ELHAE Brings Trouble In Paradise to Los Angeles

ELHAE at the Troubadour in Los Angeles on May 15th, 2019

Atlanta native and Los Angeles transplant ELHAE is taking the music scene by storm. His unique sound caught the attention of Atlantic Records and under their helm released the eclectic Trouble In Paradise project this year. With features from established artists like Wale, Sevyn Streeter, and Big K.R.I.T., it’s safe to say he already has many star-studded admirers. Trouble In Paradise is his most raw and experimental project thus far. Tracks like “Hennessy” give a tropical vibe reminiscent of Afro-Caribbean beats while “Sanctuary” is a reminder of his gospel influences with the inclusion of a choir backing. Normally skits in between songs are often overlooked, but for this album it’s an essential piece that completes the story-telling of a strenuous relationship over the course of the 13 tracks. The producer/song-writer has a bright future on the horizon that will be filled with many more hits to come and selling out the legendary Troubadour is only the beginning.

Photos by Stephanie Saias

Whethan Illuminates the Observatory On His Life Of A Wallflower Tour

Whethan with Louis Futon at the Santa Ana Observatory on October 19th, 2018

Santa Ana is no stranger to hosting some of the craziest electronic/dance artists but Whethan threw them an unexpected curveball. With his seemingly simplistic stage design, the crowd was shocked the second projections of his moniker and various images began to appear. However, once the lasers turned on, everyone lost any bit of their mind that was left. As one of the handfuls of sober patrons in the crowd, I was impressed with the dancing lights combined with the projections and Whethan’s genius drops. His unique blend of pop and future bass showcases the immense amount of talent and potential the 19 year producer has. Having already collaborated on songs with Charlie XCX, HONNE, Oh Wonder, Dua Lipa, and even Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, one could only guess as to what genre-bending single he’s working on now.

I have actually already seen Whethan perform two other times this year at Outsidelands and Coachella. Both times he was given a mid afternoon set, which is usually a less than ideal time slot especially for EDM artists. He may have been unable to showcase his lighting design but he sent a shockwave through the Coachella crowd when he brought out the “yodeling Walmart kid” aka Mason Ramsey. Even though Mason’s music and fanbase is the polar opposite of Whethan’s, he received immediate adoration from the crowd.

Throughout this tour, Whethan was able to show his fans exactly how he envisioned his music to be enjoyed. By bringing along Louis Futon as one of the many openers for his tour, it help keep the crowd’s energy high. Futon’s music plucks influences from R&B, hip hop, and even a little rock. He played a majority of the instruments himself and was even accompanied by a trumpet player, which the crowd was overly enthusiastic about.

Whethan is able to highlight the best attributes in any artist he works with and it shows the second you hear his singles live. At an astonishingly young age, Whethan has already performed at some of the largest festivals and toured the country. Only 2 years into his budding career, he’s already created ripples of interest throughout the EDM community. Surely he’s about to hit everyone with a tsunami of new music that will solidify his place among the industry’s hottest producers today.

Check out his latest single with HONNE below!


Words & Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Mura Masa Lights Up The Orange County

Mura Masa at the Santa Ana Observatory on August 23rd, 2018

Alex Crossan  (or better known as Mura Masa) is no longer a burgeoning young musician but now a 22 year old label owner with artists of his own. He combines hip hop lyrics with his infectious electronic beats and has quickly become one of the most innovative producers in the industry. His newest singles "Complicated" & "Move Me" further continues his collaborations with vocalist Nao and introduces new-comer Octavian. 

Every single Crossan releases is reflective of his unique mixture of pop, R&B, and electronic music. Mura Masa is that artist whose singles you don't need to preview before downloading because every time they're undeniably so damn good. The Guernsey born artist arrived to the Orange County to perform for two sold nights of shows. I personally had not seen a Crossan perform for over 2 years and was pretty interested to see how his new material sounded live. I wasn't disappointed in the least. The new singles were greeted by cheers and Crossan was accompanied on stage by the ultra talented Fliss, who constantly danced around the stage, sang, rapped, and added that extra bit of energy the room needed.

After watching Crossan tinker away at all his instruments for nearly an hour and a half, the show came to an end. Every aspect of a Mura Masa performance seems to be thought through intricately and perfected come show time. Mura Masa's music is a beautiful thing to witness being performed live and undoubtedly he will begin to sell out larger venues like the Shrine in Los Angeles in the years to come, taking his music to greater heights.

Check out the latest video for his single "Complicated" featuring Nao down below!

Words & Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Peking Duk Makes Their Los Angeles Debut With The Wasted Tour

Peking Duk at the Roxy in Hollywood, CA on June 20, 2018

The Australian duo Peking Duk is named after a Chinese delicacy and it couldnt be more of a perfect name. The name itself evokes many questions and highlights their never ending quirky attitude. I originally first saw Peking Duk perform in 2015 on Coachella's Sahara stage. I was able to walk up to the barrier and watched the entire set solo, head banging the entire time. This initial introduction left me curious as to who Peking Duk is. Fast forward three years later, I jumped at the chance to see their Los Angeles debut at the famous Roxy in Hollywood.

