Florida-based quintet The Dark Romantics lives up to its name, with the music on the band's sophomore album, Heartbreaker, being both melancholy and shelved under track titles like "Love and Pain," "The Death of You," and the title track. Yes, it's all a bit melodramatic, but everyone's got an angry teenager inside of them, and sometimes synth-pop needs a little doom and gloom. This is the sort of stuff UVA students will throw on when sitting in their dorm rooms reading Edgar Allan Poe.
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DreDay's one of the co-founders of S.F.-based Solid Bump Records, which formed this year, and he's on an electro-meets-Bmore-meets-disco mission here. "Hey Boy" marks his debut single, and the track seems to be having an identity crisis of sorts. It could as easily be categorized as a relic of the '80s as it could be taken as part of the new guard of contemporary club music. Judging from this mix, such fence straddling appears to be what DreDay and Solid Bump are all about.
Working out of Tacoma, Washington, Jasia 10 caught the attention of producer Eliot Lipp and is now signed to his Old Tacoma Records imprint (which is actually brand new and based out of New York). "Mindblowin" comes off Way Payers Vol. 1, the first in a new compilation series from the label that's an all-out buffet of different producers' beat styles. Funk and soul inform the instrumental hip-hop rhythms here, with warm pianos and MPC melodies finishing things off. Suffice to say, the track calls to mind Lipp's trademark wobble-hop sound, so it looks like Jasia 10 has found an apt home at Old Tacoma.
Next up off Slum Village member and Detroit veteran eLZhi's debut solo album, The Preface is this sleepy, reverb-drenched number that sees production work from Black Milk. The overall message of the track seems to be about living with dreams and nightmares, and it's easy to picture eLZhi suffering from a severe bout of insomnia here, wandering up some deserted Motor City street in the truly wee hours of the morning. It's a contrast to the colorfully robust production on this number, but then, anyone longtime player in the Detroit hip-hop pack is bound to be adept in many musical moods. Photo by Jeremy Deputat.
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Don't be deceived by the pastoral, peaceful-looking press photo above. Land of Talk is dark, kind of angry, and we wouldn't have it any other way. It seems Saddle Creek and the band couldn't wait until October 7 for the physical release of Some Are Lakes, so they dropped the whole thing digitally on iTunes this week. They also leaked this track, off the new album, out to the blogosphere, so fans can get an early taste of the Montreal-based band's energetic, guitar heavy sound.
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