Tag Archives: Björk

Weekly Gems 37

Ben Khan – 2000 Angels

Ben Khan

Big news. Ben Khan returns with the announcement of his debut album (hurrah!) and a self-directed dystopian video for spine-tingling new single ‘2000 Angels’.

The album – set for release in the summer – was produced alongside Flood (PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Spike Stent (Björk, Frank Ocean), with Ben playing every instrument on the record.

Always with a creative hands-on approach, Ben also plans to launch his new interactive website, The Foundation, which offers an insight into the richness and depth of the album’s story.

Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls

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OTR – Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR - Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR manages to get the chilled but tense vibe just right with his latest single, ‘Close’, which includes the soulful vocals by Kai Straw.

The 25-year old aerospace engineer-turned-producer uses his mathematical mind as a key component when it comes to his music, producing off-kilter melodies and electronic sounds.

Sounds like: Hotel Garuda, Gryffin, ODESZA, Petit Biscuit, Porter Robinson

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NAVA – Ritual

NAVA

NAVA is the highly energetic project of Persian songwriter Nava Golchini and three other Italian musicians. Visually, NAVA is a mix of horror and fashion inspired by the works of visionary designer Gareth Pugh.

The debut single ‘Ritual’ gives us a glimpse into the NAVA world – full of electro arrangements, tribal instruments and dark metropolitan landscapes.

‘Ritual’ is out now on Factory Flaws.

Sounds like: Nimmo

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Betablock3r – Make You Happy

Betablock3r

It could be 2014 again, and boy it feels good! During your visit, expect luscious vocals, addictive synth drops and and nu-disco undertone. All this, courtesy of Betablock3r and the new single ‘Make You Happy’.

It is the first single off their debut EP Monolith, out now.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chromeo, RAC, Nightdrive

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Tanners – Holy Water

Tanners

It wouldn’t be a decent weekly gems feature without some pop in there. This week Tanners is the chosen one.

Tanners is the moniker of New York City-based songwriter and producer Tanner Peterson. Leading the way for women in creative music tech, Tanners has also spoken at TEDxTeen.

Inspired by her childhood love for the beach, ‘Holy Water’ celebrates the beauty and electricity born from allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable and enveloped by the ocean. “It’s a thank you song to the ocean for teaching me to embrace vulnerability,” Tanners says of the track.

Sounds like: Shura, Monogem, Ronika, Jessie Ware

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Young Sierra – Next To You

Young Sierra - Next To You

Meet emerging alt-pop trio Young Sierra, who were born from a school friendship, and bonded “over a shared love of low bit-rate Drake mp3s, eighties pop and hot-sauce”.

They have the kind of frantic energy of Arcade Fire and the cheeky nature of The 1975. Naughty.

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Electric Youth, The 1975, Night Panther, Bad Sounds

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Weekly Gems 35

TESHA – Dreams

TESHA

Brooklyn-based TESHA shares her mesmerising new single, ‘Dreams’.

TESHA effortlessly displays breathless vocal whispers with imaginary Japanese strings and a steady electronic backbeat.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Björk, FKA Twigs, Lykke Li, Joanna Newsom

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LUMINAR – Stand Down

Luminar

Dutch production duo LUMINAR shares ‘Stand Down’,

A slow starter, but bare with it, as ‘Stand Down’ does build and burn into a stream of dream pop with spacious synths and drums.

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Sigur Rós, London Grammar

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Nina June – Out to Sea

Nina June - Out To Sea

Finding artistic inspiration during a 700 mile solitary walk through France and Spain, while listening to the film music of Thomas Newman (American Beauty) and Michael Nyman (The Piano), as well as the ethereal pop of Rhye and Zero 7, Nina June has created the cinematic pop song, ‘Out To Sea’.

Listen below.

Nina June’s album BON VOYAGE is out today.

Sounds like: Rhye, Seinabo Sey

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Superheart – After Midnight

Superheart - After Midnight

Superheart‘s new single ‘After Midnight’ has a serious sense of nostalgia to it, despite us not hearing it before today.

It reminds us a little of the music from The Beach soundtrack thanks to its warming vocals and subtly powerful tropical licks.

