Sweetlife Food and Music Festival
AVICII, Kid Cudi, The Shins, Explosions in the Sky, Fitz and the Tantrums, A$AP Rocky, FUN., Twin Shadow, Zola Jesus, Delta Spirit, RAC, U.S. Royalty, The Knocks, Yuna, HAIM, LP, Ben Browning (Cut Copy), BLUEBRAIN (DJ Set), Action Bronson
10475 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia, MD, 21044
Sweetlife Food and Music Festival
With spring right around the corner, it’s time once again to enjoy some delectable treats courtesy of the Sweetlife Music and Food Festival. Presented by the restaurant group sweetgreen, the event will not only feature electrifying sounds led by artists Avicii, Kid Cudi, and The Shins; the festival will also showcase a slew of delicious, healthy and organic foods on site. That's one awesome celebration of thoughtful living and refreshingly cool music.
After an incredible 2010 - with worldwide hit singles like Bromance and My Feelings For You plus hit remixes of Tiësto, Robyn, David Guetta, and Bob Sinclar - all bodes right for Avicii in 2011. With massive monster tracks lined up and many of the world's biggest events headlining Avicii on the bill, little is left to dispute that 2011 will be this enviously young talent's year. No surprise when his first release of 2011, Street Dancer, went straight for number one on the worldwide Beatport charts. Among upcoming releases are the highly anticipated remixes of Armin van Buuren - Drowning and Daft Punk - Derezzed as well as his own Penguin, Silhouettes, Abow and the mysterious ID circulating countless forums around the web.
With his monthly LE7ELS podcast and radio show at SiriusXM, Avicii is looking at establishing his name among the stars, bringing his contagious sounds to the masses and making them believe what many already know - Avicii truly is the Sound of Now.
"Kid Cudi is a Brooklyn-based rapper from Cleveland whose debut single, "Day 'n' Nite," became an online favorite in 2008. Born Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi in suburban Cleveland, his career took off after he moved to Brooklyn and became affiliated with Fool's Gold, the label of DJs A-Trak and Nick Catchdubs. The label released the Day 'n' Nite EP in February 2008 and circulated a Crookers remix around the blogosphere, drumming up a good deal of buzz in the process. It didn't hurt that Kid Cudi began to receive increasing press attention, including a nod from Rolling Stone (which touted him among the magazine's Top Five best indie hip-hop artists of 2008). Not long after the release of "Day 'n' Nite," Kid Cudi began touring with the Fool's Gold collective, which performed at a South by Southwest showcase and subsequently joined forces with Steve Aoki and his Dim Mak collective for a North American tour. After the remixed version of "Day 'n' Nite" climbed the U.K. singles charts, Kid Cudi released his conceptual debut album Man on the Moon: The End of Day in the summer of 2009. A year later he returned with a sequel, Man on the Moon, Vol. 2: The Legend of Mr. Rager." - Jason Birchmeier, AllMusicGuide
"A classic guitar pop group almost nine years in the making, Albuquerque, New Mexico's the Shins began in 1997 as the side project of singer/songwriter and guitarist James Mercer's primary band, Flake. Mercer formed Flake in 1992 with drummer Jesse Sandoval, keyboardist Marty Crandall, and bassist Neal Langford; they eventually changed their name to Flake Music, releasing several singles, a well-received album, When You Land Here, It's Time to Return, and touring with friends like Modest Mouse and Califone.
Soon after the release of When You Land Here, Mercer and Sandoval formed the Shins as a change of pace, playing as a duo with Cibo Matto and the American Analog Set. With Mercer as the Shins' primary songwriter, the group developed a more focused, crafted sound than Flake Music's charming, if somewhat rambling, collaborative style. Crandall, as well as Scared of Chaka's Dave Hernandez and Ron Skrasek, filled out the Shins' lineup; however, Hernandez and Skrasek left after a short while, due to the success of their main project. By 1999, Flake Music essentially disbanded and Langford also joined the Shins.
