Rising Manchester four-piece Larkins recently dropped their highly-anticipated EP, ‘Hit and Run’ on Good Soldier Records.
It’s a finely-crafted mix of melodic futurism and vulnerability. We decided to have a chat with the guys ahead of their US tour to find out what’s going to be on their travelling playlist.
This is the outcome…
Khalid – Intro
Production-wise this is a pretty perfect track. Always feeling like it could kick in at any moment and it never does but still manages to bang. Incredible opening track to have on an album.
Gengahr – Icarus
Gengahr have completely taken up a level on this album. Produced by Jack Steadman from Bombay Bicycle Club, this track just makes your head move.
King Princess – Talia
Proper digging King Princess at the minute, love how this track goes from the laid back folky verse then hits you with the massive chorus. She’s proper pushing boundaries with her visuals as well, need to catch her live.
Whitney – Valleys (My Love)
Literally first heard Whitney for the first time a couple of weeks ago and fucking love them. Love how this track is kinda like a mellow Beach Boys without the harmonies on top of 70s acoustic folk with Bon Iver horns.
Friendly Fires – Pull Me Back To Earth
Whenever we’re trying to get a clean electric guitar sound in the studio we seem to reference this track. I remember when PALA came out and it blew my mind.
Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now
Just absolute vibes. Again, that clean guitar sound is mad.
Foals – Spanish Sahara
Such an anthem. Seeing this track live and how the crowd reacts to it made me want to be in a band. The drop never fails to hype me up.
Bon Iver – Naeem
The vocal on this song is madness. The piano and the whole feel is just badass. Bon Iver can do no wrong. This album has been a massive reference point when we’re in the studio, especially when it comes to synth and drum sounds.
Bon Iver – 33 “GOD”
Another Bon Iver, 22 a million is top 5 best albums ever. The production on this track just blows the roof off. Cant even quite comprehend how good this track is. No idea what the lyrics mean but this track is just insanity.
Biffy Clyro – Different People
This song really marks two defining moments in Larkins career.
1. They opened with it when they headlined T in the park in Scotland and it seemed to be such an emotional moment for everyone there, it really made us realise that we wanted to do this.
2. Dom decided he wanted to be Simon and grew his hair really long.
Radiohead – Weird Fishes
In rainbows is such a monumental album and it was hard to choose one track but Weird Fishes really sums up Radiohead’s visionary blend of pop, rock and dance music.
Haim – Summer Girl
Such a great nod to the 60s with the Lou Reed sample but with such a modern LA vibe. We’d just got back from our first trip to LA when this came out and it proper seemed to sum up the city for us. The scene out there is so vibrant at the minute.
Khalid, Disclosure – Talk
Love this track. Another one we try to reference a little bit with the style of the synths and the drum sounds. The riff is so good.
US/UK Tour Dates
12 Mar – Toronto, The Monarch
13 Mar – New York, Pianos
14 Mar – Brooklyn, Elsewhere (Zone One)
18 Mar – Austin, Maggie Mae’s
19 Mar – Austin, Rainey Street
21 Mar – Austin, Broad Studios
21 Mar – Austin, Cedar Street Courtyard
24 Mar – Los Angeles, Moroccan Lounge
German producer and multi-instrumentalist De Rien demonstrates his versatility with hazy sophomore through his new release “Chimes”
“Chimes” is about looking behind your own facade – discovering the flamboyance of thought and mind. As every step towards a dear person can be hard, it is easier to do so while sunken into reveries. – De Rien
Residing between neo-soul, organic electronica and a splash of nu-disco, De Rien not only showcases his ability to create wonderfully warm soundscapes as a producer, but proves he has the vocal chops to boot, with “Chimes” presenting itself as easy-going yet intricate piece of songwriting.
Classically-trained Australian producer LUCIANBLOMKAMP shares his immersive new single, ‘Sound of the Morning’.
A potent version of the track (of which there are four dramatically different versions), inspired by the opening melody of TAPZ‘s ‘Shadow’, which, ironically, is no longer in the song after a few reworks.
Sounds like: Khalid, The Weeknd, Lastlings, Seekae, TAPZ
Upcoming producer Feather – aka the moniker of Minnesota born/Nashville native, Kyle Featherstone – shares his remix of ‘GTFO’ by Trove, a cross-over between anthemic pop and EDM.
Growing up playing piano, Feather was surprisingly inspired by groups such as Coldplay, Jack’s Mannequin, and Augustana. Fascinated by the blossoming electronic genre, he quickly left his touring band and began producing.
Nashville based multi-talent, Mokita is the one-stop-shop for sparky acoustic pop.
His new six-track EP, ‘4201’ is out now and whilst it’s powered by club engineering, it pleasantly switches up between R&B, pop and country, and all that’s inbetween.
Check out some of his influences below.
‘Elevate’ – St. Lucia
This is has been one my favorites since it came out in 2012. One of my favorite albums as well. I love the 80’s undertones w/ the roto toms in the transitions. The wavy chorus-y guitars make me feel like I’m on a cloud.
‘All Day All Night’ – Moon Taxi
This song has been a staple in my running playlists. Its the perfect tempo for a morning jog and it just gets you bobbin your head. I’ve been a fan of this band ever since I saw them play live when I was in college.
‘You Never Need Nobody’ – The Lone Bellow
One of my favorite bands in college. The three part harmonies are so tight and perfect. I’ve seen them live and their vocals are even better in person. Zach Williams, the lead singer, has one of my favorite voices in the world. This song blends folk with pop melodies so well.
‘Find Yourself’ – Great Good Fine Ok
I’ve always loved Great Good Fine Ok ’s production and melody choices. I love the sparseness in the production. This band has taught me a lot about how making smart production choices can make a song feel so big without needing a bunch of elements. This chorus is infectious.