Sounds like: Brian Eno, Sugar Ray

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Joshua Worden – Tennessee

Joshua Worden

Adorned in flowers and a “no sweat” approach in his press shot, Joshua Worden oozes an effortlessly cool approach to his music.

Joshua’s new single release ‘Tennessee’ is both raw and organic, yet electronic and processed, and we’re not the slightest bit confused…in fact we can’t get enough of his nonchalant vibe.

Sounds like: The Strokes, James Blake, Toro y Moi, Jamie Woon, Sufjan Stevens, Tame Impala

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Retro Kid – Retro Kid (RK Version)

Retro Kid

So it turns out you can make music from literally anywhere, including a studio with equipment sitting on ironing boards!

Usually one for more indietronica stuff, the bedroom producer Retro Kid has pulled this one out the bag for his DJ set, which is to be aired on BBC Introducing’s Big Bangers weekend on 29 March.

The track takes influence from the many late nights in Copenhagen and was largely produced with a headache the day after.

Sounds like: Röyksopp, Jungle, Hot Chip, Little Dragon

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JINKA – Countdown Forever

JINKA

Berlin-based artist JINKA shares the experimental and rather sporadic ‘Countdown Forever’, full of plonky synth sounds.

Speaking about the track, JINKA states,

“Countdown Forever is about an illusional state of infinite hedonistic experience. The title is paradoxical. But just because something is paradoxical it doesn’t mean you can’t explore the idea of it. I think, what I generally do when I’m writing is that I try to take a different perspective on the mundane, dip crude reality into some sort of surreal glossing, romanticize it without smoothening the contours.”

Sounds like: Kate Boy, I BREAK HORSES

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Weekly Gems 34

Sam Frankl – Patina

Sam Frankl

Brixton-based Sam Frankl is making waves with his groovy new number ‘Patina’.

Also a thin layer that forms on various metals due to oxidisation, ‘Patina’ is a song about a girl inconspicuously enquiring about her ex-boyfriend’s new relationship, scraping away at the surface to discover the boy’s true emotional state.

Sounds like: Alt-J, ISLAND

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Bit Funk – Getting Worse Feat. Oktavian

Bit Funk - Getting Worse Feat. Oktavian

We’ve all been there, minding our own business listening to a hot new nu-disco track, then suddenly bam! It happens. We fall. Hard.

Well, that’s what happened to us when we first played ‘Getting Worse’ by Bit Funk featuring Oktavian. Listen below!

Sounds like: The Him, Le Youth, Pat Lok, Goldroom, Penguin Prison

Bit Funk
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Oktavian
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Brett Castro – Much About Sadness

Brett Castro

Wow, does this 21 year old have natural soul or what!

Brett Castro fuses folk music and timeless R&B to tell stories about growing up in a small town. His new single ‘Much About Sadness’ is written to a girl in his hometown who was diagnosed with depression, letting her know she is never alone.

Sounds like: Fleet Foxes, Tame Impala, Bon Iver, Prince

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Mountain Bird – The Wolf

Mountain Bird by Gustav Wiking

Swedish project Mountain Bird (aka Adam Öhman) shares his interpretation of speaking to a lover suffering with mental illness.

Taking a very different musical approach to Brett Castro, Mountain Bird draws on Scandinavian melancholy with synth heavy melodies.

Sounds like: Dead Ceremony, The Kite String Tangle

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LANNDS – Legends

LANNDS - Legends

Time to listen to the soothing vocals of LANNDS on their new single ‘Legends’.

Proving to be legends themselves, Memphis-born artist Rania Woodard and producer/songwriter Brian Squillace have racked up over 2 million streams to date under the project.

“We’re all legends in this town, we don’t sleep through the night,” Woodard slurs over a serene, buoyant synth bed, before teasing, “oh we’ll burn this city down, make room for the fire.”

Sounds like: Björk, Vök, Låpsley, The Japanese House, Daughter, TENDER

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Pizzagirl – Coffee Shop

Pizzagirl

Bedroom pop producer Pizzagirl (aka Liam Brown from Liverpool) shares his floozy track ‘Coffee Shop’, ahead of the release of his debut EP, titled ‘An Extended Play’, set for release on 13 April.

Ironically, Liam doesn’t have any affiliations with pizza, but this pizzaboy likes it that way – quirky, introspective electronica with a DIY atttitude.

Oh and his best mate shoots his videos and his mum takes his press shots.

Sounds like: Roosevelt, Summer Heart

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CAPYAC x MOONZz – Afterhours

CAPYAC

A lot of exciting things happen ‘Afterhours’ and that includes the creation of quirky musical project, CAPYAC, featuring P. Sugz and Potion.

Their new single is a story of unrequited love bouncing around an array of pulsating electronics and percussion rhythms, and features the soulful vocals of MOONZz.

Sounds like: Kudu Blue, Jorja Smith, Flume, Hotel Garuda

CAPYAC
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MOONZz
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Playlist: Mar

Mar by Tatsiana Tribunalova

Meet Mar, a Dutch-Caribbean-Indonesian who grew up on a houseboat with his musical family in Amsterdam.

We have been blown away by his emotive and often heartbreaking music, specifically his current EP ‘Things Will Be’, which touches on key issues such as depression and suicide.

As a little introduction to the music of Mar, we asked him to put together a playlist for you.

Massive Attack – Teardrop
I was born in ’87 I really think the 90s era in music had a huge impact on me. I love the video for this one, the whole package. The simple chords the simple melodies yet so powerful.

D’Angelo – Africa
Big fan of D’Angelo’s album Voodoo. This song stands out to me because it’s the only lullaby, he made I think. It’s more pure and honest than the other songs. I love the choice for the snare sound.

Jeff Buckley – So Real
I heard Jeff kinda recently like 3/4 years ago or something and fell in love immediately, his guitar work is brilliant and his voice and falsetto are too. This song is truth to me.

Björk – All is Full of Love
Björk is not like any other artist in her presentation. I remember seeing this video and was like wtf, this speaks to my soul. Robot clones of her kissing eachother in slowmo. fkyh! The production and lyrics are gold too. Everything fits.

Chris Whitley – Big Sky Country
My father, a major infuence on my musical career, used to wake me and my sis up with this song and warm milk w honey. So everytime I hear this song I feel his love. Love the song and the bass specially.

James Blake – Retrograde
James to me has one of the best live shows I’ve seen thus far. So pure and everything so well played/sung. His music is so powerful, simple but well put together.

The Isley Brothers – Sensuality Part 1&2
My pianist played me this song, again the simplicity seems there, also in the solo, but the chord progression is kinda tricky to come up with. One of the most sexy tunes of all time to me

Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl
Prince. The one I connected to while discovering I could sing falsetto haha. So unique. So feminine and powerful but a brought to earth as a man. What an amazing artist. Even though I’m deffo not fan of all of his work, when he touched me with a song he really did it deeply. Like this one. (Sexy M.F in playlist as Most Beautiful . . . is not available on Spotify)

Bill Evans – My Foolish Heart
His trio formation live show is what I always put on when I need some background music. Love his style of chords choice. This song to me is peaceful autumn, warm ginger tea and a book.

Mats & Morgan Band – Hollmervalsen
My father came back from a Scandinavian tour and brought back this weird album from fusion duo Mats and Morgan. I used to listen to this song so often, trying to learn the tempo changes. When music becomes so boring for you, you decide make a robotic fusion song. That’s this to me.

Sounds like: Prince, Blood Orange, The 1975

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Weekly Gems 22

Georgi Kay – Guilty Pleasures

Georgi Kay

Singer Georgi Kay is warning us about guilty pleasures in her new single.

Quintessentially indietronica-based, ‘Guilty Pleasures’ is a song about falling in love with someone who, despite the deep emotional connection being mutual, is romantically tied down by another.

Sounds like: Fjer, Alpines

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Satin Jackets – Mirage

Satin Jackets - Mirage

The story goes something like “when we’re good, we’re good. And when we’re low, we’re low”. Sound familiar?

Satin Jackets is tapping into our relationship insecurities with a strangely upbeat melody in ‘Mirage’. I guess that’s kind of the definition of a mirage!

It’s out now via Eskimo Recordings.

Sounds like: Goldroom, RAC, Le Youth, Pink Feathers

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Slenderbodies – Amnesia

Slenderbodies

Exciting new Californian-based duo Slenderbodies share their new single, ‘Amnesia’.

Their music shares intricate guitar melodies and breathy vocal work that is both nostalgic and forward-thinking at the same time.

