Nearly a year ago, I decided that I wanted to have a music show on my college's local radio station (WMHC Radio, South Hadley 91.5 FM!). There are a few rules you have to follow for legal-radio-station-playing, but mostly, it was a chance to play music that I love for two hours in a cool-lookin' station while my mom and maybe one or two friends listened.
I graduated in May, which means I only had my show for one and a half semesters. Not NEARLY long enough. I have so much music that I want to share my love for!
So I'm instituting Tuesday Tunes, where each Tuesday I'll share three of my favorite music things. It might be just one song, or a whole album, or an artist -- the boundaries are endless. Just promise me you'll give them a try!
TOKiMONSTA: Fovere & Midnight Menu
A while ago I came across an artist called TOKiMONSTA; I recently learned that she is in fact one person, named Jennifer Lee, and that she hails from Los Angeles (YEAH California). You could say her music is AHH-mazing because when you hear it, your ears feel like "aaahhh...yes." Much of it incorporates various electronic and remix-type sounds, with crisp beats, nostalgic tones, and varied distortions, but her music is very much original.
Recommended If You Liked (RIYL): This is tough, because she sounds like nothing I've heard before! However, I get some of the same vibes off artists like Purity Ring, Ladybirds' album Regional Community Theater, Poliça, and (my favorite vaporwave/synth group) Saint Pepsi.
This 2016 EP, containing 7 songs, was the first time I'd heard TOKiMONSTA, and I'd definitely recommend it to start! There's a good variety of sounds, and some other neat artists who are featured, so there will probably be at least one song you like.
I'm partial to "I'm Waiting," "Heart on the Ground," and "Penny."
Listen to "I'm Waiting" here:
Midnight Menu was originally released in 2010, but I believe it was re-released this year (according to the artist's SoundCloud, and Spotify, which almost duped me saying that it was released in 2016!). In any case, it's an awesome soundfest for when you need something softer but still engaging to the ear, especially if you're like me and enjoy those synthy retro vibes. There are no lyrics except for the last song on the album, which is a remix.
My personal favorites are "Gamble," "Questing," and "Lovely Soul."
Listen to "Gamble" here:
How can I listen to this artist?
Luckily for you, TOKiMONSTA's music is available in a number of places:
YouTube! ✔︎ (I don't think she has an official account, though, so I'd try to use her SoundCloud if you can)
She also has a website with links to social media accounts.
New Retro Wave
Sometimes you just crave a vibe. Sometimes, for me, that vibe looks like 80's synth, old-school sci-fi anime, neon signs, lasers, flying motorcycles, and cyberpunk madness. That's what you get with New Retro Wave, and I have the album art to prove it.
NewRetroWave is a network/collective of artists on the "retrowave" scene. There's really no way to describe what retrowave sounds like until you listen, but according to their website, "Retrowave is a musical genre and growing culture that harnesses the sound, drive, and sheer passion of the 80's-90's."
Full disclosure, I discovered them because their music is featured in the homebrew, Cowboy-Bebop and James Bond-inspired tabletop RPG show Gadfly, courtesy of Kurtis Wiebe (author of Rat Queens and Bounty). You can watch Gadfly here, and incidentally, the vibe of the show is similar to the vibe of the retrowave genre.
Here are a couple of selections ("Crystal Protocol" by Waveshaper and "Believe In Me" by Futurecop!)
How can I listen to this collective?
HONNE: Warm On A Cold Night
My only bone to pick with these guys is: is it pronounced "hawn" or "honey"? What's the truth, eh boys? I'm pretty sure it's "hawn," but their website is hellohonne.com, so there's just that 1% of doubt that I have. And in any case, they're British.
Their new album, Warm On A Cold Night, just came out on July 22nd.
Unlike the last couple of recommendations I have here, this group is not particularly electronic or synthy, because you have to have variety. However, they do have a smooth, almost jazzy sound. Like something you'd listen to while having a low-lit night with a close friend, drinking wine. Background music for when you're catching up with someone long-lost. Alternatively, I could also imagine it being something you listen to contemplatively, by yourself, in front of a fireplace, wrapped in a blanket. Maybe that's just the album title getting to me.
My favorites off of Warm On A Cold Night are "Warm On A Cold Night," "Someone That Loves You" and "Out Of My Control."