To say that BENEE is a rising indie-pop star is almost a disservice at this point. The breakout artist of the last 12 months has been releasing enchanting music and it looks as though the New Zealand sensation is set to continue her ascent to the very top.
Written and recorded with Josh Fountain shortly after New Zealand opened up from lockdown, BENEE was inspired to write her new single ‘Snail’ after spending weeks in isolation,
“When we were in lockdown, I was fascinated by snails. There wasn’t really a lot to be doing, so I would spend a lot of time outside looking at snails and would think about how they’re doing their own little thing and they’re all free. I just played around with the idea of being kind of like a snail and how I come out in the rain. Being stuck inside because of COVID, it’s kind of my lockdown song.”
Thick synth bass licks greet you to the unique project, almost acting as the percussion. As we continue, the tracks’ ever-expanding mix of creative elements and synths build layer upon layer of pop mastery, culminating in a busy song that you can’t help but find new ear candy with each listen.
With a chorus hook that just won’t quit, we would be impressed if this remains on your mind for anything less than the rest of your day at the very least.
Sounds like: G Flip, mallrat, Cub Sport, Vera Blue, HAIM, Remi Wolf
Meet Vancouver-based three-piece daysormay comprised of twin brothers Carson and Nolan Bassett and Aidan Andrews. Their name is taken from the English phonetic of the French word “désormais,” meaning “from now on”.
They’ve put together a playlist for us, check it out below.
Charli XCX – enemy
Carson: The chords and the melody along with the production of this song really all work
together to elevate each other, one of our favourites right now. It was so mind-blowing to hear
that this whole album was made in a month.
Ricky Reed, Terrace Martin, St. Panther – Real Magic
Carson: This song just brings the mood from wherever it is to a happier place, a feel-good song.
Toro y Moi – Lissoms (Instrumental)
Nolan: Love how this song is chill but manages to still make you groove. Even though this song
is 10 years old, it still feels fresh.
Mk.gee – Isn’t It So Convenient
Nolan: The drums on this song sound SO good. It’s just full of really cool and organic sounds
and I love how straight up and honest the lyrics are.
Grady – Let’s Stay Inside
Carson: The beat switch at the end is legendary.
Post-Modern Connection – Drowning
Carson: Glad to call these guys our friends, from just outside our hometown. Great chords,
beautiful vocals and keeps you interested all the way through.
Gia Ford – Waterslide
Nolan: So funky and kind of sinister-sounding at the same time. Whoever played bass on this
song killed it.
HAIM – 3AM
Nolan: The chords are SO good and the chorus bangs. Rostam is also one of my favourite
producers at the moment so I was stoked to find out he worked on this album.
CHIKA – DESIGNER
Nolan: It drops in hard and not in a way you would expect and I love how this song just plays
with your expectations the whole time. CHIKA also has such a good voice.
The 1975 – I Like America & America Likes Me
Aidan: The 1975 helped me realize that you could be in a band and not make “band music”.
Realizing that I could make a song with whatever sounds I wanted, that it didn’t have to be
based around guitar, drums, bass, typical “band instruments”, that was a big deal for me. I love
how they used the hard autotune in this, and the production and lyrics are so good.
Baby Keem – MOSHPIT
Aidan: A legend. I’m always drawn towards artists that have a unique vocal style/delivery, and
almost every line of a Baby Keem song is quotable. So good.
Charli XCX – claws
Aidan: this song’s been in my head for weeks now. Charli is so cool, and I’ve been trying to find
the snare sample Dylan Brady used on this ever since I heard it. It’s currently my favourite
Watch their energetic video for ‘Role Model’ with Tessa Violet below, which happened after she brought the band on tour and was blown away, signing them up to her label, T∆G Music.
Sounds like: Passion Pit, Sea Girls, Cold War Kids, Peach Pit, Walk Off The Earth, Chloe Lilac, Tessa Violet, Local Natives, Phoenix, Tokyo Police Club
Young Australian-based artist Lola Scott transports us to Scandi-pop territory with her new song ‘Take Me Back’.
Written from the perspective of being at the end of a long term relationship, it’s easy to reminisce at how easy it was to dive right into love with no fears.
This frankness in her songwriting is thanks to Scott’s hard work over the last 12 months, as well as learning piano and guitar at an early age, courtesy to her dad’s record collection of new-wave, post-punk synth-pop and alternative rock.
