Tag Archives: James Blake

KYOTI – Citadel

KYOTI

British art-pop trio KYOTI, share ‘Citadel’, the sixth single from their expansive ‘Project Twelve’, which sees the band release one track every month for a year.

Their disparate and captivating storytelling collides into rich soundscapes of jazz, folk, and pop-inspired synths and beats, interlaced with thoughtful lyricism.

Lyrically ‘Citadel’ considers personal issues and broader political ideas, both continuing themes throughout KYOTI’S work to date.

Lead singer, Ed says of the track, “In the turbulent times we are currently living through it can be so easy to shut ourselves off. Rather than engage with what is going on across the planet and in society, whether that’s climate change, homelessness, or mental health issues – instead people tend to seek comfort and shelter from those closest to us.

“The phrase “I need a citadel” sits at the heart of this song. I was thinking about how bombarded we all are in the modern world – by the news, social media, and constant expectations of success and progress – but that sometimes you just want to hang out with mates and loved ones, safe in the knowledge that there’s no judgement. For me that feels like a citadel and I think a lot of people are probably in need of that too.”

‘Project Twelve’ will be showcased in its entirety via a string of London shows early 2020 ahead of the final release completing the series in September.

Sounds like: Hot Chip, SOHN, James Blake, Two Door Cinema Club, Death Cab For Cutie, Honne, Dead Ceremony

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Weekly Gems 100

TESSA – Bad Bad Love

TESSA

Australian artist Tessa Neale (fka Hoodlem) wants to leave her ego at the door whilst making music. Unfiltered and full of sass, this is TESSA at her core.

Produced with Jeff Hazin and featuring Toronto rapper Terrell Morris, her new single ‘Bad Bad Love’ is an upbeat anti-love song sending a message to the game-playing lovers everywhere…we see you.

Sounds like: Mahalia, Empress Of, Nao, Jessie Ware

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Francis Novotny – Someone I Wanted To Be

Francis Novotny

Young Swedish songwriter Francis Novotny shares the beautiful ‘Someone I Wanted To Be’.

With modern rings of The Cinematic Orchestra‘s ‘To Build A Home’, the cinematic approach to this stripped-back song – about love, regret, and new perspectives – is delicately composed with an emotional piano progression, whilst his vocals take centre stage.

Sounds like: The Cinematic Orchestra

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STRØM – Blurred Out

STRØM

After months of anticipation, Swedish artist STRØM finally unveils his earnest chops, whilst, ironically sharing his new single called ‘Blurred Out’, taken from his debut album, ‘Immortal’ out now via This is Scandinavia / Sony Music.

With a cascading beat of drums and vocal loops, the track gives us an intriguing glimpse into the album.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, TENDER, Solomon Grey, James Blake

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Benji Lewis – No Alibi

Benji Lewis

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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Christian Cohle – Breathe

Christian Cohle by Adrian Wojtas

Christian Cohle by Adrian Wojtas

Dublin-born Christian Cohle shares his haunting and melancholic debut single, ‘Breathe’.

Mixing majestic synthesizers and driving rhythms, ‘Breathe’ explores the emotional struggle of feeling interlinked with something that turns out to be artificial. Discussing the inspiration behind his new record, Cohle says: “Breathe was predominantly informed by experiences I was going through at the time, but also very much influenced by the neo-noir science fiction film, Blade Runner 2049.

Sounds like: James Blake, Sampha, Jai Paul, Solomon Grey

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Matthew Scott Ragland – Here and Now

Matthew Scott Ragland by Holly Peyton

Matthew Scott Ragland by Holly Peyton

Dallas-based songwriter, producer, recording artist and former band member of Austin based Nelo, Matthew Scott Ragland finds solace in a new project.

His double single, ‘Here and Now / Now is Here’ was written by Ragland from a purist point of view, where synthesizers, drum machines and string samples take the place of his trusted guitar.

Sounds like: The Stone Roses, Ulrich Schnauss, Jon Hopkins, Joe Goddard

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Pastel – Let You (Feat. Haoting)

Pastel - Let You (Feat. Haoting)

French-Polynesian singer and multi-instrumentalist Pastel unveils his impossibly smooth new single, ‘Let You’.

