Following a stint of live shows last year, including Latitude Festival, Caswell releases ‘Surface’, a song of self-discovery and re-empowerment to reach a potential she didn’t realise she had the whole time.
It’s a crisp and clear rendition with definite musical intentions, and sets the tone for her second EP, to be released in April.
Sounds like: Låpsley, Skott, Lorde, Charlotte Cardin, Jorja Smith, JONES, Ray BLK, Sigrid, Maggie Rogers
Meet O Future (fka OOFJ), an electronic duo mixing electronics with symphony orchestra and voice consisting of Jens Bjornkjaer originally from Denmark and Katherine Mills Rymer from South Africa, now located in Los Angeles.
O Future’s new single ‘VOYEUR’ gains pleasure in watching other people’s vanity from afar in what the duo calls a “global turn on”, and with a gorgeously, exciting looping bass line throughout, what’s not to enjoy?
After landing support from the Arts Council England’s International Development fund, Leaone found himself working from Transmitter Park Studios in Brooklyn New York, alongside multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Marsh (of Lana Del Rey’s band) and Abe Seiferth (Yeasayer, Bears In Heaven, James Murphy), on a body of new material.
The result is ‘Prairie Fires’, a deeply devastatingly emotive song that Leaone wrote at a time when he had to leave behind a blossoming romance.
Last but definitely not least is Girl Crush, the music and fashion project of Swedish/British duo, Ottilia Kjulsten and David Sugar.
These two have a special interest in lost youth, lust-stricken heartbreak and a future that never arrived, which they define as “promcore”. Their new single ‘Baby Steps’ is out now via Brilliance Records.
p.s. Want to be as cool as these guys? Then buy one of their limited edition pieces of merchandise which they offer with every track release.
Sounds like: Niki & The Dove, LOVE SICK, So Below, Ralph, Anna of the North, Call Me Loop, SUMif
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.
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!
Synthpop sisters REYNA may want you to forget it, but baby please don’t!
Comprised of Victoria and Hannah Gabriela, the girls have already worked with the likes of Drew Pearson (Kesha) and performed with CHVRCHES.
Speaking of their new single ‘Baby Forget It’, Vic says,
“The song is about a former love who kept something of mine after a dramatic breakup. I wasn’t the best version of myself in this relationship and I can admit that I really messed up. That’s why I was so surprised when I saw that she would wear my jacket, I was like hmm maybe it wasn’t so bad, maybe every time she puts the jacket on she thinks about the good times instead of the bad. This song is for everyone who has had their heart broken then somehow muster the courage to put their hearts out there again. It’s learning from those sour episodes in your life and making them part of who you are like a scar you’re proud of.”
Sonic production leads the way for Francis Novotny‘s new single ‘The Wire’.
It’s a brooding, electro-soul song by the Swedish multi-instrumentalist that is extremely reminiscent of JackGarratt or Asgeir, and captures that addictive quality of a nonetheless-toxic relationship, and the feeling (says Francis) “when a person leaves you hanging on without answers – and you know you should get out of it – but you keep winding back towards them.”
NYC-based duo Glassio share ‘Back For More’, a song for anytime of the day!
Built on an orchestral-electronic backbone that nods to the likes of MassiveAttack and Air, the pining, heartsick anthem is a penned love letter to a paramour after a strained relationship has come to a close.
Sounds like: Hot Chip, Metronomy, Foals, Jagwar Ma, Rüfüs, Flume, Odesza, Bob Moses, Glass Animals, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs
Paige Court is the name behind Adelaide-based indietronica project, MANE.
Smooth vocals, almost of a tenor nature, juxtapose with delicate strings, and drive MANE’s dark indie pop single ‘Chasing Butterflies’, resulting in a stand-out sound that isn’t usually found in modern pop tracks.
Sounds like: Soak, Emma McGrath, London Grammar, Gordi, Lorde, Maggie Rogers
BBC 6 favourite, breezy indie band High Hazels share their new single ‘Days Of No One’.
Fighting an ever-losing battle of love and being lonely, lead singer James admits that despite the conflicting themes in their music, he is a fan of people; “Weirdly that’s why I think loneliness pops up in our music quite a lot, I suppose it’s more the fear of it.”
Sounds like: The Last Shadow Puppets, Miles Kane, Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Richard Hawley, The Coral, Beach House, Cocteau Twins, My Bloody Valentine
It’s not long until the end of the year, and what better way to see 2017 through with a playlist from Chelsea Lankes. This one goes out to all the ladies, and is probably one of the best playlists we’ve ever had! Lucky you!
“Here are some favorites over the last couple months including songs from favorite albums this year: SZA, Phoebe Bridgers, YOUTH, Lorde and Wolf Alice. Also I put a few singles from female pop artists I love and respect! To be enjoyed while driving at night, at low key parties, showering or anywhere you might sing really loud alone. 🙂”
…And whilst we have you, give Chelsea’s new track a spin too.
Sounds like: MUNA, Wet, Evvy, Ghost Beach, Kyla La Grange, Ji Nilsson, Tove Styrke, Carousel, Kitten, Nina, Mikky Ekko, Remmi, Cappa