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TRACK PREMIERE: MIRRORBALL “NATURAL WORLD”

June 6th, 2019

Mirrorball is the duo of vocalist Alexandra Johnstone—formerly of White Dove, enthusiastically reviewed here—and longtime local guitarist Scott Watson, and on "Natural World" they're matching stylishly narcoticized 80s FM AOR production to a melancholy song about uncertainty and confusion. If there's unexplored territory between Fleetwood Mac's best b-sides and Kate Bush at her most celestial, that's where Mirrorball wants to be. "Natural World" is the B-side to Mirrorball's Dangerbird Microdose 7" released last month, which you can get here.

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TRACK PREMIERE: SOFT SAILORS “WHAT WE LIVE”

June 4th, 2019

L.A. musician Geoff Geis has a long and distinguished history: Big Whup, Pizza!, the solo songs that made him something of a SoundCloud sensation and appearances in L.A. RECORD both as subject and contributor. And now that he's "older and presumably wiser," he says, he's got a new outfit called Soft Sailors and this anxious/angsty art-wave track "What We Live."

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TRACK PREMIERE: XL MIDDLETON “GENTCHED UP”

May 29th, 2019

XL Middleton's coming 2 Minutes To Midnight LP is reinvocation of the power of g-funk, including cover art by Doggystyle artist and genre icon Joe Cool. New single "Gentched Up" is a surface-street scorcher with Middleton's trademark sizzling synth and viciously specific lyrics about a city where "tech money is the new crack money" and it costs "$5,000 a month for 1,000 square feet." 2 Minutes to Midnight is out Fri., June 7, on MoFunk and you can pre-order it here. XL Middleton has two crushing local gigs booked now, including his funk monthly at Melody Lounge on Sat., June 1, and the signature Modern Funk Fest at the Echoplex on Fri., June 28. Full list of dates below!

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TRACK PREMIERE: GEMMA CASTRO “LOVE ME BABY (SHINE UR LIGHT)”

May 24th, 2019

L.A. singer Gemma Castrowho premiered this haunting video with us last spring—comes to us now with the starkly affecting new song "Love Me Baby (Shine Ur Light)", a raw and intimate acoustic lament with just enough spacey synthesizer to make her sound somehow even more alone. Unhappily, the story behind "Love Me ..." is just as sad as the song. It's the only survivor of a library of sessions that lived on her laptop, and when the laptop was stolen, she lost everything she'd made except this—only because she'd texted it to a friend. Castro will play a solo set at the Hi-Hat on Thurs., May 30, for this single's release with Fake Jazz, Wanding Lake, Luke Sweeney (doing an album release) and a Healing Gems DJ Set—get tickets here! And she'll also have cassette copies of her coming Angeles y Demonios available.

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TRACK PREMIERE: DOT “LONG DISTANCE”

May 24th, 2019

Like the title suggests, L.A. producer/polymath Dot's "Long Distance" covers a lot of ground. It's something of an exercise in practical possibilites, she says, and here she deploys her considerable experience as a producer (and as a music production teacher) to demonstrate exactly how to turn a little into a lot. Her coming Atomic Age mixtape—due out Fri., June 21, on her own Unspeakable Records—was put together with a portable production set up during two years of transcontinental travel, and in three minutes, Dot moves through a whole landscape of sound—peaks, valleys, chasms, spires and maybe even cloud forests, all built from the pixels up—with the musical equivalent of an ultralight backpack.

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TRACK PREMIERE: BIG TONE + HOUSE SHOES “NO GUEST LIST” (FT. QUELLE CHRIS)

May 20th, 2019

Big Shoes is the new album by Detroit hip-hop eminence Big Tone and L.A./Detroit figure House Shoes, and together they stand up a silhouette gigantic enough to cover half the country. Shoes produced every track here while Big Tone leads a top-notch roster of featurees, and it's set for June 7 release on Shoes' Street Corner Music. (Pre-order here.) As the title suggests, it's a meditation on legacy, and what it means to honor the past while still working to build a worthy future. Like you'd expect, it's a deep and complex album, and "No Guest List" is a stand-out track. Get fitted for Big Shoes here—full tracklist with features below.