Blood Cultures Release Magnetic Video "Broadcasting"

The mysterious New Jersey indie-electronica outfit pairs a vibrant and arresting music video with a cut from their latest album, Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs.

Pouty Cowboy

In the wake of their 2019 LP Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs, the New Jersey psych-pop group Blood Cultures has released their new video for "Broadcasting."

"Broadcasting" sounds massive in its electronic scope, melding distorted industrial indie-pop with the band's anxious lyrics. "When this ends the way you know it will / with a bang, will you be laughing still?" Blood Cultures asks in a far away falsetto, crafting a vibrant yet troubled sonic narrative to challenge the listener. The video, directed by Saleem Barbados, embraces that same kind of high-strung juxtaposition, featuring Bharatanatyam dancer Anjali Mehta as her evocative choreography plays out against the harsh squat buildings and corrugated metal of Brooklyn.

"I was raised in New Jersey, after my parents immigrated from Pakistan," Blood Cultures says of the track. "Growing up with one culture inside your home, and another one at school, in your community, and in media is a hard thing to navigate in terms of understanding who you are and where you belong, if anywhere. The struggle for identity is almost a guarantee for any first-generation-American, but when we present those struggles with pride, it becomes a lot easier to see that we're not alone in facing them; that these feelings are universal." Mehta's embodiment of the explorations in "Broadcasting" feels beautifully vital, deepening the song's questions of belonging and isolation in a magnetic visual dialogue.

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HĒIR Plays Games on New Single "My Love"

The singer-songwriter's latest single strips away the indie-electronica sheen for a sparser, more intimate track.

Lara Giliberto

HĒIR's "My Love" is an arresting gem, opening with a sparse guitar and growing steadily into something sultry and sardonic.

Patricia Manfield is the voice and pen behind HĒIR, a globe-trotting singer-songwriter with three compelling singles to her name so far. Her music combines wryly potent vocals with dynamic indie-electronica, a reliably effective mix, as evidenced by her past singles "Threads" and "Soundtrack." But "My Love," her latest offering, turns down the percussive power of her last few releases in favor of a more intimate and disarming sound.

"My Love" is a sort-of love letter, as its title hints at—but HĒIR's specificity makes the track far more enticing than just that. HĒIR's lyrics are softly browbeating, convincing the object of her affections that his current relationship is killing him. "She controls you, you gave her the switch / You'll be dialed if needed again," she reminds him over the sound of sliding guitar strings. The trick of "My Love," and the best part of HĒIR's songwriting here, is that she never outright tells him to leave his toxic girlfriend. She just pulls on the already-unraveling threads, emphasizing the track's feel of coy seduction as the drums kick in: "So I keep dancing, fooling you somehow / Why don't you keep me tied up to your bed?"

HĒIR makes "My Love" risky fun, from the song's slight production and her perfectly double-edged delivery, but the track also showcases an artist coming into her own, effectively building character and sound with the barest materials.

Follow HĒIR online at Instagram | Spotify | YouTube


Felly Talks Growth, Power, and Working With Santana

The Connecticut rapper sits with Popdust to discuss his latest release, "Heartstrings," his takes on his genre, and working with the legend Carlos Santana.

Cristian Diaz

"Heartstrings" was already a solid groove—and then it got Carlos Santana.

Felly, the Connecticut rapper behind hits like "Maple" and "Acid Dreams" with Max, is releasing his first song since last year's Surf Trap. It features a slinky, lo-fi charm, with an R&B beat by way of the Black Keys. Felly himself is no stranger to genre-blending. After six full-length projects, his idiosyncratic style easily combines cocky hip-hop charisma with an indie-rock base, resulting in a sound that carries sunny-sounding braggadocio tracks as handily as anxiety-laden love songs. Now, Felly's paired up with the legendary Santana on his new track, bringing a new degree of rock cred to his blended sound.

Leading up to the release of "Heartstrings," Felly got on the phone with Popdust to discuss his production style and how he's trying to grow as an artist.

So, calling you prolific is kind of an understatement. You've been putting out a project each year for half a decade. What's the thing that keeps you gravitating back to the studio?

It's really just my heart and joy. I can't picture a world where I don't make music every day, and if I'm away from the studio for a certain period of time, I get kind of stir-crazy. It's sort of in my DNA to create. I like all sorts of creation, and I do create in other ways, but music is what gets me off. I think it's also a spiritual thing, getting closer to really good music makes you feel like you're progressing towards God, or something higher. When I can put my mind out of the way and create on that frequency, that connection is the most beautiful and purest sound on this Earth.

There was a patience on Surf Trap that seemed new: Your rhymes and production feel looser, more self-assured, like maybe there's less pressure to prove yourself. What changed in the production of that album for you?

The album before was called Wild Strawberries; that's sort of reminiscent of how the tracks were, because they were kind of all over the place. [On] Surf Trap, I felt some relief; I felt like I had some sort of lane that was unique to me, something I could hold to and put a finger on. It was all made in the same studio in Brooklyn, with the same producers. We would get the early sessions, like 7 AM, because I never knew when I [would be] free. That was my first time not making an album in my bedroom, doing a real studio thing, so it was definitely a fun focused project.

