Tag Archives: Passion Pit

Weekly Gems 41

Sugarcane – Bethnal Green Blues

Sugarcane

Comprised of Robin French (Cuckoo) and Antonia Thomas (Misfits, Lovesick), these two creatives write seductive bossa nova music paired with calypso pop sensibilities that would fit well on the soundtrack of ‘The End of the F***ing World’.

On the motivation behind Bethnal Green Blues, Robin states,

“Sometimes you write a sad song from a happy moment. This came to me while I was flying to South America to see a girl I’d fallen for. It’s about the emotional ice age after a romance fails, but it was written as that ice melted under the Argentine sun..”

Sounds like: Nouvelle Vague, Men I Trust

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Dancing On Tables – Colour Me Good

Dancing On Tables by Lucy Foster-0009

We love an indie anthem, so thank you to five-piece pop-rock, Dancing On Tables.

The band, school friends from school in Dunfermline, a small town just outside Edinburgh, have released ‘Colour Me Good’ – a groove-laced, vintage indie-pop track that encapsulates sun-drenched, dance-able songwriting with a distinct Scottish charm.

Sounds like: Sea Girls, Biffy Clyro, Circa Waves, The 1975

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Slenderbodies – The One

Slenderbodies

Slenderbodies is a California-bred duo who write forward-thinking, dreamy synth-pop.

Their new single ‘The One’ is intricately subtle musical medication, shared in preparation of their upcoming EP, ‘SORAYA’, to be released through Los Angeles indie label Avant Garden, which is also home to Emotional Oranges.

Sounds like: Glass Animals, Alt-J, Milky Chance, Mura Masa, Passion Pit, PVRIS

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Dirty Nice – Always Summer

Dirty Nice

Forget those summer blues.

Mysterious UK-based duo, Dirty Nice, make a positive point in new single – it’s always summer, somewhere.

Released on Kitsuné, the single is an antidote to holiday blues, and the “optimistic twin” to their track ‘Zero Summer’.

Sounds like: Shy Luv, Phoenix, Daft Punk, Jai Paul, Sylvan Esso

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Gavin Haley – Sad Season

Gavin Haley

From summer season to ‘Sad Season’ with former professional cyclist Gavin Haley‘s latest single.

While competing with the national cycling team, Haley suffered an injury that resulted in a collapsed lung, setting back his travel by several months. During his recovery, he explored and found inspiration in Europe’s underground music scene, becoming enamored with energetic live performances filled with a grit and energy.

Starting with a simple West Coast-inspired guitar riff, ‘Sad Season’ soon picks up and exposes determined pop and R&B.

Sounds like: Zayn Malik, Frank Ocean, Ed Sheeran

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ROYAL – Vessel

ROYAL

Canadian songstress ROYAL debuts with ‘Vessel’, the first of six new tracks that appear on her upcoming album, ‘Heart of Shadows’.

Covering the topic of heartbreak, loss of identity and raw self-reflection, this is electro-pop at its finest in 2018.

Speaking about ‘Vessel,’ ROYAL says,

“This song is about heartbreak – having to let go of someone you love, and then realizing the emptiness and loss of identity that ensues. I wrote this song it while trying to find myself after getting lost within a relationship for many years and then feeling shattered by the loss of a love I thought would last a lifetime.”

Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Lana Del Rey, Evvy, Noosa, Dominique, The xx

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Von Sell – Scene Of A Crime

Von Sell

Last but not least, our favourite breakthrough act – self-taught producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Von Sell.

After a bout of vocal pain and subsequent treatment, we are pleased to say that Von Sell is on the mend and returning to our stereos with ‘Scene OF A Crime’.

Taken from his forthcoming sophomore EP, ‘Digital Sleep’, the song reflects on unrequited love, but, due to its uptempo nature, it will ultimately leave a taste of confusion in your mouth because you can’t help but dance despite the disconcerting subject matter.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Hazel English, Teen Daze, Peter Gabriel, Alt-J, Thomas Azier

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An Indietronica Preview of NOS Alive 2018

NOS Alive

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

Friendly Fires

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.

Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, Two Door Cinema Club

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Jain, Sagres Stage

Jain

Jain is a multi-cultural singer/songwriter and self confessed beat-maker, originally from France, but who has also spent time in Dubai and The Congo.

Jain means achieving liberation of the soul, and that’s exactly what this music embodies with its flecked sounds of African rhythms with simple, yet vibrant vocals.

Watch the video for highly recognised song ‘Makeba’ below and catch Jain at the Sagres Stage on Thursday.

Sounds like: Brigitte, Santigold, L.E.J, Yodelice, Lilly Wood & The Prick

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Khalid, Sagres Stage

Khalid

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

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Wolf Alice, Sagres Stage

Wolf Alice

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

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Sampha, Sagres Stage

Sampha

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

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FRIDAY 13 JULY

Two Door Cinema Club, NOS Stage

Two Door Cinema Club

We have watched Irish electro-poppers Two Door Cinema Club play live countless times, and that’s why they’ve made this list.

It’s hard to believe these youngsters have been around for over eight years. Still full of energy and banging tunes, catch them on the Friday!

