The fact that most of you have probably never heard of The Top is an unfortunate and curious reality. As the Hands’ EP runs its’ course, I acknowledge that reality and write this to you, with hopes of turning the music onto even one more fan, one more pair of ears to then share with their friends. The overall production is hot; most noticeably the vocals peak with a warmth we all crave as lovers of Nick Drake and The Beach Boys, but also from the crispy sound of the drums that groove and break up perfectly amongst the piano, acoustic guitar and electric guitar chinks on the 2 and 4. The band certainly accomplishes their retro pop ambitions and there is no reason they shouldn’t already have toured the US with bands like Dr. Dog and The Walkmen. This is the sort of band that fans will without any hesitation take under their wings and deliver to other music lovers with glee. It’s one thing to be told by hyped up music blogs and taste makers that you should be following a cool new band, and it’s another altogether to hear a band like The Top and pass them along out of sheer disbelief that they haven’t hit it big yet. I hope this EP finds you well and that you will pass it along like a peace pipe. @thinknotsleep
I wasn’t sure how I felt about the latest EP by Modern Merchant upon first listen until I reached track three, a slow grooving, dreamy pop song called ‘Marry Me Annie‘. The song is in the vein of Grizzly Bear and Local Natives, no question, but the delicate horn based rhythm section at the top is infectious. Blankets of harmonized vocals swoop in shortly after and the lead melody immediately had my head bobbing in a Jim James fashion, entrancing in style. The song dynamically moves from section to section, sonically telling a tale for those who stumble on the play button. I’m glad to provide that button today and I hope you’ll download their EP right after. @thinknotsleep
Remember ALL CAPS when you spell the mans’ name. EZRAKH is the man and if you’ve been lucky enough to be in the room when he’s spinning, you know it’s always a vibe to bring the people together. Organic and eclectic in taste, mixes are likely to include anything from afrobeat to jazz to funk to hip hop to house. Part of the Brick Bandits crew out of NJ, EZRAKH has made his name known at every venue you can imagine including premier NYC/Brooklyn clubs to house parties and underground d.i.y holes in the wall. It is his deep collection and broad taste that allows him to chameleon into any scenario, all the while staying true to his form. Check him out on the scene and stream/download his current mixes on soundcloud. [Free Download] @thinknotsleep
From the opening chirps of woodwinds to the whistles of other orchestral instruments, ‘We Are Alive‘ the new single from Sacramento indie-pop duo Golden Youth, flows forth with positivity and youthful energy. The two songwriters, Stephanie Lauren and Kyle Monroe are currently promoting the May 28th release of their debut album Quiet Frame; Wild Light that has already begun gathering a ton of hype from the likes of Nylon and more. The song is light and poppy but also packed with intricate layers of drums, vocals, strings, keyboards and more to make the song come alive. This single has come at just the right time with numerous Fun-esque youth anthems climbing the charts, it is likely that we will hear this track pouring from car windows and backyard parties with the approaching warm season. @thinknotsleep
Music Monday for me begins at home in New Jersey, both physically and musically. Fighting off a cold due to inconsistent Spring weather and sifting through music to feature today brought me to one of my favorite songwriters, Charles Keith Sztyk. He has been featured here in the past but now with a full 4-song EP to push, more praise from the DIY Dingus council is only appropriate. Knowing the many sides of Charles makes me approach his recordings with a bias but also very open to where production can take his music in alternate directions. This EP is full of distorted lo-fi vocals and dirty guitar, where as I’m used to the angelic voice displayed at live shows. This is only more reason for fans to experience the music not only digitally but at their local venue too. The songs are dynamic and all have their own strengths, flowing from one to another and speaking for themselves with powerful lyrics, melody and performance. I guess that is easier to maintain when you record every instrument yourself as did Charlie. This is a dark yet uplifting batch of songs that a broad demographic can and will relate to but certainly an EP to be embraced by fans of M. Ward and other indie-folk modern icons. @thinknotsleep
Soaring pop strings aligned with oohs, ahhs, piano stabs and a snare drum that sounds like a mallet taken to a cardboard box, The Fleeting Ends are the butterflies you had on the first date with your significant other. Their latest track ‘Operator‘ is a sound depiction of where their collective head is at; groove based, 60′s retro rock carried gracefully by lead vocalist Matt Vantine and a wall of harmonic arrangements to allow every chorus to take flight. This Philly band is clearly following in the footsteps of pop greats before them like Dr. Dog, The Beatles, and Sufjan Stevens; undeniably a tried and true style but also a hard shoe to fill. Pressure is on and chances are these dudes can hang. @thinknotsleep
Some artists who remain persistent and creative throughout their independent careers can become underground champions. If there is any East Coast MC capable of this sort of success, it is GDP. Releasing album after album, mixtapes, instrumentals and even punk music, this dude has built his own career and developed a vision of his own independent of managers and suits. Following in the footsteps of other cult hip hop modern classics like MF Doom and Aesop Rock, his vulgar yet poetically insightful lyricism has gathered a ton of hype in circles that dig the Odd Future types but want even more substance. GDP is a suburban kid and critic of everything and that’s just what hip hop is looking for these days. @thinknotsleep
Today is one day that you will be thankful for being in the Dingus circle; a radius that is forever increasing in size and stretching further across international waters like a ships’ marine radar, picking up all signals of DIY activity. Though our reach is infinite in terms of new music discovery, sometimes living in the premier music city of the world allows us to not stray far from home. One group that makes me forever grateful of the city I live in is Lily & The Parlour Tricks. From high energy live shows that turn Pianos into an Animal House dance party, to a debut EP recorded at the famous Daptone studio in Brooklyn, not to mention countless video releases, this is a band of givers. If you are lucky enough to be in the proximity of regular Parlour trickery, it’s a no fan left behind mentality in their camp. The band generally plays throwback 50s pop music that could hang at a Shindig! with Shirley Ellis or The Ronettes and no doubt any underground twisting bar in Lower Manhattan. They’ve recently announced a slew of summer tour dates which you can peek on their website but until you can catch the live show, here are some videos to keep you partially quenched. @thinknotsleep
With technology growing exponentially, personal computing is challenging the recording business and the internet is challenging the publishing business. Now more than ever, we see the pool of music and design growing deeper. But as always, the more music there is, the harder it is to find what really matters.
Dingus is dedicated to the search. It's here, on this humble blog that we shed light on bedroom artists in their most defining moments. If you want what's popular today, Dingus is not the blog for you. But, if you want what's fringe, pure and passionate then you've somehow landed on the right URL. So check back daily and enjoy your fellow peers' endeavors.
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