Matthew Young

cmd+vent calendar day 1: Ana


Welcome to the first letter of the cmd+f advent calendar–or should I say, the cmd+vent calendar?

You may be scratching your head thinking, "what? It isn't Friday now, is it?" (more likely in far simpler terms floating about your head). Fear not: it is indeed the middle of the week. Hanukkah has already kicked off, and we are only (approximately) 12 days until Christmas.

As a special thank you to all the faithful readers of cmd+f (and to avoid having to compose a very cliche list of my favorite songs released in the past 12 months), I've reached out to a handful of dear friends to write about how and what particular music has impacted their time living through 2017. Consider this project an extension of the bonus section that lingers at the bottom of the cmd+f letter each week.

For Day 1 of the cmd+vent calendar I'd like to introduce Ana. She currently resides in the southern Hemisphere and was likely sweating her ass off in front of a volcano writing this up. I'll leave her to the rest of this letter.


Hey, I’m Ana–a 20 year old community radio host in New Zealand.
No, I don’t know Lorde. Yes, like every other New Zealander, she is a friend of a friend of a friend. I thought this cmd+f advent calendar was such a cool idea from B, and when she said she wanted people to share how music helped them find joy in 2017, I knew exactly what to write about.
I’ve been trying to make my way into radio for a couple years now, but it wasn’t until this year I solidified myself a proper announcing job. Sure, it’s a small community radio station based inside a record store, but it’s a radio station nonetheless. Thanks to this job, I’ve grown a new passion for New Zealand music because one of our goals is to try enlarge the focus on local acts. From playing ‘70s Kiwi bands (Dragon) to the newest voices in soul (Ria Hall), we try to cover as many bases as possible.

In this letter, I thought I’d highlight some of the NZ artists and songs that have come to my attention in 2017, and maybe you’ll learn about someone new!

Matthew Young

I’m starting with Matthew Young because he’s the one who really got this ball rolling. A few months ago I was looking at what new music had been added to our rotation, and his song "Collect" popped up. I was immediately obsessed, and added it to my own Spotify playlist. A few weeks later he released "Hey," which (at the time of writing this), has now racked up almost a million streams! Both of these songs have a really cool, chilled out vibe, paired with relevant lyrics and his pleasing voice. He has some other songs available from a 2015 EP, but personally I’m waiting to see what his next project delivers us.


Listen to his voice. That’s all I really need to say. TEEKS (or, Te Karehana) came out with his debut EP ‘The Grapefruit Skies’ this year and it’s a 6 track mix of his deep and soulful voice alongside some emotive storytelling. He’s also not forgetting his roots, accepting his recent VNZMA Best Māori Artist award with a speech fully in te reo Māori. In a country where we are currently having debates on whether or not te reo should be compulsory in schools, I’m glad artists like TEEKS are keeping it in the forefront. "If Only" is one of his singles from the EP, detailing the perspective of a person who is apologising for not being in love with someone who is in love with them. I’d recommend checking out the music video while you’re there, to catch him in a very handsome orange turtleneck.

The Miltones

The Miltones are an Americana/blues group who released their self-titled debut album this year. They’ve taken on a genre which some people (e.g. my pop trash-loving self) will easily dismiss out of concern for it sounding dated and boring… but it’s anything but that. The quintet bring a lot of life and relevance to each song. My personal favourite is "Glory," which starts off a bit eerie, then ventures into the psychedelic realm. I’m gutted because they actually performed at a tiny intimate venue in my town this year–but it was a couple of weeks before their music had even been introduced to me! I won’t be missing it if they return, that’s for sure. 


Okay, honestly? I’m not even a fan of Montell’s music. He’s a trap/hip-hop producer who found his success through Soundcloud, which isn’t generally what I gravitate to. I’m still *so proud* of how far he’s gotten and am following his every step. Montell comes from a small town near me with a 4.6k population, so it’s really impressive that he’s managed to break away from those restrictions and end up with a 21 Savage collaboration; "Hunnid On The Drop." Fingers crossed he manages to connect with other big names in the music industry and 2018 brings him more success!


