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.
Re-introducing Billie Black, a London-based artist who creates an effortless combination of RnB, jazz and electronica.
Following a stint of writing with Paul Statham (co-writer of Dido’s breakthrough hits ‘Here With Me’ and ‘No Angel’), Billie Black was encouraged to release the music and the result is a three-track EP called ‘The Last Time’.
We do like a good festival, and after hearing that NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal is up there as one the world’s best music festivals, we decided to plan a trip in July to find out what all the fuss is about!
In the mean time, buckle up and check out our ones to watch within the indietronica genres (looks like we’ll mainly see you at the Sagres Stage then!).
THURSDAY 12 JULY
Friendly Fires, Sagres Stage
Energetic Brit boys Friendly Fires return to the festival circuit after a hiatus.
Having already had massive success with hits such as ‘Paris’, ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Skeleton Boy’, their new single ‘Love Like Waves’ doesn’t disappoint and continues the theme of tropical-tinged synth sounds.
Expect a highly fun and bold performance at NOS Alive.
One artist we are super stoked to check out live is Khalid.
The American singer/songwriter originally started writing music during his college years, where he was also declared prom king. Amalgamating an array of sounds from classical, pop to hip hop, Khalid shows a real sense of urgency in his music.
We can’t get enough of his track with Billie Eilish, and can’t wait to see him perform at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Father John Misty, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, James Blake, Billie Eilish
Indie rockers Wolf Alice have been our firm favourites from the UK for some time now. They never disappoint at a live show, fronted by a fresh-faced Ellie Rowsell’s seemingly blasé but endearingly nervous attitude.
Expect a set full of their most brilliant tunes…so that’s all of them then!
Sounds like: Black Honey, Peace, Superfood, Foals, Circa Waves, Harry
Sampha is to be one of the UK’s best musical exports in 2018.
He has a knack for writing songs with deep and personal lyrics of pain and reflection, some of which have unfortunately has stemmed from health hardships suffered with his family at home, and we can’t help but think we are supporting him on this journey.
Truly thought-provoking stuff, definitely worthy of a slot at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Frank Ocean, Solange, Moses Sumney, James Blake, Chet Faker, SBTRKT, Dallas Green
Future Islands‘ front man Samuel T Herring’s dancing is reason enough to go watch these guys at NOS Alive. And of course, the US synthpop band are wildly brilliant in as many unique, refreshing and inspiration ways possible.
Kicking off Saturday’s ones to watch are Lisbon natives, Lotus Fever.
They fit somewhere in-between Alt-J and Pink Floyd and it’s really refreshing to hear. We are expecting a super tight performance, thanks to their longstanding stint together since 2011 and it being their local city.
Their music has tendencies to sway in the 60’s, psychedelic market – imagine riding on a surfboard in space. However, we expect their set at NOS Alive to be a relaxed affair, where you can chill out and have a cider…or ride a surfboard in space, whatever takes your fancy!
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 (PJHarvey, DepecheMode, 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
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.
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.
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.
It’s a shout out to everyone who struggles with anxieties of daily life, a supportive song that urges you to maintain your passion and drive, something that LOVE SICK are very much doing within the music industry.
Vintage keys and delicate vocals highlight ‘Eventually’ by Me Not You as a short and sweet song that is straight to the point.
Speaking of the track, “…it’s a personal song for me… a sort of hyping up of myself to the idea of squashing the beef with someone. the baggage of relationships can linger, and it does no one any good to keep that shit around.”
Rising pop artist ADAL shares his new single ‘Synthesize’, featuring the vocals of Alexanderson of XY&O.
It oozes nostalgia combine with forward-thinking pop sensibilities, and there are even more exciting times ahead for ADAL – he is currently writing a debut album, with an array of featuring vocalists which include FREJA, Indiana, Farida and NINA.
UK trio STITCH are giving London Grammar a run for their money with ‘Goodbye Highline’.
The mid-tempo track is about that tricky middle moment where you look back nostalgically on a love lost, but also welcome the bright future ahead. It contains 150 layers of strings, all of which were recorded by band member Kye in their shared living room.
Expect their ‘Welcome To The Dream’ EP in March.
Sounds like: London Grammar, Jessie Ware, Nimmo, Kudu Blue
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
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.