In a love letter to mother nature, London-based KYRI bares all in his new single, ‘Sanctuary’.
Using his voice for good, KYRI explores themes of rebirth, nature, spirituality and the deepest corners of our humanity with his music, heavily influenced from his childhood of Greek Orthodox churches, gospel choirs & forests, through to London’s intoxicating LGBTQ+ club culture.
Sounds like: The Weeknd, Rosie Lowe, Gallant, Birdy, James Blake
Bishop Ivy is the diverse and cinematic solo project of Ivy ( real name: Cam Crowley), that takes cues from a broad range of mainstream sounds, pulling together elements of alternative pop, rock, trap, and electronica.
Inspired by a life-changing move from Massachusetts to Texas while Ivy was still in high school, the ‘All Things Temporary’ EP roots itself in songs about change, innocence, and angst, exploring familiar themes from unfamiliar angles.
He’s put together a playlist for Indietronica, exploring these themes. Take a listen below.
Mitski – Nobody
I was introduced to Mitski by her Tiny Desk Concert—a stripped-down acoustic set filmed in the office of NPR—and was blown away by the control she has over her voice. Her singing is meticulous and gentle, especially in the verses of Nobody. I also love the piano chords and chaotic ending this builds to.
Clairo – Bags
I loved this change in sound coming from Clairo. Her songwriting pairs well with the more acoustic and indie instrumentation here. The manipulated and/or tuned pianos and guitars are gorgeous.
Snail Mail – Pristine
Snail Mail’s melodies and jangly guitar chords create the perfect shade of melancholy that I love to try to tackle in my own writing. I thought the way my friend Névé put it was fitting: “It’s like you just balled your eyes out, but now you’re done and you feel better.”
James Bay – Fade Out
I absolutely love James Bay’s second album. The combination of his gritty songwriting with more electronic production is refreshing and lively. This song, in particular, is what I listened to after being done with the SAT. I hated the SAT.
Kevin Abstract – Peach
One of my favorite songs of the year: The click-y percussion, acoustic guitar hits, and layered synth pads create a lovely atmosphere that Kevin Abstract, Dominic Fike, Joba, and Bearface all thrive upon.
Beach House – Silver Soul
Silver Soul is my go-to Beach House song. Their particular combination of ballad-writing and retro-sounding synthesizers and drum machines is definitely influential on my sound.
Billie Eilish – ilomilo
This track I think is one of the best examples of the forward-thinking production that is all over this record. The layered vocals in the chorus are ethereal, and each part of the minimalist beat stands out in its own eerie way.
Phoebe Bridgers – You Missed My Heart
The debut Phoebe Bridgers record has grown on me more and more since I first heard it around 2018. This track, in particular, stands out for its amazing lyrics. The imagery is so vivid and actually violent, greatly different from the soft melody and piano chords.
James Blake – Into The Red
James Blakes synthesis of traditional and electronic musical sounds is breathtaking in this song. The final chorus is one of the most tear-jerking pieces of music I think I have ever heard, ever.
Toro y Moi, Instupendo – 50-50
The mixing on 50-50 is great. Each element, from the boomy kick, to the reverb-y vocals that just spill all over the track, work well with each other and expand the futuristic sounding palette of sounds.
Flume, SOPHIE, KUČKA – Voices
I thought SOPHIE was just about perfect for an appearance on Flume’s glitchy, abrasive mixtape Hi This Is Flume. Her production is so particular I can make confident guesses as to which instruments came from her and which did not. The softness of her vocals plays well with the harshness of the instrumentals.
Bon Iver – 29 #Strafford APTS
My favorite example of Bon Iver’s relaxing songwriting paired with glitchy electronics. I saw them live while recovering from the flu specifically for this song. They did not play it. I threw up.
Frank Ocean – Moon River
Frank Ocean’s layered vocals that don’t exactly line up time-wise fit well with the darker take he has on this song. I also love the brooding, heavy guitars and the atmospheric outro.
Michael Andrew – YOU
Michael Andrew is a singer-songwriter I met in Los Angeles in 2018. I was blown away by his voice, and especially by his album atlasTELAMON. The production and writing really reminds of Julien Baker, in the best way possible.
Jacob Collier – Make Me Cry
As I expected it to be, Jacob Collier’s Tiny Desk performance was stellar. It introduced me to this tune. His jazzy chord changes and harmonies are perfect for the relaxing nature of this song.
Hip hop DJ-turned writer and producer. Luke Wylde, and Australian singer-songwriter Rhea Robertson, are both giving you the opportunity to face your demons and finally be honest about with your feelings in new song ‘Save Yourself’.
