Nigerian-British avant-pop auteur and artist Tony Njoku shares the brilliant new Max Jedwab-directed video for ‘CONFIDENT’.
The intense single adopts a confessional, diary-like intimacy underpinned by whirring synths, which dissolve into effervescent chaos.
It is taken from his new album, ‘Your Psyche’s Rainbow Panorama’, released on 4 October via Silent Kid Records, in which he has taken inspiration from a work of Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s glass walkway, entitled ‘Your Rainbow Panorama’.
Sounds like: Sacred Animals, Ben Khan, Flying Lotus, Ghostpoet, Gaika, Lightfoot
Zanski digs deeper with his creative new single, ‘Younger You’.
A laid-back RnB affair, Zanski has teamed up with vocalist Emilia Ali to deliver unparalleled vocal lines, rich harmonies, and sweet grooves that perfectly showcase his ability for some serious tuneage, with as much intrigue and substance as James Blake or Jai Paul.
Sounds like: Ben Khan, James Blake, Honne, Banks, Jai Paul
Margot Polo (aka David Provenzano) releases his new single, ‘Let’s Get Out’.
A song about breaking out of routine ruts (something he is guilty of), Polo has teamed up with esteemed producer, Brad Wood, and their main goal with the track was to create a fun and huge chorus…and they have definitely succeeded.
Expect a five-song EP out this fall.
Sounds like: Von Sell, Foster the People, Tame Impala, Vampire Weekend, CHAPPO, The Beatles
Indie-funk band Bokito releases their new single ‘Freckle Leather’. Often mistaken for a heavy metal band, Bokito bring back their combination of signature hooks, unshakeable melodies and playful lyrics. A tightly-packaged, uproarious mix of indie, rock and perfect pop cadence that hooks listeners in straight at the first beat.
At first, ‘Freckle Leather’ reminds of Vampire Weekend, however, the five-piece stand their ground pretty quick and combine a lot of different styles. Drawing inspiration from artists such as Jeff Buckley and Justin Timberlake, the group created a completely new sound of modern indie regulated by ergonomic melodies.
Sounds like: Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Stereohoney, Shiners
Inspired by the cool glamour and fast life of the Miami Vice era, The Hails share their new song ‘Sugar’.
With its danceable beats and 80’s synth pop influence, ‘Sugar’ is a crafty juxtaposition that melds truth and fiction with the lyrics telling the story about a girl who lives life brazenly and recklessly.
The five-piece from Miami have met at Florida University and since then have dedicated their unique sound with classic drum machines to create an irresistible trademark sound of their own.
‘Always Or Never’ is the latest single released by the edgy, yet colourful band Vacation Club.
Written and produced by the band themselves, the laid back and catchy pop song elevates the perfect combination of upbeat beats and Helena Hahn’s beautiful vocals. The band has taken a raw and youthful approach towards the journey of love heightening both the highs and the lows.
Sounds like: LANY, Pale Waves, The 1975, Donna Lewis
Canadian-born, singer-songwriter Noble Oak has released his latest single ‘Evaporate’.
The song features his melancholic, beautiful vocals combined with captivating instrumentals he’s Oak yet again managed to create a dreamy release that will sound even better performed live on a big stage.
Noble Oak’s full-length debut album with Last Gang is set for worldwide release in 2020.
The multi-faceted talents create infectious, experimental pop in their basements studio in a London warehouse. They also run their own underground audiovisual club nights, as well as producing and remixing for other artists.
Napoleon Gold – Love Don’t Cut Me Down (feat. Haiva Ru)
French-born Antoine Honorez aka Napoleon Gold returns with his latest single ‘Love Don’t Cut Me Down’ featuring the vocals of Haiva Ru’s Allie Merril.
The track can be compared to an 80’s Fleetwood Mac song that’s been given an electronic boogie re-skin.
Speaking of the unique late-night feel of his music, Napoleon credits his life-long struggle with insomnia, “During my first year in Brussels for university, my insomnia became more and more frequent. I remember staying awake night after night, making music, watching the sunrise from my music desk – it had this beautiful orange and golden colour, I knew seeing this colour meant I had once again failed to sleep, but it also symbolised a new day, a new beginning. I decided to name that colour ‘Napoleon Gold'”.
Sounds like: Goldroom, Chela, RAC, Le Youth, JackLNDN
Grammy-Award nominated producer and vocalist, and Mura Masa collaborator, Tom Tripp returns with his latest single ‘TAM’, the first release off his forthcoming project ‘FLAG’.
The electro-laced funk track started life back in 2016, undergoing various iterations on Tom’s Laptop until a session with Grades earlier this year led to a final version that the self-proclaimed perfectionist was finally happy to share with the world.
Nashville-based alternative pop act, Daniella Mason, is back with a dreamy new visual that continues her ‘Mental State’ EP and ‘State of Mine’ sound series in which she aims to explore different parts of our humanity.
With her latest music video release – shot and edited by Dylan Reyes – Mason aimed to create a dream sequence that visualises the feeling of wandering throughout her mind and expands on its aimlessness.
Sounds like: Imogen Heap, The Japanese House, Robyn, Maggie Rogers, Billie Eilish, George Gretton, Luna Pines
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.
Young & Sick is the project by musician and visual artist Nick van Hofwegen.
After a stroke of luck following a move from his home country of Holland to London, Nick was commissioned to put together artwork for artists such as Foster the People, Maroon5 and MikkyEkko.