This is definitely one act you won’t forget in a long time.

Sounds like: Glass Animals, Alt-J

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LANNDS – Words

LANNDS by Jesse Brantman

LANNDS is Memphis-born artist Rania Woodard and she shares her exciting slow-burner called ‘Words’.

There is nothing brash about this type of music, it’s soothing in its intent as well as thought-provoking.

‘Words’ is the second song off her forthcoming EP, ‘LEGENDS’ (expected March 2018), released on Kobalt/Kitsuné.

Sounds like: Björk, Vök, Låpsley, The Japanese House, Daughter, TENDER

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Von Sell – Hell No

Von Sell

We have been huge fans of Brooklyn-based artist Von Sell for a long time, and we are extremely happy he is back well and singing again after a six month break due to vocal chord issues.

Von Sell takes more of a funky attitude in the production techniques of ‘Hell No’ but we dig it – we’re gonna call it his come-back track!

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Hazel English, Teen Daze

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Jayce Cantor – Done For Now

Jayce Cantor

Singer/songwriter/producer Jayce Cantor shares his radio-ready single ‘Done For Now’.

The song has elements of catchy R&B blended with modern indietronica-influenced production that works brilliantly with Jayce’s soulful vocals as he sings about love and heartbreak.

Sounds like: Craig David, Le Youth

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Bliss Nova – Now

Bliss Nova

…And finally, it’s time for some blissed-out music from Toledo-based duo, Bliss Nova.

Their second single called ‘Now’ hits you instantly with its chilled pop sensibilites and dreamy vocal harmonies.

Some exciting times ahead for these guys.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Porches, Cut Copy, Toro y Moi, Caribou, Wild Nothing, Phoenix, Tame Impala, Tuska

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Weekly Gems 18

FOXTRAX – Everything’s Changing

FOXTRAX

Born in New York, now residing in Los Angeles, FOXTRAX are an alternative rock trio with an electronic edge.

A third release in their “moving to L.A.” trilogy, ‘Everything’s Changing’ is about taking time to appreciate when good things happen.

Their EP – expected for release in early 2018 – is produced by British production duo Alexander Wolfe and Ben Roulston (Wolf Alice, Florence + the Machine) plus Jim Kaufman (Atlas Genius, Night Riots).

Sounds like: Cage The Elephant, Atlas Genius

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Nightshifts – Karma

Nightshifts

Nighshifts is the cosmic pop project of Toronto-based Andrew Oliver.

His new single ‘Karma’ is about not overthinking the future and sitting back to enjoy the ride, as expressed in the track’s nonchalant off-kilter vocal melody and breezy beats.

Sounds like: Chappo, Steely Dan, Young Empires

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Shenna – Magenta

Shenna - Magnenta

Wow Shenna‘s new single ‘Magenta’ is a sassy pop number, one that will straight-up encourage you to declare your desires to your number one crush.

Full of crimson synths and retro vibes beaming throughout, turn this one up loud!

Her next show is 18 November in New York as part of The National Sawdust’s ‘The Revolution’ series. Tickets can be purchased here.

Sounds like: Le Youth, ALMA, CAPPA

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Argonaut & Wasp – Prove It To You

Argonaut & Wasp

We are big fans of Argonaut & Wasp‘s indie-dance tunes, so we are psyched they have a new single called ‘Prove It To You’.

Once again testifying their ability to produce something catchy, we just can’t get enough of the track’s slurry vocals and groovy sensibilities.

Sounds like: The Strokes, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, Phoenix

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Glassio – Daydream featuring NAKAYA

Glassio

Electronic duo Glassio are going from strength to strength with each release.

The latest addition to their catalogue, ‘Daydream’, is an ode to their love of early 2000s LA-based Hip/Hop & R&B, and features the delicate vocals of NAKAYA.

The guys says they “were imagining Dre and AIR making a record together”, although we think the vocal loops are more reminiscent of Gorillz‘ ‘Stylo’.

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

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Henry Green – Stay Here

Henry Green

Bristol-based rising star Henry Green shares his dark but ethereal new single ‘Stay Here’.

A lot of greatness comes from dark places, much like this single, which Henry wrote at the site of Berlin’s 1950’s broadcast facility, Köpenicker Chaussee, during a moment of frustration and loss of direction.

It’s out now via Akira Records.

Sounds like: Jon Hopkins, Erased Tapes, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm

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Iris Lune – Lost In Chatter

Iris Lune

Brooklyn-based art pop quartet Iris Lune share ‘Lost In Chatter’.

Clever percussion throughout depicts chatter overlaid by synth-led harmonies and more of a dance-inspired melody, lyrically inspired by the final chapter of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice In Wonderland’.

Sounds like: Little Dragon, Deerhoof, Björk, Σtella

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Au/Ra – Outsiders

Au/Ra

Growing up in the middle of nowhere has been the source of songwriting influence for Au/Ra‘s new single, ‘Outsiders’, not only because of her location growing up in Antigua, but also because of her introverted nature.

But this song is a call to arms for all misfits, giving them a chance to escape to a fantasy world.

She plays The Waiting Room in London on 13 November.

Sounds like: Florence + The Machine, Dua Lipa, Charli XCX, The Magnettes

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Noga Erez – Noisy

Noga Erez by Tonje Thilesen

Meet Israel’s newest shining star, Noga Erez.

Channeling desires of escapism in her music, Noga wants to embrace fun, but also discuss thought provoking topics at the same time.

The video for ‘Noisy’ was filmed and shot by Hen Makhluf at the Ralli Museum in the city Noga grew up in, Caesarea, Israel.

“Noisy is a video that tells the story of a group of girls who can create havoc even in the most peaceful and civilized places” Erez explains. “The group of girls represent the noise that exists in our minds, the voices that are always there and prevent clear and rational thought.”

Noga’s album, ‘Off The Radar’ is out now on City Slang.

Live Dates

July 8 – Belfort, FR @ Les Eurockéennes de Belfort Festival
July 12 – Tel Aviv, IL @ The Teder
July 15 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Melt Festival
July 29 – Vasto, IT @ Siren Festival
August 5 – London, UK @ Visions Festival (w/ Sophie, Jenny Hval, Waxahatchee)
August 12 – Berlin, DE @ Summer Slang // Festsaal Kreuzberg
August 16 – Cologne, DE @ C/O Pop Festival
November 1 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Avant Garde

Sounds like: Harry, M.I.A, Björk, FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean

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ÄTNA – Remission

ÄTNA by Anna Rüstig-Kani Marouf

Is it bad that we want to keep ÄTNA all to ourselves? Why? Because their music creates such intimacy when you listen to it through beautifully sung songs and beaten beats enhanced by bright and bizarre electronic sounds.

Inéz and Demian met in Dresden, Eastern Germany. Inéz loves minimalism and the puristic sound of a piano while Demian loves to mess it up. The two opposing forces combined as ÄTNA.

Listen to ‘Remission’ below.

Sounds like: London Grammar, GEMS, Austra, Enya, Björk, Vök

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Vök – Breaking Bones

Vök

Continuing to break boundaries with their new single is Icelandic band, Vök.

Vök is Margrét Rán (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Andri Enoksson (saxophone, synths) and Ólafur Alexander (guitar, bass). Named after the Icelandic word for ‘hole in the ice’, the trio hail from Hafnarfjörður.

‘Breaking Bones’ is a sci-fi extravaganza of down tempo electro and a spectrum of sounds and emotions.

Their debut album, ‘Figure’ is out on 28 April.

Sounds like: Björk, Kate Boy, Poliça, Death Rattle, MUNA, The Knife

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Tuvaband – Everything We Do Is Wrong

Tuvaband

Norwegian duo Tuvaband share the video to new single ‘Everything We Do Is Wrong’.

The video explores the theme of being trapped and fits perfectly with the burdened vocals and echoey riffs, that are extremely reminiscent of The xx,

“Everything We Do Is Wrong is coming from an underlying feeling of being trapped and sometimes paralyzed in a world where the normalized, daily stuff we do feels wrong, both for the planet and the people. How and what we eat, buying new clothes, and the stuff we acquire because we think we need it, but actually don’t. “Everything We Do Is Wrong” is a raw and stripped back song with a lot of emotions.”

It’s out now on Diamond Club.

Sounds like: The xx, James Blake, IDER, London Grammar, Björk

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