The combination of Robertson’s dreamy jazz undertones and alt-pop sounds with Wylde’s bluesy interlude makes for an enticing track.
If things are getting tired, change it up. Wise words from Los Angeles-based Benji Lewis indeed.
His nostalgic new single ‘Fast Foward’ is the first taste of a brand new five-track EP that Lewis has planned for release in early 2020, it features the slick production of Los Angeles artist Kid Froopy and it also comes with a visually stunning Chris Weigen-directed music video.
Sounds like: The 1975, The Kite String Tangle, Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure
Nick Anthony – When I’m Gone (feat. Chloe Gendrow)
Artists these just seem to get younger and younger, and Nick Anthony at just 19-years of age has not only found success as a dance producer but soon realised that his talents have overflowed from dance into poppier, crossover sounds – which has become a sound distinctly his.
His latest, ‘When I’m Gone’, which features the vocal talents of Chloe Gendrow and taken from his forthcoming EP is the next chapter in his ever-evolving sound and sets and irrefutable mood.
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.
Faradays is the project of Dutch songwriter and physicist Karindra Perrier.
Her new EP ‘Memories’ is out now and to celebrate the release, Faradays has put together a playlist for us full of honest and vulnerable songwriters, taking inspiration from her fascination for time, the world, and life itself in both music and science.
Maggie Rogers – Alaska
This song grabbed me the first time I heard it because it has very personal vocals and distinct sounds, and yet it’s so catchy, I just wanna dance to it.
Wildhart – We Made up a Dream
The Swedish have such particular pronunciation and vocal timbre, I love it. Beautiful song.
Lorde – The Louvre
I’m a fan of the way Lorde delivers her kind of mainstream yet authentic songs. With this track particularly, I’m just obsessed with the underwater-like bridge with the lush vocals and melancholic melodies.
Flume, Kai – Never Be Like You
This track, it’s such a good hit. Way to ride those faders on the synths! And the variety in drum sounds with the carefully tailored beat, kind of genius to get your track lively like that with few elements. Plus the “never be like you” is just an undeniably good vocal hook.
St. Vincent – New York
St. Vincent has been an inspiration to me since forever. I guess I could have added almost any song by her in this list, and I almost added Cheerleader. But I chose the more recent New York, because it’s so epic and emotional.
ANIMA! – Moving Mountains
I really love that ascending melody in the chorus, and then how the groove takes off after, and back to the darker sounding verse with the lively synth bass. Contrasting parts that come together so harmoniously. Really good.
Frank Ocean – Solo
I was kind of late to discover Frank Ocean. But now I cannot go without. His songwriting is so inspiring, his lyrics, his imagery, the way his hooks work in surprising ways.
Ásgeir – Higher
I don’t listen to this song so often anymore, but when I was writing for our EP Memories I often went to this song for inspiration on a straightforward approach that leads to a magical warm vibe. The way the piano chords are elegantly dragging behind the beat makes this song doesn’t become inert or clunky.
Katie Dey – Fleas
This is so radically uncompromising. It’s strange. It’s sweet. It’s the weirdest bedroom pop, completely out there. I love it.
Klangstof – Sleaze
I’ll end with a fellow Dutchman, because I’m proud of all the beautiful music and awesome artist we have here in the Netherlands. This track of Klangstof is subdued and excited at the same time. And I highly recommend listening to more of their tracks.
Sounds like: CILVR, Bat for Lashes, The Japanese House
Tessa Dixson has just released the emotive ‘Falling’, which one again feature those trademark yearning and goosebumps inducing vocals. To celebrate the release, we asked Tessa to put together a playlist of inspiration for us.
Tessa Dixson – Prayer
This was my first ever release, and it still embodies everything i am today. It’s still so true to what i believe and i feel it’s the kind of anthem for any young adult discovering the beauty and sadness of life.
Frank Ocean – White Ferrari
His album Blonde is the only album i am able to listen to on repeat without getting tired of it, but on the contrary falling in love with it even more every time. He captures your emotions so perfectly and something quite extraordinary happens, he’s a musical genius to me.
Maggie Rogers – Give A Little
I’ve never really been into pop rock, but Maggie is an amazing singer songwriter, and when you hear one of her songs you will directly know it’s hers, and this song is a perfect feel-good-get out of bed-on a sunny morning-dancing in front of the mirror song, start off your morning right with Maggie!
Spooky Black – DJ Khaled Is My Father
I think Spooky Black may be the artist i’ve listened to the most since i was 16 years old. He has this haunting truth telling that is just so sad and he is able to make poetry out of it, that’s beautiful to me. When i listen to this song i feel i am laying on a bed of white roses in the sky slowly falling into a pool of red.
