Tag Archives: Italy

Weekly Gems 52

Ayelle – Obvious

Ayelle

Mellow music-maker Ayelle shares her self-reflecting new single ‘Obvious’.

The Swedish-Iranian R&B singer-songwriter teamed up with producer Jonah Stevens, to delve furhter into her lyrical clarity and sultry vocals.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Banks, 4AM, Wet, IYES, The XX, SOHN

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Jinka – Ghost 2 U

JINKA

Jinka’s track ‘Ghost 2 U’ is glitchy trip-pop at its finest.

Ghost 2 U” is the Transylvanian artist‘s most emotionally dynamic track to date.
It juxtaposes a heavy, industrial half-time drop reminiscent of acts like Cashmere Cat, Amnesia Scanner or Tommy Cash with touchingly fragile and intimate tale-telling verses.
Jinka’s vocals evolve over a loop of pluck-sounds that unavoidably take your imagination to an underground stalactite cave hidden in the souterrains of Berlin.

Sounds like: Kate Boy, I BREAK HORSES

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daste. – SOBER

daste

Australian trio daste. is comprised of Callum MacDonald, Braxton Tahi & Tyler Harden.

Focusing on the smaller details (with the ‘d’ in daste. standing for detail), their new track, ‘SOBER’ is a summery lo-fi number showcasing simple, yet effective songwriting, and shares the idea that a clear head is always better than a mediocre, intoxicated one.

It’s out now via Mammal Sounds Records.

Sounds like: RÜFÜS DU SOL

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Malihini – Delusional Boy

Malihini

There is always an air of romanticism with Italian culture and Italian duo Malihini are no exception to this rule.

Their new single ‘Delusional Boy’ has upbeat drums, neatly undercut by its recurring vocal refrain, “Delusional Boy/Delusional Girl” – the downbeat rejoinder conveyed with a typically euphonious duo vocal melody that juxtaposes between a falsetto male part with baratone-esq female vocals, which all in all, creates an extremely easy-to-listen-to pop track.

Expect their debut album ‘Hopefully, Again’, out on 8 March via Memphis Industries.

Sounds like: SAMA, Beach House, Tennis, Chairlift, Au Revoir Simone

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HighSchool Jacob – Cant Get Enough

HighSchool Jacob

Highschool Jacob is an indie pop artist who has a serious way with words, so don’t mess.

Based out of Los Angeles, this nu-funk extraordinaire weaves catchy and retro melodies and engrossing stories to make head-nod worthy and heartwarming music.

Listen to ‘Can’t Get Enough’ below.

Sounds like: Daft Punk, Du Tonc

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Jesse Hite – When It All Comes Down

Jesse Hite

There is a definite lo-fi, funk theme in this week’s gems. Introducing Jesse Hite – an exciting solo artist who has just shared his debut ‘When It All Comes Down’.

An American artist living in France, Hite effortless blends sounds thanks to this move across the Atlantic, as well as travels through Asia.

‘When It All Comes Down’ is the first single of a three-song EP to be released. The song is full of character, soulful lyrics, in which Mite manages to create as much blooming sound as music troop, Jungle between a large number of them!

Sounds like: Shy Girls, YAKUL, Jungle, LCD Soundsystem

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youthxx – New Frontier

youthxx

Taking on the challenge of a new anthem for millennials is youthxx (also one half of Golden Coast).

‘New Frontier’ achieves anthemic territory with an inspiring, unforgettable vocal and sharp contemporary production that mixes synthetic and organic sounds with finesse.

Sounds like: Imagine Dragons, Golden Coast

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Weekly Gems 48

GINEVRA – Forest

GINEVRA

We love a bit of Italian indietronica.

Born surrounded by Turin, and now residing in the city of Milan, singer/songwriter GINEVRA uses conflicting atmospheres of these two worlds to create exposing music with no obvious path.

‘Forest’ is about love and is out now via Factory Flaws.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish

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Billie Black – After All

Billie Black

With comparisons to soul heavyweights, Jessie Ware and Jorja Smith, it’s difficult not to stop and listen to London-based Billie Black.

