Chris Martins

writer

Biography

  • My Gold Mask 'Severed' Stream Leave Me Midnight

    My Gold Mask Gush Gleaming, Dark Pop on 'Severed'

    Chicago trio My Gold Mask are dark-pop purveyors who cut their thick, smoky atmospherics with buoyant rhythms and elevated melody. Singer/percussionist Gretta Rochelle has a voice capable of both slinking and soaring within the mix of gushing textures, blurting effects, canned drums, and echoing guitar. And thanks to all of that amassed might — assisted by ax-man Jack Armondo and drummer James Andrew — a song like "Severed" is as prone to pretty as it is ugly, and in both ways positively dazzling. The band is still fresh off of the release of their second album, Leave Me Midnight, but "Severed" shows they're already looking to push their sound further.

  • 'Blurred Lines' John Beckwith Classical Composer Robin Thicke

    Robin Thicke's Hit Benefits Classical Composer's 'Blurred Lines'

    Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" has caught a lot of flack for the things that it's exposed: 1) casual lyrical misogyny; 2) those three nice ladies' bosoms; and 3) the world to Miley Cyrus' infamous MTV VMA gyrations. But one 86-year-old Canadian classical composer who's never heard the track, seen either version of the video, or watched a starlet twerk on Mona Lisa's shoulder has every reason to be thankful — Thicke's song is sending new listeners his way.You see, John Beckwith has his very own "Blurred Lines," a slow and somber 10-minute duet for harpsichord and violin that he wrote in 1997, and which appears on a 2010 multi-composer compilation celebrating his keyboard of choice dubbed Jalsaghar.

  • Earl Sweatshirt Doris Robin Thicke Blurred Lines Billboard Chart

    Who Charted? Earl Sweatshirt and A$AP Ferg Debut Next to John Mayer and Jimmy Buffett

    First! What's country-talk for "Meh"? Oh, yeah: Luke Bryan. The beer-swilling bad boy is still urging the world to Crash My Party, and we're still showing up, apparently. After a mighty No. 1 debut last week, the Nashville bro notches another 159,000 in sales according to Nielsen SoundScan. His is the sixth album to rack up multiple weeks on the top of the Billboard 200. And that's the last bit of interesting information about that. Party's over. Go home.2 to 10: And then we've got John Mayer's Paradise Valley, relegated to No. 2 despite some shots fired at Taylor Swift and competing cameos from Katy Perry and Frank Ocean. With 144K sold, Mr. Benetton's sixth album is his lowest selling debut since his inaugural 2001 LP, Room for Squares. In at No. 3 is the R&B power-trio of Tyrese, Ginuwine, and Tank (TGT) with their first collaborative set Three Kings (76K).

  • Misty Miller 'Taxicab' Demo Stream London

    Hear Misty Miller's 'Taxicab,' a Reckless Rockabilly Ride

    England has an unlikely knack for churning out precociously talented young artists owing to the Americana tradition. Laura Marling initially turned our ear when she was 18, and now we have Misty Miller to consider. The 19-year-old Londoner has been writing her own songs for more than a decade and the experience shows on "Taxicab," a country-kissed shit-kicker that features a perfect union of rollicking guitar-play and passionate vocals, both courtesy of our hostess. Miller has spent time on the road with Jake Bugg and Tom Odell, plus has a couple of European EPs under her belt — Girlfriend and Next to You, via Relentless Records — but she's got her eyes on the going international in the near future. "Taxicab" is technically a demo, though it sounds complete to us. Worth noting: Her Twitter bio simply reads, "killer songstress." Seems about right:

  • Sauna 'Born to Run, Pt. 2' Burger Records Stream

    Sauna Split Town on Pretty Fuzz-Bomb 'Born to Run, Pt. 2'

    Denver quartet Sauna claim they were "born from toxic sludge leaked from the Beach Boys' amps," and their pretty surf-scum mostly fits the bill. Guitar-slinger CJ, bassist Ethan, and drummer Sammi have a proficiency for punk-fried grind and elastic groove, but singer Molly has a melodicism that can't be denied. On "Born to Run, pt. 2," she bends her breathy coo to a romantic endeavor: "On the road / I would go anywhere with you." She sings about splitting town over a fuzzy soundtrack that's a little more lovely than the band's earlier, more frenetic highlights (revisit "Glitter Party" over at Stereogum). It's a good look for the gang, whose Cheap Date cassette is out now at perennially potent Burger Records, and is, we can only suppose, an answer track to Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run" some 38 years in the making.

