The critically acclaimed Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli is in the process of a new animated film spearheaded by the Oscar-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. His last film was released in 2013 titled The Wind Rises, an animated historical drama which was a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikosh. Shortly after that film was released, Miyazaki had announced […]
Indie & Alternative
I’m the first to say alternative and indie can be a little hard to pin down. Yet I’ve got a cluster here that are indicative of the genre in ways I didn’t think possible. Emotional, raw, breezy, whimsical, you get the full gamut of emotions these addictive genres have to offer. I’ve got one in particular I’ve been dying to share, so I think I’ll use it to start off the list…
I am overdue for sharing this absolute gem of a piece. A song that makes your soul lift straight out of your body. Not in the ‘I’m dealing with secondhand embarrassment and I can’t handle it anymore‘ way, but the ‘God, I feel like I could touch the sky‘ way.
A breezy summer day somehow condensed into four minutes, this is the definition of bottling up some musical magic. The outro is nothing short of stunning and easily the most incredible part of a strong package. A soft chorus builds and builds and builds with a rolling guitar in the background that’s as grand as it is whimsical. Something I love doing is reading the comments on a video (don’t worry, I don’t read too far) and seeing if people feel similar emotions.
Judging by the amount of commenters saying the song makes them feel nostalgic or like they’re destined for something special…to that I say: yeah, boy!
I really need some guidance
It’s gone way too far
Hip-Hop & Soul
Soul has a way of getting me into this perfect headspace. For a moment, everything feels all right. It’s not quite the romantic feeling I get from folk, nor the nostalgic sweetness that thrums through my veins with rock. It’s a little timeless, like it comes from another place entirely.
While Mila J is the more well-known Jhene Aiko‘s sister, don’t let it be said she’s piggybacking off of her sibling’s fame. No, Mila J is in a league all her own. She has the pipes, she has the style and I’m going to talk about two of my absolute favorite songs by her. …So far!
There are plenty of songs about the value of shiny rocks. ‘Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend’ is probably the most famous Western example, though it certainly isn’t for lack of trying. ‘D + G’, however, gets a touch more artistic. While still talking about money, it goes a step further and uses precious stones as a metaphor for beautiful emotions. It certainly doesn’t hurt the production is buttery smooth and the atmosphere is nothing short of romantic. This is one collaboration that goes together about as well as…well, silver and gold.
Even amber and jade, it couldn’t make my memories fade
If I gave you every stone, could I keep you as my own?
Are you a fan of art books? How about speculative fiction that runs the gamut of fantasy to sci-fi? The Kickstarters below have anywhere from three weeks to just a week left to go and could use some of your spare change or signal boosting to see completion.
(For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, here’s an overview — it’s a crowdfunding platform that sees thousands of projects completed every year, ranging from small zines to short films to fashion movements. Unlike Indiegogo, it operates on an all-or-nothing approach. Unless the target goal for the project is met, it won’t receive its funding. This is what makes spreading the word so important!)
Without further ado…
Filled to the brim with talented writers and boasting some impressive covers done by illustration heavyweights such as Julie Dillon and Galen Dara, Uncanny Magazine has done some serious work carving out its identity in a sea of competition. Winner of the legendary Hugo Award and exceeding over a dozen issues of their compilation work, this one puts an emphasis on exploring disability in the realm of fiction.
Less is more. This is universal wisdom. But what happens when it’s…true?
blAck pARty (also blackxparty) is an up-and-coming hip-hop and funk artist whose recently released first album, Mango, is already catching the attention of prominent directors and photographers. First impressions are everything, particularly in artistic industries where that’s literally the bread and butter. blAck pARty has given it one hell of a shot with ‘Best View’.
The title speaks for itself. The first thing you’ll notice about the video is that it’s goddamn gorgeous. The first few shots alone are better than some entire music videos I’ve seen…and I watch a lot. You don’t just have people singing at the camera and gyrating in poorly-lit clubs here (though those have their time and place, don’t get me wrong). Right off the bat we’re greeted with lush forests, well-composed shots and some incredible lighting.
Indie, Folk & Soul
This one is going to be a touch unconventional. At least, for me! While I put a stronger emphasis on lesser-known musicians in this series (and there are still a few below!), we’re also going to be taking a look at more popular artists who have been doing music for a while and have gone in a new direction. I mean, at the end of the day…I just gotta share the good stuff. As always, there are links to the songs below with additional media, such as cheorographies and covers as I find them.
So without further ado!
Recently picked up by Beyonce‘s label after years of doing covers on their Youtube channel, the future is looking pretty bright for Chloe x Halle. This was the first original song I heard from them and I was temporarily staggered by their unique and eclectic personality. It’s actually hard to know where to start!
The visceral lyrics and moody beat make this one hell of a well-rounded piece. The instrumentation is rather simple, for contrast, to better put more emphasis on their strong vocal work. A deep bassline thrums alongside finger-snaps, transitioning smoothly into an unsettling hook that builds up and layers gradually, transforming into a chorus-then-rap-then-croon that’ll have you reeling. It’s just all over the place in the best way.
The video is a little on the surreal side, too, which is always an extra point in my book!
Baby, I get sick of you
You are the same old tune
R&B & Chill-Pop
Been dealing with more panic attacks than I know what to do with lately. Heart palpitations, insomnia, chest pains, the works. When it comes to music, there’s nothing like a little R&B and chill-pop to soothe frazzled nerves. Whether you have a stressful workweek you’ve just got through with or you’re gearing up for a busy weekend, take a glance at this list and see if you can’t find something to put your mind at ease for a few minutes.
Smoky and ethereal, this is a gorgeous example of the genre by newcomer Sofi De La Torre. Gaining a strong fanbase on Soundcloud and Youtube, she stands out amid the pack through a mixture of striking vocals and smooth, flowing melodies. When I’m eager to show off the latest songs I’ve found, I often like to first show ones that are really representative of what the artist has to offer on the whole. ‘$‘ is one of those songs.
Mere seconds in and I was taken aback by the contrast between the tender atmosphere and the incredibly blunt lyrics, not unlike something FKA Twigs or Grimes could’ve cooked up if they steered more toward R&B. They give the song a fantastic sense of style, even as you sweat under the collar and thank whichever god you pray to that you’re not on the receiving end of the singer’s dagger-laden disdain. With vocals that turn from conventionally smooth to breathy and delicate instrumentation, there’s plenty to like in this single. Don’t think you’re out of hot water yet, though, because her next one…
Fuck your money I don’t care about it
Forget your car, I’m gonna walk home