Dan Croll returns with the release of double A-side single ‘Yesterday’ and ‘Stay In L.A.’ through Communion Records.
Following a transition to California from Liverpool two years ago, Croll’s writing has taken a more sunny demeanor, although there still remains a contemplative undercurrent with a gentle nod to his home town.
Sounds like: Sufjan Stevens, The Beatles, Elton John, Bombay Bicycle Club
Started by London-based Zygmunt Day, Joe Hyam and Nathan Kerntiff in 2019, Bad Progress is an experimental and refreshingly practical project that focuses on “the blend of musical styles playing in pubs and out of car windows in London” in a timeless and often scrappy style.
Their philosophy is “just make it easy”, which can be seen in their EP, ‘Moody Bangers’, out now.
Sounds like: Fontaines D.C., Black Midi, The Clash, Black Country New Road
We do like a good festival, and after hearing that NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal is up there as one the world’s best music festivals, we decided to plan a trip in July to find out what all the fuss is about!
In the mean time, buckle up and check out our ones to watch within the indietronica genres (looks like we’ll mainly see you at the Sagres Stage then!).
THURSDAY 12 JULY
Friendly Fires, Sagres Stage
Energetic Brit boys Friendly Fires return to the festival circuit after a hiatus.
Having already had massive success with hits such as ‘Paris’, ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Skeleton Boy’, their new single ‘Love Like Waves’ doesn’t disappoint and continues the theme of tropical-tinged synth sounds.
Expect a highly fun and bold performance at NOS Alive.
One artist we are super stoked to check out live is Khalid.
The American singer/songwriter originally started writing music during his college years, where he was also declared prom king. Amalgamating an array of sounds from classical, pop to hip hop, Khalid shows a real sense of urgency in his music.
We can’t get enough of his track with Billie Eilish, and can’t wait to see him perform at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Father John Misty, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, James Blake, Billie Eilish
Indie rockers Wolf Alice have been our firm favourites from the UK for some time now. They never disappoint at a live show, fronted by a fresh-faced Ellie Rowsell’s seemingly blasé but endearingly nervous attitude.
Expect a set full of their most brilliant tunes…so that’s all of them then!
Sounds like: Black Honey, Peace, Superfood, Foals, Circa Waves, Harry
Sampha is to be one of the UK’s best musical exports in 2018.
He has a knack for writing songs with deep and personal lyrics of pain and reflection, some of which have unfortunately has stemmed from health hardships suffered with his family at home, and we can’t help but think we are supporting him on this journey.
Truly thought-provoking stuff, definitely worthy of a slot at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Frank Ocean, Solange, Moses Sumney, James Blake, Chet Faker, SBTRKT, Dallas Green
Future Islands‘ front man Samuel T Herring’s dancing is reason enough to go watch these guys at NOS Alive. And of course, the US synthpop band are wildly brilliant in as many unique, refreshing and inspiration ways possible.
Kicking off Saturday’s ones to watch are Lisbon natives, Lotus Fever.
They fit somewhere in-between Alt-J and Pink Floyd and it’s really refreshing to hear. We are expecting a super tight performance, thanks to their longstanding stint together since 2011 and it being their local city.
Their music has tendencies to sway in the 60’s, psychedelic market – imagine riding on a surfboard in space. However, we expect their set at NOS Alive to be a relaxed affair, where you can chill out and have a cider…or ride a surfboard in space, whatever takes your fancy!
The Los Angeles-based pop angel takes control with her defiant anthem ‘This Body’. A song inspired by personal experiences with cat calling and a struggle with an eating disorder, it sends a hugely empowering message.
“One morning, while I was walking to the USC practice rooms on South Figueroa, I got aggressively cat called about my “fat ass.” I’m a fiery person. I talk back. I’m “sassy” and I’m not shy around strangers. I’m typically not someone who is great at “taking the higher road” or letting things go, but in that situation, I felt like a delicate flower. When a man confronts you without batting an eyelash, verbally scrutinizing your body, you feel like nothing. This man was asserting his dominance over me, letting me know that he was entitled to my body — looking, commenting, maybe even touching. So, I went inside the practice rooms with my face red and hot. I grew up in New York City. This was not the first time I had been cat called on a street corner, but for some reason it particularly bothered me that day. It was kind of a perfect storm because I felt like I wanted to yell or cry or something, and I had literally just stepped into a practice room with a piano. I started saying things that I wanted to hear — “I got my power,” “this body is my home” etc. Looking back on that experience, I guess writing the song was my way of getting my power back in the moment.
I recovered from an eating disorder in the summer of 2016, which is when I wrote this song. My whole life I grew up completely buying into the media’s definition of beauty. I thought that I needed to be rail thin (not my body type) and utterly despised any fat on my stomach. I started my first diet around the age of ten, and my battle with food, guilt, and self loathing continued on throughout the next ten+ years. For me, performing “This Body” is a reminder to myself that I’m sexy and I’m beautiful and I have all of my confidence. That’s why I start every show with it. It’s not just like I’m telling these lyrics to other people, but I’m sort of talking to myself as well.
