It seems the word ‘eargasm’ was invented by Jens Kuross, because you’ll have plenty of them whilst listening to his music.
A graduate of Berklee College of Music, his music occupies a rare space in the world with his particular way of melding evocative lyrics and dreamy arrangements with introspective, yet sublime songwriting.
Kuross’ new single is breathtaking electronica, which Jens describes as, “basically a not-so-subtle kraut-rock inspired exercise in harmonic syncopation and self-effacement.”
Kuross plays a headline show at London’s St Pancras Old Church on 27 November.
Sounds like: Ry X, Sacred Animals, Solomon Grey, Bonobo, Rhye, James Blake
Her latest single, ‘Stripes + Squares’ has received the remix treatment from producer veteran Penguin Prison (Chris Glover).
Further highlighting Julietta’s independent and spontaneous spirit, the percussive rework from the fellow NYC native injects body-shaking bass and warm tones from marimbas to turn the original rock-influenced bop into a truly anthemic tune.
Sounds like: Sofi Tukker, Ralph, Mating Ritual, Morgan Saint, NVDES
Reintroducing the music world to producer Darragh Nolan (aka Sacred Animals).
As the visuals for his new single, ‘Maya Liminal’ build into an electronic-fused, dream-like state, he draws the listener into an intense world, where one is asked to consider what it means to be a spirit living a human existence.
Expect the forthcoming LP, ‘Odin’s Wain’, out later in the year.
Sounds like: Thom Yorke, James Blake, Son Lux, Ry X & Chromatics
Introducing the bright and summery sounds of Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter BenjiLewis. 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
We are huge fans of quirky Icelandic electro-pop provacateur Máni Orrason‘s new single ‘Numb’. In fact, we are slightly obsessed with all of the visuals for his last few releases, portraying a broken yet endearing persona of desperation and a need for love.
The visuals for ‘Numb’ flashback to straying and emotional neglect, “I had this desperate need to be seen and to be comforted. I guess i was really lonely at the time”, Máni recalls.
The EP ‘BABY ANGEL’ is out now via Humming Records.
It’s time to end this week’s gems on a funky number from cross Atlantic trio, TriOrca.
Comprised of multi-instrumentalists and writers, who between them have an ecclectic array of work connections – including Jessie J, Sam Henshaw, Empire of the Sun – their modern, yet nostalgic music fuses neo-soul, hip hop and 70’s psychedelica.
Stockholm-based Augustine follows up his debut single with ‘A Scent of Lily’ – a cinematic and melancholic interpretation of Ariana Grande‘s ‘Into You’, and the powerlessness of losing yourself in a relationship.
Once again, Augustine takes us on a journey through a future-retro, bombastic-pop soundscape.
Sounds like: PNAU, Foster the People, James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Phoebe Bridgers, Tame Impala, Phoenix
Sometimes the best pop songs are the most simplistic, allowing them to be catchy and emotive.
One of these contenders is ‘Change Your Mind’ by New Zealand-based Abby Wolf. An effervescent track which depicts the internal struggle faced when you’re unsure of the right path. Something we all can relate to.
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 SigurRós, heartfelt lyrics of BonIver, 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.
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.
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
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’.
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, IconaPop, RitaOra) 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.
Tessa Dixson has just released the emotive ‘Falling’, which one again feature those trademark yearning and goosebumps inducing vocals. To celebrate the release, we asked Tessa to put together a playlist of inspiration for us.
Tessa Dixson – Prayer
This was my first ever release, and it still embodies everything i am today. It’s still so true to what i believe and i feel it’s the kind of anthem for any young adult discovering the beauty and sadness of life.
Frank Ocean – White Ferrari
His album Blonde is the only album i am able to listen to on repeat without getting tired of it, but on the contrary falling in love with it even more every time. He captures your emotions so perfectly and something quite extraordinary happens, he’s a musical genius to me.
Maggie Rogers – Give A Little
I’ve never really been into pop rock, but Maggie is an amazing singer songwriter, and when you hear one of her songs you will directly know it’s hers, and this song is a perfect feel-good-get out of bed-on a sunny morning-dancing in front of the mirror song, start off your morning right with Maggie!
Spooky Black – DJ Khaled Is My Father
I think Spooky Black may be the artist i’ve listened to the most since i was 16 years old. He has this haunting truth telling that is just so sad and he is able to make poetry out of it, that’s beautiful to me. When i listen to this song i feel i am laying on a bed of white roses in the sky slowly falling into a pool of red.
