Akurei – Hollow

Akurei

Akurei follows on from the brilliant ‘Stockholm‘ with equally as melacholic alt-pop, ‘Hollow’.

Using the track as a tool to open up and share his honest and emotional side in an alluring delivery.

Speaking on ‘Hollow’, Akurei explains,

“‘Hollow’ is the last of the collection of songs I wrote abroad last year. I’d just left Europe and arrived in Bali to meet with some friends to work on a record together. Europe had been a confusing and emotionally intense time, whereas my time in Bali with friends provided a lot of clarity and peace. Lyrically, Hollow is me revisiting and reevaluating the faith I had when I was younger.”

Sounds like: LA Bouquet, LANY, The 1975

Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Instagram

Weekly Gems 77

Margot Polo – Let’s Get Out

Margot Polo

Margot Polo (aka David Provenzano) releases his new single, ‘Let’s Get Out’.

A song about breaking out of routine ruts (something he is guilty of), Polo has teamed up with esteemed producer, Brad Wood, and their main goal with the track was to create a fun and huge chorus…and they have definitely succeeded.

Expect a five-song EP out this fall.

Sounds like: Von Sell, Foster the People, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, CHAPPO, The Beatles

Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | Instagram

Holt – Tower

Holt

We all have safe pillars in our lives and London based self-taught singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Holt is no exception.

Using her father as the reference in her new single, the lyrics tell a non-linear story about that is capable of transporting the listener to another world.

Sounds like: RUNAH, Bat for Lashes, Björk, Enya, Massive Attack, Nils Frahm

Facebook | SoundCloud | Instagram

Bokito – Freckle

Bokito

Indie-funk band Bokito releases their new single ‘Freckle Leather’. Often mistaken for a heavy metal band, Bokito bring back their combination of signature hooks, unshakeable melodies and playful lyrics. A tightly-packaged, uproarious mix of indie, rock and perfect pop cadence that hooks listeners in straight at the first beat.

At first, ‘Freckle Leather’ reminds of Vampire Weekend, however, the five-piece stand their ground pretty quick and combine a lot of different styles. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Jeff Buckley and Justin Timberlake, the group created a completely new sound of modern indie regulated by ergonomic melodies.

Sounds like: Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Stereohoney, Shiners

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

The Hails – Sugar

The Hails

Inspired by the cool glamour and fast life of the Miami Vice era, The Hails share their new song ‘Sugar’.

With its danceable beats and 80’s synth pop influence, ‘Sugar’ is a crafty juxtaposition that melds truth and fiction with the lyrics telling the story about a girl who lives life brazenly and recklessly.

The five-piece from Miami have met at Florida University and since then have dedicated their unique sound with classic drum machines to create an irresistible trademark sound of their own.

Sounds like: Sade, Hippo Campus, Kid Bloom

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Halfloves – Polvo

American indie band Halfloves releases their latest release ‘Polvo’ from their forthcoming sophomore album ‘Dazer’, out on August 30.

‘Polvo’ is a fresh new indie addition with melodic riffs and upbeat drums. With its carefree instrumentals and dreamy lyrics, the song is only a taster of what the upcoming album has to promise.

“We recorded this song in a barn in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa where the classic NY studio ‘Magic Shop’ has found a new home, now dubbed the ‘Magic Barn’.”

The band praise themselves on having recorded ‘Polvo’ in the same studio that Bowie, Björk, Coldplay and many others used to make some of the most defining records of our time.

Sounds like: Clinic Blonde, Two Door Cinema Club

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Vacation Club – Always or Never

Vacation Club

‘Always Or Never’ is the latest single released by the edgy, yet colourful band Vacation Club.

Written and produced by the band themselves, the laid back and catchy pop song elevates the perfect combination of upbeat beats and Helena Hahn’s beautiful vocals. The band has taken a raw and youthful approach towards the journey of love heightening both the highs and the lows.

Sounds like: LANY, Pale Waves, The 1975, Donna Lewis

Facebook | SoundCloud | Instagram

Noble Oak – Evaporate

Noble Oak

Canadian-born, singer-songwriter Noble Oak has released his latest single ‘Evaporate’.

The song features his melancholic, beautiful vocals combined with captivating instrumentals he’s Oak yet again managed to create a dreamy release that will sound even better performed live on a big stage.

Noble Oak’s full-length debut album with Last Gang is set for worldwide release in 2020.

Sounds like: Luna Pines, Tame Impala

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Imogen Mahdavi – Doormat Darling

Imogen Mahdavi

London-based singer-songwriter Imogen Mahdavi brings a touch of retro-contemporary class to her debut ‘Doormat Darling’.

