Tag Archives: James Blake

Weekly Gems 128

ÄTNA – Grinding

ÄTNA

Looking incredibly familiar in their press picture, with a glint of political satire, the Avante-Garde German duo ÄTNA releases their dark and rebellious new single, ‘Grinding’.

Sounds like: Grimes, Fever Ray, Vök, Kllo, Christine & The Queens, I Break Horses

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Benji Lewis – Everything’s Alright

Benji Lewis - Everything's Alright

Australian artist Benji Lewis shares the result of his recent lockdown songwriting, with ‘Everything’s Alright’. Written with Golden Vessel, the track touches on the importantness of freedom.

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

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Alex Frew – Antisocial Love Song Feat. A Is for Arrows

Alex Frew

Alex Frew touches on the difficulties of being alone with new song, ‘Antisocial Love Song’, featuring the delicate tones of A Is for Arrows. A pop ballad at heart with harder hitting lyrics.

Sounds like: Gaspar Narby

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Nicole Chambers – Warm Body

Nicole Chambers

Nicole Chambers is confidence setting in her single ‘Warm Body’, taken from her debut album, ‘Voice of a Virgo’. A new voice on the R&B and neo-soul scene, with a killer falsetto that demands attention.

Sounds like: Caswell, Jorja Smith

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Asha Gold – Debut

Asha Gold

Showing how you can make music regardless of a lockdown, rising UK artist Asha Gold shares her sweet new single ‘Debut’, written on Zoom with producer Mitch Jones.

Sounds like: Nakala, Frank Ocean, Rosalia

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Ryan Jantz – Real

Ryan Jantz

Authentic artist Ryan Jantz faces the ‘Real’ in the new self-produced single. Taking cues from the psych-pop world, ‘Real’ is both fun and quirky.

Sounds like: Glass Animals, Toro Y Moi, Mac DeMarco

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Joe Parsons – Repair

Joe Parsons

Gay comedian and musician Joe Parsons shows a vulnerable and serious side in his new single, ‘Repair’. With tinges of folktronica and alt-pop, the shimmering track is written about toxic masculinity.

Sounds like: Yoke Lore, Fleet Foxes

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Webmoms – Pasta Bake Feat. Maddy

Webmoms

Cornwall-based multi-instrumentalist and producer Karum Cooper has a new lo-fi jazz/soul project called Webmoms. The new single ‘Summer Salad’ is a tasty selection of rich, audible treats with jazzy licks and organic grooves.

Sounds like: Jorja Smith, Loyle Carner, Oscar Jerome

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Weekly Gems 122

Muck Spreader – Carnal Tongues

Muck Spreader

Take a ride to sonic ecstasy with Muck Spreader‘s new single, ‘Carnal Tongues’. It’s a collision of genres and ideas, with vocalist Luke Brennan’s curious spoken words luring you into this weird and wonderful world.

Sounds like: Black Midi, Comet is Coming, Fat White Family, Attawalpa, YARD ACT

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Tungz – Go Out

Tungz by Cameron Nicoll

Tungz by Cameron Nicoll

Written in four different places as two of the band members were sofa surfing, Bristol-based outfit Tungz shares their latest single, ‘Go Out’ focuses on anxiety caused by overexertion and bad
routines.

Sounds like: Patawawa, Bamily, Vulfpeck, Tame Impala, Still Woozy

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Jeremy Zucker – supercuts

Jeremy Zucker by Stefan Kohli

Jeremy Zucker by Stefan Kohli

Platinum-Certified singer-songwriter Jeremy Zucker shares catchy pop single ‘supercuts’. Named after the hair chopping salon, it’s feel-good summertime anthem co-written and co-produced by Jeremy and Max Martin’s MXM camp in Stockholm.

Sounds like: gnash, Chelsea Cutler, John K, Sasha Sloan

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Afonso – Bloom

Afonso

Soul and jazz-influenced artist Afonso shares ‘Bloom’. A big bold reflection on the first stages of a relationship, as the love grows and develops, set to a beautiful hazy groove.

Sounds like: Lianne La Havas, Nick Hakim, Moses Sumney, Yakul

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White Lights – Body Trap

White Lights

White Lights shares ‘Body Trap’, the lead single from his forthcoming ‘NUMBSKULL’ album. With its dark underbelly, the R&B track borders into the realms of hip hop and emotionally-withdrawn electronica.