With a couple of 7"s on Omnibus -- 1998's Nature Bears a Vacuum and 2000's When I Goose-Step -- under their belts, the Shins embarked on a tour with Modest Mouse. Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman caught the San Francisco date of the tour and asked the Shins to contribute a single to the label's Single of the Month Club, which eventually became an offer to release their 2001 single New Slang and their debut album, Oh, Inverted World. The group spent the rest of the year touring with acts such as Preston School of Industry and Red House Painters. The release of singles such as "Know Yr Onion!" and "The Past and the Pending" kept the Shins' success going into 2002, cementing Oh, Inverted World as one of the definitive indie rock albums of the early 2000s and the Shins as one of the style's definitive bands.
By the time the band recorded their second album, Chutes Too Narrow, Langford was replaced on bass by Dave Hernandez (ex-Scared of Chaka). Chutes Too Narrow was released in fall 2003. The Shins' profile increased drastically the next year when actor Zach Braff included several of their songs in his 2004 movie Garden State with one of the main characters going so far as to proclaim that the song "New Slang" would "change your life." Its follow-up, Wincing the Night Away, appeared in January 2007 and sold over a staggering 100,000 copies in its first week. The Shins had never before hit higher than number 86 on the Billboard charts, but the album's sales snagged the guys a debut spot of number two. This was also a record for Sub Pop itself, as the label had only previously peaked at number 79 with the Afghan Whigs' 1996 album Black Love.
In 2008, the band announced that their contract with Sub Pop was up, and that their next album would be released through Mercer's own Aural Apothecary label. The resulting Port of Morrow, which featured an all new backing band that included fellow songwriters Jessica Dobson and Richard Swift, Modest Mouse drummer Joe Plummer, and Yuuki Matthews from the Crystal Skulls, arrived on March 20, 2012." - Heather Phares, AllMusicGuide
Explosions in the Sky
In February 1999, three longtime friends from West Texas went to a pizza place in Austin, Texas, for a prearranged meeting with a young man from Illinois. The Illinoisan had just moved to Austin, and he had put up a flyer that caught the interest of the others. They ate pizza and discussed movies and arcana. They also decided to meet the next day with their various instruments (two guitars, bass, ...and drums). This happened, and over the coming months they picked a band name, then picked a better band name, then wrote and recorded an album. That album, called How Strange, Innocence, was largely out of tune, but the band members didn't really notice at the time. They optimistically printed 300 copies, and gave most of them away. It turned out they really liked playing together, so they kept doing so. A friend of theirs sent a recording of one of their live shows to a record label in Baltimore, and that label offered to put out albums for the band. The band agreed. A year later they put out a second album (Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever). They began to tour often, all over the world. In 2003 another album came (The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place), and in 2007 they put out All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone. Their fifth album, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care, will be released in April 2011.
Fitz and the Tantrums
In just a year or so, soulsters Fitz & the Tantrums went from the living room to the main stage. The recipe for meteoric success? Six killer musicians, five dapper suits, irresistible songs, some serendipity and one vintage organ.
Since their first show at Hollywood's Hotel Cafe in December 2008, Fitz and co. have toured with Maroon 5, played to thousands at Colorado's world famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre, shared the stage New Year's Eve with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, and performed on KCRW's esteemed show, Morning Becomes Eclectic, all this on the strength of their stellar five-song EP, Songs for a Breakup, Vol. 1.
For some bands, it takes a lifetime to build this success, but few performers deliver an unrestrained blast of soul-clapping, get-down-on-the-floor, moneymaker shakers like Fitz and the Tantrums. Now post-release of their debut full length, Picking Up the Pieces, which has since earned them a 3½ star album review in ROLLING STONE, the troupe is poised to get down in dancehalls across the universe.
Born & raised in Harlem, New York, ASAP Rocky is no stranger to the cliché rap lifestyle, popularized by fellow Harlem Patriarchs from Big L & Kool Moe Dee to Ma$e, and Cam'ron. However, Rocky's entrenching yet melodic rap style has drawn more immediate comparisons to recently incarcerated Harlemite Max B.
