Check out what our music supervisors are listening to this month in our Music Discovery playlist for April. Also featured are some great songs to help lift your spirits into spring, hand picked by Alex Ruder, one of our music supervisors.
Following months of constant rain, grey days, and early sunsets here in the Pacific Northwest, I welcome the transition into spring with wide open arms. Time to finally roll the car windows down and jam out to some feel-good music. While I’d still bump these tracks year-round, these 5 new tracks are all sounding especially nice in the sunshine.
Artist: The Range
The Range is the alias of Brooklyn-via-Providence electronic producer James Hinton. He’s been bubbling up from the underground over the last five years with standout releases on fantastic incubator labels such as Astro Nautico and Donky Pitch. His new sophomore album Potential marks his first release on Domino Records, a major look for an artist largely making beats out of his bedroom. His new record is based around samples he discovered while going down YouTube rabbit holes, allowing him to re-contextualize and even collaborate with amateur artists from all over the world. “Florida” is the lead single from the album and perfectly showcases his skill at uniquely blending elements of instrumental hip-hop, electro-pop, and progressive club rhythms into his own distinctive sound.
Track: Town & Country
Hailing from West Midlands, UK, Stephen Wilkinson has been crafting a wide range of music under the alias Bibio for over a decade that spans everything from blissful instrumental ambiance to 70s-steeped funk-pop. While his styles vary wildly, the quality of his music remains consistently high, and his new fifth album A Mineral Love continues the trend. Early single “Town & Country” showcases Bibio’s ability to create timeless pop that’s ideal for laid-back road trips.
Artist: Niki & The Dove
Track: So Much It Hurts
Swedish electro-pop duo Niki & The Dove fully embrace their love for slinky nostalgic 80s-influenced sounds on their latest single “So Much It Hurts,” a supremely catchy song that boasts a bassline I’ve had to revisit on a regular basis ever since it came out back in February. Along with their excellent late 2015 single “Play It On My Radio,” it appears Niki & The Dove are poised to return with another standout album sometime this year which will follow-up their debut album Instinct, released back in 2012 on revered Seattle label Sub Pop Records.
NYC’s Cascine Records is one of my favorite labels releasing quality, timeless, eclectic dream-pop music and Washington, DC band Brett is one of their roster’s hidden gems. Similar to their band name, their new sophomore album Mode carries a deceptively dull monosyllabic tone that doesn’t quite capture the strength of their songwriting and breezy melodies. Fortunately, their new single “Electric” stands out with a sun-kissed chorus that bursts with enveloping textures that are wonderful to get lost within.
Track: Mo Money Mo Problems
20 year-old Oakland artist Kamaiyah is breaking out in 2016 with A Good Night in the Ghetto, one of the most refreshing hip-hop/R&B mixtapes in recent memory. Carrying a strong 1990s influence throughout that’s impossible not to love, her mixtape makes good on the promise of her lead single “How Does It Feel,” a song that immediately went into heavy rotation upon first crossing my ears in late 2015. Now with a fully-formed mixtape stacked with infectious hits, including the slick new jam “Mo Money Mo Problems,” A Good Night in the Ghetto places the first lady of Bay Area label/collective Big Money Gang fully in the spotlight and confirms a fresh talent on the hip-hop and R&B scene.