Taking vocal cues from 60’s pop icons, like a sommelier, Imogen pairs her honeyed vocal tones with a fluid and downtempo trip-hop laced production. Unlike a lot of pop out right now, Imogen’s transcendent opening salvo sets a very bright future for her.

Sounds like: Florence and the Machine, Massive Attack, Dusty Springfield

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Continue reading

LIONLION – Language

LIONLION by Leeroy Bender

LIONLION by Leeroy Bender

German-based indie pop/rock band, LIONLION has just shared their new single, ‘Language’.

Centred around identical twins Michael & Matthias Rückert, their music is always visually-focused and cinematic in a minimalistic manner.

The video for ‘Language’ displays the highs and lows of the twins, and is a highly explosive, yet beautiful mixture.

Set in the ‘Haus des Volkes’, the “people’s house” and a symbol of the conflict within Germany during the Cold War, situated within the restricted zone of the inner-German border, it is the largest Bauhaus ensemble in Thuringia. Its architecture embodies functionality and thought-out design and echoes a more modernist Wes Anderson approach. In the video, this rational and clear visualisation is juxtaposed with the brothers’ emotional turmoil.

Expect their EP, ‘Rise & Fall’, to be out in October ahead of their second album ‘Perspective’, coming in spring 2020.

Sounds like: Death Cab For Cutie, Phoenix, Keane, Mutemath, The Eels

Facebook | YouTube | SoundCloud | Instagram

Hazlett – Suncats

Hazlett

Australian artist Hazlett creates indie songs with outstanding depth and beauty.

A well-toured musician and confessed self-therapist, Hazlett has a tendency to find beauty in the mundane of modern life, which is why I think we find his music so endearing.

His new single ‘Suncats’, produced by Freddy Alexander, is inspired by dancing sun reflections, and was born from a moment of post-break-up depression – “We all feel death but we don’t live life, heavy hearts have a crazy side.”

Sounds like: Bon Iver, Dermot O’Kennedy, Ben Howard

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Playlist: Mokita

Mokita

Nashville based multi-talent, Mokita is the one-stop-shop for sparky acoustic pop.

His new six-track EP, ‘4201’ is out now and whilst it’s powered by club engineering, it pleasantly switches up between R&B, pop and country, and all that’s inbetween.

Check out some of his influences below.

‘Elevate’ – St. Lucia

This is has been one my favorites since it came out in 2012. One of my favorite albums as well. I love the 80’s undertones w/ the roto toms in the transitions. The wavy chorus-y guitars make me feel like I’m on a cloud.

‘All Day All Night’ – Moon Taxi

This song has been a staple in my running playlists. Its the perfect tempo for a morning jog and it just gets you bobbin your head. I’ve been a fan of this band ever since I saw them play live when I was in college.

‘You Never Need Nobody’ – The Lone Bellow

One of my favorite bands in college. The three part harmonies are so tight and perfect. I’ve seen them live and their vocals are even better in person. Zach Williams, the lead singer, has one of my favorite voices in the world. This song blends folk with pop melodies so well.

‘Find Yourself’ – Great Good Fine Ok

I’ve always loved Great Good Fine Ok ’s production and melody choices. I love the sparseness in the production. This band has taught me a lot about how making smart production choices can make a song feel so big without needing a bunch of elements. This chorus is infectious.

‘Hide and Seek’ – Imogen Heap

I know this is a well known song and sure most people are familiar with it, but hearing this song for the first time made realize the power of simplicity. This is the one of the most beautiful melody compositions I’ve ever heard, and I love that its slightly messy and airy. The breathiness of the vocals and the white noise just makes its feel so organic.

‘Settle Down’ – The 1975

This guitar and arpeggiated synth in the intro just immediately hooks you. I love the repetitiveness of the melodies and how they follow a lot of the guitar lines. The syncopated pocket of the chorus melody just makes me wanna dance.

‘Blu’ – Jon Bellion

Several things get me on this one. I love that the pre chorus almost happens in between 2 verses . Its unpredictable just like all of his songs, which is why I love him. The chorus has its own vibe and just feels so airy and warm matched with a beautiful falsetto melody. Also love the tempo slow down before the chorus

‘Need the Sun to Break’ – James Bay

This album really changed my life in college. Still one of my favorites. One of my favorite songs of the last 10 years. The chorus melody just feels classic .

