Tag Archives: Cocteau-Twins

Weekly Gems 99

Alfie Neale – Vices

Alfie Neale

Brighton-based singer/songwriter Alfie Neale shares his latest laid back and soul sweeping single, ‘Vices’.

It’s a song that describes the importance of the little things in life and a support network to help you through the fun times, and the more serious.

Sounds like: Yakul, Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei

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JupiterMoon – The Reason

JupiterMoon

Young Midlands-based quartet JupiterMoon is causing a bit of a ruckus.

Their energetic choruses and Asian influenced guitar hooks are written for sweaty, intimate venues. Conjuring up homegrown rock anthems at Blank Studios in Nercastle, their strongest track to date ‘The Reason’ is all the justification you need.

Sounds like: Foals, Blossoms

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A Is For Arrows – Roses

A Is For Arrows

Toronto electro-pop duo A Is For Arrows shares the lush new single, ‘Roses’.

Echoes of heartbreak glistened with a retro glow, this is easy listening electronica at its best. Listen below.

Sounds like: Lights, Jocelyn Alice, Goldroom, RAC, Le Youth, Broods

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Mokita – colorblind

Mokita

Nashville’s John-Luke Carter, aka Mokita, is a singer/songwriter/producer known for his lyrical and buoyant electronic-based pop.

Classically trained in piano in his youth, he later taught himself to play guitar and eventually transitioned into electronic music production. Taking a rewind to his classical routes, Mokita shares an orchestral version of ‘colorblind’ and it’s spellbounding.

Sounds like: Nirob Islam, EXES, Handsome Ghost, joan, FRND

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Tsar B – Unpaintable

Tsar B

Effortless and majestic with a highly cinematic yet vulnerable approach, Tsar B‘s single, ‘Unpaintable’, sees her functioning as a one-woman orchestra, songwriter, producer and singer.

An ode to the muddled emotions people that are too intelligent to just live a normal life feel; ‘They are uncatchable. They are unpaintable.”

Sounds like: GRAACE, Billie Eilish, FKA Twigs, ÄTNA

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Seafret – Magnetic

Seafret - Magnetic

The coastal town of Bridlington isn’t the first place in the UK that you think has a buzzing music scene, but we’ve stumbled upon the brilliant Seafret, who have proved us wrong.

Made up of Jack Sedman and Harry Draper, their new single ‘Magnetic’ is an indie-pop anthem at it’s finest – addictive vocal harmonies and commercial riffs, complete with a killer pop chorus

Sounds like: Kodaline, Amber Run, Imagine Dragons, Lewis Capaldi

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Luna Li – Trying

Luna Li - Trying

Luna Li (fka VEINS) shares the brooding new single, ‘Trying’.

A undeniable strong presence in the alt-pop world, Luna Li uses and blends her 14 years of classical piano and violin training with dreamy rock, to create a vulnerable and distorted sound.

Sounds like: Lykki Li, Niki & The Dove, Oh Land, Perfume Genius

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Matt Simons – Cold

Matt Simons

L.A Songwriter Matt Simons shares ‘Cold’ – a powerful piece of electronic pop that blends nostalgia and melancholic sentiment.

Speaking about the track, which has been released in time for any Valentine’s Day pessimist, he explains,

“People change, and change in any relationship is inevitable. The only question is, can the two people change together and adapt? Cold is about a relationship where they did not.”

Sounds like: Ruel, JP Cooper, Zak Abel

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Dräger – New Life

Dräger

An introvert at heart, Dräger creates unabashed synth pop bangers born from a modern heartbreak.

Co-produced by House producer LEFTI, the single ‘New Life’ marks a fresh start for the singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Spencer Draeger, as he uses sounds of the past to channel themes of the modern age, taking a satirical approach to the narcissisms and anxiety illuminated through technology.

Sounds like: New Order, Soft Cell, Holy Ghost!, Dansu, The Cure, White Lies, Cocteau Twins

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Weekly Gems 97

Jinka – U Bit My <3

Jinka by Yannic Pöpperling

Jinka by Yannic Pöpperling

German artist Jinka shares her explosive new single ‘U Bit My <3'. Channelling emo and urban vibes with a playful way with wonky arpeggios of synthesized steel drums and piano samples that intertwine with a trap-leaning beat.

