WEEKLY GEMS 176

Dean McMullen – Clouds Hold Up The Sun

Dean McMullen has delivered a sweetly innocent release named ‘Clouds Hold Up The Sun’.  Surprisingly, Dean was raised on a steady diet of punk rock. Even so, his debut single is delicate and thoughtful.

Sounds like: Elliot Smith

Johnny Hunter – Cry Like A Man

Following the gripping 2021 offerings of,  Sydney quartet Johnny Hunter resurface with a socially charged, somewhat haunting, new single ‘Cry Like A Man’. Consistently challenging the toxic echo chamber of masculinity, their latest rallying offering is a call upon vulnerability in their classic brooding yet euphoric flair.

Sounds like: Pist Idiots

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Finnegan Tui – Spring

Finnegan Tui‘s ‘Spring’ is a slow and steady rumbling into the season. The multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer tells a hopeful tale of an artist that is longing for brighter, better times. He likens the need to look forward to the onward thinking blooms that appear so gracefully in spring.

Sounds like: Bon Ivor

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Milky Chance – Unknown Song

Milky Chance are a German indie outfit with new single ‘Unknown Song’. Speaking of the release, the duo note, “This song brings a lot of memories back. ‘Unknown Song’ started off as just a simple beat, us two playing the guitar and singing at home, then Paulina joined us and it was actually the first time Antonio played the harmonica and became part of the band! It was very exciting, a lot of first times – shortly after posting this song we had our first big tour and things kind of kicked off globally. So yeah, this song has a lot of memories to us and we’re very excited that we’re now re-releasing it for our fans and thank them for being with us for such a long time!“ 

Sounds like: Vampire Weekend

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KLYMVX ft. Ana Nieto – Condenada

klymvx ana nieto

KLYMVX is a French-based production duo intertwining two diverse cultural backgrounds: Axel from Vietnam and Hovig from Armenia.

After a series of successful, dance-oriented releases, they’re now taking a different sound direction with their latest release ‘Condenada‘, bringing on some sick urban-tinged vibes.

On the track, KLYMVX teamed up with rising Ibiza-based singer Ana Nieto. The song serves as a transitioning message to Ana’s ex, explaining loss and her sadness but that perspective evolves and gains strength ultimately turning to anger and a point of no return.

Speaking about it, KLYMVX explain: “Condenada is a very special track as it made in Spain, mixed in Paris and mastered in London and these are three cities we have lived in the last 4 months and it was also made in 2 hours and a half and this is our very first song. This is the true new usa honoring our parisian, urban heritage and our new direction and sound.“.

Mogli – BONES

Mogli by Giulia Delay

Mogli by Giulia Delay

German-based singer-songwriter Mogli shares her euphoric fourth single ‘Bones,’ taken from her highly anticipated forthcoming cinematic album ‘RAVAGE’.

The vivid masterpiece comes with part four of Mogli’s 10 part film cinematic visuals which sees Mogli and her male counterpart escape off the island only to be later trapped and caught by a local tribe, ending with a dramatic fight scene.

Speaking further about the visual experience, Mogli explains,

“…10 Episodes, 60min, telling a full fictional story, linked to the messages of the songs and Mogli’s own emotional journey. Ravage denounces oppression and embraces the liberation of standing out. It tackles topics currently more relevant to society than ever, like burn-out and depression, (female) empowerment, toxic masculinity, but also bravery, vulnerability and self love. It shows the power of tolerance, unity and love in an artistic way. RAVAGE inspires you to be brave enough to find your own voice, to be true to yourself by being full of compassion and love.”

Sounds like: Phoebe Bridgers, Ex:Re, IDER, Daughter, Birdy, RHYE

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WEEKLY GEMS 175

Emma Philline – ROSES

Emma Philine‘s debut EP  features standout single, ‘ROSES’. Blending experimental sounds from R&B and pop, each track shares a different story of lust, identity and anxiety from her recent years. As she likes to say, pop music for the misfits.

Sounds like: Banks, Arca

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Dead Chic – Too Far Gone

‘Too Far Gone’ is an impassioned single from Dead Chic. When asked about their new single, the duo described that, “Too Far Gone was the starting mark for the project Dead Chic. Damien and I had discussed working together for quite some time, after meeting on tour throughout the last decade around Europe. Our shared passion for cinematic nostalgia found in music, be it spaghetti western tones or the beat narration of the 1950s laid a clear foundation for what we set out to create.”

