Dylan Stark: Shelter

Portland producer Dylan Stark combed through thousands of samples—ranging from Pokemon to nature to choirs—to create his debut LP Heartland. The video for lead single “Shelter” pays homage to the eclectic sounds with tripped-out visuals juxtaposing macro and micro shots of glaciers, volcanoes, jellyfish and more. The sprawling track is equal parts relaxation and energy with a decidedly tropical vibe brought on by a driving …

Courtship Ritual: Kingdom of Beauty

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Courtship Ritual can be spotted performing their restrained tunes with an equally minimal setup in Brooklyn venues like Baby’s All Right—regularly joined on stage by hired belly dancers whose hypnotic choreography enhance the otherworldly mood. “Kingdom of Beauty” is a particularly poignant track that demonstrates Monica Salazar’s covetable vocal timbre, along with her and guitarist Jared Olmsted’s penchant for augmenting sparseness to great effect. Courtship …

Asante Phenix: Nameless

Five promising acts who performed (officially and unofficially) during CMJ week

Brooklyn’s own Asante Phenix stood out amid a slurry of new acts that this year’s CMJ brought into the city. The MC effortlessly blends witty yet heartfelt bars with buttery smooth vocals on his latest track “Nameless.” A downtempo beat puts Phenix’s vocal range at the forefront of the single, while kaleidoscopic sonic textures create a lush soundscape to get lost in. A must listen …