Tag Archives: Frank Ocean

An Indietronica Preview of NOS Alive 2018

NOS Alive

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

Friendly Fires

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.

Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, Two Door Cinema Club

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Jain, Sagres Stage

Jain

Jain is a multi-cultural singer/songwriter and self confessed beat-maker, originally from France, but who has also spent time in Dubai and The Congo.

Jain means achieving liberation of the soul, and that’s exactly what this music embodies with its flecked sounds of African rhythms with simple, yet vibrant vocals.

Watch the video for highly recognised song ‘Makeba’ below and catch Jain at the Sagres Stage on Thursday.

Sounds like: Brigitte, Santigold, L.E.J, Yodelice, Lilly Wood & The Prick

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Khalid, Sagres Stage

Khalid

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

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Wolf Alice, Sagres Stage

Wolf Alice

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

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Sampha, Sagres Stage

Sampha

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

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FRIDAY 13 JULY

Two Door Cinema Club, NOS Stage

Two Door Cinema Club

We have watched Irish electro-poppers Two Door Cinema Club play live countless times, and that’s why they’ve made this list.

It’s hard to believe these youngsters have been around for over eight years. Still full of energy and banging tunes, catch them on the Friday!

Sounds like: Phoenix, Hot Chip, Passion Pit

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Future Islands, NOS Stage

Future Islands

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.

Expect big things on stage!

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Perfume Genius, Twin Shadow, Sylvan Esso, Austra

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CHVRCHES, Sagres Stage

CHVRCHES

Feisty feminist attitudes and catchy lyrics is what CHVRCHES brings to the table.

Lauren Mayberry has faced her fair share of trolls online, but to her testament, the Scottish trio continue to go from strength to strength. We are very much looking forward to this show!

Sounds like: Kate Boy, Avec Sans, Purity Ring, Vogue Dots, R.A.B.B.I.I., Kaleida, Gems, IYES, For Esmé, ALMA, Pale Hands, Acre Tarn, Prinze George, Leitbur, Monogem, PALMEDO, NONONO, Still Corners, MUNA

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Portugal. The Man, Sagres Stage

Portugal. The Man

Bold American rock band Portugal. The Man have been making serious waves of late, and if you haven’t heard of them, you soon will.

An iPhone soundtrack waiting to happen; expect goosebumps, sway inducing vocal harmonies and a fist pumping bass line.

Sounds like: Foster The People, Broken Bells, Grouplove, Circa Survive, MGMT

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Surma, Coreto Stage

Surma

Imagine if M83 and Joanna Newsom met one day and decided to make some music. The result would be the quirky and ambient tones of Portuguese Surma (aka Débora Umbelino).

Working with loop pedals, the solo artist works with analogue and digital sounds creating a primal yet sonic environment.

Sounds like: Yellerkin, Yoke Lore, M83, Joanna Newsom

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SATURDAY 14 JULY

Lotus Fever, Coreto Stage

Lotus Fever

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.

Sounds like: Alt-J, Pink Floyd

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Mighty Sands, Coreto Stage

Mighty Sands

Mighty Sands is a Lisbon-based quintet.

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!

Sounds like: Father John Misty, Tame Impala, MGMT

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MGMT, NOS Stage

MGMT

Less under the radar than the counterparts in this piece, but still worthy of a slot on one’s to watch at this year’s NOS Alive. The mighty MGMT!

The eclectic US-based duo are known for their otherworldly take on modern indie rock music, often combining psychedelic synths, crunchy guitars and stodgy vocals with fun videos.

Sounds like: Empire of the Sun, Foster the People, Tame Impala, Portugal. The Man

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Perfume Genius, Sagres Stage

Perfume Genius

Covering topics such as sexual abuse, suicide and alcohol abuse, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) is one such musical role model we want to be more involved with.

His music represents such struggles and recoveries in a camp but delightfully magnificent way.

Sounds like: Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Kate Bush, M83, David Bowie, Future Islands, Fever Ray

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Bernado, Coreto Stage

Bernardo

Wow, Bernado‘s vocals have blown us away after watching her live performance of ‘The Boy Is Mine’.

The London based British/Portuguese singer/songwriter effortlessly combines modern attitudes from London attitude with a jazzy flair.

Sounds like: Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith

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Real Estate, Sagres Stage

Real Estate

With a warming lo-fi sound, Brooklyn-based dream team, Real Estate is our last act to consider watching at NOS Alive.

Run by childhood friends who played in their backyards during the summer months, Real Estate write simple and endearing songs full of luminous guitar riffs and delicate synths.

We envisage this show to be a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, MGMT

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Find out more info about NOS Alive and purchase remaining tickets here.

