Charli XCX – “Cross You Out (feat. Sky Ferreira)”: When I heard that gnarly bass kick in, I found myself nodding in satisfaction. It was a payoff after wading through many music submissions that had been staring me in the face the whole time. The production is dynamic and unpredictable in an adrenaline-inducing way. It’s a good place to wrap up this round of music listening before I head off to a festival. It sets the mood well for a large gathering. Feel free to dive into your feelings, too—this song gives you permission to do that with hundreds of your new best friends at Charli’s next show.
Adara & Shogun – “Face In The Crowd”: The music video for the recent electronic pop collaboration between L.A. producer Shogun and Nashville starlet Adara has all the ingredients of a future EDM hit. With this week’s release of Illenium’s massive collaboration album, “Face in the Crowd” feels timely. While “club-ready” is an oft used and cliche descriptor for these sorts of songs, it feels apt here. The overall feeling of the song is anticipatory. I get the feeling that the pair genuinely had fun putting this track and visual together. The beat drop is satisfactory but not overindulgent.
Axel Mansoor – “London Grey”: I hear a lot of party tracks, and a lot of power ballads. But I don’t often hear a song that straddles the line between the two. “London Grey” is as colorful as the title indicates. London is one of my favorite cities to visit; it has a vibrant culture and history. There are many interesting sights. Yet it is constantly grey and rainy. This song articulates that juxtaposition in sonic form. Axel’s vocals are easygoing but not apathetic, relaxed but not deadpan.
Static Dress – “clean.”: I came across this band via a tweet from sad ambient songwriter Many Rooms. Quiet this band ain’t. Listening to this takes me back but keeps me forward thinking as well. I would describe this band’s sound as a mix between Norma Jean, Number One Gun (Tooth and Nail Records) and perhaps Xerxes. Melodic hardcore meets Turnover and Title fight. Full disclosure: I was listening to music blog submissions this afternoon, and came across a lot of duds, so this was a welcome change of pace. The UK is rich with emerging sounds, and Static Dress is no exception.
The Standby – “Drawing Out the Hurt”: With reserved, Jason Martin (Starflyer 59)‒esque vocals, The Standby released a propulsive track in “Drawing Out the Hurt.” Glimmers of late 80s shine through, as if a band was recording on the cusp of the grunge movement—a bit of crunch with some leftover sheen, if you will. The Pennsylvania trio pulls inspiration from more recent favorites such as Thrice and Thursday as well. This song serves as a good introduction to the band. It’s a solidly written track that indicates more where it came from without setting the bar impossibly high.
Find all of the above and more on “Tuned Up’s New and Nifty” playlist on Spotify: