Following a life-changing move to Toronto from London, Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Malory releases her sophomore album, ‘Killer Cut Offs’.
Completely self-produced, the album is full of quirky pop bangers, and Malory has kindly put together a playlist of influences for our readers.
Tove Styrke – I Lied
Tove’s album ‘Sway’ was huge inspiration for me early on when I was writing this album. The production is so cool, the songs are catchy, pop but so fresh and not cheesy at all. I love the lyrics in this one and the playfulness of the vocals.
Ashe – Choirs
Found this on my discover weekly and fell in love with it. The plucked and percussive production was something that inspired my production on songs like ‘Daydrunk’.
Rostam – In a River
I was so stoked to discover Rostam, I’d always loved Vampire Weekend but he’s just insanely talented on his own too. I really look up to him as a writer and producer. The way he builds this song, it’s so cinematic and warm. I love his ability to combine organic, world instruments and electronic sounds, this one totally inspired my production of ‘Alone With You’.
Still Woozy – Habit
This one is so funky and cool. The harmonies and melodies are awesome. His attitude and patter definitely inspired me on ‘Killer Cut Offs’.
Fortunes, Justin Bieber
These two are awesome, love love their lyrics and used to listen to this on repeat. Their hip hop influenced beats and chill production helped inspire ‘Puppy Love’.
Skip – SuperParka
Addicted to this song. The melodies, attitude and that driving bass line are pure genius. Seeing Superparka live at The Great Escape inspired me to strive to be more experimental and unafraid to be DIY in my production.
Charli XCX – Boys
I’m not alone when I say this one’s an absolute hit. The video game style production and Charli’s attitude were definitely an influence for me.
Vibes – Touch
My talented sister Taylor aka VIBES! She’s always been a huge influence on me and does everything herself. ‘Touch’ is one of my favourites, it’s so playful, glitchy, catchy and has so much sass which I adore. Love that line ’I promise to behave soon’.
Tove Styrke – On the Low
The main bass /synth line on this was a huge inspo as a starting point for my song ‘Killer Cut Offs’. The lyrics are so beautiful and honest too. Just another lovely choon from my main gal Tove.
Rostam – Wood
This was the first song of Rostam’s I heard and I totally fell in love. It reminds me of the Darjeeling Ltd. (Wes is also one of my fave directors). The composition and orchestration are glorious and his vocals are like a lilting lullaby.
Tove Stryke – Say My Name
Again, the bloopy synth bass line and her patter on this are just soooo cool. Not to mention it’s a BANGER. Lyrics, hooks and vibe it’s all there.
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.
Estereomance is a trio from El Paso/Juarez comprised of Manu, Paulina and Adria.
The three artists may come from different experiences and backgrounds but they share one common goal – artistic fearlessness that invokes sensitivities of emotional fibres reachable through consciousness.
In a gentle nod to 70’s French dream pop, the single ‘Crimson Queen’ explores the themes of vanity, obsession, insecurity, gender and beauty through surreal and metaphoric music.
Kent-born, London-based indie-pop newcomer CHERITON (aka Nick Harrison) shares his catchy new single ‘Parallel’, out now So Good So Good.
The infectious single, full of guitar-pop and vibrant melodies, is produced by Andy Hall (Bastille, Fickle Friends, JamesGillespie) and reflects on social media and the damaging effects it can have on mental health.
Overcoats is made up of critically acclaimed Brooklyn duo, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell.
Channeling punk emergy with vulnerable vitality, their champion new single ‘Fire & Fury’ is equal parts dark and brooding as well as hopeful and anthemic – a dichotomy which is mirrored in the its soaring chorus “there’s a fire, there’s a fury, the sky is falling, but we’ll get through it.”
Watch the her Productions-directed video below.
Sounds like: The Magnettes, HAIM, First Aid Kit, Cold War Kids, The Violent Femmes
We are super excited about Reva Devito‘s fresh hustle on soul and R&B.
The Portland native has already featured on some of the most recognizable tracks of KAYTRANADA, Young Franco, Chuck Inglish, and B.Bravo, as well and as the live vocalist for Australian indie-pop rising musicians Miami Horror.
Produced by longtime collaborator B.Bravo, ‘Bet You Stay’ is a nostalgic, slower jam. Smother this over your ears right now.
