From the dusty and damp home studio recordings to the amount of songs she gives away, everything about Shadowbox screams DIY. Coming from the seemingly endless stew of New York talent, Bonnie Baxter distinguishes herself through the heavy contrast in her music. Her music often pairs brash borderline noise sounds with light bleeps and lofty afterhours textures. Vocally she brandishes a calm restraint along with a choir-like presence. Fresh off her Pictures Music debut “Spiraling Eye” is her latest giveaway and as expected it’s drenched in noisy swirls and grim low octave synths yet with everything that’s going on the beat sounds surprisingly open. Her voice lightly caresses the instrumental filling in the gaps as she croons about running from a person or emotion. Midway through as the song reaches it’s climax she plays a few drawn out twinkling synth lines that somehow come across as background noise rather than upfront leads. Just as quickly as those parts enter the fray she strips it back to essentials and brings it to a close. Everything in this song comes together for an interesting take on pop music meets synth music meets techno meets a basement filled with reverb boxes and pedals.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Shadowbox-Spiraling-Eye.mp3″ text=”Shadowbox – Spiraling Eye” dl=”0″] via Soundcloud.
A simple yet effective hook over a cloud rap (in more than one way) inspired beat and we’re on board the Freddie Gibbs train again, full steam ahead. We’ve been waiting on “Baby Face Killa” for what seems like forever (since 2010?) but with a solid release date set for next week, an iTunes pre-order for the tagless version and a strong leak like “Kush Cloud” it looks like we’ll finally be getting the tape on September 25th. Gibbs sounds good and Spaceghostpurrp inoffensive but the real highlight is Krayzie Bone. From the classic Bone Thugs refrain (“Mo Murda, Mo Murda”) to that smooth song like flow, you’ll probably want to play E.1999 after this. Hopefully he’ll be doing more features in the future.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Kush-Cloud-w-Krayzie-Bone-SpaceGhostPurrp.mp3″ text=”Freddie Gibbs ft. Krayzie Bone & Spaceghostpurrp – Kush Cloud” dl=”0″] via Soundcloud.
She may have gotten her start doing corny teen pop on the iCarly soundtrack, but R&B singer Tinashe’s latest release, “Reverie,” is a deeply affecting, beautiful mixtape. 2012 has seen no shortage of music inspired by the likes of Drake and The Weeknd, and Tinashe’s passionate delivery and her delicate, childlike voice distinguish her from her peers. At times she sounds like Mya, other times, Aaliyah. On “Another Me,” she is both precise and gentle over a lush instrumental from “Hands on the Wheel”, producers Best Kept Secret. Tinashe’s subtle vocal tricks practically demand close listening and her ability to quickly change the emotional dynamics of a song is impressive.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/05-Another-Me-DatPiff-Exclusive.mp3″ text=”Tinashe – Another Me” dl=”0″] via SoundCloud.
Download Tinashe’s “Reverie” via DatPiff.
RL Grime does it for the block, and that’s why nobody’s stopping him. As you know, we love ourselves some Henry Steinway. We spoke about his “Grapes” EP on WeDidIt before, as well as the mindblowing remix of “Mercy” he made in collaboration with Salva. Needless to say, we have all of the producer’s records on single repeat speed dial whether they’ve been released as a RL Grime production or under his initial pseudonym Clockwork. Though both projects are fairly different in sound with the firmer taking on a hybridization of rap and UK influences and the second one catering more to lovers of the big room sound and electro, one thing these two aliases have in common is that they will overturn the dancefloor at any given time and in any given set. Now we’re impatiently waiting for any new material that is coming up but luckily Steinway provided his devotees with a free download as a momentary fix earlier this week. The offering is named “Flood,” given away as a thank you to everyone, in the words of the producer himself “for the support over the past year, it’s been amazing. I have a bunch of new RL on the horizon but in the meantime, here’s a free single to tide you over.” And this rising tide is a special one: taking RL Grime’s productions and Clockwork’s recent “Titan” on Mad Decent, this jam meets the two personas somewhere in the middle, including the touch of the trance-y melodies that WeCredIt. Bring on the ensuing high tide, we can’t wait for more RL in our lives.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/FLOOD.mp3″ text=”RL Grime – Flood” dl=”0″] via Soundcloud.
We’ll be honest and say that Lianne La Havas hadn’t been on our radar until now. She’s a young, husky-voiced soul singer/songwriter, of a similar ilk to fellow Londoner Jessie Ware. What’s brought her to our attention is a drastic overhaul from Laurel Halo of La Havas’ “Forget“, one which takes the singer’s plaintive lyrics and reshapes them amidst a world of swirling trance-like arpeggios and snarling percussion. The track is almost half over before the vocals come in, rendering them an accompanying aspect rather than the track’s focal point, almost hidden behind Halo’s swirling production. It’s the most emotional rave anthem since “Papua New Guinea” or something. We love it, and we’ll be listening out for more of Lianne’s own tracks for when the sun comes up.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Lianne-La-Havas-Forget-Laurel-Halo-Remix.mp3″ text=”Lianne La Havas – Forget (Laurel Halo Remix)” dl=”0″] via Soundcloud.
The two LA-Based Aged brothers who go by the moniker inc. captured many people’s imaginations back in July with their 4AD debut EP “3” as they contributed to a continually forward thinking RnB faction including the likes of Jamie Woon, Frank Ocean and Jeremih. Although they formed and began recording in 2010 initially as Teen Inc, their sound has long carried a refined quality not usually found so early in bands. Yet due to the fact the two played, recorded and toured with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, 50 Cent and Cee-Lo it’s not all that surprising. “The Place” is the first track to surface from the upcoming album, it swims heartbreakingly along with irresistible guitar riffs and vocals.The lyrics have an intense sense of familiarity, they ring around in your memory long after the last chord is strung. We along with everyone else who hears this song await the LP with bated breath.
Stream: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/theplace.mp3″ text=”inc. – The Place” dl=”0″] via 4AD.
This last one will come as no surprise for all the Truants out there who keep a close eye on the site, but if you missed it the first time around we’ve got you covered. We continued our “Introducing” series earlier this week with a feature on rapidly on-the-rise producer Samename. The UK-based young gun talked with us about, among other things, his musical upbringing, his favorite tunes, and where he sees himself going in the future. To make things even sweeter, he offered up a Truants-exclusive download of his unreleased track “Okishima Island,” which has been making the rounds through more privileged circles for the past few months. Channeling the recklessness of classic Grime instrumentals through a sharp, distinctly modern filter, the track is big, brash, and relentless. It’s a no-brainer!
Stream/download: [wpaudio url=”https://truantsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Okishima-Island.mp3″ text =”Samename – Okishima Island”]
Written by: Donny Marks, Michelle Myers, Aidan Hanratty, Soraya Brouwer, Jonathon Alcindor, Ross J. Platt, & Sam Billetdeaux.
Check out past installments in the Sunday’s Best Archives.