The Holy – Twilight Of The Idiots / No Trial In The Dark

The Holy by Rachel Lipsitz

The Holy by Rachel Lipsitz

Introducing EMMA-nominated Finnish band, The Holy.

With a heavy focus on the live setting, their music is led by atmospheric piano chords and layered alt-rock, to create an equally inspiring set of tracks in their utopian themed album, ‘Mono Freedom’, released on 17 April via Playground Music.

Speaking further, frontman Eetu Henrik Iivari explains,

“The record and the lyrical themes are inspired by Alan Weisman’s book The World Without Us; a classic science book that explores a bunch of scenarios of what would happen to Mother Earth if humans were to disappear today.”

Sounds like: Ten Fé, The National, Bruce Springsteen, NEU!, The Twilight Sad, U2, The Slow Show

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Weekly Gems 103

daste. – About Us

daste.

Australian trio daste. shares the smooth electro / lo-fi-funk single, ‘About Us’.

As with all things daste., the “d” is in the detail. Delivering an inspiration message, the song is about battling with uncertainty. Listen below.

daste.

Sounds like: RÜFÜS DU SOL, Two Another, LEISURE, Tora

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uomo – All I Hear

uomo

Introducing the new project by Pietro Filippone – aka uomo.

His latest release, ‘All I Hear’, is the first song that Filippone has written by himself for the project. A decent bit of autotune in there, the softer house elements give the song a gorgeously gentle uplift.

Sounds like: Henry Green, Roosevelt, Goldroom, Hayden James, Elderbrook

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Tungz – Can’t We Just Be Friends Again

Tungz - Can't We Just Be Friends Again

Bristol-based quartet Tungz combines effortless funk riffs with infectious vocal melodies and indie-pop sounds in new single, ‘Can’t We Just Be Friends Again’, out now via Heist or Hit.

It speaks of the confusion and the weird frustration that comes with wanting to snap back to being happy with someone you’ve only ever really been cool with before.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, Christine & The Queens, Patawawa, Bamily

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Amtrac – So Afraid ft. Alex Metric

Amtrac by Grant Spanier

DJ and producer Amtrac has teamed up with Grammy Award-winning British musician, DJ and producer Alex Metric on vocals in new single, ‘So Afraid’.

Looping vocals contemplate a simple question, “why you so afraid of love?” as Alex Metric’s breathy, enunciated voice lends an edge to the droning synths beneath, forming a steady crescendo of sound and passion that blooms.

Sounds like: Du Tonc, Cut Copy, Lane 8

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Dirty Nice – 100,000 Heartbeats

Dirty Nice

UK duo Dirty Nice releases ‘100,000 Heartbeats’. A synth-wave pop at the core, it’s the perfect counterpart to the more lo-fi B-side, ‘Love Team’.

Originally presented as a special Valentines Day release, Dirty Nice sent a number of personalised cards to fans. Continuing this theme on their Instagram, an intergalactic cartoon epic has unfolded with a new card revealed every day.

Sounds like: Elder Island, Camel Power Club, Gorillaz, Everyone You Know, 10 O’Clock Chemical

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Ekko – Off My Mind

EKKO

Norwegian native, singer/songwriter and producer Rebekka Danielsson – aka EKKO – shares the visuals for ‘Off My Mind’.

Highly energetic, glorious pop with addictive melodic hooks and immaculate production this tune ticks all the boxes to be a serious club anthem and floor filler.

Expect her debut EP ‘Symptoms’ out later in the year.

Sounds like: Tove Lo, Chelsea Lankes, Allie X, ALMA, Kim Petras

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Langva – Different Things

‘Different Things’ by Norweigan artist Langva is the perfect antidote in these gloomy days we find ourselves in.

It’s a short and sweet burst of summer, with a groovy bassline that amplifies the affectionate feelings you may have for someone.

Sounds like: Easy Life, Yakul

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ELBA – Remember Me

ELBA - Remember Me

Rising Danish pop songstress ELBA is making waves.

Starting her musical journey in the local choir at the age of six, it was clear her destiny was singing. Her new single ‘Remember Me’ showcases her powerful vocal range, and perfectly fits with the electro-pop production.

Sounds like: Mabel, Harlee, JUJ

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Discrete x Chris Collins – Better Days

Discrete

Creative music producer Discrete teams up with Chris Collins on ‘Better Days’.

With a top-notch level of production and flawless vocals, combined with inspiration from an extensive range of genres, prepare to click repeat.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Le Youth, The Weeknd

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Emilie Nicolas – Who’s Gonna Love You

Emilie Nicolas - Who's Gonna Love You

The Norweigan artists are smashing it this week, and it’s truly great to see Emilie Nicolas return.