Heartstrings (feat. Santana)

"Heartstrings" has this bigger, slower sound to it, like you're trying to bring something new into the studio. What went into making this new track?

We just wanted something fresh. Everything [right now] sounds recycled, or just old carbon copies, same drum loops-type sh*t. I don't know any songs that have that specific bounce, or that specific rock to them. I was with some of my best musician friends in L.A. They're all very raw kids who don't allow bullsh*t, and so when you're in the studio with these types of kids, we've all put in ten thousand hours already, [and] we've all made a bunch of records that have had some success. [There's a guy] who's produced for Madlib, or Freddie Gibbs, cool people, notable people. But there's a feeling of, "No, we're not gonna spend our time making some bullsh*t, we're gonna focus on making something cool and fresh and new, something that actually matters." The standards get raised when you bring those certain people into the studio. When you have people that push you, you can create beautiful things out of that push.

Getting Santana on a track is a huge deal. How did the two of you get connected, and what did he bring to "Heartstrings"?

It actually came from one of the guys at Same Plate [Entertainment, Felly's label], who just sent it out on a whim. We'd been trying to think about who we could get on that record, because we had the feeling it was gonna be a big record. When Santana said that he was down to play on it, it felt surreal, it felt so perfect and meant to be. I had gone back and forth with features, and people pitching me features, and we've had some people on the track that we've taken off and put back on, and back and forth. It just took so much time. [But] patience really prevailed, because Santana, by the grace of God, stepped in and really felt the record and wanted to just shred on it. That was probably the best musical experience of my life, to actually get in a room with him and hear how he thinks, how he perceives music, hear how he perceives energy. There's no one more badass on this earth than Carlos Santana.

There's an interesting specificity to your sound throughout your discography, as you developed your production style. What do you find yourself borrowing from as your career goes on?

I was raised on a lot of rock shit, a lot of Rage Against the Machine, where rock meets rap. But I also have an Illmatic root, like East Coast hip-hop is in my blood. [I'm trying to] bridge indie and hip-hop/pop, since hip-hop is the biggest genre right now: bridging that gap where it makes you feel that kind of swagger, but with the organic instrumentation of indie.

How do you feel you've grown as a producer, writer, and artist since your early days? How do you feel that shows up in the music?

I think I'm getting more confident in me as an identity, as a person. I used to reach for so many things and want so many things, and wanna have placements as a producer, and want to be looked at the same as someone else. Now, I don't really give a f*ck about that stuff. I think I'm more badass than all these other people. I think that confidence has been missing throughout my career. And now, it's not because of a Santana feature, I think it's about growing into yourself, and realizing these people want to be you, so why would I want to be them? Yeah, so I'm just kind of feeling myself more, just sort of realizing my own power. Realistically, it's like, "Let's leave a certified big imprint on this world, by any means, by any cost, and focus on that." So that's where my head's at, we're just going balls to the wall, and just totally focusing on craft and artistry.

On that idea of growth: You've been rapping and releasing projects in the public eye for more than five years now, and the hip-hop landscape has changed a lot in that time. I'm wondering if in all that time you've been making music...what you might have learned or how your understanding of yourself might have changed as a white artist working in a historically black art form.

Yeah, I just see myself as a universal citizen. I feel colorless, I feel like a soul rather than a physical being. I don't like to look at myself like that, because if I do, I get depressed, or I put walls and boundaries on myself. I'm a soul, like everyone else. I just think that conversation for society is kind of outdated. Obviously there are red flags that come up, but we need boundaries to blow over and for people to just feel universal, and that they're as good as anyone else, and can be anything. You can't put a color on a soul, or you can't put boundaries on a soul. A soul can go through dimensions, it can go through physical bodies, it lives, it dies, it can travel, it's immortal. That's how I view things now. Definitely before, I was like, "Oh, I'm a little white dude, and everyone is black and thinks I'm just a white dude." That's so certified and boring. It's like, okay, let's move past that and go to infinite potential.

Now that "Heartstrings" is out, where do you see your sound is going, and how does the track indicate that?

Just fresh and new sound, something that I haven't done before, and something that I don't think anyone else has done before. It's also just the sh*t that I love and my friends love. I want to make music for the world, and so this is something I know the world will love, and that I love. And so, if it's true, it will reach the world, and if it's not, it'll still be here in my heart and in the people who I made with that loved it. I'm definitely looking to push more boundaries and exploring my craft more, just creating and tapping into a different spiritual level and kind of coming into my own being.

Do you imagine at some point you might be done with rap?

I think everything will end, soon. I think there will be a day and age you hear me not really rapping anymore, there will be a day and age where maybe I'm not playing guitar. I don't know what that looks like...I think you'll be able to hear the history of everything in everything. But just to answer more concretely, less meta, I could see a time where it's almost no rap. It depends on how I'm feeling and if I'm into rap. I definitely love rap still, but if I find home in another genre or sound, then I'm gonna go there. I'm gonna go wherever feels right.

Follow Felly online at Twitter | Facebook | Spotify


Future Generations Heads to the Beach in "Just Pretend" Video

The Brooklyn outfit's latest offering is a sweet and diverting trip to Coney Island harnessing pleasant slacker energy.

