You would think my love for Jaimz Deen could not get any greater. With each release, be it audio, visual, and all in-between I fall further and further into my deep appreciation and admiration for Jaimz Deen. The first release from his mini-album Crisis Complex, “Jesse Strange” tells the story of a childhood Jaimz journeying through the unfortunate realities of bullying. As many can relate to being ostracized for being “different” this is a true anthem that can speak to the masses and redeem those still suffering.
Just like the song, the accompanying visual presents a strong image of bullying. The video also shows that validation must come from ones self and that being an individual is not without burden, but still necessary. Any objections? Didn’t think so.
This guy right here… He has it, He owns it, he defines it.
The movement that is Frank Ocean just released this track via his tumblr. While it’s always a must to listen to his new music, its left much to be desired as of late. After the brilliance that was Nostalgia,Ultra expectations are the highest of highs. Is it fair for Mr. Ocean? I’m not sure, but is ’4 tears” fair for us? I’m also unsure.
I hope his future projects soar above his seminal debut which I believed to be a preview of what Frank Ocean can do artistically. His latest releases have yet to do so.
James Blake is one of music’s most irreverent artist. He has a varying approach to his sound that doesn’t always include vocals, sensible production (some may say), and following trends – he rather sets them. While he may not respect what other artist do in a way of creating standard music (whatever that may be), he has utter respect for innovation. After releasing one of the years best albums, his self-titled debut, and a noted EP, Enough Thunder, James Blake has released his third offering of 2011.
“Love What Happened Here” taken from the EP of the same name is the equivalent to musical heroine. It mixes all that is James Blake’s quintessential sound. Heavy snyths, scattered vocals, and all in-between. If you’re a fan, most likely you’ll love it, if not, maybe you’ll become one, but its gorgeous nonetheless. It also has a bit of an urban- R&B edge, adding to its addictive appeal. This James has ended the year on a high note indeed…
The xx is one of musics best indie-bands, hands down. They have their own individual sound which is truly a rarity these days. Their debut album xx appeared atop many “Best of” lists back in 2009. Its follow-up is slated to drop in the 2012. In an effort to feed the anticipation they have released a demo track “Open Eyes”. Its perfect…
Though Christmas is still a few hours away from arrival, Shakka has delivered his gift a little early. In support of his beloved debut mixtape, The Shakka Crown Affair, Shakka has unveiled visuals to the undeniable “Take Our Time.” With the radiance of its breezy and lively nature, the video is the perfect reflection of the song’s irresistible charm. If you’re looking to escape from the wrath of winter, look no further. Shakka’s here to warm you up.
Mar is an artist to know. His offerings are continuously dope and further add to those anxiously awaiting his debut album. The frequent Full Crate collaborator recently released another video as apart of his “Variation” series where he covers and reworks a diverse group of songs (Mar Variation).
Mar now takes on Apex Twins’s “Avril 14th”. As if the audio alone is not enough, the accompanying video is quite the watch. Above all, it features Szjerdene which is takes this to zenith.
It has been said 2011 was the year of R&B. A new wave of R&B, that is. Much more experimental, and less rigid. From Frank Ocean, arguably the leading man of this movement, to the equally talented Stacey Barthe and Jesse Boykins, there is indeed restoration of R&B whether more soulful or alternative. Rochelle Jordan is another artist who furthers this movement.
Ending the year on a high note with the release of “Here To Stay”, Rochelle Jordan is sure to garner more fans with this gem. It’s nostalgic undertones would make any lover of 90′s R&B rejoice. This is just a taste of whats to come with her forthcoming project R O J O I I slated to drop March of 2012.
Yes, she released one of the years best albums, Wounded Rhymes. Yes, she is consistently perfect. Yes. She is Lykke Li. In the spirit of holiday cheer, she has shared a little treat in the form of demo versions of Wounded Rhymes standout tracks, “I Follow Rivers,” “Jerome” and “Youth Knows No Pain.”
There is nothing else to say besides download and enjoy.