Ama Lou – Tried Up
To me, Ama Lou is the next big thing in the underground world, she has a really strong concept and her latest project DDD is super interesting. Her songs resonate a cool coolness.
Aphex Twin – #3
I have a playlist on my phone called “starfish” and a lot of Aphex Twin’s songs are in it simply because that’s what the songs make me feel like, a starfish underwater, a certain serenity and peace of mind and just gliding with the slow current, i usually listen to this playlist when i’ve smoked a spliff.
The song is 7 minutes long and is very monotonous in the sense that it is the same chords over and over but that is the beauty of the song, it’s not about the chords itself but more about what happens in between.
Bicep – Opal (Four Tet Remix)
I NEVER GET TIRED OF THIS SONG!!! It has so many ups and downs in it that you never get bored from it. It’s the kind of song you want to listen to when you come back from a party and the sun starts to come up and you still feel a bit buzzed but tired at the same time, thats the feeling i get from this song. Just writing about it gives me sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach.
James Black / Bon Iver – I Need A Forest Fire
Everything about this song makes me emotional and i don’t know why but that’s why i love it so much. James Blake and Bon Iver is a match made in heaven, everything about this song is perfect, the harmonies, the ad-libs, the beat, the chords, the strength of their voices together, i mean everything.
The Blaze – Virile
If you haven’t yet noticed, i tend to like songs that make me feel some kind of way, that’s usually why i like a song or not. Well this song represents a form of nostalgia and that’s why i like it so much, it tells a story by the atmosphere.
Romeo Elvis/Primero/Tessa Dixson/Halibab Matador – Poliss Massa
Romeo Elvis has really been able to create a sort of empire so i’m very proud to have been a part of it in the very beginning. It’s such a chill song and really makes me think of Brussels somehow.
South Coast-based R&B singer and producer Nakala recently dropped her hefty, eight track ‘GIRL’ EP, which features production from long-term production partner Brad Baker and co-production from Jonah (Ayelle, Dom Mcallister) who at only 19 has been working with Nakala and Brad as part of their in-house production team for the last four years.
To coincide with the ‘GIRL’ release, Nakala has put together a smooth playlist for us. Check it out below.
Nakala – Ringer I finished this track after I came back from LA and it just gives me good vibes
Mac Ayers – Get To You Again I loved Mac Ayers from the first single I heard..
Ella Mai – Trip Ella Mai is out here making waves, fave song from her album.
KHALID, 6LACK, Ty, Dolla $ign – OTW I love all the artists on this track especially Ty, this track is a vibe.
J.Cole – 1985 J. Cole is my one favourite artists, this was my fave track off his latest album.
Drake – In My Feelings This isn’t my fav drake track but it makes me happy.
SZA, Travis Scott – Love Galore I actually love this track because I LOVED the Khalid cover, his cover made me love the original.
Ayelle, Nakala – Actor This is a vibe, I love Ayelle, she’s my girl and we have some great songs together.
Kehlani, Cardi B – Ring I LOVE Kehlani and loved the new Cardi album, this was one of the best tracks for me.
Frank Ocean – Solo This track reminds me of LA, my happy place.
Brent Faiyaz – All I Want Summer vibes, chills me out and love Brent’s voice.
Comprised of Robin French (Cuckoo) and Antonia Thomas (Misfits, Lovesick), these two creatives write seductive bossa nova music paired with calypso pop sensibilities that would fit well on the soundtrack of ‘The End of the F***ing World’.
On the motivation behind Bethnal Green Blues, Robin states,
“Sometimes you write a sad song from a happy moment. This came to me while I was flying to South America to see a girl I’d fallen for. It’s about the emotional ice age after a romance fails, but it was written as that ice melted under the Argentine sun..”
We love an indie anthem, so thank you to five-piece pop-rock, Dancing On Tables.
The band, school friends from school in Dunfermline, a small town just outside Edinburgh, have released ‘Colour Me Good’ – a groove-laced, vintage indie-pop track that encapsulates sun-drenched, dance-able songwriting with a distinct Scottish charm.
Sounds like: Sea Girls, Biffy Clyro, Circa Waves, The 1975
Slenderbodies is a California-bred duo who write forward-thinking, dreamy synth-pop.
Their new single ‘The One’ is intricately subtle musical medication, shared in preparation of their upcoming EP, ‘SORAYA’, to be released through Los Angeles indie label Avant Garden, which is also home to Emotional Oranges.
From summer season to ‘Sad Season’ with former professional cyclist Gavin Haley‘s latest single.