Peking Duk is most known for the numerous comical videos that accompany their music. Frequently they're featured in disguise of some sorts or dancing enthusiastically to their tracks. They were able to bring that humor to life at the Roxy. The duo shimmied the entire set and got the very sweaty crowd involved whether it be clapping or simply jumping into the crowd themselves. They also featured a rotation of guest singers including the talented Aluna Francis of Alunageorge. After the night ended and we escaped the humid venue to breathe fresh air, I realized that Peking Duk will eventually be filling out the larger venues in LA in due time. Their brand of electro house is extremely commercial and will be liked by the masses. How they've been able to fly under the radar is a complete head-scratcher. Do yourself a favor and binge watch all their music videos and its a guarantee that you'll fall in love with them just like I did.

Photos & Words by Summer Dos Santos

Emo Nite Comes To Orlando

Emo Nite at the Social in Orlando, Florida on June 15th, 2018

35738979_823135104544111_8736235171105210368_o.jpg

Last night, I attended Emo Nite LA at the Social in Downtown Orlando. I’ve followed Emo Nite LA for awhile now, and it was always on my bucket list to attend. I can safely say that I am glad that I did.

From the “Sad As Fuck” and “Every Nite is Emo Nite” balloons, to the enthusiastic DJ’s, I immediately knew it was going to be a fun night. I, along with everyone else, was dressed in all black and sang along to every My Chemical Romance and Paramore song that blared through the venue. The rest of the songs consisted of a blast from the past, featuring artists such as Panic! At The Disco, A Day To Remember, and Underoath, so it was a great show to say the least. As soon as “Dear Maria, Count Me In” by All Time Low came on, I couldn’t help but join the dozens of others on stage to jam out. 

Not only was this a great way to reconnect to the roots of 2000’s rock and punk music, but it was a great way to meet new people and connect with them. Overall, Emo Night LA definitely knows how to put on a great show and keep the crowd energetic and involved into the early hours of the morning. 10/10 would recommend to those who have not attended before. 

Photo by Kayla Eurico & Words by Brooke Champine

Amber Mark Brings Sounds Of Brazil To Santa Ana

Amber Mark at the Santa Ana Constellation Room on May 30th, 2018

The multi-talented beauty that is Amber Mark graced the Constellation Room with her presence last week. The singer/producer sang tunes off her recently released EP, "Conexão" about love and loss. After losing her mother in 2013, Mark taught herself how to produce her own music instead of having endless frustrations and dealing with producers who weren't able to create the feeling she wanted. One of the highlights of the EP is a Sade cover of "Love Is Stronger Than Pride". After writing a letter to the R&B goddess, Sade gave her personal blessing to release her cover. Throughout most of her tracks, the influence of the Bossa Nova genre can easily be heard fused into her soulful melodies. 

Uniquely her own sound, "Conexão" is a testament to Mark's innovative talent and her soon-to-be recognizable songs.

Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Jordan Rakei Brings The Soulful Sounds Of "Wallflower" To The Orange County

Jordan Rakei at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana, CA on March 5th, 2018

If you are looking for a night filled with bluesy-soulful tunes, you need stop by one of Jordan Rakei's shows. The New Zealand born, Australian raised musician is most known for his collaborations with electronic producers/artists Disclosure, Ta-Ku, and Tom Misch but his solo work falls much more on the jazz/blues music spectrum.

The Constellation Room was filled to the brim with eager fans, waiting to hear songs off his latest album, Wallflower. Armed with IPAs in hand, the band headed on stage to perform an eclectic blend of Rakei's songs, both old and new alike. The room instantly filled with bluesy jams and patrons began to bounce, sway, and dance. During the set, Rakei mentioned that he had met their bassist only 9 days prior and it was somewhat shocking considering how well the band played together. He even gave the bassist (as well as the drummer) a solo during "Selfish" to show off his immense talent, allowing him to steal the spotlight for several minutes.

Overall, the show felt like a jam session in someone's garage. Sitting on the steps on the side of the stage for nearly the entirety of the show, I was intoxicated with the sounds that the band created and the soothing nature of Rakei's vocals. Although he didn't perform "Masterpiece" (his collaboration with Disclosure from their album Caracal) his songs like "Sorceress", "Eye To Eye", and "Alright" were just as satisfying and beautiful to hear live. 

After a long day (and a pretty terrible one at that), Jordan Rakei's tunes were the perfect antidote I needed to forget all my stresses and relax. His album Wallflower stays on heavy rotation for my drives to and from work, ensuring I am able to maintain calm in the midst of the horrific Orange County traffic during the work week. Be sure to give Wallflower and  (my personal favorite) his EP Groove Curse a listen or two. 