‘When a Heart Breaks’ – Ben Rector

As a piano player, any song that can be driven by just a piano I’m all in. Just a great song. It has the folky feel but the melodies are just so infectious.

‘Industry’ – Jon McLaughlin

This album taught me so much about how to write songs on piano. I remember learning this whole album on piano when I was in college. To this day this is still one of my favorite piano riffs to play.

‘Ocean’ – Martin Garrix, Khalid

The soundtrack feel of this song is what hooks me. Khalid’s voice is so listenable and the minimal production is so well placed. Just a a great vibe.

Sounds like: EXES, Handsome Ghost, joan, FRND

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Weekly Gems 76

fluxx.world – Like Me

Fluxx.world

Introducing the playful duo, fluxx.world.

The multi-faceted talents create infectious, experimental pop in their basements studio in a London warehouse. They also run their own underground audiovisual club nights, as well as producing and remixing for other artists.

Check out ‘Like Me’ below.

Sounds like: Allie X, Sofi Tukker, Phantogram, MØ

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Keir Gibson – Eyes Wide

Keir Gibson

Scottish-born Keir Gibson releases his debut track ‘Eyes Wide’.

Despite being brought up on a dose of Scottish music, the 18 year old’s sound borders the electronic, pop and folk realms in an alt-pop fusion.

‘Mixed & mastered by Grammy-nominated mixer Matty Green and Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Joe LaPorta, ‘Eyes Wide’ showcases what’s more to come from the talented singer/songwriter.

Sounds like: James Arthur, Maggie Rogers, Julia Michaels, Lauv

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Apollo LTD – Man That I Used To Know

Apollo LTD

Indie pop duo Apollo LTD share the sway-inducing visuals for ‘Man That I Used To Know’.

Much like their last single, ‘Misfits‘, this one is incredibly easy listening with its smooth production skills, twinkling synths, and luscious vocals.

Sounds like: LIONLION, Phoenix, Foster The People

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

cln – Change My Mind

cln

Australian artist cln shares his downtempo new single ‘Change My Mind’.

Whilst the track’s production appears minimalistic in it’s electronic approach, there is a dark undertone of R&B that lingers throughtout the song in a contemplative manner.

Expect cln’s debut album in September.

Sounds like: Aquilo, Bon Iver

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Zanski – Smoke In My Lungs

Zanski

Zanski is the electro-R&B project of Tom Probizanski.

With a sound captivating and emotive, Zanski’s sound is refreshing, yet relevant. His new single ‘Smoke In My Lungs’ echoes of the wonderous Ben Khan in it’s distinctive groovy sound.

It’s out now via CloudKid.

Sounds like: Ben Khan

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Napoleon Gold – Love Don’t Cut Me Down (feat. Haiva Ru)

Napoleon Gold - Love Don't Cut Me Down

French-born Antoine Honorez aka Napoleon Gold returns with his latest single ‘Love Don’t Cut Me Down’ featuring the vocals of Haiva Ru’s Allie Merril.

The track can be compared to an 80’s Fleetwood Mac song that’s been given an electronic boogie re-skin.

Speaking of the unique late-night feel of his music, Napoleon credits his life-long struggle with insomnia, “During my first year in Brussels for university, my insomnia became more and more frequent. I remember staying awake night after night, making music, watching the sunrise from my music desk – it had this beautiful orange and golden colour, I knew seeing this colour meant I had once again failed to sleep, but it also symbolised a new day, a new beginning. I decided to name that colour ‘Napoleon Gold'”.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chela, RAC, Le Youth, JackLNDN

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Tom Tripp – TAM

Tom Tripp

Grammy-Award nominated producer and vocalist, and Mura Masa collaborator, Tom Tripp returns with his latest single ‘TAM’, the first release off his forthcoming project ‘FLAG’.

The electro-laced funk track started life back in 2016, undergoing various iterations on Tom’s Laptop until a session with Grades earlier this year led to a final version that the self-proclaimed perfectionist was finally happy to share with the world.

Sounds like: Mura Masa, LISS, Ben Khan

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Thailah – Feels Right

Thailah

Exciting London-based singer Thailah shares the banger, ‘Feels Right’.

Ramping up the BPM, her fourth ever release, has been produced by the up and coming producer J.AR.K. to create a track that will work equally well in the car as in the club.

Sounds like: Just Kiddin, The Him, Tove Lo

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Tropic – Lights Out

Tropic - Lights Out

Brooklyn based duo, Tropic (aka electronic producer & DJ, Phuse, and R&B singer/songwriter Jo-B Sebastian) shares their breezy new tune ‘Lights Out’.