Showing a new side to her music – less “cool pop” and more reflective – ‘Who’s Gonna Love You’ is centred around the difficulties of letting go of a relationship, succinctly capturing despair, unbridled joy, and the desire to dance.

Sounds like: Tove Styrke, Tove Lo, Susanne Sundfør, AURORA

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Ed Prosek – Mercy

Ed Prosek

The Berlin-based indie-folk troubadour, Ed Prosek returns with a luscious ode to his love affair with music, lifted from his forthcoming EP.

It plays out like a heart-wrenching ballad and is brought into a tender balance by Ed’s genuine delivery.

Sounds like: Dermot Kennedy, Frightened Rabbit, Bruce Springsteen, Chet Faker, Talos

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Nic Hanson – Crush on You

Nic Hanson
Boy, have we got a little crush on Nic Hanson.

Having just toured with the wonderful Moon Boots and with a flurry of viral Insta covers, Nic Hanson is sending his take on funky pop.

Sounds like: Prince, Ed Sheeran

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The Endorphins – Dead or Alive

The Endorphines

Stockholm siblings Alva & August Heldt are The Endorphins.

As their name suggests, their feel-good future pop is set to induce endorphins. As they put it – “It’s about love, friendship, parties and sex“, and what’s wrong with that!

Listen to self-expressive ‘Dead Or Alive’ below.

Sounds like: The Magnettes, Banks, Fabich, Pastel, Midnight Pool Party, Keljet

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Liza Anne – Desire

Liza Anne - Desire

Liza Anne – Desire

We are huge fans of Liza Anne‘s take on indie.

Her new single ‘Desire’ does what it says on the tin – catchy vocal melodies and gravelly guitar riffs. Speaking of ‘Desire’, Liza Anne explains,

“This song is about having too much of a good thing. It’s a reckoning with a period of unhealthy habits and a hope to be better in the future.”

It’s the second single to be revealed from her forthcoming album, ‘Bad Vacation’.

Sounds like: Maggie Rogers, Bombay Bicycle Club, Wolf Alice, The Big Moon, Sunflower Bean, Sheryl Crow

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LoveLeo – ROSIE

LoveLeo - ROSIE

We are slightly obsessed with the charm of LoveLeo (aka Leo Reilly).

The Los Angeles-based artist’s new single ‘ROSIE’ follows ‘BOYFREN’ in a visual sequel concept. The video, directed by Leo himself, is the psychological warfare of modern dating and features an immodest and vainglorious Leo in a satirical setting.

Sounds like: Easy Life, Alfie Templeman

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Gotts Street Park – Favourite Kind Of Girl

Gotts Street Park

We have to admit, we hadn’t heard the music of Leeds based fourpiece, Gotts Street Park before this single, and now we can’t get enough.

Having produced for the likes of Mabel, Celeste, Yellow Days, Kali Uchis, Grentea Peng and Rejjie Snow, their new single, ‘Favourite Kind Of Girl’ is a stand out track. It features emerging vocalist Flikka and has been inspired by the DIY ethos of soul music and tackles the theme of self-love.

Speaking on the track Flikka says, “I wrote this song when I was in a place of not feeling seen or listened to. I was continually looking for it in an outside source without result and it made me feel lonely. Sometimes you need to be your own best friend/mother and by greatest support and I wrote this song as a mantra and reminder to myself to be the person I want and need to be.”

It’s out now on Blue Flowers.

Sounds like: First Aid Kit, Marika Hackman

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Glassio – Nobody Stayed for the DJ.

Glassio - Nobody Stayed For The DJ

We covered Glassio a while back, and his melancholic and bittersweet take on electronica, disco and pop, what he describes as “melancholy-disco.”

The new single by the NY-based Irish-Iranian songwriter-producer is called ‘Nobody Stayed For The DJ.’ Inspired by early-80s UK-electro, the track is buoyed by trembling rhythms and emotional rumbles through its burbling synths. The expansive track still finds its place in a peaceful echo chamber as Glassio’s crooning guides us through a journey where tragedy and self-depreciation meet unexpectedly.

In his own words, Glassio says,

“I wanted to write a song about a DJ that has a micro-existential crisis during a set where they’re performing to absolutely nobody. I’ve definitely been there many times where I’ve DJ’ed or played live to an empty room and thought ‘what am I doing with my life?’ and know a lot of friends that can relate to that thought.”

Sounds like: Hot Chip, Metronomy, Foals, Jagwar Ma, Rüfüs, Flume, Odesza, Bob Moses, Glass Animals, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs

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KYOTI – Citadel

KYOTI

British art-pop trio KYOTI, share ‘Citadel’, the sixth single from their expansive ‘Project Twelve’, which sees the band release one track every month for a year.

Their disparate and captivating storytelling collides into rich soundscapes of jazz, folk, and pop-inspired synths and beats, interlaced with thoughtful lyricism.

