As one of the biggest contributors to my new music discoveries this year–particularly Spanish-speaking acts, and a ton of great pop female vocalists–Kimmie is busy as all HECK.
The number one hustler has also managed to get promoted at work this year, be accepted into a graduate studies program, and find a way to regularly discover new music. Perhaps this is a sign Kimmie holds the secret to work-life balance, or maybe my threshold for handling most situations is extremely low.
Day 2 of the 2018 cmd+vent calendar is brought to you by my second pair of eyes.
Kim combs through my weekly letters (remember when I used to regularly churn those out every Friday?) before I send them off to your inboxes. Now the tables have turned, the editor has been edited, and she is here to share five fresh tunes by emerging artists from this year.
If there’s one thing I’m really great at, it’s making promises to myself that I don’t keep. I couldn’t tell you how many blogs I’ve left abandoned around the internet, how many half-baked podcast ideas sit unrecorded in the depths of my Google Drive. (Hey, at least I’m consistent!)
In my cmd+vent calendar letter last year, I mentioned that I wanted to see more lady-led rock bands in 2018. I’m happy to say that while I decidedly did not stick to my workout regimen and my meal prep plan has fallen by the wayside, this is one thing I actually stuck to. That’s what we in the flake business call progress, baby.
Let’s get to the music, shall we?
I’ll be honest and say The Aces’ debut album When My Heart Felt Volcanic was my absolute favorite album of the year. It’s 13 tracks of shimmery, sugary pop songs that will stay in your head for hours. “Last One” is no exception, with it’s foot stomping beat and insanely catchy chorus. It’s easy to forget that you’re singing about a love turned sour.
If my life was actually a 90s rom-com (my favorite genre of movie), then this song would be playing in the background of a whirlwind romp in an impossibly old city. True to the band’s signature sound, this track is youthful, energetic, and slightly manic in the very best way. It’s everything a young, naive Kim (the one who didn’t know about taxes or health insurance) thought being in your 20s would be. Turn this one up loud and live in that fantasy for 3 blissful minutes.
Many of us (myself included) first got a taste of this London band when their song “Drunk” was featured on the soundtrack of the summertime Netflix hit movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. “Fool Moon” is the third single leading up to their first full album, out next year. The track buzzes and sizzles, and feels like disco and 80s synth pop had a baby that’s way cooler than I’ll ever be.
Two years after their debut EP, Disco Hue is back and more gloriously 80s than ever. The Singapore based group delivered us a wonderfully synthy love song that sounds genuine and far from contrived. This song is modern, yet still somehow feels like it would be right at home in the background of a Stranger Things episode.
This band is actually the one that inspired this whole quest to begin with when I featured their rambunctious tune “Frightening Lightning” in last year’s letter. Earlier in 2018 they blessed us with an entire album full of funky basslines and powerhouse vocals. This track showcases everything I love about this band and is sure to leave you wanting more.
In this track, Roxiny shares her own story of surviving sexual abuse, and hopes to aid others in their own roads to recovery. This song is eerie and heartfelt, with her voice barely containing the power and anger in her words as she sings. Roxiny, who is Dominican-American, shied away from becoming the Latina pop star her first record label originally wanted her to be, and instead is using her creative control to not only create glam indie rock music, but also infuse her own feminism and activism into all of her ventures.
I hope you have as much fun listening to these artists as I did! I put them all in a playlist (plus a few extras!) here. Happy listening!
You can find Kim tweeting between her Dole Whip breaks on Twitter: @sportsbruja
The 3rd day of cmd+vent is tomorrow!