ABOVE: MISTER PAGODA. IMAGE COURTESY OF JAKE LINDEMAN
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web's bottomless pit of blogs isn't the only place to troll for mp3 treasures-some of the most new and exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes deep into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
There's a lot of strange, sometimes unsettling stuff on the Internet, and it doesn't stop with that Tumblr you found dedicated to cats wearing hats—the world wide weird can be a great place to troll for uncanny tracks by artists who aren't afraid to sound a little creepy, strange, and/or scary every now and again. We stalked Soundcloud to find three of our favorites.
Mister Pagoda: "Oh Generation"
Who: There isn't much known (yet) about Brooklyn-based band Mister Pagoda, but the new group's elusive sound has already began to grab the Internet's attention. A hippie hybrid of reverbed vocals, washed-out guitar, and an arsenal of percussion patterns, Pagoda's sound is ethereal, adventurous, and young—if Peter Pan's Lost Boys were ever to make music, chances are it'd sound a lot like this.
The Song: "Oh Generation" is melancholic and mysterious, soundtracking a foggy, drug-induced journey to who knows where. "Maybe you'll find the path you've got there written on your hand," sings Ray Levé, who also plays guitar (among other things) and songwrites. Backed by a distant, muffled melody, guitar riffs, and a soft but militant snare, Levé's clarity is alluring, hitting its peak with the wailing harmonies of the track's chorus.
Current Project: The band is working on new material and playing gigs in the New York area—keep up with them via their Facebook page.
J£ZUS MILLION: "I Want 2 Believe"
Who: An 18-year-old producer out of New York, J£ZUS MILLION seems to be a beatmaker of great variety—visit his Soundcloud page and you'll find a jumble of rap-ready beats and ambient remixes, with soulful sampling spruced throughout for good measure.
The Song: Million's "I Want 2 Believe," a trap-music take on the X-Files theme song, is daring, but the young talent pulls it off with flying colors. He transforms the creeping composition into a club anthem that never loses its energy: a build-up beginning with familiar measures of the original, followed by a synth-heavy rhythm that's hard to resist.
Current Project: Million recently crafted a track for Charli XCX and Brooke Candy that's certainly worth checking out (you can do so here). In addition, head to Facebook for more info on the producer.
Grapes Godly: "I Can't Remember"
Who: One-half of the Canadian electro outfit Woodhands, Dan Werb is the solitary force behind the playful and peculiar Grapes Godly, a project sitting on a wonderfully stranger side of pop music. With a flair for the dramatic, Werb strays from the typical, instead opting for unpredictably exciting arrangements, and enigmatic, oftentimes somber lyrics.
The Song: "I Can't Remember" attains order on its own terms (or rather, the terms of Werb)—the track is quirky and catchy, a culmination of odd, theatrical sounds and rhythmically intriguing vocals that keep things fresh from start to finish.
Current Project: Check out GG's Facebook page for info on upcoming gigs.
For more Soundclouds of the Underground, click here.