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X Ambassadors: Soulful Moody Pop

The X Ambassadors have created music that defies genres. It’s impossible to pigeonhole them to a genre because that’s just not their style. Sam and his older brother Casey originated from small town Ithaca, New York. To them, the towns that reside upstate have this abandoned feel to them. Back in the 50’s and 60’s big cities like Binghamton and Rochester were booming. Now they are seen as relics, due to the reality that most of the manufacturing businesses have moved overseas. Sam met his future guitarist, Noah, on the first day of kindergarten and at five years old they…
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Blue Foundation

Some artists are just made for the movies; the fusion of song and image has elevated many works of cinema into art. Directors like Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino know the importance of contemporary music to both ground their movies in the here and now-but also to give them a more magical feeling: Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction are basically a collection of music videos with a thorough plot. The Danish dream-pop group Blue Foundation knows how to be cinematic, to compose songs with that particular narrative quality that apes cinema. When you hear its songs, you’re not just listening to…
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The Lone Wolf from Down Under: Briggs

Australian rapper Briggs is a self-described lone wolf. “I’m like that kid on the street that doesn’t play well with others.” He’s been known to start twitter wars with fellow Aussie rappers when he’s got something to say. Briggs doesn’t pull punches. His loud, boisterous bravado and aggressive lyrics have him compared to early Ice Cube. Recently, however, this lone wolf is more like the leader of the pack. Unlike hip hop in the States, Aussie hip hop is predominantly white. Briggs, on the other hand, is Aboriginal, from the Yorta Yorta Nation. His last album, 2014’s Sheplife told an…
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Ariel Pink

One of the most fascinatingly unique artists of the indie and experimental pop genre, Ariel Pink creates music that deserves to be heard, even if it is not always understood. Pink's music is unlike anything out of the mainstream world of pop, which is what makes the artist so intriguing to listen to. By incorporating retro sounding and at times psychedelic influences, mixed with dark lyrical themes, Pink has created a recipe for success on his latest album release Pom Pom (2014). Ariel Rosenberg otherwise known as Ariel Pink, is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist renowned for his huge impact on…
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BIRDS OF TOKYO

This Perth based four piece rock act are already highly successful in their native Australia, having just about done it all in their homeland. They have had records hit number one, sold out shows across the country, won ARIA Awards (the Aussie equivalent of a Grammy), performed on the steps of the Sydney Opera House at the ARIA Awards, headlined at shows for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, performed at massive venues Australia wide with a piano and string quartet, and plenty more. Whilst they have flirted with cracking the USA, playing several showcase type shows across…
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PHANTOGRAM

The friendship between Phantogram’s very own Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter has been a long one. With ties back to the awkward stages of middle school, the duo remained very close and did everything together, though they didn’t start creating music together until their twenties. Coming from Saratoga Springs, New York, the duo have created a very eclectic style of music that is unique and makes them stand out from everyone else. Sarah’s soft yet hypnotic singing is also pleasing to the ear. Their music has this sort of electro-pop, psychedelic feel that draws you into their world of “rhythms,…
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SELA HACK

Often times it is easy to dismiss young singers based on their age. Perhaps their voice isn't mature enough yet or they have “stage parents.” But such is not always the case and age is just a number. Sela Hack is still in the beginning stages of her career. But at just 14, she has been slowly gaining ground in her local Texas scene over the last year. Her YouTube cover songs and originals have garnered thousands of unique views. Hack was recently named one of eight semi-finalists in radio show Kidd Kraddick in the Morning's “Big Break” contest. Now…
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SIA

Sia is a woman of many talents. The Australian singer-songwriter has written songs for numerous artists, has been featured on multiple tracks in her career and has her own extensive solo music collection. Sia has worked with artist including Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Ne-Yo, David Guetta, Flo Rida, and Eminem, among plenty others. The 38 year old has won 21 awards out of her 25 nominations. One of her most important award wins was in 2002 for Breakthrough Songwriter followed by winning Songwriter of the Year almost a decade later in 2013. Sia is best known for co-writing and being…
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RON POPE

Ron Pope has been impressing audiences around the world with his bluesy grooves and soothing voice for years. His 2006 song, “A Drop in the Ocean,” became a big hit, with hundreds of people covering it on YouTube, The Voice's Javier Colon releasing it has his first post-show single, placements in shows like Vampire Diaries, 90210, and So You Think You Can Dance,and Pope himself getting the honor of playing it on TRL. Now with his brand new record, Calling Off The Dogs, released in January, he is ready to show off his most complex and experimental music to date.…
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sleepmakeswaves

Very generally speaking, your average rock or pop music fan looks for two predominant features in the sounds they enjoy: a strong beat they can dance, or tap their feet or hands to, and catchy vocal lines that they can sing along to. Many also look for meaningful lyrics that they can relate to. This all makes instrumental music a very tough gig indeed. A band like Sydney four piece sleepmakeswaves could thus find themselves very much up against it, in a commercial sense. While their grooves are very strong, their music tends towards the progressive end of the musical…
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COURTNEY BARNETT

Some artists experience a slow and steady rise in their career. Some seemingly explode overnight. And some crash and burn and shrink back into obscurity before their career is barely off the ground. Young Australian singer, songwriter, and guitar player Courtney Barnett’s rise to international prominence probably resides somewhere between slow and steady and meteoric. Releasing two extremely well received EPs in the last two years, her profile has gained some very powerful momentum in the last twelve months. To the point where, in July this year, she made her American television debut, performing her track “Avant Gardener” live on…
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THE AUDITION

Illinois band The Audition had a good thing going with their melodic pop-punk sound and charm. Having released four full-length albums and toured with the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars, Silverstein, and Jack's Mannequin, the band was destined to be one of the big names in pop-punk. But the band virtually disappeared from the scene at the height of their career, twice. However, it looks as if the band may be making their next comeback in the not too distant future. Formed in 2003, The Audition started out as just Ryan O'Connor on drums, Joe Lussa on bass, and…
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THE GLASS CHILD

"As long as I am moving I'm right on the path I made" - “Heroes,” I Must Be Gone And Live, Or Stay And Die, by The Glass Child This is the mantra of Swedish singer-songwriter Charlotte Eriksson, better known as The Glass Child. Ever since she finished school at 17, she has made it a point to not stay in one place too long. Moving away from home a week after graduation, the singer went to London, England to begin her music career. About a year ago, she made a similar move from London to Berlin, Germany. The idea…
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CONNECTING STARS

Married for 10 years, acoustic folk-rock music duo – with a note of country – Cheryl and Martin Engel, formed Connecting Stars in July 2012, and are reaping the accolades and applause their musical chemistry has been generating of late. This musically gifted couple has been performing their unique sound live and in studio together for over 12 years. The pair originate from South Africa and, subsequent to the live performance launch of their self-titled album in Durban on March 24, 2014 (Morada Music) and tour of South Africa (Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town), have begun venturing onward to perform live…
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LATIMER HOUSE

Latimer House is flashing us back to old school vinyl records in today’s digital era. In August, the Prague-based band Latimer House – which owns its record label Honk Records – released its latest single (really a double) “Birdcage Walk” – “Until Then” available in CD, Digital, and . . . an actual, a real, a bonafide – you can hold it in your hands and see it – 7” translucent red vinyl record wrapped in a uniquely artistic, foldout color sleeve. Vinyl likened to those in the old days with an added flare of color.   Eccentric and brilliant,…
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