Taking a slightly different direction to her former releases (including those with Mura Masa), Billie’s ‘After All’ has strings and delicate vocals, perfectly showcasing vulnerability, passion and desire.

Her new EP, ‘The Last Time’ is out now.

Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Jorja Smith, Jack Garratt, Mura Masa, Banks

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Paul Cook & The Chronicles – Selfies

Paul Cook & The Chronicles - Selfies

People need to stop driving and taking selfies. Look at the road, take in the scenery and put this track by Paul Cook & The Chronicles on.

Inspired by a road trip, Cook wrote the slow-drive track, ‘Selfies’ over a 24 hour period during the heatwave in London in 2018. Expect a new full length in 2019.

Sounds like: Paul Simon, Kurt Vile

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Loyal Lobos – Burn

Loyal Lobos

Loyal Lobos is stripping away her ego and embracing the sadness in ‘Burn’.

The Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter crafts raw, alt-folk songs that break convention, imbued with a hazy melancholy.

Sounds like: First Aid Kit, Maggie Rogers, Laurel, Lana Del Rey

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Rain on Monday – Fever Dream

Rain on Monday

Swedish solo act Rain on Monday shares ‘Fever Dream’, a song about a couple on the run from daily responsibilities.

The song has dreamy and husky vocals laced in washed out lo-fi, retro futuristic sounds. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Sounds like: Washed Out, Summer Heart, Yoke Lore, Still Parade

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Taylor Grey – Heathers

Taylor Grey

Twenty one year old Taylor Grey is getting poetic in her new single ‘Heathers’.

With pop melodies, this girl reminds us of an early VÉRITÉ, using songwriting as a form of therapy and a way to empower the younger generation with her vulnerability.

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Selena Gomez, Sabrina Carpetner, Dua Lipa

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Bryony Dunn – I Can’t Look Away

Bryony Dunn

Introducing young singer songwriter Bryony Dunn.

Her new single ‘I Can’t Look Away’ addresses the positive effects of a romantic interest in a blissful manner.

Citing her main influence as being Christine and The Queens, we also sense a huge influence from Marina & The Diamonds in the tone of Dunn’s music as well.

Sounds like: Marina & The Diamonds, Kelly Clarkson, Christine and The Queens, VÉRITÉ

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Weekly Gems 45

Anthony Lazaro – Neon Soul

Anthony Lazaro - Neon Soul

Italian singer-songwriter Anthony Lazaro is a new kid on the block of chilled, retro-modernist, electronic music.

His new single ‘Neon Soul’ channels some sweet and dreamy Jungle and Chic vibes, livening up those boring sepia colors from the autumn days

Sounds like: Jungle, Roosevelt, Chic

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Dady – Failing

Dady by Chad Griffith

NYC-based Dady is comprised of singer/songwriter Rachel Dady and songwriter/producer Jesse O’Connor.

Born from enemies, these two have somehow put their differences apart and now create delicate dream pop for the masses. ‘Failing’ effortlessly switches between tender moments and an anthemic hook.

Sounds like: Carly Rae Jepsen, Paperwhite, Taylor Swift, Haim

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Hanne Leland – Underdogs

Hanne Leland

Ever feel like an outsider? If so, then Norwegian artist Hanna Leland has your back with her new single ‘Underdogs’.

Fluid, Scandi electro-pop at its finest, ‘Underdogs’ is a call to arms for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider.

Listen below.

Sounds like: The Magnettes, Robyn

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Born Stranger – Last Night on Earth

Born Stranger

With it’s deceiving upbeat melody, Born Stranger‘s new single ‘Last Night on Earth’ is surprisingly about the sad topic of suicide.

An ode to those who have left our planet too soon, this track urges you to celebrate, live in the moment and be compassionate with each other.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Prinze George, Sia, The Wombats, Bastille, Major Lazer, Years & Years, M83, Foals, KAPTAN, The Brocks, Tears for Fears, Depeche Mode, Myzica

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Sleep Thieves – Sea of Shadows

Sleep Thieves

Dublin disco-noir trio Sleep Thieves shares new single ‘Sea of Shadows’.

