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Playlist: Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis

Introducing the bright and summery sounds of Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Benji Lewis. We asked Benji to take a break from songwriting and put together a list of his favourite songs for us.

“I keep this playlist updated, always adding new favourites I’m listening to. These ones below are on repeat at the moment for me.”

Ariana Grande – Needy
Have over the last few years become a fan of Ariana, her vibe and flow. I love how simple the beats and instruments are. And her vocal just flows effortlessly over the top. It’s pretty, beautiful, a vibe and fun to sing along to and with her.

SZA, The Weeknd, Travis Scott – Power Is Power
I absolutely love SZA, she is very cool to me. She gives so much attitude and feeling to her performance. She makes this song for me. The energy though of the entire song, everything comes together to just hit you with this big energy. Pumps me up for the day.

Duckwrth, Rico Nasty, Medasin – LOVE IS LIKE A MOSHPIT
Duckwrth is sick, in the best way. Have loved his music and vibe for a while now, since I saw him live at SXSW 2018. Was more into his upbeat stuff. But this song hit me, I really connected with the energy and emotion he gives in this one. Hits you with all the vibes.

Tayla Parx ft Duckwrth – Read Your Mind
I became aware of Tayla Parx recently for her collab and writing efforts behind some of the biggest songs from Ariana Grande recently. Then I saw her from this album, ‘We Need To Talk.’ And this song connected with me the most. It’s so vulnerable and really hit me in the feels. It’s beautiful. And the featured vocal from Duckwrth gives it that extra kick it didn’t even need but you secretly wanted.

Conan Gray – Lookalike
I’ve know Conan Gray more for his Youtube covers. As I slowly started listened to him more recently. His music, vibe and vocal is something else. He’s completely doing his own thing and killin it. I guess I connect with this one as I’m sure many others do as we all wish someone that we really loved still thinks of us, misses us and possibly sees us in others as we move on. It’s really honest and totally relatable.

JP Saxe – Save Room
This guy is one of the most vulnerable artists I’ve come across over the last few years. I saw him live opening for Freya Ridings a year or two ago and been a fan since. This song is so honest and heartfelt, his feelings all spilling out, all out in the open for us to relate to, feel and almost give us a sense of safety while we go through the same emotions getting over a breakup.

Miley Cyrus – Mother’s Daughter
This song off her latest EP just has this strength and power to it that I love and connect with. Love her vocal delivery. It’s a good listen. I support what she’s doing and creating right now.

Jeremy Zucker and Chelsea Cutler – you were good to me
Love both of these beautiful voices and all their collabs. This one is the most recent from an EP they just released this year. Love how their harmonies intertwine and sound just beautiful together. It’s a little bit of magic. I’m sure a lot of effort and thought went into the production and lyrics, and they make it all sound so simple and effortless. It’s an art, and they do it so well.

SZA and Willow – 9
I just love the vibe of this song. There is such a natural flow of the simple music going on underneath and their vocals in and out over the top. Both their vocals go really nicely together.

Beyonce – Diva – Homecoming Live
I mean who doesn’t like Beyonce. If you don’t it does make it a little harder for me to be friends with you a ha …but for real. Ok, this song just gives so much energy, some of what you get from watching or listening to anything from Beyonce. She’s a boss. All the power, strength and mood she exudes and gives us. Thank you

MEDUZA and Goodboys – Piece Of Your Heart
I was only shown this one recently from a friend of mine who goes by TACHES in LA while we were driving away from a great writing session. It makes you want to move and dance so much, I love it. My favourite part is the where one of the guys says’ “Hold on sorry, how about.” And Then comes the main hook. So smart. I can only imagine that moment in the studio where whoever came up with that main melody. It would have been very cool and special.

Sounds like: The 1975, The Kite String Tangle, Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure

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Weekly Gems 65

Noé – Rabbit Hole

Noé

Berklee grad Noé shares her blissed-out new single, ‘Rabbit Hole’.

Whilst the song still contains a glimpse of her limitless energy, the main focus is a more raw and free flowing vibe than we are used to. Call it her Frankenstein song.

Noé’s forthcoming debut EP ‘ibynoé’ is set for release on 21 May.

Sounds like: Yelle, Noosa, RALPH, Sigrid, Fiona Apple, VÉRITÉ, Izzy Bizu

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SHY Nodi – Snakes

SHY Nodi

At just under three minutes long, you’ll be easily forgiven for pressing repeat on SHY Nodi‘s new track, ‘Snakes’.

SHY Nodi, aka Nirob Islam, was born in Stockholm in 1993 after his family emigrated to Sweden from Bangladesh. Since then, he has penned some incredible tracks with his songwriting partner, SHY Martin, and won a number of native music awards.

His new single – out now via BLNK Music – is a frank call out to relationship snakes. You know the ones…

Sounds like: SHY Martin, KIDDO

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The Bliss – Happier

The Bliss by Zach Gray

Rising electro-pop duo The Bliss share new single ‘Happier’.