Sounds like: MTNS, George Gretton, James Blake

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Amy Milner – Closer

Amy Milner

Amy Milner

Amy Milner shares a tale of inner conflict in her new single, ‘Closer’. Written alongside producer Tim Larcombe (Lana Del Rey, Halsey) between Amy’s home in Suffolk and Tim’s studio in Brighton, “Closer” is the second single from her new EP ‘Big Bad Thoughts’ due later this year.

Sounds like: Amy MacDonald, London Grammar, Rae Morris, Lucy Rose, Laurel, Gabrielle Aplin, Soak, Florence + The Machine

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Chaz Cardigan – Everything’s Wrong

Chaz Cardigan

Hot off the chat with his idol, Imogen Heap, pop artist Chaz Cardigan takes on post-breakdown life with his bombastic new single, ‘Everything’s Wrong’.

Sounds like: Harry Styles, Declan McKenna

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Galdive – Nescience

Galdive

Using fascinating art and interesting musical approaches to portray complicated relationships, Australian-based R&B duo Galdive shares their stunning jazz-fused song, ‘Nescience’.

Sounds like: Caswell, ODESZA

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Weekly Gems 120

Jude the Obscure – Strong Enough

Jude The Obscure

Manchester-based musician Jude The Obscure shows resilience in the face of adversity in jazz, hip-hop and soul-inspired track, ‘Strong Enough’.

Sounds like: Loyle Carner

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James Blake – Are You Even Real?

James Blake

James Blake releases the atmospheric ‘Are You Even Real?’, in partnership with Apple’s Behind The Mac campaign. Another contender to the evergrowing back catalogue of comforting masterpieces from the British producer and multi-instrumentalist.

Sounds like: Jamie Woon, Jamie XX, The Weeknd, SOHN

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Declan McKenna – Daniel, You’re Still A Child

Declan McKenna

We all know a Daniel, or perhaps we even are one – the one that gets “lost in the sauce, stoned, lost in some existential fear or lost his way in some VR game”, yet has so much to prove. Declan McKenna gives us a delicious taste of his forthcoming album, ‘Zeros’.

Sounds like: HUNNY, Sea Girls, Peach Pit, The Night Café, Chaz Cardigan, The Beatles, Circa Waves, The Magic Gang, Vistas, Love Fame Tragedy

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Connie Constance – James

Connie Constance

Refreshing alt-pop artist Connie Constance bares all and dives into “an ocean of narcotics” in new single ‘James’, summing up how we all want to feel and act right now – to get a bit squiffy and then crawl back to bed.

Sounds like: Kate Nash, Laura Misch, Joy Crookes, Rosie Lowe, Poppy Adjudha, Arlo Parks, Cleo Sol, Moses Sumney

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NZCA Lines – Prisoner Of Love

NZCA Lines by Aleksandra Kingo

NZCA Lines by Aleksandra Kingo

Time to get sweet and funky with NZCA Line‘s ‘Prisoner of Love’. We surrender to its smooth and delectable slice of opulent disco.

Sounds like: Metronomy, Gold Panda, New Order, Ronika, Thor Rixon, Hot Chip, Prince, Roosevelt

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Aquilo – Moving On

Aquilo by Morgan Hill-Murphy

Aquilo by Morgan Hill-Murphy

Sounding particularly Glass Animals, and more instrumentally upbeat than previous releases, duo Tom Higham and Ben Fletcher – aka Aquilo – return after a two-year hiatus with the ‘Sober’ EP, featuring ‘Moving On’.

Sounds like: SOHN, Great Good Fine Ok, Hurts, X&Y, Young Empires, Fenech Soler, Glass Animals

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MAX RAD – It’ll All Be Fine

MAX RAD

Singer and producer MAX RAD takes a positive stance with new single ‘It’ll All Be Fine’. Comparing the track to an out-of-body experience, he advises to look at the bigger picture, and stop internalising. Wise words.

Sounds like: Tash Sultana, Foals, Chet Faker, Honne, Ben Khan

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Benji Lewis – Peaceful

Benji Lewis

Benji Lewis has been delighting his fans with a consistent stream of exciting music for the past couple of years now. His latest offering, ‘Peaceful’ is exactly what it sets out to be, it’s hard not to be transported to a space of tranquillity when listening.

