Tag Archives: FKA Twigs

Playlist: Highasakite

Highasakite

Highasakite

These guys must be as high as kites at the moment, following some fantastic reviews of recent releases, ‘Golden Ticket’ and ‘Someone Who’ll Get It’.

Giving us a snippet of their pre-show rituals, Highasakite have shared with us their pre-show playlist.

Enjoy!

The Knife – ‘Silent Shout’

A masterpiece of a song, love the vintage drum-machine and synths, and the vocal effect is dope!

Purity Ring – ‘Obedear’

Like getting sucked down into a dark hole where you get a glimpse of light here and there. Love this band!

FKA Twigs – ‘Water Me’

Beautiful vocal sampling, and the video is amazing too!

Grimes – ‘Dream Fortress’

Violin from another world! So moody and beautiful.

Like The Movie – ‘Cruel Thing’

My little electronic side project. Started working with this when I produced all of the electronic drums for the new

Highasakite album.

Purity Ring – ‘Amenamy (Jon Hopkins Remix)’

Love Jon Hopkins, and Purity Ring… so, this is just perfect!

Highasakite- ‘Golden Ticket’

Our new single, felt like it could fit on this playlist!

Justin Bieber – ‘Where Are Ü Now’

Can´t help it, this is just so cool! Fantastic production by Skrillex and Diplo!

Gordi – ‘Can We Work It Out’

Gordi joined us on our UK tour in May, and you should check it out!!

Emilie Nicolas – ‘Pstereo’

One of the best voices from Norway, and this song must be one of the best pop songs from Norway.

Björk – ‘Hyperballad’

What to say, this is so beautiful! The mix between electronic and acoustic instruments pushing the song forward with Björk’s vocals swimming on top.

Die Antwoord – ‘Ugly Boy’

Some people hate this, we love it!

Sounds like: The Knife, Lykke Li, Kate Boy, MØ, Raindear, Sóley

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Playlist: Harper

Harper

Harper

Eclectic R&B singer, Harper, has put together a wicked playlist for us!

Check it out below.

FKA Twigs – Two Weeks

For me, this track solidified Twigs’ ability to transcend into the mainstream without losing any of her individualism, and therefore made me a serious fan. The production is dark and brooding with a distinctive top-line that evokes all kinds of emotion.

Drake – Now and Forever

I love Drake’s ability to say things as they are without sounding insincere. The female vocal sample loaded with reverb is beautiful and haunting; something I try to emulate with my sound.

Emilie Nicholas – Put Me Down

I was completely floored by this tune! As well as the drop being pretty epic, the opening few lines are breathtaking. (Melodically she hits notes you would really struggle to find naturally when songwriting.)

An inspiring artist.

Kanye West – Blood On The Leaves

Love him, hate him. In my opinion he deserves to be highly credited for his music, especially this tune, sampling the incredibly moving Nina Simone song, ‘Strange Fruit’. Yeezy loves to sample, but he picks ’em well.

Radiohead – Codex

This track takes me on a different journey every time I hear it. The song is simple and not as sonically complex as you would expect from Radiohead, but it doesn’t need to be. Three words: ambient, moving and visual.

M83 Feat Susanne Sundfør – Oblivion (soundtrack)

If you like tunes with an 80’s aesthetic, this is for you. Big drums, big synths and big vocals. It’ll make you want to act out a dramatic scene from a movie in slo-mo, guaranteed.

Björk – All Is Full of Love

For me this is a masterpiece and one of the most beautifully written pieces of music I’ve heard. Dramatic and powerful, as Bjork always is. Electronica meets raw instrumentation = Genius.

Rihanna – Bitch Better Have My Money

This track has led the way for female pop artists like myself to experiment with elements of Trap music. I have a serious ‘girl power’ moment every time I hear it. It’s fierce, dark and empowering, yet still fits under the pop umbrella.

Major Lazer – Get Free

This is my summer anthem forever! An understated tune for Major Lazer, with a profound sentiment. I love a track you can enjoy for the vibe and the story it tells.

SZA – Babylon

SZA killed me with this track! Her tone is like velvet and her lyrics are quite abstract, which I love.

New wave R&B at its finest.

Beyoncé feat. Drake – Mine

This is my favourite tune from her previous record. Drake’s stamp is all over this track, with simple but energy-inducing melodies. This is met with Bey’s characteristically raw lyrical message and flawless vocals. Slaying all day with this tune!

Harper is playing the Alternative Escape on 21 May at 2pm.

