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J Bengoy wax forlornly on youth in new single “Stick Up Kids”

Burlington-by-way-of-New York outfit J Bengoy pivot towards a more synth-forward sound on new single “Stick Up Kids.” Keeping the same anthemic approach to songwriting that characterized their 2018 LP Dogwood Winter, the new single finds the recently relocated Brooklyn group centering their sound around cool keys, though some nice syncopation between strings and synth lends some energy to the song’s wistful, somewhat dreamy chorus detailing bygone days of “dumb teenage fun.” Regardless of the pivot, J Bengoy retains their consummate approach to crafting earworm indie bops — stream it below ahead of their forthcoming sophomore album American Camp, out later this summer.

   

From the Submissions: Mae Krell's "Home"

It seems like as businesses and restaurants reopen in many American cities that the last three months have been rendered a blur — just time in-between stopping and starting that’s quick to be forgotten. “Home,” the latest video by New York songwriter Mae Krell, helps render some of these post- and inter-pandemic moments visually and musically, recalling the hopelessness of March’s last weeks. “I walk the streets with nobody besides me,” Krell croons, their voice floating above somber reverting piano and minimalist beat, as lofi snapshots of city life pass lazily before our eyes. While we’re in no way out of the woods yet, “Home” acts as a contemporary time capsule reminding us of collective despair and uncertainty, simultaneously serving as a reminder of the people who may have helped us weather the storm (emotionally). Watch it below, and maybe send it along to your quarantine buddy.

   

These People's "Mind Reading" is a psychic heatwave

The psych-surf sound of “Mind Reading,” the new single by Long Beach-based outfit THESE PEOPLE, evokes memories of strange summers of years past, wherein tall tales become so exaggerated that you can’t tell where the facts end and the fiction begins. Swelling heatstroke guitar lines in tandem with an echoed-out vocal performance add to the track’s distant and foggy nature, and its quick transitions between major and minor modes prevent the track from ever finding solid footing. These elements combined make for an engaging listening experience, one that evokes a bit of Surfer Blood, a bit of Grateful Dead circa Blues for Allah, and a whole lot of Timothy Leary. Dip out for a bit and stream it below.

   

Dan Drohan races forwards on "Drocan!" new LP out 6.26

Drocan!, the latest offering by New York-based experimental electronic composer Dan Drohan, is billed as the B-side of the forthcoming You’re A Crusher — in this sense, it fulfills its purpose as the dark underbelly of Drohan’s explosive, percussion-driven visions. Tracks serpentine between elements synthetic and tactile in rapid fashion, executed in a Futurist fashion that leaves little space for the listener to catch their breath, yet despite this seemingly unstoppable energy, the entire record feels joyous; from the refrain of “Tokyo” to the stumbling fluorescent “Passwords,” Drohan, in collaboration with Mike Cantor, provides an experimental pop vamp that delights and surprises. Stream it below, and keep an eye out for the record’s A-side, dropping June 26th. Photo by Emile Bertherat

   

Lila Blue boldly faces the end in new video "The Dead"

Perhaps the most entrancing element of “The Dead,” the latest video by New York songwriter Lila Blue, is the way in which it maintains a mellifluous air despite its various dark parks. Pervasive drone dominates the background as images of the artist somberly half-submerged in water inform the track’s visual component, yet Lila Blue’s lilting vocal performance, and lyrical defiance of looming death, endow the production with a celebratory energy.“If we don’t wake up in the morn, we’ll know that we passed boldly, fearless… rather than life whittling us down until we’re worn,” she sings, embracing both the end’s inevitably yet stressing the importance of a life well-lived. In this sense, “The Dead” resonates as a triumphant indie folk release, one that proposes a counterargument to the somewhat depressing conclusion to James Joyce’s novella of the same name, while maintaining a cooled atmosphere few within the genre can replicate. Watch it below, and stream the rest of Lila Blue's recently released LP Leave Me Be, out now.