FKA Twigs - Two Weeks

What the h*ck? FKA Twigs (née Tahliah Barnett) has been making music since 2012 and I haven’t heard any of it prior to a week ago? I’m grounding myself, no dessert for a month, because this is unacceptable; no one should be deprived of Tahliah’s celestial songs, regardless of whether it’s due to their own unintended ignorance or not.

What really grips me about FKA Twigs as an artist is her want to create astounding visual accompaniments for each of her tracks, a tendency that brought her into the spotlight with her evocative video for “Hide”. When asked about her propensity for striking graphics by Dazed, she stated, “I hope to do a visual for every single thing, even if it’s as small as a gif or as big as a whole dance music film.” Now that’s a trend I would love to see take root. Here’s hoping.

- Callie

Doprah - Stranger People

Yes, yes, yes. This song is by far my favorite thing to come out of New Zealand, well… at least since Peter Jackson. A glittering addition to the cloud rap brand, a genre that’s been piquing my interests lately thanks to Antwon and Kitty Pryde’s recent collaboration with Chrome Sparks, Doprah’s Indira Force and the dreamy languor she induces will leave you hypnotized. I, uh, am not a huge fan of the video for this song, but it more than holds its own when presented by itself. Check out their debut EP on bandcamp; hopefully it’ll keep you sated until their full-length album drops.

Callie

Shangri-Las - “I Can Never Go Home Anymore”

“Verklempt” doesn’t even begin to cover it. Tonight I was fortunate enough to see The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable, a completely immersive “promenade theatre” production that spans five separate “studios” and over 200,000 square feet in the heart of London as 35 actors breathe life into two parallel narratives. Put on by Punchdrunk, an acclaimed UK-based theatre company known for their immersive “choose your own adventure” style shows, The Drowned Man revolves around two separate couples and their struggles with infidelity, one based in the dark Old Hollywood “Temple Pictures” studio and the other in what feels like an ominous Midwest ghost town, complete with an entire floor of desert landscape covered in sand and even a functioning saloon. The audience is led in little by little and instructed to wear masks, an ingenious choice on the behalf of the directors that truly makes you feel as if you’re totally disembodied and invisible to the actors, who fully live through their characters for the entire three hour duration.

As you move through each floor, following the actor or actress of your choosing from room to room to forest to snow embankment, a soundtrack comprised of everything from Johnny Cash to Gold Frapp to Hans Zimmer’s Hannibal score perfectly accentuates every pitch and dip in the story, giving what already feels like a nearly all-encapsulating show the last bit of vitality it needs to thoroughly consume you. If you’re anything like me, by the time the show’s ultra-climactic final scene hits tears will be gushing down your face in torrents, brought on as much by the sheer stunning spectacle as the genuine emotion you feel towards all of the characters.

It was difficult to pick just one song when there were so many wonderful tracks to choose from, but I decided on this Shangri-Las tune as I distinctly remember having the realization that I was watching people do exactly what I’ve always dreamed of as it started playing. If you’re in the London area from now until July 6th The Drowned Man’s final show date, even if you aren’t a “theatre person”, do yourself a favor and go see this production. I can guarantee you you’ll never see anything like it, and with a showing this painstakingly expansive, there’s absolutely something there for everyone.

-Callie

Lily Allen - LDN

Oh, how close this song hits to home. Two Fridays ago I flew into Gatwick Airport, ready to spend two months of my summer studying theatre in England. Not 24 hours later I found myself spending all of my time intermittently between the bed and the toilet battling the world’s most heinous case of gastrointeritis for a full week (don’t eat the airplane ravioli). But even though I was dehydrated and delirious in a somewhat foreign country, distraught about my continually deteriorating condition, the knowledge that I was even here made me feel somewhat better; I mean, if I’m gonna feel like garbage, I might as well do it in one of the most interesting cities on the planet, right?

Fortunately, I’m feeling a million times better now, and I’ve actually been able to experience a ton of what this wonderful city has to offer, including the food, sights, shows, and people. Because no matter how awful I feel, the sun is in the sky, oh why, oh why would I wanna be anywhere else?