Sounds like: Rihanna, Banks, Sizzy Rocket, Charli XCX

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Tradiio Exclusive: Interview with Empathy Test

Empathy Test

Empathy Test

Giving us a glimpse into their musical world, we chat with UK electronic duo, Empathy Test, and find out whether they are human or really androids.

Why did you start making music, and where did the name Empathy Test come from?

We’ve known each other since we were kids and both come from creative backgrounds. For us, music was a natural progression from other forms of expression like drawing and writing. We taught ourselves to play guitar in our teens and started writing and recording our own songs. Empathy Test came about many years later, after we’d both worked separately on some other very different projects. One day we just finally found a way for us both to collaborate and a style that suited us both. It probably took us a year from then to find a name that worked for the project. We wanted it to say something about our mutual love of Sci-Fi and the influence that it had had, both on the music and the artwork, which Adam does for us. Isaac was re-watching Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner for the fourth or fifth time, when he heard Tyrell say “Is this to be an Empathy Test?” and there it was. It’s what they use in the film to work out whether someone is a human or an android.

Describe your sound in three words.

Mesmerising future pop.

Despite writing critically acclaimed songs, and having a large fan base, Empathy Test remains unsigned. Has this been a conscious decision?

We’ve always wanted to be described as “critically acclaimed” – thanks! Has it been a conscious decision to remain unsigned? Yes and no. Our game plan was always to release two EPs, then an album. The first EP would be a self-release, the second we’d release via an independent. Then, fingers crossed, we’d release the album via a major. So far, so good. Three month’s after self-releasing Losing Touch (February, 2014) we caught the attention of Stars & Letters Records on Twitter. S&L agreed to release our second EP, Throwing Stones in December 2014. A year later, the album is nearly finished and we’re about to start pitching it to labels. We’ve had a few offers already but as we see it, there’s no point in being “signed” unless the label can do something you can’t do yourself. For us, it’s providing us with a much bigger audience than we already have. Once you’ve made a big enough name for yourself, you may as well just do it yourself.

Why did you decide to release a remix EP?

As a place holder really. We’d released two EPs and people were already hungry for more. We needed to record the album but didn’t want to keep people waiting too long. Over the course of 2014 we’d made a lot of new friends in electronic bands and we thought it’d be fun to get them to remix tracks from the second EP. We asked more people than we needed to, in case they didn’t have time or didn’t come up with anything, and ended up with way too many remixes. Then we felt we couldn’t reject any of them so we ended up putting out a ten track EP, which let’s face it, is basically an album.

Stars & Letters said they’d release it and that we should try and get as much press as possible in order to sell more copies of the original EP, so we planned this insane schedule of fortnightly premières for almost all of the remixes. Midway through the promo period S&L informed us they didn’t have the time or resources to see it through, leaving us to finished the promotion and release it ourselves. The irony was, after all that we had a few fans, particularly in Russia, grumbling that we should stop “rehashing our old tracks” and give people what they wanted – an album – or two!

Your album ‘Demons’ is out this year, as well as securing support slots with DE/VISION. It sounds like you have a good year ahead. Are you excited?

We’ve actually changed the name as we’ve dropped the title track, Demons, for the time being. New working title is ‘Shadows’. There’s no release date as yet because we don’t yet know who is going to release it. We’ve started working with German booking agency Pluswelt, which is home to some pretty big alternative acts like Clan of Xymox, Combichrist and Grendel. DE/VISION are on there too and so yeah, excited to be performing with them at their two pre-album launch shows in Germany in April. There’s also some big shows planned for the end of the year and the possibility of a support slot on a European tour too with another Pluswelt band, fingers crossed. So yeah, it looks set to be another big year for us and we are very excited to finally share some new material with you.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

In a nutshell,’80s Pop and Sci-Fi soundtracks, ’90s guitar bands and UK underground dance music. More recently, Black City Lights, Electric Youth, Chromatics, Chvrches, Purity Ring, FKA Twigs, Avec Sans, Gems, Mt. Wolf.

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

We both loved The Japanese House when we played with them at Camden Barfly at the end of last year. ‘Still’ was one of the best tracks of 2015; an amazingly well-crafted track. ‘All The Sad Young Men’ by Spector is also up there, and ‘Leave A Trace’ by Chvrches. Two great albums last year were Agent Side Grinder‘s ‘Alkimia’ and Lord Huron‘s ‘Strange Tails’. Guitar music is definitely making a comeback and there’s a lot of very ’90s sounding bands appearing, which we’re all for, by the way. You can check out Isaac’s top tracks 10 of 2015 here.

We’ve invested in Empathy Test. Have you? Listen to more of their songs and support them at tradiio.com/empathy-test.