"Rocky" the Nickname given in part, from his birth name Rakim (after the legendary NY emcee), and in part for his scrappy, yet suave persona, would quickly embrace Harlem's diverse music lineage. Raised by his Mother & Father, Rocky was exposed to soulful records such as those from Curtis Mayfield, and Marvin Gaye, in addition to the sudden wave of 90's "Gangsta Rap", as well as local Harlem talent. Feeling he had played student of the rap game for long enough, a young Rocky tried his hand at penning his first verse, after hearing his older brother pound out beats on the kitchen table. Instantly recognizing the talent in his sibling, he insisted Rocky not only finish the song but start a new hobby, combining his already popular nickname with the acronym ASAP, meaning To Accumulate Status And Power (also the name of Rocky's Crew of Harlem Based contemporaries)
Since that time music has changed drastically, but not ASAP Rocky's ear for quality, as he began making his rounds on the local battle rap circle, and ghostwriting when the opportunity presented itself. By not limiting his musical inspirations geographically, Rocky maintains this diversity in his music today, drawing inspiration from such stark opposites as the Red Hot Chili Peppers & Hope Sandoval to Cee-Lo Green and MGMT. This diversity, evident in his viral debut "Purple Swag", is clearly what rap fans have been craving, as the video amassed an impressive 100K+ views in a matter of days. Paying tribute to the screw legends of Texas and their infamous purple potion, but with a distinct Harlem flavor.
Rocky is avoiding hipster cliché, and the recent "swag" overload, with a more organic yet still braggadocio style, self proclaimed as Harlem's "Pretty MotherF**Ker." Rocky's uniquely authentic introspection, and style have many toting the youngster as NYC's emcee to watch in the year to come. And if Rocky's initial buzz is any indication, all signs point to a rap resurrection, appropriately led by the kid named after "The God Emcee."
Close your eyes. Okay, no wait — open them because you need to keep reading — but close them in spirit. Now pretend fun. is not a band, but an amusement park. Just replace the guitar with a log flume and the percussion with a carousel. Now imagine the crowds lining up for a ride on fun.’s sophomore record, Some Nights. The line snakes around the whole park. Maybe there are some bearded ladies on it. Maybe lots of bearded ladies. Anyway. As you get closer, you see the entrance to Some Nights is actually Nate Ruess’ head. His mouth is open wider than should be physically possible and his uvula dangles in the dark. The musical tracks harden into wooden rollercoaster tracks. You get on the car, and with a jerk, it starts to move. There’s that familiar feeling that tells you something pretty transformative is about to happen. Lights flash as you go plummeting into the darkness. The rollercoaster version of Some Nights follows the same path as the album version: colorful on the outside, deeper than you had imagined in the center, and so good it’ll make your head spin.
Want to go again?
“I had met Jack briefly once and thought he was kind of a douche,” says Nate Ruess of his first encounter with Jack Antonoff. They were 18 years old and going, separately, to punk rock shows in southern New Jersey. Nate had worked at one of the clubs since he was 16 (“It’s how I developed a sense of what really works, and what is boring.”), and Jack was in love with the whole scene--well, almost the whole scene.
“In the late 90s there was just a brilliant punk world happening in legion halls and fire houses. I was immediately taken with Nate’s voice but everything else – no.” Years later, Nate, who was the lead singer of The Format at the time and Jack, Steel Train’s front man, wound up on tour together. Impressions hadn’t changed much. “It was just like an, ‘Oh God, this guy,’ vibe from both of us right off the bat. But 24 hours into that tour, Nate and I became inseparable.”
When The Format broke up, Nate’s first call was to Jack.
Though not a “meet-cute” tale, it’s indicative of who fun. is as a band. You hear them and think, “Are they really going to pull off this sound, this arrangement, and create a moving, catchy, memorable rock song?” It’s become their signature. So long as that signature has one last element: Nate’s second call was to Andrew Dost, the force behind all the literal bells and whistles of fun. “Andrew,” says Jack, “is one of those people who see the world like a giant art project. I can’t begin to tell you how vital he is in our band.”