Lyrically ‘Citadel’ considers personal issues and broader political ideas, both continuing themes throughout KYOTI’S work to date.

Lead singer, Ed says of the track, “In the turbulent times we are currently living through it can be so easy to shut ourselves off. Rather than engage with what is going on across the planet and in society, whether that’s climate change, homelessness, or mental health issues – instead people tend to seek comfort and shelter from those closest to us.

“The phrase “I need a citadel” sits at the heart of this song. I was thinking about how bombarded we all are in the modern world – by the news, social media, and constant expectations of success and progress – but that sometimes you just want to hang out with mates and loved ones, safe in the knowledge that there’s no judgement. For me that feels like a citadel and I think a lot of people are probably in need of that too.”

‘Project Twelve’ will be showcased in its entirety via a string of London shows early 2020 ahead of the final release completing the series in September.

Sounds like: Hot Chip, SOHN, James Blake, Two Door Cinema Club, Death Cab For Cutie, Honne, Dead Ceremony

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Playlist: Larkins

Larkins

Rising Manchester four-piece Larkins recently dropped their highly-anticipated EP, ‘Hit and Run’ on Good Soldier Records.

It’s a finely-crafted mix of melodic futurism and vulnerability. We decided to have a chat with the guys ahead of their US tour to find out what’s going to be on their travelling playlist.

This is the outcome…

Khalid – Intro

Production-wise this is a pretty perfect track. Always feeling like it could kick in at any moment and it never does but still manages to bang. Incredible opening track to have on an album.

Gengahr – Icarus

Gengahr have completely taken up a level on this album. Produced by Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club, this track just makes your head move.

King Princess – Talia

Proper digging King Princess at the minute, love how this track goes from the laid back folky verse then hits you with the massive chorus. She’s proper pushing boundaries with her visuals as well, need to catch her live.

Whitney – Valleys (My Love)

Literally first heard Whitney for the first time a couple of weeks ago and fucking love them. Love how this track is kinda like a mellow Beach Boys without the harmonies on top of 70s acoustic folk with Bon Iver horns.

Friendly Fires – Pull Me Back To Earth

Whenever we’re trying to get a clean electric guitar sound in the studio we seem to reference this track. I remember when PALA came out and it blew my mind.

Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now

Just absolute vibes. Again, that clean guitar sound is mad.

Foals – Spanish Sahara

Such an anthem. Seeing this track live and how the crowd reacts to it made me want to be in a band. The drop never fails to hype me up.

Bon Iver – Naeem

The vocal on this song is madness. The piano and the whole feel is just badass. Bon Iver can do no wrong. This album has been a massive reference point when we’re in the studio, especially when it comes to synth and drum sounds.

Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”

Another Bon Iver, 22 a million is top 5 best albums ever. The production on this track just blows the roof off. Cant even quite comprehend how good this track is. No idea what the lyrics mean but this track is just insanity.

Biffy Clyro – Different People

This song really marks two defining moments in Larkins career.

1. They opened with it when they headlined T in the park in Scotland and it seemed to be such an emotional moment for everyone there, it really made us realise that we wanted to do this.

2. Dom decided he wanted to be Simon and grew his hair really long.

Radiohead – Weird Fishes

In rainbows is such a monumental album and it was hard to choose one track but Weird Fishes really sums up Radiohead’s visionary blend of pop, rock and dance music.

Haim – Summer Girl

Such a great nod to the 60s with the Lou Reed sample but with such a modern LA vibe. We’d just got back from our first trip to LA when this came out and it proper seemed to sum up the city for us. The scene out there is so vibrant at the minute.

Khalid, Disclosure – Talk

Love this track. Another one we try to reference a little bit with the style of the synths and the drum sounds. The riff is so good.

US/UK Tour Dates

12 Mar – Toronto, The Monarch
13 Mar – New York, Pianos
14 Mar – Brooklyn, Elsewhere (Zone One)
18 Mar – Austin, Maggie Mae’s
19 Mar – Austin, Rainey Street
21 Mar – Austin, Broad Studios
21 Mar – Austin, Cedar Street Courtyard
24 Mar – Los Angeles, Moroccan Lounge

15 Apr – Bristol, Thekla
16 Apr – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
17 Apr – Birmingham, Castle & Falcon
19 Apr – Glasgow, Stereo
22 Apr – London, Heaven
23 Apr – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club
24 Apr – Liverpool, Academy 2
25 Apr – Manchester, O2 Academy 1

Tickets are available here.

Sounds like: Flawes, Draper, The 1975, Sea Girls, The Wombats, Biffy Clyro, Friendly Fires

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Weekly Gems 102

Dancing on Tables – Not to Need You

Dancing on Tables

Scottish band, Dancing on Tables, explores a more melancholic side in ‘Not To Need You’.