Sounds like: Cafe of the Elephant

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Keir – Boys Will Be Girls (Tube & Berger Remix)

KEIR

Keir is a powerful performer with a powerful message. The recent Tube & Berger remix of ‘Boys Will Be Girls’ delivers Keir’s soul enthusiasm amidst wild and escalating dance elements.

Sounds like: Pixey

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The Dead South – Will The Circle Be Unbroken

The Dead South come together to embrace the banjo, mandolin, cello and guitar. Their initial successes were sparked by a global audience on YouTube after forming what they call the brotherhood in university.

Sounds like: Brown Bird

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Skøien – Breathe

skoien breathe

Swedish singer/songwriter Skøien has just dropped her debut single ‘Breathe‘, just in time for being considered as one of the most promising debut of this 2021.

Modern-pop with, nu-r’n’b aftertaste and a massive dose of scandi catchiness: a fire tune you shouldn’t miss.

Speaking about the song, she explains “I wrote my track ‘Breathe’ in a very sarcastic way, to portray the way I now think of myself in my past relationship. It was a very tumultuous chapter of my life, so getting out of that and writing this song almost gave me a little bit of closure for that relationship. Although it might just be one of my many coping mechanisms, I love to make fun of myself in that situation because I’ve now been able to move past it, with this song I guess.

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WEEKLY GEMS 174

Oscar DeLaughter – Don’t Care

‘Don’t Care’ is Oscar Delaughter‘s newest effort. It’s a rebellious single that centers around Delaughter’s powerful message of self-empowerment. Of the track, he says, “Don’t Care is about being myself, as simple as that may sound.” 

Sounds like: Shawn Mendes

Soundcloud | Instagram

Michael Sebastian – Afiye

‘Afiye’ is full of punchy, expressive and bold releases. Brimming with the joy that Michael Sebastian clearly experienced whilst creating the lead single, Aifye, each piece sounds as improvised as his previous works.

Sounds like: Four Tet

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Leap – Potions

‘Potions’ continues LEAP‘s auto-biographical exploration of mental health. Lead singer Jacky Scott is bi-polar, and following an episode in a psychiatric ward, ‘Potions’ explores various elements that went into the mania.

Sounds like: Nothing But Thieves

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Kkami x Drex Carter – walking on stars

Obscurely soothing, Drex Carter and Kkami have teamed up for a second collaborative EP named ‘THAW 2’. Described as sad rap, their melancholy style is replicated by retro game-inspired visuals. Within ‘THAW’, the artists create a unique world that they describe to defy boundaries.

Sounds like: Two Legs

Drex Carter: Twitter | IG | Spotify

Kkami: | Twitter | IG | Spotify

seeyousoon: |Twitter | IG | Spotify

The Lumineers – This is Life (Merry Christmas)

The Lumineers have delivered a Christmas song (featuring Daniel Rodrigues) that is clearly authentic to them. Ahead of their album in January, named ‘Brightside’, The Lumineers nod to a year where they re-connected with their youthful selves and their teenage songwriting ability.

Sounds like: The Head and The Heart

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WEEKLY GEMS 173

Beautiful Machines – Control

Stream Control (Edit) by Beautiful Machines | Listen online for free on  SoundCloud

‘Control’ is the first track from the duo’s forthcoming album ‘Singularity’. Inspired by Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’, Beautiful Machines talk of a world that has an increasing reliance on technology. Adjacent to this, the duo refer to a “break-neck pace, such that life becomes blurred as to what is really driving our motivations”.

Sounds like: NINA

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Mickey Valen – Falling On Your Sword

Mickey Valen combines darkly twisted pop trap sounds for new single, ‘Falling On Your Sword’. Of the track, he asks, “At what point do you give up fighting? When do you throw in the towel and just let someone say whatever they need to say? When someone is so drunk with rage that they no longer see reality, only the distortion their wounds have created. Essentially the song is about being in a toxic spiral with someone where there is such a degree of distortion that reality and truth have become optional, blurred. My favourite part is probably the sword sample at the end of each chorus— it’s so on the nose that it becomes something else entirely. It’s a Kill Bill over-the-top sort of moment that brings some levity to some otherwise heavy subject matter.”

Sounds like: Jinco

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SAPPHIRE – call u mine 

It’s as delicate as though she’s whispering in your ear. SAPPHIRE delivers a modern pop sound with newest single, ‘call u mine’. The track embraces orchestral violins and minimalistic beats, layered with SAPPHIRE’s intimate vocal.