“My first impressions of them were both overwhelmingly positive,” says Andrew Dost, “I’ve heard they were….unsure of each other when they first met?”
fun. has not stopped living up to its name since their 2009 debut, Aim & Ignite. A year after the debut they were opening for Paramore on their headlining tour and performing at Coachella along with The Strokes and Jay-Z. Now they’ve teamed up with Janelle Monáe, a melodic collaboration on display in one of three videos for “We Are Young.” In addition, the TV series “Glee” plucked “We Are Young” and the title track off Some Nights to cover on the show, an experience that meant the world to a band that prides itself on appealing to any demographic that might feel disenfranchised or just plain odd. “None have us have ever felt like anything but outcasts our entire lives,” says Jack, “and I know that’s something that has resonated with fun. fans. They are the same people as us — kids who never fully latched onto a specific music scene because it couldn't define them.”
With a trail of accolades behind them, fun. knew they had to step up their game in an unexpected way when it came to producing their second record. “I got really got into hip-hop,” says Nate, “I mean really into it. Songs started coming to me in the middle of the night, and I would hear them with breakbeats and samples, and it all made sense… I told everyone I wanted the next record to sound like a hip-hop album, and I don’t think they were unsupportive, but they were definitely confused.” Then, a few hours before a show in Phoenix, the band snuck into a music room at Arizona State University. Nate doesn’t play any instruments, but by now Jack and Andrew have learned to “crack the code.” This time the code was for the track that would become “Some Nights.” Andrew pounded out the chords out on a piano, while Nate sang, and Jack stomped his feet and clapped as hard as he could to establish the pulse of the song. “That moment really brought us together as the band that was going to be making this album….I just had to explain how the MPC (Music Production Center) would be our new best friend.”
Jack is a whip-smart horn-rimmed glasses-wearing guitarist whose influences are Tom Waits, Jack White, and Neil Young.
Andrew counts the flugelhorn and glockenspiel among his conquered instruments. (Influences: Weezer, ELO, and Claude Debussy.)
And here they were, jumping out of their skin, listening to My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and Drake in a concrete building in the middle of the desert.
“What can I say? Eventually they fell victim to Drizzy,” laughs Nate.
When pressed by their label and management for a list of potential producers, Nate consulted the albums he loved most. The name that appeared time and time again was "Jeff Bhasker.”
The legendary Grammy-winning producer for Alicia Keys and Kanye West had his hands full at the time, working with Beyoncé, and the band worried that they might not have a chance to meet him. Finally, one night late at The Bowery Hotel, Nate got his chance. Their relationship was one that fit nicely into the grand tradition of fun. “Jeff wasn’t very, shall we say, warm. He had been working on Beyoncé all day, and he really gave the vibe that he didn’t want to be meeting with me...but thank God for alcohol. We ended up hitting it off, and since I was drunk and lacking self-awareness, I decided to sing him something I had been working on. I remember singing the chorus for "We Are Young" kind of loud and out of key. That’s when I learned that Jeff does this thing when he’s excited where his eyes perk up and somehow his ears move all the way to the top of his head. He told me we had to work together.”
fun. was on their way to becoming the band that would — that could — produce Some Nights.
“Jeff left a huge imprint in our brains,” says Andrew, “and for me at least, made me realize all over again that songs are special, and that they deserve to sound unique. His palette of sounds is huge.” Or, as Jack says: “Jeff pushed the shit out of us, and he’s nothing like us. He helped us do something way bigger than what we could have done on our own."
Jeff heard the songs stripped down with just vocals, acoustic guitar and piano before the band went into the studio with him.
“Jeff has an energy, a talent, confidence, and a way of making you feel confident, like no one I've ever met, or probably will ever meet,” says Nate. “Suddenly here was a gigantic beat on top of those acoustics and pianos. Jack’s guitar solo in ‘Carry On’ was one of those magical moments. I’ve never seen anyone so in control of their tone, and for him to take the lyrics, internalize them, and redistribute it into the form of a guitar solo, is just so unbelievable, and it’s a huge testament to his passion for music.”
