Top Pops! Violens, Slam Donahue, James & Evander, Grandparents MP3 Downloads & Streams

“Pop music shouldn’t always get a bad rap,” says Top Pops!, a recurring selection of pop music highlights across a selection of styles. A bit more straight-forward indie rock this time than usual.

Slam Donahue

With their latest offering to the internet masses, their Big House Nice Dreams mixtape, Slam Donahue sound a bit like all of their posi Cantora Records counterparts (MGMT, Bear Hands, Emil & Friends), minus the polish. These guys are absolutely bursting with personality through their lo-fi pop jams, with so much bounce in their musical step they might shake themselves into having some sort of complex. Feed that pop-loving juvenile left in you with Slam Donahue! They’ll scream their way into your heart with absolute disregard for adhering to one convention. Their Hemlock Tea EP comes out August 21st.



This Grandparents track makes me feel so very strange inside; 99% of me knows I’ve never heard it before, and the other 1% knows I have, perhaps a million times, but without exhausting it. The Western film soundtrack vibe of “Arrows” is shockingly satisfying when paired with its garage rock-meets-Nurses vocals. They are playing the Musicfest NW kick-off party at Holocene in Portland, next Wednesday, May 30th, with favorites Gardens & Villa and Swahili. Full details HERE.

Grandparents – “Arrows”DOWNLOAD MP3



Just released on Slumberland Records last week, True is a full-length showcasing Brooklyn’s Violens at their smoothest and silkiest. You can practically swim in the airy vocals, especially on “Totally True,” and though they’re playing a style of music that can become boring rather quickly, Violens move forward in good form, like a waterfall that isn’t afraid of splashing sloppily once in a while. This three-track sampler is quite indicative of that build.


James & Evander

There are some shining moments on James & Evander’s latest record, Bummer Pop. I will admit I can’t readily condone the entire release by the Oakland duo, as some of the tracks are way too saccharine sweet for my tastes — but my two personal favorites from the album, the instrumental dance track “CTSOF” and the indie rock album closer “Living The Dream”, are embedded below. Should you like these, you can stream the entire record HERE, out now on Velvet Blue Music.


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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