While competing with the national cycling team, Haley suffered an injury that resulted in a collapsed lung, setting back his travel by several months. During his recovery, he explored and found inspiration in Europe’s underground music scene, becoming enamored with energetic live performances filled with a grit and energy.
Starting with a simple West Coast-inspired guitar riff, ‘Sad Season’ soon picks up and exposes determined pop and R&B.
Canadian songstress ROYAL debuts with ‘Vessel’, the first of six new tracks that appear on her upcoming album, ‘Heart of Shadows’.
Covering the topic of heartbreak, loss of identity and raw self-reflection, this is electro-pop at its finest in 2018.
Speaking about ‘Vessel,’ ROYAL says,
“This song is about heartbreak – having to let go of someone you love, and then realizing the emptiness and loss of identity that ensues. I wrote this song it while trying to find myself after getting lost within a relationship for many years and then feeling shattered by the loss of a love I thought would last a lifetime.”
Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Lana Del Rey, Evvy, Noosa, Dominique, The xx
Last but not least, our favourite breakthrough act – self-taught producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Von Sell.
After a bout of vocal pain and subsequent treatment, we are pleased to say that Von Sell is on the mend and returning to our stereos with ‘Scene OF A Crime’.
Taken from his forthcoming sophomore EP, ‘Digital Sleep’, the song reflects on unrequited love, but, due to its uptempo nature, it will ultimately leave a taste of confusion in your mouth because you can’t help but dance despite the disconcerting subject matter.
Sounds like: Summer Heart, Hazel English, Teen Daze, Peter Gabriel, Alt-J, Thomas Azier
Brika is the alternative pop project of Cuban-American, Briana Martinez, who has been a musician since the tender age of three.
Whilst her music maybe lyrically mature, it has a profound pop swagger, which envelopes you immediately upon first listen until you reach the end and don’t quite remember how you got there, much like a taxi ride (which incidentally ties in nicely with her current release, ‘Taxi Man’).
Brika has kindly put together a playlist for Indietronica. Check it out below.
Steve Lacy – Some
Music is a very visual art form that constantly draws pictures from moments of your past. I generally believe that one of the many elements that determine if a song is good, is its ability to make you instantly daydream. The first time I heard this song, it was very early in the morning as I was driving, and it instantly provoked exactly that. Since I’ve been hooked.
Beach House – Space Song
I love this song because there is something very bittersweet about it. It reminds me of the general music I would listen to a lot in high school.
A$AP Rocky, Frank Ocean – Purity
One of my recent late-night “what is life” songs for me. I think the structure of this song is very unique and refreshing. Frank Ocean’s voice makes me instantly nostalgic.
Thom Yorke – The Eraser
This… I mean, Thom Yorke is everything. Although this song isn’t in one of my more recent plays, it is definitely a song I always go back to. The production is timeless and Yorke is anexcellent lyricist I have spent several nights just analyzing his ability to make one song perfectly summarize so many emotions.
Demo – Sunshine Girl
The song you blast in your apartment with a bottle of wine as you’re cooking a delicious meal. I am a sucker for excessive harmonies that feel effortless, old-school elements, and wavy sounding tracks.
TOPS – Easier Said
Tops is a very underrated artist.
ROSALÍA – Catalina
Rosalía embodies what the future of music is. She mixes Spanish Flamenco with modern Pop and Hip-Hop beat elements. The music she releases is extremely innovative and her lyrics are also very tasteful. Even in her attempt to do a more commercial sounding track with J Balvin in Brillo, her unique palate of influences thrive.
Feist – A Man Is Not His Song
A Man Is Not His Song is special to me. I love how she uses ‘song’ as a kind of metaphor for saying, just because an artist sings or a person portrays a certain image, doesn’t necessarily mean that is their reality. Her message can be interpreted further to say, that no one can live up to first impressions forever, in the same way, that writers of beautiful songs often create things beyond them. I think this song analyzes and embodies perfectly, what is found often in the music industry, when an artist plays the role of something they are not. Every track in album Pleasure by Feist, had a lot of interesting insights in the lyrics, and inspired me in the creation of my new EP.
Rhye – Song For You
This is a great song to drive to. I saw them live, and was extremely shocked to find the singer was actually a male and sounded exactly as the record!
Lykke Li – I Never Learn
Although this album has been around for a very long time, these are one of the songs I’ve only more recently discovered.
Moses Sumney – Plastic
I think Moses Sumney is incredible and very underrated. Everything that this artist puts out is real music. I love the soft Jazz guitar, the distant reverbed harmonies, and subtle use of strings at the end. He never disappoints in creating beautiful arrangements that are topped by tasteful lyrics.
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!