Thursday, September 25, 2008


Props to our friends at Transparent for getting the word out on Dan Black way back when, but despite garnering Radio 1 Single of the Week honors in August and a Perez Hilton shout out shortly thereafter, Mr. Black continues to remain criminally unheralded on the blog scene. A Londoner now living in Paris, Black turned all kinds of heads with his genre-mashing cover of Biggie's "Hypnotize", which reinterpreted the classic with a pop vocal spin and laid it over the triumphant percussion of "Umbrella", all backed up by a cathedral-style choral backing vocal allegedly sampled from some lost 80's sci-fi soundtrack. There's no questioning the brilliance of the white-label cover, but I was hesitant to hype the upstart pop star-in-waiting until he backed it up with some original material, but a couple spins through "Yours" and "Wonder" (recently upped to his MySpace) establish him as the real deal. Attenton British pop charts: there's a new sheriff in town.

MP3: "HYPNTZ" - Dan Black

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Bros to the end with MGMT from their days together at Wesleyan, Boy Crisis make sexy dance music with even sexier lyrics. They might actually be the most clever lyricists in the game right now and as tracks like "Dressed To Digress" and "L'Homme" prove in spades, they're on some seriously next level shit. "Digress" is the first track out of the gates, available for free download on their MySpace for a minute now, and I'd be surprised if a properly produced version wasn't making whatever label they end up on very happy as a killer single in six months or so. In the meantime, they're debut release will be a 7" single for "L'Homme" (hear the demo on their MySpace now), out on the consistantly brilliant Chess Club imprint in November. For now, here's "Dressed To Digress", but keep an eye on this space as the new version of "L'Homme" sounds phenomenal and the Chess Club gentlemen have been very kind in servicing us with exclusives in the past...

MP3: "Dressed To Digress" - Boy Crisis

Passion Pit play their biggest show yet tonight at the Bowery Ballroom opening for/stealing thunder from French Kicks. It probably won't quite sell out, so come down, get blown away by the consuming technicolor sound of their live show and buy a 7" from us in person. Seriously, do it.

// Saul Bass //

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Earlier this month we waxed lovingly about Friendly Fires' debut album and called "Jump In The Pool" the most blissful dancefloor-filler you've ever heard or something like that, and now the lovely people at Beggars have been kind enough to toss us the MP3 for posting. Paul Epworth's lone production credit on the band's eponymous debut, "Jump" is all swirling atmospheric beauty and ethereal synths, like dance rock's own Aurora Borealis or being the last one up at sunrise with your friends all passed out around you.

MP3: "Jump In The Pool" - Friendly Fires

Speaking of all things XL, Abeano has got an exclusive first listen to Vampire Weekend's first track since dropping jaws on their own self-titled debut last January. "Ottoman" trades in the West African bounce of the album for the pristine touch of production legend Mark Mothersbaugh, with whom they recorded the track at studios in Los Angeles and England earlier this year.

// Nacho Alegre //

Monday, September 22, 2008


Sextape Records is the hippest, newest label on the block (aside from yours truly of course), run by my main man Nick Reiner, who I met stuffing envelopes together as Vice interns in the summer of 2006. Straight outta Lancaster, PA, they'll be dropping all manner of hot jams on the masses in the coming months, and if their debut release for hometown electrohero Bitclipr is any indication, you're gonna want to keep an eye on this lot.

Bitclipr's self-titled 12" presents "Discofreak" and "Glytz", two shit-hot dancefloor-fillers featuring samples, live instrumentation and some of the sickest basslines this side of the Ed Banger bros. The next great hope for American electro? Probably.

MP3: "Discofreak" - Bitclipr

// Miwa Yanagi //

Thursday, September 18, 2008


"Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" was already Vampire Weekend's perfect late summer single, but it got even better when the Radioclit crew jumped on board and threw Esau Mwamwaya into the mix. There's been no shortage of hype surrounding Captain Esau and his fresh African riddims, but this has to be his finest collaboration to date. Radioclit take the track and give it a full cultural makeover, keeping the original's central riff gloriously intact, but dressing it up in all manner of Carnival-flavored bells and whistles as we all cling to the last gasp of summer before reality sets in and it's back to the daily grind of the 9-5.