Sounds like: Kate Boy, I BREAK HORSES, Sigrid

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DAD – Fresher

DAD - Fresher

DAD (aka bedroom pop singer/songwriter Kei Wells) shares her new single ‘Fresher’.

DAD has teamed up with Grammy-nominated Austrian producer, artist and pianist Yakob. Our favourite of hers to date, this declaration of independence is the ultimate single girl’s anthem, with electrified pop sequences infused with synth-pop juice.

Wrabel and Gallant will feature on her forthcoming EP.

Sounds Like: Lolo Zouaï, Doja Cat, Snow Tha Product, Lil Miquela, Clairo, Beabadoobie

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Emerson Leif – Next2

Emerson Leif

Brisbane-based Emerson Leif gives us a taste of his upcoming debut EP, ‘Bad Company’ with ‘Next2’.

It’s a soothing number and effortlessly cool (we wouldn’t expect anything less from Leif). Speaking about the track, he explains,

“It’s about realising you are valuable and loved. It’s about overcoming the fear of not being enough and embracing vulnerability through the process.”

Sounds like: Brolin, Bon Iver, Alex Vargas, TENDER, REFS

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Jon Olav – I Am The Thing

Jon Olav - I Am The Thing

We’re super excited about the sounds of Norwegian artist Jon Olav.

His new single ‘I Am The Thing’ opens with sparse piano chords (we instantly think James Blake), and bubbles into itself with deliciously sinister pop hooks and crystalline vocals as Olav looks inward to contemplate the pluses and minuses of attention.

Sounds like: James Blake, Sampha

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Approachable Members Of Your Local Community – Small Change

Approachable Members Of Your Local Community

With the best name we’ve seen for a long while, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community (let’s call them AMOYLC for short) releases the catchy ‘Small Change’.

The quartet – who met at school – fuse elements of indie, electro, funk and disco into their unapologetically spirited sound. But their new single ‘Small Change’ has a serious message. Dedicated to the firefighters and communities affected by the Australian fires, “it’s clear that small change can have a big impact.”

Sounds like: APRE, Vampire Weekend

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Molina – Vanilla Shell

Molina

Self-made art creator and songwriter Molina shares her bold single, ‘Vanilla Shell’, the title track taken from her new EP.

The sparse and inventive song weaves textured vocals with a fluttering flute and fretless bass into a psychedlic trip about love and youth, with captivating nods to the eras of 1960, 70 and 80.

Sounds like: IDER, Talking Heads, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd

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Gold Member – Stay On

Gold Member

Gold Member is a three-piece of producers and singer/songwriters.

Crossing genres between funk, soul and pop, their new single ‘Stay On’ is an easy, breezy piece of charge-soaked, soulful pop with a topical headline about Indigenous identity in white Australia, and the struggles of living in a system of cultural oppression.

Sounds like: Jungle, Michael Kiwanuka, TENDER

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Chaz Cardigan – Not Ok!

Chaz Cardigan - Not Ok!

What an anthem – ‘Not Ok!’ by Nashville based pop lothario Chaz Cardigan, released on Capitol Records/Loud Robot.

The track is an infectious tune about human imperfection, which sees Cardigan laid bare, both lyrically and visually. The Al Kalyk-directed video also features an astonishing number of gummy bears…

Sounds like: Harry Styles, Declan McKenna

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argonaut&wasp – TVS

argonaut&wasp

Wonderful duo argonaut&wasp is back with ‘TVS’.

A daydream about endless summer days, it’s the perfect antidote for a wet and cold January. The song was crafted early one morning using a drum loop and an oberheim synthesizer and is a call to a honeycoated time of romance and yearning.

Sounds like: MGMT, CHAPPO, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, Phoenix, Pistol Shrimp, VHS Collection

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Weekly Gems 95

The Feather – Sister

The Feather by Gilles Dewalque

The Feather by Gilles Dewalque

Belgium folktronica artist The Feather shares his bass-licking new single, ‘Sister’.

Swerving synths, it’s a hypnotic indie-pop gem that depicts how social media affects us all, out now via [PIAS].

Sounds like: Cut Copy, Du Tonc, Hot Chip, Joe Goddard

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STRØM – Last Try

STRØM

STRØM

We stumbled upon the beautiful ‘Last Try’ by Swedish artist STRØM just a few minutes ago and had to share it.

