Listen: Kuro BC - "Rooms"

South London native Kuro BC stirs up deep ambience with his first single "Rooms," forthcoming on the Artifice EP out 5/12 via Color Station

"Rooms" is an impressive meld of negative sounds that illuminate a rising talent not unlike James Blake: what erupts bold and clear, amidst a display of implosive production, are yearning vocals that rush the forefront. In soaring spurts, pleas of "you've been on my mind" ring, stir, and invoke animately a discussion between conveyer and listener. It's easy-access to an emotional sweet spot that Kuro BC seems effortlessly adept at achieving, a skill that leaves remnants of blistering highs and hollow lows by the track's end. 


Listen: Akiine - "Destiny"

New Color Station signee Akiine shows off her sharp and versatile abilities on "Destiny," a jittery mid-tempo exploration of menacing tones and hitting synths. Her adeptness in traversing the brooding soundscape shows a control that grabs hold of listeners, disallowing the chaos to impede in the way it should. Akiine manages to diminish the disorderliness with a mesmerizing vocal display, one that, with its understated whisper-like qualities, arrests full attention and admiration. Resulting is a fully-realized display of slick composition and performance. 

We can expect a full-length LP come summer later this year, but for now you can catch Akiine March 3rd at London's Old Blue with Color Station label-mate Bewilderbeast. Listen to/download (only for the first week) "Destiny" below.


Listen: Priest - "The Game"

From the unerring, gem-producing label Emotion comes the latest release from Priest (formerly x Priest x), purveyors of a genial 80's synth sound. Their Samurai EP snuck its way onto our best of list last year and they look poised to make a strong case again with their upcoming full length release (May 5th on Emotion) if debut single "The Game" is anything to go off of. 

The track avoids an overindulgence in sonic bliss by virtue of Madeline Priest's ethereal voicea presence that, although commendable for its delicacy, does not for a second relinquish it's captivating prowess. If the lush soundscape does its best to carry listeners upward, Priest's vocals anchor us in all the same. The delightful midway is an emitting beam of growing confidence and sureness on the part of the band, a feeling of subtle improvement befitting their slight name change. Listen to "The Game" below.


Listen: Skylar Spence - "Practice"

[For Carpark's Sweet Sixteen Basketball compilation out 3/26.]

Listen: Yumi Zouma - "Song For Zoe & Gwen"

The growing confidence of New Zealand trio Yumi Zouma is a joy to witness. With the release of their highly anticipated EP II looming (out 3/10 on Cascine), they have put out the second single "Song For Zoe & Gwen." Immediately apparent is a bold clearness of vocal delivery now featured at the forefront of the tune, arresting with the similar glow that turned so many heads a year ago. Although conspicuously grander than previous endeavors, restraint is still masterfully present; in case listeners have forgotten, Yumi Zouma are still responsible for tracks like "The Brae" and "SĂ„lka Gets Her Hopes Up," testaments to their control of whispering melodies. "Song For Zoe & Gwen," despite being noticeably forward, is still inextricably a part of their commanding and delicate breeze. It just hits a little harder. Listen to "Catastrophe," the first single from EP II here.

Listen: Sufjan Stevens - "No Shade In The Shadow Of The Cross"

[Carrie & Lowell is out March 31]