Tag Archives: Chvrches

Weekly Gems 135

milk. – I Hate the Way You’re Looking at Me (Lately)

milk.

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.

Sounds like: The 1975, The Japanese House, No Rome

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Benji Lewis – Stay Around

Benji Lewis

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.

Sounds like: The 1975, The Kite String Tangle, Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure, Lauv, Boy In Space, Zachary Knowles

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Asha Gold – Oscar

Asha Gold

UK R&B artist Asha Gold shares new single ‘Oscar’. It’s written about award-winning liars and cheats who deserve to be called out for their deception and good-for-nothing behaviour.

Sounds like: Nakala, Frank Ocean, Rosalia

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Solå – B Mine

Solå

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.

Sounds like: Shura, Dagny, Chvrches, Empress Of, MUNA

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whatshisface – Magic Disaster

whatshisface

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

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Mungbean – Slow Motion

Mungbean

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.

Sounds like: Snarls, The Naked And Famous

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Weekly Gems 134

Caspian Pool – Insider

Caspian Pool

French synth-dance duo Caspian Pool likes to keep us on our toes with their wide-ranging selection of electronic music. Cue the colour-fuelled visuals for the foot-thumping ‘Insider’.

Sounds like: Nimmo, The Chemical Brothers, Hercules & Love Affair, Goldfrapp, Joe Goddard, Chvrches, Digitalism, Holy Ghost!, Boys Noize, Little Dragon, Cut Copy, Icona Pop

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Psyence – Retrospect

Psyence by Mark Vyse

Psyence by Mark Vyse

Anthemic alt-rock band Psyence returns with psychedelic sensibilities in rousing new single ‘Retrospect’, reminding us that every bitter end has a new beginning.

Sounds like: Queens of the Stone Age, Kasabian, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, The Blinders, Wolfmother

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Beharie – Me & My Lonely

Beharie

Distinctive Norwegian voice, Beharie shares his soulful, folk and ambient blend in the form of ‘Me and My Lonely’. Pastoral and beautiful, the track orbits a peaceful finger-picked acoustic riff.

Sounds like: Bon Iver, Fleet Foxes, Bombay Bicycle Club

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Flechettes – Chasing Youth

Flechettes

Wigan-based four-piece Flechettes share the radio-ready and uplifting ‘Chasing Youth’, with blazing indie-pop guitar riffs and catchy vocals, making for a seriously dynamic record.

Sounds like: Sea Girls, Red Rum Club, The Blinders, Stanleys, Garden Party

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Chillhum – Dancing (Alone)

Chillhum

22-year-old producer, songwriter and musician Ethan Bedell – aka Chillhum – shares ‘Dancing Alone’, a stripped back and melodic blissed-out track that celebrates the joys of being alone.

Sounds like: Gaspar Narby, Couro, Flume, Ed Sheeran, Flume, Louis The Child, Petit Biscuit, Troye Sivan, Robotaki

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Bre Kennedy – Where Did Summer Go

Bre Kennedy by Lindsey Patkos

Bre Kennedy by Lindsey Patkos

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.

Sounds like: Charli Adams, Taylor Swift, HAIM, First Aid Kit

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Izza – Lows

IZZA by Sam Rockman

IZZA by Sam Rockman

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’.

Sounds like: Dua Lipa, Gracey, Call Me Loop, Mabel

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Super Inuit – Mothering Tongue

Super Inuit - Mothering Tongue

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

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Weekly Gems 85

Phantogram – In A Spiral

Phantogram by Eliot Lee Hazel

Phantogram by Eliot Lee Hazel

Our favourite high energy pop duo, Phantogram is back with their brilliant new single ‘In A Spiral’.

With a rock-inspired edge and nods to rave culture, the track is enticing as it is unnerving.

Sounds like: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Metric, Sleigh Bells, Charli XCX, ASTR

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STIIR – Heartstrings

STIIR

London based alt-pop trio STIIR shares their upbeat new single ‘Heartstrings’.

Produced by the band’s drummer Prem Rupawala, the track – about the dilemas of love – is a delectable dish of psychedelic pop, making for a truly dreamy and warming listen.

Sounds like: Plastic Plastic, temp.

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Blle – Don’t Be Surprised

Blle

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.

Sounds like: Banks

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Urchin – Night Light

Urchin

Jazz turned indie musician Urchin (aka Leo Appleyard) makes his label debut on BonFire Records with ‘Night Light’.

Expect his four-track EP later this year.

Sounds like: Two Door Cinema Club, Von Sell

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TWINKIDS – I Luv You

TWINKIDS

Los Angeles queer pop duo TWINKIDS share their second release of 2019 called ‘I Luv You.’

With their bittersweet, nostalgic and cinematic approach to music, the single explores the complicated feelings that follow a breakup in a mid-tempo, yet soaring synth-pop tune.

