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.
Winter can be a debilitating time of year—those errands you had to run become distant memories, and that party just down the street suddenly feels far away. But even though cruddy, rainy days might slow you down, they can also give you the opportunity to lurk the web (if your Internet connection remains intact) in search of chilled-out tunes to enjoy, at least until the bad weather blows over. Here we’ve gathered three new, relaxed tunes from some talented artists that can hopefully help you maintain some contentment while you’re cooped up in bed.
Who: A revered rapper from San Jose, Antown’s buzzed-about sound is a force to be reckoned with. His eccentric beats and big vocals can easily draw listeners in, but it’s Antwon’s ability to articulate everyday life, shifting vibes seamlessly with a signature nice-guy style, that makes him an act worth exploring.
The Song: On “Automatic,” an airy cloud-rap track perfect for staying stoked when bleak weather drags on, Antwon teams up with production mavens Friendzone (responsible for “Fashion Killa,” a memorable cut off the new A$AP Rocky album). Although the beat stays consistently calm, Antwon’s as riled-up as ever, bragging about the ease with which he snags girls and stays himself.
Current Project: Having recently released the End of Earth LP and a corresponding remix compilation, the lyricist will be playing a free show on January 23 at NYC’s Public Assembly, alongside rap’s star of the moment Trinidad James.
Empress Of: “Don’t Tell Me”
Who: Lorely Rodrigiuez’s solo project Empress Of is ethereal pop heavily (and rightly) reliant on Rodriguez’s angelic voice, which, with its unique phrasing, could be deemed reminiscent of the small but mighty-sounding St. Vincent.
The Song: “Don’t Tell Me” is a song you can lose yourself in while laying on a bed, waiting for the storm to pass—the track holds a slow and steady pulse, with looming production perpetuating things forward. The song’s climaxes are a highlight, big sweeping moments of exploding synth combined with Rodriguez’s high-pitched coos.
Current Project: Empress Of has more music in the works—keep an eye on her via her hilariously designed website.
Spazzkid: “Missed Call” (feat. HAWAII94)
Who: Spazzkid is LA’s Mark Redito, a producer whose otherworldly beats are somewhere between chillwave, hip-hop and electro-pop. His varied palette is a mix of sultry slow jams, instrumentals, and ambient originals that mark his growth and wide array of influences.
The Song: Spazzkid crafts a dreamy, fresh pop track here, with scales of chiptune-inspired synths floating over the top of hard-hitting snares. With Melbourne’s HAWAII94 on vocals, the two journey into a reverbed wonderland of catchy hooks and fun riffs.
Current Project: Check out more of Spazzkid’s music by visiting his Tumblr.
Soundclouds of the Underground runs every Thursday. For more, click here.