After teaming up with his good friends Golden Vessel and Emerson Leif, Australian artist Akurei releases three stunning tracks that form his ‘SEROTONIN’ EP.
The title track covers the morning after a big night (remember those?!), when you don’t want to get out of bed.
“I started thinking writing for this project almost immediately after I put out my last ep ‘September’, but it really came together in February. I took Maxwell (Golden Vessel) and Caleb (Emerson Leif) out to regional Queensland for three days to write music and be creative without any distractions. It was hugely refreshing and productive, we left with the bones of 6 songs.”
‘SEROTONIN’ is also the debut release for the recently launched independent label sumoclic, which is co-owned/operated by Akurei and Golden Vessel.
Bishop Ivy is the diverse and cinematic solo project of Ivy ( real name: Cam Crowley), that takes cues from a broad range of mainstream sounds, pulling together elements of alternative pop, rock, trap, and electronica.
Inspired by a life-changing move from Massachusetts to Texas while Ivy was still in high school, the ‘All Things Temporary’ EP roots itself in songs about change, innocence, and angst, exploring familiar themes from unfamiliar angles.
He’s put together a playlist for Indietronica, exploring these themes. Take a listen below.
Mitski – Nobody
I was introduced to Mitski by her Tiny Desk Concert—a stripped-down acoustic set filmed in the office of NPR—and was blown away by the control she has over her voice. Her singing is meticulous and gentle, especially in the verses of Nobody. I also love the piano chords and chaotic ending this builds to.
Clairo – Bags
I loved this change in sound coming from Clairo. Her songwriting pairs well with the more acoustic and indie instrumentation here. The manipulated and/or tuned pianos and guitars are gorgeous.
Snail Mail – Pristine
Snail Mail’s melodies and jangly guitar chords create the perfect shade of melancholy that I love to try to tackle in my own writing. I thought the way my friend Névé put it was fitting: “It’s like you just balled your eyes out, but now you’re done and you feel better.”
James Bay – Fade Out
I absolutely love James Bay’s second album. The combination of his gritty songwriting with more electronic production is refreshing and lively. This song, in particular, is what I listened to after being done with the SAT. I hated the SAT.
Kevin Abstract – Peach
One of my favorite songs of the year: The click-y percussion, acoustic guitar hits, and layered synth pads create a lovely atmosphere that Kevin Abstract, Dominic Fike, Joba, and Bearface all thrive upon.
Beach House – Silver Soul
Silver Soul is my go-to Beach House song. Their particular combination of ballad-writing and retro-sounding synthesizers and drum machines is definitely influential on my sound.
Billie Eilish – ilomilo
This track I think is one of the best examples of the forward-thinking production that is all over this record. The layered vocals in the chorus are ethereal, and each part of the minimalist beat stands out in its own eerie way.
Phoebe Bridgers – You Missed My Heart
The debut Phoebe Bridgers record has grown on me more and more since I first heard it around 2018. This track, in particular, stands out for its amazing lyrics. The imagery is so vivid and actually violent, greatly different from the soft melody and piano chords.
James Blake – Into The Red
James Blakes synthesis of traditional and electronic musical sounds is breathtaking in this song. The final chorus is one of the most tear-jerking pieces of music I think I have ever heard, ever.
Toro y Moi, Instupendo – 50-50
The mixing on 50-50 is great. Each element, from the boomy kick, to the reverb-y vocals that just spill all over the track, work well with each other and expand the futuristic sounding palette of sounds.
Flume, SOPHIE, KUČKA – Voices
I thought SOPHIE was just about perfect for an appearance on Flume’s glitchy, abrasive mixtape Hi This Is Flume. Her production is so particular I can make confident guesses as to which instruments came from her and which did not. The softness of her vocals plays well with the harshness of the instrumentals.
Bon Iver – 29 #Strafford APTS
My favorite example of Bon Iver’s relaxing songwriting paired with glitchy electronics. I saw them live while recovering from the flu specifically for this song. They did not play it. I threw up.
Frank Ocean – Moon River
Frank Ocean’s layered vocals that don’t exactly line up time-wise fit well with the darker take he has on this song. I also love the brooding, heavy guitars and the atmospheric outro.
Michael Andrew – YOU
Michael Andrew is a singer-songwriter I met in Los Angeles in 2018. I was blown away by his voice, and especially by his album atlasTELAMON. The production and writing really reminds of Julien Baker, in the best way possible.
Jacob Collier – Make Me Cry
As I expected it to be, Jacob Collier’s Tiny Desk performance was stellar. It introduced me to this tune. His jazzy chord changes and harmonies are perfect for the relaxing nature of this song.