Artist Spotlight: Mothica

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Mothica, (aka Mckenzie Ellis) doesn’t just make pop music. Her songs feature soothing vocals that are heavy on electronic sounds with catchy hooks, but you’d be hard pressed to categorize her music solely as electro pop. Mothica’s intricate layering of harmonies and synth samples seem to transcend genres, showcasing influences by everything from dubstep to Swedish pop. Self-styled as “gloom pop,” her songs often touch on her personal struggles with heartbreak, depression and relationships. The result is unapologetic in its raw honesty, yet still endlessly listenable.

Hailing from suburban Oklahoma, Mothica first dipped her toes in music by posting covers on her Youtube channel. Soon, however, she was writing her own music, inspired by incidences from her own life. Her unique sound made an impact, catching the attention of artists like Tennyson and garnering her almost a million monthly listeners on Spotify. Since then, Mothica has gone on release multiple singles and two EPs. Her latest endeavor, Heavy Heart, has received much praise and acclaim, predicting a bright future of continued momentum ahead for the young songstress. We’re incredibly excited to welcome Mothica to our Marmo family and roster.

 
Posted on December 13, 2017 and filed under Music.

November Review: New Artist Roundup

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The month of November was one of feasting, both for our taste buds and for our earbuds. The theme that seemed to surface throughout the month was one of “variety”. While the rest of us were busy chowing down on our fifth serving of pumpkin pie, our A&R team was hard at work scavenging for more artists to add to our ever-growing roster, including everything from European electro swing to moody, ambient hip hop beats. In the spirit of this, we’re excited to welcome the jazzy, RnB sound of Danii Roundtree, the spaghetti-western-meets-mariachi-meets-surfy music of Los Plantronics, and the bright electro swing of Balduin to our Marmo family.

But hang onto your hats, there’s more. This month also sees the addition of Dirty Dishes’s female-fronted, distorted fuzzy rock, the experimental ambient rap of WebsterX, and the smooth electro house of Damon Boucher. Hailing from Hungary, Omega features big hair and even bigger sound with their classic '70s psychedelic rock. Picky palate or not, this month’s roundup is sure to have something for everyone.

Posted on December 8, 2017 .

If You Like _____, You'll Probably Like _____

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You scroll. And scroll. And hit “refresh”. And scroll. And sigh. And scroll some more. Finding new music has always been like the proverbial search for needles in haystacks. Somehow, the vast amount of music out there in the world seems more daunting than helpful in your everlasting quest for fresh tunes. If your Spotify/Pandora/neighbor’s deafening music has been in a bit of a slump recently, we can help. We’ve been doing this music thing for awhile, and we’ve spent our years scouring the lands far and wide to curate our vast collection of songs. Out of our roster of musical gems, we now present to you your new favorite artist.


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Vampire Weekend ≤ Princeton

Miss the sound of Vampire Weekend’s debut album? Good news, LA-based band Princeton just might fill that void in your heart. Their experimentation with orchestral sounds and punctuated percussion results in a sound that’s reminiscent of Vampire Weekend à la self-titled debut album Vampire Weekend. Princeton’s brand of bright baroque pop complete with bouncy synths is infectious, much like the smile it’ll put on your face.  


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Evelyn “Champagne” King ≤ Geree Gonzalez

If you love the funky heavy, soulful vibe of disco queen Evelyn “Champagne” King, you’ll want to check out Geree Gonzalez. With her 80s R&B, latin soul sound by way of East LA, Geree Gonzalez’s music is purely “feel-good” moments. Get out the roller skates, disco lights, and lots of Aqua Net hairspray.


Imagine Dragons ≤ Landmrks

If you can’t get enough of Imagine Dragons, you might want to check out Landmrks. Both Imagine Dragons and Landmrks feature dark, gritty and empowering themes in their songs. Landmrks’s trademark anthemic beats and emotionally charged lyrics come together to result in stadium-rock songs that are guaranteed to pump you up and help you tide through your day.


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Lucius ≤ Hajk

Fans of Lucius, you’re in luck. Dreamy Norwegian pop-rock band Hajk’s sometimes female-fronted songs feature fun instrumentals and female vocals that will appeal to even the most die-hard fans of Lucius. Drawing inspiration from underground pop groups like Dirty Projectors and UMO, Hajk’s synth-infused pop-rock has an intimate sound touched with signature Scandinavian simplicity (say that five times fast).


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Angel Olsen ≤ Cardioid

If you love Angel Olsen, you need to give Cardioid a listen. With her slightly haunting, luscious vocals and intimate lyrics Cardioid’s Lizzy Ellison has the same sort of vulnerable, raw quality in her electrofolk pop-rock songs that is infinitely appealing across all genres.