Sounds like: The 1975, Matt & Kim, Tame Impala, Oli Hannaford, Boxed In

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SHiiVERS – Crook And Flail

SHiiVERS by Karl Andrew

SHiiVERS by Karl Andrew

London-based electro-pop duo SHiiVERS releases dark new offering, ‘Crook And Flail’.

Taking into account the crook and flail symbol used across Ancient Egypt, the song considers the unsettling impact of slavery and exploitation in Ancient, and perhaps, more Modern times.

Sounds like: CHVRCHES

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Emily Litta – +1

Emily Litta

The resurgance of R&B and soul sounds in pop music is well recieved across the board due to it’s multifaceted appeal, and Emily Litta is the perfect example of that.

Inspired by her love of old-school hip-hop, funk and jazz records, her inspirations perfectly collide on latest single ‘+1’.

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KELAA – Serefe

KELAA

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.

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Playlist: Like Swimming

Like Swimming by C. Johan Knobe

Like Swimming by C. Johan Knobe

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

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Weekly Gems 55

RKCB – Till We’re In The Sea

RKCB

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.

Sounds like: Ásgeir, Talos, Aquilo, Solomon Grey

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Like Swimming – The Ground

Like Swimming by C. Johan Knobe

It’s been a minute since we last covered Swedish trio, Like Swimming and goodness aren’t we glad they’re back!

‘The Ground’, the more organic and typical indie-pop style compared to their last single, ‘Strike A Pose’, is released ahead of their double EP Resistance / Relations’, out on DigSin.

Sounds like: Chvrches, Chrome Sparks, Of Monsters & Men

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ROE – Down Days

ROE

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

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Jack Hawitt – Grow

Jack Hawitt

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.”

Sounds like: Matt Corby, Freya Ridings

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Fintan – Say It Again

Fintan

Meet Canadian busker and soon-to-be-artist, Fintan.

A deeply honest take on modern-day pop music, confessional track ‘Say It Again’ is the closest Fintan has come to knowing himself, being as deeply honest as possible.

Sounds like: Troye Sivan

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Trapdoor Social – The Move

Trapoor Social

Independent band Trapdoor Social are on ‘The Move’ with new single.

Blending Cali surf rock with pop/rock, the band’s music is energetic and passionate, with lyrics that play with love, philosophy, and social critique.

Sounds like: The Kooks, Panic! At The Disco, Great Good Fine Ok

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An Indietronica Preview of NOS Alive 2018

NOS Alive

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

Friendly Fires

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.

Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, Two Door Cinema Club

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Jain, Sagres Stage

Jain

Jain is a multi-cultural singer/songwriter and self confessed beat-maker, originally from France, but who has also spent time in Dubai and The Congo.

Jain means achieving liberation of the soul, and that’s exactly what this music embodies with its flecked sounds of African rhythms with simple, yet vibrant vocals.

Watch the video for highly recognised song ‘Makeba’ below and catch Jain at the Sagres Stage on Thursday.

Sounds like: Brigitte, Santigold, L.E.J, Yodelice, Lilly Wood & The Prick

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Khalid, Sagres Stage

Khalid

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

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Wolf Alice, Sagres Stage

Wolf Alice

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

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Sampha, Sagres Stage

Sampha

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

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FRIDAY 13 JULY

Two Door Cinema Club, NOS Stage

Two Door Cinema Club

We have watched Irish electro-poppers Two Door Cinema Club play live countless times, and that’s why they’ve made this list.

It’s hard to believe these youngsters have been around for over eight years. Still full of energy and banging tunes, catch them on the Friday!

Sounds like: Phoenix, Hot Chip, Passion Pit

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Future Islands, NOS Stage

Future Islands

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.

Expect big things on stage!

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Perfume Genius, Twin Shadow, Sylvan Esso, Austra

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CHVRCHES, Sagres Stage

CHVRCHES

Feisty feminist attitudes and catchy lyrics is what CHVRCHES brings to the table.

Lauren Mayberry has faced her fair share of trolls online, but to her testament, the Scottish trio continue to go from strength to strength. We are very much looking forward to this show!

Sounds like: Kate Boy, Avec Sans, Purity Ring, Vogue Dots, R.A.B.B.I.I., Kaleida, Gems, IYES, For Esmé, ALMA, Pale Hands, Acre Tarn, Prinze George, Leitbur, Monogem, PALMEDO, NONONO, Still Corners, MUNA

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Portugal. The Man, Sagres Stage

Portugal. The Man

Bold American rock band Portugal. The Man have been making serious waves of late, and if you haven’t heard of them, you soon will.

An iPhone soundtrack waiting to happen; expect goosebumps, sway inducing vocal harmonies and a fist pumping bass line.

