Now Digging / Dead Times

Dead Times 2

Photo Credit: Roman Koval

What is this sparse, synth-driven R&B trend officially being called? Neo-R&B? Electro-R&B? Whatever it is called, it is quite rare that this type of music really grabs me; while I can confidently say I am sent a great deal of this, it is a challenge to come up with a list of bands. Sure there are some winners in every catalog, but more often than not it all just sounds the same to me. The bands traversing in this area are a blur of beats and soulful moans.

Not so with the LA-based Dead Times, or at least the majority (majority!) of the tracks I’ve heard from them thus far.
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Now Digging / Steed Lord

01 photo by Ebonee_-2

If you love musical theater, costume changes, fabulous leading ladies and/or dancing, you must stop reading and turn on Steed Lord right now (or just scroll down).

Hailing from Iceland, the trio is fearless and fun, yet polished, expert performers. I had the great pleasure of being at Space15Twenty for the single release party for “Stutter” a few weeks ago and the experience was a ferocious combination of all of the above descriptors. See for yourself:

Whenever music lands in my email inbox labeled “dance floor anthem” this is what I hope it will be. Too frequently I am disappointed, being serviced with a sparkly, pulsating ocean of repetitive beats and synth riffs. Steed Lord, however, cuts through the waves with real attitude, mostly due to the vocals of lead singer, Svala: clear, sultry and rich. 

Whether you’re an all night dance hall queen or just going out to grab drinks with a few friends, Steed Lord will put you in the mood to conquer the evening. If they keep making more music like “Stutter” and “Curtain Call” I will be along for the ride.

File Under: Robyn, Niki and The Dove, Austra, dance, pop, party, synth

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On the Power of Hustle + Tunes by Betty Who, CONWAY, HOLYCHILD, Madi Diaz and more

My current desktop background courtesy of designlovefest

My current desktop background, available for download on designlovefest.com {click on picture}

I believe in the power of hustle. Constant activity. That there is always something you can be doing to generate momentum and change in your life. It doesn’t take much time to send an email reconnecting with an old contact. It doesn’t hurt to ask a question where the answer might be no (it might also be yes!)  Even reading can be a step forward if you’re gaining some small piece of knowledge you didn’t know before. Whenever I go out to an event or a show, if I meet one new person no matter where they work or what they do, I consider it a night well spent. How did you hustle today?
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Now Digging / Laney Jones

Laney Jones Grey Fox 2013

I am a sucker for songs with a catchy hook and a whole lot of heart. This tune by Florida-based songstress, Laney Jones starts off with earnest acoustic guitar, building momentum until an electronic beat kicks in at the chorus. When in the wrong hands this sort of genre switcheroo can be a sloppy let down; when done well, a cathartic dance floor anthem that makes you sing-along and shake your booty (e.g. “Wake Me Up” by Avicii / Aloe Blacc).
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Now Digging / Ryn Weaver

Ryn Weaver

All credit goes to this wise fellow for tipping me off to Ryn Weaver, so that the moment her EP hit my inbox (via Interscope) I knew I had to take a listen right away.
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