I know I’ve blogged about The ERAera recently, but I can’t help it! They just make such engaging music! Today, I’m sharing a remix they recently released of their song “Question Everything”. Filled with a chaotic and aggressive dubstep hook, a trap-style 808 beat, and chopped up vocals, this remix puts the focus on the production, leaving the words (which are awesome) to the side for the time being. The remix has a verse from the original that gives a taste of the lyrics from the original, calling for accountability and reform. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out the original song here. In the meantime, enjoy this awesome remix!
Remember Bamboora and Odd Job from their song “As of Now” last month? Well they’ve just released another banger of an EDM track and they’ve titled it “Frat House”. I can see why this title fits. With a simple deep synth hook, this song starts out hard and fast and doesn’t lose momentum. The sound is insistent and party-perfect, just what you might want at a frat party. It evokes videogame sounds and combat soundtracks. It’s bounce-y and dance-y and worth a listen or three. Enjoy it!
J. Lye is back with a powerful song and a video to match. In “Where’d You Go”, J. Lye explores themes of love and loss in breakups and the pain and confusion that surrounds them. In this song, Lye continues to expand his sound by having guest vocalist Lisa Bello perform a sweet hook. The instrumental is mournful with muted synths and drums emphasizing the crispness of Lye’s vocals. If you haven’t heard J. Lye already, this is a good place to start; if you are already a fan then this should be a welcome addition to your library.
BONUS: J. Lye actually won this music video from KarmaloopTV. Their team put together a music video that emphasizes nostalgia and everything that one misses from the past in a relationship. By using a skin for some of the footage that gave it a date and sense of being home video, the relationship seems very real and poignant. Enjoy the video.
This is what happens when I get busy! Jordan Bratton releases a Taylor Swift cover and I don’t hear about it until a week later. Better late than never, right? So if you haven’t heard this yet, you should probably listen. Bratton’s version features gorgeous piano, military drum rolls, and his signature gorgeous vocals. This version is softer and sadder than the original and it is beautiful. The cover features brilliant twisting of the tune as well as a bit of original melody along with some background vocals forming a babbling brook of sound. Listen for yourself!
It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Johnny Rain. I had never heard of him before hearing his incredible album “Lullaby of a Machine” in March. If you haven’t heard his incredible and unique sound, check out his song “BL∆CKY∆YO“. Two days ago Johnny Rain released “Villain“, an eleven track album filled with more stellar music. You can download the entire album for free here and while that’s loading, you can start listening to the two songs I was most enamored of upon first listen.
“Isis” opens with an homage to Nancy Sinatra’s classic “Bang Bang”. Her words are framed only by Johnny Rain’s powerful and beautiful vocals, followed by an epic and vast soundscape of deliberate electric guitar chords, a simple and stark synth line, and drums that build suspense and demand attention. This epic background only sets the stage for Johnny Rain’s powerful vocals. Rain’s vocals are melodic and beautiful, often luxuriating in vocal harmonies. Again I am reminded of the Weeknd’s dark and grand songs. While I would file this somewhere between alternative and R&B/soul, Rain calls labels the entire album “avant-electro”. I can see where that comes from as the parts of this song that are most electronic, that simple synth line of three slowly repeating notes, is the same progression used in the climax of the film “Attack the Block”. This is not really a sample so much as another musical nod to a great movie and an amazing soundtrack made by Basement Jaxx and Steven Price. This is interacting with music on a whole new level. Recreating parts to use as a background while adding instruments and vocals over it to make something entirely original. The song ends with a monologue from “The Notebook” backed only by beautiful vocal harmonizing. I wonder how many references I’ve missed. Johnny Rain is truly making high art on many levels.
I’m sharing “Americana Way” not just because it’s a great song, but to show a more alternative rock sound to Johnny Rain. This song relies more on guitar and drums than “Isis” and it is still an amazing song. There are still background synths and orchestral strings to give the song that full bodied sound that I’ve come to associate with Rain, but they are less prominent than in “Isis”. The song opens with strings in an introduction that feels more like a transition than a inseparable part of the song, and when the strings end, the drums, keyboard, bass, guitar and vocals take over. Once again, Rain’s powerful vocals steal the show. This song is happier than many of his other songs, with lyrics about leaving to happier, sunnier places. But behind every suggestion of a happy getaway is the darkness that he wants to run away from. This song seems happier but it is shadowed, haunted. It’s a gorgeous song. Enjoy it and make sure to check out the rest of the album.