Reheating leftovers of the week...
It's that time again! Time to look at five jams that have pinned my ear drums to the mat, taking me captive. All are from artists that are on "need-to-watch-out-for" basis, so artist watch these if you want to sit at the cool kid's table with me.
1. Stars - Roses Gabor
After enchanting on SBTRKT's "Pharaohs" Roses Gabor is steadily making a name for herself on the solo tip. She's already released her much gabbed about mixtape, The Wonderful World of Roses Gabor Vol. 1, but she's following that up with the single "Stars" off her soon-to-be-released EP and what a song it is. I've talked about the LSD mind trip music video already, but have to repeat how much "Stars" is one of '12's finest. Just listen to that Redlight produced beat, the layers of it. It reminds me of chunky peanut butter --- it's got an abstract crunch that blends in quite perfectly with the smooth electro-funk of the chorus. Very very nice! If only we could get the mediocre bullshit off the airwaves and engage in this type of vibe more often, I think we'd see an improvement...
2. Everything Is Embarrassing - Sky Ferreria
With premature notion I had written off Sky Ferrieria. She was just another blonde, smokey eyeshadowed pop dot and well, that quota had been filled to the max, just in '12 alone. Still music snobbery can get the best of people, even "sensible" people like me. So my ignorance turned to bliss when I befell on her new song, "Everything Is Embarrassing". After getting over the upset that she totally jacked the title of my not-written-yet-but-will-be-written-when-something-interesting-happens-to-me memoirs, I had to give serious props to the fantastic production on this song (take a bow Dev Hynes aka Blood Orange). It's that 80's sound that I never tire of hearing and it pretty much makes me want to go all mall rat and swap a diamond earring with bad boy John Bender. If "Embarrassing" froths up something familiar, it does remind one of Solange's fantastic "Losing You" --- which was also oh ho! produced by Blood Orange. Good show. Ferreria's Ghost EP is out and you can take it down stream, but for now I toast my Orange Julius to this.
3. Original Love - Josephine
I had discussed the nature of Manchester bred Josephine prior, as I was pretty damn floored with her debut single, "What A Day", not just by voice alone---okay, that's a lie as she's got a mighty fine instrument there---but the song itself was a very pleasant surprise considering it wasn't the typical folk-soul hybrid. Possibly one of the best things I've heard all week is her newest single, "Original Love", which is devoid of folk, and adopts a sonic soul quality that is soft and insulated. Though her debut album Portrait is out n' about (and needs to be in my hands, now), I find myself completely consumed with this song. I love how it mixes in World beats and keeps in mind some finger snapping retro soul aesthetic, but it's far from choking on the exhaust fumes of Motown revival and that's why it's a song that is made of awesome.
4. & It Was U - How To Dress Well
How To Dress Well is the nom de plumb of Tom Krell, a music crafting whiz kid hailing from Colorado who gained attention by his lo-fi R&B creations that have him under the same umbrella as The Weeknd and Frank Ocean. His off-shoot cover of Janet Jackson's "Again" wasn't the best, but I gave him a second chance as his current single, the minimalist pounce of "& It Was U" has made this year's Total Loss something worth seeking. I couldn't help but hear the hefty Prince influence on this song. Right down to those falsetto runs and it's word play title --- this is pretty much soaking in the purified waters of Lake Minnetonka. Yet, Krell comes from a love of R&B from days of yore, so it's all in homage. He actually does it quite well in this song as it does so much in the little space it's provided. Also "& It Was U"does something pretty special as it plays things up for the hipster crowd, but manages to stray from it's usual spectators, as it latches onto those who just like a well-thought out and well-sung track.
5. LoveLight - Kaya
Now this is something to snuggle up into! Kaya is someone on my radar after taking in her refashion of The Police's "Roxanne". I thought she did a solid re-fix, so I was quite excited when I saw a month ago that she had an original song in the bag, and that song is "LoveLight" and it is mighty lush. I'm feein' on the 90's R&B vibe in this as it sensually drifts along, and I gotta admit, this is what I wish a lot more people were doing. The Toronto native is still riding on the crest of indie, but I bet some bucks that we'll be hearing more from here when 2013 dashes in especially if she keeps releasing gems like this one. You can snag the track for just an e-mail address over at Kaya's Bandcamp page.