LeyeT (pronounced “light”) channels emotional vulnerability into alternative-pop songs with a solid heartbeat.
She’s teamed up her friend Labit on new single, ‘Here For You’ – a song about friendship, being there for each other through the highs and lows of life, and sticking together through it all. The song was written with the Make Sure Your Friends Are Okay initiative in mind, a community that encourages you to have meaningful discussions with people you care about – answering truthfully the question of ‘how are you?’.
The Sydney duo dekleyn shares new single ‘See Right Through Me’.
Writing infectious heartbreakers, their songs have meaningful influences throughout. Speaking about the new one – a lesson about love and forgiveness – they explain,
“The song is about giving so much to a person and becoming so close with them that they know everything about you, even more than you know about yourself. As the relationship begins to break down, it begins to become obvious that the two could never be without each other, “I don’t plan on leaving this feeling at all, this is all I have.”
Phew! This is what we’ve been waiting for. A big “Fuck You!” to anxiety anthem!
Cue Norweigan artist/producer Ruben Dawnson and his emotionally expressive tuneage, namely ‘FYALMA’. Speaking about the track some more, he explains,
“It’s a big fuck you anthem to anxiety! Like many others I’ve been struggling with it for a long time… hopefully this can lift people’s spirit and I hope people will connect with it and scream out the lyrics!! I really want it to reach as many as possible and help create a big “fuck you” wave towards anxiety!!”
Sounds like: Day Wave, Hazel English, Summer Heart
Connecting at a music school in the Netherlands, the now duo Small Talk is making music to the standard of industry veterans, as it’s clear the understand what it takes to put together a hit, and have achieved that with ‘Alarm’.
Running the length between upbeat indie-pop and melancholic EDM, the pair masterfully play with different shades and moods. Expect much more from the youthful duo in 2020.
Sounds like: The Him, Bastille, The Chainsmokers, Imagine Dragons
‘I Need You Tonight’ is the latest in what’s been a prolific year of electro-pop anthems from the fast-rising European pop artist, Delena.
Lyrically suggestive, it’s an ode to the initial, exciting stages of a relationship. Set to the foundation of contemporary pop production, it’s another gem going above and beyond the high expectations set by Delena.
Sounds Like: Dua Lipa, Halsey, Call Me Loop, Charlie XCX
Trying her hand at a more pop-oriented track, ‘Don’t Wanna Go Back’ by Marie Lang is another stunner, with lyrical candour, creating a constructive narrative about Marie’s romantic life and tales of love, connection, and everything in between.
A classic friends-with-benefits situation, Marie once again takes a personal story and turns it into a vibrant piece of R&B and pop.
German / British duo TONI&MASH teases us up with the first track from their debut EP ‘I Want It’. Going full on acid and synths, the track will take you through their world and warm you up for the full EP.
With a wide range of influences that includes everything from Abra to Patti Smith, and Grace Jones to The Sugababes, TONI&MASH have developed a DIY aesthetic with a riot girl attitude that borrows just as heavily from their retro inspirations, as much as more contemporary ones.
Alt-folk singer, Esmé Patterson returns with her expansive and dream-filled ballad, ‘Light In Your Window’.
We’ve all been there, glancing up to a light in our ex’s house, longing and hoping that we might catch a glimpse of them. Patterson perfectly captures that moment – the desire for a person, a feeling, a space in time that no longer exists, and the desire to move on.
The song marks her first for BMG and was recorded with fellow Coloradans Tennis in their garage in Denver.
Sounds like: First Aid Kit, Paper Bird, Courtney Barnett, HAIM
There an great deal of exciting pop sounds coming from Germany at the moment. One such contender is Berlin based experimental pop artist Novaa.
Her intriguing visuals for ‘AI Am In Love’ explore the theme of love, specifically falling in love with artificial intelligence, and continues through to her unique and exciting upcoming album, ‘The Futurist’.
Nottingham-based artist Blle is set for the bright lights of pop stardom.
Started out by writing songs in her bedroom, she soon saw herself performing in every venue she could. The most recent result of all her hard work and dedication is ‘Don’t Be Surprised’, written about the downfall of a relationship.
Growing up in Sweden, surrounded by her Kurdish and very musical family, KELAA naturally gravitated to mixing the bold and sugary sounds of Scandipop with elements of traditional Kurdish folk – breaking new sonic grounds in the best way.