Lyrically, Some Nights has a uniquely impactful note — and it’s not always an upbeat one. See also: the line “I got nothing left inside my chest but it’s all alright” in “All Alright.” “I was just coming off of a darker and more introspective year,” Nate remembers, “You know, I remember being a freshman in high school and feeling like an outsider who always wanted this one girl to notice me, and I would listen to ‘El Scorcho’ by Weezer and couldn’t help but smile because there was at least one other person in the world who felt how I felt. That’s what I hope to accomplish as a lyricist. But I was having anxiety attacks about whether or not I could still write a song, let alone still wanting to make music. The only way to cope with it was to write about it.”
Some Nights earned the band six total nominations for the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, including nominations in all “Big Four” categories, marking fun. the first rock ever to achieve such a feat.
Maybe it’s Nate. Or Andrew. Or Jack. Or Jeff. Or the acoustics at Arizona State. Either way, it’s a good problem to have when you’re pointing fingers at each other, laying the blame for the magic of your new record on your band mates. Even with the “new and improved” sound, fans will never forget what it is this band wants: “Some Nights has a common theme of guilt and depression and laying everything on the table, sure, but there’s always some sort light at the end of the tunnel,” says Nate. “That’s what this album is striving for, to say something along the lines of ‘Okay, I found that light, but it’s just led me to another situation where I need to find the light again.’”
And down the tracks we go.
"Born in the Dominican Republic, raised in Florida, and boasting an expansive musical background that includes composing for a touring dance company and fronting a Boston punk group, George Lewis, Jr. put his own multifaceted spin on chillwave when he started making solo bedroom recordings in Brooklyn as Twin Shadow. A born crooner with a nostalgic yet bittersweet ‘80s tone to his music, Lewis made demos that soon caught the attention of Grizzly Bear's similar-minded Chris Taylor, who produced Forget and released it on his Terrible Records imprint in 2010." - Jason Lymangrover, AllMusicGuide
"Zola Jesus is the project of Madison, Wisconsin’s Nika Roza Danilova, who crafts dark music dominated by her operatic vocals and keyboards. Danilova showed an interest in singing early on, buying voice lesson tapes and opera sheet music at age seven; soon after, she began working with a vocal coach for the next decade. Anxiety and the competitive nature of opera caused her to stop singing for a couple of years, but missing that form of expression spurred her to begin Zola Jesus. Inspired by high-school favorites like Diamanda Galás, Lydia Lunch, Throbbing Gristle, and the Swans, Danilova made cathartic home recordings using keyboards, drum machines, and anything else she had on hand. Her first officially released music included a couple of 2008 7"s: the Poor Sons EP on Die Stasi and Soeur Sewer on Sacred Bones. In 2009, Zola Jesus became one of the most talked and blogged-about underground artists, and her release and touring schedule reflected that: along with the full-length The Spoils, she also released the Tsar Bomba EP on Troubleman, New Amsterdam on Sacred Bones, and an untitled, limited-edition vinyl album and a split release with Burial Hex on Aurora Borealis. For her live band, she recruited her cousin Dead Luke to play synths, bassist Lindsay Mikkola, and drummer Max Elliott. Danilova also played in the group Former Ghosts, which featured Xiu Xiu’s Jamie Stewart and Freddy Ruppert. She remained just as busy in 2010, touring with Fever Ray and the xx and releasing the cleaner-sounding Stridulum, Stridulum II, and Valusia EPs. The following year she collaborated with Prefuse 73 on The Misanthrope Meditation Mix and released her third full-length, Conatus, which found Danilova continuing to move away from her lo-fi roots and toward experimental electronic pop." - Heather Phares, AllMusicGuide
