Considering that the majority of the tunes of electro pop duo Sylvan Esso’s album are straight up dance jams, it makes a surprising amount of sense that their videos have focused more or less solely on that aspect. But unlike the previous one for “Coffee”, the duo and director Remedy decided to cut the story out almost entirely. A music video shoot in the music video shoot, the video for “Play It Right” finds Sylvan Esso and a couple of their North Carolina dance pals cutting a rug pretty much for the whole of the video’s duration. Through total simplicity, magic is made. The duo are thoroughly in their element performing for those not lucky enough to see them up close and personal and the dancers feed organically off of the song’s various elements. “Play It Right” prove just what you can do with a couple good friends, a properly righteous tunes, a camera, and some lights for good measure.
London newcomer Oscar makes highly catchy, endearing pop songs with a Morrissey croon. 146b is his latest EP, a collection of shimmeringly simple songs about love, loss, wanting and heartache. You can fall in love and nuke the relationship all in the span of four songs.
With Winter firmly in the rear-view and the weather thawing out, it’s the time of the year where all of the summer jams come out to play and Steve Sobs‘ “Ugh” is a surefire contender. The Brooklyn based bedroom pop of Eric Littmann finds the pitch perfect balance between breezy springy melodies and the unmistakable forward plod of any halfway decent pop song. “Ugh” is a tune with relatively no sense of urgency; chill and casual in its delivery with a dose of nostalgia for good measure. That’s not just due to Littmann’s memory combing lyrics but “Ugh” recalls in the faintest sense College’s “Real Hero” in theory more than in practice. There’s an instant feeling of timelessness virtually from the get go, as the subtle interplay between acoustic guitar and electronics offer up the bulk of the track’s dynamism. Littman’s vocals are notably understated, draining the emotive resonance out of a tale of old love. Where that might be a point of criticism in any other case, there’s never the feeling like they’re unintentionally lacking and Littmann allows the instrumentals to pick up the slack and deliver a heaping helping of the feels in spite of the distance the vocals suggest.
Steve Sobs’ upcoming full length Heavy Heart is out May 13th on Waaga Records.
During SXSW nothing matters more than finding the next great band, free drink, or comfy
chair curb to rest your feet for a few minutes. Yet, afterward it’s hard to remember much of anything that happened in the blur that was a week of music, TexMex, wristbands, sunburn, and margs. We had some video cameras at Floating Fest this year so you could relive your week of debauchery in full glory.
As you may remember, IGIF joined forces with Hype Machine to host the 8th annual Floating Fest at the Hype Hotel, presented by Taco Bell’s Feed The Beat. With their help, we’ve got live performances from Mutual Benefit, Sylvan Esso, Young & Sick, and Bipolar Sunshine for you to peep. We also had Chromeo and SOHN perform too but they were camera shy that night. You can check out even more videos from Hype Hotel right here.
It’s the hallmark of the creatively foolhardy or the artistically brave to release an album hot on the heels of the one that proceeded it. Luckily, Brooklyn based pop darling Alexandra Stewart happens to be the latter and her upcoming I Grow EP, the follow up to last year’s WÀBÀ, might prove to be just as enchanting as the last. On “I Grow”, Stewart shines like never before. More stripped back than “Pow Wow”, Stewart remains the primary focus but rather than acting as the figurehead while the band swoops and whirls around her it’s far more enjoyable with Stewart former a larger part of the equation. A notably more somber affair than really any of the last EP’s tracks, “I Grow” isn’t without its fair share of action. As Stewart flexes her vocal chops, her band rise up to meet her in wonderfully arresting flourishes before Stewart and her band join forces for the inevitable sprint towards the finish line. But it’s a well earned trek, a carefully maintained ebb and flow that makes every second worth it while also defying all expectations. On “I Grow” Stewart’s stellar musicianship is displayed more impressively than ever before. Her vocals are stunning while dazzling with its simplicity.