Antenna: New Artists You Need to Hear

Fall is in the air, school's back in session, and Google Play's Antenna new music round-up returns with another batch of artists you need to hear—some that'll help you settle into the season, and some that'll help you escape it.

On the autumnal side of things, there's prolific SF garage pop band The Fresh & Onlys' "Presence of Mind," off new album Long Slow Dance, a song that blows in like a chill breeze, with its soft-chiming xylophone melody, acoustic strum and singer Tim Cohen's forlorn vocals. Leeds, UK band The Chevin similarly lead with acoustic guitar on "Blue Eyes," off their album Borderland, but the song takes off quickly from there, thanks to a propulsive rhythm section and singer Coyle Girelli's earnest yearning vocals alongside a high falsetto chorus.

Then there's young pop belter Jillette Johnson's "Torpedo," an ambitious pop song echoing with acoustic space, thundering drums and pulsing piano chords, all of which recall Florence & the Machine's rousing style—as does Johnson's impressive variety of vocal registers, from breathy whisper to soulful twang to distant choruses. Pop country crooner JT Hodges' twang is only slightly more pronounced on "Leaving Me Later," a sad sack come-on ("she's leaving me later, but she's loving me now") with just a touch of steel guitar beneath its smooth, regionless sheen.

Prolific masked MC MF Doom's gravel-chewing raps and producer Jneiro Jarel's digitally grainy and wafting loops on JJ Doom's "Guv'nor" might evoke, say, Wu-Tang Clan's Staten Island, but its central slang and overall mood also summon perpetually drizzly London, where Doom recorded his vocals while barred from reentering the US due to visa complications.

If the fall mood's not your thing just yet, consider Ondatrópica's "Gaita Trópica"—a partnership between Colombian musician, Frente Cumbiero bandleader Mario Galeano and UK producer Quantic (Will Holland), the project updates traditional Colombian sounds. On "Gaita Trópica," that means some stereo-panning synth squiggles, but mostly a straight take on the percussive clatter and swinging looseness of a live band jamming.

Or there's omnivorous San Diego beatmaker The Gaslamp Killer's "Flange Face (Feat. Miguel Atwood-Ferguson)"; with its aggressive, steam-blowing beat, its sinister canned handclaps, ominous swarm of synths and effects, it's a hot, delightfully danceable murk. "Skeleton Key," by Burner-friendly electronica trio Beats Antique, is equally un-chilly, with its hard-drive stuttering bassline, thumping dubstep stomp and exotic string/synth melodies.

Finally, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics' "My Dear" is a slow soul strut, Canadian-Atlantan transplant Velle's vocals appealingly brassy, with the horn section woozy, the keys bright and rhythm stepping in time behind her. Visit Google Play Music now to download nine free tracks and preview albums by the featured artists. – Eric Grandy, Google Play

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Samuel Kurnianta said...

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