Alt-pop romantic RAIGN today releases her album ‘SIGN’, which features a dark and dreamy cover of ‘God Only Knows’, the Beach Boys‘ classic.
RAIGN runs her own record label, Millionaire London Records, designs clothes, writes songs for some of the biggest names in music and is currently penning an audiobook (scored by herself), and after taking a listen to her album, we’ve decided that this girl is badass!
Break-ups suck, we all know that, and Kent-based Gabriella Vixen perfectly describes the process of bumping into an ex in her new single, ‘Old Mistake’,
“Old mistake is about the empowering realisation that comes after that brief moment that we all at some point have experienced. When you bump into someone from your past, a flash of memories, followed by belly flipping butterflies, losing the ability to talk without stuttering, rosy cheeks and even an exchange of new numbers.”
Feisty! Gabriella is on our ones to watch list for 2019.
Sounds like: Zara Larsson, Ariana Grande, Mura Masa, Rita Ora
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!
Electronic duo Solomon Grey are gearing up to release their sophomore album ‘Human Music’, out on 16 February via Mercury KX Records. The record was mixed by Dave Fridmann (MGMT, Flaming Lips, Tame Impala) and features a full orchestra recorded in Budapest.
We caught up with Tom and Joe…
1. Describe your sound in three words.
Emotive, cinematic, classic (we held to hold back from writing average or something similar).
2. Where did the name Solomon Grey come from?
There was a day of flinging names around, Tom said Solomon Grey (the inspiration for that is another story) and we thought it sounded right. At the time we wanted people to think it was one person. We always enjoyed reviews wrongly thinking Floyd or Gnarls Barkley were one artist.
3. Your music is hugely emotive, and your visuals and live shows, hugely atmospheric. Which comes first when creating music?
We normally talk about the visual aspect of a track once the first few ideas are down. It’s always present in the idea from an early point. Also, atmosphere is vital to how we work with a tune. Always trying to find where a track sits and how to achieve that. We are always discussing and sharing ideas, it’s part of the joys of working as a duo.
4. You toured with Above & Beyond in 2016. What was that like?
Amazing. Performing live on the tour ended up inspiring a lot of how we wrote this latest album. Those venues, the acoustics, the seated audiences. The whole Above and Beyond family were so great to us, we owe them everything. Still can’t quite believe that we played the Hollywood bowl. What a privilege.
5. Your upcoming sophomore album, ‘Human Music’, is out next month, and follows Joe’s extremely difficult journey with his mother. Was this album particularly hard to make?
Joe, “in places. This is hard to explain but it was a very lovely time spending that last summer with Sandy. We were together for the end and it was special. I think the whole point of the album is that from the offset I thought something like this would be as you described it ‘an extremely difficult journey’ but it turned out to be a beautiful celebration of our lives together and an honour and pleasure to be there at the end. There were difficult moments of course but mostly it was a time I will cherish. We were best friends and it was good being there together at the end”. Tom, “Making the album was challenging because of the amount of musical ideas Joe brought but we got through it.”
6. We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?
Arctic Lake recorded all their latest tracks next door and we think they are amazing. Msafiri Zawose has an album out called Uhamiaji which we keep playing on the way into work. Also, @iamofficer is recording his second album next door at the moment and we keep humming the melodies on our way home. It sounds beautiful, but he is still working on it so keep a look out for its release.
Sounds like: Aquilo, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, Ásgeir, Chet Faker, James Vincent McMorrow, Hozier, Lane 8, The National, Son Lux, M83, James Blake, Bon Iver
Melbourne-based folktronica artist BATTS returns with her beautiful new single ‘Somedays’.
Using space as a reference (specifically the NASA recording of Saturn’s rings), ‘Somedays’ showcases BATTS’ knack of creating psych-tinged pop that is extremely grounding, but also feels otherworldly at the same time.
Expect her mesmerising and melancholic debut EP ’62 Moons’, to be released through the newly announced THAA Records.
Sounds like: London Grammar, Ficci, GEMS, MS MR, Daughter, James Blake, Jon Hopkins, MØ, SOHN, Broods, M83
Wow, ‘You’ is some serious spine tingling stuff from Dream Estate, an exciting ambient pop outfit on the scene.
The band was originally founded by William Tse in 2015, but later was joined by Dan Hvorostovsky (bass, backing vocals), Dan Noble (lead guitar, backings vocals), and Joe Dawson (drums) in 2017. Since then, the band have been working alongside producer Sam Winfield (Fickle Friends, Pixel Fix, Amber Run, Motherhood).
Time to start cruising with The Kite String Tangle‘s unusually upbeat new single, ‘This Thing We Got’.
It’s a song about the butterflies you feel when you first get with someone, cleverly represented by the rosy horn section (think MarkRonson, Rudimental). Originally planned to be 30 b.p.m slower than it now is, the slower melody is sampled in the chorus as a “song within a song”.
Watch the live video below.
‘This Thing We Got’ can be found on The Kite String Tangle‘s self-titled debut album which is available everywhere now via Exist Recordings.
Sounds like: RÜFÜS, Dead Ceremony, M83, TDeL2, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, The Weeknd, Active Child, Mount Kimbie, Fever Ray, James Blake, Cloud Boat
Leeds-based five-piece Vessels share robust new single, ‘Deeper In A Sky’ featuring Harkin (aka Sky Larkin’s Katie Harkin), taken from their upcoming new album ‘The Great Distraction’ out on Different Recordings.
Speaking of the new album, Martin says, “The music acknowledges a bleakness and tension, but I think our response is optimistic and euphoric.”
Scottish girl/boy duo LOVE SICK share debut single ‘Bullet’, an ode to both heartbreak and obsession.
The couple met at a work Christmas party when Julie drunkenly let slip to Shaun (who also produced in his spare time) that she always wanted to be a singer. A few weeks later the duo coincidentally bumped into each other at a train station, and the rest is cosmic pop.
We receive a huge amount of submissions via SubmitHub, and unfortunately cannot review all of the tracks, so we have decided to compile those tracks into a weekly segment of gems we’ve particularly enjoyed.
Dream Lake – Midnight Sun
Swedish electro-pop duo Dream Lake share the dreamy ‘Midnight Sun’.
This song perfectly encapsulates the airy, long days of light during the summer in Sweden, with dreamy vocals and romantic keys.
US-based Tigers and Thieves share ‘Change Your Mind’, an indie rock track that has all the markings of a hit, despite being recorded in their garage studio. It’s been mixed by Brian McTear (TheWar on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, LocalNatives).
Sounds like: Local Natives, Foster the People, The Neighbourhood, alt-J, Surfer Blood, The Temper Trap, Nick Mulvey