Soundclouds of the Underground: New York Edition

Published January 22, 2015

ABOVE: PRINCE HARVEY.

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 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. 

Music has the innate power to paint a picture with sound, to create texture without using anything tangible. While some may prefer California sun and surf rock, this edition of the column focuses on the tracks that perfectly encapsulate the sights, smells, and sounds of New York City.

Prince Harvey: “Sometimes”

Who: The young talent has sparked interest in his radically refreshing sound and look thanks in large part to his new visuals for “Sometimes.” The rightfully New York-centric clip features Harvey navigating the gritty subway while holding signs that contain song lyrics.

The Sound: “Sometimes you gotta live a double life, pay bills during the day, and dream at night,” starts “Sometimes,” a perfectly hectic and poignant track recorded on demo computers at an Apple Store. Over an entirely a capella beat, Harvey muses on the difficulties of making it big in the Big Apple while simultaneously simply trying to make ends meet.

Current Project: Prince Harvey’s upcoming project PHATASS is due out in spring. Keep up with the emerging artist via his Facebook page.

Luv Me Too: “James K” 

Who: James K has recently signed with NYC label UNO NYC, which has helped foster the careers of New York underground artists like Mykki Blanco and Ian Isiah. The cultural hub seems a perfect home for the the sweet-voiced singer, who is likely most known for her prominent feature on producer Physical Therapy’s track “Drone On.” 

The Sound: With a throbbing bass and intimate vocals, James K’s “Luv Me Too” feels like a shadowy, drug-ridden journey home alone. Her vocals mirror Grimes in their spacey cool, but her ability to maintain such a soothing calm may even remind one of Enya.

Current Project: Keep up with James on her Bandcamp

Bosco: “CAM4U”

Who: We’ve been a long fan of Bosco for her fusion of electronic elements and soulful R&B sounds, but 2015 seems like the year that the Atlanta-based artist has truly found herself. Case in point: the visuals for “CAM4U,” with its collection of sexily desolate VHS footage that adds to the artist’s futuristic edge.

The Sound: Produced by Sene, “CAM4U” sounds like an Aaliyah song trapped inside The Matrix—it’s glitch-heavy cut of Bosco’s virtual vocals gives it a hi-tech flavor perfect the track’s title, while in other, more subtle moments, Bosco’s vocals are allowed to shine in all their sultry, soulful glory.

Current Project: Keep up with Bosco on her Facebook.

Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.