‘Hide and Seek’ – Imogen Heap
I know this is a well known song and sure most people are familiar with it, but hearing this song for the first time made realize the power of simplicity. This is the one of the most beautiful melody compositions I’ve ever heard, and I love that its slightly messy and airy. The breathiness of the vocals and the white noise just makes its feel so organic.
‘Settle Down’ – The 1975
This guitar and arpeggiated synth in the intro just immediately hooks you. I love the repetitiveness of the melodies and how they follow a lot of the guitar lines. The syncopated pocket of the chorus melody just makes me wanna dance.
‘Blu’ – Jon Bellion
Several things get me on this one. I love that the pre chorus almost happens in between 2 verses . Its unpredictable just like all of his songs, which is why I love him. The chorus has its own vibe and just feels so airy and warm matched with a beautiful falsetto melody. Also love the tempo slow down before the chorus
‘Need the Sun to Break’ – James Bay
This album really changed my life in college. Still one of my favorites. One of my favorite songs of the last 10 years. The chorus melody just feels classic .
‘When a Heart Breaks’ – Ben Rector
As a piano player, any song that can be driven by just a piano I’m all in. Just a great song. It has the folky feel but the melodies are just so infectious.
‘Industry’ – Jon McLaughlin
This album taught me so much about how to write songs on piano. I remember learning this whole album on piano when I was in college. To this day this is still one of my favorite piano riffs to play.
‘Ocean’ – Martin Garrix, Khalid
The soundtrack feel of this song is what hooks me. Khalid’s voice is so listenable and the minimal production is so well placed. Just a great vibe.
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
Philadelphia’s pop princess JUJ shares her new single, ‘Hollywood’, ahead of her EP ‘JUJ, It’s U’ release tomorrow via Jujitsu Entertainment.
A slower burn than her previous releases, ‘Hollywood’ showcases JUJ’s emotional maturity in using her voice to change things for the better, encouraging both herself and the kids from the suburbs to fight for their dreams.
Sounds like: Mabel, NOURI, Harlee, Demi Lovata, Lady Gaga, Khalid
South Coast-based R&B singer and producer Nakala recently dropped her hefty, eight track ‘GIRL’ EP, which features production from long-term production partner Brad Baker and co-production from Jonah (Ayelle, Dom Mcallister) who at only 19 has been working with Nakala and Brad as part of their in-house production team for the last four years.
To coincide with the ‘GIRL’ release, Nakala has put together a smooth playlist for us. Check it out below.
Nakala – Ringer I finished this track after I came back from LA and it just gives me good vibes
Mac Ayers – Get To You Again I loved Mac Ayers from the first single I heard..
Ella Mai – Trip Ella Mai is out here making waves, fave song from her album.
KHALID, 6LACK, Ty, Dolla $ign – OTW I love all the artists on this track especially Ty, this track is a vibe.
J.Cole – 1985 J. Cole is my one favourite artists, this was my fave track off his latest album.
Drake – In My Feelings This isn’t my fav drake track but it makes me happy.
SZA, Travis Scott – Love Galore I actually love this track because I LOVED the Khalid cover, his cover made me love the original.
Ayelle, Nakala – Actor This is a vibe, I love Ayelle, she’s my girl and we have some great songs together.
Kehlani, Cardi B – Ring I LOVE Kehlani and loved the new Cardi album, this was one of the best tracks for me.
Frank Ocean – Solo This track reminds me of LA, my happy place.
Brent Faiyaz – All I Want Summer vibes, chills me out and love Brent’s voice.
We do like a good festival, and after hearing that NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal is up there as one the world’s best music festivals, we decided to plan a trip in July to find out what all the fuss is about!
In the mean time, buckle up and check out our ones to watch within the indietronica genres (looks like we’ll mainly see you at the Sagres Stage then!).
THURSDAY 12 JULY
Friendly Fires, Sagres Stage
Energetic Brit boys Friendly Fires return to the festival circuit after a hiatus.
Having already had massive success with hits such as ‘Paris’, ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Skeleton Boy’, their new single ‘Love Like Waves’ doesn’t disappoint and continues the theme of tropical-tinged synth sounds.
Expect a highly fun and bold performance at NOS Alive.
One artist we are super stoked to check out live is Khalid.
The American singer/songwriter originally started writing music during his college years, where he was also declared prom king. Amalgamating an array of sounds from classical, pop to hip hop, Khalid shows a real sense of urgency in his music.
We can’t get enough of his track with Billie Eilish, and can’t wait to see him perform at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Kendrick Lamar, A$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!
You should all know who Gryffin is by now. He’s a producer and DJ from Los Angeles who creates dance-led indietronica.
We caught up with Gryffin to talk music, old and new.
Hey Gryffin, how are you? I’m doing very well! Super excited about the release of the new single and am currently working hard on new music and preparing my new live show for the upcoming festival season.
Describe your sound in three words. Uplifting, emotional, empowering.
You put together a playlist for us a while back. Have your musical taste changed in any way since then? I don’t know if they’ve changed particularly but there’s always new music that’s coming out that I admire!
What was it like working with Josef Salvat? That was an incredible experience. I had been a huge fan of him since I first heard “Open Season” so I was very excited for the opportunity to work with him. He’s a very cool guy and is super talented so it made my life a lot easier.
Are there any plans to tour the UK? I was just there! Spent almost 2 weeks out there touring throughout the U.K. with Sigala which was so awesome. I had never been to any places in the U.K. besides London so it was a great experience getting to travel to different places and meeting people there. Hopefully I will come back soon!
We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to? I’m currently really into the Khalid album and am really digging LANY at the moment.
You can listen to Gryffin‘s new track with Illenium below.
Sounds like: Thomas Jack, Goldroom, Bipolar Sunshine