There's a scene in Murray Lerner's film ("Festival"), about the 1963 Newport Music Festival, where Peter, Paul and Mary are shown obliging a resounding call for an encore with the protest song, "If I Had A Hammer." Peter and Paul face each other from the sides and Mary faces the audience of tens of thousands, shaking her blonde hair and bearing down on a song about making change. She would, they w...ould hammer out danger and a warning all over the land. Delta Spirit have five hammers and they swing them the way Mary bobbled her head back in '63 for her close-ups, the way Mary sang as if her knees were on fire and her mouth was brimming with more ire laced with optimism than she knew what to do with. These Californians have more in common with the dirty haired, dirty fingernailed folk groups of the nascent years than they do any of their contemporaries. They're suited for reminiscent hopefulness and the gracefully youthful fusion of hostility and all-encompassing passion for all things that can set a smile ablaze or turn the hairs on arms and backs of necks into little beds of nails at the flick of a switch. They make lists of things they like, including all of the people they love, their home, pretty girls, desserts, bodies of water, justice and America. They believe there's still hope for it and in all of the rooms contained within the hallways of the band's newest offering, "Ode To Sunshine," they make you understand that, when it's all boiled down, what we all ultimately live for is catharsis and a fulfillment of body meeting land, air and sea harmoniously. They're about bodies meeting bodies, pressing skins to skins. They're about reminding you to listen more than you talk. They're about urging you to put stock in the happiness of others, not just your own. They make it obvious that we have to go somewhere to be somewhere. We have to feel something to really live. They sing of the soul searchers. They sing for the soul searchers. They are the soul searchers. – Sean Moeller
RAC (Remix Artist Collective)'s remixes have been reinventing the art of remixing and gathering widespread acclaim since the collective's creation in 2007. The newest expansion of the RAC family is RAC DJs, another creative teaming of André Anjos and Karl Kling. With RAC DJs, RAC takes its remix theory to the booth, altering and combining tracks on the fly, to create an engaging soundscape fed by crowd energy and live interaction. RAC has done remixes for Phoenix, Bloc Party, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ra Ra Riot, and many more.
From the bluesy swagger of the album opener “Hollywood Hollows” to the soaring, Washington Irving inspired anthem “Equestrian,” it is evident that MIRRORS, the debut full length from U.S. Royalty, is an album of grand scope and range. It is a document of exploration and discovery. Songs kindle a spectrum of locales as the band laces a thread of longing and movement throughout the entire album to create a cinematic experience. MIRRORS is a cohesive and unified collection.
In March 2010, the band teamed up with engineer Gus Oberg (The Strokes, Albert Hammond Jr., Bloc Party) and Justin Long to begin recording the album. While in the studio, as a vision of the album began to come into focus, old songs were dropped in favor of new songs being written. The band recently released the first single off the album, “Equestrian,” and set a release date for the debut album, January 25th 2011.
U.S. Royalty formed in 2008 in Washington, D.C. Built around the lifelong musical collaboration of brothers John and Paul Thornley, vocals/piano and guitar, respectively, and rounded out by Jacob Michael (bass), and Luke Adams (drums), the group has refined and expanded their collective vision since their earliest practices spent shivering around a single heater while ensconced in an abandoned trailer in rural Maryland. While the band had a collection of demos recorded mainly to book gigs they were approached by Brooklyn-based Engine Room Recordings to release a selection of the songs on a 7-inch entitled Midsommar. They have made appearances at SXSW, NXNE, Art Basel and CMJ. They have been featured in Esquire, SPIN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and highlighted on NPR. Their work with Gant Rugger has garnered them attention in the fashion world and created unexpected bridges in the blogosphere, their music has accompanied various web-based promotional films for the label, and the band members will be featured in the Swedish line’s upcoming 2011 Spring Collection.
With the release of their debut album, U.S. Royalty delivers on capturing the volatility and explosiveness that define their live performances. While taking cues from the players of old, they treat performances as feverish outpourings of rock ‘n roll energy and emotion. For them, there is no reason not to leave it all on the stage every night as a testimony to the music that moves them. U.S. Royalty aims for the grand and the timeless but insists on the raw and the unplanned as they forge their own way in the current musical landscape.