With delicate falsetto vocals that energetically loop around syncopated beats, the track explores the regret and denial that comes after a breakup in both nostalgic and futuristic manner.

Sounds like: Great Good Fine Ok

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Daniella Mason – Deepest of Wells

Daniella Mason

Nashville-based alternative pop act, Daniella Mason, is back with a dreamy new visual that continues her ‘Mental State’ EP and ‘State of Mine’ sound series in which she aims to explore different parts of our humanity.

With her latest music video release – shot and edited by Dylan Reyes – Mason aimed to create a dream sequence that visualises the feeling of wandering throughout her mind and expands on its aimlessness.

Sounds like: Imogen Heap, The Japanese House, Robyn, Maggie Rogers, Billie Eilish, George Gretton, Luna Pines

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | YouTube

Playlist: Roland Tings

Roland Tings by Alex Johnstone

Roland Tings by Alex Johnstone

Introducing Sydney-born, Melbourne-based producer Roland Tings. He has just dropped his single ‘Always Rushing’, the second release to emerge from his eagerly anticipated upcoming album ‘Salt Water’.

To celebrate the upcoming release, Roland has put together a pretty epic playlist for us.

Lord Echo – In Your Life
I love Lord Echo, a guy truly devoted to authentic production techniques and keeping alive the spirit of dub, while maintaining a fresh spin

Dip In The Pool – On Retinae
An obscure Japanese record now reissued and having a bit a of a resurgence, lovely Balearic vibe!

Eurythmics – Take Me To Your Heart
I had never dug into Eurythmics until recently, this tune gets me every time. I found this tune when looking through things Holger Cuzkay had worked on, his freaky stamp is all over it

John Maus – Bennington
This John Maus track came out a long time ago but still sounds super fresh, amazing dreamy synths and vocal combo in typical monotone Maus style

Suicide – Cheree
The original innovators of electronic indie music, New York duo Suicide did it all before everyone else

Doug Hream Blunt – Caribbean Queen
This is such an evocative song, really send you out there into the Caribbean!

Ruins – Elegant Shout
Not sure how I came by this one, it has a few of my favourite things going, freaked out organ drum machines, big synth lines and new waves vocals.

Jaakko Eino Kalevi – I Wann Win
Freak disco at its finest. Jaakko Eino Kalevi, I love this song since I first heard it on Beats In Space almost 10 years ago. One of the all-time great sax solos!

Baba Stiltz – Can’t Help It
Keeping it Scandinavian, Baba Stiltz is another all-time favourite. You never really know what he’s gonna do next, my money is on a country record.

Vanderschrick – Ongehoord
A deep and weird dubbed out droner from Vanderschrick, an 80s referencing post-punk vibe out on the exceptional Stroom label from Germany.

AC Marias – Just Talk
This is the real deal, shoegazing and ethereal pop from Wire collaborator Angela Conway from the mid-80s

Roland Tings – Always Rushing Feat. Mild Minds
Had to include my new one! It pales in comparison to the masterpieces in this playlist, but hopefully, you can hear where I’m coming from with this list of great songs!

His new single is out now via Sony/Cascine and taken from his forthcoming album ‘Salt Water’.

Sounds like: Tame Impala, Rufus Du Sol, Caribou, Bicep, Dusky

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

Luna Pines – Uneven

Luna Pines

Following their headline show in London this week, hazy dream-pop act Luna Pines shares ‘Uneven’.

DIY through and through, the three-piece produces and mixes all of their own material in their home city of Leeds, UK.

The new release contemplates the monotonicity of normal life. It is also written in remembrance to the song’s co-writer and close friend of band member Lotte van den Berg, who explains,

“It was the last song we ever began writing together. In December, the day after the first demo was completed, he took his own life. I remember taking the song to Ryan (Lead Vocals/Guitar) and Rob (Drums) and just feeling like it needed to be done, and we finished it in about two hours. For that reason, it’s such an important song to us as it’s one that has been through so much during its creation, and I think there’s a certain pain and desperation you can feel because of it.”

Sounds like: The Postal Service, The Japanese House, The 1975, George Gretton

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram

All The Rest – Way Out

All The Rest

Four-piece All The Rest continues their theme of 80’s inspired heartbreak pop in latest release, ‘Way Out’.

Essentially a breakup song, singer Baylee Waller explains, “Sometimes it’s just easier to call it quits than to forcing it to work.” Word.

Sounds like: LANY, joan., The 1975

Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Instagram