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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest 6/28

by Alexis Stephens | 61 days ago
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Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Brazil vs. Chile

Brazil

Karol Conka is one of our favorite Brazilan acts and one of our favorite female MCs. Her song “Boa Noite” was chosen for the official video game FIFA 14 and is has the most brasilidade (“Brazilianness”) of any song you’ll here from the World Cup:

Chile

“Maracanaso” sounds like it was recorded on a Casio keyboard and the images from its video appear to have been drawn in MS Paint. The Chilean pair MC Planta Carnívora and Diego Adrian expressed their ironic-but-not fandom for La Roja through some surprisingly potent-but-juvenile reggaetón:

 

Match 2: Colombia vs. Uruguay

Colombia

If Colombia wins this big game (more likely because of Luis Suarez’ absence), the whole country might be feeling like J Balvin and Farruko in the video for “6 AM”:

Uruguay

As mentioned above, Uruguay will have a lot to prove without Suarez. Maybe they can find some motivation in the rock en español of No Te Va Gustar‘s “El Último Jefe” :

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Celebrate Many Shades of Love with Our Pride Week Playlist

by Suzy Exposito | 62 days ago
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Happy Pride Week, readers! Before you wile out (or stay in) for this weekend’s festivities, pregame to this playlist, including recent videos by some of our favorite LGBTQ (or just plain flexible) artists from across the globe.

Sam Smith – “Leave Your Lover”

Following the release of his debut album, In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith recently opened up about his sexuality in his latest interview with Fader:

“I’ve never been in a relationship before,” Smith admits. “I’ve only been in unrequited relationships where people haven’t loved me back. I guess I’m a little bit attracted to that in a bad way. [My debut album] In the Lonely Hour is about a guy that I fell in love with last year, and he didn’t love me back. I think I’m over it now, but I was in a very dark place. I kept feeling lonely in the fact that I hadn’t felt love before. I’ve felt the bad things. And what’s a more powerful emotion: pain or happiness?”


Le1f – “Sup”

New York rapper Le1f had some choice words for Macklemore and the hype surrounding straight allies after the release of 2012 hit, “Same Love.” But beyond his totally righteous indignation, Le1f works damn hard to ensure better representation of gay men in hip-hop.


Kate Nash – “Sister”

Kate Nash’s sexual identity is a little harder to pin down — but that’s not a bad thing. In an interview in After Ellen, she makes the case for sexual fluidity and not quite having it all figured out:

“I would never say ‘I’m straight, I’m bisexual, I’m gay.’ I feel like I will fall in love with a human being for who they are. I’m not afraid to say I’ve been attracted to a woman before and I’ve kissed girls before and been in love with them before. I’ve never really had a girlfriend or anything and I would never say I’m anything, really. I don’t have an identity in that way.”


Kumbia Queers – “Gascon”

Featuring members of queercore bands like Mexico’s Ultrasónicas and Argentinian  She-Devils, tropical punk group Kumbia Queers don’t skirt around the issue of sexuality. Singer Flor Linyera lays it all down in “Gascon”:


Ronya – “Flame”

Despite her steamy performance in the video for “Flame,” Scandinavian alt-pop star Ronya is very intentional about keeping her personal life a mystery. But in an interview with Audiofuzz she says: “I have young fans at a tender age that need to know that it’s OK to be you, whoever you are. There is constantly something going on in the world reminding us that the war isn’t over and it’s important that we show our support to those who need it the most.”


Sia – “Chandelier”

Sia Furler’s coming out was hardly an event, as After Ellen claims; but she says her bisexuality was an ever-present-something that inevitably came up in her rise to fame.  In an anti-bullying video she made for the organization United Against Homophobia, she describes a personal experience with homophobia in a train station, encouraging young LGBTQ people to stand strong in the face of prejudice.


Stromae – “Tous Les Mêmes”

Although Belgium’s Stromae generally dodges any public inquiries about his sexuality, we admire the way he occupies various gender expressions with ease in his videos, which only supplements the gender-flipping ambiguity in his lovelorn lyrics.

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Artist of the Week: Vote for Your Favorite

by Suzy Exposito | 62 days ago
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Who was your favorite featured artist this week? You have until 11am EST next Friday to cast your vote and decide who will be the next Artist of the Week! Take your pick:

Total Control

The fashions sure have changed since the New Wave era, but in 2014 the Melbourne six-piece Total Control doesn’t stop the dance, however somber of a dance it is. On their upcoming second LP, Typical System, the synthy space pop of Gary Numan meets the brooding dark wave of Bauhaus; then they take a stroll into a dark alleyway and get clubbed over the head by the spit-shined severity of Gang of Four.