It’s a blissed out neo-jazz Bossa Nova fusion compiled alongside long-time friend and Taiwanese artist, Haoting.

Sounds like: FKJ, Miller Blue, Yakul, Easy Life, Hers, Tom Misch

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STRØM – Mermaid

STRØM

Swedish-born, Berlin-based producer/artist STRØM shares his mesmerising new single, ‘Mermaid’, taken from his forthcoming ‘Immortal’ album.

Using the project as an experimental outlet for musical expression free of genre bounds, his music embodies this ethos.

In ‘Mermaid’, echoes of Swedish dust drift over a deeply dark electronic melody and sweeping melodies, further showcasing STRØM’s captivating production prowess.

It’s out now on This Is Scandinavia/Sony Music. His debut album, ‘Immortal’, is released on 21 February.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, TENDER, Solomon Grey, James Blake

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Solomon Grey – Interstate 695

Solomon Grey

London based electronic duo Solomon Grey returns with the breathtaking new single called ‘Interstate 695’, showcasing the first in a selection of new works culminating in the forthcoming EP ‘Music For Picture: Vol. I (Parallels)’ released on 27 March.

Soundtrack ready, the new single is dynamic, an ethereal track with bold analogue synths, pulsing drums, wide strings and other orchestral score elements. Inspiration for the song came from Solomon Grey’s soundtrack work, in their words “we played with the idea of watching films of our childhood. Inspired by our youth and looking at it from where we are now. What did that innocence mean to us now, and how would we score it.”

Sounds like: Aquilo, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, Ásgeir, Chet Faker, James Vincent McMorrow, Hozier, Lane 8, The National, Son Lux, M83, James Blake, Bon Iver

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BAILE – Leave Me feat. Kauf

BAILE - Leave Me feat. Kauf

In a perfect musical match, depressive house electronic producer, BAILE (aka Reed Kackley) teams up with Los Angeles-based vocalist, Kauf, who is best known for his ability to create music that can be so introvert and emotive, yet at the same time be sonic and mind-altering.

The new single ‘Leave Me’ starts out with simple chords (recorded by BAILE on an abandoned upright piano near the entrance of his rehearsal place) before the addition of empty beer bottles, analogue synths and acoustics bring the track to life. Kauf adds a narrative on impending heartache, beautifully articulating the agonising grief of lost love.

Listen below.

Sounds like: James Blake, Rhye, Fjord, SBTRKT, Asgeir, Solomon Grey

BAILE
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Kauf
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Weekly Gems 97

Jinka – U Bit My <3

Jinka by Yannic Pöpperling

Jinka by Yannic Pöpperling

German artist Jinka shares her explosive new single ‘U Bit My <3'. Channelling emo and urban vibes with a playful way with wonky arpeggios of synthesized steel drums and piano samples that intertwine with a trap-leaning beat.

Sounds like: Kate Boy, I BREAK HORSES, Sigrid

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DAD – Fresher

DAD - Fresher

DAD (aka bedroom pop singer/songwriter Kei Wells) shares her new single ‘Fresher’.

DAD has teamed up with Grammy-nominated Austrian producer, artist and pianist Yakob. Our favourite of hers to date, this declaration of independence is the ultimate single girl’s anthem, with electrified pop sequences infused with synth-pop juice.

Wrabel and Gallant will feature on her forthcoming EP.

Sounds Like: Lolo Zouaï, Doja Cat, Snow Tha Product, Lil Miquela, Clairo, Beabadoobie

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Emerson Leif – Next2

Emerson Leif

Brisbane-based Emerson Leif gives us a taste of his upcoming debut EP, ‘Bad Company’ with ‘Next2’.

It’s a soothing number and effortlessly cool (we wouldn’t expect anything less from Leif). Speaking about the track, he explains,

“It’s about realising you are valuable and loved. It’s about overcoming the fear of not being enough and embracing vulnerability through the process.”

