Week in Pop: The Black Opera, Lightning Love, Picture

Sjimon Gompers

smokey sands and sepia sea beach vibez bro(VIA)

Top stories of the week beginning with our boy A$AP Rocky getting arrested after a dust up with photographers, Rick Ross, Jay-Z and Dr. Dre reminding us who the “3 Kings” of the game are to a pretty dope Jake One beat, and honorable mention goes out to Fred Willard for doing the full Paul 'Pee-Wee' Reubens. We got bags full of more pop analyses than all the 24-hour cable news cycles combined but would rather give you the lowdown on what excited us this week-in no particular order.

Tomorrow for one afternoon only, Bay Bridged and Tiny Telephone are bringing together one of the summer's best lineups at the second annual Phono Del Sol in SF. Here you can catch the likes of Fresh & Onlys, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, La Sera, Dominant Legs, Gardens & Villas, Sea of Bees, Mwahaha, and all the food truck action before sundown. Tickets are available here and check the main site for further info.

Nathan 'WAVVES' and his brother Kynan Williams have started their own little instrumental sample and beat project called Sweet Valley. The coast-idolizing bros will release Stay Calm August 7 from Fools Gold Records but invite you to hear their living room crafted beach sounds to bring the salty seawaters and sand grains home to yours.

WEAVE! lent a listen to their new track “Don't Yvonne” from their upcoming New Funk Romance EP coming this July 24 from Neurotic Yell Records. What occurs here from the LA groups is a clash of when punk was young, riot grrl was new and lots of that west coast indie harmonizing in between the stripped down funk and punk.

AU's “Solid Gold” got remixed by Deerhoof this week.This track will be released later this month by Portland bar Dig A Pony in a very limited edition leather-bound 7″ release split with Pure Bathing Culture. Catch AU continue to bring the joy of Both Lights to the people as they are tour the US with Tu Fawning with a performance slated at Portland's MusicFestNW and a later tour in the fall with Zammuto.

Helvetia is Jason Albertini and Canaan Dove Amber who make some of the best slacker rock you have heard all year with tracks like “RyBro” that are keeping the great Pacific Northwest alt and alert. The new album was self-produced by Albertini via a beautiful Teac 1/2 inch reel to reel 8-track and is called Nothing in Rambling, due September 11 on cassette, CD and vinyl from Joyful Noise Recordings.

Killer Mike dropped the track “Untitled” via a Yourstru.ly sesh with El-P at Tuff Cut Sound and engineered by Ryan McClure. “Dear Lord have mercy on those who go through life like it's a game,” Mike shares, with the wisdom of a sage from the knowledge church of the street, while El scratches it old school.

Eluvium's new project Martin Eden is cooking up a 7″ with Lefse and we have the slow brewed A-side “Worker” for you to start your lazy weekend late mornings/afternoons right. The single is part of Lefe's 7″ singles series launched last month also featuring upcoming works from artists Big Search, Field Mouse, Mister Lies, Psychic Twin and Sun Glitters.

Psychic Twin dropped the Justine B. directed music video full of LED lights and lazers to celebrate their upcoming for their B-side track “Deepest Part” off of their upcoming Gonna Get Her 7″ dropping July 24 from Lefse's singles series. Full of echoes, electric hums, the B-side has the perfect opening sustain and nouvelle disco vague that sounds fresh out of the rehearsal space, through the living room and partying out on the backyard patio.

Ava Luna bring us their new track “Water Duct” recorded a few months back for Philadelphia non-profit Weathervane Music's Shaking Through. We offer you first the audio and then the video to bring you the full experience from Brooklyn's finest.

Listen to a preview of their debut album Ice Level here from Infinite Best Recordings.

Brooklyn's pop mental trio Slam Donahue dropped the single “I Turn On” bursting with summer fun from their forthcoming Hemlock Tea EP, produced by Ayad Al Adhamy coming August 21 from Cantora.

Black Strobe's new EP Boogie In Zero Gravity came out this week on Black Strobe Records Here we listen to Arnaud Rebotini collide an addictive groovy mix of jazzy riffs, blues guitar solos, and noisy-electro-disco. Boogie in Zero Gravity is available now with the vinyl dropping August 27.

