Well, this is just a brilliant piece of music, isn’t it?
Dramatic and cinematic through and through, ‘Golden’ is the new collaborative effort from New Zealand-born and Los Angeles-based Space Above (aka Aaron Short, formerly of The Naked And Famous) and So Below.
Two talents in their own right, their contrasting expressions within the electronic worlds collide into a wonderful stroke of ‘space tech’ and ‘goth pop’.
Sounds like: Sigor Ros, Ulrich Schnauss, Bat For Lashes, The Naked And Famous, Ryan Vail & Elma Orkestra, Phantogram, Broods
Singer-songwriters Zoe Konez and Antonio Lulic combine on the rousing alternative-pop anthem “Echo”. Drawing on influences from Zoe’s indie background and Antonio’s stadium-filling pop tones, it’s an epic piece of pop-fusion that details a longing for adventure at the expense of personal relationships.
Sounds like: Oh Wonder, Of Monsters and Men, Ben Howard
British artist Tallsaint releases the highly chic and addictive ‘Model Effect’.
Taking inspiration from early 2000’s tracks as well as a more modern pop culture of now – born from a visual scene in Killing Eve where Villanelle sees Eve in the bathroom for the first time and makes a comment on her hair.
Sounds like: Bat For Lashes, Anna of the North, Stereo Honey, RALPH, St Vincent, Lykke Li
ANDRO may have plenty of experience touring in Jungle‘s band, but now it’s his time to shine.
His debut single, ‘GYMH’ (Give You My Heart) kicks off a new collection of theatrical pop melodies that balance between the ethereal and emotional, perfectly encapsulated by the beautifully shot video below.
Also from Nashville is singer/songwriter/producer John Luke Carter, aka Mokita.
Known for his lyrical and buoyant electronic-based pop, Carter was classically trained in piano in his youth and first started performing in his church. Later, he taught himself to play guitar and eventually transitioned into electronic music production.
His new single ‘Colorbind’ is an attempt to try and describe depression to someone who has never experienced it.
Sounds like: EXES, Handsome Ghost, joan, FRND, Nick Anthony, Luna Pines
Named after a harbour road that lead to the sea, unique Welsh songwriter based in London Penniless Cove, is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist that writes raw, affecting music drawing from a number of different genres.
The music obsessive shares ‘Too Tight’ – a weird and wonderful array of jazz, blues and folk.
Sounds like: Regina Spektor, Björk, Ibeyi, Alev Lenz, Kate Nash
Swedish project STORME shares the effervescent ‘Queen’, an inspiration song for all the queens out there who need to be moving forward with their lives.
“Queen is inspired by the worst day of my life”, explains lead singer, Amanda Liedberg. “I realized I’d suffered enough, my eyes were dry and I was ready to walk away from a toxic relationship. With this song, I could let my frustration out – but also regain my power. It’s a sort of goodbye letter, with a twist.”
Sounds like: Rae Morris, KATE BOY, Björk, Aurora, RAINDEAR, CILVR, Bat For Lashes, The Knife, Róísín Murphy
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.
Faradays is the project of Dutch songwriter and physicist Karindra Perrier.
Her new EP ‘Memories’ is out now and to celebrate the release, Faradays has put together a playlist for us full of honest and vulnerable songwriters, taking inspiration from her fascination for time, the world, and life itself in both music and science.
Maggie Rogers – Alaska
This song grabbed me the first time I heard it because it has very personal vocals and distinct sounds, and yet it’s so catchy, I just wanna dance to it.
Wildhart – We Made up a Dream
The Swedish have such particular pronunciation and vocal timbre, I love it. Beautiful song.
Lorde – The Louvre
I’m a fan of the way Lorde delivers her kind of mainstream yet authentic songs. With this track particularly, I’m just obsessed with the underwater-like bridge with the lush vocals and melancholic melodies.
Flume, Kai – Never Be Like You
This track, it’s such a good hit. Way to ride those faders on the synths! And the variety in drum sounds with the carefully tailored beat, kind of genius to get your track lively like that with few elements. Plus the “never be like you” is just an undeniably good vocal hook.
St. Vincent – New York
St. Vincent has been an inspiration to me since forever. I guess I could have added almost any song by her in this list, and I almost added Cheerleader. But I chose the more recent New York, because it’s so epic and emotional.
ANIMA! – Moving Mountains
I really love that ascending melody in the chorus, and then how the groove takes off after, and back to the darker sounding verse with the lively synth bass. Contrasting parts that come together so harmoniously. Really good.
Frank Ocean – Solo
I was kind of late to discover Frank Ocean. But now I cannot go without. His songwriting is so inspiring, his lyrics, his imagery, the way his hooks work in surprising ways.
Ásgeir – Higher
I don’t listen to this song so often anymore, but when I was writing for our EP Memories I often went to this song for inspiration on a straightforward approach that leads to a magical warm vibe. The way the piano chords are elegantly dragging behind the beat makes this song doesn’t become inert or clunky.
Katie Dey – Fleas
This is so radically uncompromising. It’s strange. It’s sweet. It’s the weirdest bedroom pop, completely out there. I love it.
Klangstof – Sleaze
I’ll end with a fellow Dutchman, because I’m proud of all the beautiful music and awesome artist we have here in the Netherlands. This track of Klangstof is subdued and excited at the same time. And I highly recommend listening to more of their tracks.
Sounds like: CILVR, Bat for Lashes, The Japanese House
Stockholm-based Augustine follows up his debut single with ‘A Scent of Lily’ – a cinematic and melancholic interpretation of Ariana Grande‘s ‘Into You’, and the powerlessness of losing yourself in a relationship.
Once again, Augustine takes us on a journey through a future-retro, bombastic-pop soundscape.
Sounds like: PNAU, Foster the People, James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Phoebe Bridgers, Tame Impala, Phoenix
Sometimes the best pop songs are the most simplistic, allowing them to be catchy and emotive.
One of these contenders is ‘Change Your Mind’ by New Zealand-based Abby Wolf. An effervescent track which depicts the internal struggle faced when you’re unsure of the right path. Something we all can relate to.
Josh Jacobson is effortlessly combining modern R&B with dance-pop in his new single ‘Sideline’ featuring co-production from Gigamesh.
On the subject of the song, he explains,
“Sideline is a song about growth and building in new directions, learning to let go when it’s necessary to move forward. It’s about those inner voices at times of transition that are at once exciting but so challenging emotionally. I think these lyrics will resonate with a lot of people in different ways, so I’m excited to hear how people relate to the song.”
Sounds like: Le Youth, Drake, Justin Timberlake, The Weeknd
Do not be deceived, ‘Strange But True’ by Western Scene is not a Christmas song, despite the countless bells and chimes in the song. Instead, it is a call for decent music.
Formed by front man Tom Pritchard in Los Angeles, Western Scene is an indie rock band through and through, spending years self-producing music that has been written and recorded in bedrooms and studios across the coast.
‘Strange but True’ is out now via Grand Jury Music.