Ama Lou – Tried Up
To me, Ama Lou is the next big thing in the underground world, she has a really strong concept and her latest project DDD is super interesting. Her songs resonate a cool coolness.
Aphex Twin – #3
I have a playlist on my phone called “starfish” and a lot of Aphex Twin’s songs are in it simply because that’s what the songs make me feel like, a starfish underwater, a certain serenity and peace of mind and just gliding with the slow current, i usually listen to this playlist when i’ve smoked a spliff.
The song is 7 minutes long and is very monotonous in the sense that it is the same chords over and over but that is the beauty of the song, it’s not about the chords itself but more about what happens in between.
Bicep – Opal (Four Tet Remix)
I NEVER GET TIRED OF THIS SONG!!! It has so many ups and downs in it that you never get bored from it. It’s the kind of song you want to listen to when you come back from a party and the sun starts to come up and you still feel a bit buzzed but tired at the same time, thats the feeling i get from this song. Just writing about it gives me sweaty palms and butterflies in my stomach.
James Black / Bon Iver – I Need A Forest Fire
Everything about this song makes me emotional and i don’t know why but that’s why i love it so much. James Blake and Bon Iver is a match made in heaven, everything about this song is perfect, the harmonies, the ad-libs, the beat, the chords, the strength of their voices together, i mean everything.
The Blaze – Virile
If you haven’t yet noticed, i tend to like songs that make me feel some kind of way, that’s usually why i like a song or not. Well this song represents a form of nostalgia and that’s why i like it so much, it tells a story by the atmosphere.
Romeo Elvis/Primero/Tessa Dixson/Halibab Matador – Poliss Massa
Romeo Elvis has really been able to create a sort of empire so i’m very proud to have been a part of it in the very beginning. It’s such a chill song and really makes me think of Brussels somehow.
Rising pop artist Malory shares the beautiful ‘Blue Umbrella’, which we have had on repeat all week.
Seeking inspiration from life actions, ‘Blue Umbrella’’ started life on a tube journey after Malory had observed a family and noticed the father had a sadness in his eyes and seemed strangely discontented.
The Londoner was later in the studio making an experimental instrumental with producer Danny George when they noticed there was a blue umbrella left in the studio, which Malory found represented the image of an unhappy corporate figure in the rain on his way home from work.
Expect her debut album ‘Cornucopia’ out on 1 March.
Brooklyn-based duo Drinker shares ‘Something I Want’ – a track slightly darker than your average musical tipple.
Inspired by a mututal love of James Blake, songwriter Aaron Mendelsohn and producer Ariel Loh “wanted to create a visually diverse and bold message with the video for “Something I Want” and enlisted the help of NY based LGBTQ focused film maker Tyler Byrnes. With the implementation of stop motion animation and found footage, we aimed for a stark and surreal aesthetic to paint America’s multi-generational story of consumerism.“
Sounds like: Thom Yorke, James Blake, Trentemoller, The Acid, Fever Ray, Sevdaliza, Tame Impala
Externalising her thoughts, Ariela Jacobs considers the concept of missing her old self in new song ‘Missing You’.
New York born and Melbourne bred, indie-pop singer-songwriter Ariela Jacobs was raised on a diet of literature and art. Her songwriting sends the listener on a journey both intimate and other-worldly; with melodies with clear folk-based lines, underscored by lush chords and pulsing rhythms.
We are super excited about TENDER‘s new single, ‘Slow Love’, taken from their album ‘Fear Of Falling Asleep’, out via Partisan Records.
Much like TENDER’s other offerings, ‘Slow Love’ has a delightful bassline throughout with soulful vocals, inspired by the moments that come just before sleep when silence descends, and doubt and fear and desire take over.
Sounds like: MOTHXR, Jungle, Glass Animals, HUNTAR, Caribou, Air, The National, Tame Impala, Boxed In, Honne, Colouring
Meet Gentry, an LA-based, London-bred performer, composer, and producer who creates eccentric, pop-tinged electronica inspired by a broad array of influences.
Born from performances with the Heritage Orchestra since 2013, playing the grand piano, bass, guitar and synths in their Blade Runner and Joy Division performances and keys for the recent Pete Tong worldwide shows and was invited to join Quincy Jones for his 85th birthday celebration this year at the O2, Gentry’s own production perfectly blends classical tendencies with groovy, disco-led “retroisms” and a nonconformist nod to modern dance music.
Check out his double A-side release below:
Sounds like: Ben Khan, Prince, Chromeo, James Blake