MP3: "Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa" (Radioclit Remix) - Vampire Weekend

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


We're quite late to the party it seems, but as you've already read everywhere else, Empire of the Sun (Nick Littlemore and Luke Steele of PNAU and the Sleepy Jackson, respectively) have gone and put together one of the finest singles (and videos) of the year. That laid back late-summer groove, those persistent drums, that chorus (that chorus)... This is breezy pop perfection ideally suited for just about any situation. Going out, coming down, breaking up, making out, making babies, all of the above? Here's your jam.

MP3: "Walking on a Dream" - Empire of the Sun

// Josh Logue //

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Passion Pit's debut EP, Chunk of Change, is released today through Frenchkiss and even though it's not us who's putting it out we couldn't be more pumped about it. It's easily the finest debut we've heard this year, six tracks of unrelenting euphoria and one of the best extended players we've ever heard. Buy it here for the unbeatable price of $7 if you've got any sense in you.

To celebrate, we've got an oven fresh remix of "Sleepyhead" courtesy of Brooklyn's Landau Orchestra, who's main man Matt Young is currently holed up with the Passion Pit bros producing their as-yet-untitled debut album, due for release early next year. Landau's "Wake Up" Mix adds an ice cold snap, crackle and pop to the immense original, turning up the sleepy and bringing the twinkles in spades. Get at it below, or conversely, check out Panda Toes' very own frat-ready dance edit here.

"Sleepyhead" (Landau's Wake Up Mix) - Passion Pit

// Ryan Fitzgerald //

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Mystery Jets are just about the greatest band in the UK right now. Fact. They're responsible for what is this writer's nigh-on uncontested Album of the Year and a string of some of the best singles to grace Radio One in eons, and their latest offering "Half In Love With Elizabeth" is more of the same. The original is three minutes of classic Britpop bliss in it's own right, but now Delorean have gotten in touch to alert us to the wonders of their very own reimagination of the track, which bumps a reverberating piano beat and some wonderful vocal effects to turn the rollicking original into a more stirring affair. Not what you'd expect from Barcelona's electro whiz kids, but beautiful nonetheless.

MP3: "Half In Love With Elizabeth" (Delorean Remix) - Mystery Jets

// Nacho Alegre //

Monday, September 8, 2008


Our love for Magistrates runs way deep, and it's been that way ever since their completely untouchable three-track demo found it's way into these hands last January. Six months have come and gone since then, and Magistrates have still got stars in our eyes and a fire burning betwixt our loins, even moreso since their debut single "Make This Work" started tearing up Radio 1 this summer. Presented untouched and unchanged from it's original bedroom-recorded demo form, it's a sexy falsetto-heavy pop jam that makes you wish Prince fronted Klaxons more often. Thanks once again to Abeano and XL for the hook up, how we love them so.

MP3: "Make This Work" - Magistrates

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Coco is a nice looking girl from London who writes sultry pop songs and sounds kind of like a female version of her dad, this guy called Sting. Celebrity offspring get plenty of unfair advantages, especially when it comes to the entertainment biz, but Coco's a talent completely deserving of any and all success that comes her way. Her sound comes off a bit like a female-fronted version of Mr. Hudson & The Library (it's worth noting Mr. Hudson's also a frequent collaborator) and if her Blue Flowers gig we caught in West London last March was any indication, she's already got the live performance thing down pretty solid as well. Expect big things.

MP3: "I Blame Coco" - I Blame Coco

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


You can be forgiven if you were like us and too busy preparing for the return of Gossip Girl yesterday to even get near a computer, but don't miss the inaugural post below for all your Passion Pit 7" needs. Moving on though to a band we'd kill to work with but instead must settle on merely hyping, Friendly Fires just dropped their debut album across the pond and it's seriously, seriously excellent. Think Justin Timberlake fronting the Rapture, and as if it's even remotely unclear, that's a really really good thing. No strangers to the scene at this point, they've already done the whole rise-to-prominence-on-the-strength-of-a-flurry-of-promising-early-singles thing and just released their self-titled debut LP to the unwashed masses via XL yesterday. "Paris" and "Photobooth" have been burning up the airwaves for months now, but Friendly Fires has plenty more guilty pleasures for you to get your swerve on to. "Jump In The Pool" is the album's Paul Epworth produced lead single and sounds like a hungover sunrise or the most blissful dancefloor-filler you've ever heard, but "Lovesick" is a fucking jam in it's own right, all criminally smooth basslines and off-the-wall percussion. Thanks to our friends at Abeano and XL Recordings, you can get a taste of the album below, and yeah, you're gonna want to cop this at your earliest convenience. One of the debuts of the year, hands down.

MP3: "Lovesick" - Friendly Fires