Weekly Gems 37

Ben Khan – 2000 Angels

Ben Khan

Big news. Ben Khan returns with the announcement of his debut album (hurrah!) and a self-directed dystopian video for spine-tingling new single ‘2000 Angels’.

The album – set for release in the summer – was produced alongside Flood (PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Spike Stent (Björk, Frank Ocean), with Ben playing every instrument on the record.

Always with a creative hands-on approach, Ben also plans to launch his new interactive website, The Foundation, which offers an insight into the richness and depth of the album’s story.

Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls

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OTR – Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR - Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR manages to get the chilled but tense vibe just right with his latest single, ‘Close’, which includes the soulful vocals by Kai Straw.

The 25-year old aerospace engineer-turned-producer uses his mathematical mind as a key component when it comes to his music, producing off-kilter melodies and electronic sounds.

Sounds like: Hotel Garuda, Gryffin, ODESZA, Petit Biscuit, Porter Robinson

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NAVA – Ritual

NAVA

NAVA is the highly energetic project of Persian songwriter Nava Golchini and three other Italian musicians. Visually, NAVA is a mix of horror and fashion inspired by the works of visionary designer Gareth Pugh.

The debut single ‘Ritual’ gives us a glimpse into the NAVA world – full of electro arrangements, tribal instruments and dark metropolitan landscapes.

‘Ritual’ is out now on Factory Flaws.

Sounds like: Nimmo

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Betablock3r – Make You Happy

Betablock3r

It could be 2014 again, and boy it feels good! During your visit, expect luscious vocals, addictive synth drops and and nu-disco undertone. All this, courtesy of Betablock3r and the new single ‘Make You Happy’.

It is the first single off their debut EP Monolith, out now.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chromeo, RAC, Nightdrive

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Tanners – Holy Water

Tanners

It wouldn’t be a decent weekly gems feature without some pop in there. This week Tanners is the chosen one.

Tanners is the moniker of New York City-based songwriter and producer Tanner Peterson. Leading the way for women in creative music tech, Tanners has also spoken at TEDxTeen.

Inspired by her childhood love for the beach, ‘Holy Water’ celebrates the beauty and electricity born from allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable and enveloped by the ocean. “It’s a thank you song to the ocean for teaching me to embrace vulnerability,” Tanners says of the track.

Sounds like: Shura, Monogem, Ronika, Jessie Ware

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Young Sierra – Next To You

Young Sierra - Next To You

Meet emerging alt-pop trio Young Sierra, who were born from a school friendship, and bonded “over a shared love of low bit-rate Drake mp3s, eighties pop and hot-sauce”.

They have the kind of frantic energy of Arcade Fire and the cheeky nature of The 1975. Naughty.

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Electric Youth, The 1975, Night Panther, Bad Sounds

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Laarsen – Would U

Laarsen - Would U

Introducing Laarsen, an innovative electronic artist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist.

Slotting nicely into the musical realms of James Blake and Frank Ocean, Laarsen samples with the electronic (modern synthesisers, beats and production techniques) and natural (vocal recordings, vinyl samples, and organic instrumentation), merging sounds from the past, present, and future.

Listen to the  ‘Would U’ below, and expect a debut EP in the Spring.

Sounds like: Ben Pearce, Lane 8, James Blake, Burial, Mura Masa, Jim E-Stack, Jacques Greene, Kelela, Frank Ocean

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Playlist: Captain Kidd

Captain Kidd

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.

Sounds like: RÜFÜS, SAMA

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Playlist: Chelsea Lankes

Chelsea Lankes

It’s not long until the end of the year, and what better way to see 2017 through with a playlist from Chelsea Lankes. This one goes out to all the ladies, and is probably one of the best playlists we’ve ever had! Lucky you!

“Here are some favorites over the last couple months including songs from favorite albums this year: SZA, Phoebe Bridgers, YOUTH, Lorde and Wolf Alice. Also I put a few singles from female pop artists I love and respect! To be enjoyed while driving at night, at low key parties, showering or anywhere you might sing really loud alone. 🙂”

…And whilst we have you, give Chelsea’s new track a spin too.

Sounds like: MUNA, Wet, Evvy, Ghost Beach, Kyla La Grange, Ji Nilsson, Tove Styrke, Carousel, Kitten, Nina, Mikky Ekko, Remmi, Cappa

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Weekly Gems 21

Katherine Evans – Take It Slow

Katherine Evans

Meet 22 year old Katherine Evans. It says on her SoundCloud page that she likes to sing and sleep. We are not sure about her knack of sleeping, but she sings a damn good song!