Sounds like: Phoenix, Hot Chip, Passion Pit

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Future Islands, NOS Stage

Future Islands

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.

Expect big things on stage!

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Perfume Genius, Twin Shadow, Sylvan Esso, Austra

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CHVRCHES, Sagres Stage

CHVRCHES

Feisty feminist attitudes and catchy lyrics is what CHVRCHES brings to the table.

Lauren Mayberry has faced her fair share of trolls online, but to her testament, the Scottish trio continue to go from strength to strength. We are very much looking forward to this show!

Sounds like: Kate Boy, Avec Sans, Purity Ring, Vogue Dots, R.A.B.B.I.I., Kaleida, Gems, IYES, For Esmé, ALMA, Pale Hands, Acre Tarn, Prinze George, Leitbur, Monogem, PALMEDO, NONONO, Still Corners, MUNA

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Portugal. The Man, Sagres Stage

Portugal. The Man

Bold American rock band Portugal. The Man have been making serious waves of late, and if you haven’t heard of them, you soon will.

An iPhone soundtrack waiting to happen; expect goosebumps, sway inducing vocal harmonies and a fist pumping bass line.

Sounds like: Foster The People, Broken Bells, Grouplove, Circa Survive, MGMT

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Surma, Coreto Stage

Surma

Imagine if M83 and Joanna Newsom met one day and decided to make some music. The result would be the quirky and ambient tones of Portuguese Surma (aka Débora Umbelino).

Working with loop pedals, the solo artist works with analogue and digital sounds creating a primal yet sonic environment.

Sounds like: Yellerkin, Yoke Lore, M83, Joanna Newsom

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SATURDAY 14 JULY

Lotus Fever, Coreto Stage

Lotus Fever

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.

Sounds like: Alt-J, Pink Floyd

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Mighty Sands, Coreto Stage

Mighty Sands

Mighty Sands is a Lisbon-based quintet.

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!

Sounds like: Father John Misty, Tame Impala, MGMT

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MGMT, NOS Stage

MGMT

Less under the radar than the counterparts in this piece, but still worthy of a slot on one’s to watch at this year’s NOS Alive. The mighty MGMT!

The eclectic US-based duo are known for their otherworldly take on modern indie rock music, often combining psychedelic synths, crunchy guitars and stodgy vocals with fun videos.

Sounds like: Empire of the Sun, Foster the People, Tame Impala, Portugal. The Man

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Perfume Genius, Sagres Stage

Perfume Genius

Covering topics such as sexual abuse, suicide and alcohol abuse, Perfume Genius (aka Mike Hadreas) is one such musical role model we want to be more involved with.

His music represents such struggles and recoveries in a camp but delightfully magnificent way.

Sounds like: Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Kate Bush, M83, David Bowie, Future Islands, Fever Ray

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Bernado, Coreto Stage

Bernardo

Wow, Bernado‘s vocals have blown us away after watching her live performance of ‘The Boy Is Mine’.

The London based British/Portuguese singer/songwriter effortlessly combines modern attitudes from London attitude with a jazzy flair.

Sounds like: Amy Winehouse, Jorja Smith

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Real Estate, Sagres Stage

Real Estate

With a warming lo-fi sound, Brooklyn-based dream team, Real Estate is our last act to consider watching at NOS Alive.

Run by childhood friends who played in their backyards during the summer months, Real Estate write simple and endearing songs full of luminous guitar riffs and delicate synths.

We envisage this show to be a perfect end to a perfect weekend.

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Washed Out, MGMT

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Find out more info about NOS Alive and purchase remaining tickets here.

Weekly Gems 27

OKKAH – Body of a Swan

OKKAH

Indie pop quartet OKKAH share their new single called ‘Body of a Swan’.

Elegant and melodic in nature, and much like the animal itself, ‘Body of a Swan’ takes you on a dream-like journey full of delicate vocals and gentle keys.

It’s the lead track from the EP of the same title.

Sounds like: Fenech-Soler, Child Ivory, Crozet, Passion Pit

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Steven Bamidele – Things Could Be Better

Steven Bamidele

Let’s take things nice and slow with Steven Bamidele‘s ever-optimistic new single, ‘Things Could Be Better’.

It’s a stripped-back production with well-timed jazz percussion and emotive, soulful vocals, courtesy of the 23 year old London-based songwriter and producer.

Sounds like: Jamie Cullum, John Legend

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Kasbo – Aldrig Mer Feat TENDER

Kasbo - Aldrig Mer Feat TENDER

Kasbo is an exciting Swedish producer whose music fits nicely alongside the likes of ODESZA and Aquilo.

His current release ‘Aldrig Mer’ (translating to ‘No More’ in English) combines organic elements including real instrument recordings and electronic synths, as well as the boundless vocals of rising UK duo TENDER.

Expect Kasbo’s debut album to come out on Foreign Family Collective/Counter Records on 23 March.

Sounds like: ODESZA, Aquilo, SOHN, Jungle, Glass Animals, HUNTAR, Caribou, Air, Boxed In, Honne

Kasbo
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TENDER
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Emilia Ali – Thick Thighs

Emilia Ali

No one wants thick thighs, unless of course they are coming from Emilia Ali.

