German artist Jinka shares her explosive new single ‘U Bit My <3'.
Channelling emo and urban vibes with a playful way with wonky arpeggios of synthesized steel drums and piano samples that intertwine with a trap-leaning beat.
DAD (aka bedroom pop singer/songwriter Kei Wells) shares her new single ‘Fresher’.
DAD has teamed up with Grammy-nominated Austrian producer, artist and pianist Yakob. Our favourite of hers to date, this declaration of independence is the ultimate single girl’s anthem, with electrified pop sequences infused with synth-pop juice.
Wrabel and Gallant will feature on her forthcoming EP.
We’re super excited about the sounds of Norwegian artist Jon Olav.
His new single ‘I Am The Thing’ opens with sparse piano chords (we instantly think James Blake), and bubbles into itself with deliciously sinister pop hooks and crystalline vocals as Olav looks inward to contemplate the pluses and minuses of attention.
Approachable Members Of Your Local Community – Small Change
With the best name we’ve seen for a long while, Approachable Members Of Your Local Community (let’s call them AMOYLC for short) releases the catchy ‘Small Change’.
The quartet – who met at school – fuse elements of indie, electro, funk and disco into their unapologetically spirited sound. But their new single ‘Small Change’ has a serious message. Dedicated to the firefighters and communities affected by the Australian fires, “it’s clear that small change can have a big impact.”
Gold Member is a three-piece of producers and singer/songwriters.
Crossing genres between funk, soul and pop, their new single ‘Stay On’ is an easy, breezy piece of charge-soaked, soulful pop with a topical headline about Indigenous identity in white Australia, and the struggles of living in a system of cultural oppression.
A daydream about endless summer days, it’s the perfect antidote for a wet and cold January. The song was crafted early one morning using a drum loop and an oberheim synthesizer and is a call to a honeycoated time of romance and yearning.
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!
Iceland has a reputation for producing some magical and forward-thinking music.
However, there is something quite familiar about ‘Free As A Bird’ by trio, One Week Wonder. It might be because of the serious Pink Floyd sounds going on, or the fact that member, Arni was a founding member of Of Monsters And Men and Helgi was a touring member of Asgeir’s live band.
Put the kettle on, sit back and listen to the sweet twangs of folktronica and velvety vocals on the track.
Sounds like: Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Air, Tame Impala, Of Monsters And Men, David Bowie
Sometimes you listen to a song, and it instantly takes you. This seems to be a frequent occurrence whilst listening to any song by the female duo-led Lucius (aka Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig).
Lucius have yet again ramped it up on their new release called ‘Madness’; the second track off their new album ‘Good Grief’, which is out on 11 March via Play It Again Sam. It has a greater level of maturity than previous releases, and we adore the new addition of strings, reminiscent of Roxette‘s ‘Wish I Could Fly’)
The album has been co-produced with Shawn Everett (Weezer, The Alabama Shakes) and Bob Ezrin (Alice Cooper, Kiss, Pink Floyd), and mixed by Tom Elmhirst (Adele and Beck).
Of Good Grief, vocalist Jess Wolfe says, “When we started writing for this record, we had been away from home for nearly two years. We had just returned from tour, having gone through such varied emotions—loneliness, sadness and exhaustion alongside excitement, fulfillment and some of the most joyful moments in our lives…Whenever one of us had an idea or a feeling, the other was already a witness to it and could help navigate through it—for the two of us, this usually came in song form.” Vocalist Holly Laessig adds, “…When considering titles, we wanted to be sure to acknowledge any serious subject matter, while simultaneously allowing ourselves a comic sigh of relief from any personal turmoil. Ha! The yin and yang of the record naturally unveiled itself and, so, Good Grief.”
Full European tour dates
5/4 The Academy, Dublin
6/4 Gorilla, Manchester
8/4 Arts School, Glasgow
9/4 Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
10/4 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
11/4 Thekla, Bristol
13/4 KOKO, London
14/4 La Maroquinerie, Paris
16/4 Botanique, Brussels
19/4 Melkweg, Amsterdam
20/4 Prinzenbar, Hamburg
21/4 Privateclub, Berlin
22/4 Strom, Munich
‘Madness’ is an instant grat. when you pre-prder the album on iTunes.
And for the record, we think Lucius have it completely figured out.
Sounds like: Goldfrapp, Scissor Sisters, Fleetwood Mac, First Aid Kit, The Carpenters, HAIM, Wet, Roxette
It’s not all about Sweden. Norway also has some incredible music to offer.
One of our ones to watch for 2016 is SP¡ON; a newly formed and highly talented Norwegian electronic trio with all three of its members scattered across different cities throughout Europe.
The first member of SPiON is based in Bergen and has a background in animation; the second is a music producer and songwriter currently working out of London. Co-writes and credits to date include Aurora, SineadHarnett, PushaT, Max Marshall, and MNEK. The final member is based in Copenhagen developing sounds and music purposefully for video games.
Although the trio have been collaborating together musically since 2007, ‘Sunset’ is the first track to be revealed under the SPiON moniker. It features the vocals of Ina Sagstuen, an established jazz singer currently basing herself in Oslo, as well as an incredibly atmospheric vocal section from Sølvguttene, the Norwegian National Broadcastings (Norwegian equivalent of the BBC) official choir.
Dralms (a reinvention by Christopher Smith) has a knack of spawning brilliant videos to accompany its music.
Chris has directed video for Dralms’s new track, ‘Shook’. He says of the track, “Shook is that moment when everything changes. Where you hold on to what’s true to you for dear life, or let it all crumble, accept it, pick up the pieces and move on”.
The video is simple and allows the music speak for itself. It has just three features; Chris, a set of flowers, and a lover asleep in bed.
‘Shook’ has been taken from the new album of the same name, which is out on 2 October via Full Time Hobby (UK) / Boompa (North America).
Sounds like: James Blake, Boxed In, Talk Talk, Radiohead, The Antlers, Pink Floyd, Spiritualized
Let us introduce you to Salford’s indie dance five-piece, Suzuki Method, who are brothers and founders, Adam and Glen Leishman; Michael Mathews; David Boyd; and Ben Hounslow.
The band came together during the Salford riots to create their debut EP ‘Native’, which is produced by David Tolan (Delphic, Primal Scream) and Jim Spencer (The Doves, The Vaccines, New Order)
Mixing up a concoction of classic post punk vocals with some indie swagger, the clear musical influences from the well-known above producers give Suzuki Method their distinctive, yet mature electronic sound. Suzuki Method also cite influences from other such bands as Daft Punk and The Smiths, as can be heard in their anthemic ‘we dare-you-not-to-dance’ screaming guitar lines.
The video for lead single ‘Sherbet’ was directed by Bafta film maker Pete Travis (Omagh, Vantage Point, Judge Dredd) who agreed to do so after seeing the band perform at London’s Barfly. Set on the Manchester rooftops, it is a fast paced and beautifully shot affair. The preview for the video is at The Black Lion in Manchester on 12 October 2013.
Sherbet’s jangling guitars provide a pitch perfect soundtrack to vocalist Adam’s forlorn tale of youth in crisis:
We are also loving the brand new Swiss Lips remix of Sherbet:
Suzuki Method are tipped for big things, having received BBC introducing, Amazing radio and XFM airplay.
The debut EP is released on 20 October 2013 via A1(M) Records.
Sounds like: Delphic, New Order, Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd