Tag Archives: James Blake

Playlist: Mar

Mar by Tatsiana Tribunalova

Meet Mar, a Dutch-Caribbean-Indonesian who grew up on a houseboat with his musical family in Amsterdam.

We have been blown away by his emotive and often heartbreaking music, specifically his current EP ‘Things Will Be’, which touches on key issues such as depression and suicide.

As a little introduction to the music of Mar, we asked him to put together a playlist for you.

Massive Attack – Teardrop
I was born in ’87 I really think the 90s era in music had a huge impact on me. I love the video for this one, the whole package. The simple chords the simple melodies yet so powerful.

D’Angelo – Africa
Big fan of D’Angelo’s album Voodoo. This song stands out to me because it’s the only lullaby, he made I think. It’s more pure and honest than the other songs. I love the choice for the snare sound.

Jeff Buckley – So Real
I heard Jeff kinda recently like 3/4 years ago or something and fell in love immediately, his guitar work is brilliant and his voice and falsetto are too. This song is truth to me.

Björk – All is Full of Love
Björk is not like any other artist in her presentation. I remember seeing this video and was like wtf, this speaks to my soul. Robot clones of her kissing eachother in slowmo. fkyh! The production and lyrics are gold too. Everything fits.

Chris Whitley – Big Sky Country
My father, a major infuence on my musical career, used to wake me and my sis up with this song and warm milk w honey. So everytime I hear this song I feel his love. Love the song and the bass specially.

James Blake – Retrograde
James to me has one of the best live shows I’ve seen thus far. So pure and everything so well played/sung. His music is so powerful, simple but well put together.

The Isley Brothers – Sensuality Part 1&2
My pianist played me this song, again the simplicity seems there, also in the solo, but the chord progression is kinda tricky to come up with. One of the most sexy tunes of all time to me

Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl
Prince. The one I connected to while discovering I could sing falsetto haha. So unique. So feminine and powerful but a brought to earth as a man. What an amazing artist. Even though I’m deffo not fan of all of his work, when he touched me with a song he really did it deeply. Like this one. (Sexy M.F in playlist as Most Beautiful . . . is not available on Spotify)

Bill Evans – My Foolish Heart
His trio formation live show is what I always put on when I need some background music. Love his style of chords choice. This song to me is peaceful autumn, warm ginger tea and a book.

Mats & Morgan Band – Hollmervalsen
My father came back from a Scandinavian tour and brought back this weird album from fusion duo Mats and Morgan. I used to listen to this song so often, trying to learn the tempo changes. When music becomes so boring for you, you decide make a robotic fusion song. That’s this to me.

Sounds like: Prince, Blood Orange, The 1975

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Weekly Gems 23

French Horn Rebellion – Rooftops Feat. Natalie Duffy

French Horn Rebellion

Brooklyn brothers Robert and David Perlick-Molinari, aka French Horn Rebellion, ask us to meet them on the ‘Rooftops’ in their new single, which also features the delicate vocals of Natalie Duffy.

The boys maybe harnessing down the electro funk on this one, but it doesn’t mean ‘Rooftops’ lacks energy, quite the opposite. Take a listen below.

Their label YouTooCanWoo will be expanding its ‘Night Out’ series of collaborative performances including dates in New York and London. More info here.

Sounds like: Monogem, RÜFÜS, Flight Facilities, Van She

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BATTS – Somedays

BATTS

Melbourne-based folktronica artist BATTS returns with her beautiful new single ‘Somedays’.

Using space as a reference (specifically the NASA recording of Saturn’s rings), ‘Somedays’ showcases BATTS’ knack of creating psych-tinged pop that is extremely grounding, but also feels otherworldly at the same time.

Expect her mesmerising and melancholic debut EP ’62 Moons’, to be released through the newly announced THAA Records.

Sounds like: London Grammar, Ficci, GEMS, MS MR, Daughter, James Blake, Jon Hopkins, MØ, SOHN, Broods, M83

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Jinka – Shock Mounted

Jinka

Quirky songstress Jinka shares the ‘Shock Mounted’.

The surrealist video, directed by Ossian Melin (Yung Lean, Little Dragon), features Jinka reading Swedish porn magazines and microwaving sushi. As you do.

Sounds like: Charli XCX, Vera, Billie Eilish, Gwen Stefani, Talking Heads

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Lake Jons -Call Me

Lake Jons

Following on from the brilliant ‘Colors‘, Finnish trio Lake Jons release ‘Call Me’.

Once again ethereal vocals clash and blend with tinny drums. We can’t help but think severe isolation in the woods is the way forward – it really does produce inspirational music!

Expect their forthcoming self-titled debut album to come out on 19 January through AntiFragile Music.

Sounds like: Midlake, Band Of Horses, Paul Simon, Ásgeir, Bon Iver, Nick Mulvey

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Dream Estate – You

Dream Estate

Wow, ‘You’ is some serious spine tingling stuff from Dream Estate, an exciting ambient pop outfit on the scene.

The band was originally founded by William Tse in 2015, but later was joined by Dan Hvorostovsky (bass, backing vocals), Dan Noble (lead guitar, backings vocals), and Joe Dawson (drums) in 2017. Since then, the band have been working alongside producer Sam Winfield (Fickle Friends, Pixel Fix, Amber Run, Motherhood).

Watch their video about insecure love below.

Sounds like: Bon Iver, The Japanese House, Aquilo

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The Kite String Tangle – This Thing We Got

TKST

Time to start cruising with The Kite String Tangle‘s unusually upbeat new single, ‘This Thing We Got’.

It’s a song about the butterflies you feel when you first get with someone, cleverly represented by the rosy horn section (think Mark Ronson, Rudimental). Originally planned to be 30 b.p.m slower than it now is, the slower melody is sampled in the chorus as a “song within a song”.

Watch the live video below.

‘This Thing We Got’ can be found on The Kite String Tangle‘s self-titled debut album which is available everywhere now via Exist Recordings.

Sounds like: RÜFÜS, Dead Ceremony, M83, TDeL2, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, The Weeknd, Active Child, Mount Kimbie, Fever Ray, James Blake, Cloud Boat

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Weekly Gems 15

Nikö Blank – Do U

Nikö Blank - Do U

Meet Nikö Blank.

A Korean native, the rising DJ and producer has shared remixes of the likes of Flume, Disclosure, Portugal. The Man, LAUV, Klangstoff and MOONZz.

His single ‘Do U’ features the polished vocals of Jacob Luttrell and channels some serious soultronica vibes.

Expect ‘The Frame’ EP to be out in November.

Sounds like: Flume, Usher, Medasin, Jacob Banks

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filous – Already Gone ft. Emily Warren

filous

Austrian producer filous has also been an inquisitive soul, and a fast learner, perfecting a number of instruments at the tender age of 10. Fast forward 10 years, and filous finds himself nestled amongst the likes of Flume and ODESZA with his electronic music.

‘Already Gone’ features the delicate vocals of top songwriter Emily Warren (The Chainsmokers, FRENSHIP) and is out now via Ultra Music.

Sounds like: Gabrielle Aplin, Sigrid, Fenne Lily, Flume, ODESZA, Klei

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Blonde Maze – Thunder

Blonde Maze

We get a real sense of nostalgia listening to ‘Thunder’ by NYC songstress, Blonde Maze.

Touching piano keys and ethereal vocals express the beauty of maturity required to grow old and feel comfortable with someone.

Sounds like: Le Youth, Goldroom, Maggie Rogers

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Ella Blixt – WINNERS

Ella Blixt

Swedish multi-instrumentalist Ella Blixt shares her debuts single, ‘Winners’.

It’s ultimately a wise pop song which takes each part of the musical puzzle to write successes.

‘Winners’ is out now on Teto Records in Japan and Squeeze Day Recordings in Europe.

Sounds like: Joe Goddard, Sóley

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MRY – Walking On Fire

MRY

Not happy with the corporate grind, MRY decided to sack his job in engineering and head for the bright lights of the Pacific Coast.

The result is ‘Walking On Fire’, a feel-good indie dance track that easily reminds you of the summer just gone by.

It’s out now via YouTooCanWoo.

Sounds like: The Levity, Cub Sport, Island Club, Lanes

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Lyves – Cover Me

Lyves

Lyves shares ‘Cover Me’, which has been co-produced with Will Night.

It’s another honest and passionate song from the London artist, and is about the push and pulls of a relationship.

Sounds like: Kllo, London Grammar, James Blake, SOHN, The Weeknd, Banks, Jamie XX, Jesse Ware, Shura, Seal, Boards of Canada

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Weekly SubmitHub Gems 14

Seeing Hands – Take Me Back

Seeing Hands

Seeing Hands create lo-fi sounds, ironically with warmer tones than you would expect based on the fact they live in Newcastle.

The video for ‘Take Me Back’ hits you with waves of nostalgia. Watch below.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, Day Wave, The War On Drugs, Beauty Sleep

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JNNA – Waking Up With You

JNNA - Waking Up With You

JNNA has always had an ongoing love and passion for music.

Regularly working with Tyzo Bloom, the Los Angeles native’s new single ‘Waking Up With You’ is a pure electro-pop track about young love.

Sounds like: Laurel, Evvy

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TRACE – You Don’t Know Me

TRACE - You Don't Know Me

Another Los Angeles-pop songstress, TRACE has just shared her new single, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ – a song about first impressions.

TRACE is the daughter of Vietnamese pop icon Carol Kim, and has always been surrounded by music. Despite trying not to follow in her mum’s footsteps, TRACE couldn’t resist penning tracks and recording them in the bathroom.

Listen to one of the results below.

Sounds like: Lana Del Rey, Laurel, Tove Lo, Broods, GEMS, Lykke Li, Phantogram, So Below, Jessie Ware, LUEM, Cat Power, Lorde, James Blake, Banks

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Polarbearz – Recognize feat Angelica Larsson

Polarbearz

Rock musicians-turned electronic producers Polarbearz share ‘Recognize’. Despite being located in the distant Lapland and writing a song about being different, the duo have managed to create music that sounds so on point.

It features the vocals of Angelica Larsson.

It’s out now on With Love Recordings.

Sounds like: The Chainsmokers, Kygo

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Strong Asian Mothers – Hard To Find

Strong Asian Mothers - Hard To Find

Tying together elements of hip-hop, pop and electronic sounds Strong Asian Mothers have created a beautiful, rich and textured soundscape as the basis for their new single ‘Hard to Find’.

The single is a follow up to their previous EP releases ‘Lynx Africa’ and ‘Animal‘ which gained a strong following from fans and critics alike.

‘Hard to Find’ is a catchy and instantly pleasing follow up to previous work and is bound to push them nearer to the mainstream. Vocally it’s an appealing, smooth and soulful vocal which sits somewhere between a simpler Nick Mulvey or a safer James Blake. It’s a calm but enchanting tone which never strays too far from where it starts with a careful use of double tracking and harmonies in parts.

Musically it’s simple but effective. There is nothing unnecessary about the production or arrangement with enough going on to keep you gripped from start to finish. The catchy synth riff and smooth bass line coupled with the repeated piano parts are set against a lovely simple but repetitive drum part and lovely pad like textures. They’ve definitely worked on the idea that simple is best, all parts do a job and set out to hep in bringing out the feel of the vocals.

Sounds like: Phoenix, Bombay Bicycle Club

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Written by Pat Dooner

Weekly SubmitHub Gems 9

Is 9 your lucky number? We’ve received some great submissions this week.

Enjoy them below!

Labrose – Disguise

Labrose

“When your lips are too thick to speak, sing”. What a great motto to live by. Meet the writers behind this line, Labrose – a UK/US producer/singer/songwriter duo who create delicate electronica.

