New Swedish band on the block, Vola Tila comes straight out of the gate armed with an infectious yet emotional account of “a loss of oneself”. Full of energy, and a heady blend of pop and indie, fusing synths, guitars and both live and programmed drums, the recently formed pair take influence from a crossover of genres, each with a background in production and composing for other artists.
Fully obsessed with music, Johannes Henriksson and Richard Andersson have spent almost every day in the studio together creating their new EP, recorded in collaboration with Sonic Boom (MGMT, Panda Bear, Spacemen 3) and Swedish producer Charlie Storm (Håkan Hellström).
Rebellious band geeks, French Horn Rebellion shares new single ‘Renaissance Man’.
A combination of French horn played “really really loud” and laid back groovy beats, these two brothers – aka Brooklyn-based Robert and David Perlick-Molinari – know how to make you dance.
Since its inception, French Horn Rebellion has been an independent project, and the brothers now also co-own their very own label and studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – YouTooCanWoo. The studio has been responsible for producing musical artists such as MGMT and The Knocks, while also creating the audio identities for companies like Spotify, MTV and LOGO.
The track is taken from their ‘Graduation Compilation,’ an album comprised of past hits and new tracks, signaling the end of an era as they launch their new disco/house/dance label imprint, toucan sounds.
Brighton trio Suzi Island shares vibrant new single, ‘Halo’.
Produced by Larry Hibbitt (Nothing But Thieves, SundaraKarma, SeaGirls, Marmozets), ‘Halo’ has a bittersweet sound throughout and is a clear bound forward for Suzi Island following their last two singles.
Sounds like: Nothing But Thieves, Sundara Karma, Sea Girls
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
Having already produced and mixed for artists like MGMT and The Knocks, VioletSands are gearing up to release their album, ‘Hotel’.
The third track taken from the album is called ‘Unusual’, which frontwoman Deidre Muro describes as “riding the enchanted waves of discovering something or someone new. There’s a lot of magic in that first spark of curiosity – it’s like waking up from a lifelong dream to a completely new heightened reality. This song is that moment in extreme slow motion, reveling in all the emotions, uncertainties, and intrigue.”
‘Unusual’ is out now on YouTooCanWoo. Their album launch party will be on 30 June at Rough Trade in Brooklyn.
Sounds like: Monogem, Cocteau Twins, French Horn Rebellion
Swedish duo, EvilAstronaut, share the multicoloured video for ‘Seasons’.
It’s a little more electronic than their last single, ‘Orbit Berlin’, which fits more into the Bon Iver spectrum of things, but perhaps Evil Astronaut didn’t really know what direction ‘Seasons’ would take because at the time of filming the video in an empty reservoir, all that existed was lyrics and a vague idea of a sound.
It wasn’t until they saw the colours and reflections in the first cut, that they decided to change the song to fit the new vibe.
Another great release on the 20XX label. Los Angeles duo, courtship. share their third single, ‘Sail Away’.
Despite what the title suggests, this is perhaps their most introspective track to date, with glistening moments that conjure up bittersweet images of watching your love sail away from you on the Pacific ocean.
Sounds like: Cut Copy, Van She, Summer Heart, Jagwar Ma, Two Door Cinema Club, MGMT, Passion Pit