Los Angeles’ Harlan started impressing me with his first release, his EP titled ‘Native Son’, which he released a few months back. Now the indie-pop singer-songwriter is back with a new EP, which is something pretty different. It proves that Harlan isn’t a one trick pony and luckily it’s almost equally good as his ‘Native Son’ EP. His new EP is titled ‘1984’ and it features four top notch indie rock songs.
‘Native Son’ was a playful and light EP and included some very funky happy grooves, and ‘1984’ sounds different. ‘1984’ sounds more straight forward and most of all more mature. It features heavier drums, more distortion, more noise but doesn’t lack the catchiness that made Harlan’s first EP catch my ear. Harlan’s voice sounds more mature and developed as well and his lyrics seem more melancholic than ever before. I’m not sure if I like the new direction Harlan seems to be heading though ‘1984’ features some cool songs. My favourite song is Pack Lite that consists of well-sung vocals and catchy rock-like guitar riffs, while staying true to the drum machine. ‘1984’ is a nice, grown-up move by this LA based artist, though I think I like his less mature side better.
150 out of 200
As you might have noticed I have a weak spot for genre-hopping artists that combine two genres into something new. One of those combinations that I particularly like and that is heard a lot these days is R&B inspired electronic music. One of the artists that combine R&B and the somewhat darker, more ambient electronic music is Beacon and to my great pleasure their label Ghostly International has just made a stream available of the duo’s EP ‘For Now’.
Beacon is a vocalist-producer duo inspired by the fusion of electronic, bass and R&B, and their EP is precisely what you’d expect. In a good way. ‘For Now’ is an EP consisting of five tracks, of which Feeling’s Gone was shared a few weeks back already. Ghostly explains the feel of the EP perfectly by saying that it’s the sort of EP you’d listen when coming home after a party and you can’t sleep, and it’s precisely that. My favourite track is Feeling’s Gone, which is an incredibly well produced effort where Mullarney’s vocals really stand out. Though some of the tracks sound pretty similar, this EP is definitely something I’ll keep in mind when coming home after a party.
150 out of 200
Somehow it’s been a trend to have a moniker that’s a nominal, like Clouds, and which is impossible to find on Google. The same thing happened to me when I tried to find out more about Atlas. You can imagine what I found. When I saw they named their EP ‘Cities’ I was in for an even better treat. Looking for Atlas Cities on Google gets you stuff like Wikipedia, but not the British producer trio and their new EP. With ‘Cities’, the British trio delivered a good EP, but it didn’t meet my expectations.
Before sharing their complete EP, they released This Is and Lights, which are now also included on ‘Cities’. This Is and Lights are damn nice tracks, with good vocals, reminding me of some of Little Dragon’s music and finding a nice balance between future garage and distorted guitars. The second and fourth track, Denver and 4am,are less impressive, missing a good sense of direction, though quite skillfully produced. By releasing This is and Lights early on, they shared the best tracks of the EP too soon, which is a shame, as it got my expectations high and Denver and 4am have let me down.