Everyone can now make music. The increasing access to music related technology and the liquid flow of music and information is a blessing to aspiring musicians, but a curse to those who have to sift through the terrible mash-ups and tunes in order to find quality music. Based out of New York City’s Lower East Side, The Knocks are taking a stand and reclaiming good music for all.
The Knocks - Ben ...“B-Roc” Ruttner and James “Jpatt” Patterson - garnered their name from the early days of their production career when they tirelessly worked out of their home studios and complaining neighbors would knock on their doors. Coupled with DJing and making mixtapes, the pair cobbled together enough money to open their studio; HeavyRoc Music. Following the tried and tested route of classic New York producers of the past, the pair would head straight from the studio to the club with a new fresh jam to test on the crowd in their DJ sets.
They have since produced original material and remixes for Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Marina & the Diamonds, and now their own music. With heavy rotation on Australia’s Triple J, their single “Make It Better” was released on Neon Gold Records and their hit “Dancing With the DJ” was #1 on both the Hype Machine and Japan’s iTunes. The Knocks have been taking their energetic live dance party all over the world, including their sold out NYC Bowery Ballroom debut, Tammany Hall headlining show and their European tour with Sleigh Bells and M.I.A. They’ve shared the stage with acts like Big Boi, Chromeo, and just finished a U.S. tour with Ellie Goulding. Be prepared, because The Knocks will be knocking at your door and stereo very soon.
Music is one of the most powerful forces of unification. It has the power to heal, the power to help, the power to inspire, and the power to change.
Yuna understands the importance of music and has the ability to write songs that transcend any and all boundaries. With her soft vocals and warm acoustic guitar, this singer-songwriter crafts intriguing and infectious ruminations on life, love, and so much more.
Growing up in Malaysia, Yuna was first inspired by the universal appeal of acts like No Doubt, The Cranberries, and Fiona Apple. At the age of 19, while in law school, she picked up a guitar and began to fervently write. She released her self-titled EP in Malaysia in 2008. The single “Deeper Conversation” became a massive success and went on to win the title of Best English Song at the 2009 AIM Awards, Malaysia’s national music awards. Yuna swept the ceremony, garnering Best Pop Song and Song of the Year for her Malay song, “Dan Sebenarnya”.
Since joining the FADER Label family, Yuna has performed before a sold-out audience at the legendary venue Mercury Lounge, joined seminal recording artist Raphael Saadiq on his spring 2011 tour, and most recently opened for Ray LaMontagne at Central Park SummerStage. Fans, critics from MTV, The New York Post, even Russell Simmons himself, who raved, “an amazing new singer…her music is incredible,” all instantly praised her talents.
When she’s not performing, Yuna spends her time developing her photography skills and managing her Malaysia-based clothing shop, I Am Jet Fuel. A self-professed “tech geek”, Yuna even created an instructional video showing viewers how to set up their own home recording studio.
Her US debut EP, Decorate, is out now digitally with a full album coming February 2012.
Hailing from the San Fernando Valley, HAIM consists of, “Three sisters, and a mister” that has been shaking things up in the city of Los Angeles for the past four years. It is truly a family affair for the band which prides themselves on being able to switch from instrument to instrument with complete confidence and ease, and all while singing in three part harmony.
The sisters, Este, Danielle, and Alana, grew up playing classic rock songs with their parents in a family band, called “Rockinhaim,” which played for charity events and street fairs. After years of playing with their parents, the girls decided to strike out on their own, and began writing their own material. Este, the eldest of the three, plays bass guitar and found time in between touring to graduate from UCLA with a degree in Music. Danielle, the 22 year old lead guitar player, who previously toured with Jenny Lewis, Cee-lo Green, and Julian Casablancas. Alana, the youngest in the band, plays rhythm guitar, keyboard, and percussion. Rounding out the group is Dash Hutton, who previously played drums for LA bands Wires on Fire and Slang Chickens. Over the past few years, the band has opened up for Julian Casablancas, Cold War Kids, Ke$ha, Group Love, No Age, The Bird and the Bee, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Chief and The Henry Clay People. In February 2012, HAIM released a three song EP titled Forever, which is also the title track on the record. It can be downloaded for free at Haimtheband.com.
