Alina Baraz - "Buzzin" // "Lavender and Velvet"

I don't know what planet Alina Baraz came from or which one she resides in but I want to live in her world. Her grooves are so good, so sensual, so smooth, I can't get enough. I still listen to her Galimatias collab Urban Flora like it came out last week, her single "Electric" is on rotation always, her feature on Phlake's "Gone" is incredible, and now this. 

The double single release must mean something is coming, as she hasn't released a proper single since the aforementioned "Electric" and that was back in January. Then again, nothing has been announced, and these tracks could just be what's come from restlessness while she's been on tour (opening for Coldplay with Tov Lo). Either way, both tracks are absolute GEMS. It's sexy, dreamy, electro grooves that wrap you up and take you into the stratosphere. Lay back and drift, it's what Alina wants. 

Elohim - "The Wave"

Elohim has been quietly making a name for herself, building a body of work that's inventive, fun, and consistently solid, an accolade that is possibly the most important. Her self titled 2016 release was excellent but it's been her steady stream of singles following that release that have me REALLY excited about the future. 

"The Wave" is the third single of 2017, and the third single that I have looped. I mentioned her consistency early, but I only meant it in terms of quality, as each has been different. The first, "Skinny Legs" was off the wall and packed a punch, the second, "Sleepy Eyes," was summer soaked tropical fun, and has a night club vibe and feels like a slice from Phoenix's spectacular 2013 record Bankrupt!. The latter is my favorite of the three, as it's equal parts boundless energy and a laid back poolside groove. I'm all in. Keep exploring, I'll keep listening. 

Camille - "Seeds"

It's been a long time since I made a point to listen to Camille. Like many I became aware of her after her sophomore release Le fil, whose lead single "Ta douleur" hasn't lost any of it's original appeal. But even with that in mind I never put a ton of time into the records that followed. Through no fault of her own she's always been an artist that's slides into my life by chance, I listen for a bit, and then just as quietly as she entered, she exits. Normally this occurrence isn't noted, however today she happened to release new material and I happened to find it more exceptional than I normally do. 

"Seeds" is soft and delicate, an ideal candidate for a rainy Sunday morning alone. I'm talking empty house, with gloomy scene outside, seated next to a window with a good book (although I'm playing solitaire) and whatever drink makes you feel most comfortable. The drumline-esque percussions, that become muffled during the verses, offer a steadiness that draws you in immediately. Though it's the beauty of the chorus that has me looping this track, and how it builds a little more each time it comes around. Honestly, it's just an EASY listen, and there can never be enough of those. 

I'd also like to note Camille's long running side project, Nouvelle Vague, whose down tempo, often soothing, bossa nova inspired covers have been a much more consistent listen for me in past years. 

"In A Manner Of Speaking" is their most recognized track, and also a good place to start as it a cut from their debut album. There's something to be said about the bands steady, uncomplicated sound. It builds an atmosphere and easily seduces you with it, and with Fall just around the corner, it's an atmosphere you'll want in your back pocket. 

O Mer - "Icarus"

Within the first 30 seconds I was given a vivd reminder of a sound I was familiar with but in an odd twist of fate I can't remember what it reminded me of. What I'm leaning towards is maybe a cross between The Servant's "Cell" and Blonde Redhead's 23 album...I apologize, normally I'm more succinct in my thoughts. Regardless, this track has kept me in rapture, something the Brooklyn based artist has been doing in extremely small sample sizes for the last few years.

O Mer has become a bit of a polarizing figure, releasing a single track in each of the last three years . "Now I'm Alive" in 2015, "Overflown" in 2016, and now "Icarus" (he also released a couple track before that on soundcloud which you can hear HERE). Like it's predecessors, the song accomplishes more by doing less. The down tempo electro sound is one that has had quite an influx in the last decade, so no one is necessarily surprising us, but I will say that something new can refresh us, and that's exactly what O Mer's sound is to me, refreshing. 

ODESZA - "Higher Ground" feat. Naomi Wild

With their fifth single released today in support of the upcoming LP, A Moment Apart (due out September 8th!) I figured I would write something about it, considering their 2014 release In Return is one of my favorite electronic albums ever. I know, bold words. But you know what? I'M A BOLD MAN! 

ODESZA presents a rare combination in that their sound is often equal parts soothing and grandiose. Their single "Corners Of The Earth" is the latest example of that. Add to that their affinity with worldly sounds, often incorporating eastern or tribal themes, along with a slew of others, places them in another league in comparison to their peers. Each single released so far hasn't just been good, it's been incredible, and considering there have been five, I'd say signs that this album will be just as good as In Return are obvious. Plug in and zone out. September 8th can't come soon enough. 

Because I mentioned the groups other singles, I figured I'd link you with my two favorites. 

Miloux - "Paris"

I have been WAITING for this day. New grooves from Miloux day, and much earlier than expected! Excuse me while I pop some champagne. Now, in case you aren't familiar, she's an New Zealand based artist who came on the scene last year with an EP that HIT THE SPOT. Smooth, dreamy, arresting, it had (and still has!) it all, and this new single is no different. 