My sophomore year of college, I was extremely lucky in that so many positive elements aligned themselves in my life. I had a boyfriend who loved my body and reassured me while I put on much needed weight and got increasingly healthier. I moved into an apartment with friends who were like family and were more supportive than I could have ever hoped for. That year, I also found the body positivity movement on social media. I read articles and watched videos of women talking about the stuff I had never been able to articulate and would never have felt comfortable articulating. All of these factors in my life came together and really allowed me to grow and to love myself. That kind of opened a door for me and inspired me to write about being a woman in very literal terms.
Honestly, my hope for this song is just that someone, somewhere can listen to it and feel what I feel hearing powerful women talk about loving themselves. When I see a quote that makes smile or a picture of someone owning their body, I feel companionship, knowing that we’re all in it together, and I feel empowered myself. If I can do that for someone else, then I will know I have accomplished something huge.”
Los Angeles native BAUM hits the right notes with her new single ‘Effortless’.
Taking inspiration in the romantic pitfalls of a close friend of the singer-songwriter, who was cheated on by an ex-beau, an “awful dude,” says BAUM, “I saw him do it and it broke my heart.”
BAUM immediately wrote the song after the event – originally a sad song, that soon turned into an angry one,
“I got to the chorus and just got so wildly angry and that tempo change and scream thing came out. I guess I turned the song into how I wanted her reaction to be: empowered, focused more on her anger than her sadness. I wanted her to realize her own strength and self-worth, so I wrote that into the song.”
East Of My Youth is experimental pop duo, Herdis and Thelma from Reykjavik.
Their new single ‘Go Home’ is an inspirational ballad that draws influences from classical and modern genres.
Talking about the track, Herdís explains,
“I was sitting in the studio and playing around on my MicroKorg synth, listening to A$AP Rocky. The song came really easily. We were in such a good mood the we went downtown and Thelma bought herself new shoes and then we went back to the studio and had some wine and danced.”
It’s out now via West Of My Future Ltd.
Sounds like: Fiona Apple, Alev Lenz, Feist, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Of Monsters and Men, Rae Morris, Austra
Well, this is a cool story about Elektrisk Gønner.
The project was originally formed in 2010 when producer Benjamin Løzninger teamed up with a young unknown Danish singer named MØ to record an album remotely over the course of 12 days from either side of the Atlantic Ocean.
As we know, MØ then went on to be signed to Sony, following which Benjamin relocated to Brooklyn and recruited singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and model Skyler Cocco for the new Elektrisk Gønner line-up.
One of the new tracks is called ‘Money’ and it’s out now via Kaleidoscope / Nordic Records.
Sounds like: Ladyhawke, Austra, Goldfrapp, Karen O
Los Angeles producer/songwriter Grey Goon shares ‘Zodiac’ featuring LeyeT.
Despite writing behind the scenes for artists such as DJ Khaled and Lauren Ruth Ward, ‘Zodiac’ is Grey Goon’s debut as an artist in his own right.
He has asked singer LeyeT to join him,
“Zodiac is about reflecting on a past relationship that turned sour. In the end, there’s no need to get into all the details of how or why that once great relationship went wrong, whose fault it is…blah blah. In this scenario, it didn’t work out because I didn’t fit into that other person’s perfect plan or mold. Even though our astrology signs were deemed compatible, sometimes that isn’t enough ;)”
LPX is the new solo project of Lizzy Plapinger (frontwoman of MS MR and co-founder of Neon Gold Records).
Lizzy has just released her debut track, ‘Tightrope’. It may feel like a daunting prospect for most, but for Lizzy, she means business,
“I’m here to assert myself – harder, louder, and stronger – as a woman and an artist. A force to be reckoned with, wrapped in amplified distortion, emotion and chaos. To create music that RIPS through your speakers and shakes you to your core, the kind of music that gets into your blood, takes hold and doesn’t let go.”
Fighting talk, and we like it.
Sounds like: MS MR, Christine and The Queens, Austra, Karen O, Florence + The Machine, Metric
A funky and humble track, ‘Running’ is bang on the pop trend for 2017.
It’s the first offering from B.Miles’ self-titled EP, out 17 March. The EP was written in the same storage-unit-turned-studio where ‘Twenty Fifteen’ was recorded, alongside co-songwriter Eric Nizgretsky and Brooklyn-based production duo Noise Club. Producer Matias Quarleri was also added to the mix this time around.
Sounds like: Rhye, Years & Years, Jess Nolan, London Grammar, Banks, Ji Nilsson, Lyves, Broods, SOHN, The Weeknd, Jesse Ware, Shura, Noosa, James Blake, July Child, The xx, Jai Paul, Rationale, Austra