Sounds like: School of Seven Bells, Chvrches, Purity Ring, The Chain Gang of 1974, Avec Sans, Cut Once

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ticktock – Pastel Clouds

ticktock

ticktock

Lose the time with ‘Pastel Clouds’ by part-Danish and nominal part-English citizen Sebastian Zieler (aka ticktock).

The sci-fi fan and instrumentalist combines grainy samples with polished production, describing his music as “nature and tech growing together”.

Watch the delicate video for ‘Pastel Clouds’ below:

It is the first single off his new EP ‘Fault Lines’, out on 4th December via The Big Oil Recording Company.

Sounds like: Kacy Hill, James Blake, FKA Twigs

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Tradiio Exclusive: Interview with Amethysts

Amethysts

Amethysts

Amethysts are a female/male duo from Suffolk, UK. We had a little chat with them about music, living in the countryside and BBC Introducing.

Why did you start making music?

Simon: I had very musical parents, they’ve been playing all their life, so I think if I didn’t get into music they’d both be pretty demoralised. I started gigging when I was 11/12 in a few pubs (I didn’t get served unfortunately) and have been in bands ever since.

I remember the first time I heard Clarice sing when we were still at school and being blown away. Since then we’ve performed in a few bands together but Amethysts is the first project where we’ve written together and performed as a duo.

You live in Suffolk, the home of Latitude Festival. Has the Suffolk countryside been a great source of inspiration for you?

Clarice: Latitude is one of our favourite festivals, we’ve been every year for the last 4 years, and we’ve previously played there, hopefully we’ll be able to play there as Amethysts soon!

Living in the countryside is a very peaceful so I think it has influenced the mood of our songs, gives our songs a chilled feel… either that or we’re making noise to rebel against the lack of hubbub outside.

Simon: I have a little home studio where we produce all our songs ourselves. My house is so countryside that our neighbour has sheep in her garden. If you listen carefully to some of the vocal takes you can hear sheep…

Describe your sound in three words.

Harmonies, guitar, synth.

We discovered you on Tradiio. Do you think free platforms, such as Tradiio, are making it easier for artists to expose their sound to the general public?

Simon: Definitely. Social media and online promotion is huge for bands at the moment.

For us things music blogs have been great. All of the reviews that we’ve had and the blogs that have shared our music have really helped us to get things moving. Tradiio is great for new bands, there’s tons of opportunities to get noticed and to reach more people and blogs, such as yourselves!

Your debut track ‘Alone’ was featured on BBC Introducing. How did that come about?

Clarice: It’s as simple as: We sent them Alone earlier this year and it got played on BBC Suffolk and BBC Essex the next day and the next thing we know we got invited into Radio 1 for an interview! It all happened really quick, as you can imagine, we were pretty uncontrollably excited. Alone is actually being played on Radio 1 again this Monday night on Huw Stephens’ show. [correct at time of writing. Alone was played on 23 November]

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

We have tonnes of fav’s – Ben Howard, Bon Iver, Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, London Grammar, Radiohead, James Blake, FKA Twigs, we could go on..

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

We’re absolutely in love with Aquilo at the moment and we’re loving Rhodes’s new album. I’ve also had Jamie XX’s album in my car for the last few weeks. Foals new album has got some bangers on it, and we’re both eagerly awaiting new James Blake and new Radiohead. We’re both poised like a cat ready to pounce on some tickets for when Bon Iver and Radiohead start touring again as well.

We’ve invested in Amethysts. Have you? Listen to more of their songs and support them at tradiio.com/amethysts.

Sounds like: OH Wonder, Paperwhite, IYES, Fickle Friends

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Dua Lipa – Be The One

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa is a 19 year old singer/songwriter from London. She makes husky discotronica.

Dua grew up surrounded by music and cites an eclectic mix of inspiration spanning generations from Tupac to Action Bronson, Bob Dylan and David Bowie, to Alt-J.

Following on from ‘New Love’, which was produced by Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs), and Andrew Wyatt (Miike Snow), is ‘Be The One’. The direction and intent of Dua’s sound is more clear to listeners with this second track, showing a tactical (and very wise) move by the youngster.

Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Ben Khan, FKA Twigs, Jess Glynne, REMMI, Foxes, Marina & The Diamonds

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Grimes – Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream

Grimes

Grimes

Montreal experimental-electronic artist Clair Boucher aka Grimes has been had a very natural progression of producing great music and ascension through time, with her fourth album ‘Art Angels’ due out in November.

The self-directed video for ‘Flesh without Blood/Life in the Vivid Dream’ follows a lost angel. The first act is a quirky and colourful portrayal of pop, and boasts everything we love about Grimes. The second act is still pretty macabre, but is more of a view into the softer side of Grimes, showcasing her high calibre vocals.