Already smashing the charts on Spotify and key YouTube channels, Emilia Ali doesn’t want to go unnoticed, despite her hushed voice in new single.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Alice Jemima, CAPPA, Sia, Dominique, Kiiara, Phoebe Ryan, Laurel, Lana Del Rey

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Cub Sport – Good Guys Go

Cub Sport

Cub Sport‘s new single ‘Good Guys Go’, questions just that – unreciprocated love, unfortunately a common theme in a lot of relationships.

The neon video, directed by Joe Agius is shot in real time with one roaming camera, and tries to capture an intense feeling of loss, inspired by images from fashion magazines and music videos by Michael Jackson, TLC, and Perfume Genius.

Sounds like: MRY

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PLYA – Thinking Of You

PLYA

We have some right summery sounds for you, coming from PLYA.

Pronounced as Playa (Spanish for beach), the trio, led by Julia Sykes (Sykes) create music inspired from travels to cities, and of course the beach.

Their new single ‘Thinking Of You’ was inspired by that feeling you have when you are separated someone you have a connection with.

Sounds like: Draper, Passion Pit, Sykes, Broods, Phantogram, Monogem

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Draper – Worst Of Us

Draper

Kent-born, London-based Draper already has a reputation for choosing excellent singers to collaborate with as well as being a go to producer in the indie-dance world, but he has now turned himself to singing on new track ‘Worst Of Us’, which also features vocals from a mysterious woman “closer to home”.

Energising keys burst into climatic drums as Draper revives his modern pop production roots. With its anthemic melody and original lyrics, ‘Worst of Us’ will lift up the weariest of souls.

Speaking about the track, Draper explains,

“It’s about being part of a team, and no matter how crazy, how stupid, or how drunk you get it doesn’t matter. The worst of us is essentially about falling in love with a person’s flaws, and being 100% ok with every single one of them.”

Disclosure: I am Draper’s publicist at the time of writing.

‘Worst Of Us’ is out today on M:UK.

Sounds like: Will Joseph Cook, Pistol Shrimp, Passion Pit, BOA, The New Coast

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Tigertown – Warriors

Tigertown by Alex Tracey

Meet Australia’s finest new musical export, Tigertown.

Tigertown’s new track ‘Warriors’ manages to reach new euphoric heights. Much like glitter itself, it brightens up and idealises the concept of love, but who cares as everyone loves glitter and love, right?!

The track is out today on Neon Gold and they will be touring with Tove Lo in July and VÉRITÉ in August and September.

Sounds like: Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, The Naked and Famous, Tove Lo, St. Lucia, Crystal Fighters

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Elohim – Skinny Legs

Elohim - Skinny Legs

Los Angeles-based producer, writer, vocalist Elohim is used to making a statement, and so when we heard that her new single ‘Skinny Legs’ is a five minute electronic journey, we weren’t at all surprised.

The song pushes an intentional, techno beat and directional vocals that immediately permeate your brainwaves.

Sounds like: Chvrches, OH Wonder, The Big Pink, Passion Pit, VÉRITÉ, Evvy

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Kid Astray – Fall To My Knees

Kid Astray

We are super excited that Kid Astray are back, and their defiant new track does not disappoint.

An collective of musical instruments and instantly memorable vocal hooks, ‘Fall To My Knees’ is about why Kid Astray are sharing their music;

“Fall to My Knees” is about a gig we played in Berlin in the spring of 2015. We were having a really tough time, battling some undue negativity in the media and in the people around us. We just wanted to quit, go to sleep, and not play this showcase at a club. But that show just blew up and made us remember why in the world we’re so determined to keep on doing this. It’s pretty big for a couple of 20 year olds to able to play a sold-out show in the hipster capitol of Europe. And this song is a reminder of that.”

It’s out now via Sony Music.

Sounds like: Smallpools, Passion Pit, Pistol Shrimp, M83, Holy Ghost!, Two Door Cinema Club, Young Kato, Ballet School

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courtship. – Sail Away

courtship. by Regina Doland

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

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The Knocks – Trouble Feat. Absofacto

The Knocks - Trouble

The Knocks – Trouble

Noisy New York electronic dance duo and remix gurus, The Knocks, have shared their summery track ‘Trouble’, featuring Absofacto.

Of the track, The Knocks say,

“We originally wrote “Trouble” with Abso in NYC at our studio as a slow, piano ballad, at 90 bpm. The idea was to write something that felt melancholy and classic. After we laid down the original idea, he left and we started experimenting with it – treating it like a sample – totally chopping it up and flipping it. This is the same way we approach some of our earlier songs like “Dancing With The DJ” and “Make it Better” so it was cool to go back to that formula while making a sound that was new and fresh.”

‘Trouble’ is out on Big Beat/Neon Gold and is the first single from their forthcoming EP ‘TESTIFY’, released on 3 February.

Sounds like: RAC, St. Lucia, Cut Copy, Flight Facilities, Passion Pit, Pink Feathers, Chromeo, Holy Ghost!, Penguin Prison

The Knocks
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Absofacto
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