Words and Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Albert Hammond Jr Comes Alive As 'Francis Trouble' In The OC

Albert Hammond Jr at the Santa Ana Observatory on March 8th, 2018

On the eve of his newest album release ‘Francis Trouble’, Albert Hammond Jr brought his tour to its third stop in Santa Ana, California. With the album on the verge of being released and the tour just at its first few stops, the new tracks had already seen the faces of audiences both stateside and across the seas, joining in on tours with The Killers and Franz Ferdinand. However, there’s a certain fitting mood about an album that reads and plays like a homecoming to himself, having its own spring tour kickoff by coming back to his own beginnings of Southern California.

A look around the room before the set found Hammond ready to play to a full house at the Observatory in Orange County. Vintage Strokes t-shirts and AHJ merch permeated the room with the occasional vinyl holding fan already looking frantic in anticipation of meeting their literal guitar hero. Despite the frontman’s legendary status in the music world, his demeanor has always been reputable for maintaining approachable both before and after shows. Faces lined the first rows with fans who had traveled far distances or waited a few hours outside the venue with aspirations to experience the engaging musician debut his new music live for one of it's first times.

Opening up the night, Albert brought along LA’s own punk darlings The Paranoyds, to join in on the first portion of the tour. An electric and garage sound of classic punk meets an edge of beach surf brought a special kind of raw and energizing set to the night.

Shortly after, Albert stepped onto the stage sporting a more comfortable look, than his trademarked 3-piece suits, in a pair of white pants, yellow Bad Brains tee and a very stylish yellow bomber. A tangible shift and jolt in energy radiated the room with the first chord; coming from both the artist and fans alike. The first song, fittingly coming from his first album Yours To Keep, began the night. The set list continued on and interweaved between classics in his repertoire such as "In Transit", "Everyone Gets a Star", and newer hits, which included his most recent single releases of "Muted Beatings" and "Set to Attack". A sing-along type of show, the true testament to the artistic power Albert Hammond Jr. has built through his solo career years was seeing an extremely large percentage of the packed venue singing and dancing to every word, including tracks that had yet to be officially released as of that night.

Guitar and mic in hand, experiencing Albert live on stage is to watch a certain sense of euphoric magic. From his presence on stage that stems from his high energy and delivery, there's an undeniable rush that overcomes you as a spectator that makes you believe there was nothing else on this planet this man was destined for than to express his truth through music. 

Francis Trouble marks the fourth full-length album for Hammond Jr.; fifth record with his 2013 EP taken into account. Asserting a statement with the albums announcement out via Red Bull Records, we have come to learn that the album name is a reference to Albert’s miscarried twin brother whom he reflects as his in utero-companion and a part of himself he lost before birth. He has gone on to express in numerous interviews that this recent discovery and acknowledgement that a part of his brother Francis, a fingernail, was born alongside him, has played a large factor in both his identity and this last album alike. Adding an additional layer to an already multidimensional, public life (son of an influential Latin Music Artist and member to a notorious rock band The Strokes being a few) complexity is no stranger to the guitarist turned front man. Yet, it has been embraced as a critical perspective for the work he has produced. Such complexity seems to have reached its most intimate side of Hammond on 'Francis Trouble' as the album essentially reads like a diary full of personal stories, we have been ever so lucky to get the chance to read. 

The genuine beauty of Hammond's artistry comes along with a particular attitude in how his music is reflected; raw, honest, guitar-riff heavy and most importantly ever-changing; a parallel reflection of Albert’s growth and maturity through life and music that has in turn helped many of his listeners step closer to their own truths in the process. 

Francis Trouble is an incontestable and special kind of experience that you should catch as the rest of the national tour continues. Until then you can hear Francis Trouble via all streaming platforms or pick it up at your local record store.

Words by Jeanette Diaz & Photos by Summer Dos Santos

Kimbra Brings Her Primal Heart To The Orange County

Kimbra with KING at the Santa Ana Observatory on February 15th, 2018

Kimbra, the quirky New Zealand singer most famously known for her collaboration with fellow singer Gotye on "Somebody I Used To Know", ended her tour with a stop in Santa Ana last week. Supporting her yet-to-be-released album, Primal Heart, Kimbra embarked on a 13 stop U.S. tour earlier this year. One of the bands opening for her tour, KING, brought a unique sound and aesthetic style to the audience. Both times I've seen KING, they've been wearing all white outfits and have an extremely calm, angelic demeanor. They were greeted by cheers from the crowd and got everyone moving before Kimbra was due up.

Kimbra walked on stage wearing a stunning sparkling jumpsuit paired with heels that must have been at least 4 inches tall with a massive platform. Stepping behind her keyboard set up, she started off the set with "Version of Me", an unreleased song off Primal Heart. Kimbra performs with a level of raw intensity and emotion that instantly draws you in. Similar to fellow powerhouses Bjork and Florence + The Machine, she has developed a unique sound that combines elements of jazz, rock, electronic, and pop music to create a live experience like no other. Hopefully after the release of Primal Heart, Kimbra will be more recognized worldwide for the innovative artist that she is.

Words and Photos by Summer Dos Santos