SACHI!!! These two guys have been at it for a couple years now, but they only came onto my radar in 2017 with their hit "Shelter." Looking at my Shazam, I can actually say I discovered that song on the 5th of June! It’s fair to say they’re the most successful out of the acts I’ve covered, but I still wanted to mention them because they’ve been releasing consistently quality tracks over the past few months, and it’s always a highlight when I check New Music Friday/Release Radar and I see they have a brand new song out.

(bonus playlist of these songs and MORE because I had a lot of fun curating this!)

- Ana

You can find Ana on the net via Twitter: @anadayviez

Stay tuned for Day 2 of the cmd+vent calendar dropping tomorrow!

November 24, 2017

While a handful of you reading this are likely nursing a hangover from a few too many glasses of wine and slices of pie over Thanksgiving last night, I’m here, prying my eyes open after living in front of an oven door for the past two days, trying to feast my ears on as much New Music Friday content as possible. It’s a daunting task as I wade through the faint chimes of sweet carol bells looming in the background, beckoning me to usher in the Christmas season. So far the tempting Black Friday sales have benefited nobody but the company wallets I’m filling, my personal wardrobe and skincare routine.

This week I’ve got SIX crazy good tracks, and a grip of bonus content because it’s Black Friday and some artists are doing the abso-fucking-lute MOST.

Please reach out to me via the handy dandy contact page on the cmd+f website, or on Twitter with your thoughts about any of the tracks I’ve selected this week. As you already know, I love chatting about music. Let me in on your new favorite band; they’re looking for new fans, too!

As always, you know the drill: if you like what you hear, spread the cheer. Tell your friends about the songs you liked in this letter, but most importantly, let the artists know. There’s a good chance they’ll see your comments. Let them know how good their tunes are, and they’ll crank out even more magic.

P.S. If you would like to have this letter sent to your email every Friday, please head over to this link right here to subscribe to never miss a weekly roundup!


“Bom Bom” - Tkay Maidza x Danny L. Harle | I’m already kicking my own ass for even bringing this up, but I know this thought is lingering in the back of many people’s minds: you ever think about what we could have had in music if Azealia Banks had her shit together??? Tkay has her own flow and sound, but this was my first thought when I heard the opening notes on this FIRE collab. Azealia fucked with this head-spinning, heavy 90s house vibe. Throw in  PC Music producer Danny L. Harle to wonk things up a bit and you got a monster track. “Bom Bom” sounds like that threat of nausea and the rush of adrenaline after a rollercoaster ride on a full stomach. Big, big tune this one Listen here

“Feel the Same” -  Bully | Sounding straight up like a long-lost Hole track, “Feel the Same” is a jittery, frantic ode to lethargy – or rather the anxieties of struggling to maintain relationships with people, fearing those friendships are crumbling, all the while dealing with the fact you feel nothing and everything all at once. And it fucking slaps. Go figure. I’ve declared it the depressives club anthem. Listen here

“Stonewall Frank” - Nelson Can | Nelson Can have adopted the “no guitars but still gonna belt out a chooooon” approach to their music, a la The White Stripes’ claim to fame. Armed with nothing but a drum kit, a juicy bassline, and killer vocals, “Stonewall Frank” is a bop, banger, AND a jam all at once. What an honor, to be honest. I wouldn’t use such strong qualifiers if it wasn’t true Listen here

“Get These Things Out of My Head” -  Pale Honey | Swedish duo Pale Honey dropped their sophomore album Devotion last month. Diving into the 10-track album completely submerged me into a liminal space, hovering over this sense of unease in the lyrics mixed with an unexplainable tension of nostalgia. “Get These Things Out of My Head” sounds exactly like a song I’ve heard a million times before I heard it for the first time last week. It felt I had listened to it many a times walking through a ghostly supermarket at midnight Listen here

“Big Girls Cry” -  Mimoza | I had to slip this monster tune in this week because I couldn’t have you wait another week for it. Mimoza is another case of a hit making songwriter testing the waters as a solo artist. While the instrumentals echo some Kygo-esque vibes, the vocals punch through a Sia-grade pre-chorus. Quality pop tune. Listen here