Sounds like: Foster The People, Broken Bells, Grouplove, Circa Survive, MGMT

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Surma, Coreto Stage

Surma

Imagine if M83 and Joanna Newsom met one day and decided to make some music. The result would be the quirky and ambient tones of Portuguese Surma (aka Débora Umbelino).

Working with loop pedals, the solo artist works with analogue and digital sounds creating a primal yet sonic environment.

Sounds like: Yellerkin, Yoke Lore, M83, Joanna Newsom

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SATURDAY 14 JULY

Lotus Fever, Coreto Stage

Lotus Fever

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.

Sounds like: Alt-J, Pink Floyd

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Mighty Sands, Coreto Stage

Mighty Sands

Mighty Sands is a Lisbon-based quintet.

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!

Sounds like: Father John Misty, Tame Impala, MGMT

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MGMT, NOS Stage

MGMT

Less under the radar than the counterparts in this piece, but still worthy of a slot on one’s to watch at this year’s NOS Alive. The mighty MGMT!

The eclectic US-based duo are known for their otherworldly take on modern indie rock music, often combining psychedelic synths, crunchy guitars and stodgy vocals with fun videos.

Sounds like: Empire of the Sun, Foster the People, Tame Impala, Portugal. The Man

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Perfume Genius, Sagres Stage

Perfume Genius

Covering topics such as sexual abuse, suicide and alcohol abuse, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) is one such musical role model we want to be more involved with.

His music represents such struggles and recoveries in a camp but delightfully magnificent way.

Sounds like: Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Kate Bush, M83, David Bowie, Future Islands, Fever Ray

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Bernado, Coreto Stage

Bernardo

Wow, Bernado‘s vocals have blown us away after watching her live performance of ‘The Boy Is Mine’.

The London based British/Portuguese singer/songwriter effortlessly combines modern attitudes from London attitude with a jazzy flair.

Sounds like: Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith

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Real Estate, Sagres Stage

Real Estate

With a warming lo-fi sound, Brooklyn-based dream team, Real Estate is our last act to consider watching at NOS Alive.

Run by childhood friends who played in their backyards during the summer months, Real Estate write simple and endearing songs full of luminous guitar riffs and delicate synths.

We envisage this show to be a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, MGMT

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Find out more info about NOS Alive and purchase remaining tickets here.

REYNA – Baby Forget It

REYNA

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.”

Sounds like: Haim, Tegan & Sara, Lorde, MUNA, Powers, The Aces

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Like Swimming – Strike A Pose

Like Swimming by C. Johan Knobe

We’ve been excited about this release for a while now. After a hiatus of over two years, Swedish indie-pop trio Like Swimming 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

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Weekly Gems 16

Magnus Bechmann – Bruises

Magnus Bechmann

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, Magnus Bechmann 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

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VOKES – Screens

VOKES

Los Angeles-based band VOKES question society with their new single, ‘Screens’.

It’s a feel-good number about not such a feel-good subject of addiction to technology, which we are all guilty off, so how about we put down our phones and take a listen?

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MRCH – My Mistake

MRCH

MRCH are seriously doing it for us at the moment.

The video for the Phoenix duo’s new single ‘My Mistake’ takes us on an intergalactic journey exploring NASA found footage and cimenatic-like visions of vocalist, Mickey Pangburn.

Sounds like: Goldfrapp, Wolf Alice, Lilies On Mars, CHVRCHES, Garbage

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Two Islands – Still Life

Two Islands

Liverpool-based Two Islands remain mysterious, but nonetheless we enjoy their indie anthems.

Their new single, ‘Still Life’, is another ambitious release and a bid to “reclaim the romance of falling in love with an artist solely through their songs.”

Their positive attitude and knack of creating groovy bangers definitely sets them apart.

Sounds like: Island Club, Tuska

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Fever High – Good Advice Feat. Jeff Goldblum

Fever High

Time to get nostalgic with ‘Good Advice’ by NYC-based duo Fever High (aka guitarist/singer Anna Nordeen and singer/songwriter Reni Lane).

Apart from bohemian vocals and interludes of joyous guitars and tambourines, the song features anecdotes about bad advice from none other than Jeff Goldblum!

Sounds like: Icona Pop, The Bangles

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MagnusTheMagnus – Calling Feat. KIDDO

Magnus The Magnus - Calling Feat. KIDDO

We finish this week’s gems with Swedish producer MagnusTheMagnus‘ new single, ‘Calling’ featuring KIDDO.

The off-kilter pirate radio station beat throughout the track reminds us a bit of Jamie xx in its innovation. Add KIDDO’s enticing vocals and you have a unique and highly danceable track.

Sounds like: Santigold, Tove Styrke, MØ, Jamie xx, Major Lazer

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