Sounds like: Brolin, Bon Iver, Alex Vargas, TENDER, REFS

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Jon Olav – I Am The Thing

Jon Olav - I Am The Thing

We’re super excited about the sounds of Norwegian artist Jon Olav.

His new single ‘I Am The Thing’ opens with sparse piano chords (we instantly think James Blake), and bubbles into itself with deliciously sinister pop hooks and crystalline vocals as Olav looks inward to contemplate the pluses and minuses of attention.

Sounds like: James Blake, Sampha

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Approachable Members Of Your Local Community – Small Change

Approachable Members Of Your Local Community

With the best name we’ve seen for a long while, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community (let’s call them AMOYLC for short) releases the catchy ‘Small Change’.

The quartet – who met at school – fuse elements of indie, electro, funk and disco into their unapologetically spirited sound. But their new single ‘Small Change’ has a serious message. Dedicated to the firefighters and communities affected by the Australian fires, “it’s clear that small change can have a big impact.”

Sounds like: APRE, Vampire Weekend

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Molina – Vanilla Shell

Molina

Self-made art creator and songwriter Molina shares her bold single, ‘Vanilla Shell’, the title track taken from her new EP.

The sparse and inventive song weaves textured vocals with a fluttering flute and fretless bass into a psychedlic trip about love and youth, with captivating nods to the eras of 1960, 70 and 80.

Sounds like: IDER, Talking Heads, Cocteau Twins, Pink Floyd

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Gold Member – Stay On

Gold Member

Gold Member is a three-piece of producers and singer/songwriters.

Crossing genres between funk, soul and pop, their new single ‘Stay On’ is an easy, breezy piece of charge-soaked, soulful pop with a topical headline about Indigenous identity in white Australia, and the struggles of living in a system of cultural oppression.

Sounds like: Jungle, Michael Kiwanuka, TENDER

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Chaz Cardigan – Not Ok!

Chaz Cardigan - Not Ok!

What an anthem – ‘Not Ok!’ by Nashville based pop lothario Chaz Cardigan, released on Capitol Records/Loud Robot.

The track is an infectious tune about human imperfection, which sees Cardigan laid bare, both lyrically and visually. The Al Kalyk-directed video also features an astonishing number of gummy bears…

Sounds like: Harry Styles, Declan McKenna

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argonaut&wasp – TVS

argonaut&wasp

Wonderful duo argonaut&wasp is back with ‘TVS’.

A daydream about endless summer days, it’s the perfect antidote for a wet and cold January. The song was crafted early one morning using a drum loop and an oberheim synthesizer and is a call to a honeycoated time of romance and yearning.

Sounds like: MGMT, CHAPPO, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, Phoenix, Pistol Shrimp, VHS Collection

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Weekly Gems 95

The Feather – Sister

The Feather by Gilles Dewalque

The Feather by Gilles Dewalque

Belgium folktronica artist The Feather shares his bass-licking new single, ‘Sister’.

Swerving synths, it’s a hypnotic indie-pop gem that depicts how social media affects us all, out now via [PIAS].

Sounds like: Cut Copy, Du Tonc, Hot Chip, Joe Goddard

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STRØM – Last Try

STRØM

STRØM

We stumbled upon the beautiful ‘Last Try’ by Swedish artist STRØM just a few minutes ago and had to share it.

Having recently moved to Berlin, STRØM continues to release music that combines elegant vocal melodies with euphoric percussion. Beautiful.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, TENDER, Solomon Grey, James Blake

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Yazmyn Hendrix – Be Me

Yazmyn Hendrix

With a cool name, Yazmyn Hendrix takes Ed Sheeran’s lead and uses her voice with a loop pedal to create magical music.

Her new single ‘Be Me’ is taken off her upcoming EP named ‘Saturn Returns’ and is her first break-up song, and subsequent coming out song.

Sounds like: Alicia Keys, Aurora

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Ani Glass – Mirores

Ani Glass

Welsh musician, Ani Glass (also a former member of indie-pop group The Pipettes) shares the visuals for her new single, ‘Mirores’ – the title track from her forthcoming debut album, released in March.

