Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • Fitz & the Tantrums Out of My League New Song More Than Just a Dream

    Hear Fitz & the Tantrums Swap '60s Retro for '80s Retro on 'Out of My League'

    "There's nothing new under the sun," someone once said in a book somewhere, and some bands have taken that to heart. Fitz & the Tantrums, for instance, made their name dusting off '60s soul music for a modern biggish-band clap-your-hands festival-friendly format, and they did quite well doing so. But the Los Angeles crew is restless. Not only are they hopping record labels, from local indie Dangerbird to established major player Elektra, but they're leaping ahead a couple of decades for their forthcoming sophomore album, More Than Just a Dream, due out May 7. Yes, they're going back to the future in an effort to shuck the "retro" tag with new song "Out of My League," which arrives firmly embedded in the neon pink lucite of the '80s.

  • Divine Fits Bruce Springsteen Hungry Heart Cover Video Triple J

    Watch Divine Fits Cooly Cover Bruce Springsteen's 'Hungry Heart'

    It's not enough for Divine Fits to be a supergroup that plays like an actual honest-to-goodness band. Britt Daniel (Spoon), Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade, Handsome Furs) and co. are also genuinely ambitious and rather successful when it comes to performing cover songs. They discovered the nervy post-punk in Frank Ocean's "Lost," and borrowed Deerhunter's Bradford Cox to remake the Ramones' "53rd & 3rd" around Halloween. Well, now they've stopped into Australian radio show Triple J to contribute to the excellent Like a Version series, and chose a lovely song about the human need for love and companionship. That's Bruce Springsteen's "Hungry Heart," naturally, and the session finds Daniel and Boeckner on acoustic guitars, Sam Brown doing some — ahem — textbook drum work, and Alex Fischel playing a tiny little keyboard.

  • Jack White 20 New Songs Album Blunderbuss

    Jack White's 'Blunderbuss' Follow-Up Already Has 20 Songs

    On Sunday, former White Stripe and mighty Blunderbuss-weilding blues-breaker Jack White will perform at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards. He also has a chance at winning three statues (Album of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song), and we're guessing that one has to prepare for these things, like, fairly extensively, but that hasn't stopped him from developing a whole lot of new songs for his next record. Even though this one has only been out 10 months, outsold the Beatles in vinyl, made our 50 Best Albums of 2012 list, and inspired a lovely career-spanning Austin City Limits set.“I’m writing a lot of songs for another record," White told BBC 6 Music News today.

  • Mikky Ekko Pull Me Down Video Official Clams Casino

    Watch Mikky Ekko Pine for Lost Love in 'Pull Me Down' Video

    Nashvillain soulster Mikky Ekko is all about improvement through redundancy. When we first heard the blue-eyed wooze-pop of "Pull Me Down," we dug on the bass-addled sonics of producer Clams Casino, which seemed so well-complemented by the goopy liquid visuals that accompanied it. And then we were gifted a sizzurp-spiked remix of the song by left-field beatsmith Ryan Hemsworth, whose style exists in the same continuum as that of the song's original producer. Now we have a second music video for the original song, directed by Sam Pilling (Usher, SBTRKT, David Lynch). Not that we're complaining. This haunting clip gives the single the elevated context that it deserves, finding Ekko himself wandering an apartment that shows the wages of love-turned-war, chasing the specter of a beautiful woman who never stays more than a moment or two.

  • James Blake Retrograde Overgrown Stream

    Hear James Blake Come on Strong in New 'Retrograde' Single

    At last, James Blake has revealed the details of his forthcoming sophomore album. Overgrown will be out April 8 on Republic and we can now experience the first official taste of the long-awaited platter thanks to BBC Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe. He shared a song called "Retrograde" today and while it's the sort of post-dubsteppy alt-R&B we expected, it does indeed sound more aggressive than his understated self-titled debut, as he told the NME it would be.As piano hits and handclaps build, Blake's tortured moan develops into a soulful coo as he urges a woman, "So show me why you're strong. Ignore everybody else. We're alone now." He sings that last bit with lecherous intent as the synths swell to a pushy surge and it's clear the gentle songsmith is embracing more extreme dynamics on this go-around. Take a trip with James, but don't say we didn't warn you.

