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
Vivian Hua 華婷婷

Vivian Hua 華婷婷 is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer. As the Executive Director of Northwest Film Forum in Seattle and Editor-in-Chief of the interdisciplinary arts publication, REDEFINE, much of her work unifies her metaphysical interests with her belief that art can positively transform the self and society. She regularly shares human-centered stories through her storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE! In 2020, she will [hopefully] begin production on a comedic Asian-American series entitled Reckless Spirits.

Ask Vivian about MARSHMALLOWS, cuz she's gross... and being tips for being frugal while nomading!

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Written by Vivian Hua 華婷婷
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