“It’s a Christmas fucking miracle! Killer Mike and El-P weren’t supposed to release RTJ3, their highly anticipated third album under the name Run The Jewels, until 1/13, but, well, here we are, and here it is. Isn’t it nice? We’ve already heard early singles “Talk To Me,” “2100,” and “Legend Has It,” and now you can stream the entire thing…” — via Stereogum
“Puerto Rico’s Ileana Cabra is a bona fide rising star on the Latin scene, and a recent Grammy nominee. For the last decade, she has cut her teeth singing and rapping with her older brothers in Calle 13. Now, she goes by iLe and has released her first solo record, iLevitable. It’s a very cool set of new songs written in the spirit of vintage Latin pop — including bolero ballads, trova folk and an emotional depth that transcends language to grab you right in the gut.”
Hear iLe’s NuevoFest set in Philadelphia below, or click HERE to watch her perform ‘Caníbal’!
“If there’s any apt way to describe the realities of 2016, it’s ‘Savage Times.’ After that, there’s nothing else to say. Los Angeles-based artist Hanni El Khatib fittingly clung to the concept on his latest EP, which is out now via Innovative Leisure. And he accurately depicted the themes in his latest innovative visual piece. The Daniel Pappas-directed clip merges Planet Earth-style visuals with glitchy manipulated edits courtesy of Zachary Ernest. The poignant retro feel paired with urgent power punk vocals makes a strong year-end statement. We’ll leave it at that.” — via The 405
“Jeremy Larson is a classically trained pianist, composer, and producer who created the indie collective Violents. Larson deftly melds his classical sensibilities with dabs of R&B and hip-hop and wraps them in an electronic encasing. On each Violents release, he composes the music, writes the lyrics, plays every instrument and then partners with a female vocalist to help accentuate his vision and bring it to fruition. On his latest single, “Equal Powers”, he’s enlisted the help of PHOX’s frontwoman Monica Martin and her soulful, smoky-jazz lounge voice. Martin lends a binding, sultry feel to Larson’s genre potpourri of classical string flourishes, clever syncopated R&B drums with a dry trap feel, and subtle synths. The song is about the early, lustful stage of love, knowing someone’s flesh better than any other facet of their person. The combination of Martin’s vocal and Larson’s well-blended aesthetic is a subdued but sexy romp.” — via Stereogum
Yuri Méndez started working on The Collapse in the early months of 2015, when, struck by conjunctivitis, he found himself sitting alone in the dark with an irresistible urge to make new songs. With his MD’s severe voice resounding in his head, telling him to not, repeat, not go near any kind of bright light, he turned on his keyboard and marvelled at the tiny, definitely not bright, red and green dots lighting up on the machine, barely illuminating the black and white keys.He started tickling the ivories, and the seeds for The Collapse were sown.
Fast forward to November 2015, when Yuri, stepping out of the darkness and into the light with 20/20 vision, joined another Lovemonk regular, Bart Davenport, at the Punta Paloma studio. There, they recorded and produced the record with the help of Shawn Lee, one of the hardest working men in show business, and Yuri’s long-time friends and collaborators Charlie Bautista and Javier Jiménez.
Two weeks later the album was ready, but when Yuri returned to Madrid, his life became the reflection of one of the new song titles: everything collapsed – his private life was a shambles after breaking up with his long-time girlfriend; he quit what you may call his day job; some of his friends were no longer his friends; several of his guitars fell apart; he was strapped; and he broke his hand, so he had to cancel all his summer gigs.
In short, The Collapse is based on real events, even though those events had not yet taken place at the time of recording, like some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy. Luckily, this is Pajaro Sunrise, so no drama is too big for a bit of gallows humour. “We might as well sing to the collapse of everything”, sings he on the title track, over a rather chipper melody.
That contrast is one of the noticeable features on The Collapse: sombre lyrics accompanied by reasonably cheerful music. A lot of that has to do with Bart Davenport playing on and co-producing the record – he adds a different colour to the sound. It’s Pajaro Sunrise, Jim, but not as we know it. A long-time fan of ‘El Barto”s music, Yuri reckons his guitars act like a switch of some sort of time machine that always takes you to a better time. And let’s not forget the studio. Situated on the idyllic beach in the southern Spanish city of Tarifa, from where you can see Africa, the Sagrista family-run Punta Paloma studio has a unique vibe, something Bart Davenport had experienced a few years earlier, when he recorded the wonderful Incarnations album for Lovemonk.
So there you have it: had he had a choice, Yuri would probably have avoided the self-fulfilling prophecy part of the story, but the mind acts in mysterious ways, and without that we may not have had this beautiful album. Everything’s in the right place.
Watch the video for “Man’s the Only Bird Who Has No Feathers” below!
“Justice have shared the new music video for their song “Fire.” It’s taken from their recently-released third album Woman, and stars Susan Sarandon. Watch it below. Directed by Pascal Teixeira, the new visual depicts Sarandon and the French duo joyriding a convertible down a desert road. According to a statement from Teixeira, the idea behind the video came after a “hot summer afternoon” of “collectively daydreaming about washing a car.” Sarandon was chosen to star due to her “iconic mix of cool, allure and strength.”” — via Pitchfork