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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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
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
Scottish band, Dancing on Tables, explores a more melancholic side in ‘Not To Need You’.
Written in Nashville alongside legendary songwriter Liz Rose (TaylorSwift, LittleBigTown, CarrieUnderwood), 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.