Sounds like: Carly Simon

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Karin Ann – we’re friends, right?

Karin Ann delivers the new alt-pop effort, ‘we’re friends, right?’. Direct, striking vocals, Karin is a gen Z Eastern European that spends her time in the middle of the fight for LGBTQ+ and minority rights.

Sounds like: LUNA

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IZZA – Only Truth

IZZA‘s ‘Only Truth’ is a soaring, epic single. Speaking of her latest collection of songs, she says,I wanted to create something that people can relate to, something that makes them feel like they are not alone with their thoughts. Especially through this weird time it’s been great working with some amazing people and I’m excited to share ‘Thinking In The Dark’ with the world. – IZZA

Sounds like: London Grammar

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Lila Drew – Crystal Ball

lila drew crystal ball

After having amassed +40M streams with his modern-pop bangers, LA via London singer/songwriter Lila Drew is taking a new direction with her impeccable brand-new single Crystal Ball.

Built upon a multi-layered organic production, Crystal Ball shows a completely renewed Lila. Fragile yet powerful, this is a contemporary-folk gem you shouldn’t miss.

Speaking about it, Lila says: “There’s a lot of frustration in it – I remember going to the studio with Jordan Reyes, who produced this song, and wanting to yell into the mic. That was something I’d never done before. All of the vocals I’d ever recorded had been so soft, for the sake of hiding my own fears underneath reverb and delay… The background vocals in Crystal Ball are all first takes of me just screaming the song from across the room, the mic picking up only the loudest frequencies. It’s maybe as sincere as I get. It’s a special sort of feeling.

Sounds like: Bon-Iver, Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams

Soundcloud | Instagram

Lemonade Baby – You’re Bad For Me

Lemonade Baby

Australian newcomer Lemonade Baby shares new single, ‘You’re Bad For Me’.

Apart from the ace name, Lemonade Baby has an intriguing sound. Moving on from his previous two indie-dance singles, the new one is full of luscious house-inspired loops encased in an infectious indie sad boy vibe.

Speaking about the track, he says;

“‘You’re Bad For Me’ started with the piano chords and then I slapped in some drums. I had a vibe down in about 15 mins and by the end of the day I had a backing track done as well.

The lyrics were written maybe 3 months later when I had something I wanted to write about. At the time I had some friends go through big breakups and those inspired the concept for the song. It’s kinda about being open with yourself about how someone is bad for you, much like how some would say that sugar is bad for you.”

Sounds like: BAYNK, Aluna George, SG Lewis, Pnau

Soundcloud | Instagram

WEEKLY GEMS 172

BLYNE – Religion

Berlin-based producer and artist duo BLYNE quite literally bring an ethereal atmosphere with their new EP, ‘Ethereal’. With a beautifully futuristic love song, the duo deliver an elegant use of analogue synthesis.

Sounds like: Harry Edwards

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clovo – Girls

clovo‘s new single, ‘Girls’ derives from the power she felt listening to prominent female artists in the sphere. She says, “The music video portrays the toxicity of a male-dominated culture, set in a dystopian parallel universe where women are subjects to men, the video narrates clovo as a prisoner trying to escape, only to be caught and put back in her ‘place’ in society.” –

Sounds like: Christine and the Queens, Billie Eilish

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Ben Cipolla – Enna

Ben Cipolla has created the delightfully soothing ‘Enna’. It’s the perfect nod to the sun-soaked city life experience on the isle of Sicily. The track sees him embracing family roots in two different countries.

Sounds like: Jordan Rakei

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The Last Skeptik – Billboards

The Last Skeptik is a British rapper and producer with quick, relatable lyrics. New single, ‘Billboards’, specifically looks at the world of success and fame from an everyday seat, on yet another journey through town on the bus.

Sounds like: Ramson Badbonez

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Paper Dragon – Circuits

Paper Dragon are a colourful, eclectic group described to bring elements of both Roni Size and Fleetwood Mac’s to their innovative work. Their new ‘Circuits’ EP is an amalgamation of electronic sounds from the heart of their creative hometown, Bristol

Sounds like: Grafix, Axel Boy

Instagram 

Tilde – Say That Our Love

Tilde is a brilliant Swedish artist that uses her own blend of soul and contemporary pop to soothe the souls of those around her. Her new music is poetic and perfectly love-dosed with her combination of Hollywood ambiance and spaghetti western guitar. 

Sounds like: Lana Del Ray