Brisbane-based Emerson Leif shares the beautiful ‘Hesitate’, which was co-written with his good friend (and frequent collaborator) Golden Vessel.
Despite a satisfying life at the time of writing ‘Hesitate’, the notion of an elusive state of unhappiness continue to nag at Emerson,
“I found myself feeling very alone and without purpose. I could not accept that we just exist: eat, sleep, work, repeat. We are sold a kind of ‘happiness’ like it’s something we can work towards but what’s on offer is fleeting, if at all… had many questions about life but the greatest question was one of God. Or better yet, one for God. “Are you there?” Honestly, religion just felt so tired and insular. I wanted something tangible. I wanted to find truth. The idea of searching is perhaps most terrifying, because what if one finds nothing.”
This religious undertone can be found in the vocal and guitar loops that have been manipulated to sound like an organ.
Sounds like: Brolin, The National, Gang of Youths, Bon Iver, Alex Vargas, TENDER, Kanyon, REFS
Whilst ‘Told’ is hazy in nature, it could also be categorised as a modern power ballad – a gentle nod to the 80’s and 90’s indie rock, full of boundless guitar riffs and rollicking vocals.
Speaking of the track, Great News say,
“Growing up today, we are repeatedly told to focus on the future, have kids, get married and earn lots of money to achieve true happiness, like that’s the only way of solving the puzzle of life,” they share of the song’s concept. “Fuck that. Do what you want, not what you’re told.”
They play The Shacklewell Arms in London on January 25 and ‘Told’ is taken from their debut album, ‘Wonderfault’, out now.
Sounds like: Ten Fé, Bruce Springsteen, Sea Girls, SWIMM, Lean, Tame Impala
Klune shares ‘Hold On’ featuring IVYE. It follows on from the release of ‘Nocturnal’, another magnetic pop number from the Italian band who formed in 2014.
Speaking about the track, the band say,
“Unlike our previously released single ‘Nocturnal’, ‘Hold on’ is one of the latest track we recorded for the LP and certainly represents a watershed, compared with the original sonorities of our project. Even with those changes, there is still a search for depth and space, two elements that strongly characterize most of our productions. The track sees the presence of Italian singer Ivye (Francesca Pianini). Her voice perfectly matches with the mood of the song adding to it a powerful combination of visceral moments and elegant vibes.”
‘Hold On’ will be released in January 19th via Factory Flaws.
Following the theme of movement, ‘Another Light’ is an all encompassing cinematic masterpiece fuelled by Henry’s obsession with complex electronic sounds.
Speaking about the track, Henry says,
“I had a really vivid image/moment in mind when I wrote “Another Light”. I was sat on a silent beach in the early hours of the morning, slightly hazy from the lack of sleep and I wanted to write about the whirlwind of colours and textures, both in the landscape but also in my mind at that moment. So much change had happened in such a short amount of time and I was just reflecting on it all.”
His debut album ‘Shift’ is set for release on 30 March via Akira Records.
Sounds like: Jon Hopkins, Erased Tapes, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm
Rising pop artist ADAL shares his new single ‘Synthesize’, featuring the vocals of Alexanderson of XY&O.
It oozes nostalgia combine with forward-thinking pop sensibilities, and there are even more exciting times ahead for ADAL – he is currently writing a debut album, with an array of featuring vocalists which include FREJA, Indiana, Farida and NINA.
UK trio STITCH are giving London Grammar a run for their money with ‘Goodbye Highline’.
The mid-tempo track is about that tricky middle moment where you look back nostalgically on a love lost, but also welcome the bright future ahead. It contains 150 layers of strings, all of which were recorded by band member Kye in their shared living room.
Expect their ‘Welcome To The Dream’ EP in March.
Sounds like: London Grammar, Jessie Ware, Nimmo, Kudu Blue
Haux is the project of rising photographer-turned-musician Woodson Black.
His most recent release, ‘Heartbeat’, is a stunning piano-led track that once again showcases his ability to effortlessly combine film and storytelling with music.
The short film set in the Cape Cod seaside town of Truro, Massachusetts features Sam Laiz and model Chloe Nørgaard, and explores the depths of love. Woodson explains,
“I get the chills anytime I remember this day at the beach. The landscape was so desolate it somehow made us shiver even more. I tried my best to capture that haunting feeling of being completely alone with your thoughts; those relentless kind of thoughts that never leave you. I wanted to show that while there is always pain in remembering, there is tenderness too.”
His forthcoming sophomore EP & companion short film ‘Something To Remember’ is set for release on 30 March via Ultra Records.
