South London duo 11 (aka James Lamb and Richard Craker) share their sophomore single ‘Best Of Me’.
Howling vocal harmonies lead the way for some funk-fuelled hooks in the punchy single, about “not allowing negative energy to take you off your path. It’s about mind-state, the internal battles that we all have… It’s a fight between success and failure, where success is landing all the punches.”
Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, The 1975, The Hunna, Nick Mulvey
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).
We are blown away by Finnish trio Lake Jons‘s new song ‘Colors’.
Much like their other releases, ‘Colors’ effortlessly combines delicate guitar progressions (with some banjo thrown in there for good measure) with vintage rock beats and soulful vocals. Who would have thought that could work?!
‘Colors’ is the lead single from Lake Jon’s self-titled debut album, out on 19 January via AntiFragile Music, which was recorded in an isolated cabin in the woods – also a running theme throughout the album.
Sounds like: Paul Simon, Ásgeir, Band Of Horses, Bon Iver, Nick Mulvey
Tying together elements of hip-hop, pop and electronic sounds Strong Asian Mothers have created a beautiful, rich and textured soundscape as the basis for their new single ‘Hard to Find’.
The single is a follow up to their previous EP releases ‘Lynx Africa’ and ‘Animal‘ which gained a strong following from fans and critics alike.
‘Hard to Find’ is a catchy and instantly pleasing follow up to previous work and is bound to push them nearer to the mainstream. Vocally it’s an appealing, smooth and soulful vocal which sits somewhere between a simpler NickMulvey or a safer JamesBlake. It’s a calm but enchanting tone which never strays too far from where it starts with a careful use of double tracking and harmonies in parts.
Musically it’s simple but effective. There is nothing unnecessary about the production or arrangement with enough going on to keep you gripped from start to finish. The catchy synth riff and smooth bass line coupled with the repeated piano parts are set against a lovely simple but repetitive drum part and lovely pad like textures. They’ve definitely worked on the idea that simple is best, all parts do a job and set out to hep in bringing out the feel of the vocals.
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
London quartet ISLAND share ‘Come With Me’; the second part of their AA single, alongside the recently released ‘Spotless Mind’.
Swaggering guitar riffs and smooth, folk-esque vocals, and having already performed some pretty decent gigs in Europe, ISLAND are starting to pave their own way into the mainstream.
Jul-03, Smoked & Uncut, Dorset
Jul-08, British Summer Time – Hyde Park
Jul-15, Pete The Monkey, France
Jul-17, Citadel, London
Jul-24, Secret Garden Party
Sep-23, Reeperbahn, Hamburg, Germany
Sep-24, Kornern Festival, Germany
Nov-02, Scala, London
Sounds like: Foals, The Libertines, Mystery Jets, The Lapelles, Circa Waves, Nick Mulvey
Someday River are a psych folk band from Florida, who have been together for just one year.
Greyson Charnock, the band’s primary songwriter and frontman, says that their new EP, ‘Sleeping Sideways’ is about “finding good in the face of an insane world” and notes “accepting mistakes and carrying on” as another key theme on the release.
The boys put together a playlist for us. Listen below.
TOPS – Way You Want To Be Loved This song is an instant go-to for gatherings with friends. A real mood setter… sexy track! I recommend the song “Sleeptalker” from TOPS as well, among others.
Levek – Black Mold Grow Another song chock full of vibezzz – show this song to someone and they will trust your musical judgment for eternity~~ also see “Look on the Bright Side”
Jude Shuma – Wandering Up and comers from Chicago, this group just put out a three song EP in December and it is repeat-worthy to say the least. Lo-Fi basement grooves for days.
Local Natives – Past Lives Most recent single from Local Natives has a massive-bassy presence making it a pure feel-good necessity.
SWIMM – All the Time Atmospheric ethereality, this song paints a feeling.. it’s the one you’re looking for. Florida-born boys making waves in the Psych/folk/indie world.