With this being her second single to date, expect this inspired artist to continue pushing boundaries.
The brilliant Australian artist Saint Barae returns with an intimate and nostalgic offering through his latest single ‘Power + Control’.
In a raw and empowering message behind the song, Saint Barae begins to open up as he takes us into a very personal and intimate tale of handling his sexuality with the people that mean the most to him.
Since listening to Die Orangen‘s single, ‘Sonne’, we’ve become slightly obsessed with their psychdelia approach to industrial sounds.
Having originally forged their partnership in the diverse electronic music scene of Australia, Kris Baha and Angus Gruzman recently decamped to the thriving Berlin scene to develop their dark and pulsing industrial-inspired productions.
These ladies are having a fun time, and we want to be involved.
Royal Cinema was formed by longtime friends Johanna Cranitch, Isaac Carpenter and Sydney Wayser who, having spent years playing in their own solo projects and in other various touring bands such as The Cranberries, LORDE and Awolnation, decided they wanted an additional musical outlet where they could let loose and have fun.
Their new single is ‘CHA-CHING’ – a self-produced, pulsing pop track.
Tessa Dixson is back with another bittersweet single, in the form os ‘Hiding’.
Once again produced by Reinhard Vanbergen and mixed by Neil Comber (M.I.A., Charli XCX) is a silky and bittersweet affair.
Tessa’s torn but soulful voice is high up in the mix, locking you in from the first verse. The chorus is huge, there’s a sitar hook and warm backing vocals guiding you through the raw emotions of the song.
Sounds like: The xx, Kllo, Grace Carter, Lorde, Billie Eilish
The darker shades of pop music have risen to the top of the pile of late, with artists like Banks consistently enthralling a captivated audience and Billie Eilish sensationalism reaching much of the world. Aiming for a slice of that pie is Montreal’s Aaricia, who balances her darker ethos with a soaring, honeyed vocal.
Her new single is equal parts sugar and spice, with Aaricia outlining ‘For Two’ is about desire and fantasy. It’s about that one person you can’t resist. You can try to play it cool but, in the end, you know you’ll succumb to temptation.
Sounds like: Liyv, CLAVVS, Charlee Remitz, Tessa Rae
From the west coast of Ireland comes a distinct blend of alternative rock and post-punk that simultaneously rides a wave of nostalgia whilst sitting ahead of the contemporary curve. archmotors, a duo with prowess and skill that extends far beyond their meagre membership, second single to date ‘Sitcom’ is darkly humorous in the most compelling way.
Fans of older video games will be charmed by the ‘point and click’ style video accompaniment – a perfect pairing, tune in below.
NYC-based indie-pop outfit HOAX shares their second single from their ‘b?’ album, called ‘Unamerican Dream’.
A satiryical playoff of the “American Dream”, centred around immigration, a topic close to both Michael Raj and Frantz Cesar’s hearts.
Having been close to the subject, HOAX will be donating 50% of royalties from “Unamerican Dream” to KIND (Kids In Need of Defense), an organization that helps immigrant children who entered the U.S. alone find a safe haven.
Swedish feminist and LGBTQ advocate, Ellen Krauss shares her bright video for the country-tinged pop song, ‘On The Bus’; a story full of heartbreak that has a kind of teenage nostalgia to it.
Since the age of four, Ellen has been secretly writing songs in her room in Stockholm, or in South Africa where her family occasionally lived. This is the first song released via BMG Recorded Music through a new partnership with the indie label, Tiller Inc..
Songwriter, producer, vocalist and budding-polymath Bevan shares ‘P.T.L’ featuring the luscious vocals of Holly Moore.
His experimental, disco-infused electronic project seems a far cry from teaching in the coastal town of Bournemouth. Inspired by track catchphrases in 80’s tunes, Bevan decided to create his own catchy number…’Part Time Lover’.
Sounds like: Friendly Fires, Midnight Pool Party, Ok Go, Roosevelt
Introducing super chilled out indie synth-pop trio, Couch Prints.
Originating in various apartments across the world and finally finding a home in Queens, New York, the song ‘Tell U’ reflects a feeling of transience and movement and leaving the past behind; whether that’s moving homes or ending a relationship or just changing yourself day by day.
So stop for a minute. Recline, listen, enjoy.
Sounds like: Porches, Men I Trust, Beach House, The Knife