With plenty of awards under her belt, she is far from taking it slow, unlike her new single, which is about capturing a fleeting and reckless moment.

It’s out now via Afromartian, an indie record label based in Italy.

Sounds like: Dominique, Billie Eilish

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Jarami – Hear This

Jarami

Dynamic Swedish production duo Jarami share the cool new video for ‘Hear This’.

It features a children’s choir singing and dancing alongside a perfect slice of percussive, psychedelic funk with bass heavy tones.

Sounds like: Day Fly, Amber Mark, Everything is Recorded, Love Ssega, Frank Ocean

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Teflon Sega – NEØN

Teflon Sega

Enigmatic singer Teflon Sega is right on point in the modern music scene having wracked up high numbers of streams on Spotify with his previous releases, and we are sure ‘NEØN’ will do just as well.

The track perfectly highlights Teflon Sega’s magnificent range of sultry lows and stirring highs. Listen below.

It’s out now via Majestic Casual.

Sounds like: The Weeknd

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Louis Futon – Restless Sea Feat. Opia

Louis Futon

Louis Futon is bringing the funk with new single, ‘Restless Sea’, featuring rising duo Opia.

Quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, Louis Futon flies high on the track with his buzzy production methods and soft melodic touches.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, Gallant, ODESZA, Louis The Child

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Vera – Nobody Else

Vera

Standing firmly on his own two feet is the young Copenhagen-based Vera (aka William Asingh).

His latest single, ‘Nobody Else’, was a collaborative effort with Off Bloom, and is influenced by the Caribbean novel ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ by Jean Rhys, which is about a landowner’s Jamaican wife who is locked up in an attic for allegedly being mad.

The ‘Good Job – No Conversation’ EP is released on 8 December through Ultra Records/Ministry of Sound.

Sounds like: Banks, Off Bloom, Soleima, MØ, Liss

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FKL – 1-800

FKL

FKL is an experimental London/Seattle-based duo comprised of Joe Gillick and Sage Redman.

We’ve not heard anything like this in a long time, and can’t quite pinpoint their sound, which we think is a great thing!

So…pick up the phone, dial ‘1-800’ and order some sweet, trippy beats blended with highly seductive vocals.

Sounds like: The xx

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Sacre – Stereo Feat. Dopize

Sacre

Sacre are hitting some serious Drake vibes with their new single ‘Stereo’.

It’s not the usual sound we hear from the French duo, but we kind of like it. The contrast between the classic electro vocals works well with the addition of rising French artist, rapper Dopize.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chela, Miami Horror, Autograf, The Knocks, Cut Copy

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Year of the Brother – Slow One

Year Of The Brother

Finally, we have the brilliant new indie-pop trio from Portland called Year of the Brother.

We are particularly excited about these guys as they seem to have something special about them. Perhaps it’s the soaring, yet delicate production? Perhaps it’s the on-point falsettos? Or perhaps it’s the enticing lyrics? You decide.

The ‘Filling Empty Pools’ EP is out now.

Sounds like: Kyko, Will Joseph Cook, Owl City

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Noga Erez – Noisy

Noga Erez by Tonje Thilesen

Meet Israel’s newest shining star, Noga Erez.

Channeling desires of escapism in her music, Noga wants to embrace fun, but also discuss thought provoking topics at the same time.

The video for ‘Noisy’ was filmed and shot by Hen Makhluf at the Ralli Museum in the city Noga grew up in, Caesarea, Israel.

“Noisy is a video that tells the story of a group of girls who can create havoc even in the most peaceful and civilized places” Erez explains. “The group of girls represent the noise that exists in our minds, the voices that are always there and prevent clear and rational thought.”

Noga’s album, ‘Off The Radar’ is out now on City Slang.

Live Dates

July 8 – Belfort, FR @ Les Eurockéennes de Belfort Festival
July 12 – Tel Aviv, IL @ The Teder
July 15 – Gräfenhainichen, DE @ Melt Festival
July 29 – Vasto, IT @ Siren Festival
August 5 – London, UK @ Visions Festival (w/ Sophie, Jenny Hval, Waxahatchee)
August 12 – Berlin, DE @ Summer Slang // Festsaal Kreuzberg
August 16 – Cologne, DE @ C/O Pop Festival
November 1 – Paris, FR @ Pitchfork Avant Garde

Sounds like: Harry, M.I.A, Björk, FKA Twigs, Flying Lotus, Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean

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Anna Of The North – Someone

Anna Of The North

‘Someone’ is the lead single taken from Anna Of The North‘s debut album, ‘Lovers’.

