milk. – I Hate the Way You’re Looking at Me (Lately)
Hot on the heels of The 1975 is Dublin-born alt-pop quartet, milk.. Their bright new offering, ‘I Hate the Way You’re Looking at Me (Lately)’ is full of looping synths, catchy riffs and lulling vocals that immediately lure you in for more.
Benji Lewis has been busy songwriting during 2020. Written with his new friend Tom Eggert and bonding over their love of home-made smoothies, ‘Stay Around’ is about the progression of love in every subsequent relationship.
Norwegian songwriter Solå strongly encourages us to value ourselves in new single ‘B Mine’. It’s a hazy piece of electro-pop that perfectly showcases her talent as both a intricate songwriter and performer.
Intriguing newcomer whatshisface is on the precipice of jumping into our hearts. His new single ‘Magic Disaster’ is a gloriously melancholic invitation, brimming with dense and warming aesthetics, creating an altogether sweeping atmosphere.
Sounds like: James Blake, George Gretton, Billie Eilish
Introducing eclectic Ohio-based outfit Mungbean. Performed as only seasoned performers would, new single ‘Slow Motion’ has layered and heavy synths to accelerate the track’s dreamy and kaleidoscopic intention.
Songwriting heavyweight Bre Kennedy winds down for the cooler months with her acoustic track ‘Where Did Summer Go’, a nostalgic ballad that symbolises the passing and loss of time and dreams that never got to see the heat of summer.
Dark-pop artist Izza chronicles the ups and downs of dealing with anxiety and depression in a world where people are obsessed with the perceived perfection of their online selves, in new single ‘Lows’.
Edinburgh duo Super Inuit make dreamy electronic pop that is also on an experimental plane.
Their music, crafted from mangled samples and synthetic melodies, immediately captures the listener. The latest single, ‘Mothering Tongue’ – which we also think is their strongest to date – is about the truths and untruths we tell ourselves.
Take a listen below.
Sounds like: Chvrches, Kelly Lee Owens, Four Tet, Sylvan Esso, Luna Pines
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.
Swedish indie-pop band Like Swimming has just released the first part of their two-part EP, ‘Resistance / Relations’. The EP is an attempt for the band to get all their political frustration out in the first part, ‘Resistance’, and to make room for the ups and downs of personal battles in the second part, ‘Relations’, coming later this year.
Like Swimming has put together a playlist for us, of tracks that have inspired ‘Resistance’.
CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share
Great inspiration for the synth in ‘Strike a Pose’!
Robyn – Who’s That Girl?
Strike the rhythm!
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
That bass gave us the right feeling for ‘Strike a Pose’.
Gang of Youths – Poison Drums & Phoenix – Lisztomania
Both tracks inspired us to change the drums of ‘The Ground’ completely.
Daughter – Smother
Gave us the right feeling of desolation and frustration for ‘Save Me’.
Jennie Abrahamson – Bloodlines
Inspired us to put the vocal up front in ‘Save Me’.
Like Swimming – Lean on
We liked the space we allowed ourselves to have in this one, so we wanted to do it again.
Vi Va Dom – Familjen
Gave us the right dancing moves for ‘Dead but Dancing’
Beck – Girl
Helped us feel ok with letting ‘Dead but Dancing’ stand out from the rest of the songs.
Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man
The lyrics from this inspired all of ‘Growing’, so much that we had to lend a phrase even.
Royal Teeth – Wild
Those rim shots are why Petter “missed” the snare on ‘Growing’.
Like Swimming – Cover My Eyes
This is a song that we did and liked so much that we wanted to do again, it turned out to be something very different: ‘Fire on the Fields’.
Sounds like: Chvrches, Chrome Sparks, Of Monsters & Men
Los Angeles-based duo RKCB shares the beautiful new single, ‘Till We’re In The Sea’.
RKCB fuses neo-soul, modern electronic R&B and dreamy synth-pop with avant-garde lyrics, resulting in an unparalleled sound that has echoes of Icelandic band, Ásgeir, bringing back memories of long drives by the cold seaside.
The song is taken from their ‘Shores’ EP which aims to tackle global warming and climate change.
Rising folktronica artist ROE has just reeased her new single ‘Down Days’, whilst currently on a UK tour with Snow Patrol.
A song dedicated to those down days, the song is described as “grumpy electro-pop” by ROE herself, but we think this gives herself an injustice as we all suffer down days and there’s nothing wrong with being reflective about that.
‘Down Days’ is out now via Fictive Kin Records.
Sounds like: Emma McGrath, Soak, Florence + The Machine
You may not know the name Jack Hawitt, but you soon will.
Despite his HUGE success with previous releases with DJ Lucious and his cover of Dua Lipa‘s ‘Be The One’, his new single ‘Grow’ seems like the first personal release from the solo act – and one that is about “embracing the past and diving into the future.”
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!
Synthpop sisters REYNA may want you to forget it, but baby please don’t!
Comprised of Victoria and Hannah Gabriela, the girls have already worked with the likes of Drew Pearson (Kesha) and performed with CHVRCHES.
Speaking of their new single ‘Baby Forget It’, Vic says,
“The song is about a former love who kept something of mine after a dramatic breakup. I wasn’t the best version of myself in this relationship and I can admit that I really messed up. That’s why I was so surprised when I saw that she would wear my jacket, I was like hmm maybe it wasn’t so bad, maybe every time she puts the jacket on she thinks about the good times instead of the bad. This song is for everyone who has had their heart broken then somehow muster the courage to put their hearts out there again. It’s learning from those sour episodes in your life and making them part of who you are like a scar you’re proud of.”
We’ve been excited about this release for a while now. After a hiatus of over two years, Swedish indie-pop trio LikeSwimming return with their politically charged single ‘Strike A Pose’.
Written before the Trump administration, the electronic locomotive is supercharged full of energy and it seems like a fitting time to share.
Disclosure: I am Like Swimming’s publicist at the time of writing.
‘Strike A Pose’ is the lead track to be taken from Like Swimming’s ‘Resistance’ EP (out on 20 April via DigSin), which is the first part of a double EP – ‘Resistance / Relations’. It’s the band’s attempt to get all their political frustration out in the first part, ‘Resistance’, to make room for the ups and downs of personal battles in the second part, ‘Relations’, coming out later this year.
Sounds like: Chvrches, Chrome Sparks, Of Monsters & Men
We all have those moments at the traffic lights when the amber light strikes. Do we slam the breaks on or speed on through the looming red light? Luckily for us, 21 year old Norwegian native, MagnusBechmann is willing to take the risk and “go all in” with his music.
The result is the playful indietronica track, ‘Bruises’.
Sounds like: Kid Astray, Phoenix, Two Door Cinema Club