Toronto-based indie pop artist Michael Paradise made a surprise landing on Musical Notes Global's radar, and we're so glad he has.
The multi-instrumentalist is fresh off the release of his debut single "Meant 2 Be," which he wrote, recorded, and produced himself. An exploratory feel good track, it shows fans the path his music will take them down in the future. "I just wanted to let go of all the tensions and self-awareness and doubts and mind games to make a song that feels good," he says. "It’s part of the idea behind the name 'Michael Paradise': I’m trying to tap into a side of me, and society at large, that is willing to put yourself out there, be vulnerable, and creatively express yourself without fearing judgement. Doing it for the process rather than the outcome."
Today Michael Paradise shares a unique playlist with Musical Notes Global. Check it out below.
The theme I want to reveal in my mini-playlist is the concept of cross-over music: modern, contemporary music that is mashing together genres and production techniques. In this approach, I think we are finding the most innovative and unique artists of 2018. I've outlined a few of my fave below, I hope you enjoy!
In this post-Mac Demarco era, the indie music genre can get a bit monotonous and derivative. That is why I was so excited when I discovered Still Woozy. He's a young guy out of Oakland making music like nothing I've quite heard before. His songs are often guitar driven and have the laid back, indie-soul vibe, but they also clearly pull closely from modern hip-hop production techniques, such as trap hi-hats, a heavy 4-4 beat, and in the case of Lucy (the song linked here) some sultry, RnB vocals from ODIE. Still Woozy is seemingly a very talented guitarist and there are these smooth and speedy licks laced throughout all his tracks. It's very indie. It's very hip-hoppy. It's just brilliant.
Listen on Spotify here
SZA's album ctrl was everything for me. Its simplicity, its mix between RnB, Hip-hop, and Pop. The production of the whole album is top-notch. The song linked here is this beautiful testament to less is more. With just the guitar chords and a really simple bass line throughout almost the whole song, and hardly any other components—combined with the cadence, content, and delivery of her vocals—this song blows me away.
Listen to ctrl on Spotify here.
"Nothing New"-Charlotte Day Wilson
I've been really drawn to Charlotte Day Wilson's new album Stone Woman, but it didn't come easy. I think the first time I listened I wasn't that interested but I kept being drawn back in. I was pulled by an emotive response, by a feeling of nostalgia, but also by some sounds I had never heard before. The layering of vintage synths on Nothing New, the slow tempo, the build-up, the drum machine: it all combines into this new-age gem about the millennial plague of nihilism and defeatism.
Listen on Spotify here.
"Our Love"-Sharon Van Etten
I want to return to a more roots, cross-over sound. This track by Sharon Van Etten is heartbreaking. Sometimes I listen to it really loud on my proper headphones lying in bed and feel some real internal pangs. Why I want to highlight it here is because of the unique use of almost Phil Collins-esque drum machine sounds in the beginning and end, but in the middle of the track it switches to a real kit. For an indie-folk artist this production trick turned out remarkably well, and for me makes the song what it is. Again, along with the simplicity.
Listen to the full album Are We There on Spotify here.
"In My Dreams"-Kali Uchis
My last track is from Kali Uchis' new album. And I'm sorry these songs aren't more underground and unknown, but this is the stuff I've been listening to on repeat and also demonstrates the cross-over theme I'm trying to stick to here. I'm not sure this song in itself is the perfect example of cross-over (it's an indie-pop track drawing from 80s sounds, which I feel is done a lot these days) but the album as a whole is a radical mix of about 8 genres. I feel like there is a song for everyone on the album, but nonetheless, listening straight through, it comes together well as a full package. I can't decide which song I like best, but I think "In My Dreams" is winning right now.
Listen to Isolation on Spotify here.