Stockholm-based Augustine follows up his debut single with ‘A Scent of Lily’ – a cinematic and melancholic interpretation of Ariana Grande‘s ‘Into You’, and the powerlessness of losing yourself in a relationship.
Once again, Augustine takes us on a journey through a future-retro, bombastic-pop soundscape.
Sounds like: PNAU, Foster the People, James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Phoebe Bridgers, Tame Impala, Phoenix
Sometimes the best pop songs are the most simplistic, allowing them to be catchy and emotive.
One of these contenders is ‘Change Your Mind’ by New Zealand-based Abby Wolf. An effervescent track which depicts the internal struggle faced when you’re unsure of the right path. Something we all can relate to.
Rising pop artist Malory shares the beautiful ‘Blue Umbrella’, which we have had on repeat all week.
Seeking inspiration from life actions, ‘Blue Umbrella’’ started life on a tube journey after Malory had observed a family and noticed the father had a sadness in his eyes and seemed strangely discontented.
The Londoner was later in the studio making an experimental instrumental with producer Danny George when they noticed there was a blue umbrella left in the studio, which Malory found represented the image of an unhappy corporate figure in the rain on his way home from work.
Expect her debut album ‘Cornucopia’ out on 1 March.
Brooklyn-based duo Drinker shares ‘Something I Want’ – a track slightly darker than your average musical tipple.
Inspired by a mututal love of James Blake, songwriter Aaron Mendelsohn and producer Ariel Loh “wanted to create a visually diverse and bold message with the video for “Something I Want” and enlisted the help of NY based LGBTQ focused film maker Tyler Byrnes. With the implementation of stop motion animation and found footage, we aimed for a stark and surreal aesthetic to paint America’s multi-generational story of consumerism.“
Sounds like: Thom Yorke, James Blake, Trentemoller, The Acid, Fever Ray, Sevdaliza, Tame Impala
Externalising her thoughts, Ariela Jacobs considers the concept of missing her old self in new song ‘Missing You’.
New York born and Melbourne bred, indie-pop singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs was raised on a diet of literature and art. Her songwriting sends the listener on a journey both intimate and other-worldly; with melodies with clear folk-based lines, underscored by lush chords and pulsing rhythms.
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!
London artist Austel creates highly emotive music, so we thought it would be worth asking her to put together a playlist for us of the same! The result is below, and includes her brand new single ‘Crows’.
Crows – Austel
Our debut single, which we’re very excited to be able to share with the world.
Love Me In Whatever Way – James Blake
I had this album on repeat for months after it came out. I love the recurring vocal riff and building tension in the first half of this track. The drop is immense – that saw bass synth riff… so good.
‘Tell me when I have to go / And then love me there’
The End – Daughter
This track embodies everything I love about Daughter – Elena’s cutting lyrics, their trademark washes of guitar and ever-evolving sections and poignant vocal chants.
‘Let’s spend the future talking about the past’
Dry and Dusty – Fever Ray
I’m a big fan of the self-titled Fever Ray record and Karin Dreijer’s androgynous vocal style. On ‘Dry and Dusty’, she combines her tribal voice with developing synth motifs and simple percussion, conjuring a surreal, dream-like mood.
‘I am a capsule of energy’
Sugar Pill – The Japanese House
This track opens with delicate, melancholic piano chords but soon evolves – introducing Amber Bain’s washes of vocoder-treated vocals, glitchy beats and expansive synths.
‘You can use my ribcage as a pillow’
Hazmat Suits – Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein
I went through a stage of being a bit obsessed by the Stranger Things soundtrack – it’s so hypnotic. The bass synth glide on ‘Hazmat Suits’ is huge and hits me in the stomach every time.
Form By Firelight – Jon Hopkins
Jon Hopkins’ Immunity is a huge sonic influence on us; it has so much life amongst all the electronic sounds. It’s just brilliant.
This Mess We’re In – PJ Harvey
One of my favourite songs of all time, on one of my favourite albums of all time. The addition of Thom Yorke’s ghostly vocals are a dream collaboration.
‘I have seen the sunrise over the river, the freeway / Reminding of this mess we’re in’
Outlier – Bonobo
Bonobo’s music has a great driving, energetic feel to it. Adam and I were both obsessed with Migration when it came out. The track ‘Outlier’ builds really strongly adding layer after layer. Tracks like this really influenced the Austel production process.
Sleaze – Klangstof
One of my more recent discoveries – I love the expansive space Klangstof create with those pulsing synths and soaring hooks.
‘The tide needs a night to set up and collide’
Europe Is Lost – Kate Tempest
Kate Tempest is one of the most powerful performers of our time – the rising tension and cutting message of this track is profoundly resonant, and a haunting reflection of the days we’re living in.
‘We have learned nothing from history / The people are dead in their lifetimes’
Silhouettes (I, II & III) – Floating Points
Adam’s a big Floating Points fan. ‘Silhouettes (I, II & III)’ has this amazing string part in the middle section which is a wonderful merger of electronic and acoustic instrumentation.
The Eraser – Thom Yorke
This whole record is incredible, another one of my favourites. The opening title track is Thom Yorke at his best – trademark moody piano chords, glitchy rhythms and those beautiful, haunting vocals.
‘You know the answer so why do you ask?’
Teardrop – Massive Attack
‘Teardrop’ was my entry ticket into trip hop. Elizabeth Fraser is one of the greatest singers of all time and this track perfectly exhibits how much power you can create with moments of fragility and dynamic range.
Time to start cruising with The Kite String Tangle‘s unusually upbeat new single, ‘This Thing We Got’.
It’s a song about the butterflies you feel when you first get with someone, cleverly represented by the rosy horn section (think MarkRonson, Rudimental). Originally planned to be 30 b.p.m slower than it now is, the slower melody is sampled in the chorus as a “song within a song”.
Watch the live video below.
‘This Thing We Got’ can be found on The Kite String Tangle‘s self-titled debut album which is available everywhere now via Exist Recordings.
Sounds like: RÜFÜS, Dead Ceremony, M83, TDeL2, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, The Weeknd, Active Child, Mount Kimbie, Fever Ray, James Blake, Cloud Boat
We’ve been fans of New Zealand talent, So Below, for a while now.
We wanted to find out what helps So Below write her incredibly reflective, dark electronic pop, so what better way than her expressing it in a playlist?
“In this playlist I feel like a have a memory or feeling associated with each song, they all have a nostalgic quality to them. Like The Dodos track for example makes me think of sitting on my mums roof at her old house in Auckland and drinking beers with my friends in summer. Or the Trentemoller track makes me think of waiting at the bus stop for the bus to go to work and its pouring down with rain. All such great songs!”
Sounds like: Raindear, Kate Boy, The Naked And Famous, MUNA, Ofelia K, Monogem, Bo Rocha
Norweigian artists, Röyksopp and SusanneSundfør are no strangers to working together, having collaborated on ‘Running To The Sea’ and ‘Save Me’.
New number, ‘Never Ever’, is a highly danceable, electronic track, seeing Röyksopp return in full force.
“The track has its own cosmos and its own place.” says Svein Berge. “The whole idea of us going away from the whole album concept was that we do have many musical expressions that we want to do,” says Torbjørn. “One of them might be a club track, but we don’t necessarily want to do an album of it. It’s that way with ‘Never Ever’ – we love it, but we don’t need 12 tracks like it.”
Sounds like: Robyn, Digitalism, Fever Ray, Little Boots, Goldfrapp