Letrainiump – “So Alive”: Letrainiump from Lafayette, LA are a band that meets you in the middle between synth pop and funk, and does so seamlessly. I’ve been waiting on this group’s online debut since seeing them move hardcore kids into the groove via a crummy PA system in Urbana, IL last summer. Hearing this band in full produced form has me convinced they could compete with the big guns of alternative and pop radio these days. Plus, frontman Tray Richard has a cheerfulness that is contagious, and kind of reminds me of Paper Tongues’ Aswan North (anyone remember that band?).
DNCE – “Kissing Strangers”: This song kicks off with more musical substance than a lot of what permeates Top 40 radio these days. This band could bring funk back into the mainstream. I didn’t expect to be giving this kind of praise to a song featuring Nicki Minaj, though I’m not really a fan of her verse. It adds crassness to a song about finding love that just is an unnecessary, in my view. I’m also not sure how rapping about how awesome you are adds to a quirky, carefree song.
Mayten – “Detours”: This song hits that sweet spot in between calm and groove, and I’m stoked this came across the Tuned Up email. Mayten is a downtempo producer based in Seattle who also dabbles in IDM, deep house, and melodic techno. This sound is for fans of M83, Mister Lies, and the like. If you’re in the mood to zone out on a sunny afternoon (or anytime, really), check out the cathartic single below:
Amadou & Mariam – “Bofou Safou”: This is the first I’ve heard of the apparently prolific and acclaimed Afrobeat and world music duo, who have penned a track in their native Malian language. This marriage of world music and electronic music discusses the namesake of the song, an expression for a dude who would rather party all day than work. And it comes across without angst. This song is from their forthcoming album, titled La Confusion and the pair will be hitting North America this summer on an extensive tour.