Song of the Day: In Love And War – XamVolo

Described as the “the future” by BBC Radio 1 DJ and tastemaker Mistajam,  XAMVOLO drops a vibe-heavy single ‘In Love & War’ –  a cross pollination of soul, electronica and R&B – ahead of his EP.

In the last 12 months, the 24-year-old has risen to the attention of critics and music fans the world over thanks to his impressionist re-imaginings of neo-soul, jazz and pop. He’s played Glastonbury, sold out multiple headline London shows, been compared with everyone from D’Angelo to Anderson Paak and released an acclaimed EP and debut album, ‘All The Sweetness on the Surface’.

‘All The Sweetness on the Surface’ is powerful and emotive collection of song
writing mastery and a testament to XAMVOLO’s cinematic method of creating worlds within his
music, it tells a neo-noir story of a protagonist who finds themselves confronted with a hive
containing a black honey substance that can grant them their every desire.

XamVolo

The album is split into two parts, life before the discovery of the black honey and the grim consequences of life after, in which we’re shown the dark side of getting everything you ever wanted at the click of a finger. The bulk of the album was produced by XAMVOLO himself, but also sees collaborations with heavyweight producers AV and Paul Phamous (Frank Ocean) as well as Bruno Major, Fred Cox and Freddie Joachim.

Listen to the master at work with ‘In Love and War’:

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EP Review: Nocturne – Dani Darling

Since DANI DARLING came under the NLM radar, with neo soul single, ‘2:22’ her musical direction has taken a detour – a massive detour. Her shift of direction comes in form of the six-piece EP, ‘Nocturne’.

Classic soul meets new hazy lo-fi soul, in this EP, largely in an experimental and almost stripped back setting, that’s immediately appealing. Third effort, ‘One Of Us’, displays use of sound spanning from the Golden Hollywood era, fused with a mesmerizing lo-fi hazy tone providing that four-on-the-floor pattern.

With the exception of concluding piece, ‘Stranger’, all of the singles were no longer than two-and-a-half minutes long; it’s a shame, as I would like hear more!

With her delicate vocals serving as a backdrop for the genre-bending combo, DANI DARLING proves that a great soulful piece doesn’t always have to feature the classic powerhouse performance as the main focal point. Have a listen below:

Must Listen: One of Us, Stranger

 

Xav A Says Just ‘Let It Be’ In His Latest Single

Old school meets new school in XAV A‘s brand new motivational track entitled ‘Let It Be’, released last Friday (26th July).

The New York-based singer/songwriter/producer stated that his latest creation was inspired by The Bee Gees’ hit, ‘Emotions’ and wanted to give the same relaxed and feel-good vibe.

This upriser has come a long way since his appearance on NBC’s hit a- cappella competition show, The Sing Off in 2011, winning second place during the third season. XAV A has since been featured on the likes of Rolling Stone, SoulBounce and The Singersroom and is currently partnered with a top grossing social app (Live.Me) where he sings via live stream for all his fans to tune in! Check that out sometime!

But for now, check out the quirky lyric video for ‘Let It Be’ below:

Song of the Day: The Hard Way – Swanes

Radio One-tipped Toronto duo, SWANES, comprising of brothers Michael and Stefan Bildy, share their butter-smooth new single, ‘The Hard Way’ onto today’s hotspot. The downtempo-R&B cut follows previous releases on French/Japanese label, Kitsuné (Parcels, Hot Chip, Simian Mobile Disco).

With its silky production, glittered with a compelling web of psychedelia, soul and R&B, ‘The Hard Way’ found inspiration, quite interestingly, from the brother’s somewhat infamous doomsaday-prepping relative, Bruce Beach. Beach owns one of the largest nuclear fallout shelters in Canada – The Ark Two – and after Stefan and Michael paid a visit to the shelter, ‘The Hard Way’ was coined, playing out as a concern with the rising threat of nuclear warfare.

Alongside tips from the likes of COLORS and Bandcamp Daily, as well as continued support from David Dean Burkhart’s esteemed YouTube channel, SWANES have found success on influential Spotify playlists such as ‘Indie All-Stars’ and ‘Fresh Finds’. The pair, who were recently highlighted by Australian electronic heavyweights, Future Classics (Flume, Jagwar Ma), have plans to tour North America extensively later in the year.

Check the funky smooth ‘The Hard Way’ below:

New Track: Really Good For Me – Exmag

Following the release of their EP ‘The Walls That Divide Us’, enigmatic, future soul trio EXMAG release their infectious new single ‘Really Good For Me’ through 3 Bar Fire Records.

The collective continue to defy genre restrictions on the record, fusing stuttering synth patterns with woozy guitar runs – an accomplished portrayal of the group’s talent in its purest form.

Comprised of Tyler Dondero, Eric Mendelson and Dave Carls, the American trio have continued to turn heads with their impressive discography, alongside esteemed live performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Electric Forest, Summer Camp Music Festival and Camp Bisco.

With previous support from Complex, Nest HQ, The Huffington Post and BBC 1Xtra’s Jamz Supernova, ‘Really Good For Me’ continues to showcase the idiosyncratic trio’s musical versatility.

Check it out below…