Goldensuns – I Feel This Place Salt Lake City/ LA Transplants, the new Goldensuns EP really holds water, and luckily so. It’s enough to get us through the heat of the summer.
The Shouting Matches – Gallup, NM Nostalgia in a pure form, this song takes you back wherever you want to go. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon flexing his artistic range with this band, auto-tune not included.
Pinegrove – Old Friends Found this song on YouTube, immediately hooked.. Pinegrove has several really incredible arrangements. I also suggest “Aphasia” and “Cadmium” among others. Check out some acoustic renditions from this NJ group on-the-rise.
Chad VanGaalen – Peace on the Rise This tune rolls slow and steady through an apathetic dreamworld.. There is so much subtlety and intentionality behind the arrangement, I think that’s what keeps me coming back.
Sego – Wicket Youth Contemporary, Pop Sensible, Avant – Sego always delivers on the art-music.. Here’s one of their most catchy tunes. Their songs rise to a new level when you see the videos that accompany them, aaaand go!
Robert Cray – Do That For Me After hearing this song nearly 15 years ago at a soup kitchen in Atlanta… It was stuck in my head until I more recently discovered who/what it was by Googling the lyrics. Thank goodness I found my way back to this song. The arrangement and musicianship are a ripe source of inspiration for me.
Van Morrison – I’m Not Feeling It Anymore Van at his finest here. No introduction or explanation needed… an absolute classic, Sunday morning pick me up.
Vulfpeck – Wait for the Moment Sometimes you want the funk, sometimes you want the soul. Take both from Vulfpeck.. This band has some serious chops, and they do it all while having a damn good time. Positive vibrations are unavoidable on any track of theirs.
Fat Night – Someday Orlando/Chicago boys really showing range with this track. Soul/Funk with pop sensibilities and a touch of Calypso combine for this unique song. Their live performance can border on Acid-Jazz. Look out for these guys; they are on the rise in a real way.
Julien Baker – Something I am so enamoured with Julien Baker; her multiplicity of live recordings on you tube go to show that she is the real deal, voice and guitar work that you can rely on 100% every time. All of her songs are moving in their theory as well as delivery.
Nick Mulvey – Fever To The Form A well know artist from England, Nick Mulvey doing what he does best with this song; potentially a perfect formula of restraint and production. Delivery and Control; this song has one hell of a progressive build for a folk tune.
Dustin Tebbutt – The Breach Heard this song on some random indie playlist a couple years back. Dustin Tebbutt has his focus and his ideas in order. Beautiful and simple, this arrangement does it for me.
Suzanne Vega – Tom’s Diner This is the original version of the song. Released in 1987, it was at the top of the pop charts as an A CAPPELLA SONG!! That blows my mind. Unconcerned with rhyming lyrics, its all about meter and imagery with this song.
Milo – Going No Place (feat. Elucid) Milo is an intellectual rapper to rival all others… follow up this song by checking out some others of his. Along with some serious collabs, his lyricism is sharp witted and rich in symbolism as well as contemporary culture reference. Hip Hop at its finest.
Steely Dan – Reelin’ In The Years Rounding out this playlist, arguably one of the best songs ever written.. Steely Dan was an obsessive band in the studio, and thank god, because we can enjoy this recording forever.
Sounds like: Day Wave, Summer Heart, Washed Out, The Drums, ROOSEVELT, Yellerkin, Night Drive, Carousel
Elderbrook is 21 year old London talent, Alex Kotz, who is starting to stack up a big following.
He has invited us to follow him on his pretty chilled musical journey with the video for ‘Be There Soon’. The video sees Elderbrook rejoin visual artist and director Lauren Gregory (who also directed the video for his first single ‘Could’), this time using pastel based animation set to a backdrop of 3D set pieces.
The track has been released via Black Butter Records and can be purchased on iTunes.
Sounds like: Fyfe, Nick Mulvey, Bombay Bicycle Club, Jamie Woon