L.P. is an incredible artist and songwriter from New York City now living in L.A. Recently signed to Warner Brother Records, she has created a strong buzz in the LA music scene playing sold-out residencies at the Soho House and Sayers Club. With a unique and powerful voice, she has been described as a mix of Jeff Buckley, Florence and the Machine and Janis Joplin, yet has a style and sound all her... own. She is currently in the studio crafting her new album with a host of producers including Isa Summers (Florence and the Machine) and PJ Bianco (Cee-Lo) among others. In today’s crowded musical landscape, LP stands out as a real artist with meaningful music. She can only truly be described through the sound of her music.
Ben Browning (Cut Copy)
A pulsating solo effort from electronic pop crooning man-child and Cut Copy bassist Ben Browning is the shiniest, newest addition to the Cutters stable of artists.
Prior to starting on Cut Copy's most recent album Zonoscope, Ben Browning dug into his trusty mind-hole and began penning tracks for a solo release, culminating in the new 12-inch EP which is to be released by Cutters Records. I Can't ...Stay is the lead single, taken from Browning's forthcoming EP on Cutters records.
It opens with an almost calypso guitar lead, before opening up into bouncing bass driven club-pop, the likes of which wouldn't have been entirely out of place on the recent Cut Copy album. The vocal is trademark Ben Browning: delicately strained melodic and harmonic stylings, with a seeming fragility which belies its true versatility.
The talents of Architecture In Helsinki's Gus Franklin and Haima Marriott were enlisted to add production and shimmer, with Franklin even laying down live-drums on the final recording. Meanwhile, Cut Copy's own Dan Whitford reached into his collection of vintage synths to provide keyboard programming, producing some of the the classic keyboard tones herein.
What's that you say? You wanna dance? Never fear, the single is rounded out by two energetic remixes of the lead track I Can't Stay. Cutters' own Knightlife, who has made spacey disco bliss his stock in trade, has transformed this into and epic, infectious melodic house gem. And DFA's Juan Maclean opts for an energized version, more faithful to the original, much like classic expertly finessed dance mixes of old.
BLUEBRAIN (DJ Set)
Bluebrain is the Washington DC-based music duo of brothers Hays & Ryan Holladay. They have come to be identified as much for innovative approach to everything from performances to releases as they are for the music itself.
Action Bronson Bio:
Action Bronson is a Queens breed Albanian bearded rhyme animal of legendary proportions. The former chef turned rhyme smith started rapping in 2009 at the urging of his close friend fellow MC Meyhem Lauren and quickly realized he was a natural. After dropping the Come Up EP for free in 2010 Bronson followed up with the critically acclaimed Dr. Lecter produced in it's entirety by Tommy Mas (Team Facelift). The song "Shiraz" and the viral video of the said song quickly spread like wildfire and Bronson became a favorite of the hip hop blog cognoscenti after being championed by sites such as Nah Right and 2DopeBoyz. As Dr Lecter continued to grow Action hooked up with DJ/Producer extraordinaire Statik Selektah to craft the soon to be classic Well Done album which was also embraced by critics and the masses featuring such songs as "Cocoa Butter" with Nina Sky and the epic "Miss Fordham Road". Action is currently finishing up a project with producer Party Supplies for Reebok entitled Blue Chips which will be a free give a way to be released at the end of February. Bronson has toured across the states as well as Europe in a effort to increase the scope of his already short yet prolific career. Bronson has appeared in The NY Times, GQ, Details, The VIllage Voice, The Source, Rolling Stone and several other publications and is currently working on a pilot for the food network. In addition Action is working on several projects to be released in 2012 including a record with The Alchemist, a record with producer Harry Fraud and the follow up to Dr. Lecter titled Mr. Wonderful produced once again by Tommy Mas.