Ironically, their new single ‘Disguise’ is left wide open with a stripped back approach, giving perspective to the complicated nature of both love’s beauty and its toxicity. Pure bliss.

It’s out now on PM Recordings.

Sounds like: Rhye, Rationale, Jacob Banks, James Blake

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ARY – Already There

ARY - Already There

Step aside ladies, Trondheim-raised / Oslo-based Norwegian solo artist ARY has arrived.

Her new single ‘Already There’ is ARY’s first attempt of a pop song, and it completely works. Pulsating synths worthy of club status and ethereal vocals, you won’t want to stop listening to it.

It’s out now via Petroleum Records.

Sounds like: Aurora, Sigrid, Kvelertak

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Vessels – Deeper In A Sky Feat Harkin

Vessels

Leeds-based five-piece Vessels share robust new single, ‘Deeper In A Sky’ featuring Harkin (aka Sky Larkin’s Katie Harkin), taken from their upcoming new album ‘The Great Distraction’ out on Different Recordings.

Speaking of the new album, Martin says, “The music acknowledges a bleakness and tension, but I think our response is optimistic and euphoric.”

Sounds like: Kate Boy, Caribou, Jon Hopkins

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Child Ivory – Angie

Child Ivory

US duo Child Ivory create uplifting music with a melancholic pinch.

Spacious vocals and a catchy AF guitar riff guide the dreamy ‘Angie’ through to our ears. Lovely.

Sounds like: KYKO, Phil Collins, The New Coast, Beach House, M83, Kurt Vile

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LOVE SICK – Bullet

LOVE SICK

We are all love sick to some degree.

Scottish girl/boy duo LOVE SICK share debut single ‘Bullet’, an ode to both heartbreak and obsession.

The couple met at a work Christmas party when Julie drunkenly let slip to Shaun (who also produced in his spare time) that she always wanted to be a singer. A few weeks later the duo coincidentally bumped into each other at a train station, and the rest is cosmic pop.

Sounds like: ASTR, Dagny, COSBY

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CAMARANO – Ashes

CAMARANO

Another debut, this time from Perth-based artist and multi-instrumentalist, CAMARANO (aka Mat Cammarano).

Having previous been involved in performing with bands as well as producing and recording for other artists, Mat has decided to go it alone and release ‘Ashes’.

It’s a fuzzy masterpiece that would fit well in the lo-fi category, alongside the likes of Tame Impala, Big Scary or Bon Iver.

Sounds like: Tame Impala, Big Scary, Bon Iver

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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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Kauf – Limestone

Kauf

It is incredible how some musicians create music that can be so introvert and emotive, yet at the same time be sonic and mind altering.

Kauf is one of those artists. The Los Angeles-based electronic producer makes dance music that is also song led and lyrically deep.

His new single ‘Limestone’ hits you on a deeper level. Kauf says,

“The chorus comes from something my boyfriend and I have proudly said to other people – that ‘we never fight,’ which is true, we don’t yell or get into big heated arguments, but that’s definitely not the only sign of problems in a relationship. In this case it was a lack of communication about things under the surface that slowly built up over a long period of time. And the song is about that claustrophobic feeling when you’re in the same space with someone physically but don’t feel you can really connect, whether it’s caused by events that happened within the relationship or other things in your history.”

Kauf’s album ‘Regrowth’ is out on 13 October.

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

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Queen Alaska – Under My Skin

Queen Alaska

Berlin electronic producer and singer, Queen Alaska (aka Anneli Bentler), shares her debut track called ‘Under My Skin’.

Also a composer and audio visual artist, Queen Alaska uses her skills to create an atmospheric landscape for her classically inspired and progressive music, one that brings the poetry in her songwriting to life.

Watch the beautifully imagined video below, which follows Queen Alaska explore her inner wanderlust, longing for another place close to the moon.

Sounds like: Robyn, Niki and the Dove, James Blake

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