Cende – “What I Want” (ft. Greta Kline)

Brooklyn-based indie quartet Cende will release their debut album #1 Hit Single late next month, and based on their first electrifying cut “Bed” as well as their newest tease “What I Want,” it has now become one of our most anticipated releases of the year. While the former had frontman Cameron Wisch snarling amidst raw, focused instrumentals, the new track has a sort of unintentional vulnerability in comparison, especially with the vocal addition of Frankie Cosmos’ Greta KIine. Her soft, hazy voice seperates itself from Wisch’s timid growls almost instantly, breathing new life in between the wails of strings. The sound swells and deflates periodically throughout the track, then explodes near the close, perhaps highlighting the frustration and complication of relationships.

#1 Hit Single will be released on May 26th.

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photo courtesy of artist
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Gorillaz – “The Apprentice”

This Friday, Gorillaz will release their highly anticipated fifth full-length album Humanz. So far, they have been incredibly generous in what they have chosen to share before the album’s release, including five brand new tracks as well as a handful of remixes. “The Apprentice” is the newest stunning tease for the album, featuring Rag‘n’Bone Man, Zebra Katz & RAY BLK. Besides hearing a new variation of the now signature Gorillaz laughter in the beginning, the track has bouncy beats, sultry vocals, supersonic effects, and a dense, yet colorful composition.

Humanz will be released on April 28th.

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photo courtesy of artist

Pond – “Paint Me Silver”

Aussie psych group Pond – fronted by former Tame Impala guitarist Nicholas Allbrook – will release their newest album early next month, titled The Weather. Adding to the hype the previously released title track has cultivated, the quartet has now shared “Paint Me Silver,” the newest tease from the Kevin Parker produced album. Euphoria seems to run rampant throughout the track, its bright, shimmering synth practically oozing out of every second. Previously, the band was known for their quirky, unpredictable demeanors, with more emphasis placed on fun, scuzzy effects and trippy soundscapes. But here, it’s smooth and sleek, the band no doubt ultimately ready to be taken seriously as pysch contenders.

The Weather will be released on May 5th.

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photo by Matt Sav

The Buttertones – “Matador”

The Buttertones are among some of the most underrated artists in recent history, proof of that being their now chock full discography. Their raw, unrefined personas shone through in both their self-titled and their appeal towards more cinematic tracks appeared in their  sophomore album American Brunch, with “Lemonade” and “Baby Doll” containing electrifying instrumentals and mellow tones behind every corner. Their newest album Gravedigging – released late last month – somehow perfectly combines their gritty, hard-as-nails aesthetic with a dose of love sickness, all wrapped in a half surf rock, half gangster paradise. “Matador” has the quintet firing all all the pistons in their still wonderfully rusted engine, using that crude, unrefined oil that is their quirk to their advantage. It’s dangerous and ruthless at times, and yet incredibly appealing.

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photo by Sheva Kafai

Brothertiger – “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (Tears for Fears Cover)

Tears for Fears was among one of the first bands I remember hearing as a child thanks to my older brother’s extensive collection of 80’s classics, and, considering my learning years were in the 2000’s, I have his distaste for ever leaving that era to thank for my admiration. Needless to say, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is certainly not a foreign track to me, and I’ve heard countless covers. Brooklyn-based artist Brothertiger, however, has one of the most devoted and freshest reimaginings in quite a long time, and the fact that he will soon release a cover album of 1985’s Songs From The Big Chair proves his own admiration tenfold. His voice is buoyant and tender, the synth blossoming all around him in true Tears for Fears fashion.

Brothertiger Plays: Songs From the Big Chair will be released on May 19th.

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photo by Andrew Piccone

Leo Kalyan – “Versailles”

It’s been quite a while since I’ve been immersed in soft, electronic R&B, and thankfully, Leo Kalyan has escorted me back into the haze. The London based singer-songwriter released his debut EP Silver Linings in 2015 and his second Outside In last year, containing the soft, vulnerable track “Fucked Up” as well as the most sparse, yet delicate reimagining of The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” I’ve ever heard. His flinty, reverberated voice shines once again in his newest single “Versailles,” along with more multi-dimensional bursts of synth and and soft twangy effects. He compares his beloved to the Gardens of Versailles – a meticulously designed and maintained botanical entrance to the Chateau de Versailles in France – and, fittingly regards them as absolute perfection. The track pulses and sways so beautifully it’s hard not to nod along, his voice a constant reminder that it’s okay to succumb to aesthetic beauty every now and again.

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photo by Maximillian Hetherington