Sounds like: Lykke Li, Billie Eilish, Susanne Sundfør, HAIM, Clairo, Niki & The Dove, Oh Land, The Knife, Broods
Maui-born, LA-based singer/songwriter Beauty Queen – aka Katie Iannitello – crafts music on the sonic edges of dreamy lo-fi and alt-pop haziness, lost in the reveries of loneliness and unrequited love.
Inspired by 1950s pop and doo-wop, as well as more nostalgic decades and modern pop, her new single, ‘Two Of Us’, is out now and was written and produced in three days at husband-and-wife duo Alaina Moore and Patrick Riley of the band Tennis‘ Denver, Colorado home studio.
The visuals are a tale of two Sasquatches who are desperately in love and oblivious to the Sasquatch hunter on their tail. Watch below
Sounds like: Chairlift, Tennis, Real Estate, The Aces, Haim, Neon Indian, Alvvays
Alt-pop band Sarpa Salpa always strive to create upbeat, danceable tracks with unexpected changes and hidden meanings. The new video for their single ‘Lost Time’ aptly features a selection of tour clips showing this.
With support from Jack Saunders and Bombay Bicycle Club, definitely tune into these guys.
Sounds like: Island Club, Larkins, FEET, Two Door Cinema Club
Very much up to date with indie-pop trends, UK based trio Cassia, shares latest jam, ‘Do Right’, which talks about waking up to what’s happening in the world and making a conscious decision of wanting to make a positive change.
The video is set in sunny isolation. We love their all round positivity and sun drenched calypso sound.
Sounds like: Dancing on Tables, Vampire Weekend, Bombay Bicycle Club, Still Woozy
R&B artist Chloe Tang shares her latest single, offering a less rosy-colored side of love and youth.
Full of angst, she tells us how it is in ‘Fanning The Flame’. This isn’t a romantic gesture, this is a slow burn about knowing you’re trapped in a bad romance and knowing you’re powerless to escape it.
Rising Manchester four-piece Larkins recently dropped their highly-anticipated EP, ‘Hit and Run’ on Good Soldier Records.
It’s a finely-crafted mix of melodic futurism and vulnerability. We decided to have a chat with the guys ahead of their US tour to find out what’s going to be on their travelling playlist.
This is the outcome…
Khalid – Intro
Production-wise this is a pretty perfect track. Always feeling like it could kick in at any moment and it never does but still manages to bang. Incredible opening track to have on an album.
Gengahr – Icarus
Gengahr have completely taken up a level on this album. Produced by Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club, this track just makes your head move.
King Princess – Talia
Proper digging King Princess at the minute, love how this track goes from the laid back folky verse then hits you with the massive chorus. She’s proper pushing boundaries with her visuals as well, need to catch her live.
Whitney – Valleys (My Love)
Literally first heard Whitney for the first time a couple of weeks ago and fucking love them. Love how this track is kinda like a mellow Beach Boys without the harmonies on top of 70s acoustic folk with Bon Iver horns.
Friendly Fires – Pull Me Back To Earth
Whenever we’re trying to get a clean electric guitar sound in the studio we seem to reference this track. I remember when PALA came out and it blew my mind.
Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now
Just absolute vibes. Again, that clean guitar sound is mad.
Foals – Spanish Sahara
Such an anthem. Seeing this track live and how the crowd reacts to it made me want to be in a band. The drop never fails to hype me up.
Bon Iver – Naeem
The vocal on this song is madness. The piano and the whole feel is just badass. Bon Iver can do no wrong. This album has been a massive reference point when we’re in the studio, especially when it comes to synth and drum sounds.
Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”
Another Bon Iver, 22 a million is top 5 best albums ever. The production on this track just blows the roof off. Cant even quite comprehend how good this track is. No idea what the lyrics mean but this track is just insanity.
Biffy Clyro – Different People
This song really marks two defining moments in Larkins career.
1. They opened with it when they headlined T in the park in Scotland and it seemed to be such an emotional moment for everyone there, it really made us realise that we wanted to do this.
2. Dom decided he wanted to be Simon and grew his hair really long.
Radiohead – Weird Fishes
In rainbows is such a monumental album and it was hard to choose one track but Weird Fishes really sums up Radiohead’s visionary blend of pop, rock and dance music.