Holy Other released the title track “Held” from his forthcoming album with all the fog machine atmospheres you have come to expect and hope for. Held comes out August 28 state side and August 27 everywhere else from Tri Angle Records.

Peter Hook's new favorite band California Wives has signed to Vagrant, preparing their new album and shared the anthem for getting-over-the-past with “Blood Red Youth.” The Wives' album Art History drops September 4 from Vagrant Records and can be found touring with STARS this Fall.

Shout Out Out Out Out are offering a stream of their just released Spanish Moss and Total Loss from Normals Welcome Records. Get ready for the danciest music not made by laptops alone.

Holograms' self-titled album is out now from Captured Tracks and you can dive into all the hope and rage now and read our review of the album here.

Blackalcious's classic Melodica will be available for the first time digitally on July 31and will feature the following bonus track, “Changes.” A rarity deep from the archives, it is produced both by DJ Shadow and Blackalicious producer Chief Xcel.

Furthermore, Gift of Gab dropped the new music video, directed by JustinBerger for HKL Films, for “Protocol” off his latest album The Next Logical Progression available on Quannum Projects.

Daniel Fisher is Physical Therapy and he has just dropped his debut EP Safety Net on CD, availaible exclusively at all Opening Cermony locations. What you also get is a cowboy hat keychain, but that's not at all as Physical Therapy has blessed us all with this following amazing Opening Ceremony mix.

Magic Trick released their video for “Invisible at Midnight,” directed by Mat Dara featuring illustrations from the band's Tim Cohen. Here the track's “Lord forgive me” lamentations are transformed into a Goodnight Moon children's story where a kind of late night transcendence of physical matter occurs after 12:00am. Look for Magic Trick's Ruler of the Night out now from Hardly Art.

Cate Le Bon gives a first listen to CYRK II with “What is Worse.” Tracks like this are what we love the most about Ms. Le Bon, where if you listen, close your eyes you are transported to timeless places and sounds. Cate's new EP is set for release August 21 on The Control Group and August 20 on OVNI (Turnstile) in UK / EU. Catch Cate on her North American tour beginning September 18 in Toronto and playing soon near you.

Junk Culture's LP Wild Quiet comes out July 31from Illegal Art, and today we share Deepak Mantena's coming of age video for “Growing Pains” as a tribute to the man's many masks, sounds, styles, and talents.

MS MR did a session for Yourstru.ly for “Hurricane” at Electric Lady Studios. The semi-mysterious Brooklyn duo recently dropped their Hurricane 7” from IAMSOUND Records/Chess Club.

From Malmo, Sweden are the solo electro constructions of truths, central stations, city tunnels and rising dance groove motion studies from Picture.You might otherwise know the artist as David Kyhlberg, half of Swedish production duo Sail A Whale, with a solo focus on surveying the mechanics of dance music's levitational forces and pull. On the featured title track, Kyhlberg blares the baroque strings through the keyboard interpretations, the refined autotune aesthetics indicative of Scandinavian forward thinking pop, defining what is true, what is fine, what is yours and what is mine. Picture's True EP comes out July 31 from Cascine.

Tim Krell, aka How to Dress Well, released the track “Cold Nites” this week. The album Total Loss comes out September 17 worldwide on September 18 for North America on Weird World/Acéphale with preorder available from Acéphale. Listen now and here what the some bloggers are calling 'dreamy,' 'hip-hoppy' and all the home spun adverbs you want to add to the equation that you find from those 1:21AM phone calls and missed blurry txts that always begin with 'r u awake?'

Parallel Thought & Breeze Brewin (Juggaknots) with “Ice Cold” the second single from Parallel Thought's Art Of Sound, coming to stir up the noise, keeping the conversations about beats, rhythms and applications going this Tuesday, June 24.