The quirky and illuminating visuals wouldn’t go amiss in a Petit Meller or Yelle music video, as she shares a journey from dark desperation to motivation and inspiration.

Sounds like: Petite Meller, Giorgio Moroder, Vangelis

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REYKO – Surrender

REYKO

London-based pop outfit REYKO shares the visuals for ‘Surrender’.

Filmed on the English South East coast, it’s a slow and steady track that expresses their elusiveness in a peaceful and dreamy manner.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish, Saint Etienne, CAPPA

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Mint Julep – Fantasies

Mint Julep

We’re very excited to share ‘Stay Fantasties’ by wife and husband duo, Hollie and Keith Kenniff aka Mint Julep, an expertly manicured electric-pop venture that stands in stark contrast to the nebulous and experimental Helios and Goldmund outputs for which the latter member is known.

The vulnerable track shimmers underneath an amalgamation of textures and is out now on Western Vinyl.

Sounds like: Beauty Sleep, Tame Impala, Electric Youth, The Naked And Famous, Cocteau Twins, Helios

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Nathaniel Stewart – Lone Wolf

Nathaniel Stewart - Lone Wolf

Portland-based Nathaniel Stewart shares ‘Lone Wolf’, a track about dealing with loneliness and finding out who you are.

With skyscraping melodies and enduring drums, prepare to drift away.

Sounds like: M83, Nick Murphy

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FARR – Heal Me

FARR

From one lonely artist to another…introducing transatlantic duo FARR (by way of Los Angeles and London) vocalist Roméo and producer Linden Jay (who has also produced for Rejjie Snow, LION SNOW, RITUAL and more).

Born from London loneliness, the soulful new track, ‘Heal Me’, was written with Carl Barat and Olly Burden and is full of heartfelt longing for missed loved ones.

Sounds like: RKCB, Jadu Heart, Dan D’Lion, James Vickery

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SHY Martin – Slow

SHY Martin by Hampus Hjellström

SHY Martin by Hampus Hjellström

Renowned songwriter SHY Martin (Bebe Rexha, Astrid S, Kygo, Ellie Goulding, ALMA, Jess Glynne) picks up her beloved guitar again and shares the delicate, stripped back ballad, ‘Slow’.

Rich and organic, it shows another side to the popstar-in-the-making.

Sounds like: Halsey, Emily Burns

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Steph Sandor – Circles

Steph Sandor - Circles

Los Angeles-based pop artist Steph Sandor is quite frankly over this shit.

Her pulsing new single ‘Circles’ is a straightforward pop statement shared from a place of vulnerability and frustration. It’s out now on BonFire Records

Sounds like: Chelsea Cutter, CAPPA

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Blanks – Sweaters

Blanks - Sweaters

Dutch YouTuber, Blanks shares his falsetto-led single ‘Sweaters’.

With a unique way of interacting with fans – Blanks actually writes music with his fans, not just for his fans – his pop music captures and engages.

Sounds like: COIN, Two Door Cinema Club, Joan, Great Good Fine Ok

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Weekly Gems 91

Love You Later – Said You’d Be There

Love You Later by Sara Anne Waggoner

Love You Later by Sara Anne Waggoner

Love You Later is the brainchild of Nashville-born, synth-pop artist, Lexi Aviles.

She creates heartbreaker bangers with dreamy landscapes and an infectious pop vulnerability.

Her new single ‘Said You’d Be There’ is about not getting caught up with the small things that happen in life, but to let go, be free, and dance your way through the endless horizon ahead.

Sounds like: The Japanese House, MUNA, Soccer Momm, Snail Mail

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Zoe Konez & Antonio Lulic – Echo

Zoe Konez & Antonio Lulic - Echo

Singer-songwriters Zoe Konez and Antonio Lulic combine on the rousing alternative-pop anthem “Echo”. Drawing on influences from Zoe’s indie background and Antonio’s stadium-filling pop tones, it’s an epic piece of pop-fusion that details a longing for adventure at the expense of personal relationships.