  • See Joey Bada$$, Big K.R.I.T. and Smoke DZA Resurrect Boom-Bap With 'Underground Airplay'

    Joey Bada$$, Big K.R.I.T., and Smoke DZA Resurrect Boom-Bap With 'Underground Airplay'

    Brooklyn youngster Joey Bada$$ may have one of the most terrible names in rap, and there was that unfortunate bout of beef between him and Lil B, but his on-mike might is an undeniable thing. That's why it should come as no surprise that a proven whip-smart ripper like Big K.R.I.T. and a stoned-cool character like Smoke DZA would guest on one of the New York up-and-comer's tracks — "Underground Airplay," to be exact, a moody boaster that dwells in the subterranean sounds of vintage boom-bap. The black and white video that accompanies the track (which hails from the Ecko Unlimited mixtape series of the same name) is a perfect fit, placing the trio of spitters in a gritty subway station armed with spray cans, blow torches, and hoodies.

  • Gary Clark Jr. Maverick Music Festival Jimmy Kimmel Live Numb Ain't Messin' Around

    Festival King Gary Clark Jr. Launches His Own Music Festival

    It's not enough that rhythm and bluesman Gary Clark Jr. was the SPIN-crowned Festival King of the 2012 summer season having hit a total of nine such events in the heart of the heat. The man will now have his very own festival, as Rolling Stone reports, the Maverick Music Festival to be held on March 23 in San Antonio, Texas. Clark is set to headline along with the Toadies, Girl in a Coma, Arum Rae, and Henry and the Invisibles. Meanwhile, locals will fill out the free daytime lineup. More info here, so long as you can read light gray text against a slightly lighter gray backdrop.Perhaps the man's aversion to hay fever inspired him to go his own way? As Clark told us last year, "My least favorite thing about playing festivals 
is that I have allergic reactions to dirt and dust getting kicked up. It's not hot to be walking around sneezing.

  • Kilo Kish k+ Mixtape Earl Sweatshirt, SBTRKT, Flatbush Zombies

    Kilo Kish Recruits Earl Sweatshirt for Boho-Psych-Rap Mixtape 'k+'

    Los Angeles' Kilo Kish has been lumped in with confessional cutesy vocalists like Kitty (née Pryde), but her bona fides are stronger and her on-track profile is far more complex. The young artist — "whether this is rapping or spoken word or the logical extension of 'Tom's Diner,'" we're still not sure — came up through the Odd Future camp's neo-soul-ish wing, via our friends the Internet, and her brand new mixtape k+ is a smörgåsbord of innovation both poetic and beat-wise. Also, it has a ton of rad guests on it: SBTRKT, Earl Sweatshirt, Flatbush Zombies, Childish Gambino, Star Slinger, A$AP Ferg, Jesse Boykins III, Vince Staples, Matt Martians ... the list goes on. Still Kish (pronounced "keesh") doesn't flaunt her connects.

  • j dilla birthday karriem riggins stones throw the greatest video yours truly

    Happy Birthday J Dilla! Love, Karriem Riggins and Yours Truly

    Toro Y Moi may be the most inspired J Dilla disciple around, but the fellas at Los Angeles indie rap label Stones Throw — the rap game Sub Pop, if you will — have an intimate knowledge of the deceased legend's contributions to music. His final statement, the dense and death-defying Donuts (which landed in the Animal Collective Centipedia) was released by So Cal's finest hip-hop imprint. Today would've been the legendary producer's 39th birthday, so in honor of that milestone ST mainstay Karriem Riggins, another Detroit to L.A. transplant and a close friend to Dilla before he passed, has recorded a lovely tribute with help from video gurus Yours Truly.

  • Dirty Projectors Conan Offspring Are Blank Video

    See Dirty Projectors Bring Arena Rock-ish 'Offspring Are Blank' to 'Conan'

    Dirty Projectors' recent cover of Usher's "Climax" didn't exactly, ahem, do it for us, but the New York art-rock posse did score some points, via guffaws, for their contribution to the Portlandia bands Featherwash and Bless the Barn. That said, it was almost comfort food-y to witness the group return to their usual gloriously spare and harmonic form for Conan last night, where bathed in blue they unspooled their arena guitar-kissed, creepily themed "Offspring Are Blank." That one, of course, hails from the DPs' magnificent Swing Lo Magellan, "an album that leaves the sidewinding R&B of 2009's Bitte Orca for real, rope-a-dope troubadoubery" — so said us when we dubbed the thing the 23rd best album of 2012. So, like, booya.

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