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