Impurity

It’s the early ’90s in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Several musicians who call themselves Impurity take to the streets. Fueled by booze, Venom riffs and the world’s enigmas, they head to Cemitério do Bonfim, the graveyard that feeds their muse. The nights they spend on these sacred grounds would produce some ghastly albums.

Kali Uchis

Colombian artist Kali Uchis takes common signifiers of Latin culture (bold gothic fonts, asphalt-hugging low-riders, femme fatale nails) and then blows them up to Tumblr-esque proportions. Her sound  reflects her visual aesthetic: groggy, chopped and screwed doo-wop reminds you of flipping through AM radio stations under the shade of palm trees. Think ”Cherchez La Femme” by Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band on Dimetapp.

Patoranking

This summer, dancehall-reggae deejay/singer Patoranking (born Patrick Nnamemeka Okorie) has one of most popular tunes in Nigeria, “Girlie O (Remix),” which features the vocal stylings of Naija pop queenTiwa Savage. Prior to this year, he had been recording for years in the underground, gaining a reputation for thoughtful, spiritual lyrics over airy dancehall riddims and one-drop reggae.

Raglans

Prepare for fist-pumping choruses, sweat drenched guitar solos and anthemic moments that beg for a sing-along. Their self-titled debut full-length (out now on Independent Records Ltd.) kicks like a shot of caffeine straight to the brain, and ushers in the party mood like, well, a shot of a far stronger variety. (Did we just obliquely compare them to Four Loko? Hey, if the beverage analogy fits … )


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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/26

by Alexis Stephens | 63 days ago
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Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Portugal vs. Ghana

Portugal 

Throes + The Shine is a collaboration of two groups who came together to make a fusion of rock and Angolan kuduro called Rockuduro. “Batida” is full of punk-rap rapture that could have only been hatched in Portugal:

Ghana

Asamoah “Baby Jet” Gyan isn’t just a footballer; he’s also a pop star in Ghana. He frequently guests on songs with friend Castro. “Odo Pa” is a smooth hiplife tune that also features Kofi Kinaata:

 

Match 2: USA vs. Germany

USA

Brooklyn/Chicago based label AUDA Records (home to The GTW) is getting set to release a new compilation album, AUDA Cup. Brooklyn based musician/producer Michael Tousana just put out his contribution to the album “GOLS” under the name Dos Global. It’s an alt-R&B tribute to the ecstasy of an ball landing in the back of the net.  With help from producer 5OBUTO, Dos Global blends a wavy beat, silky vocals, and play-by-play audio of Mexican midfielder Giovanni Dos Santos:

Germany

Berlin-based electro act Easter makes sparse, robotic art pop. Germany’s team is probably hoping and praying for a future full of “Champagne”:

Match 3: Korea vs. Belgium

Korea

“Oh Fighting Korea” is an oldie, but goodie by YB. As MTVK put it in their recent K-pop soccer anthem roundup, “if you can only remember one Korean fight song, this is the one to tattoo onto your brain”:

Belgium

Hardstyle fans might be the only music fans that rival soccer fans in intensity. Just watch Coone’s fans flip out 1:40 into the video for “Times Gettin’ Hard”:

 

Match 4: Algeria vs. Russia

Algeria

British-Algerian singer YADi travels to Casablanca, Morocco in her video for “The Blow.” Keep your eyes peeled for a Lionel Messi jersey that pops up at some point:

Russia

Moscow’s got beats. Last Battle Mundial Russia entry featured DZA. Today, we’ve got a downtempo jam from Lomovolokno:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/25

by Alexis Stephens | 64 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Nigeria vs. Argentina

Nigeria

The song of the summer in Africa this year is Yemi Alade’s “Johnny.” The singer has some suave dance moves and some questions for her man:

Argentina

Tropipunk band Kumbia Queers has members from both Mexico and Argentina, but chose a street in Buenos Aires as the central space in their tale of loneliness, “Gascon”:

 

Match 2: Bosnia and Herzegovia vs. Iran

Bosnia and Herzegovia

I popped the lyrics to Bosnian rapper Frenkie’s “Lionel Messi rap ft. Kontra” just to get a gist of the song. I could be off, but it seems to be about good stuff like following your dreams and putting yourself on the level of Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Argentine forward Lionel Messi:

