford Avenue Bridge” starts out with a bang and a sweeping electro sounds accompanied by some really cool tribal beats. The album then moves onto super catchy electro-pop songs like “Lots,” then ends with an epic four piece movement called “USA.” This album is such a great listen so check it out below.

Next up is chillwave masters The Hood Internet with their newest album called FEAT. This album is all about collaboration with awesome artists and bands, the result is some of the freshest songs this year. Some of the artists on the album include Cadence Weapon, Hooray For Earth, Psalm One, and many more. These beats are super funky groovy that you will have to dance to them, and the album has a great flow to it as well, which is hard for a compilation album. I guarantee that you will find a song on this album that you will play at your next party. Listen to it below and make sure you listen to “More Fun,” “Won’t Fuck Us Over,” “Our Finest China,” and “These Things Are Nice.”