“Collect” -  Matthew Young | Huge thanks to my pal Ana who provided me with a couple rising artists in her homeland of New Zealand. The world currently only knows New Zealand for three things: kiwis, Lord of the Rings, and Lorde. The rest of the world has slept on the fact that the Oceanic plate, particularly New Zealand, is a hotbed of fresh talent. The entire region is churning out perhaps (actually clearly) the best left-of-center pop music in the world right now. While that may be a bold ass statement, I’d advise you to sit down and have a moment with this week’s pick Matthew Young. RnB pop may be oversaturated with male solo artists, but Matthew’s got the gravely yet velvety smooth vocals and wicked clever lyrics to set him apart. “Collect” is an earworm. Listen here


  • Top album to dive into this weekend is Sufjan Stevens’ The Greatest Gift—Outtakes, Remixes, & Demos from Carrie & Lowell. Stacked with unreleased tracks, remixes, and raw demos for tracks on 2015’s Carrie & Lowell, I must admit Sufjan has bestowed the greatest gift of the week upon us Listen here

  • Sleigh bells ring, deck the halls, fa-la-la-la-la, et cetera, et cetera, it’s Black Friday, bitches, AKA the first official day of The Holiday Season. Every kind of person has dropped a damn Christmas album/EP/song today. We have your garden variety artists, Gwen Stefani and People’s “”“Sexiest Man of the Year””” Blake Shelton, who’ve have unleashed their joint Christmas music revue, from Why Don’t We’s classic Christmas boyband ballads, to yet another fucking Glee-tastic cover of “Last Christmas” by Stanaj that nobody asked for, in contrast with Phoebe Bridgers’ tender cover of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” we don’t deserve, to DRAM throwing down a bit of holiday cheer with the help of BigBabyMom. Between this and the cobwebs collecting in my wallet, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

  • Beyonce got the best Christmas-themed merch I ever seen. This holiday season, she’s got Beyonce ornaments, onesies, and WRAPPING PAPER. SHOP HERE

  • Meanwhile Frank Ocean’s out here selling ugly ass hoodies to throw approximately five hundred Hypebeast’s off their game as they queue up to cop the new Nike Air Max 97s on Black Friday

  • Rihanna, Queen of Selling Me Anything and I Will Actually Buy It Because Yes Of Course, has developed a UNIVERSAL red liquid lipstick that allegedly matches with any skin tone for Fenty Beauty, and while that sounds fake, if you do end up copping one, let me know how it works out for you

  • Little Mix have re-released a platinum edition of their latest album Glory Days which includes (I believe) four unreleased new tracks and a few acoustic versions of original tracks. The greatest crime of this album is allowing the “feat. Kid Ink” version of “Touch” on there Listen here

  • Bjork has a new album out today, and I’m shocked as hell. Fans of her work are familiar with the extremely long hours and attention to detail she pours into her craft, so frankly I’m stunned she has managed to crank out an entire new album two years after her last. During those two years since her last album, she’s managed to tour VR experiences/art installations across the globe in support of the previous album on top of recording Utopia Listen here

  • It’s a surprisingly quiet day for new music releases, so please enjoy yourself to a helping of this mid-80s soaked Initial Talk remix of Dua Lipa’s “New Rules” Listen here

  • Can’t forget to tell you Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds have a new album too Listen here

  • My personal fav pop acts of the year, Rae Morris, has dropped “Atletico,” yet another incredible, frantic, fresh pop tune I am going to be spinning for months and months on end Listen here


If you’re interested in hearing what else I’ve been rinsing this month (aside from the tracks listed above), peep my personal November 2017 playlist. There I will be dumping in new (and occasionally throw back) tracks as the month carries on. You can dive into the cmd+f archive to hear what I’ve been listening to in previous months this year.

A(lmost a)ll of the tracks I’ve shared this week and past cmd+f newsletters are archived into a single playlist on Spotify for you to follow here. You’re welcome.

See you next week!