Comprised of pop songstress TYSM (Chelsea Davenport) and hip-hop/electronic producer and guitarist Felix Snow (SZA, Kiiara, Gallant, Icona Pop, Rita Ora, Terror Jr.), their third single is a funky bop number, that effotlessly trailblazes new age synth-pop.

It’s out now via Atlantic Records.

Sounds like: Du Tonc, Joe Goddard, Le Youth, ADAL

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Myo – A Particle

Myo - A Particle

Introducing London-based electro-jazz four-piece Myo.

Curated within a minimal electronic soundscape that includes adventurous songwriting, densely layered harmonies and neo-soul guitar riffs, Myo is on a quest to add a human touch in the world of programmed dance music.

Listen to ‘A Particle’ below.

Sounds like: Kllo, Kudu Blue

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Ed Prosek – So Beautiful

Ed Prosek

Folk singer/songwriter Ed Prosek is a musician that has come to our particular attention and we suggest you take note too.

Using songwriting as a crux, to tap into the things he is too afraid to say to himself, Ed has an array of heartfelt talent that has culminated in millions of streams.

His classically-infused single ‘So Beautiful’ is out now and comes from forthcoming EP ‘Light As A Feather’.

Sounds like: Mumford & Sons, James Vincent McMorrow, Vance Joy, Richard Walters

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Weekly Gems 59

ODA – Don’t You Know

ODA

Norwegian artist ODA (pronounced “Oo-da”) takes us on a breathtaking journey with her new single, ‘Don’t You Know’.

Taking influences from an eclectic mix, including a love for the ethereal electronica of Sigur Rós, heartfelt lyrics of Bon Iver, and the indie energy of British bands such as Coldplay and Keane, ODA stands out from the crowd with her own take on electro-pop.

ODA’s highly anticipated EP, ‘Hide’, is out today.

Sounds like: ODESZA, Manila Killa, Louis Futon, Kasbo, Amanda Tenfjord, Dagny

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George Gretton – Tread Water

George Gretton by Imogen Harrison

George Gretton by Imogen Harrison

Nottingham-born multi-instrumentalist and singer George Gretton shares his stunning debut single ‘Tread Water’.

As a musician performing in bands, it wasn’t until he discovered production – which he taught himself – that he unlocked his creative potential. The result is a forward-thinking sound with expansive atypical arrangements, experimental processing and fitful drum samples.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, James Blake, Bon Iver

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Aimée – Don’t Bother

Aimée

Hold up. There is a new pop princess in town, and she goes by the name Aimée.

The Irish artist’s debut single ‘Don’t Bother’ is an anti-break up song, akin to empowering 90s pop such as Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears.

Sounds like: JoJo, Zara Larsson, Justin Timberlake

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Felix Räuber – Running Out Of Time

Felix Raueber by Michael Miklas

Felix Raueber by Michael Miklas

Felix Räuber is one talent that you cannot ignore.

At the tender age of 13, he founded his first band in his basement that grew to become Polarkreis 18. Fronted by Räuber, their first studio album took them across Europe on tour, the second album achieved gold status, and single Allein Allein became one of the most successful German-language songs of all time (earning platinum status) and a global hit.

Räuber made the move to Berlin in 2012 to realign himself as an artist. Jump forward to 2012 , Räuber shares the video for his genre-pushing cineamtic pop new single, ‘Running Out Of Time’. Watch below.

Sounds like: Thomas Azier, Aquilo, Solomon Grey, Son Lux, Nils Frahm, Ulrich Schnauss

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Broken Back – Young Love

Broken Back by Emma Birski

Broken Back by Emma Birski

Broken Back (aka Jérôme Fagnet) is an advocate of friendly, tropical sounds, which may surprise you considering why he started making music.

His former life as a motivated entrepreneur and business student tragically came to an end when, at just 22 years old, his back gave out and he was confined to a bed. This free time was used to create music.

This flair for feel-good and infectious grooves, is perfectly showcases in his acoustic performance of ‘Young Love’.

Sounds like: Kygo, Kazy Lambist

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The Bliss – Nothing Scares Me Anymore

The Bliss by Zachary Gray

The Bliss by Zachary Gray

The electro-pop project The Bliss is the latest coalition of pop songstress TYSM (Chelsea Davenport) and hip-hop/electronic producer Felix Snow (Leona Lewis, SZA, Kiiara, Gallant, Icona Pop, Rita Ora) of the pop-trio Terror Jr.

While both artists are established within their own realm, this partnership brings them collectively to a whole new level of creativity and wonder.

Listen to ‘Nothing Scares Me Anymore’ below.

Sounds like: The Chainsmokers, Sofi Tukker

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Benji Lewis – Ride

Benji Lewis by Christina Boemio

Benji Lewis by Christina Boemio

Benji Lewis takes a contemplative stance in new single ‘Ride’.

It has an effortless simplicity, which Lewis wanted to come across on the single, written about relaxing, doing what is right for you, and just enjoying the ride. True to form, the track was recorded by Lewis and produced by Los Angeles artist Lincoln Jesser within a few hours.