Having recently moved to Berlin, STRØM continues to release music that combines elegant vocal melodies with euphoric percussion. Beautiful.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, TENDER, Solomon Grey, James Blake

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Yazmyn Hendrix – Be Me

Yazmyn Hendrix

With a cool name, Yazmyn Hendrix takes Ed Sheeran’s lead and uses her voice with a loop pedal to create magical music.

Her new single ‘Be Me’ is taken off her upcoming EP named ‘Saturn Returns’ and is her first break-up song, and subsequent coming out song.

Sounds like: Alicia Keys, Aurora

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Ani Glass – Mirores

Ani Glass

Welsh musician, Ani Glass (also a former member of indie-pop group The Pipettes) shares the visuals for her new single, ‘Mirores’ – the title track from her forthcoming debut album, released in March.

The quirky and illuminating visuals wouldn’t go amiss in a Petit Meller or Yelle music video, as she shares a journey from dark desperation to motivation and inspiration.

Sounds like: Petite Meller, Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis

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REYKO – Surrender

REYKO

London-based pop outfit REYKO shares the visuals for ‘Surrender’.

Filmed on the English South East coast, it’s a slow and steady track that expresses their elusiveness in a peaceful and dreamy manner.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish, Saint Etienne, CAPPA

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Mint Julep – Fantasies

Mint Julep

We’re very excited to share ‘Stay Fantasties’ by wife and husband duo, Hollie and Keith Kenniff aka Mint Julep, an expertly manicured electric-pop venture that stands in stark contrast to the nebulous and experimental Helios and Goldmund outputs for which the latter member is known.

The vulnerable track shimmers underneath an amalgamation of textures and is out now on Western Vinyl.

Sounds like: Beauty Sleep, Tame Impala, Electric Youth, The Naked And Famous, Cocteau Twins, Helios

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Nathaniel Stewart – Lone Wolf

Nathaniel Stewart - Lone Wolf

Portland-based Nathaniel Stewart shares ‘Lone Wolf’, a track about dealing with loneliness and finding out who you are.

With skyscraping melodies and enduring drums, prepare to drift away.

Sounds like: M83, Nick Murphy

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FARR – Heal Me

FARR

From one lonely artist to another…introducing transatlantic duo FARR (by way of Los Angeles and London) vocalist Roméo and producer Linden Jay (who has also produced for Rejjie Snow, LION SNOW, RITUAL and more).

Born from London loneliness, the soulful new track, ‘Heal Me’, was written with Carl Barat and Olly Burden and is full of heartfelt longing for missed loved ones.

Sounds like: RKCB, Jadu Heart, Dan D’Lion, James Vickery

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SHY Martin – Slow

SHY Martin by Hampus Hjellström

SHY Martin by Hampus Hjellström

Renowned songwriter SHY Martin (Bebe Rexha, Astrid S, Kygo, Ellie Goulding, ALMA, Jess Glynne) picks up her beloved guitar again and shares the delicate, stripped back ballad, ‘Slow’.

Rich and organic, it shows another side to the popstar-in-the-making.

Sounds like: Halsey, Emily Burns

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Steph Sandor – Circles

Steph Sandor - Circles

Los Angeles-based pop artist Steph Sandor is quite frankly over this shit.

Her pulsing new single ‘Circles’ is a straightforward pop statement shared from a place of vulnerability and frustration. It’s out now on BonFire Records

Sounds like: Chelsea Cutter, CAPPA

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Blanks – Sweaters

Blanks - Sweaters

Dutch YouTuber, Blanks shares his falsetto-led single ‘Sweaters’.

With a unique way of interacting with fans – Blanks actually writes music with his fans, not just for his fans – his pop music captures and engages.

Sounds like: COIN, Two Door Cinema Club, Joan, Great Good Fine Ok

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Playlist: Dominique Tey

Dominique Tey

Stockholm-based, dreamy pop artist Dominique Tey has just shared her highly anticipated ‘Heartstream’ EP.

The five-track release in part sees the artist in an even more tranquil and atmospheric light, as well as channelling more synth-heavy and dynamic electronica.

Dominique has put together a playlist for us, check it out below.

