Mixtape.
Two Tiffanys celebrating what they love by giving it a stage and using their voices to spread the word.

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WILD – “Vagabond”

(@WILDofficialUS)
WILD‘s second, and most recent, single is a relatable pop song about struggling to figure out who you are and questioning the uncertainty of your future. I love that the band pairs a strong, uptempo melody with poignant lyrics, and that it’s not entirely about wondering where you fit in, but that it’s also a battle cry to break free from self-doubt. I like it, probably more than the first one.

Bishop – “River”

(@thatgirlbishop)
Have you heard Bishop‘s newest song “River” yet? No? Well, let me put you on. Following the successful “Wild Horses” single that’s been spreading like wildfire, this song comes in like a Trojan Horse. It begins with gentle looping strings, big claps, and Bishop’s captivating vocals, while she sings a heart-on-her-sleeve verse (“How do we fall in love // Harder than a bullet could hit ya // How do we fall apart // Faster than a hair-pin trigger“)… but as soon as the chorus kicks in, so does the versatility in her voice. Sinister horns blow, there’s an “hey!” sample, her lyrics get dark (seemingly stemming from past pain), and she effortlessly transitions between soft whispers and passionate singing (in the verses), to pulling out all aggression from within her gut to belt out rock-infused, soulful shouts in the intensified chorus. Such unexpected power! “Shut your mouth, baby, stand and deliver // Holy hands, oh they make me a sinner // Like a river, like a river // Shut your mouth and run me like a river // Choke this love ’til the veins start to shiver // One last breath ’til the tears start to wither // Like a river, like a river // Shut your mouth and run me like a river“. Whew, girl, yes! Listen below!

Dregs One & Ill Sugi – “Emotion” (ft Gas Mask Colony) video

(@dregs_one @ill_sugiee)
From Dregs One and Ill Sugi‘s Universal Language album, the music video for “Emotion” dropped a few days ago. Featuring Gas Mask Colony, we see everyone roaming throughout San Francisco, kicking introspective raps about coping with the highs and lows of life, while also reminding us that everything isn’t as bad as it could be. Watch the video below, directed by Kolepa.

I’m From Finland – “Young Love”

(@cascaderecords)
Nicolas Pencolé is a producer from Rennes, France, who makes electronic music under the alias I’m From Finland (IFF, for short). Having connected with Parisian label Cascade Records, he will be releasing a 5-track EP on February 19th. My introduction to this guy was through his title track, called “Young Love”, and it’s such a good, chill song to bump on this Tuesday afternoon.

As one of his 3 vocal songs, we hear IFF‘s warm-toned voice singing a song about the negative emotions that can come with falling in love, such as fighting against self-doubt and over-thinking things (“I wanted to run away, whoa oh // I wanted to run away // But I’m glad I didn’t, no no“). His production is just as soothing and moody as his vocals, as his relatable, struggle-with-love story is propelled by downtempo keys, rhythmic hand claps, and a few distorted vocal loops. I could listen to this on repeat for hours. Give it a listen, and look out for the EP soon!

Quantic presents The Western Transient – “Creation (East L.A.)” (ft Jimetta Rose)

“Creation (East L.A.)” was the lead single on Quantic‘s acclaimed The Western Transient project’s album, titled A New Constellation. Giving new life to the good-times-in-the-city song, Los Angeles singer Jimetta Rose blessed the soul-jazz instrumental with a lively and uplifting performance for this special vocal version. Listen to the song, as well as the instrumental and a capella, and then download for $1.45.

Tef Wesley – “Gametime” (ft Jered Sanders & Cane) remix

A couple of days ago, DMV-based emcee Tef Wesley dropped a remix to his Grussle-produced “Gametime” single. Featuring extra verses from Jered Sanders and Cane, all three emcees wreck the mic with fury, serving up heavy bars laced with aggressive deliveries and sharp game-related metaphors. They prove that they’re not here to play… unless, perhaps, it’s on the court or in the field. Give it a listen below and download for free at Soundcloud.