Britnee Meiser

Future Generations' new music video is a jangly romp, its lo-fi fantasy boosted by the easygoing charm of the track "Just Pretend."

The Brooklyn band's latest single is a sweet slacker lullaby, carrying notes of Tame Impala and Belle & Sebastian Frontman Eddie Gore's voice floats in and out of clarity as a marimba-like trill dances under the brisk psychedelia of the track: "Every time I think I've got it figured out / I find a new way to remember how to doubt," Gore laments, his vocals splitting and reassembling over the beat. There's a sadness to the track, as it indulges in the feeling of being cast about in life's waves, but the gentle and sunny production allows that anxiety to just be a moment in time.

Future Generations - Just Pretend (Official Music Video)

The video features the band enjoying a lazy day on Coney Island, traipsing about the boardwalk with ice cream cones and dancing goofily to the backing track. The stoner rock of "Just Pretend" is tailored perfectly to the setting, making a trip to Luna Park a true escape from reality. Even in the video, the uneasy lyrics come off like a brief darkness that's passing by. "Just Pretend" is another solid offering from Future Generations, a track happy to embrace the present for what it is.

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Jack Gray Premieres His New Track "Friends Like These"

The Australian artist's latest single is an introspective look at his own burgeoning career.

Wolfe and Von Creative

In an exclusive Popdust premiere, Australian pop artist Jack Gray shares "Friends Like These," his latest infectious single.

Gray prides himself on a genre-blending aesthetic, and a scintillating track like "Friends Like These" is no exception. "I grew up listening to everything," he says, "so I feel like that sets the table for me as a songwriter."

"Friends Like These" originates from that same genre-blending aesthetic. Sustained by a powerful EDM-indebted beat, the song features Gray's earnest vocals tuned against a swooping backing chorus and a distorted guitar line. The sound is massive and immediate in its power, drawing the listener in and keeping them there with an electronic, nearly orchestral verve.

Gray's lyrics buckle down the track's soaring production with a dose of reality, worrying about authenticity and paranoia in an unfamiliar setting. "Don't get too close," Gray urges the listener, as if he's protecting someone else as much as he's protecting himself. The song's inviting sound bounces pleasantly off of Gray's anxious songwriting. As young as Gray is, it's refreshing to hear him experiment with introspection on "Friends Like These," a single shot through with a deeply accessible pop.

With a few singles under his belt already and an EP in the works, Jack Gray's making his way in the industry, and "Friends Like These" suggests he's an up-and-coming talent to watch.

Follow Jack Gray online at Twitter | Facebook | Spotify


Foals Finds New Purpose on "Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2"

The British indie mainstay's new album works as both a compelling new project and a more satisfying ending to the story started on Part 1.

Alex Knowles

Back in March, Foals released Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1, a title that promised both an apocalyptic album and a story to be continued.

The British band's fifth studio album, featured on Popdust earlier this year, brandished a polished, dancified groove that transformed cataclysmic anxiety into moments of clarity and acceptance, as best seen on tracks like "In Degrees" and "On The Luna." Part 1 was about fear and eventual understan ding of an apocalypse—but now, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost, Part 2 has arrived, dutifully picking up right where its predecessor left off: how to live in a new reality, once the world you've known comes to an end? In a sense, Part 2 is an album interested in how to move on from the end of your world.

Part 2 still lives in the same ethereal production universe as Part 1, but the rock is far more grounded and more intimate in its scope. There's a greater sense of deliberation in Foals' focus, from the music to the lyrics. There's a hardened rock edge to the tracklist, which is obvious on the echoing urgency of "The Runner." "When I fall down, fall down / Then I know to keep on running," frontman Yannis Phillippakis yowls on the refrain, and a host of synths and the chorus rush in behind his voice to blow the roof off the album.

FOALS - The Runner [Official Music Video]

Their new purposeful sound drives some of the best songs Foals has released in years. The growling guitar on "Black Bull" creates horror-movie suspense, while "Dreaming Of" and "10,000 Feet" give the gentle promise of a new start after hardship. "I'll eat up all your pain, take in all the blame / Be that someone to complain to," Phillippakis promises on "Into The Surf," a surprisingly moving meditation on grief. The instrumental vignette "Surf Pt. 1" is an artful way to close the sonic loop begun on the previous album, and it sets the stage for the explosive closer "Neptune," a ten-minute bruiser with the conceptual ambition of a '70s prog-rock opera.

If anything, Part 2 is so complete on its own that it casts a shadow onto Part 1.That release was intentionally floaty and unmoored in its sound, reflecting the tension and fear of an encroaching ending, its lyrical allegory partially obscured by the streamlined production. Now, Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 2 manages to uncoil those same moments of anxiety but works hard to form a more satisfying answer. The cohesion of Part 2 makes a Foals listener wonder what Part 1 tracks "Syrups" or "Sunday" might have sounded like in this new arrangement, where the existential angst is less of a set decoration and more of a conversation. As a sequel, Part 2 doesn't just finish what was started in Part 1; its battle cry lyrics and thoughtful scope create a more forgiving story.

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