Björk – Yoga
I love Björk’s music and her ability to be her own artist. Throughout her career, she has stood her ground and refused to compromise when it comes to her unique vision. In my opinion, her music is as relevant today as it was ten years ago. And this song is one of many favorites.

Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
I really like the euphoric yet melancholic vibe in this song and I’m a real fan of Kevin Parkers melodies and productions. Listening to ”Currents” never gets old.

Moses Sumney – Doomed
Sumneys has such a soulful voice, it’s so captivating, calming and silky smooth and the music and lyrics are very touching.

Barrie – Michigan
I just discovered Barrie, a indie pop band from Brooklyn. I really like their sound and vibe and this song is a favorite at the moment.

Frank Ocean – Ivy
I started listening to Frank Ocean when he first released channel ORANGE and I’ve been hocked every since. He’s a true genius in my opinon.

Nina Simone – Sinnerman
Nina Simone has been a big inspiration and I’ve listened to her a lot during my teens. I believe that she was ahead of her time in many ways. Not only did she create some of the greatest masterpieces but she also used her voice to advocate for the civil rights movement and took a stand for what she believed in.

The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever
This song takes me back to my childhood. The Beatles was a favorite at home and their songs crack open the door to so many cherished memories.

Nancy Sinatra – Bang bang
I first started listening to Nancy when I was about thirteen and was captivated by her voice and her storytelling.

The Japanese House – Follow My Girl
The Japanese house have a way of combining funky rhythms with modern pop melodies witch I really like. I also have a soft sport for Brains a dreamy sound that really get me.

Sounds like: Shura, Beach House, Cocteau Twins, VÉRITÉ, Banks

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Hockeysmith – Lonely Loving Me

Hockeysmith

Hockeysmith is the exciting solo project of Annie Hockeysmith.

Spending time traveling between Cornwall and Copenhagen, in her new single ‘Lonely Loving Me’, Hockeysmith explores the theme of underground music communities in an adventurous and refreshing way, tempering post-punk with rave-infused electronica and pop intentions.

Expect her new EP ‘Tears At My Age’ out on 25 Jan via Ex-Local.

Sounds like: Lykke Li, Shura, Cocteau Twins, Georgia

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Weekly Gems 30

High Hazels – Days Of No One

High Hazels

BBC 6 favourite, breezy indie band High Hazels share their new single ‘Days Of No One’.

Fighting an ever-losing battle of love and being lonely, lead singer James admits that despite the conflicting themes in their music, he is a fan of people; “Weirdly that’s why I think loneliness pops up in our music quite a lot, I suppose it’s more the fear of it.”

Sounds like: The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane, Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Richard Hawley, The Coral, Beach House, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine

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Cape Cub – Come Around

Cape Cub

Creating honest, real and emotive music is Cape Cub‘s forte. It seems to be in his blood.

His new single – out today on LAB Records – is called ‘Come Around’ and is a highly thought-provoking song about losing a loved one.

Sounds like: Foals, Passenger, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Tep No, Brandon Flowers, Death Cab for Cutie, Temper Trap,

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Captain Kidd – Bleed

Captain Kidd

There is a bit of a Drake vibe going on in Captain Kidd‘s new single ‘Bleed’ and we are digging it.

A perfect blend of blissed-out, nostalgic indie with modern pop. Listen below.

Sounds like: RÜFÜS, SAMA

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Bishat – Unholy Romance

Bishat - Unholy Romance

Swedish alt-pop artist Bishat shares the intriguing ‘Unholy Romance’.

It has an intense and destructive undertone and was written in collaboration with producer Damian Ardestani (aka XOV) on a freezing day just outside of Stockholm.

Sounds like: The Weeknd, Robyn, LKA, Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, July Child, Nao, Lorde

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LMBO – Fake It

LMBO

Classically trained multi-instrumentalist school friends and singer LMBO releases debut single ‘Fake It’.

Music to match a soundtrack, the melodies effortlessly tip toe between the light and dark.

Sounds like: Hellogoodbye, Owl City, Hotel Garuda

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Violet Sands – Unusual

Violet Sands

Having already produced and mixed for artists like MGMT and The Knocks, Violet Sands are gearing up to release their album, ‘Hotel’.