-Callie

Mr. Muthafuckin eXquire ft. Despot, Das Racist, Danny Brown, & EL-P - "The Last Huzzah (Remix)"

Okay, boys and girls, tonight I’m here to share one of the dopest collaborations on the planet. We all know I’m a huge fan of the Das Racist dudes, and Danny Brown’s another artist that I’m just starting to get into and really enjoy, so those names alone were enough to reel me in, but seeing Despot and EL-P attached too made me really curious about just how crazy this track was gonna be. I’m not too familiar with Mr. MX to be honest, but after hearing his flow, I have to say I’m pretty intrigued.

Everyone’s verses are pretty incredible, but EL-P somehow manages to blow them all away: I didn’t notice it at first and actually had to have someone point it out to me, but EL manages to count to sixteen without breaking a sweat or his narrative.

Straight shots of the Sterno plus, wick stuck in the bottle empty
Three blocks to the target we lit it and lob it hard at Sentry
Four pigs of the oinking variety guard the market entry
Five minutes of flames and then aim the whistle my father lent me
Six o’clock we meet up and divvy the shells among the youngin’s
Seven continents in the shit and smoke like it’s fuckin’ London
Just before they ate up the funds our harmony love was bumping
Now government issue nines and point ‘em where your blood is pumping
Tend to mop up these muttering zombies talker pieces
El’ll vent on you harder than Fukushima breezes
In the end when a dozen or so adjourn to reason

You’ll find the verdict return corrupted in murderous seasons
With inverted 31’s and other unlucky omens
Thats why I chug 7 and 7’s ‘til I’m fucking homeless
And every time you think my fifteen minutes of fame are up
I’ll spit another sixteen to prove to the world I fucking own it

Ugh. Beautiful. That’s just graceful right there. 

- Callie

Chambaland - "Roll Up 4 What (Beyoncé vs. DJ Snake & Lil Jon)"

Of the most deeply and totally satisfying things I can think of, the deepest and most satisfying would have to be a seamless mashup. Enter Dan Chamberlain, a UCB performer whose writing credits include Adult Swim, Funny Or Die, and Splitsider, cranking out killer mashups like it’s nothing under the slightly more hip moniker “Chambaland”. He’s released ten EPs since his start 2010, his most recent Heat EP being only a month old and featuring a “Fancy” mix between Iggy Azalea and Reba that feels more like a duel than a duet. Check ‘em out if regular music has been sounding a little bland lately; chances are the more polarizing the songs, the better the mashup. Go go go!

- Callie

Chambaland

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Ducktails - "Hamilton Road"

Life is like a hurricane, y’know? Especially if you’re Matt Mondanile, a name that might ring a bell if you’re into Real Estate, a band that we here at Soundboard (i.e., Andrew and I) are huge fans of. Mr. Mondanile is one of the guitarists for RE, an essential job in a band whose signature is their loose, surf rock riffs. Ducktails’ sound still falls under the whole “slow and steady wins the race” umbrella, but there’s an added psychedelia and tremolo there that imbues a much more, shall we say, hypnagogic feel. I’m so entranced, I can’t tell if “Friends”, “Pizza Time”, and “Dancing With The One You Love" are Ducktails songs instructions on how to have a good time.

- Callie

(Source: Spotify)

Craft Spells - "Komorebi"

Lately my life has been comprised of a suitcase, innumerable dusty boxes, and sneezing, lots of sneezing, so being greeted by this song when I arose at the crack of 1 PM this afternoon was a much appreciated mood booster. The sneezing isn’t showing any signs of stopping, but the suitcase is empty and the boxes are slowly but surely dwindling; I think I’m starting to see the little bits of sunlight Justin Vallesteros is talking about.

"Komorebi" is fresh off Craft Spells’ first full-length album since 2011’s Idle Labor (one of my favorites of the year); catch Nausea when it drops on June 10th or go see Vallesteros live during his upcoming 10 day U.S. tour.

- Callie