  • Whole Foods Vinyl Selling Market Headphones

    Whole Foods Tightens Yuppie Stranglehold With Vinyl Sales

    Whole Foods Market has begun selling vinyl at select locations in — where else? — Southern California. On August 13, the organically inclined supermarket chain rolled out its "carefully curated selection" of LPs at five different locations including, as a press release proudly notes, "a wide selection of records, including Frank Sinatra, the Rolling Stones, Daft Punk and Bob Marley." They're also selling charity-funding headphones made from reclaimed wood.Though the program was announced at the start of the month — commemorated with a Dawes performance, of all things, at the West Hollywood store — word has been slow to spread.

  • Icona Pop Zebra Katz 'My Party' U.S. Version

    Icona Pop Invite Zebra Katz to Darkly Festive 'My Party'

    On September 24, Icona Pop will at last release their official U.S. debut. This Is... Icona Pop will feature a combination of songs from the duo's 2012 eponymous Swedish release and material that they've made since their Charli XCX-assisted hit "I Love It" went atomic. Caroline Hjelt and Aino Jawo's "My Party" originally appeared on last year's offering, but the sludgy Lesley Gore-borrowing song then featured South London MC Smiler, who similarly flipped Shirley Bassey's "Big Spender" with Lana Del Rey. Now the Stockholm singers wrangle New York's Zebra Katz to provide the rhyme to their chime. The baritone-blessed performance artist is a natural fit for the sonically warped track. Stream that below, and revisit the man's "Ima Read" and "Pulla Stunt" double-header from the top of the year.

  • Death Grips 'Guillotine' Choir Cover Gareth Malone Voices

    Death Grips' Ear-Splitting 'Guillotine' Gets Covered by a Choir

    A British choir with voices nothing short of angelic has covered Death Grips' aggressively dark noise-rap blast "Guillotine." The Sacramento crew received the treatment courtesy of Gareth Malone, a London choirmaster with whom American television audiences may become more familiar in the coming months. The 37-year-old rose to prominence in his native country as the host of The Choir, a show that gives unseasoned singers the chance to shine. In November, he'll bring It Takes a Choir to the USA network, according to The Independent. But back to the streaming insanity below.Malone's latest project is Voices, "a new and revolutionary" choir of 18 to 25-year-olds who are working on an album that will include versions of songs by Fleet Foxes and Alicia Keys as well.

  • Angel Haze 'Echelon' Stream 'Dirty Gold' Markus Dravs

    Angel Haze Shares Synth-Happy Heater 'Echelon'

    As Angel Haze theoretically closes in on the still unnamed release date of her studio debut, Dirty Gold, the New York rapper continues to bless her fans with ferocious little gifts. Via his BBC Radio 1 show, DJ Zane Lowe shared "Echelon" as his current "hottest record in the world," and indeed the song is a fiery word-stuffed joy. Produced by Markus Dravs (Arcade Fire, Coldplay, Björk), the track is powered by dubby bubble, cheery synths, and trap-happy drums.Haze, as expected, raps circles around her competition (handily identified here as "these chickens") and even sings quite angelically in between references to Fashion Week, self-made messiahs, and Murciélagos.

  • Matt & Kim 'Lightning Remixes' Nude Cover

    Matt & Kim Are Totally Nude on 'Lightning Remixes' Cover

    When we spoke to Matt Johnson about making Matt & Kim's Lightning last year, he explained that he was "excited to do as little possible to the songs production-wise and still have them be strong." Now the duo are moving in the opposite direction, wrangling a diverse cast of producers to rework their fourth LP on Lightning Remixes. Oh, and that's them above, naked on the cover of the thing.The Adam and Eve-channelling artwork will, in fact, only be featured on the limited-edition vinyl version of the 11-song set — a more modest cover will accompany the digital release, while the topless edition will be clothed with a reusable sticker while on record store shelves.

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