Earbits has always been about discovering new and exciting music. There are lots of ways for you to find your next favorite artist, that next club banger, or the perfect playlist to suit your mood. Each week our music team works to expand these horizons even more, and we wanted to with you some of our faves with you every week. Take a listen, as our editors bring you yet another way to discover great music.
San Francisco indie outfit Picture Atlantic have been on Earbits for some time, but this new release stands out as the group’s stongest and boldest. With My by Myself is the first indie-rock anthem of the season. Drenched in glimmering guitars and fuzzy bass riffs this record just plain rocks.
John Burke is an independent artist in the truest sense, writing, releasing, promoting, managing, and generally hustling: in other words, an Earbits poster boy. His work proves that success can be attained on one’s own terms and without compromise. But hey, a little outside validation isn’t so bad, either: he was nominated this year for a New Age Grammy with his solo-piano record Orogen. That category means a lot of things, sure, but as far back as Windham Hill Records and artists like William Ackerman, Scott Cossu, and George Winston, thoughtfully-composed, beautifully played solo-instrument records like Burke’s have found their way into the genre. Initially motivated by spirituality, New Age accepts any music with unashamed optimism, pure joy, and reverence for the natural world at its center. Orogen‘s got all of these in spades, and its a pleasure to listen to.
To the Grammy’s Chance the Rapper may be the best new artist. To us he’s an old friend. This debut mixtape shows signs of that bottled fire and cool, collected swagger that makes Coloring Book such a landmark release. Congrats!
Snarky Puppy is built on a foundation of acrobatic musicianship, deep groove, and free improvisation. So, in a sense, while you can hardly call what they do “jazz,” anymore, I’d argue it’s what they do as a jazz group that allows them to make music that sounds nothing like it. Their 2012 release, groundUP, is one of their many live efforts, recorded over three days in 2011. Apart from the occasional bit of applause and talking, you’d hardly know: it’s glossy in the way most bands only can pull off with the benefit of a studio. This year, their record Culcha Vulcha took home the Grammy for “Best Contemporary Instrumental,” a strange name for a category, sure, but I’d say it rightfully pays homage to SP’s brand of finely-crafted, super musical ecclecticism. Bravo, guys.
Released in 2011, ‘The Organ Hearts’ is one of the more ambient and minimalistic concept albums from New England duo, ‘Arms and Sleepers’. An ethereal release that layers airy hip-hop beats atop lush and trippy landscapes.
The first solo effort of the Portland-residing, musical chameleon, Matt Drenik (AKA Battleme), is killer!