The Black Opera is a collective of artists without borders spanning from Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and everywhere in between. We have the matinee in miniature video for their track “The Magician”, featuring Vaughn G & Jade Lathan and directed by Andy Madeleine, bringing you a tale of relationships and life via the grand life metaphor of the stage. With a multi-album signing with Mello Music, the curtain rises for their album EnterMission August 28 on CD and September 25 on vinyl and with pre-order available now from the Mello Music Group you can start spreading the warning now.

Brooklyn's Black Marble are preparing their debut album A Different Arrangement slated for release October 9 from Hardly Art. Here we bring you the magnificient keyboard cooler “A Great Design” that is not only a clever name but an honest telling of what you are about to hear. The result is a different kind of keyboard sequencing arrangement, a different kind of synth pulse, a different kind of sun kissed electronic pop; a different kind of design.

Blu & Exile dropped their new track “A Man” from their EP Maybe One Day is out now from Dirty Science / Fat Beats. The track of paternal consciousness will also be featured on the upcoming Blu & Exile album Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them coming September 4. While on the topic, remember that this July marks 5 years since the release of B&E's first album Below the Heavens.

So this August / September get ready for Odd Future carnivals and all kinds of upcomng releases from Ladera's original loitering offenders. First up is a listen from Domo Genesis / The Alchemist's “Elimination Chamber” featuring Earl Sweatshirt, Vince Staples and Action Bronson bring along a minor key dirty and deep saga. Get pumped, stoked and take it to the tumblrs as Domo's collaboration mixtape with Alchemist No Idols drops August 1 from Odd Future Records.

Also from the OF crew is a preview of the title track from Mellowhype's upcoming album La Bonita which is more fun than watching transients get ejected from the Mission's Taqueria Cancun. Mellowhype's new album Numbers hits the shops October featuring new assauls from Hodgy Beats and Left Brain.

Be sure to get a listen to all the modern dance cues from Strip Steve's new album Micro Mega out now from Boysnoize Records.

And if the album preview is still not enough, Strip Steve dropped this mixtape for your weekend via Dazed Digital.

Copywrite dropped the Seanie G directed video for “More Sorrow” from his God Save the King:The Proper English Version available August 7 from Man Bites Dog Records. With production by Stu Bangas, Copy gives a dedication to his grandmother and a reminder for the hater / non-believer within that “we're all atheist until tragedy strikes.”

Ypsilanti, Michigan's Lightning Love “Deadbeat” gives all the clues that you too might be a totall buster. Leah Diehl commands the keys, Ben Collins tends to the guitar end of matters with Aaron Diehl on drums and all members contributing vocals of accountability and pleadings for active responsibility amid some of the bounciest electro pop you have heard all summer. Lightning Love's Blonde Album comes about August 28 from Quite Scientific Records.

14KT met up with Oddisee and Olivier Daysoul for the song “High Horse” off the 14KT EP A Friendly Game of KT. The cut was initially called “One 4 Black”, featuring Oddisee re-working the jam with a little help from Olivier Daysoul on the straight-talking “High Horse”.

Maria Minerva gave a listen to her new track involving all things aural, overlapping, looping and more in “The Sound.” Maria's new album Will Happiness Find Me? will be released on September 4 from LA based label Not Not Fun. Folowing up last year's double LP Estonian, a couple 12″ EP's and a cassette, Minerva is back in a big way contributing her love for sound layers and the many possibilities inherint within the dance music medium. Look for Maria on tour this fall.

Dark Time Sunshine are offering a limited stream of their forthcoming album ANX dropping July 24 on Fake Four Inc. As the album's title suggests, let DTS drop some PTSD exploding tracks with more guests than we can begin to get into at this time. Listen and love.

TEEN dropped the mixtape Rumblette with news of a September and October tour with Hospitality happening near you. Enjoy the mix and look for TEEN's debut In Limbo from Carpark Records August 28.

In keeping the album streams coming, check out an early listen to Family Band's new LP Grace & Lies coming July 24 with pre-order available from No Quarter Records.

No, this is not a figment of your imagination: one of our dream lineups is coming true this summer. Tonight at San Francisco's Brick & Mortar are our indie heroes Future Twin, Permanent Collection, Al Lover & the Haters and POW!

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