With the song’s minimal lyrical attitude and looping darkly ethereal synths full of nostalgia that completely immerse your mind, it’s hard to believe the threesome met on Twitter.

Sounds like: Vök, Kate Boy, Poliça

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Karim – Dance

Karim

Karim is the solo electro pop project of Italian-born singer, songwriter and producer Karim Afas.

Combining ancient cultures, art and music, Karim’s latest endeavour, called ‘Dance’, explores the complexities of modern love within an alt-pop ballad.

“‘Dance’ is the love, pop song I’ve always wanted to write and then sing at the top of my lungs.
It’s gloomy yet so vivid, it celebrates a triumph filled with melancholy – ‘Dance’, among other
things, is a song about the fickleness of love and life.”

Sounds like: Sampha, Tobias Jesso Jr., David Bowie

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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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Klune – Hold On Feat. IVYE

Klune

Klune shares ‘Hold On’ featuring IVYE. It follows on from the release of ‘Nocturnal’, another magnetic pop number from the Italian band who formed in 2014.

Speaking about the track, the band say,

“Unlike our previously released single ‘Nocturnal’, ‘Hold on’ is one of the latest track we recorded for the LP and certainly represents a watershed, compared with the original sonorities of our project. Even with those changes, there is still a search for depth and space, two elements that strongly characterize most of our productions. The track sees the presence of Italian singer Ivye (Francesca Pianini). Her voice perfectly matches with the mood of the song adding to it a powerful combination of visceral moments and elegant vibes.”

‘Hold On’ will be released in January 19th via Factory Flaws.

Sounds like: Joe Goddard, The xx, Kudu Blue, SAMA

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Emmecosta – A Mountain From Us

Emmecosta

Dream pop trio Emmecosta like to dedicate their music ideas to time and place, whether that be in a club during the early hours of the morning, an afternoon walk in the park, or somewhere that is still in your imagination.

These bliss out vibes transpire into their new single, ‘A Mountain From Us’ with its waves of synths and echoing vocals.

Their new EP ‘Velour’ is out now via Icons Creating Evil Art.

Sounds like: Tom Yorke, Bon Iver, Washed Out, James Blake, Phoenix

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Black Flowers Cafe – Caribe

Black Flowers Cafe

Italian four-piece, Black Flowers Cafe have a distinct European feel to their music.

They clearly like to experiment, pushing their music into sonic landscapes, with melodic synths and broad guitar riffs.

Listen to ‘Caribe’ below.

Having already gained support from Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins, Bella Union), expect this band to be one of Italy’s biggest musical exports.

Sounds like: SAMA, Lilies on Mars, Cocteau Twins, Foals, Hider

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SAMA – What Love Is All About

SAMA

SAMA

So this week has been a tough one, for reasons no one needs to explain, so here is a bit of light relief before you head into your weekend.

It’s ‘What Love Is All About’ by Italian electro pop trio, SAMA.

The guys have worked with some pretty cool kids out there; this track was mixed by Galatis in London, and their previus single, ‘A Love Like Kerosene’ was mastered by Stuart Hawkes (Disclosure, Rudimental, Alex Clare, Lorde) in their self-built studio.

London (UK) Dates

17th November @ 93 Feet East w/ Sun Arcana, Silver & Grace, and Rale (Tickets)
18th November Q&A and Live Radio Stream 3pm @ Lights of Soho (Free Entry)
19th November @ Roadtrip Bar w/ Mutiny In Heaven, Dirty Palace, and Joey Collins (Tickets)

Sounds like: Years & Years, Penguin Prison, Chainsmokers, Sam Feldt

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Interview: Badlands

Badlands

Badlands

Badlands is an electronic project by Swedish born songwriter, producer and sound designer Catharina Jaunviksna.

We caught up with Catharina to talk music and life.

For those of you who don’t know you, tell us a bit more about Badlands and how you got into music.