Benji’s dulcet tones are the standout feature in what is a new minimalist vibe compared to tracks like the hit single, ‘New Day’, showcasing his Sam Smith-esq soul.

Discussing his thoughts on the track, Benji says,

“This is a bit more of a sad song, but it’s also a song about finding peace and calm during a time when things aren’t so great. I’ve been trying to enjoy the quiet times and the people who are in my life, cherishing the ways we’re able to communicate and just be there for each other.”

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 116

XY&O – Left Alone

XY&O - Left Alone

What a way to kick off the gems this week! Welcome back XY&O.

Teasing a debut album (finally!) comes ‘Left Alone’ – another slice of hazy pop with simple and effective melodic structures, and of course, Skip Curtis’ luscious vocal mix.

Sounds like: Kid Astray, Sir Sly, Lost Boy Crow, Nonaphoenix

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Limón Limón – Barcelona

Limón Limón

Future indie duo Limón Limón is taking us back to sweeter times in ‘Barcelona’.

Conjuring up dreams of warm summer nights sitting on the beach drinking wine, as the salt air drifts over our warm bodies. Perfect!

Sounds like: Midnight Pool Party, La Felix, All The Rest, argonaut & wasp, Goldroom, Pastel, 90’s Kids, Empire of the Sun

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Jamws – Toronto

Jamws - Toronto

When you are in flow, you are completely engrossed in the task in hand. Hours can pass without even noticing. This appears to have happened to South London multi-instrumentalist, performer and bedroom producer Jamws whilst working on his debut EP ‘Toronto’.

The five heartfelt tracks describe various stages of heartbreak, starting with a separation, following his partner of ten years moving to Toronto.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, The 1975

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Max Alexander – Stay Where You Are

Max Alexander - Stay Where You Are

Max Alexander is a new alt-pop singer/songwriter from London.

Originally an acoustic artist by heart, he’s decided to go straight in with the electric guitar, to create an all together fist-to-chest sound in ‘Stay Where You Are’.

Sounds like: WEIRDO

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Victor Perry – What I Observe

Victor Perry

It’s always worthwhile to take a step back sometimes, and reflect.

NYC-based singer-songwriter/vocalist Victor Perry does exactly that in his lyrically mature new song ‘What I Observe’. As he croons in a poetic form of self-expression, we witness a subtle electro-pop space in which the track really starts to breathe.

Sounds like: Rhye, Rationale, Jacob Banks, James Blake, The Weeknd, Labrose

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dekleyn – Who We Are

dekleyn - Who We Are

Australian duo dekleyn fuses electro-pop with pop-leaning dance in the catchy single, ‘Who We Are’.

It touches on the topical subject of mental health and the sense of vulnerability that comes with almost every relationship.

Sounds like: LANY, joan, LAUV

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PELA – South Of

PELA

South London duo PELA share ‘South Of’, the first song they wrote together.

Amalgamating differing musical influences, it’s another stellar example of the duo’s sonic trajectory into a moody, melodic melodious song.

Sounds like: Kudu Blue, James Blake, KAYTRANADA

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Amy Milner – Wildside

Amy Milner

Singer/songwriter Amy Milner shares her new single, ‘Wildside’.

Written about catching yourself before you lose control, facing those demons and welcoming the dark side of your mind, it’s energetic commercial alt-pop at its finest.

Sounds like: Birdy, Emma McGrath, Florence + The Machine

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Jens – Nocturnal

Jens by Sigurd Fandango

Jens by Sigurd Fandango

Bergen-born Jens could be the next big Scandi-pop superstar.

His off-kilter single ‘Nocturnal’ has all the makings of a pop banger – upbeat, catchy vocal hooks with a carefree bass line.

Sounds like: Troye Sivan, Myylo, Charlie Puth

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Weekly Gems 114

Mathew V – Don’t Let Me Go

Mathew V

Canadian born popstar Mathew V releases his enigmatic single ‘Don’t Let Me Go’.

A bold, unabashed pop track, Mathew V is using his strong roots within the LGBTQ+ community to express himself and let the music do the talking. Listen below.

Sounds like: Shawn Mendes, Dagny

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MΛD FVN – Skeletons

MΛD FVN

Debut act MΛD FVN has a lot to say, about a lot of things, including the light hearted topic of life, which she so nearly lost in two separate accidents.