Haim – Summer Girl
Such a great nod to the 60s with the Lou Reed sample but with such a modern LA vibe. We’d just got back from our first trip to LA when this came out and it proper seemed to sum up the city for us. The scene out there is so vibrant at the minute.
Khalid, Disclosure – Talk
Love this track. Another one we try to reference a little bit with the style of the synths and the drum sounds. The riff is so good.
US/UK Tour Dates
12 Mar – Toronto, The Monarch
13 Mar – New York, Pianos
14 Mar – Brooklyn, Elsewhere (Zone One)
18 Mar – Austin, Maggie Mae’s
19 Mar – Austin, Rainey Street
21 Mar – Austin, Broad Studios
21 Mar – Austin, Cedar Street Courtyard
24 Mar – Los Angeles, Moroccan Lounge
Estereomance is a trio from El Paso/Juarez comprised of Manu, Paulina and Adria.
The three artists may come from different experiences and backgrounds but they share one common goal – artistic fearlessness that invokes sensitivities of emotional fibres reachable through consciousness.
In a gentle nod to 70’s French dream pop, the single ‘Crimson Queen’ explores the themes of vanity, obsession, insecurity, gender and beauty through surreal and metaphoric music.
Kent-born, London-based indie-pop newcomer CHERITON (aka Nick Harrison) shares his catchy new single ‘Parallel’, out now So Good So Good.
The infectious single, full of guitar-pop and vibrant melodies, is produced by Andy Hall (Bastille, Fickle Friends, JamesGillespie) and reflects on social media and the damaging effects it can have on mental health.
Overcoats is made up of critically acclaimed Brooklyn duo, Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell.
Channeling punk emergy with vulnerable vitality, their champion new single ‘Fire & Fury’ is equal parts dark and brooding as well as hopeful and anthemic – a dichotomy which is mirrored in the its soaring chorus “there’s a fire, there’s a fury, the sky is falling, but we’ll get through it.”
Watch the her Productions-directed video below.
Sounds like: The Magnettes, HAIM, First Aid Kit, Cold War Kids, The Violent Femmes
We are super excited about Reva Devito‘s fresh hustle on soul and R&B.
The Portland native has already featured on some of the most recognizable tracks of KAYTRANADA, Young Franco, Chuck Inglish, and B.Bravo, as well and as the live vocalist for Australian indie-pop rising musicians Miami Horror.
Produced by longtime collaborator B.Bravo, ‘Bet You Stay’ is a nostalgic, slower jam. Smother this over your ears right now.
LeyeT (pronounced “light”) channels emotional vulnerability into alternative-pop songs with a solid heartbeat.
She’s teamed up her friend Labit on new single, ‘Here For You’ – a song about friendship, being there for each other through the highs and lows of life, and sticking together through it all. The song was written with the Make Sure Your Friends Are Okay initiative in mind, a community that encourages you to have meaningful discussions with people you care about – answering truthfully the question of ‘how are you?’.
The Sydney duo dekleyn shares new single ‘See Right Through Me’.
Writing infectious heartbreakers, their songs have meaningful influences throughout. Speaking about the new one – a lesson about love and forgiveness – they explain,
“The song is about giving so much to a person and becoming so close with them that they know everything about you, even more than you know about yourself. As the relationship begins to break down, it begins to become obvious that the two could never be without each other, “I don’t plan on leaving this feeling at all, this is all I have.”
Phew! This is what we’ve been waiting for. A big “Fuck You!” to anxiety anthem!
Cue Norweigan artist/producer Ruben Dawnson and his emotionally expressive tuneage, namely ‘FYALMA’. Speaking about the track some more, he explains,
“It’s a big fuck you anthem to anxiety! Like many others I’ve been struggling with it for a long time… hopefully this can lift people’s spirit and I hope people will connect with it and scream out the lyrics!! I really want it to reach as many as possible and help create a big “fuck you” wave towards anxiety!!”
Sounds like: Day Wave, Hazel English, Summer Heart
Connecting at a music school in the Netherlands, the now duo Small Talk is making music to the standard of industry veterans, as it’s clear the understand what it takes to put together a hit, and have achieved that with ‘Alarm’.
Running the length between upbeat indie-pop and melancholic EDM, the pair masterfully play with different shades and moods. Expect much more from the youthful duo in 2020.
Sounds like: The Him, Bastille, The Chainsmokers, Imagine Dragons