Get ready for Little Daylight to slow it down, synth-style on "Name In Lights."
Electro-pop threesome Little Daylight ascend directly to synth-heaven on "Name in Lights," the New York act's second single. "You know you've got your name in lights," the hook coos, as backing vocals as soft as freshly bathed puppies rest underneath. The track's a downtempo parade of textures, a bass line gently beating alongside reverb-coated drums. The song's style recalls a slo-mo Alpine or the lush synth-pop harmonies of Au Revoir Simone -- a Sunday morning to the Saturday night fever of the band's high-energy debut, "Overdose." It's definitely a sound we can't get enough of.
Listen to Little Daylight's "Name In Lights" after the jump.
Shugo Tokumaru plays more instruments than you.
Japanese singer-songwriter Shugo Tokumaru's been making albums since 2004's Night Piece, but the pop-minded musical genius started turning heads in recent years with his cover of Peter Bjorn and John's "Young Folks." His latest is this year's In Focus?, a 15-track collection that layers instruments like noodles on lasagna -- and yes, we meant "genius." One listen to Tokumaru's kaleidoscopic songs and it's clear he's operating on another level: "Katachi" alone combines acoustic guitar and vocals with mallet percussion, whistles, accordion, and more intricate examples we can't quite identify. If "Toy Story 4" needs a setting, Tokumaru's studio sounds like the place. His musical range comes packaged with his gift for sun-kissed melodies: Tracks such as "Decorate" and 2010 single "Lahaha" are as exuberant as a puppy chasing a butterfly.
Listen to Shugo Tokumaru after the jump.
Fear of Men's catchy indie pop: the opposite of scary.
"You're just a dreamer; I'm just a dream," Fear of Men's Jessica Weiss sings on "Spirit House" -- the U.K. band's first-ever single. The line's a fitting entry into the quartet's mysterious world, where mystic imagery and stormy guitar tones share space with triumphantly catchy melodies. It's also a reminder of The Cranberries' "Dreams," a track that sounds like the fairy godmother to Fear of Men's powerful indie pop sound.
Read more about Fear Of Men after the jump.
Watch U.K. rockers the Virginmarys howl through their "Just A Ride" video.
The Virginmarys don't need much to rock: just a handful of Marshall stacks and some flashing lights. That's the setup for the band's "Just a Ride" video, which doesn't need color, either, dialing down the saturation to a "Sin City" black-and-white. The U.K. trio brings a refreshingly British take to the modern rock genre (accents!), howling through a track that sounds like the Foo Fighters after a semester abroad and a couple pints of Guinness. But the band no doubt appreciates the classics: "Time was never on my side," singer Ally Dickaty sings, a likely nod to past Brit-rock flag-bearers the Rolling Stones.
Watch The Virginmarys' "Just A Ride" video after the jump.
Hear Har Mar Superstar's throwback Memphis soul jam, "Lady, You Shot Me."
Our favorite shirtless troubadour, Har Mar Superstar, has his heart on his sleeve on his new song, "Lady, You Shot Me," a retro-soul ballad that sounds astonishingly vintage. "You broke my one rule, you treated me cruel," Har Mar sings as horns and backing vocalists cry out behind him, but the song's not all heartbreak. After its ballad beginning, "Lady, You Shot Me" bounces into an upbeat groove with Mr. Superstar trying to triumph over his bad breakup: "I'll get back in line, behind the other guys/ If there's a chance you'll let me."
Listen to Har Mar Superstar's "Lady, You Shot Me" after the jump.
All Time Low go for a magical ride in their "Somewhere In Neverland" video.
"Wendy, run away with me," All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth sings in "Somewhere in Neverland." But don't look for Peter Pan in the band's new video. Instead, Gaskarth and the band (and a mysterious blonde, whose name I bet you can guess) look for magic on their own, escaping the snooze cruise of working 9 to 5 and leaping into an animated adventure. The video, full of props and construction paper straight from your high school play, captures the band flying a hot-air balloon into space and through a magic cave, where they attempt to eat dinner with giant-size silverware. All that, plus Gaskarth shooting the band out of a cannon. Boom.
Watch All Time Low's "Somewhere In Neverland" video after the jump.
The Material dive into a hard-rock deep end on "Life Vest."
The Material is a Los Angeles hard rock quartet led by Colleen D'Agosinto, a singer whose towering rock vocals land between Hayley Williams and Evanescence's Amy Lee. The act's latest is "Life Vest," a song that definitely brings the drama: "Hold me close and don't let go!" D'Agostino wails. Like a boss, obviously. The band's upcoming album was produced by Kyle Black, who's worked with Paramore, All Time Low, and others, experience that shows in the 100-foot guitar tones of "Life Vest."
Listen to The Material's "Life Vest" after the jump.
The Features have a fever, and the only prescription is...
"I'm having trouble standing still," The Features' Matt Pelham sings on "This Disorder," and we feel the same way after hearing the track's twitchy bass line. The track only gets dancier as it builds up to a spiky chorus -- though it never bursts into full indie-disco mode. Despite the song's still-ill lyrics, the band knows laughter is the best medicine: "Ring the bell!" Pelham yelps before bookending a guitar solo with chimes.
Listen to The Features' "This Disorder" after the jump.
Goldroom teams up with Mereki on his tropical new jam, "Only You Can Show Me."
Only Goldroom can cure our SoCal winter blues. (It's going to rain in L.A. tomorrow, guys! Actual rain!) The Los Angeles producer's sun-soaked latest is "Only You Can Show Me," a thick slice of tropical disco that relies on bongo drums and the vocal talents of L.A. singer Mereki. Unlike the aquatic lyrics of "Fifteen," the track revolves around Mereki's title hook. She pulls multiple shades of emotion out of the simple line, the melody rising into a question mark and landing again with confidence.
Listen to Goldroom Featuring Mereki's "Only You Can Show Me" after the jump.
Watch holychild turn an empty house into a glitter-filled party in their "Best Friends" video.
Hitting up clubs is so 2012. For their "Best Friends" video, Los Angeles duo holychild perform outside an abandoned home in Bombay Beach, California, rocking out without fear of noise violations or available electrical outlets. The band chills with biker kids and aging, mustache-loving beach bros, throwing their own demolition derby in the empty house. By the time they're done tearing it up, gold glitter's exploding from the air like a Ke$ha concert. Shout-out to the band's sassy dance moves.
Watch holychild's "Best Friends" video after the jump.