Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Volcano Choir Justin Vernon Repave Video Documentary

    Justin Vernon's Volcano Choir Becomes a Real Band in 'Repave' Documentary

    Justin Vernon's Volcano Choir project is making a strong return following a four-year absence. He and the fellas from Collections of Colonies of Bees came together in 2009 (mostly via email, it turns out) to make the more experimental, if somewhat fittingly aimless, Unmap LP. But as the mini documentary above reveals, the collaboration became a genuine band when they booked a run of Japanese dates.After the Bees boys explain the change, the prolific Bon Iver leader lets slip, "I just felt like I was in a rock band almost for the first time." He also speaks on the theme of their forthcoming second album, Repave: "Knowing that you have to change if you're having a tough time in your life or you're just hitting walls constantly. Or you keep having bold spiritual questions that you can't answer.

  • Vic Mensa 'Time Is Money' Rockie Fresh Boi 1da Beldina

    Vic Mensa and Rockie Fresh Question Wealth and Fame on 'Time Is Money'

    Chicago rap upstart Vic Mensa is building toward the August release of his mixtape, Innanetape — a set that, in many ways, will serve as a sequel to Chance the Rapper's SPIN Essential, Acid Rap. Both hail from the song-rap oriented SAVEMONEY crew, and both have a predilection for soulful, slightly weeded productions with a contemplative bent. Mensa knows how to have fun too (revisit his fizzy opening salvo "Orange Soda," we'll wait) but of late he's been examining the trappings of success. A couple of weeks ago we heard "Hollywood," and now we have "Time Is Money," a thoughtful piece featuring an ace verse from Maybach Music Group smartypants Rockie Fresh, backing vocals from Swedish-Kenyan singer Beldina, and beatwork from major hit-maker Boi 1da.

  • Young Hunting 'Maze' Video Hazel Album

    Watch Young Hunting Play Tug-of-War With Love in 'Maze' Video

    Young Hunting specialize in the sort of breezy, wistful, low-frills pop'n'roll that the Mamas & the Papas did so well, though their sound isn't throwback.

  • Young Fathers 'Effigy' Stream Scotland Rap Anticon

    Young Fathers Burn Art-Rap to the Ground on 'Effigy'

    Thus far, everything we've heard from Young Fathers has hailed from the Afro-Scottish soul-rap posse's formative released. TAPE ONE delivered the reggae-infused "Romance" and the percussive rhyme-fest "Sister," while TAPE TWO provided the Shabazz Palaces-checking "I Heard" and the harmonically spooky "Mr. Martyr." But all of that was recorded before the group edged into the spotlight. And, perhaps more importantly, before Yeezus happened.Make no mistake: the Anticon-signed YF have been making darkly adventurous hip-hop music from the jump, but their brand new song "Effigy" verges on Death Grips heavy, and the menacing production wouldn't sound out of place on an Arca excursion.

  • Ariel Pink Jorge Elbrecht 'Hang on to Life' Video Single

    Ariel Pink and Jorge Elbrecht Meet Their Spirit Animal in 'Hang on to Life' Video

    At the top of the month, we heard the first of two team-ups between Los Angeles weird-wave godhead Ariel Pink and New York art-rock brainiac Jorge Elbrecht. Released as a 7-inch on Mexican Summer, "Hang on to Life" offered a hazy, dazed dreamscape of summer-ready soft rock that soothed even though its lyrics spoe of regret: "You screwed the pooch now face it / The truth is in the sky / Intrusions of our youthful delusion rules our life."Now, thanks to directing team Alejandro Cardenas and Elbrecht himself, we've got a very fitting video to go with. In the clip, we see a fairly forelorn Pink smoking cigarettes and singing as his songwriting partner nods his head in solemn solidarity.