A call to arms, this is emotional, raw and powerful.

Sounds like: Gia Woods, Broods

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kauf – Am I Crazy Feat. Overjoy (Kauf Rework)

Rising Los Angeles vocalist kauf is offering a rework of his first original track featuring another vocalist Overjoy – one of three artists on his burgeoning label ONE / HALF.

Taking a more “pop” approach to his music, he has added a UK garage style beat and some looped vocal samples, giving it more energy and bringing it into the dance world.

Sounds like: Kllo, James Blake, Nordic Giants, Bicep, Jon Hopkins, Caribou, Talos, Bonobo

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Francis On My Mind – Never Be The Same

Francis On My Mind - Never Be The Same

Only on her second release, 16 year old Romanian electro-pop act Francis On My Mind is proving that “Euro pop” is very much a thing of the past.

Sparing synth, melodic drums and fragile but still powerful vocals, this new song comes as a breath of fresh air in a saturated industry of overproduced singles.

Sounds like: Niki & The Dove, Jessie Ware, Monogem, Goldroom, Melis

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ELBA – 700 Angels

ELBA - 700 Angels

Danish pop newcomer ELBA is 25-year-old singer and songwriter Ellen Bathum. She tells stories about the loss of control and the many nuances of love.

Her new single ‘700 Angels’ has a catchy pop hook, but it almost feels like it splits in two directions – experimental electronic music and indie that ultimately culminates into a fiery explosion.

Sounds like: Lady Gaga, Blondage, Jinka

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Cloudy June – Psycho

Cloudy June

Former death metal singer, Cloudy June, takes a proud new step into the world of pop.

Expect her new ‘Psycho’ to be an exhilarating ride of rock and pop. It proves once again how young self-made independent talent can make a real impact.

Sounds like: Ava Max, Halsey, Girl Wilde

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Lex Low – Feel More

Lex Low

London-based Lex Low shares new single ‘Feel More. Ultimately questioning moments in his early life, should he be feeling less or more?

After seeking therapy this year, Lex has used this as a catalyst to tap into emotions from the past and create music. Listen below.

Sounds like: Easy Life, The Night Café

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Mokita – Over You

Mokita

Mokita shares the stripped back ‘Over You’.

With a modern twist on an emo/pop-punk ballad, the song was initially written in the format of a love letter to an ex, and shows a more sentimental perspective to Mokita’s music.

Sounds like: EXES, Handsome Ghost, joan, FRND

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Creature Comfort – Arcade Fire

Creature Comfort

Nashville bootgaze/indie-rock outfit Creature Comfort share the fuzzy ‘Arcade Fire’.

Not to be confused with the track ‘Creature’ Comfort’ by the band Arcade Fire (a cheeky nod to Arcade Fire unexpectedly releasing ‘Creature Comfort on the same day Clark and his bandmates performed at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in 2017), this is a psychedelic explosion with wavy electric guitar and unrelenting percussion.

Sounds like: Jagwar Ma, Pond, Liily, Future Thieves, The Weeks, Kurt Vile, Fleet Foxes

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Cal Maro – Juliet

Cal Maro

Brooklyn-bred creator Cal Maro takes inspiration from Baz Luhrman’s Romeo + Juliet in new single.

A self-taught guitarist from a young age, Cal grew up experimenting with his sound whilst playing in many bands, dabbling in hardcore, rock, folk and indie before finally stepping into his true love for groove and melody, namely soul and R&B. In 2015, he began developing his Cal Maro project.

‘Juliet’ has plenty of sliced up electronic vocal effects as it weaves between genres, whilst beating percussion and pulsating synths bring darkness to the moody track.

Sounds like: D’Angelo, Frank Ocean, James Blake

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Augustine – Coast [Spotify Studios Recording]

Augustine - Coast [Spotify Studios Recording]

Swedish indie-wonder Augustine shares his pulsating new single ‘Coast’, released exclusively as part of Spotify’s Studio Oyster program.

Another wonderful story told to capture the idea of how seeing a happy loving couple together stirs up painful emotions in a delicate and groovy manner.

‘Coast” is a song about loneliness, and a longing to understand this world a little better. I was confused and jealous of everything I laid my eyes on when I wrote it. And I often get struck by this feeling about wanting to escape from myself and from my body when I’m feeling down. I guess it comes down to the desire to have someone by your side who understands you and all your weird thoughts.” Augustine says.