From the get go, ‘Someone’ is a spellbinding explosion of 80’s inspired synths, and is set to be the soundtrack to your summer.

Speaking about ‘Someone’, the band say,

“We think almost everyone has woken up after a big night, instantly regretting something that happened. It’s about how easy it is to break your promises when you’ve had a couple of drinks. Going deeper, the song is about accepting that you’re only human and to learn how to forgive yourself for your own mistakes and accepting that sometimes we need someone to save us from repeating any old habits.”

‘Lovers’ is due for release on 8 Sept via Different Recordings / Honeymoon / +1 Records.

Anna’s vocals also feature on Tyler, The Creator’s new single ‘911’, alongside Frank Ocean, out last Friday.

Sounds like: Shura, Grimes, Ballet School, Claire, MØ, Lykke Li, The Chain Gang of 1974, Chvrches, I Am Karate

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Martin Luke Brown – Into Yellow

Martin Luke Brown

London based Martin Luke Brown shares his first release on LAB Records.

It’s slightly more restrained than his previous single, ’65 Roses’, but this approach keeps emotional tension throughout the track, whilst Martin Luke Brown continues to showcase his expansive vocal range with the accompaniment of an organ and the rumbling of bass lines.

Sounds like: Will Joseph Cook, KYKO, Sody, Dan Croll, Amaroun, Frank Ocean, DAUNT, Bon Iver, Rationale

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Playlist: Avante Black

Avante Black

Avante Black

Meet Avante Black, a musical project led by Ottilia Zimmerman Kjulsten, a 22-year-old Swedish native living in London.

She’s put together a playlist, to get us hyped up for the weekend.

Frank Ocean – Ivy
I took time listening to Frank Ocean’s new album driving down the coast from Cape Point to Cape Town. This song fits perfectly into the scenery and I think I had it on repeat for almost an hour.

The Internet – Get Away
Sydney Bennett’s vocals and melodies are just truly magical. Listening to this track makes you just wanna take long drags on cigarettes in slow motion whilst watching the sun go down.

Sälen – Coppar Kiss
I’ve known these guys for a while know. Paul is even the first person I got to know when I moved to London. The people combination is perfect, this song is so pretty and brutal I wanna marry it.

Flamingods – Rhama
There is nothing you can’t love about this. A trippy beat, Middle-Eastern riffs and hitting vocals. Was sold within the first seconds and it keeps growing.

Acid Arab – Stil
My friend showed me this track on a recent trip to Berlin. I’m just getting into dance music and this was a really good introduction. Right up my alley.

A Band Called Flash – Phantom
Another track I was shown that really showed me a new way of writing. Close to perfection, this track will take you everywhere and back.

Valdemar – Soë Chlevigny
Ben used to play the keys in Avante, but is now based in Sweden. He was always the one knowing everything about everything. We do miss his music knowledge! This is his own project and it sounds incredible!! We’re so proud!

BadBadNotGood – Lavender
I first encountered this band whilst flicking through Tyler, The Creator videos on YouTube. Since then I’ve been glued to their sound.

Lil Silva – De Ja
I found this track stalking Ben’s (Valdemar) playlists on Spotify. As I said he always knows what’s good and fresh out there. It’s a brilliant pop track, so simple and clever. I find myself singing this all the time.

Flume – Say It Feat Tove Lo
I’m a massive fan of Tove Lo and Flume. I love the feel and the lyrics. Always lose my shit when she sings “let me fuck you right back oh oh oh oh”

Miss Li – Bonfire
Since I picked up a guitar for the first time I was practising to her songs and really excited about this sound she’s bringing! Can’t wait for spring listening to this in the car! (with someone else driving ’til I get my license)

Otzeki – Already Dead
If you haven’t witnessed these guys live you HAVE to. It’s a truly magical experience. Mike and Joel will take you places. Even tho the song is called ‘Already Dead’ I’d say it’s immortal.

Soft Hair – Lying Has To Stop
Brilliant combination, magical people. True Love.

Whitney – Golden Days
I was probably a year later than my friends to start listening to this band, I’m happy I did! It’s the song you listen to on a double decker with your head against the window, gazing out, not really knowing what you’re thinking about.

The Parrots – No Me Gustas, Te quiero
I met The Parrots through Hinds, first time a saw them was at The Garage in Highbury & Islington – the vibe was insane. There is always a special place in my heart for this music. It makes me feel 14 again.

Avante Black has signed to Different Recordings (Anna Of The North, Claptone, Kllo), and expect a very cool remix coming out next week. In the meantime, check out the ever so dynamic track, ‘Drug Money’.

Sounds like: Anna Of The North, Anteros, Lilly Allen

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