WILD – “Back To You”

(@WILDofficialUS)
While their faces have been covered with animal masks, WILD is a Los Angeles-based pop band between Kristina Antuna (vocals), Zach DeGaetano (vocals, guitar) and Tyler Thompson (guitar). The trio has a debut album on the horizon, but I heard their feel-good song about a loved one, called “Back To You”, today and I had to share it. Their warm, pure vocals shine over galloping percussion and uptempo country-style guitars, while the lyrics go on about messing up a good thing and fighting to get that love back (“I’m gonna follow my heart back to you // You’re the one thing I can’t stand to lose“). Give it a listen, and look out for another single later today.

Special Education with T.I.

(@specialsays @tip)
Special had Atlanta’s own T.I. (aka Tip) on her Special Education show not too long ago and, man, he showed no mercy when it came to those points! Any time she got one wrong, you’d hear him saying, “NO POINT FOR YOU!” Hahaha. In this episode, he explains why “Freak Though” was the most fun song to make, we learn what video was the most fun to shoot, his favorite word, and why he’d perform “Whatever You Like” at an old folks home. It’s an enjoyable episode, so check it out.

Credit: Chris Muir

Fritz Helder – “Force of Nature”

(@fritzpoptv)
Canadian vocalist Fritz Helder was 1/4th of the electronic-house music group Azari & III, and he recently released the title track from his forthcoming solo EP, called Force of Nature. New to his music, I clicked play on “Force of Nature” and quickly vibed with the energy of the bass-thumping, worldly electro thrill that guides his fierce vocals and enchanting delivery, as he sings about self-confidence and power to be reckoned with (“No one can take away my fire – force of nature // My enemies have fallen before“). I liked the song on Soundcloud, hit the repeat button, and came straight to CB to share it. I feel like this is one of those anthem songs that will be taking over your playlist in no time. Listen to the single below, and then watch the music video for the b-side “Force Of Nature (The Bad Seed Manipulation)“.

Hoosier Apex – “Breakfast of Champions” EP

(@thejabberbox @channelbranimal @aceha)
So, check it: emcee Id Obelus (whom I’ve written about on CB before, but haven’t caught up with him in a very long time), emcee Richard Cook, emcee Branimal, and producer Ace Ha have separately been creating hip hop music that spans across the last four decades. They have also been frequent collaborators with one another, which you can audibly witness over at the Wormusic Bandcamp page. They’ve never teamed up all at once, just two or three at a time… until now. All four of these Indiana natives joined to make music under the name Hoosier Apex, and they just released their debut project on February 2nd. Paying homage to Kurt Vonnegut’s novel of the same name, Breakfast of Champions is a 4-song EP that acts as an introduction to what the group has to offer.

Robot Koch – “Dark Waves” (ft Delhia de France) video

(@robotkoch)
Berlin-based electronic musician Robot Koch‘s “Dark Waves” song relaxes me, as does the slow-motion movement of the ocean waves in the music video. Delhia de France‘s mellow and hauntingly pop voice floats over the dark and uptempo atmospheric tune, as she sings about loneliness and struggling to stay afloat, while we see surfers Ryan Gast, Elija Bustos and Michael Ralla paddling in the Central Coast of California. Shot entirely on an iPhone 6s Plus by Sven Dreesbach.

I thought this song sounded vaguely familiar, too, and then I read that it was featured in the winter finale of the “How To Get Away With Murder” show–yup, why it sounded familiar! Very cool. Find this song on his Hypermoment album, via Monkeytown Records. Watch the video below.

Album Review: Goldini Bagwell – “#SmokersJacket” Series

For all of 2015, Portland, Oregon-based emcee Goldini Bagwell dropped one song per month (for free, at the time), for his #SmokersJacket Series. While I may be late to the game, I did start listening to the project a couple of weeks ago when I heard “Classicool (Pt. II)”. What I’ve always been into about Goldini Bagwell is that his lyrics aren’t only powered by cunning metaphors, strong punchlines, and poetic storytelling, but he’s often brutally honest with who he is, and I love that type of introspective vulnerability in rap. That’s what I can easily connect with. Can’t forget to mention that his flows are always on point, you can feel the passion in his delivery and lyrics, and his beat choices are always dope, and that’s especially true on this project (there wasn’t one that I couldn’t rock with). Now, before I throw you into the wild, to stream the project in full, let me tell you about some of my favorite songs.