ABOVE: DAN VIDMAR, AKA SHY GIRLS
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 newest and most 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.
No sooner had June arrived than it seems August is ending, and so another summer passes by. In this instance, one’s reaction can be split—at the same time it seems appropriate to party until every last drop of the season is squeezed out, it also seems to draw out a contemplative reaction, a wanting to look back on three months of memories. Below are three summer-2014-born songs that can help soundtrack these bittersweet sentiments.
Shy Girls: “All for Show”
Who: Something about Shy Girls’ eccentric, smooth-as-butter R&B is quite pure in its intent—perhaps it’s how his production tends to have a live sound, or maybe it’s his sultry, capable vocals or his approach to addictive melodies. Whatever it is, we love it and want more.
The Song: One of his more electronic, dance-driven jams, the Jono Ma-produced “All For Show” starts with a fat B-more bass and a solid clap, before morphing into an R&B house jam. The song can surely get the club jumping, even with its harsh chorus— “I would never fall for you,” the Portland singer/producer coos.
Current Project: Shy Girls is hitting the road with Little Dragon—get dates and find out more about the budding artist via his Facebook page.
Ultrademon: “Drive U Crazy (Feat. The GTW, Zombelle)”
Who: Chicago’s Albert Redwine is Ultrademon, the producer who is likely best known for being credited as the father of seapunk. However, those who’ve delved into Ultrademon’s developing catalogue are aware that his skills stretch far beyond the now passé subgenre, as can be observed on his aggressive, atypical new dance album Voldic Charms, which finds a futuristic way to employ everything from house to jungle to footwork styles.
The Song: One of the more vocally driven tracks from the aforementioned Charms, “Drive U Crazy” enlists Ultrademon affiliate (and fellow seapunk originator) Zombelle, along with fellow Chicagoan The GTW. The result is an edgy R&B vocal house jam that will drive you straight to the dance floor.
Current Project: Ultrademon just released a new video for “Drive U Crazy”—see it and discover more via his Facebook page.
Who: Two talented members of the burgeoning Chicago music community, both producer Kyle Woods and vocalist Khallee have alternate incarnations. Many who grew up in the city likely remember Kyle Woods as the DJ Kid Color, while Khallee is a part of ultramodern R&B troupe JODY.
The Song: The two make a great team on “At Night,” a deep synth-filled slapper that sounds like the energized, funkier sibling to a Kavinsky track. Multi-talented Khallee switches seamlessly between echoed-out and auto-tuned vocals, even switching gears to rap a few bars towards the later end of the track.