  • Factory Floor 'Turn It Up' DFA

    Factory Floor 'Turn It Up' With Masochistic Machine Music

    On September 10, industrial-disco mutants Factory Floor will release their long-awaited eponymous debut album via DFA Records. Earlier this year, we heard the bleakly satisfying slab of nasty that was "Fall Back," and we experienced the London trio's live body-and-mind-fuckery at their label's big 12th anniversary party in May, but all of that has only served to make the wait all the more painful. Of course, that's exactly how FF fans like it. Blissfully tightening the vice a notch or two further, we now have "Turn It Up," a brutally minimal weaponized groove featuring disembodied vocals and warm, in-room percussion. The Casiotone beats will drive nails through your brain in all the right places, while Nik Coil Void's robo-warped singing is oddly inviting despite sounding like pure liquid danger.

  • Moses Sumney 'Replaceable' Video Mochilla

    Moses Sumney Is a Soul-Folk Warrior in Striking 'Replaceable' Video

    Moses Sumney is a one-man soul-folk orchestra in the stunning clip for "Replaceable." No joke: the last time SPIN saw the 23-year-old Los Angeleno, he was in a small room with us interviewing Justin Timberlake about the new Myspace on behalf of LA Weekly, where he was an intern. That was less than a year ago, and yet there he is above with nothing but a looping pedal and his silken voice, constructing a beautiful break-up song from scratch in a single-take, overdub-free clip shot by revered rap photographer Brian "B+" Cross (J Dilla, Eazy-E, DJ Shadow).As the interview that accompanies the Vimeo post explains, B+ caught Sumney's opening set at the June L.A. residency of rising neo-soul trio KING and decided to introduce himself. In the chat, we also learn that Sumney is self-taught, and grew up splitting time between Southern California and Ghana.

  • Selena Gomez Stars Dance Robin Thicke Blurred Lines Billboard Chart

    Who Charted? Selena Gomez and One Direction Prove Tween Is King

    First! Stop the presses: Selena Gomez is No. 1 you guyz OMG. The former Disney star and Spring Breakers break-out bad girl is back (!) with Stars Dance — 97,000 sold according to Billboard — an album whose title seems tailor-made to nab a little Dancing With the Stars crossover SEO. But make no mistake. The Hollywood multi-tasker has climbed her way to this point, selling a few more thousand copies and rising a notch or two with each of her four albums thus far. As if you cared. But hey, she turned 21 last week. Happy birthday, one and all. Remember when SPIN talked to Vanessa Hudgens about Gucci Mane? Let's do that again.2 to 10: After two weeks on top, Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail slides down to No. 2 (77K) courtesy of a 40 percent sales dip. The infiltration of that former Spy Kid above has seemingly poisoned the well this week, with another Disney Channel commodity landing at No.

  • Ryan Hemsworth LIZ 'Dan N' Nite' Stream R&B

    Ryan Hemsworth and LIZ Bask in '90s R&B Bliss on 'Day N' Nite'

    Canuck producer Ryan Hemsworth has been among those soul-wise beatsmiths helping to push '90s-style R&B back into the zeitgeist. He's even embraced the boy band thing to an extent, folding Backstreet Boys into a recent mix that also included R. Kelly and Ginuwine. Meanwhile, a genuine Valley Girl named LIZ has been creeping into the spotlight thanks to blatantly borrowing from the radio pop of that same era (Fader shared her "Horoscope" in May). In a move that should have seemed inevitable, the pair have teamed up for a new song called "Day N' Nite," which isn't a Kid Cudi cover so much as a combination of Az Yet-style acoustic guitar licks, pitchy vintage Destiny's Child, and slightly house-kissed freestyle groove. Get into it:

  • Aceyalone 'Pass the Hint' Video Leanin on Slick

    Aceyalone Is the King of Crenshaw in 'Pass the Hint' Video

    Aceyalone gets a hero's welcome in the brand new video for "Pass the Hint." Returning to Los Angeles from Cuba (if his "Leanin' on Slick" clip is any indication), the underground rap icon gets picked up from the airport in a gorgeous classic car, then heads straight into the Crenshaw Community, home to that cultural epicenter inextricable from the man's career: Leimert Park. Eddie Haze looks perfectly at ease playing the role of elder statesman and he should — it was there that he became a figurehead for the Project Blowed open-mic workshop and music collective that touched so many L.A. hip-hop artists on their way up. And yet, Aceyalone knows, "Bullshit don't pay the rent," so let's "ease back with the compliments" already.

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