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Playlist: Charlee Remitz

Charlee Remitz

Los Angeles by way of Nashville singer/songwriter Charlee Remitz has just released her album, ‘Sad Girl Music’. It’s full of 80’s inspired synths and breakaway vocals that tell a story of the first flashes of love.

Charlee has put together a playlist together for Indietronica. Check it out below!

Troye Sivan – SUBURBIA

I’ve always admired Troye Sivan’s work in its entirety. His songs are beautifully structured–the melodies, the lyrics, the swelling synths and sparkling production beneath. I tend to stray from most modern pop. It’s become predictable. There are no dramatic or epic imperfections, which is something I think is so important in music. That subtle messy quality, which reminds you this person is human. This side effect of life is relatable. Love is found and lost. Troye Sivan transmogrifies the mundane–that’s what I most admire about this song. It is, in essence, a love letter to suburbia–the most mundane and simple part of our world. Where things look neat and perfect, but wars and exhausted battles are being fought within. Where transformation is often a thing of myth.

Lorde – Homemade Dynamite

Lorde is an elegant songstress. She draws a parallel between princesses and youth, kings and jesters. She has this incredible ability to string all these different parts of life into one teeming soup of tragic, melancholic celebration. There’s an insane relatability there, but also a disconnect, in that you can never imagine rising to such a prodigious understanding of life and its weary inhabitants. I’ve always imagined her heart is a different color than mine. A different shape even. It seems far more resilient and impervious to societal blue. I love how it observes our changing landscape, how it translates it into written word.

Hayley Kiyoko – Sleepover

This song is a wild clump of Forget-Me-Not. That sudden and intense remembrance of everything you had with a lover in your bed, especially knowing you may not ever have it again, as that love is swept away, downstream. But it isn’t nefarious, it’s sweet, it’s a lullaby. There’s no vengeance. I wanted to touch on that same elegance when I wrote about the end of my relationship.

Ariana Grande – Thinking Bout You

I’m not actually a massive Ariana Grande fan. But she does have BIG moments. Big, random, wonderful, spontaneous songs that pop up on each album. “Why Try,” “Thank U, Next,” and this track are all immediate, flawless favorites of mine. A branch of polished pop I can get behind. They all carry like a movie epic. The way they rise and fall, the way she tells a story, it’s like her vocals are afloat.

Aly and AJ – Take Me

This track is a dream. An ode to the 80s. I’ve largely called upon the 80s for inspiration with this album, right down to the fonts used. The 80s have this disconnected sparkle. Everything seems vivid and colorful and the stories are epic, teenagers riding in their classic cars, falling in love on spindle-wired phones. Unrequited love is in drastic overuse, but this story seems brand new. A blue heart turning remarkably pink by the song’s grand finale.

FLETCHER – You Should Talk

I didn’t fully understand this song until I went through a similar situation. Now, it’s the most relatable song to me in the world. There truly is no terror beyond the person you love finding love, comfort, sharing their self and body with someone new. Lately, I’ve been struggling most with the lack of empathy and warmth. The boy I loved, and will probably love forever, has no warmth left. No compassion. When he addresses me, it’s ice cold, and I’m left in his wake, shivering. I’m tired of the misunderstanding. The desire to find a closure that could exist if only he would open up just a bit and tell me his misses me too. It doesn’t need to be our revival, it just needs to be a final, “It was real, but now we let go.”

Katelyn Tarver – You Don’t Know

Simply put, this is the song I cried to, for so long. It’s being misunderstood. It’s wanting to be blue. It’s wishing people would stop poking at you. It’s being sad and not forcing yourself to wipe your tears. It’s ugly. It’s beautiful. It’s just letting it consume you for one moment because you’re sick of being strong. But there’s a triumph in that. Even if it feels like giving up. You’re not. You’re giving in so you can find the strength in unraveling.

John Mayer – In Your Atmosphere

The truest love of mine: John Mayer. Picking just one song was quite the struggle. I landed here because it falls–somewhat–in line with the rest of these. It has that cosmic feel the others do. Some carry it in their production, some in the story, some in the melodic structure. John Mayer is a wordsmith and “In Your Atmosphere” is the perfect break up song for someone like me–who loves being connected to another heart in the world when I’m traveling, who loves coming home to someone. Who loves that drum in my chest, the butterflies in my belly, the buzzing beneath my skin. That anticipation is a miracle. I’ve lost it. I feel terrified I took it for granted and won’t have it again.

Taylor Swift – Call it What You Want

A delicate love story. I remember listening through Reputation for the first time, and winding up in tears after its redemptive finale, with “Call it What You Want” and “New Year’s Day.” I’m not a crier without reason. How she found such a sweet and sound ending to an album that was otherwise filled with revenge, is beyond me, but she did. I wanted to end Sad Girl Music in a similar manner. I wanted it to come full circle. To feel like a journey. To drive, and then, to drift.