Sounds like: Oh Wonder, Of Monsters and Men, Ben Howard

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Yaeger – I Tried

Yaeger

Extreme sport fanatic and Swedish pop act Yaeger (“hunter”) shares her dynamic single, ‘I Tried’, out now on Chess Club Records.

It’s infectious pop with a solid backbone. Listen below.

Sounds like: Tove Lo, Zara Larsson

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STORME – Back To Her

STORME

Scandinavian STORME returns with her new single ‘Back To Her’.

Written in the Swedish wilderness, the track’s topic considers how beautiful the Earth is, but also how fragile it is in it’s current, dying state.

It’s out now via Humble Angel Records.

Sounds like: Rae Morris, KATE BOY, Björk, Aurora, RAINDEAR, CILVR, Bat For Lashes, The Knife, Róísín Murphy, Billie Eilish

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BOII – Footwork

BOII

British duo BOII have us quite taken aback with their ‘Footwork’. Seems like we’re not the only ones expressing our feelings through the mode of movement.

The track focuses on the time when you can truly experience the “moment” by moving away from a challenging place and escaping reality.

Sounds like: Zola Blood, Tourist, Mansionair

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Fruut – R.O.E (Running on Empty)

Fruut

Philadelphia based singer/songwriter/producer Fruut shares her lo-fi take on indie pop and RnB to create the smooth and breezy ‘R.O.E’.

The new single is her first collab with producer Fortunewest and it’s guaranteed to get those ears twitching.

Sounds like: Sorcha Richardson, Mallrat, Vera Blue, Geowulf

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Tensnake – Rules Feat. Chenai

Tensnake

After a two year hiatus, the greatly awaited single from Tensnake arrives. Titled ‘Rules’, the feel good track features vocals from Chenai in an ode to 90s house, with a modern twist.

It’s out now on Armada Electronic Elements.

Sounds like: MNEK, Le Youth, Joe Goddard, Disclosure, Fred Falke, Louis La Roche

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Ben Kidson – Money

Ben Kidson

Self-taught rock fan turned esteemed pop-writer Ben Kidson has given his hand to producing and the result is the energetic ‘Money’.

Featuring heavy sampling of 90s video game sounds hidden throughout the track, ‘Money’ calls on people who have said they can help you to “put your money where your mouth is”.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish, Yungblud, Twenty One Pilots

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Eli & Fur – Wall To Wall

Eli & Fur

UK-based rising stars Eli & Fur provide lush and haunting vocals in their new single ‘Wall To Wall’.

Released on Big Beat Records/SIKR (Gavin Koolmon from Disciples new label) the progressive electronic track works perfectly listening to at home as it does on the dancefloor.

Sounds like: Luttrell, Kidnap, Henri

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Benji Lewis – New Day

Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis returns with the wonderful ‘New Day’, conjuring up images of happiness and freedome.

Shot around Los Angeles by Chris Weigen, the video for ‘New Day’ features Benji singing in front of various pastel backdrops.

Sounds like: Troye Sivan, The Kite String Tangle, Active Child, Gallant, Sam Smith, James Blake, Jack Garratt

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Weekly Gems 87

Ariane – Sweatshirt

Press 1

French-American pop singer and songwriter Ariane speaks to champion the underdog. Combining Lorde’s dreamy and atmospheric vocals with the moody sound of Banks and Billie Eilish, Ariane creates a refuge for her listeners.

Ariane’s rhythms build up together with a simple drum kit toward a heavy bass/kind of solid drop highlighted with her smooth progressive voice.

Sounds Like: Banks, Billie Eilish, Blood Orange, Lorde

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Tasha Angela – Lost in Nostalgia

b5cbc955-f718-456a-a27a-920034013a94

Toronto based Tasha Angela is back with a new single entitled ‘Lost in Nostalgia’ in which she explores groovy productions mixed with tender vocals performance. ‘Lost in Nostalgia’ starts sharp with a minimalist approach that progresses smoothly and perfectly backed by Tasha’s beautiful voice.

Sounds Like: Mahalia, ren, BAYNK

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Aimee Milner – A Little More

‘A Little More’, is the dreamy new collaboration between singer-songwriter Amy Milner and producer Tim Larcombe (Lana Del Rey/Halsey).