 

Iran

Producer Soosh is Iranian, but living in Glasgow, Scotland. His track “Touched” is contemplative, cascading electronica: 

Match 3: Honduras vs. Switzerland

Honduras

Reggaeton, where have you been? The perfect music of the summer is way less present on the (American) streets than it used to be in the late 2000s, but it’s great that JCP y Fresh feat. Jowell are holding it down for Honduras with songs like “A Poca Luz 2″:

Switzerland

Swiss nu disco scion Nora En Pure’s has a new track, “You Are My Pride.” It’s what I imagine an invincibility shield sounds like:

 

Match 4: Ecuador vs. France

Ecuador

Indie/garage band Alkaloides is one of my favorite groups out of Ecuador. Explore the streets of Quito in the video for “Degenerar”:

France

The bossa nova stylings of Sébastian Tellier’s “L’adulte” are perfectly reflected in the song’s video, which follows Tellier wandering through the Brazilian streetscape, looking like a dapper troublemaker:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/24

by Alexis Stephens | 65 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Italy vs. Uruguay

Italy

Italian avant-pop group DID is making woozy feel-good music. “Skills” is what it takes to win a big game against Uruguay:

Uruguay

Campo’s “Cumbio” has an almost cumbia meets new wave feel. Teams from the Americas have been showing European teams poderosa tropical (“tropical power”) like this all tournament:

 

Match 2: Costa Rica vs. England

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is definitely seeing better days since upsetting Uruguay and Italy. Las Robertas’ “Better Days” has about as much upstart energy and oomph as the team:

England

England isn’t advancing. But at least the country has some good jams. Take a peak at Jetta‘s poptimism in “Crecendo”:

Match 3: Japan vs. Colombia

Japan

Japan need a win against Colombia to advance to the next stage. Josy’s live version of “To the Light” has the vim and vigor suitable to accompany a winner:

Colombia

Kevin Flores is one of the breakout stars of the Afro-Colombian genre of champeta. “La Invite A Bailar (Remix)” represents some of the most hip-swiveling Colombian music out there:

 

Match 4: Greece vs. Ivory Coast

Greece

Greece does bluesy garage rock as good as the best of them. Check out The Noise Figures‘ “Out of Your Mind”:

Ivory Coast

If thrashing around isn’t your thing, Serge Beynaud’s video for “Kababléké” shows the most precise, athletic coupé-décalé dancing that Côte d’Ivoire has to offer:

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Battle Mundial: World Cup Music Digest, 6/23

by Alexis Stephens | 66 days ago
Comment

Throughout the 2014 World Cup, we will be celebrating the bond between music and the most popular sporting event in the world. Each day of the tournament, we will be selecting songs from each country playing. We want to help you get as hyped as humanly possible for the daily on-field drama.

Match 1: Netherlands vs. Chile

Netherlands

Don’t mess with the Dutch bass of Sevdaliza. In the video for “Clear Air,” two fierce tribes do battle. While Chile and The Netherlands aren’t tossing Holi paint or wearing awesome patterns and face paint, they are both heavy favorites to go much farther in the tournament:

Chile

Sen Dog and Eric Bobo of Cypress Hill team up with Chilean DJ Latin Bitman for Ritmo Machine’s “Senny Sosa.” You don’t want to get into a bar fight with anyone listening to this Latin rap:

 

Match 2: Australia vs. Spain

Australia

Five teams have been officially eliminated so far. More will fall by the end of the day. Both of these teams no longer have a chance to reach the Round of 16. Stu Larsen’s “Thirteen Sad Goodbyes” is a theme for all of the recently departed and future dashed hopes:

Spain

Spain’s epic flameout won’t stop them from putting up a fight today. Pional‘s “Into A Trap” could help boost their competitiveness:

 

Match 3: Cameroon vs. Brazil

Cameroon

Cameroonian rapper Jovi outlines the virtues of currency in “CA$H”. No big World Cup link; the song’s just fire:

Brazil

Producer Sango is from the United States, but he’s making some of the most beautiful, experimental baile funk out there. Check out the lovely Brazilian essence of “Me dê Amor”:

Match 4: Croatia vs. Mexico

Croatia

 

Petar Dundov is holding down the Croatian techno scene. “Rise” might be able to keep the favorites in this game on their roll:

Mexico

Nevertheless, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say Mexico has the advantage solely based on Los Astros de Mendoza’s rad “Vamos Bailando.” “World Cup cumbia” is my new favorite phrase:

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