One from the inbox last week that we were digging:
Hello, this is Hayden from Sir Sly and I am writing the press release for our new single “High”.
Initially, we had someone else write it and they did a nice job—in fact, my favorite quote said that our new song “turns a hotel-room panic attack into a creative breakthrough” (true!). Still, I wanted to give you a bit more background, in chronological order, formatted by bullet points
April 20, 2014: It’s a day off on tour with The 1975. We’re colonizing a beige, Spartan room at the Courtyard Marriott in Oakland. Landon, our front man, steps out for a smoke.
Shortly thereafter, he becomes one with the universe. Additionally, my man sprawls out on the bathroom tile, smiling, scared, and stoned, naming off a list of people to whom he must give this newly discovered, all-encompassing, cosmic love.
September 16, 2014: The trip subsides, we finish the tour, and release an album called You Haunt Me. It does pretty well. My Mom tells all her friends about the time we played Conan, and how she heard us on the radio.
Deep inside, I’m a little disappointed because I read somewhere on the internet that we were supposed to be the next Coldplay, yet I still drive a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder with a check engine light.
Over the next six months, we start, and later abandon, a sophomore album full of minimal electronic songs. The lyrics are mostly outward facing, obtuse, anxious. It was good, but Jamie xx we are not.
June 2015: Back at square one and thinking hard about words like “sonic” and “identity,” Jason makes a round, booming instrumental in his studio in Costa Mesa. I cobble together a sampled, sauntering drum beat on a bus in Italy. Landon comes up with this sticky melody that’s part talking, part singing, all feel. We get in a room and they meld together.
It ends up being a revisionist retelling of that April 2014 night with a wink and some rose-colored glasses, borne of a desire to have a song to dance to every show.
We feel like it’s good sh-t.
I play it for an anonymous Uber driver and he’s all in. My Dad hears it and says it is “poppier” than our old stuff. My brother loves it and posts it to his Instagram months before it’s released because he thinks it’s already out.
Now: “High” comes out. “It’s an upbeat anthem about ego death” lead singer Landon Jacobs told the biographer, while I was on the other line of the conference call. “It really opened up the honesty of the record.”
Fittingly, it’s the first song from a forthcoming album that is lived-in, loose, and against all odds, a celebration. Thanks for listening.
So there you have it. Y’all dig?
Here’s a cool record an old friend from my days at Jive records put me up on. RIYL the more ‘Island’/’World’ sound of Drake (‘One Dance’) and Rihanna (‘Work’). This is the official PR blurb with the background on it:
World-renowned as an influential and in-demand GRAMMY® Award-nominated producer with credits as diverse as Kanye West, The Band Perry, John Legend, Miguel, and The All American Rejects, Benny Cassette continues to simultaneously evolve as an artist in his own right. Today, Cassette announces his debut single “Sunrise Sunset” from his anxiously awaited full-length debut album Broken Hearts And Dollar Signs, due out later this year.
“Sunrise Sunset” is about trying to get to a place where life is simple and not letting the stress and happenings in the world get in the way of your happiness,” says Cassette. “I wanted the song to feel like the neighborhood I lived in as a kid like MacArthur Park (in southern California) and also something my grandma could dance to since she loved Spanish music so much.”
A born storyteller, Cassette quietly assembled the Broken Hearts And Dollar Signs album while traveling around the world. During his travels, he penned a series of letters addressed to those closest to him—everyone from old flames (inspiration for “Sunrise Sunset”) to his beloved grandmother. Now, each letter inspires its own song on the tracklist. Signed and sealed with his inimitable production, he delivers these songs with impassioned vocals and raw lyricism. He’ll unravel this narrative over the course of the next six months, debuting one music video per month until the record’s release.
ABOUT BENNY CASSETTE:
Benny Cassette has established himself as one of the music industry’s most sought-after visionaries behind-the-board. His influence can be felt throughout Kanye West’s groundbreaking Yeezus—for which the creator personally tapped Cassette’s talents after hearing him. Signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music as a producer, he went on to produce for other A-list superstars such as The Band Perry, Miguel, and many more. Born and raised in Los Angeles’s MacArthur Park Latino mecca, the multi-talented Spanish-Italian personally took the spotlight with the single “Empires,” which Rolling Stone extolled as “emotive like Sting.” Meanwhile, Mass Appeal described his 2016 track “Be Wild” as “like you’re watching a tribal ritual in the woods, but the twinkling piano notes and Benny’s voice reassure you that the ritual is for blessings for the coming year.”
Follow Benny Cassette online: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Long time-readers know we have been big fans of Hamilton, ON rapper, Emay from time and were honored to have him be a part of our #DK11 11th Anniversary compilation album back in 2014. Well he finally released his official debut, full length album, Ilah a few weeks back (on Feb. 21) and it was worth the worth the wait. Dense, thoughtful, progressive hip-hop that pushes boundaries both lyrically and musically. “Bakkah” was the first salvo from the album released as a single. If you dig it, check out the rest of the album at any of the links below.
Just got up on this UK artist, Stefflon Don (clever name, geddit??) after listening to BBC 1 Xtra today where she was the guest co-host on Charlie Sloth’s show. Something told me, “Check out her music, I bet it’s actually aight.” I wasn’t wrong. She’s giving me Young M.A meets Nicki Minaj vibes. This is the title track from her Real Ting mixtape album (plus a remix with fellow UK spitta, Giggs). What y’all think?
Here’s another one culled from my work on CBC’s Searchlight. This one, by West Coasters, So Loki, was some cool underground, left-field, alternative hip-hop with a bit of a Tyler The Creator feel that made it to the regional finals round and belies the unfounded (IMHO) complaint some have lodged that Searchlight is all about playing it safe and to the middle, mass audience. Really??!
Check out their SUPERMANIC mixtape released on Owake Records for more or the “Liquid Luck” track also included here from their forthcoming album entitled, Baggage.
Who: Adam & the Ants What: Kings of the Wild Frontier tour When: Jan. 29, 2017 Where: The Danforth Music Hall, Toronto ON Long-time readers know I was born and grew up, until my very early teenage years, in the UK (we are not the self-described “Trill OG Blog” for nothing!) One of the first […]
Just like last year, picking our Top 10 favorite albums for my Village Voice ̶P̶a̶z̶z̶ ̶&̶ ̶J̶o̶p̶ Music Critic’s Poll ballot this year was tough! 2016 was yet another especially good year for music overall and quality full length albums specifically. Many of the ‘Honorable Mentions’ below were more than worthy contenders for a spot […]
Similarly to how it went down for 2015, this year’s list of The Kitchen‘s favorite songs or singles is pretty much what I picked for my Village Voice Pazz N Jop Music Critics Poll ballot. Unlike last year though, I didn’t really have a true, standout favorite song this year. While I definitely really loved […]
Well it’s finally here: the This One Goes To Eleven… 11th Anniversary compilation album for Different Kitchen! It’s been a three to four month journey putting this project together but it came together in a really great way and I’m super happy & proud of the sound of it and how it turned out in […]
Going strong since August 2003, our roots run deep in the game. We made the records that your favorite rapper was inspired by, true story. Want that ole' different ish? Walk with us (and while you're at it, click the 'Like' button in that Facebook widget down there on the right to follow us on the DIFFERENT KITCHEN Facebook page and also check out the brand new DIFFERENT KITCHEN Tumblr....)