Sounds like: The 1975, The Kite String Tangle, Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure

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Benji Lewis – Us Again

Benji Lewis

Australian singer/songwriter Benji Lewis today shares ‘Us Again’.

Working again with friend and talented producer, Golden Vessel (remember the beautiful ‘Hesitate‘?), Benji effortlessly expresses his feelings and emotions about reuniting with that special someone, and thinking about them every day.

“The song is about wanting to be in the same space as the other person, breathing in the same air, being able to look into their eyes, and have them look at you in the same way. It’s about wanting to have that again, and feel all of things that come just from being around them.”

Expect the release of his third EP, ‘Together Apart’, very soon!

Sounds like: The Kite String Tangle, Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure

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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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KWAYE – Cool Kids

KWAYE

Deciding what is cool to listen to right now, is newcomer KWAYE.

Following the fluke of playing his music to an Uber driver, who happened to be a former A&R, KWAYE is set for great heights.

He combines bright neo-soul with fresh funky beats, effortlessly channeling his Zimbabwean and London roots.

Watch the video for ‘Cool Kids’ below.

It’s out now via Mind of a Genius Records.

Sounds like: Blood Orange, Solange Knowles, Tinashe, Gallant, The 1975

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SG Lewis – Holding Back (Feat. Gallant)

SG Lewis

SG Lewis

Well, this is a brilliant collaboration.

London based producer, SG Lewis shares ‘Holding Back’, featuring accomplished, Los Angeles vocalist, Gallant.

‘Holding Back’ is reminiscent of the upbeat tones of ‘All Night’, and both artists are feeling the outcome of working together.

SG said of the collab: “I’d been listening to Gallant for ages when I wrote the track, and sent it over to see if he’d be into it. He flipped the meaning of the song completely, which was so exciting.”

Gallant also commented: “I’m a huge fan of SG. I think he’s one of the most talented rising producers around right now. He’s making incredibly special music that’s unique and stylish.”

It’s released via Jasmine Music and available for purchase on iTunes.

Sounds like: MNEK, Alex Vargas, Jack Garratt, TENDER, Wølffe, Lucas Nord, Great Good Fine Ok, LANY

SG Lewis

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Gallant

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Interview: Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis

Meet Australian singer/songwriter Benji Lewis, who has just released his debut ‘Hearts & Halos’ EP, along with its fourth and final single, ‘Night & Day’.

We had a chat with him to find out more about his music and being Benji Lewis.

Benji Lewis is a singer/songwriter from Melbourne. Tell us more about your day to day life as Benji Lewis?

Right now around the recent release of my EP, it’s a lot of being around the laptop, with emails and sharing to socials. It’s cool though, seeing new fans coming in, finding my music and having great sites and blogs come on board as well. I’m also setting up some features and collabs in Australia and the States, so some more emails, writing lyrics, melodies and getting in the studio when I can to record. In my free time though I’ll be with my sisters or housemates, a gin and tonic if I’m feeling it or I’ll watch a tv show, at the moment it’s Daredevil & Outlander.

Describe your sound in three words.

Emotion, Atmospheric, Vibes.

There’s an incredible amount of emotional energy that is poured into your music. Do you find it a difficult process tapping into such emotions?

I think I did at times, but when some memories are so visual still, everything can come flooding back. With some of the songs, especially ‘Reach You Where You Are.’ That one just came out of me when i was at the piano. You do feel it all again, so it isn’t all easy. But it does feel good to express it and let it out.

Your EP is called ‘Hearts & Halos’. Where did the name come from?

When deciding on the title, I had this huge list. But this one always stood out, from the moment I wrote it down. Well the EP is a lot about matters of the heart and then half of it is about the loss of my Mum, who is definitely now a guardian angel to me, so that’s where Halos came from. Then it just seemed a perfect fit, Hearts & Halos.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

Influences and new music styles can always change for me. But when it came to this EP, going into it I definitely had in mind music from James Blake, Tove Lo and some emotion and vocal style from Emma Louise as well. While the other half was more influenced by Gorgon City, Peking Duk and The Weekend.

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

About a month or two ago, before he hit the radio here in Australia I came across gnash, I really like stuff from him, especially ‘i hate u i love u’ & ‘leave a message.’ But I’m also liking Joy, Atlas Bound and anything from MNEK, he’s amazing, his production and vocals has all the vibes.

Sounds like: Antony Hegarty, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, Solomon Grey, James Blake, Yazz, Jack Garratt, Disclosure, MNEK

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Gallant – Bourbon

Gallant

Gallant

Gallant is a rising Los Angeles-based star, who has already found fans in Elton John, ZHU and Sufjan Stevens, and now Indietronica. Not bad for a newcomer.

His latest release, ‘Bourbon’, is a smokey and robust track. It stirs with soulful vocals, all topped up with ice blocks of 80’s-inspired synths.

Recline back. ‘Bourbon’ is the perfect nightcap.

Gallant’s debut album, ‘Ology’ will be out on 4 April.

Sounds like: Alex Vargas, Jack Garratt, TENDER, Wølffe, Lucas Nord, Great Good Fine Ok, LANY

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