It's been about two years since Chazwick Bundick, aka: Toro Y Moi released his critically acclaimed album Anything In Return. His upcoming album, What For? is set for an April 7th release and I couldn't be more excited. This time around Chaz has seemingly switched from his deep house/electronic sound and reverted back to indie pop a-la Underneath The Pine / Leave Everywhere. I can already tell I'll have to cleanse my palette and get ready for What For? and there's no better palette cleanser than Chaz's latest, Buffalo.
A few days ago I stumbled upon an acoustic cover of Dexys Midnight Runners' Come On Eileen and I instantly fell in love. If you knew me at any point in the 90's and the early 00's you'd know that my musical pallet consisted 70% of 90's Alternative/the "grunge" era/80's music and 30% everything else. Come On Eileen is shamelessly one of my favorite 80's jams so I was pleasantly surprised to find a melodic, slower paced version that I could vibe out to. Mollie Donihe is somewhat of an acoustic cover connoisseur, a series of covers flood her Soundcloud page, including an acoustic mashup of Gnarles Barkley's Crazy and Beyonce's Crazy In Love and quite possibly my favorite (even more than Come On Eileen) a rendition of Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice It's Alright.
The singer song-writer originally from Roanoke, VA., is so much more than her covers. Donihe has an EP, Unread Letters and a recent project, Barefoot Sessions where she releases one song per week through her Bandcamp page. Her voice is a subtle kind of sweet, like a glass of lemonade with just the right amount of sugar. She reminds me of a more stripped down ZZ Ward, especially in her track Summer Sun. Mollie is someone that will be on my radar and I am excited for what's next on the horizon.
For the past year Glass Animals have been steadily killing the game musically with their release of Zaba. If I had to depict the Glass Animal sound, it would be best described as a cerebral, zen inducing pre-grame before casually going out on safari. The production is luscious, every nuance, whether simple or overstated pops and crackles with just the right amount of chill for you to vibe to. DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON WHAT ZABA SOUNDS LIKE IN A PAIR OF BEATS HEADPHONES (bless whoever mixed and mastered this magnum opus.) Hazey, one of the most recent singles got the remix treatment, as well as feature with Rome Fortune. If it isn't already in the works, I'd really love to get Zaba: The Remix Album because I'm pretty sure it would sound like whatever dreams are made of.
After coming off the moderate success of her 2013 EP A Belle To Remember, Hayley Kiyoko has returned with her latest EP This Side Of Paradise. I personally enjoyed ABTR but her most recent contribution is definitely a step up from where she left us last and her growth and maturity as an artist clearly shines through. The singer/actress has even gone as far as claiming to have finally found her sound. At first listen it comes across as a bigger departure than what it actually is, while at the same time there is a certain evolution that cannot be ignored. I've had Cliff's Edge on repeat for the last month or so and I don't see myself tiring of it any time soon.
Leon Bridges is an up and coming soul singer making quite a splash in the "retro" music wave. Many have referred to him as a younger Sam Cooke or Otis Redding. While the comparisons do ring true, there is no denying that young Leon has soul and an authentic one. Mostly known for his song Coming Home, the Fort Worth Texas Native actually modeled his music style after a song he wrote about his mother's baptism, Lisa Sawyer. It was only a year ago that he was making a living as a dishwasher and almost overnight (after posting two demos on soundcloud) he was discovered and signed to Columbia Records. Though he has yet to put out a full length album, you can find him on tour, hopefully in a city near you.