I’ve always been into music. As a teen it saved me, like so many others. I was listening to a lot of post-hardcore, shoegaze, synth and new wave. And even though I started to record early, I was always very private about it. Music was this huge and intangible mountain to climb, I thought I wasn’t worthy. And I didn’t know anybody else that was into synthesizers, midi and sampling back then. So I hid away and made music for myself and external projects, such as movies and plays, so that I wouldn’t have to uncover myself. I did make a few failed attempts to form a band too. But something needed to get out. I was missing something that only I would be able to materialize. So eventually I thought it was time to start arranging and finish the huge pile of soundtracks and experiments that was lying around on my hard drives. And that’s how Badlands was born. The first EP was released together with my friend Nikals Tjäder, it was great fun at the time but pretty obvious whose baby it was, so after the first release Badlands became my solo project. It was a big relief, now I could just nerd out and do whatever turned me on, without having to compromise with anything. Then I released the single Tutu, and now the new album Locus.

Describe your sound in three words.

Melodic, lush, interstellar.

You were born in Sweden, but also call Ireland and Italy your home. What do you like and dislike about each place, and why?

Scene-wise? Well, I suppose I’ll have to generalize here quite a bit, so don’t hold me too much to it. Sweden… We have great judgement and taste when it comes to music, but we can be pretty anxious about trend and rep. Doesn’t make good pioneers, not any more. But I’m sure we will again someday. The Irish scene on the other hand is very vibrant, a great balance of DIY and professionalism. Fortunately, the country’s stubborn and silly old values don’t reflect in the music, it’s the complete opposite. And Italy… I think they’re on their way. I meet a lot of Italians who idolize the Scandinavian and Anglo-Saxon scene though, and try to copy that, instead of finding their own thing. I believe they have to take whatever they’re insecure about and turn that into their strength instead. Like they used to.

Your album, ‘Locus’, is out now. Tell us a bit more about the process of creating ‘Locus’, and the meaning behind the album.

I don’t intellectualize around music, at least not my own. It’s not until the end of the process that I start to realize what it was all about. And the meaning can change with the process too, or hold several meanings. That’s why music is magic and not rational. But the process is usually the same, pretty much.

These transient melodies and pictures appear in my head like capsuled mini revelations, and from there I walk in to the studio and try to communicate that exact feeling somehow. Sometimes that process takes only a couple of weeks, sometimes several months. I love the start and the end of a tune making process, but the 90% in-between is a chaos of doubt and self-contempt. Haha.

I think it’s funny how many people seem to look at Locus at this apocalyptic prophecy though. To me Locus is magnanimous, tender even. It’s more a study over human kind, rather than an assessment. It’s a lot about how much power we have over who we are and the decisions we make. But each song has its own story, and I don’t want to sabotage my listeners own interpretations either.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

A lot of stuff that inspire me is either from the late 70’s or early 80’s, even though I wasn’t born then. Music that lead on new wave, before it even became a concept. Both commercial stuff and more obscure space- and Italo disco. But I don’t try to sound retro or anything, I’ve never understood the thrill in trying to copy a sound myself, although I enjoy listening to others neo-synthwave and retro-futuristic work. But yes, the 80’s…I believe there was just enough technology to nurse creativity, but not restrict it, like today. It colored the sounds, made them re-assuring, warm and invincible. I build stamina and find strength in what they had then, that we lack today. I love the softness of the sounds too, that’s why my masters aren’t pushed so hard and ran through tape.

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

Most new music I listen to is unestablished. I spend many hours every week digging around in the huge tank of indie anarchy that is Soundcloud. I think that’s the closest thing to crate digging in the digital world you get these days. It’s the darknet of music, but in a good way. I love finding and pushing overlooked gems. I think many of the major music blogs have lost their sense of passion, excitement and courage, that’s why I don’t look there for new stuff anymore, like I used to. But of course I listen to a lot of signed music as well. If we’re talking labels I really dig Warp, Mute, Secretly Canadian, Italians do it better, Ghostly, Captured Tracks, Lucky Number to name a few. And my friends. I’m lucky enough to know a bunch of super talented people. You find them where you find me.

Badlands’ album is out now. Order on iTunes now.

Sounds like: Tei-Shi, Glasser, Still Corners, Enya, Be Forest, Lilies on Mars

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