PLUS-- Maleek Berry, Young Galaxy, Denny White, Will Varley, Moon Taxi, Hibou, and GARABATTO x Charlie Muse.
Happy Friday! Just before you head out to "cheers to the weekend," we've got this week's hottest new releases lined up for you. This week, one of our favorites is back with a remixed version of their song. Indie pop/rock band Eighty Ninety visited us for Popdust Presents a few months ago. Around that time, their new song "Your Favorite Song" had just come out. Now garnering over 350,000 listens on Spotify and an awesome music video "Your Favorite Song" seems to have become a fan favorite. Along with Eighty Ninety here's who else dropped new music this week: Maleek Berry, Young Galaxy, Denny White, Will Varley, Moon Taxi, Hibou, and GARABATTO x Charlie Muse.
Loote x Eighty Ninety | "Your Favorite Song" Remix
Eighty Ninety sat down with us to talk about their new remix. They said, "we love Loote's hard hitting minimalist pop approach with their own music — they create these relentless hooks surrounding really nuanced and emotionally authentic storytelling that just feel and sound so good." They noted that Loote's other remixes were really impressive especially how they, "are able to work the best parts of a song into something new and totally undeniable."
Collaborative in nature, the brother duo said that when they heard Loote's music they could tell they "shared priorities as musicians," that being a tell-tale sign that it would be a good collaboration. Because "Your Favorite Song" was Eighty Ninety's "popiest leaning melody yet," they decided it would be the perfect first song to have remixed. They said that Loote was their top choice and, "needless to say we were happy they said yes."
Seems like the feelings are mutual. Loote spoke highly of Eighty Ninety. They said, "Eighty Ninety has an ability to deliver songs that first strike you emotionally and than get totally stuck in your head, and they make it feel totally effortless. Thats what drew us to Your Favorite Song. The song grew on us so much as we worked on it. We probably spent longer on this remix than any other because it felt like one of our own and we wanted it to be perfect!" Eighty Ninety also complimented Loote on their knack for storytelling so the collaboration was all in all a match made in heaven.
It's a big year for Eighty Ninety who just announced that they'd be performing at coveted SXSW. "Our first announced show during SXSW is a showcase on March 11th hosted by one of our favorite music blogs, thisnewband.com. In the past the showcase has hosted some artists we really admire so we're excited to kick off the festival that way. Details on our socials, as well as more show announcements soon!"
In addition, they'll be playing several shows in NYC and releasing new music throughout spring until the release of their EP Bowery Beach Road.
Best for: A beach bonfire - I know it's too early for that but SOON.
Perfect if you like: Tame Impala
Maleek Berry | "Own It"
I love the percussiveness of this new track from Maleek Berry's new EP First Daze of Winter. The EP has six brand new songs. I love the mood of all of Berry's music. It's very chill but also very hard hitting.
Best for: Play it while you're doing boring computer work to make the time fly.
Perfect if you like: The Weeknd
Young Galaxy | "Under My Wing"
This song is perfectly chill. The soothing sounds of the minimalistic synth layers will relax you no matter how stressed you're feeling. "Under My Wing," is Young Galaxy's newest single following their 2015 album Falsework.
Best for: Before bed.
Perfect if you like: Class Actress
Denny White | "Torn Up"
It's impossible not to move to this tune. Though laid back White has the ability to strike a groove that hits you hard and gets under your skin. His voice is flawless and rides the unique track.
Best for: Your next house party playlist.
Perfect if you like: Justin Timberlake
Will Varley | "Seven Days"
The song hurts so bad it feels good. Ever need to be in your feelings? This is the perfect song for that. The visceral vocals and powerful rhythm guitar take you to a reflective state. I especially love the animated music video that comes with. A la an old video game, the all black and white visual compliments the song perfectly and weirdly makes you relate.
Best for: Being in your feelings.
Perfect if you like: The Lumineers
Moon Taxi | "Not Too Late"
Moon Taxi is awesome. If you haven't seen their recent performance on The Megyn Kelly Today Show, definitely check it out here. This song feels like a generational anthem. In fact, I'd love to hear it live because though the track feels complete with all of the intricate guitar riffs and the roaring vocals, I could see stadiums singing along to this one.
Best for: Your Superbowl Sunday playlist
Perfect if you like: Wild Cub
Hibou | "Fall Into"
Hibou just dropped this music video for his recent song "Fall Into". I love his stoic performance. It's somewhat 80s reminiscent and the details are obviously prioritized from the extreme close-ups and slow rolling cinematography. This song seems to be a warning that all good things have cons as well. It seems to be a reminder that falling in love is just as much dangerous and messy as it is wonderful.
Best for: Your winter cleaning playlist
Perfect if you like: Caleb Hawley
GARABATTO x Charlee Muse | "Infected"
This gritty track combined with Charlee's powerful vocals make this the perfect song to blast when you need to dance it out. The dynamic of the track and the vocals hand in hand compliment each other at times and contrast each other at other times making it truly interesting and always keeps you guessing what's next.
Best for: Getting the bad energy out through dance.
Perfect if you like: Dirty Palm
A cultural misunderstanding may be responsible for Shein's swastika necklace scandal...but it's still an awful company
Popular fast-fashion retailer Shein came under fire this week for selling a swastika necklace on their website.
A Chinese company, Shein has become well-known for their inexpensive clothing and accessories, often featured in so-called "haul" videos on YouTube. Shein has since removed the necklace from their site and issued an apology. But screenshots of the faux-gold necklace—listed for between $2.50 and $4.00 as "Metal Swastika Pendant Necklace"— quickly spread on social media, with users expressing their disgust at the apparent insensitivity to what that symbol represents.
To everyone we’ve offended, we’re really sorry... https://t.co/rm6TCgx99K— SHEIN (@SHEIN)1594381498.0
Earlier this month Shein was called out for cultural insensitivity after listing Muslim prayer rugs—some featuring an image of the sacred Kaaba in Mecca—as "Fringe Trim Carpets" for decorative use and for selling traditional Southeast Asian dresses modeled by white women and renamed to remove cultural signifiers.
Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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