MONOGEM (aka Jen Hirsh) is back after a brief hiatus with ‘Shade’, an explorative song about standing up and speaking your truths, no matter what shades they may be.
Lead by dramatic pizzicato plucks, and written with pop songwriter and producer Bleu of Coach & Ref, MONOGEM explains of ‘Shade’,
“I wrote “Shade” on a day when I felt particularly bleak and dreary. Dark thoughts ran through my head about anything and everything: my artistry, my life, my body, my family, I was having one of those moments where nothing was right. As an artist, those days are more frequent than I’d like to admit. As a woman, I’ve felt pressure to cover up this little dark corner, put my face on and show up for the party. “Shade” is a personal anthem that reminds me to stop hiding my truths, even if they aren’t pretty.”
Sounds like: Goldroom, Silk Cinema, ASTR, July Child, Lights, Evvy, Micky Blue
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!
Big news. Ben Khan returns with the announcement of his debut album (hurrah!) and a self-directed dystopian video for spine-tingling new single ‘2000 Angels’.
The album – set for release in the summer – was produced alongside Flood (PJHarvey, DepecheMode, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Spike Stent (Björk, Frank Ocean), with Ben playing every instrument on the record.
Always with a creative hands-on approach, Ben also plans to launch his new interactive website, The Foundation, which offers an insight into the richness and depth of the album’s story.
Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls
NAVA is the highly energetic project of Persian songwriter Nava Golchini and three other Italian musicians. Visually, NAVA is a mix of horror and fashion inspired by the works of visionary designer Gareth Pugh.
The debut single ‘Ritual’ gives us a glimpse into the NAVA world – full of electro arrangements, tribal instruments and dark metropolitan landscapes.
It could be 2014 again, and boy it feels good! During your visit, expect luscious vocals, addictive synth drops and and nu-disco undertone. All this, courtesy of Betablock3r and the new single ‘Make You Happy’.
It is the first single off their debut EP Monolith, out now.
It wouldn’t be a decent weekly gems feature without some pop in there. This week Tanners is the chosen one.
Tanners is the moniker of New York City-based songwriter and producer Tanner Peterson. Leading the way for women in creative music tech, Tanners has also spoken at TEDxTeen.
Inspired by her childhood love for the beach, ‘Holy Water’ celebrates the beauty and electricity born from allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable and enveloped by the ocean. “It’s a thank you song to the ocean for teaching me to embrace vulnerability,” Tanners says of the track.
Tiaryn is an exciting Australian artist who is making waves this side of the world.
Her new single ‘Falling’ is the first single off an upcoming EP. It’s laid back and feel-good song that reflects on the evolution of a young relationship; from initial infatuation to the thrilling discovery of true connection.
A refreshing break appears to be just what Alexx Mack needed, because she is back with a song of epic proportions, and something that we all can relate to – ‘Wine In Bed’.
Inspired by her own toxic coping mechanisms, Alexx explains,
“Wine in Bed is about me learning that my coping methods were adding to the toxicity in my life and relationships. I would drink and cross my fingers to feel better, and almost every time I’d end up making another mistake. I thought that every sign was pointing to me needing to be alone, the truth was that I was pushing everything good in my life away.”
Sounds like: Charli XCX, Julia Michaels, Halsey, Kate Boy, The 1975, The Magnettes
It’s a battle of the pop songs this week, that was until we heard ‘Not Really’ by SAGE. There really is no competition!
The feminist pop track has been produced by double-diamond producer PJ Bianco (Nick Jonas, Demi Lovato, Fifth Harmony, ARIZONA) and written by SAGE alongside famously rumoured actual Britney Spears vocalist, Myah Marie Langston.
It’s a shout out to everyone who struggles with anxieties of daily life, a supportive song that urges you to maintain your passion and drive, something that LOVE SICK are very much doing within the music industry.
Vintage keys and delicate vocals highlight ‘Eventually’ by Me Not You as a short and sweet song that is straight to the point.
Speaking of the track, “…it’s a personal song for me… a sort of hyping up of myself to the idea of squashing the beef with someone. the baggage of relationships can linger, and it does no one any good to keep that shit around.”
Do not be deceived, ‘Strange But True’ by Western Scene is not a Christmas song, despite the countless bells and chimes in the song. Instead, it is a call for decent music.
Formed by front man Tom Pritchard in Los Angeles, Western Scene is an indie rock band through and through, spending years self-producing music that has been written and recorded in bedrooms and studios across the coast.
‘Strange but True’ is out now via Grand Jury Music.
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).