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Jonah Baseball – Louisville Slugger

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Up-and-coming producer Jonah Baseball’s “Louisville Slugger” popped up on a recent mix from Ryan Hemsworth, tucked away in the midst of sixty other tracks. It was a hyperactive highlight that stood out from the rest and immediately caught my attention. However, it was also a track that couldn’t be found anywhere else at the time, but thankfully it’s now a standalone single.

Bouncy and bubbly, this sparkling track just can’t sit still. Jonah constantly slides new sounds into the mix, and and the fun he’s having is incredibly contagious. He definitely hit a home run with this one (sorry).

Percussions – KHLHI

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Kieran Hebden, commonly known as Four Tet, is prepping two 12” records under his Percussions alias. Although the name has changed, the four songs he’s releasing are very much his usual style: spellbinding, playful, and incredibly unique. He has always had such a keen ear for grooves, and “KHLHI,” the last to be unveiled, is no different. The dulled, hypnotic bass tones that propel the track are occasionally interrupted by quick bursts from a female voice. Hebden lets the vocals loose shortly before the halfway mark and completely changes the song’s structure, unleashing something much more vibrant and organic for a few precious moments.

Check out the rest – “Ascii Bot,” “Blatant Water Cannon,” and “Sext” – over on his SoundCloud, and look for them and an EP from a producer named Taraval at month’s end, around April 28.

Bladee – Dragonfly

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The “heyday” of boutique Swedish label Sincerely Yours may be a few years in the past, but the music they release is still undeniably special. With “Dragonfly,” the label’s latest from Bladee, the blissful blue skies invoked by their artists like jj or Air France are painted over with a melancholic glaze. Team Rockit’s production may be typically smooth and airy, but it’s contrasted by choppy, digitized vocals and subdued pacing that give the song a truly ominous feel. Such a quality is pretty hard to deny when one of the opening lines is “If I die today, well, I’m going to a better place.”

You can purchase “Dragonfly” on iTunes. Check out Anima, Team Rockit’s album from last year, here.

Lykke Li – Gunshot

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With her third album I Never Learn out in a matter of weeks, Swedish songstress Lykke Li has already given advance looks at two of its emotionally-cutting dirges, “Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone” and “No Rest For The Wicked.” Her third single, “Gunshot,” is by all means still a heart-wrenching ballad, but with a much more explosive and compelling musical arrangement than what she has delivered so far. Once again, she crawls under your skin with devastated and forlorn lyrics, comparing the dissolution of a relationship to a painful bullet wound.

Lykke Li’s new album is out May 6 in North America.

Eaters – Bury The Lines

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“Bury The Lines” is a track off Brooklyn duo Eaters’ new self-titled LP. In all honesty, it’s a fairly stomach-churning song, with waves of swelling sirens that collide with a restless drum machine and a blank delivery. They catapult you into orbit right at the song’s inception, but the induced nausea quickly turns into more of a mesmeric state. The elements might be disconcerting if you were to start up the track at the halfway mark, but if you’re in from the beginning, you’re under their spell.

Eaters is out now on Driftless Recordings / Dull Tools. It has a lot more experimental grooves in the same vein as “Bury The Lines,” so make sure you check it out if you enjoyed this one.

Disclosure x Friend Within – The Mechanism

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The Disclosure brothers teamed up with fellow UK producer Friend Within for a new track. If you enjoyed the duo’s debut album Settle, I think you’ll like this one. It’s a house jam with some well-placed, chopped-up vocal samples and an incredibly hypnotic bassline. A few moments sound a little like their track “When A Fire Starts To Burn,” but that’s very far from a bad thing.

It’ll be out near the end of April via PMR Records.

Fear of Men – Descent

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Loom, Brighton band Fear of Men’s impending true debut, is slowly being revealed through a string of phenomenal singles. “Descent” is the next entry to that line, another piece of their gothic dream pop that might just be their best yet. Wispy guitars fortify the haunting lyrics and give the song an ironically beautiful, triumphant sound. Things come to a fitting close with an eerie string finale, allowing you a few moments to emerge from the dark depths the band just threw you into.

Don’t miss Loom when it arrives April 22 on Kanine Records.

Todd Terje – Svensk Sås

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I’ll be honest, I think I had only listened to one Todd Terje track up until this week. The whole “nu-disco” thing has never really appealed to me in the past. I have to say, though, I’m fairly stupid for almost passing It’s Album Time up, because it’s one of the catchiest and most accessible things I’ve heard in a long time. Dance music can start to sound mechanical or stale after a while, but Todd Terje’s ecstatic, goofy grooves totally spice it up.

It’s Album Time is the culmination of Terje’s past ten years of production, a debut full-length that pits a few older songs against some new ones and presents you with an immaculate hour-long mix. I like to showcase album cuts I particularly enjoyed, but it’s hard to pick a track for that when they all flow into each other and gel so perfectly. However, “Svensk Sås” is a great little slice of what Terje is all about on this album. It’s a masterfully crafted, samba-infused burst of energy that’s as quirky as it is flirty. You can almost feel his confidence and sense of humor seep through your speakers, and the rest of It’s Album Time is much of the same way. There’s so much rich, fun, genre-blending music to absorb here that I think it’s impossible not to love. It’s easily one of the most entertaining things I’ve heard in 2014.

(iTunes | Amazon)

Tweens – Star Studder

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Tweens are exploding with energy. Their self-titled debut came out today, and you can tell they had a difficult time putting a lid on it and containing themselves. Their “trash pop” is so rambunctious that it almost knocks the wind out of you, but that’s what’s so enjoyable about it. It shakes up the pace of life and sends a much-welcomed jolt through your ears.

The band cooks up the garage pop recipe to perfection on this album: the louder and faster, the better. Nearly every track is a sub-three minute drag race of fuzzy, frenetic thrashing and smashing. The closer track “Star Studder,” in particular, really captures what they’re all about: boisterous melodies, tons of noise, and just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek brattiness.

Simply put, they’re a lot of fun to listen to. An album like this comes around every so often, and it’s a blast when it does. Last year it was Thee Oh See’s Floating Coffin for me, and Tweens absolutely takes that spot this year.

(Direct | iTunes | Amazon)

Grave Pool – Frost Pockets

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Nashville’s Grave Pool decided to celebrate (or mourn, as the SoundCloud description might better imply) his 25th birthday by releasing three songs into the digital wild, and I think we’re the ones who came away with the best birthday gift. “Frost Pockets” is one part of this short, $1 trip called Dinosaur Hell, and as the song title might suggest, it’s gorgeous, grandiose dream pop that feels like a gust of chilled air. A soaring melody, twinkling guitars, and enough reverb to drown a small animal in – it not only sounds amazing, but there’s something about it that captures what it’s like to have our desire to be carefree and indifferent slowly pulled out from under us with each passing year. Grave Pool really put something special together here.

You can pick it up on Grave Pool’s Bandcamp page.

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