Written in Nashville alongside legendary songwriter Liz Rose (Taylor Swift, Little Big Town, Carrie Underwood), the hopeful song encapsulates the uphill battles everyone goes through in life but reminds us that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sounds like: Sea Girls, Biffy Clyro, Circa Waves, The 1975, Rat Boy, Circa Waves, The Amazons, Blossoms, Wild Nothing, Cassia, Catfish and the Bottlemen

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Stellie – How Do We Look So Good?

Stellie by Jackson Thornbury

Stellie by Jackson Thornbury

Like an early Billie Eilish, Australian artist Stellie is transforming our take on pop.

Inspired by strong female voices, her tender and personal tales are indie-pop slow-burners that cut straight to the heart. Listen to her hazy new single, ‘How Do We Look So Good?’ below.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish

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Lila Drew – Locket

Lila Drew

We continue to eagerly turn the pages in Lila Drew‘s magical scrapbook full of uncertainty and confessions, both positive and negative.

The next chapter from the rising 19-year-old London born and LA based independent singer/songwriter is the souful and dreamy, ‘Locket’.

Sounds like: Ariana Grande, Caswell, Billie Eilish

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Cat Ryan – Mannerism

Cat Ryan

Newcastle-based trio Cat Ryan is no ordinary modern shoegaze band. Oh no. These guys are paving way for a new era of British dreamy indie-pop.

Their new single ‘Mannerism’ is a self-conscious spin on mesmerising music and is out now via Pillar Artists.

Sounds like: Wolf Alice, Sundara Karma, Alvvays, Bombay Bicycle Club, Youth Sector, Tranqua Lite

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GusGus – Out Of Place

GusGus - Out of Place

It’s great to see GusGus back with another stellar release.

The electronic innovators have released ‘Out Of Place’, highlighting the duo’s affinity for rolling synth-lines and sharp, pop-driven vocals. Listen below.

Sounds like: Simian Mobile Disco, Tears For Fears, Simple Minds, Röyksopp, Goldfrapp, Orbital, Roisin Murphy

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Llovers – Feeling Sound

Llovers

Another Newcastle band for us this week – Llovers.

Releasing the infectious new cut, ‘Feeling Sound’, it’s clear that anyone listening to the track will be enamoured by their immense potential, thanks to their irresistible anthemic tendencies with sparkling riffs, sing-along choruses and playful songwriting.

Sounds like: Alt-J, Foals, Blossoms, Larkins

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Weird Milk – Is That Love?

Weird Milk

London baroque pop band Weird Milk shares ‘Is That Love?’.

Having already supported indie risers Alfie Templeman and Pip Blom, and about to support APRE on their UK tour, their latest offering doesn’t disappoint.

Songwriter and drummer Charlie Glover-Wright explains, “The song itself is about a relationship turning sour as a lemon and the main character realising that they don’t need it anymore and they’ll be better off on their own.”

Sounds like: FEET, Sports Team, The Magic Gang, Genghar, The Last Shadow Puppets

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Kelli-Leigh – Cotton Clouds

Kelli-Leigh - Cotton Clouds

You may recognise Kelli-Leigh’s vocals from such hits as ‘More Than Friends’ by Jame Hype, ‘I Got U’ by Duke Dumont and Second City‘s ‘I Wanna Feel’, but it’s time for the British singer/songwriter to step out into the light and reveal her first solo music of the decade.

The uptempo pop song, ‘Cotton Clouds’ describes a blissed out relationship. Lovely.

Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Karen Harding, Harlee

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The Day – Tenderfoot

The Day

Dutch DIY duo The Day are Laura Loeters from from Antwerp/Belgium and Hamburg based Gregor Sonnenberg.

Sharing the fancy-free video for their cover of ‘Tenderfoot’ by The Lemonheads / Smudge, the latest release is inspired by their youth, as the dream-pop band continue their tasteful take on original classics.

Sounds like: Eliza Shaddard, Ilgen-Nur

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Talii – Good To Be Bad

Talii - Good To Be Bad

Orlando-based 25 year old Talii has a wicked streak, as can be witnessed in her sultry and dark pop song, ‘Good To Be Bad’.

Born into a musically gifted and diversely talented family of musicians and performers, she began singing at age 3 and was playing the piano and writing songs by age 7. There is no denying her talent.

Sounds like: Banks

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Blondage – I Love Music

Blondage - I Love Music

Danish artist Blondage (née Pernille Smith-Sivertsen) comes at us with her personalised love letter to music.

The single, ‘I Love Music’, showcases her own unique style, combining a bubbly, club-y pop feel and a love for experimental sounds and quirky melodic details.

It’s the title track from her sophomore EP, written during a time of immense self-discovery and transition – a declaration of liberation and a middle finger to the societal expectations of being a well-behaved woman.

Sounds like: Charli XCX, DAD

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