Neon Indian’s stellar third release VEGA INTL. Night School delivers a unique and hypnotic listening experience. Blending elements of pop, reggae, and disco genres with grungy bass, low-pitched vocals and glitchy synths, the record proves an overall nostalgic ’80s vibe. Although the album sounds over-produced at times, lending the feeling as if you were in a crowded lounge, it is a unique and refreshing work of creativity. If you’re looking for a casual after-party soundtrack, pay attention to Night School.


Favorite Tracks:
1. Annie
2. Techno Clique
3. Slumlord
4. Baby’s Eyes
5. Street Level

Random Fact: The album’s hotline (1-512-643-VEGA) plays a phone sex-type recording that teases the record and upcoming shows.

Avicii’s latest album Stories bursts with life and provides an impressive follow-up to his 2013 debut, True. His piano-influenced, progressive house ballads persevere with added samples of country, soul, disco, reggae and Daft Punk-esque rock bits throughout. Avicii clearly has a knack for creating diverse, genre-bending yet cohesive songs which is a rare to hear from mainstream artists. However, if it weren’t for the various guest vocals which include Zac Brown and Wyclef Jean, most tracks would not be strong enough on their own as his breakthrough hit “Levels” did. The record evokes an overall cheery mood and manages to maintain the listener’s attention for a full hour which is difficult for many electronic artists to achieve without sounding repetitive.


Favorite Tracks:
1. Broken Arrows
2. Waiting For Love
3. Sunset Jesus
4. For A Better Day
5. Somewhere in Stockholm

Random Fact: Tim Bergling decided on his stage name after learning “Avici” is a Buddhist level of Hell in which the dead who have committed grave misdeeds may be reborn. He added the extra “i” because the name Avici was already taken on Myspace.

Hurts delivers another smashing album with their third release, Surrender. Expanding upon their previous work, the band has produced a bold, dance-friendly record without compromising their signature synth-pop/soft rock style. As their name suggests, the lyrics are often melancholy but are considerably more optimistic this time around in comparison to their past efforts. The vocalist bears a strong sonic resemblance to Brandon Flowers although the album’s upbeat, orchestral production is more comparative to Coldplay at times. If you are not familiar with Hurts, I highly suggest giving their debut record Happiness a listen as “Wonderful Life” and “Sunday” are two of my favorite songs from 2010.


Favorite Tracks:
1. Some Kind of Heaven
2. Rolling Stone
3. Nothing Will Be Bigger Than Us
4. Slow
5. Why

Random Fact: The duo met outside a nightclub in Manchester in 2005 whilst their friends got involved in a fight and they began discussing music instead of partaking in the rivalry.

Sometimes all you need is to hear 30 seconds of a song to become entrapped with an artist. Brodinski’s “Bury Me” was recently featured in a trailer for American Horror Story: Hotel and, needless to say, it was love at first listen. Hailing from France in the company of many talented electronic artists such as Daft Punk, Justice, David Guetta and Madeon, Brodinski best resembles a European Diplo. Despite being unaware of his co-productions on Kanye West’s Yeezus until recently, the stylistic similarities are undeniable as Brava perfectly combines house, techno, rap and hip-hop music. The record provides an immensely fierce debut although its distinct style becomes repetitive after the first few listens.


Favorite Tracks:
1. Bury Me
2. Need For Speed
3. Warm Up
4. Can’t Help Myself
5. Us

Random Fact: 11 of the 13 tracks on Brava feature Atlanta-based rappers which has lead the album to be widely considered as trap music.