We’ve decided to do something special for all of our Knockturnal readers by launching a weekly series that will promote what we deem to be the most underrated (but still just as phenomenal as the chart-toppers) tracks that will be releasing this summer. Find out which ones made the cut this week!
It has been a sad year for music lovers world-wide as we’ve lost quite a few gems – Prince, Bowie, Glenn Frey, Maurice White, etc. – that we can all agree have shaped what music has come to be in this day and age. While knowing that these legendary musicians will no longer be gracing us with the bliss of their musical talent has been a harsh reality to face, we must also recognize that there is a silver lining in shifting our focus towards the up and coming musicians that will continue to shape the future of music for years to come. It is now easier than ever to gain access to the spectacular sounds that continually surface from all around the world. I figured I’d lend you a hand in narrowing the vast amounts of musical content floating around the web and introduce you to what I consider to be the most noteworthy material streaming right now.
This week’s edition: The Underdogs
- Marian Hill – Down
I’ve been eagerly anticipating the release of this duo’s new album for weeks and I must say they’ve absolutely surpassed all of my expectations. Marian Hill has been a duo to watch ever since they dropped their jaw-dropping remix for Aquilo’s ‘Human’, and followed it up with their debut album – one that I considered to be one of the best albums of 2015 – Sway. Their knack of fusing R&B elements with minimalist electro-pop sounds to create a jazzy avant-soul feel is truly one of a kind. Their simple, yet incredibly hypnotizing, beats draw you in and captivate you by making you guess what direction the track is going to go in. This gem does exactly that. Samantha Gongol’s sultry voice seduces you and lures you in until – BAM – magic happens. You’re in for a real treat if you haven’t heard this one yet.
2. Blood Orange – Augustine
Dev Hynes – most commonly known as Blood Orange – has done it again by sweeping the world off their feet with the release of his newest album, Freetown Sound. This track in particular encompasses everything that niche music lovers appreciate about Blood Orange’s production style: a touch of nostalgia and irresistibly dance inducing retro beats. Upon first listen, you could easily pin the song as a forgotten hit from the 80s but despite its upbeat nature, Augustine digs deeper and touches on the intricacies of growing up in an urban neighborhood. Watch the powerful video below:
3. Mitski – Your Best American Girl
This is modern day female angst at its finest. Mitski has been killing it this year – Puberty 2 has the potential to strike a chord with anyone that has struggled with burden of transitioning into womanhood. Your Best American Girl promotes the idea of staying true to yourself despite what others expect of you. The powerful message is contrasted with twinkling dream-like synths scattered throughout the song and the softness of her vocals.
4.Devendra Banhart – Middle Names
Banhart’s voice could easily qualify as the 8th wonder of the world. Do yourself a favor and add this song to your ‘SleepyTime’ playlist because it teleports you to dreamland stat.
5.Porches – Underwater
I’m technically cheating by including this one on the list of fresh new finds given that it was released on their album that dropped earlier this year, but it’s so mind-blowingly incredible that I couldn’t resist sharing with those who haven’t had the chance to hear it yet. Porches’s second EP ‘Pool’ starkly contrasted with the sound they created for themselves upon gaining public traction with their 2013 debut album, ‘Slow Dance in the Cosmos’. They went from experimenting with angsty shoe-gaze to flawlessly dabbling in the art of indie chillwave and in doing so defined what it means to be a phenomenal genre-bending artist. ‘Pool’ in itself is a phenomenally cohesive and poetic album that give us the slightest bit of insight into what goes on in Aaron Maine’s head, and the reward that comes from listening to it sequentially definitely outweighs its experimental risk. Everything about this song is perfect – the trippy synths, the smooth but still groovy bassline, Maine’s sensitive vocals, the enthralling percussion, the build up, and the climax. 10/10.
6. Tinie Tempah ft. Zara Larsson
Naturally, I had to save the banger for last. This track has blown up in the UK – Tinie Tempah‘s native country – racking up a total of 83 million views ever since it dropped in early March. With the help of Zara Larsson’s velvety vocals singing the hook, Tempah effortlessly spits out his distinct flow over an infectious beat that is bound to take over dance clubs nationwide very soon.