Kendrick Lamar
“Swimming Pools (Drank)”

“Swimming Pools (Drank),” the latest track from Kendrick Lamar, is a murky pontification on matters of both swimming pools and drank. Lamar returns to the familiar subject of debauchery and the slippery slope of morality it begets. Friendly competition over shots culminates in the ultimate triple-dog-dare of excess: “First you get a swimming pool full of liquor/Then you dive in it.” I can’t imagine how much that’d sting your eyes, but Lamar’s more concerned with the moral complications: the second verse is an intervention staged by his conscience. And you thought “Bottoms Up” was deep.

• Kendrick Lamar: http://www.kendricklamar.com/premiere
• Top Dawg: http://topdawgmusic.com

Kendrick Lamar

“Swimming Pools (Drank)”

“Swimming Pools (Drank),” the latest track from Kendrick Lamar, is a murky pontification on matters of both swimming pools and drank. Lamar returns to the familiar subject of debauchery and the slippery slope of morality it begets. Friendly competition over shots culminates in the ultimate triple-dog-dare of excess: “First you get a swimming pool full of liquor/Then you dive in it.” I can’t imagine how much that’d sting your eyes, but Lamar’s more concerned with the moral complications: the second verse is an intervention staged by his conscience. And you thought “Bottoms Up” was deep.

• Kendrick Lamar: http://www.kendricklamar.com/premiere
• Top Dawg: http://topdawgmusic.com

Melody's Echo Chamber

“Endless Shore”

This appeal is simple: Aussie Kevin Parker — Tame Impala’s sonic mastermind, the lovechild of The Beatles and a supernova — has teamed up with a French lady singer. And her name is Melody!! Have no doubt; this product is indomitable. She is, maybe, the Nico to Kevin Parker’s Lou. Hyperbole, you say? Undoubtedly. But I implore you to show me a bolder soundsmith/songwriter combo than Tame Impala’s frontman.

From its guttural guitar to its vocal’s reverb, “Endless Shore” is clearly of the same ilk as much of Tame Impala’s finery, but it’s been tweaked just so, so that it embraces Miss Melody Prochet’s voice like the setting for a jewel. Melody’s Echo Chamber is a nice name too, as I think you’ll be listening again and again. A 7-inch is out presently from Fat Possom Records, featuring Melody’s track “Crystalized” and an Unknown Mortal Orchestra version of “Endless Shore.” A full album is in the works and will cometh September. Oui, oui. Aussie oi. Oui.

• Melody’s Echo Chamber: http://melosechochamber.tumblr.com
• Fat Possom Records: http://www.fatpossum.com

Dan Deacon

“True Thrush”

Dan Deacon’s quite legendary in his hometown of Baltimore. As a Charm City native myself, I frequently hear stories of the jolly, bearded man jumping into the crowd to lead them in raucous sing-a-longs, more psychedelic summer camp than corporate concert. He’s like Santa Claus around there, and his shows are as fun as Christmas morning. Of course, Deacon couldn’t stay local for long — America, his first album on new label Domino, will bring that joyous bleepity-bop to thousands of hungry ears worldwide. “True Thrush” is classic DD, with burbling synths and more of the multi-layered vocals we’ve come to expect. It’s a more polished sound, sure, but it retains the childlike wonder that made Deacon so noteworthy.

Look for America August 28, and check out his tourdates here.

• Dan Deacon: http://www.dandeacon.com
• Domino: http://dominorecordco.com

Blanche Blanche Blanche

“Green Light”

I love xylophones, but bongos and washed-out oceans sounds are a close second. Blanche Blanche Blanche’s “Green Light” totally captures that close second in the “solo” section of the track; very “Soul Sacrificemaybe. Maybe-maybe Blanche Blanche Blanche, a.k.a. keyboardist Zach Phillips and singer Sarah Smith, are overdoing it on releases this year. Don’t matter. SCRILL! Just, I have no idea what Blanche Blanche Blanche are singing about in this song, but ya-ya it’s catchy. Traffic catchy. (OMG: I hate driving in New York!) Yeah, this song is all about traffic. But Blanche Blanche Blanche’s off-poppy jangles are unusually soothing on the road. And they also weirdly remind me of college and my ex-girlfriend, but in a good way. All world-building. Maybe just my own world. But they definitely provide an atmosphere for listeners to build a personalized world.

Check out Blanche Blanche Blanche’s new-new-new-new LP Papas Proof on La Station Radar. Act now, for they only popping 300 copies.

• Blanche Blanche Blanche: http://osr-tapes.info/info.html
• La Station Radar: http://www.lastationradar.com

Maggi Payne

“Flights of Fancy”

“Many times, artists are afraid of technology, and many times scientists are afraid to create art. But if you cross that boundary, miraculous things can happen.” –Ed Tannenbaum.

“I compose because I must.” –Maggi Payne

Read these interviews, and watch these videos, and you will see why these are some folks we probably should have heard of before. Root Strata has released Maggi Payne’s music for Ed Tannenbaum’s various dance/video projects that occurred in the mid-80s in the form of an LP called Ahh-Ahh Music for Ed Tannenbaum’s Technological Feets 1984-1987, and thank goodness for that.

• Maggi Payne: http://www.maggipayne.com
• Root Strata: http://rootstrata.com

  

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we'll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.