Lord Huron – Lost in Time and Space

I was very inclined to select his other, more popular 13 Reasons Why smash success, “The Night We Met,” but felt this track was one I more often heard in my head when I was in a rare moment of silence. Lost in time and space. Isn’t that what we all are? “Drowning in the seas of stars, lost in a galaxy of cocktail bars.” It’s miserable and uplifting. It’s sadness, it’s the distraction you search for, it’s the acceptance: all you have is you. You have you and the stars, and what else–really–do you need? Getting to that place. That final turning moment where you realize, love, as special and beautiful it is with another, love is best enjoyed when it’s found with yourself. When you become resolute–lost in time and space.

Sounds like: Dominique, CAPPA

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Tradiio Exclusive: Interview with Empathy Test

Empathy Test

Empathy Test

Giving us a glimpse into their musical world, we chat with UK electronic duo, Empathy Test, and find out whether they are human or really androids.

Why did you start making music, and where did the name Empathy Test come from?

We’ve known each other since we were kids and both come from creative backgrounds. For us, music was a natural progression from other forms of expression like drawing and writing. We taught ourselves to play guitar in our teens and started writing and recording our own songs. Empathy Test came about many years later, after we’d both worked separately on some other very different projects. One day we just finally found a way for us both to collaborate and a style that suited us both. It probably took us a year from then to find a name that worked for the project. We wanted it to say something about our mutual love of Sci-Fi and the influence that it had had, both on the music and the artwork, which Adam does for us. Isaac was re-watching Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner for the fourth or fifth time, when he heard Tyrell say “Is this to be an Empathy Test?” and there it was. It’s what they use in the film to work out whether someone is a human or an android.

Describe your sound in three words.

Mesmerising future pop.

Despite writing critically acclaimed songs, and having a large fan base, Empathy Test remains unsigned. Has this been a conscious decision?

We’ve always wanted to be described as “critically acclaimed” – thanks! Has it been a conscious decision to remain unsigned? Yes and no. Our game plan was always to release two EPs, then an album. The first EP would be a self-release, the second we’d release via an independent. Then, fingers crossed, we’d release the album via a major. So far, so good. Three month’s after self-releasing Losing Touch (February, 2014) we caught the attention of Stars & Letters Records on Twitter. S&L agreed to release our second EP, Throwing Stones in December 2014. A year later, the album is nearly finished and we’re about to start pitching it to labels. We’ve had a few offers already but as we see it, there’s no point in being “signed” unless the label can do something you can’t do yourself. For us, it’s providing us with a much bigger audience than we already have. Once you’ve made a big enough name for yourself, you may as well just do it yourself.

Why did you decide to release a remix EP?

As a place holder really. We’d released two EPs and people were already hungry for more. We needed to record the album but didn’t want to keep people waiting too long. Over the course of 2014 we’d made a lot of new friends in electronic bands and we thought it’d be fun to get them to remix tracks from the second EP. We asked more people than we needed to, in case they didn’t have time or didn’t come up with anything, and ended up with way too many remixes. Then we felt we couldn’t reject any of them so we ended up putting out a ten track EP, which let’s face it, is basically an album.

Stars & Letters said they’d release it and that we should try and get as much press as possible in order to sell more copies of the original EP, so we planned this insane schedule of fortnightly premières for almost all of the remixes. Midway through the promo period S&L informed us they didn’t have the time or resources to see it through, leaving us to finished the promotion and release it ourselves. The irony was, after all that we had a few fans, particularly in Russia, grumbling that we should stop “rehashing our old tracks” and give people what they wanted – an album – or two!

Your album ‘Demons’ is out this year, as well as securing support slots with DE/VISION. It sounds like you have a good year ahead. Are you excited?

We’ve actually changed the name as we’ve dropped the title track, Demons, for the time being. New working title is ‘Shadows’. There’s no release date as yet because we don’t yet know who is going to release it. We’ve started working with German booking agency Pluswelt, which is home to some pretty big alternative acts like Clan of Xymox, Combichrist and Grendel. DE/VISION are on there too and so yeah, excited to be performing with them at their two pre-album launch shows in Germany in April. There’s also some big shows planned for the end of the year and the possibility of a support slot on a European tour too with another Pluswelt band, fingers crossed. So yeah, it looks set to be another big year for us and we are very excited to finally share some new material with you.

Where do you cite your musical influences from?

In a nutshell,’80s Pop and Sci-Fi soundtracks, ’90s guitar bands and UK underground dance music. More recently, Black City Lights, Electric Youth, Chromatics, Chvrches, Purity Ring, FKA Twigs, Avec Sans, Gems, Mt. Wolf.

We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

We both loved The Japanese House when we played with them at Camden Barfly at the end of last year. ‘Still’ was one of the best tracks of 2015; an amazingly well-crafted track. ‘All The Sad Young Men’ by Spector is also up there, and ‘Leave A Trace’ by Chvrches. Two great albums last year were Agent Side Grinder‘s ‘Alkimia’ and Lord Huron‘s ‘Strange Tails’. Guitar music is definitely making a comeback and there’s a lot of very ’90s sounding bands appearing, which we’re all for, by the way. You can check out Isaac’s top tracks 10 of 2015 here.

We’ve invested in Empathy Test. Have you? Listen to more of their songs and support them at tradiio.com/empathy-test.

Sounds like: School of Seven Bells, Chvrches, Purity Ring, The Chain Gang of 1974, Avec Sans, Cut Once

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