…And not a day later. As promised The Weeknd has just released his third mixtape Echoes Of Silence. To much fanfare and praise, Echoes Of Silence (EOS) delivers the insanely sonic vocals and production that has come to be expected of the obscure artist. EOS completes the Weeknd’s mixtape trilogy and is sure to further mount anticipation for their highly anticipated debut LP.
Personally, none of the follow-up offerings have topped their undeniably epic House Of Balloons. However, I will remain fan and optimistically believing that more audio greatness is on the brink.
On Tuesday afternoon, Soul and I trotted through the rainy streets of NYC to experience (and fortunately meet) an artist that had already left a grand impression on our musical taste-buds: Daley. As soon as we discovered that the UK-bred singer/songwriter would be making his live American debut at the world-famous SOB’s, it went without discussion that we would be in attendance.
After all, his breakthrough mixtape, Those Who Wait, has been in constant rotation since it’s release, and everyone knows that an artist truly proves themselves through live performance. So, did we return to Philly drenched in disappointment or basking in amazement?
When it comes to Beyoncé, I think I’ve heard it all over the last 15 years.
She is so overrated!
She can’t sing OR dance!
She is faking her pregnancy!!!
Yes, everything. While I don’t have much to say about the third claim (*side-eye*), I will take on the first two yet again. But this time, I won’t be typing much. I will just direct you to the video. Tributing her idol for the controversial “Michael Forever” concert, Bey covered the classic “Where You Are.” Just take note of the incomparable stage presence and sharp execution of choreography, paired with those MONSTROUSLY polished vocals!
Tell me this, what other female performer has done it better than Beyoncé?
Lana Del Rey is one of music’s most enthralling acts to emerge as of late. Her unpredictable, psuedo-masculine songwriting invites listeners into her sullen world. As her music is authentically unique, listeners either hate it or love it. With the release of “Off to the Races,” she is sure to experience the latter. It is more upbeat than her previous offerings, and perfectly displays her distinctive voice.
There is only one Santigold. With the release of her first album, Santogold, she hypnotized music-lovers around the globe with her musical wizardry. The perspective that she channels music through is one of her own, championing uncharted waters with the simple expression of her creativity. From the moment she stepped onto the forefront, music has never been the same.
Her spin of Adele’s stunning signature ballad, “Hometown Glory” tells it all. Santi takes something so beautiful, so delicate, so tender…and dirties it up in the way that only Santigold can. Even with its beastly makeover, the soul remains untouched–in fact, it is intensified. With the haunting splendor of her voice, Santi truly takes you away.
Charli XCX is my addiction as of late. Her brand of pop is as grim as it is fresh. Her music combines 80′s synths with experimental but pop-ready production/vocals. She is among a rising breed of artists (see Lana Del Rey, Austra, Zola Jesus) who have the talent and actual input to create what we all call music. Thus far, Charli has released two offerings, the dark-pop anthem “Stay Away” and my favorite “Nuclear Seasons” (video below). If Charli XCX has not already made your playlist, now is the time.
As 2011 is set to conclude, Sound On Mars will be ending the year on a perfect note. Next week, we will witness Daley take the stage at New York City’s S.O.B.’s. This marks his debut performance in the city that never sleeps–so its sure to be a moment worthy of NY and Daley’s ever-growing fanbase. To mark this special occasion, I posted some of Daley’s live showings to give you a taste of what will only be that much greater experienced in person.
Aaah. The year 2011. In just 12 months, we witnessed record-breaking masterpieces, superstar comebacks, unexpected flops, and those breakthrough newcomers that always seem to catch us off-guard. What a year.
Out of all the music releases that cluttered 2011′s busy musical timeline, there were only a special selection of works that sent us to audio paralysis. A dean’s list of creations that pushed music forward in some way–whether it be the emotional impact of its lyricism, the artistic approach of its production or its ability to spark thoughts, ideas and conversations. Despite all being placed on one list, each work played a different part in reminding us how powerful music can be when treated as fine art.
Without further ado, in no particular order, we present the BEST OF 2011 in music!