The third track taken from the album is called ‘Unusual’, which frontwoman Deidre Muro describes as “riding the enchanted waves of discovering something or someone new. There’s a lot of magic in that first spark of curiosity – it’s like waking up from a lifelong dream to a completely new heightened reality. This song is that moment in extreme slow motion, reveling in all the emotions, uncertainties, and intrigue.”

‘Unusual’ is out now on YouTooCanWoo. Their album launch party will be on 30 June at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.

Sounds like: Monogem, Cocteau Twins, French Horn Rebellion

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Black Flowers Cafe – Caribe

Black Flowers Cafe

Italian four-piece, Black Flowers Cafe have a distinct European feel to their music.

They clearly like to experiment, pushing their music into sonic landscapes, with melodic synths and broad guitar riffs.

Listen to ‘Caribe’ below.

Having already gained support from Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins, Bella Union), expect this band to be one of Italy’s biggest musical exports.

Sounds like: SAMA, Lilies on Mars, Cocteau Twins, Foals, Hider

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High Hazels – Joined At the Lip

High Hazels

High Hazels

Sheffield dream pop four-piece High Hazels recently released new track, ‘Joined At The Lip’.

While the swirling guitars and reverb-heavy vocals are sure to remind listeners of bands such as Beach House, Cocteau Twins, and My Bloody Valentine, High Hazels structure ‘Joined At The Lip’ in a way that should capture quite a great deal of attention.

As the song opens, frontman James Leesley croons, “In the backwaters of my bloodstreams nightmares play their violins every night for me.” It is an unsettling statement that is revealed in a chillingly relatable way, given how relaxed his vocal stylings are. According to Leesley, Scott Walker was a big influence on his vocals for the song. “I remember Scott Walker being played a lot around the time of writing ‘Joined At The Lip’ before practices, in the car and stuff – and the way he delivers his voice really got to us,” Leesley said. “That’s how the opening melody came about, really.”

The rest of the band isn’t slacking either. The bass of Paul Barlow is bouncy but has an air of tension to it as well. Drummer Anthony Barlow paces his percussion nicely, particularly with snare hits in the outro. Meanwhile, the guitar contributions of Leesley and Scott Howes are both melodic and intense all the same. This is the kind of song that once first glance seems ideal for drifting off to sleep. However, once it kicks into gear, it doesn’t let up.

High Hazels aren’t completely new to the music landscape, but they aren’t completely known yet. Their self-titled debut was released in 2014 and received very positive attention. The BBC was a fan of theirs early on, playing their music on BBC Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music when the only things they had recorded were demos and they hadn’t played a single show.

They also released the ‘Valencia’ EP last year to positive notices. A new EP will be following their single release of ‘Joined At The Lip’ early next year.

On December 17, they will be playing a hometown show at the Leadmill in Sheffield. Tickets available here.

Sounds like: The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane, Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Richard Hawley, The Coral, Beach House, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine

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Words by Brad Johnson

The Duke Spirit – Wounded Wing

The Duke Spirit

The Duke Spirit

London four-piece, The Duke Spirit, are back with the new video for ‘Wounded Wing’, taken from their album, ‘KIN’.

Headed up by strong front woman, Liela, ‘Wounded Wing’ is a sultry rock number, that fits nicely amongst the other shimmering alt-indie anthems throughout ‘KIN’, which was recorded by Simon Raymonde (Bella Union / Cocteau Twins).

‘KIN’ explores the frailty of life and the nobility that can be observed by death, and was written following such experiences. It is out now, via Red Essential.

Tour Dates

10th Oct Patterns – Brighton
12th Oct – The Rainbow – Birmingham
13th Oct – Brudenell Social Club – Leeds
14th Oct – King Tuts – Glasgow
15th Oct – Think Tank – Newcastle
17th Oct – Gorilla – Manchester
18th Oct – The Bodega – Nottingham
19th Oct – The Fleece – Bristol
20th Oct – The Scala – London
23rd Oct – Hafenklang – Hamburg
24th Oct – Bi Nuu – Berlin
25th Oct – Kranhalle – Munich
27th Oct – Zakk – Düsseldorf
31st Oct – Point Ephemere – Paris

Sounds like: The Kills, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Big Pink, REMMI, Kate Bush

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