Sounds like: PNAU, Foster the People, James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Phoebe Bridgers, Tame Impala, Phoenix

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PELA – You Got Me

PELA

Introducing South London-based duo PELA and their stripped-back take on lo-fi soul and electronica.

Their new single ‘You Got Me’, with its melodious keys and tender instrumental and vocal touches, cherishes the smaller moments in life that create a sense of overwhelming bliss.

Telling us more about their debut, PELA explains,

“You Got Me is about accepting how you can never truly understand those rare senses of euphoria. It’s about finding peace, even pleasure, from just going with that. It represents that spring into summer feeling – of newness, of blooming and of freedom. Overall the song is about getting lost in a good time with people, a person or just yourself.”

Sounds like: Kudu Blue, James Blake

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Weekly Gems 111

Henry Green – Tide Feat. Andreya Triana

Henry Green

Henry Green shares the delicate new single ‘Tide’, featuring London-based vocalist Andreya Triana.

Another slice of ear candy from the Bristol-based producer, the instrumentally focused track is taken from his upcoming new album, ‘Half Light’, which is now due 3 July via Akira Records.

Sounds like: Kudu Blue, Jadu Heart, Jon Hopkins, Erased Tapes, Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm, Flying Lotus, Bonobo, Maribou State

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BODÉ – Wiz Feat. Billy Vena

BODÉ Feat. Billy Vena - WIZ

What happens when some talented artists team up? A song destined for success, that’s what!

Dutch producer Boris Deckers de Breda aka BODÉ release ‘Wiz’ with San Antonio, Texas singer/songwriter Billy Vena – an honest record about being destined for music success, but with the price that comes with it, aka empty pockets.

Sounds like: Gorgon City

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Hoofa – Alone

Hoofa - Alone

Hard working London lads, Hoofa, share their anthemic new single, ‘Alone’.

With comparisons to indie band contemporaries such as Larkins and Sea Girls, as well and lyrical influences from more nostalgic acts such as The Beautiful South and PEACE, this is a perfect slice of jangly pop.

Sounds like: Kodaline, Larkins, Sea Girls, PEACE, The Beautiful South, Little Comets

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Zanski – Consequence

Zanski - Consequence

Toronto vocalist/producer Tom Probizanski – aka Zanski – has an almost emo twist to his electronic take on R&B and alt-pop.

His new single ‘Consequence’ explores the theme of self-acceptance in the face of overwhelming internal struggle, a continual theme throughout his music, which varies in sound from gritty lo-fi electronica to vocal-rich, synth-heavy production, tailored with emotional lyrics and heavy themes.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, James Blake, Bearcubs, Jadu Heart, The 1975

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Chaz Cardigan – S.O.S

Chaz Cardigan

Classically trained pianist Chaz Cardigan continues to pair searing self-examination with supremely catchy refrains.

His new single ‘S.O.S’ shows some serious self-awareness, as he acknowledges a tendency to self-sabotage and admits, “I’ve got a way of getting in my way“. Don’t we all!

Sounds like: Harry Styles, Declan McKenna

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Flight to Moonlight – Midnight Feat. Priz

Flight to Moonlight

The moniker of songwriter, singer and producer Adam Baring – Flight To Moonlight returns after a hiatus with a potent blend of genres in the form of his new single ‘Midnight’.

The fearlessly nostalgic track combines genres of disco, pop and electronica.

Sounds like: Du Tonc, Chromeo

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CAPPA – There With You Baby

CAPPA

It’s been a minute since sweet talking CAPPA released some new music.

In keeping with CAPPA’s signature feel-good, carefree pop sound, the song chronicles the honeymoon stages of a new relationship where anything could happen and, maybe, love isn’t all that scary.

Sounds like: Lorde, Lana Del Rey, HOLYCHILD, Purity Ring, Washed Out, Say Lou Lou, The Knife, M83, KLOE, Druzy, Taylor Swift, The Knife

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Maida Vorn – Automatic

Maida Vorn

Brighton is an immensly creative place, and the Maida Vorn alter-ego of Mollie Clack is no exception.

Dark electronic at its core, her music is quirky space pop with magical tendencies. Her EP is out now and you can listen to ‘Automatic’ below.

Sounds like: Yonaka, Marina & The Diamonds, Kate Bush, Lady Gaga

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