We’ve been fans of New Zealand talent, So Below, for a while now.
We wanted to find out what helps So Below write her incredibly reflective, dark electronic pop, so what better way than her expressing it in a playlist?
“In this playlist I feel like a have a memory or feeling associated with each song, they all have a nostalgic quality to them. Like The Dodos track for example makes me think of sitting on my mums roof at her old house in Auckland and drinking beers with my friends in summer. Or the Trentemoller track makes me think of waiting at the bus stop for the bus to go to work and its pouring down with rain. All such great songs!”
Sounds like: Raindear, Kate Boy, The Naked And Famous, MUNA, Ofelia K, Monogem, Bo Rocha
RAINSFORD is the solo project of Los Angeles-based Rainey Qualley.
Don’t worry, she doesn’t have a penchant for elderly people getting it on in a park – as seen in the video for her new single, synth pop gem ‘Rendezvous’ – but rather enjoys seeking inspiration everywhere,
“I wrote Rendezvous with my best friend/producer Nick Dungo last summer in Prospect park. We were taking a break from the studio to get a little sunshine and fresh air when we stumbled upon something very inspirational. Less than 20 yards away from us there was a couple who were very hot for each other, passionately making out, rolling around on top of each other in the grass…only they were probably in their late 60’s. Which we found equally delightful, intriguing, and kind of gross. We playfully messed with them from a distance for a while singing Marvin Gaye, and coming up with pretend scenarios which could have led them here (Were they cheating on their spouses? Probably.) Ultimately we went back to the studio with our eyes and minds deliciously stimulated, and Rendezvous is the result.”
UK jazz singer Jazz Morley enters the realms of electro-soul in ‘Safe Place’.
The song considers the idea of Jazz moving back to her seaside hometown of Bournemouth, to escape the stresses of city life;
‘This is a love song written about where I live and who I have in my life. It marks a shift in my own mental health, happiness and creativity. Being a full-time musician, life can be exciting, spontaneous and hugely rewarding but also chaotic, unpredictable and at times, unstable. For the first time in my life, I am happy with who I am, and where I reside – next to the sea, along the beautiful Dorset coastline.’
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
KOLAJ (pronounced collage) share sky-lifting new track, ‘First Time With You’.
KOLAJ is a duo headed up by Tessa Houston, who cites a lot of influences from her upbringing. Born in Nagoya, Japan, she was adopted as an infant from Okinawa, Japan to an American military family and grew up all over the U.S. – “I don’t know my full ethnicity, but I do know that I’m Filipino and Polynesian and Japanese and Indian, so that’s a collage right there.”
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
New York sibling duo Paperwhite return with dream pop number, ‘Only Us’.
It once again showcases their ability to put together a track full of catchy hooks, transcendent synths and soaring, spirited melodies.
“Whether it’s a global issue or a broken heart, we tend to look back with nostalgia on times that were simpler,” says the band about the song. “With change comes courage, so even with heavy lyrics, we wanted to add a little Paperwhite electricity into the mix. What better way to move forward than with a little spring in your step.”
The track is the third release off their forthcoming third EP.
Brother/sister duo Good Girl and the Bad Times share brooding new track ‘Keep Your Yesterdays’.
Having lived apart in respective cities, New York and London, the siblings, Jenny and Eli, decided to save up funds to fly Jenny home to record some music.
After borrowing some old synths from a few friends, they built a small studio in Eli’s bedroom and started working on an album. The result is eight songs, including this single, which is “a plea for world-weary hearts to sink into new love.”