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#MusicMonday: Leap Year Edition

Wednesday is February 29th, that one day that comes around every four years that makes us wait another day until Christmas comes. What is the purpose of this extra day? Some would tell you that we need it to make up for the Earth’s orbit around the sun, but Onward State has decided it’s a day to find new music. We start you off on your journey with some staff picks on this final Monday of February. Selections this week come from Shawn Christ, Evan Ponter (so nice, he’s in here twice) and Evan Kalikow.

The Kills – “Pale Blue Eyes”

On their new EP, “The Last Goodbye,” The Kills decide to put their own unique spin on a Velvet Underground classic. Listen to the jangle of Jamie Hince’s guitar. Listen to Alison Mosshart deliver Lou Reed’s words like a young Stevie Nicks. The Kills match VU’s original, charming delivery with their own electric force. I don’t know too many first verses that are able to stop me dead in my tracks like this one. It’s so simple too: “Sometimes I feel so happy/ Sometimes I feel so sad/Sometimes I feel so happy/But mostly you just make me mad/Baby you just make me mad.” And any ounce of frustration is forgotten when that legendary chorus breaks in. This one will hit you right where it hurts, but for some reason – it’s never felt so good.

Kid Cudi – “Love Hard”

The rock/rap hybrid dream team of Kid Cudi and his buddy/guest producer Dot Da Genius, WZRD, dropped a new tasty jam titled “Love Hard.” Cudders groans a deep croon about dat kid from Cleavland’s interpretation of love. His growling vocal flow is reminiscing of the darker tracks dawning Man on the Moon II. The weedless lifestyle Cudi recently picked up is apparent in the deep lyricism and calls for listeners to “follow your heart.” Dot Da Genius kills it with spacey programming and pounding house beats. The guitar work leaves a lot to be desired, sticking with a simple power chord riff that rings through out the song. It’s catchy enough to work but too minimalistic for Kid Cudi to be comparing himself to Jimi Hendrix. “Love Hard” is one of a number of tracks leaked from the band’s much anticipated self-titled first release. WZRD will be available for legit purchase this Tuesday but use that anti-SOPA Google and you can find yourself a copy now.

David Mayfield Parade – “Breath of Love”

Since like most others, I had never heard of The David Mayfield Band, and they were slated as opening acts for Movin On, I decided to check out the buddies of the Avett Brothers who are making waves in the folk revival scene. My favorite track from the group’s first release, Parade, is the whimsical bluesy jam “Breathe of Love.” Mayfield has the rich, boisterous vocals of the early folk acts that rose up with the Johnny Cash craze. His harmonious twang leads listeners to believe David is rocking a Bolo tie and a blue suade blazer. However, after a Google images search, it turns out he’s just a goofy haired hipster. It just makes me feel more comfortable dabbling in country music when I know the vocalist isn’t some weirdo who wears raw hide cowboy hats and big belt buckles. This country music won’t make your friends think your racist. I was skeptical at first but I’m stoked to see David Mayfield make his April 27th visit to Happy Valley.

Burial – “Kindred”

Kindred is the titular first track off of Burial’s newest EP, Kindred. For those who may be unfamiliar, Burial is a mysterious UK-based artist whose music was classified as Dubstep in the pre-Skrillex era. This isn’t your typical brostep, though. There’s no drop, no overpowering, obnoxious bass, and no real wub wub wubs. Kindred is a long, dense, mostly-instrumental track that rewards the patient, open-minded listener. Give it a try, even if your only exposure to Dubstep is from Go Go Gadjet covers. If you like this, you can stream the rest of the EP here or check out his albums Burial and Untrue (via Spotify).


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