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, this creative genius has taken his pen music and the result is funkily brilliant. His new single ‘Bitter End’ “is a celebration of seeing things through completely. It’s looking back at a pretty wild year of countless obstacles and turbulent skies. Through the eyes of an unstoppable maniac”.
You can purchase Young & Sick’s ‘Ojai’ EP on limited edition 7″ vinyl here, out now via Neon Gold Records / B3SCI Records.
He also plays some live dates supporting Our Lovely Friends and The Knocks (tickets here), where you can likely expect a multi-faceted experience of music performance and interactive art.
Jan 24 // Vancouver, CA @ Fortune Sound Club
Jan 25 // Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Jan 29 // Chico, CA @ Senator Theatre
Jan 31 // Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Feb 1 // San Luis Obispo, CA @ The Fremont Theatre
Feb 2 // Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
Feb 5 // Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
Feb 6 // Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Feb 8 // Dallas, TX @ Dada Dallas
Feb 9 // Austin, TX @ Historic Scoot Inn
Feb 10 // Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock Room
Feb 12 // St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
Feb 14 // Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
Feb 15 // Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Feb 16 // Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Feb 17 // Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Feb 20 // Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
Feb 21 // Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Feb 23 // Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Sounds like: Von Sell, The Knocks, Passion Pit, Summer Heart, Goldroom, Roosevelt, Sofi Tukker
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!
Ohio based psychedelic pop quartet Captain Kidd share their new single called ‘Wild’, which is a blissful tune full of calming harmonies and shining production.
Lucky for you lot, Captain Kidd put together a playlist for us.
Blood Orange – Best to You
The hardest part about making this list might have been picking the right Dev Hynes track, but we would be lying if we said we’ve been jamming any other more than this one. The man truly is a genius, especially when it comes to writing parts for female vocalists, which is clearly shown in “Best to You.”
McFabulous – I Live Above the Hobby Shop
We were shuffling through discover weekly once and came across this track and thought maybe this was a live version of Glass Animals. We looked it up and realized they had sampled McFabulous for “Season 2 Episode 3,” and we absolutely loved this jam. Plus, McFabulous is an incredible name.
Ariel Pink – Another Weekend
Ariel Pink is the epitome of an artist pushing the boundaries of their sound. In fact, he has no boundaries. He does whatever he wants. Not many people can make experimental music catchy. This track off his new album is no different.
Porches – Find Me
One of our favorite current artists, still unknown to some. We fell in love with his last album Pool. It’s such a progression from his debut release. His latest, “Find Me,” combines that retro 90s house sound with modern day indie pop. We can’t wait for more from his upcoming full length.
TENDER – Machine
We discovered this U.K. based duo on a sub Reddit a few years back. They had one track out called “Armour.” We immediately fell in love with their production and the low and high vocal melody combo, which seems to have become their signature sound. Nate and Eric had a chance to see them live a few months back in Philadelphia.
La Poré – Sad Girl
La Poré is the fast rising solo project of our drummer, Nick Samson, started about a year ago now. If you’re into anything 80s or Foster the People then check out this track, and keep a look out for more of this tasteful pop coming from our percussionist!
Kanye West – Lost in the World
Kanye has been a favorite artist of ours for a long time, and has accompanied us on many road trips back and forth to Cleveland, so a playlist without him just wouldn’t feel right. Between the Bon Iver intro sample and the heavy driving beat, we have always felt this epic album closer is an underrated banger.
Frank Ocean – Self Control
Frank Ocean released Blonde in August 2016, and we instantly fell in love. His raw, emotive vocal style and minimalistic production caught our attention, and the album as a whole continues to get better with every listen. We like this track in particular because it starts out small and simple, but slowly transforms into one of the most moving songs on the album.
Jamie XX – Girl
Jamie XX has been a huge influence on us as self producers, especially with our percussion. We were obsessed with his album In Colour our last year of college. We lived in this enormous house with 9 people total, constantly jamming “Girl” and other accompanying tracks. The people we lived with that year are still some of our best friends, so the combination of nostalgia and the mark Jamie XX has had on us with our production makes this an important track.
Miguel – waves (Tame Impala Remix)
Kevin Parker of Tame Impala continues to amaze us with his progression as a producer and song writer. I mean, who saw Currents coming when Parker first released Innerspeaker? It seams as though he gets poppier with each release, but somehow still maintains that other worldly psychedelic goodness that many fans initially fell in love with. The “waves” remix isn’t what one would normally think of when thinking about a “remix.” It sounds like Miguel and Parker just teamed up to make a banger psych pop track, with those warm drum tones, luscious synths, and of course, lots of flanger.
We receive a huge amount of submissions via SubmitHub, and unfortunately cannot review all of the tracks, so we have decided to compile those tracks into a weekly segment of gems we’ve particularly enjoyed.
Dream Lake – Midnight Sun
Swedish electro-pop duo Dream Lake share the dreamy ‘Midnight Sun’.
This song perfectly encapsulates the airy, long days of light during the summer in Sweden, with dreamy vocals and romantic keys.
US-based Tigers and Thieves share ‘Change Your Mind’, an indie rock track that has all the markings of a hit, despite being recorded in their garage studio. It’s been mixed by Brian McTear (TheWar on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, LocalNatives).
Sounds like: Local Natives, Foster the People, The Neighbourhood, alt-J, Surfer Blood, The Temper Trap, Nick Mulvey