Welcome to the sixth edition of 10 Songs Out of Long Island You Should Hear. We’ve got a nice mix of artists across different genres on this one—but I’ve been on a bit of a hip-hop kick lately, so you’ll hear a lot of that. I also dropped in on some pop-punk locals performing at Revolution in March, so you’ll hear some of their music as well.
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In no particular order, here are 10 songs out of Long Island you should hear:
1. DA The Future: N’ Luv
DA The Future is a hip-hop artist based out of Amityville—I first heard of him through the Earwaxx Sessions, which he is a founder. I immediately connected with his message and downloaded his 2014 EP 18N—a collection of seven super-unique tracks including N’ Luv, which really caught my attention. It’s a catchy, vibey, groovy, chill track that gets stuck in your head—and you want it there. After listening to the EP I knew I had to check DA out live, so I caught up with him in April at a show in Copiague—dude didn’t go on until 2am (I’m getting too old for this scene) but it was worth the wait—he’s as charismatic a performer as he is a writer and his live show adds another dimension to his polarizing music. Check out more of his music and music videos at dathefuture.com and give N’ Luv a listen below.
2. Whittled Down: Living, Forever
Whittled Down (formerly Commonwealth) is a five-piece Emo/Hardcore band formed in 2013. I got to see them play with Shorebreak a couple months ago and fell in love with their song Living, Forever off their EP Bold Print. The songs opening line “As the world spins and I stand still, all these empty days that I can’t fill” is belted out by singer Pat Pierce with such desperation, you can’t help but get sucked in and connect with the song. It struck a chord and I immediately felt what he must have been feeling when he wrote it—which to me, is one of the marks of a successful song. Give it a listen below:
3. Reek Da Villian: Trouble Waters
Roosevelt’s own Reek Da Villian dropped his latest mixtape Reek What You Sow in October of last year. It’s his first release as an independent artist since leaving Busta Rhyme’s label back in 2014. I just got around to listening to the LP—I had only heard bits and pieces of Reek before and I have to admit this record took me by surprise—I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do. It’s on me for not paying attention. The record has a 90’s East Coast hip-hop feel and features tracks with Kendrick Lamar, Swizz Beatz, Ace Hood and more. My favorite track is Trouble Waters—it’s got a great vintage sound, a warm, mellow beat over which Reek raps about his family life growing up. Give it a listen:
4. TK The Architect: Result of the Fire
I’ve been up on TK the Architect for a while now—he was featured on 10 Songs Part 1 (Aug 2014) and again on Part 3 (May 2015) for tracks off of his debut record Life In Stereo (Nov 2013). TK’s newest effort Blue Season (Apr 2016) is an evolution from his first album, which was straightforward boom-bap hip-hop (done really, really well). On Blue Season, TK has created a sound all his own; “I genuinely feel that no one could have made this record but me”—and he’s right, there’s not an album I’ve heard that sounds like Blue Season. His roots are still in hip-hop—only now TK focuses on not just his verses, but his guitar parts and music arrangements as well—and it produces a totally unique, genre-blurring album that I’m going to be listening to for a long time. So many great tracks on this one—my favorite is the opener Result of the Fire—give it a listen:
5. Moon Tooth: Offered Blood
Ok, so this whole album is sick. It’s not easy picking just one track to feature, but I’m going with Offered Blood because the guitar part about 2:25 in is one of the raddest things I’ve ever heard (guitarist Nick Lee was just interviewed by our friends over at Shoot the Shred, you should definitely give it a listen). Moon Tooth released their debut full-length record Chromaparagon in February of this year, and the album is bananas—just go buy it now.
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6. Brodie Fresh: Pray
Brodie Fresh is a hip-hop artist out of Elmont—I found him on Instagram as he was promoting the release of his EP Farewell. I checked out his music video for Soul Food and I was sold—growing up in the Northeast, and the New York area in particular, I’ve always been a big fan of East Coast hip-hop—and Brodie embodies that—his raw and raspy flow is what you expect out of a New York MC. I picked up his EP when it dropped in March and it delivers from front to back—my favorite is the opening track Pray. I love when a song tells a story—Brodie has great intuition and his storytelling skills are exemplified on this track. Give it a listen:
7. Shorebreak: Around
Shorebreak is a straightforward pop-punk group out of East Islip. I picked up their December 2015 release Misdirection earlier this year and it ended up on rotation in my studio for weeks. I saw they were playing a show at Revolution and decided to go check them out live. They’re a super fun act to watch—frontman Mike Scarola has that “it” factor you look for in a lead singer and the crowd was belting the songs along with him all night. I just picked up the two Shorebreak records that preceded Misdirection: Displacement (Dec 2013) and Severance (Feb 2015), which I still need to give a good listen, so for now, my selection for Shorebreak song you need to hear is Around:
8. Dud Music: Mulatto Man
Dudley Salmon is multi-talented musician out of Brentwood. He’s much more than your average rap artist—for his debut On My Way he wrote, composed, produced and played just about every instrument that appear on the 15-track album. I got a chance to catch one of his sets in March at Trifecta in Copiague and immediately connected with his vibe. His album is filled with great tracks including B-Wood—an homage to life in Brentwood where he grew up—and my personal favorite Mulatto Man where Dudley talks about his inner conflict being inter-racial, he raps “I’m half black and half white, but half the time I don’t know which half to act like”. Give it a listen:
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9. HOAX: Simply
HOAX is a four-piece alternative group out of Freeport. They’re new to the scene, formed in 2015, I found out about them through Rick’s Rising Stars. I found their story to be pretty interesting—frontman and hip-hop artist Michael Raj was just looking for a few musicians to serve as a backing band for his live show. He ended up jamming with fellow Hofsta students Frantz Cesar and Kevin and Jacob Lopez and the chemistry was so good that HOAX was born. The guys still haven’t had an official release—mostly covers and a couple of originals on Soundcloud—but if their song Simply is an indication of what they’re capable of, I can’t wait to hear more.
10. Colorful Kid: Trickle Down
Colorful Kid made our 10 Songs list back in August 2015 (Part 4) with the emotive track All Ways off of their debut self titled EP (Jan 2015). They’ve since released their first full-length record Weird Years (Feb 2016) where the band shows off a softer side with tracks like Wood and Concrete, and my favorite off the album, Trickle Down. Give it a listen:
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Thanks for reading 10 Songs Part 6—I’ve gotten such a flood of great local music recently, I’m going to follow up with Part 7 really soon.
(PS: If you think you or someone you know should be featured here, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)