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..”
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
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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 BigBeat/NeonGold and is the first single from their forthcoming EP ‘TESTIFY’, released on 3 February.