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Lianne La Havas ≤ Raquel Rodriguez

Raquel Rodriguez’s smooth vocals will appeal to fans of Lianne La Havas. Her neo soul and R&B sound is funky, emotional, and raw, drawing in a crowd with her dynamic live performances. All we know is that it’s always a good time when we put on Raquel Rodriguez.

 
Posted on December 6, 2017 and filed under Music.

'Transference' Album Release + Exclusive Interview & Performance by Ural Thomas and The Pain

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How does a 1896 composition get re-imagined into a modern rock ‘n’ roll revival song? By “hearing things individually, [placing] it into a melting pot [and] stirring it up,” according to Ural Thomas of Ural Thomas and The Pain in this exclusive interview and performance of “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight.”

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Bolstered by soulful vocals, energetic bass, and lively flares of brass, this rollicking reinterpretation of a historic song over a century old is one of 10 songs off our just-released album, Transference. The project unearths and re-examines a diverse collection of honored, distinguished musical artifacts, each from the public domain — blowing the proverbial dust off of them and transferring the life, feelings, and ideas into something completely different. Through direct collaboration with a diverse array of artists from our community, every song has been transformed to reflect the unique sonic identity of each artist while still keeping the integrity of the original composition.

The result is something unlike anything we’ve ever heard before and, judging by the buzz we’ve received, we’re not the only ones excited about it. Publications like Pitchfork, KEXP, Brooklyn Vegan, FADER, Paste Magazine, Portland Mercury and Your EDM (to name a few) have featured or reviewed singles from the album, a testament to the power of creative collaboration within a community and the magic that comes from it. We’re thankful to have had so much support throughout this journey and are excited to finally unveil Transference to the world today.

Watch an exclusive interview and performance of the single “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” by Ural Thomas and The Pain.

 
Posted on December 1, 2017 and filed under Music, Marmoset.

MarmoInsights: Know Your Arc

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Picture the legendary “I’m flying” scene from Titanic, with young Jack tenderly cradling starry-eyed Rose against the ocean breeze as Celine Dion croons in the background. Now imagine the same scene, but with Rose soaring through the waves of the Atlantic to the well-intentioned twangs of “Cotton-Eyed Joe”.

It’s no secret that music holds the incredible power to drive visuals, leading audiences exactly where they’re meant to go when utilized properly. The overall path and trajectory of the song, or “arc” as we like to call it, is how music is able to set the tone so effectively. In fact, the arc of a song is so important that we trademarked the word for it.

The arc may may meander through a journey or start out low and calm, only to rise up in a swell of inspiration. Whatever the path it takes, crafting a well-defined arc will help one understand the story, theme, or character involved in a song. “If you think of the start of a song as point A and the end of the song is point B, arc describes everywhere that the song goes in between those two places. And kind of how it gets there, as well,” explains Bob Werner from Marmoset's Original Music Team. “Some songs are a line and blast from Point A to Point B without a lot of dynamics or change. That can work really well for certain styles of music. Others are incredibly dynamic, rising and falling with massive crescendos and huge resolutions.”

“It's also about feeling. Volume can also be a big part of it. It's all about the additive nature of it. How many instruments are playing at once and how loud they're playing are some variables in what the arc is doing,” adds Madeline Dowling, Marmoset Music Supervisor. In other words, the arc acts as a sort of roadmap, guiding your song to where you want it to go. Without a clear direction, it’s all too easy for the message of the song to get muddled up and hopelessly lost.

It can also be a vital aspect to consider when in the realm of music licensing. Short form projects, like in advertising for instance, tend to seek out different arcs than longer form projects like films and shows. “Short form, particularly advertising, often want some sense of ascension, or build. Some excitement, tension or drama that builds behind the picture. It helps to tell a story really quickly. Films and television shows sometimes demand the opposite. They want something that's gonna be much longer and more drawn out. And maybe that arc is much more subtle or nuanced. It has little undulations, but not these massive peaks or massive swells,” says Bob.

All good and well for musicians, but what does this mean for filmmakers or producers?

“Arc helps to maintain interest and mash together the picture and story,” says Madeline. “The whole point of music in any visual media is to tell the audience how to feel about what's happening on screen. Sometimes that's a very literal representation of what's happening on screen, or sometimes the music is in contrast to it.” The right music and arc can make or break the picture, either amplifying the visual’s message or taking away from it. Therefore, it should be one of the most important considerations filmmakers or producers prioritize when choosing music. Understanding the arc of your project in both the macro and micro sense will go a long way in the effectiveness of the end product.

The potential for different types of arc is nearly limitless. The most important aspect is simply being intentional about it.  “Most styles of music seem to work best when the composers are really intentional about the arc. If you want it to be steady, or if you want it be a straight line, really commit to that. Really be intentional about it. That way the points where you might momentarily break from that mold become really dramatic and exciting,” advises Bob. “ When it feels like it's carefully done with intent and crafted to support the arc, that shows. And I think your audience, whether they know it or not, will perceive that.”

