Welcome to the November edition of Back of the Rack, our monthly mixtape featuring the freshest new music on the scene. This month, we have ten tracks from some of excellent up-and-comers, with a great variety of genres and styles. If you like what you read and hear, don’t forget to click the big button below to download this month’s Back of the Rack for free.
Ya’Sin’s – Wildflowers
Genre: Electronic, House, Experimental
Ya’ Sin is a pianist as well as an electronic music producer. You can hear him put both of these skills to use in his song “Wildflowers”. Ya’Sin has lived in Paris, Chicago and now San Francisco. So it’s clear that he is all about amalgamation, of not only sounds but of cultures. You can hear house music mixed with experimental piano playing all put to a contemporary electronic-production structure.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Genre: Indie, rock, folk rock
Amber Edgar is a 7-person band from Ontario, with Amber being the band’s lead singer and guitarist. This song shows their ability to wander the subgenres of rock within one song. It begins with a mellow atmosphere and waxy vocals, moves into a swaggering beat with pleasantly melodic guitar playing, and diverges into something more chaotic and aggressive before again normalizing. It’s an indie rock song with guts and gusto, but also with a toe-tapping sensibility.
The Relics – Been Down to the Bottom
The Relics are a 4-piece band hailing from Liverpool, and their song “Been Down to the Bottom” can be found on their debut EP “Pilgrim Soul”. This song has a loose and playful feel to it. There is a blues’ish undertone to much of it, but there is also a dash of 1970’s southern-rock, and the vocals at time might remind one of Dylan in the way they are sung. In the end it’s the instrumental balance and sportive energy of the song that is most catchy and lasting.
Magic Man’s – Texas
Genre: electro rock, pop/rock, synth rock
“Texas” can be found on Magic Man’s EP titled “You are Here”. With soaring synths, pulsating percussion, and smoothly emotive vocals this band may remind one of Phoenix or STRFKR or something thereabout. There is a solid rock backbone & rhythm section, upon which they build upon in a glossy manner. There is definitely some new wave in there, combined with nu-disco and a general dance-friendly mentality.
Kiernan McMullan’s – Intermission
Genre: Singer songwriter, acoustic
“Intermission” is from Nashville’s own singer-songwriter Kiernan McMullan and can be found on his latest record Two Years. There’s a very simple construction to this tune; Kiernan’s vocals (at times chorused), his guitar, and the piano. The vocals are the centerpiece, as there exists both a hollow and a heavy feel to his voice, which can be very captivating. Also, notice how well the acoustic guitar holds the beat in this percussion-less song, and the piano is more expressive.
Midnight’s (mdnt) – Dreamcatcher feat. Jez Dior
Brooklyn, NYC, NY
Genre: electro R&B, electronic, hip hop
Midnight, or mdnt, hails from Brooklyn and is the main singer on “Dreamcatcher” while you will hear Jez Dior rap. It’s adroitly produced music that lies somewhere between R&B and electronic, with thick beats, soulful vocals and very progressive production. It’s something like The Weeknd in that manner. On his Facebook page he describes his music as “future soul”, which is actually a pretty good term for this music which so obviously draws from numerous types of musical inspirations.
Sticky Fingers – Australia Street
Genre: Reggae, roots/pop/rock, psych folk
Sticky Fingers like to call themselves something akin to psych folk or roots/pop/rock, but when you hear their song “Australia Street” you’re going to think straight up reggae – which they also love. Although one can definitely hear the psych and folk influences in this song, which really are wonderful additions to their brand of contemporary reggae, a genre that really is too ignored now-a-days. But forget about that now and find yourself on the beach – or sunny road – of your choice by bumping “Australia Street” from Sticky Fingers.
Drew Michael Blake’s – The Shot. The Push. The Shove.
Genre: folk, acoustic, western/rock
“The Shot. The Push. The Shove.” can be found on Drew Michael Blake’s album of the same name. It’s something like folk meets rock meets western, with an inward looking undertone to it. In this song pay attention to his lyrics, the simple melodies, and the fantastic guitar and fiddle plucking. It shows well how musicians from Nashville (there must be something in the water…) can often adroitly incorporate western and country sounds into their songs so subtly, without it becoming overbearing but also without it being unmistakable.
Ali Young’s – Make Believe
Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Singer Songwriter, pop/rock, folk/pop
Love Normal is the album from Ali Young in which you can find the song “Make Believe”, a song about a couple deciding to pretend their still in love. With a voice that’s like a sultry version of Metric’s Emily Haines and a toe-tapping beat sensibility with simple but elegant melodic movements, this song is undoubtedly catchy. Acoustic guitar is the central point, but this author especially likes her use of chorusing and simple little slow-break-downs near the end of the song. It’s a song that truly should be considered singer-songwriter, but has just the perfect amount of pop in it.
Moxi’s – Terrible Disguise
Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Electro pop, psych/pop
Moxi’s song “Terrible Disguise” is a song that incorporates electronic percussion and arrangements with feminine lyrical abilities and slight psychedelic sounds happening in the periphery. It’s best when the beat drops, but she doesn’t let that come right away, making it even more meaningful when it hits. It’s not unlike Lorde’s latest material, if you need a contemporary compass to place the sound, but also contains it’s own sound and direction distinctly.
Written by Sean Brna
OurVinyl | Editor