We are huge fans of quirky Icelandic electro-pop provacateur Máni Orrason‘s new single ‘Numb’. In fact, we are slightly obsessed with all of the visuals for his last few releases, portraying a broken yet endearing persona of desperation and a need for love.
The visuals for ‘Numb’ flashback to straying and emotional neglect, “I had this desperate need to be seen and to be comforted. I guess i was really lonely at the time”, Máni recalls.
The EP ‘BABY ANGEL’ is out now via Humming Records.
It’s time to end this week’s gems on a funky number from cross Atlantic trio, TriOrca.
Comprised of multi-instrumentalists and writers, who between them have an ecclectic array of work connections – including Jessie J, Sam Henshaw, Empire of the Sun – their modern, yet nostalgic music fuses neo-soul, hip hop and 70’s psychedelica.
Stockholm-based Augustine follows up his debut single with ‘A Scent of Lily’ – a cinematic and melancholic interpretation of Ariana Grande‘s ‘Into You’, and the powerlessness of losing yourself in a relationship.
Once again, Augustine takes us on a journey through a future-retro, bombastic-pop soundscape.
Sounds like: PNAU, Foster the People, James Blake, Maggie Rogers, Phoebe Bridgers, Tame Impala, Phoenix
Sometimes the best pop songs are the most simplistic, allowing them to be catchy and emotive.
One of these contenders is ‘Change Your Mind’ by New Zealand-based Abby Wolf. An effervescent track which depicts the internal struggle faced when you’re unsure of the right path. Something we all can relate to.
Swedish indie-pop band Like Swimming has just released the first part of their two-part EP, ‘Resistance / Relations’. The EP is an attempt for the band to get all their political frustration out in the first part, ‘Resistance’, and to make room for the ups and downs of personal battles in the second part, ‘Relations’, coming later this year.
Like Swimming has put together a playlist for us, of tracks that have inspired ‘Resistance’.
CHVRCHES – The Mother We Share
Great inspiration for the synth in ‘Strike a Pose’!
Robyn – Who’s That Girl?
Strike the rhythm!
Robyn – Dancing On My Own
That bass gave us the right feeling for ‘Strike a Pose’.
Gang of Youths – Poison Drums & Phoenix – Lisztomania
Both tracks inspired us to change the drums of ‘The Ground’ completely.
Daughter – Smother
Gave us the right feeling of desolation and frustration for ‘Save Me’.
Jennie Abrahamson – Bloodlines
Inspired us to put the vocal up front in ‘Save Me’.
Like Swimming – Lean on
We liked the space we allowed ourselves to have in this one, so we wanted to do it again.
Vi Va Dom – Familjen
Gave us the right dancing moves for ‘Dead but Dancing’
Beck – Girl
Helped us feel ok with letting ‘Dead but Dancing’ stand out from the rest of the songs.
Bob Dylan – Ballad of a Thin Man
The lyrics from this inspired all of ‘Growing’, so much that we had to lend a phrase even.
Royal Teeth – Wild
Those rim shots are why Petter “missed” the snare on ‘Growing’.
Like Swimming – Cover My Eyes
This is a song that we did and liked so much that we wanted to do again, it turned out to be something very different: ‘Fire on the Fields’.
Sounds like: Chvrches, Chrome Sparks, Of Monsters & Men
Brighton trio Suzi Island shares vibrant new single, ‘Halo’.
Produced by Larry Hibbitt (Nothing But Thieves, SundaraKarma, SeaGirls, Marmozets), ‘Halo’ has a bittersweet sound throughout and is a clear bound forward for Suzi Island following their last two singles.
Sounds like: Nothing But Thieves, Sundara Karma, Sea Girls
Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter Dylan Emmet has a gut wrenching story to tell. After discovering about a two year old daughter he never know about, Emmet packed his bags and moved to New York to be a full-time dad and musician.
He has enlisted Candian singer/songwriter Constance (NÉONHÈART) on their emotional song ‘Memory’, and the special chemistry between Emmet and Constance is clear throughout the song.
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!
Mysterious UK-based duo Weslee share their visuals for ‘Boy Like You’.
Another lip-smacking and dreamy song, the Alexandra Gavillet-directed video for ‘Boy Like You’ takes inspiration from Kanye West and centres on the infatuation of the lead male figure through a series of personal camcorder style shots filmed around a hazy American summer.
Sounds like: Ben Khan, Kacy Hill, Blood Orange, Wet, Off Bloom
Rising Swedish teenager Amanda Mair shares ‘Empty Blockings’.
In the video, Amanda broaches the highly important topic of anxiety and depression,
“I wanted to show the feeling of the continuously searchers desperation. The every day hope for running away from anxiety and sorrow but the faith is to weak and puts you in a circle of running and running until you don’t know what you’re running away from.”