Posted on November 29, 2017 and filed under Music, Marmoset.

The Marmoset Family's Sonic Thanksgiving Menu

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Nothing says “Thanksgiving” quite like a table buckling under the weight of a glorious feast and the top button of your jeans undone. With the questionable honor of being the only holiday where it’s socially acceptable to start eating dinner at 2pm, it’s no small wonder that Thanksgiving has become as synonymous with food as it has with gratitude. From your Aunt Marge’s zealously guarded secret casserole recipe to the grocery store cookies you “baked", planning the Thanksgiving menu is almost an event in its own right.  

In the spirit of things, we thought we’d share the Marmoset family’s own version of a Thanksgiving menu. Carefully chosen by our very own A&R Curation Manager, Steve Schroeder, and our Music Supervisor, Madeline Dowling, our Thanksgiving menu is a sonic rather than gastronomic experience.


Turkey 

Steve's Pick: "Kenton" by Dr. Crosby

“I could listen to this song everyday. There's no bad time to listen to Dr. Crosby, a rad project from Buddy Ross, who collaborates with and plays keyboards for Frank Ocean. It's packed full of flavor and juiciness. Also, no Tryptophan so you won't fall asleep."

Madeline's Pick: "Purusha Futures" by Jules Blueprint

"This song has classic elements that are essential on any playlist, but it also demonstrates the ways you can spice up a classic to make it fresh. Maybe you stuff your turkey with oranges, like my mom. Or maybe you take a more dangerous approach and deep fry your bird."

 

Mashed Potatoes

Steve's Pick: "Don't Drive Me Deeper" by Katie Webster

"A vintage classic by the swamp blues queen. The opening organ notes of the song sound like you could just sink into them like a pile of fluffy potatoes. This world-weary song sounds familiar and comfortable, just like mashed potatoes."

Madeline's Pick: "Dead Channel" by Big Spider's Back

"Has anyone ever described mashed potatoes as ethereal to you? No? Well, that's about to change. This Thanksgiving, you're going to have a Tryptophan-fueled dream of soaring through a sky with clouds made of mashed potatoes while this hypnotic, dreamy and ethereal song punctuates the scene."

 

Cranberry Sauce

Steve's Pick: "Plastic" by Purple Moons

"Bouncy and jiggly just like a perfect can-shaped serving of cranberry sauce. 'Plastic' provides the perfect amount of sweet silliness and 'not sure exactly what this is, but I know I like it'-ness to make both the adult and kids tables happy."

Madeline's Pick: "Constanza" by Don Juneau

"The tones in this song are PHAT. Some might even say they are as thick and saucey as cranberry sauce."

 

Green Bean Casserole

Steve's Pick: "Running Through My Head" by Danielle Grubb

"Like a good green bean casserole, the supremely talented Danielle Grubb's 'Running Through My Head' has a combination of different textures and genres. Complicated and intricate percussion combined with interesting baselines and smooth vocal harmonies make it a casserole of sounds."

Madeline's Pick: "I'm Gonna Love You" by The Du-Ettes

"The casserole, a Midwestern favorite. Much like The Du-Ettes, two Chicago teens who also gained popularity in the 60s."

 

Pear and Quinoa Salad

Steve's Pick: "Trills" by Dead Lights

"After a big meal and playlist, we look for something healthy and simple -- minimal, even -- to cleanse our palette. Dead Light's 'Trills' is light, calm and beautiful, keeping things simple with piano and minimal textural ambiance. It's the perfect palette cleanser."

Madeline's Pick: "Melted Memories" by Ben Aqua 

"A pear and quinoa salad is a real statement dish. It's out there. It's non-traditional. It gets people talking. How do you say 'quinoa' anyways? This glitch-y, experimental masterpiece by Ben Aqua might be polarizing on your Thanksgiving playlist, but no one's going to forget it any time soon."

 

Pumpkin Pie

Steve's Pick: "San Andreas Fault" by The Earnest Lovers

"Down home goodness! Pete Krebs and Leslie Beia's vocals come together in perfect sweet harmony like pumpkin pie and freshly whipped cream on "San Andreas Fault." This song sounds like a recipe that might've been passed down from a grandma but is measured in beautiful imperfect "pinches" and "spoonfuls" rather than exact numbers."

Madeline's Pick: "All I Ever Wanted" by Superhighway

"This song is as versatile as pumpkin pie. It's great as a late night dance banger, or as a wake-up song to kick your day into gear. Most people think pumpkin pie is a one trick pony -- dessert and nothing more, but pumpkin is a fruit and fruit makes great breakfast and there's nothing I love more than waking up on Black Friday morning and having pumpkin pie for breakfast-- in fact, it's 'All I Ever Wanted'."

Posted on November 23, 2017 .