It is taken from her forthcoming album ‘Art Angels,’ which is out digitally 6 November on 4AD. Pre-order on iTunes.

Sounds like: Kyle La Grange, iamamiwhoami, FKA Twigs, Purity Ring, Sky Ferreira, MØ, Austra, Charli XCX, Henri

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Tradiio Exclusive: Interview with Isaura

Isaura by Tiago Costa

Isaura by Tiago Costa

Isaura is an electronic Portuguese musician on the country’s one to watch list for 2015. We discovered Isaura whilst on Tradiio.

Her slow pop jam ‘Change It’ has been produced by Ben Monteiro (D’Alva, Mount Keeper) and it was written and composed by the artist herself.

We caught up with Isaura about writing music in English and her love for a variety of artists.

Why did you start making music?

I don’t quite know how to answer that since it is not something I’ve decided to do. I’ve always loved music and most of all I’ve always felt the need to write and compose my own songs. I think that for me it is the best possible way to express myself, to tell my stories and what is going on around me. I don’t think I could write a personal journal or a book, I don’t have enough discipline for that!, but I really like to preserve memories and write down things I do not want to forget; songs are perfect for that.

You are from Portugal, but you write your music in English. Is there a reason behind this?

I love how Portuguese sounds in songs, it is a beautiful, elegant and mysterious language; but I also think that it has a lot of character and personality and I prefer to hear English in this electronic pop world I’m singing. Besides that, my main influences sing in English and that is also a more universal tool to communicate… I think when you like to tell stories you need to believe that somehow the whole world can actually hear them.

Describe your sound in three words.

Electronic, pop, urban.

We discovered you on Tradiio. Do you think free platforms, such as Tradiio, are making it easier for artists to expose their sound to the general public?

Absolutely. Nowadays almost everyone can go online, use social networks and free platforms and upload songs; for good artists that are strongly committed to work hard and to build a music career it can be good and bad at the same time since you have a lot of things going on and sometimes good artist remain hidden under those infinite gigabytes of stuff and labels will never find them. Platforms like Tradiio act not only as a platform where people can hear music and judge for themselves instead of only hearing what big labels and radio stations choose, it also gives the possibility that good artists can be noticed by labels and hopefully earn contracts. I hope the platform can really make a difference and remain parallel to the music industry.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

I hear a lot of everything. I do not hear that much music, because for me it can be an extenuating process since I can’t work and hear music or wash dishes and hear music: when I hear music I have to stop everything I’m doing. But I listen to very different artists that can touch me somehow. However, for my work as an artist I go from Jessie Ware, Chet Faker, Honne, Shura, Jack Garrat, Tourist, Haim to Daughter, Disclosure, AlunaGeorge, Rudimental, Flume, Jamie XX, James Blake, , FKA Twigs and so many others.

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

I’m just like anybody else that loves electronic music: I’m still stunned with Jack Ü feat Justin Bieber.

We’ve invested in Isaura. Have you? Listen to more of Isaura’s songs and support her at tradiio.com/isaura.

Sounds like: Frances, Daughter, London Grammar

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Ella On The Run – Rodeo Clowns

Ella On The Run - Rodeo Clowns

Ella On The Run – Rodeo Clowns

London-based artist Ella On The Run has subtle alt-pop attitude. It’s the kind that sneaks up on you when you least expect it, but when it does it makes a huge impact.

Ella describes new track ‘Rodeo Clowns’ as “it’s about the ups and downs in a relationship – this is visualised in the video by placing Ella into an empty flat with the ghost of memories that haunt the room.”

Sounds like: Banks, Salt Ashes, FKA Twigs, Tove Styrke, Snow Patrol

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Belgrave – Dancing In The Silence

Belgrave

Belgrave

Belgrave is 24-year-old Londoner, Laurie Belgrave.

Having played in various indie bands around South East London from the age of 16, Laurie became frustrated at having to shout over noisy guitars and decided on a change in direction. From the retreat of a seaside cabin in Cornwall, Laurie began writing and producing on his own. These honest recordings captured the raw emotion of a young man finding his voice.

Liam Howe (FKA Twigs, Jessie Ware, Lana Del Rey) shared Laurie’s vision and has been a collaborator on the stripped-back project ever since, culminating in him producing the three tracks that make up his debut EP, ‘Echoes’.

‘Dancing in the Silence’ is the first track from the EP:

The ‘Echoes EP’ is out on 17 July.

Sounds like: Alex Clare, James Blake, Yeasayer, Depeche Mode, Fyfe, Ben Khan, Shura

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