The second track from a stunning forthcoming project, it’s a breathtaking piece of electronica that’s right at home among the likes of The Japanese House or Bon Iver. The track is accompanied by a visual, created from clips of Amy & Tim’s process recording the album, showcasing the depth and creative flair involved in their artistic process.

Sounds Like: The Japanese House, Luna Pines, James Blake, Bon Iver

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DAD – Alligator

Dad - Profile Pic

DAD debuts her project with her new single ‘Alligator,’ with visuals from designers and illustrators Beverly Johnson & Cam Chan.

‘Alligator’ weaves lush instrumentation, catchy vocals hooks, and cheeky lyrical content as an ode to her ex-boyfriend, who, despite all his questionable actions, she still has to thank for leading her to Los Angeles.

Sounds Like: Lolo Zouaï, Doja Cat, Snow Tha Product, Lil Miquela, Gorillaz

Instagram

Ellen Krauss – Let Me Have It

Rising Swedish pop artist Ellen Krauss releases her brand new single ‘Let Me Have it’ through Tiller Inc. licensed to BMG Recorded Music.

An empowering stripped-back track about standing up to your oppressors and your inner demons, the song’s intro is calm. It features beautiful vocal progressions throughout and a guitar-based buildup, all the while reflecting Ellen’s strong and personal songwriting.

Sounds Like: Isak Danielson, Hov1, Smith & Thell, Carly Rae Jepsen, Tove Lo

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Weekly Gems 84

REECE – Last Time

REECE

REECE shares the heartbreaking song, ‘Last Time’.

REECE’s voice is both chilling and poetic, as he contemplates finding the strength to walk away when a relationship turns sour. Listen below.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish, Frank Ocean

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Eloise Viola – Wait In Line

Eloise Viola

London singer-songwriter Eloise Viola refuses to be second best in her new single, ‘Wait In Line’.

With another energetic pop anthem, Viola is both vocally and lyrically on point, and with a positive message promoting body positivity and self-love, what’s not to love?

Sounds like: Anne Marie, Charlie XCX, Dua Lipa, Zara Larsson

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KYRI – Sanctuary

KYRI

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

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Danny George – Sincerity

Danny George

Producer-turned-solo artist Danny George shares highly accessible new track, ‘Sincerity’

Now residing in Berlin, George has gained a new perspective and musical inspiration, translating into music that has soul and electronica with hints of R&B and indie.

His first full EP ‘Crushed Comfort’ will drop early next year.

Sounds like: Ayelle, Malory, Latir, Lolé

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Akurei – Quarter Tank Full

Akurei

Alt-pop artist Akurei shares ‘Quarter Tank Full’, taken from his sophomore EP, ‘September’.

Minimalistic beats surround smooth R&B electronic, as Akurei dissects the quarter life crisis he had last year.

Sounds like: LA Bouquet, LANY, The 1975

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BENJII – I Won’t Die For You

BENJII

Introducing Vancouver-based singer/songwriter and guitarist BENJII – aka Benji Klassen.

His new single, ‘I Won’t Die For You’ is a moody alt-pop track driven by rock-tinged vocals and textual guitar riffs, and as refreshing as the BC mountain dew.

Sounds like: John Mayer

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Chloe Lilac – Special

Chloe Lilac - Special

Brooklyn-based bedtime producer Chloe Lilac shares her fun new pop single, ‘Special’.

Within the last year, Chloe has gone from sheer obscurity self-producing songs in her bedroom to signing with RCA, releasing a debut EP, and now has a 2nd EP in the pipeline. No mean feat.

Sounds like: Charlotte Lawrence, Sasha Sloan, Tessa Violet

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OTR – Drive ft. Panama

OTR

Aerospace engineer-turned-producer, OTR returns with the brilliant new single ‘Drive, featuring Sydney-based synthpop standout, Panama.

Changing the tempo up a litte, the duo have successfully built a world containing movement and sound, with a tinge of vulnerability.

‘Drive’ is out now via Astralwerks.

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

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