CMJ - or College Music Journal - is a weekly print publication and website that looks at the College Music scene, as well as throwing an annual music industry festival in New York in October. Always keen to discover new music, the folks behind CMJ have been kind enough to exclusively share their favourite new artists with the AU review every month. Kicking off their first edition, CMJ's Editor-in-Chief takes us to Scotland...
Unicorn Kid by Lisa Hresko, Editor-in-Chief
Unicorn Kid is a pastel-loving Scottish chip producer making Midnight City-rides-Rainbow Road type tunes. Toss late-night steel drums into the vacuum of the future-retro hinterland? I’m spaced-out and completely sold.
Kwes by Christine Werthman, Managing Editor
Kwes is a 24-year-old Brit with a voice like butter. His Meantime EP came out May 1 on Warp, but it's not his first foray into music. He's already worked on songs and remixes for the xx, Speech Debelle, Hot Chip and Damon Albarn, and he released his debut EP, No Need To Run, on Young Turks in 2010. But I only found him through his latest EP and was immediately hooked. R&B and soul are like my comfort foods, and Kwes lets me indulge in those while incorporating elements of house and disco.--all part of a balanced music diet. And if that doesn't sell you, watch the video for "Bashful" and just try to resist his charms.
White Suns by Dan Jackson, Assistant Editor
Brooklyn's White Suns make great music for a hot summer day, as long as your in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. If I ever find myself slowly crawling through a desert searching for water, this will be the first thing I reach for on my iPod. Grafting snarled bits of noise to mangled pieces of hardcore and melted chunks of no wave, this group is not pleasant or polite, but they make up for their lack of social niceties with the only emotions they know: rage, hate, desperation.
Their newest album Sinews, released in April via Load Records, is a warped monolith of grinding guitars, minimal percussion, and ear-splitting electronics that recalls noise titans Sightings and early, murder-obsessed Sonic Youth. Vocalist/guitarist Kevin Barry brings a menacing edge to the proceedings, alternating between a throat-searing scream and softer spoken word interludes. Goodbye brain synapses, hello noise rock bliss.
Action Bronson by Dan Jackson, Assistant Editor
Action Bronson is a Queens born rapper who used to work as a chef in New York and has a voice that, yes, occasionally sounds like Ghostface Killah. These are the two facts that most people seem to repeat endlessly about him, but they really only hint at what makes Bronson so special. Listening to Bronson's latest mixtape, Blue Chips, created in collaboration with producer Party Supplies, is like spending a long, hazy afternoon hanging out with your funniest friend, your smartest friend, your grossest friend, and your one friend who really knows a lot about paprika, all rolled up into one hulking, hilarious MC.
Over classic samples and random YouTube snippets, Bronson conjures a whole world with his voice, a place filled with obscure baseball stats, '80s pro wrestling stars, late night TV binges, weed smoke, smoked brisket and startling images, like an orphaned baby "wrapped in the sports section." But there's also a melancholy undertone to Bronson that appears in moments of raw defiance, like when he raps, "Fuck the light at the end of the tunnel/ Cause I'm living for today, tyring not to drown in a bottle/ Death all around me, drugs seem to numb me/ Mental getting sicker, the Devil's getting comfy." Bronson can make you comfy, but he can also leave you with your jaw on the floor.
Georgia Anne Muldrow by Lisa Hresko Editor-in-Chief
A California native and one of today’s finest beatmakers, the eloquent Ms. One is a far cry from a new artist, but her Madlib-produced Seeds, with thumping bass and artful fuzz, is a seamlessly modern R&B-throwback.