European Tour Dates
12 May – Berne, Switzerland – ISC
13 May – Zurich, Switzerland – Exil
16 May – Vienna, Austria – Chelsea
17 May – Berlin, Germany – Musik & Frieden
19 May – Copenhagen, Denmark – Ideal Bar
21 May – Stockholm, Sweden – Bar Brooklyn
22 May – Hamburg, Germany – Nochtspeicher
23 May – Cologne, Germany – Yuca
24 May – Roubaix, France – la Cave aux Poètes
26 May – Utrecht, Netherlands – EKKO
28 May – Groningen, Netherlands – USVA
29 May – Paris, France – Le Point Ephémère
1 June – London, UK – Omeara
2 June – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Dream pop time. Tropic Harbour is the musical brainchild of Canadian Mark Berg, who labels the project as a “utopian space constructed for peace of mind”.
Spending his time in the wintery conditions of his hometown in Edmonton, Berg’s new single ‘Can’t Pretend’ is a welcome respite, like a warm summer breeze floating over your face as you read a book on the beach, pondering life.
On the track Berg states “‘Can’t Pretend’ is a departure into a more downtempo electronic realm. The slow builds and atmosphere of the track play into the lyrical themes of self-discovery. It’s about letting go of a past relationship and finding myself in the process.”
Do not be deceived, ‘Strange But True’ by Western Scene is not a Christmas song, despite the countless bells and chimes in the song. Instead, it is a call for decent music.
Formed by front man Tom Pritchard in Los Angeles, Western Scene is an indie rock band through and through, spending years self-producing music that has been written and recorded in bedrooms and studios across the coast.
‘Strange but True’ is out now via Grand Jury Music.
Ohio based psychedelic pop quartet Captain Kidd share their new single called ‘Wild’, which is a blissful tune full of calming harmonies and shining production.
Lucky for you lot, Captain Kidd put together a playlist for us.
Blood Orange – Best to You
The hardest part about making this list might have been picking the right Dev Hynes track, but we would be lying if we said we’ve been jamming any other more than this one. The man truly is a genius, especially when it comes to writing parts for female vocalists, which is clearly shown in “Best to You.”
McFabulous – I Live Above the Hobby Shop
We were shuffling through discover weekly once and came across this track and thought maybe this was a live version of Glass Animals. We looked it up and realized they had sampled McFabulous for “Season 2 Episode 3,” and we absolutely loved this jam. Plus, McFabulous is an incredible name.
Ariel Pink – Another Weekend
Ariel Pink is the epitome of an artist pushing the boundaries of their sound. In fact, he has no boundaries. He does whatever he wants. Not many people can make experimental music catchy. This track off his new album is no different.
Porches – Find Me
One of our favorite current artists, still unknown to some. We fell in love with his last album Pool. It’s such a progression from his debut release. His latest, “Find Me,” combines that retro 90s house sound with modern day indie pop. We can’t wait for more from his upcoming full length.
TENDER – Machine
We discovered this U.K. based duo on a sub Reddit a few years back. They had one track out called “Armour.” We immediately fell in love with their production and the low and high vocal melody combo, which seems to have become their signature sound. Nate and Eric had a chance to see them live a few months back in Philadelphia.
La Poré – Sad Girl
La Poré is the fast rising solo project of our drummer, Nick Samson, started about a year ago now. If you’re into anything 80s or Foster the People then check out this track, and keep a look out for more of this tasteful pop coming from our percussionist!
Kanye West – Lost in the World
Kanye has been a favorite artist of ours for a long time, and has accompanied us on many road trips back and forth to Cleveland, so a playlist without him just wouldn’t feel right. Between the Bon Iver intro sample and the heavy driving beat, we have always felt this epic album closer is an underrated banger.
Frank Ocean – Self Control
Frank Ocean released Blonde in August 2016, and we instantly fell in love. His raw, emotive vocal style and minimalistic production caught our attention, and the album as a whole continues to get better with every listen. We like this track in particular because it starts out small and simple, but slowly transforms into one of the most moving songs on the album.
Jamie XX – Girl
Jamie XX has been a huge influence on us as self producers, especially with our percussion. We were obsessed with his album In Colour our last year of college. We lived in this enormous house with 9 people total, constantly jamming “Girl” and other accompanying tracks. The people we lived with that year are still some of our best friends, so the combination of nostalgia and the mark Jamie XX has had on us with our production makes this an important track.
Miguel – waves (Tame Impala Remix)
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala continues to amaze us with his progression as a producer and song writer. I mean, who saw Currents coming when Parker first released Innerspeaker? It seams as though he gets poppier with each release, but somehow still maintains that other worldly psychedelic goodness that many fans initially fell in love with. The “waves” remix isn’t what one would normally think of when thinking about a “remix.” It sounds like Miguel and Parker just teamed up to make a banger psych pop track, with those warm drum tones, luscious synths, and of course, lots of flanger.