"Paris" has all the atmosphere that made her such a presence in life last year. She knows the power of simplicity when it comes to her backing beats and keeps things driven vocally, which is my personal preference, generally. Between her harmonies, phrasing, and melodies, I can't get enough. It's sexy without throwing it in your face. I love it. Welcome back Miloux. Whether it be an EP or LP on the horizon, I'm here for it. 

Rationale - "Loving Life"

Before I say anything, just listen to this song. It's dance-y but relaxed and smooth. Truly built for any time of day. I'm starting with this only because I don't know how long it will take for me to stop showering love onto this artist because I've been away from the site for so long that I'm just aching to heap praise on someone and no new artist is more deserving. I'm obsessed. Ok. You're listening right? Perfect. Thank you! Let's get to it.

I know this is bold but I don't think there is an artist that has emerged in the past few years that I love more than Rationale. I have been the opposite of active when it comes to the site for the last....billion months (?), but between this new single and debut LP announcement (his self titled record will be available October 6th!!!!), I was basically forced to come back and alert the world aka my single digit subscriber list. After two strong EPs he's finally gearing up for a full length. As many of you know, one of my pet peeves is when the majority of an artist's album consists of previously released material, HOWEVER in Rationale's case I will honestly take whatever he feels his listeners should hear and in the order he wants us to hear it. 

From a vocal standpoint he sits in a realm all his own. His voice is so unique and pleasing, and because he naturally dwells in a lower register, when he ranges out of that it is a genuine gift (and this single, "Loving Life," does exactly that). I also realize I sound too excited to be taken seriously but just listen, you'll get it. His ability to maintain the addictive pop-like melodies and production without sacrificing genuine emotion is something many artists that have been in the industry for years have yet to master. This guy is the real deal. Across the board. First round draft pick. Easy.

For those unfamiliar with Rationale's previous releases, fear not. I got you. Loop these EPs. And don't forget who loves you the most. October 6th can't come soon enough. But until then...

Two Feet - "Had Some Drinks"

After the overwhelming success of his First Steps EP thanks to lead single "Go Fuck Yourself" and "Quick Musical Doodles" I don't feel like I need to bring Two Feet to light but honestly, his second single in support of his sophomore EP is really really good and I want to talk about it! Ok?? "Had Some Drinks" is SHARP. It's alt electro sound is biting and might best be described as, and forgive me for this, badass. It's COOL. I feel COOL listening to it. And isn't that enough?? *chest bumps bro, shotguns beer, desperately searches for meaning* But seriously, just like First Steps, it puts you under a spell, and anything that can retain my attention fully is primo in my book. 

A side thought: Two Steps might fall into the same division that I've placed Allan Rayman in that I love his sound, but it's VERY repetitive. Of course there's nothing wrong with having a theme, but I would like a bit of growth. I will say, it's still extremely early on in both artist's careers so for me to categorize them as one trick ponies is a bit harsh, especially when I dig that one trick, but I'm just saying...variety. That's all, as you were. It's probably also worth noting that if I had a sound like this in my mind I stick to it too. Remember? It's cool, baby. And cool ain't nothing to fuck with.

LAOISE - "Halfway"

In late 2016 LAOISE released her first single and it was a GEM. I assumed we would need to wait long, as to build off the momentum the single, titled "YOU," brought. It's May now, so I was wrong, but that's ok because her follow up is HERE and it is GOOD. Her sound is sensual, vocals are soothing, and the atmosphere consuming. It's easy to listen fall under her spell and I can't imagine anyone wanting to leave it. 

"Halfway" is a little more more haunting than "YOU" but it's exactly that type of eeriness that has me falling for it. Her backing vocals are subtle and ethereal, causing me to fade in a familiar way.  This isn't anything new, but it is something very good, and there is never enough sounds to send me dreaming. I dig LAOISE, I dig "Halfway," and I'm excited for what's next.    

Celeste - "Milk & Honey"

It's easier to be excited about singles then it is to be excited about artists. Singles are separate entities, they stand alone, body of work and continuity don't play a part, it's very much a here and now take. I say this because when I first heard Celeste earlier this year (she released her single "Daydreaming" in 2016but I didn't get to it until 2017 and I'm SORRY) she was just a single to me; an amazing single, but a single nonetheless. Jump cut to March and now I'm sitting with a three song EP, The Milk & The Honey, that solidifies it, she's more than a single, I am excited about this ARTIST.

"Milk & Honey" was what changed it, it's a slow burn from start to finish and let me tell you it is SMOOTH. The sparse percussions, the steady synths, and atmospheric backing vocals all work to hold her subtle vocal dominance. She doesn't have to do anything to command our attention, once she opens her mouth to sing I'm in. It's that simple. And I don't see that confidence in her ability waining anytime soon. I don't know what her next steps are, but I will say, tune in now for what should be a compelling next few years.