We are extremely proud to share the beautiful first song from the debut release on our new label Luminelle Recordings, from extraordinary Montreal artist Helena Deland. I was immediately taken by these songs after serendipitously happening upon them by mistake a couple months back, and Helena's elegantly sophisticated and layered songwriting is still revealing new magic after countless listens...
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As the internet's collective attention span continues to dwindle away and the clickbait economy slowly ruins everything good, we made a conscious effort this year to spend more time listening to fewer things. Discovering new favorites will always remain a priority around here, but it felt good to devote more quality time to absorbing ambitious, flawed, elaborately nuanced and layered masterpieces like Dust, Quazarz, Party, and The OOZ. And the more immediate records that we fell in love with at first listen -- TOPS’ Sugar at the Gate, the super charismatic Carti mixtape, and Kelly Lee Owens’ enveloping debut full-length, to name a few -- felt more like all-time favorites with each spin. While anyone in our top 5 could have staked a legit Album of the Year claim depending on the day, we had to put the two EPs that announced the arrival of dance music's brightest new star in their rightful spot at the top of our list. Here are our favorite records of 2017:
As we approach the halfway point of 2017, here are our favorite albums + songs from what is shaping up to be a frenetic, kind of convoluted (we are not on board with the teaser trend, just drop the jams), and overwhelmingly great year for new music:
Our official Gorilla vs. Bear 2016 SXSW showcase at Mazda + Hype Machine's Hype Hotel offered a glimpse into the future of pop music on a beautiful Thursday night in east Austin, from Negative Gemini's frenetic, club-ready experimental electronic pop that began the evening (I heard at least a few people compare her vibe to an early Grimes set circa 2011) to headliner Charli XCX's first-ever, next-level collaborative set with SOPHIE, which Charli proclaimed "maybe my most favourite set I have EVER played"...
"Flesh Without Blood", the feverishly anticipated new single from Grimes, leaked on Sunday night (along with another track called "Life in the Vivid Dream") via a bootleg upload of the track's surreal, very bloody, possibly Farah Khan-inspired video. Now the official version of the song and its Grimes-directed video has surfaced, and it's amazing. Art Angels is out any minute, probably.
UPDATE: Art Angels is out November 6; check the artwork + pre-order here. Full tracklist after the jump (Realiti!):