Tag Archives: Prince

Weekly Gems 37

Ben Khan – 2000 Angels

Ben Khan

Big news. Ben Khan returns with the announcement of his debut album (hurrah!) and a self-directed dystopian video for spine-tingling new single ‘2000 Angels’.

The album – set for release in the summer – was produced alongside Flood (PJ Harvey, Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails) and mixed by Spike Stent (Björk, Frank Ocean), with Ben playing every instrument on the record.

Always with a creative hands-on approach, Ben also plans to launch his new interactive website, The Foundation, which offers an insight into the richness and depth of the album’s story.

Sounds like: Leo Kalyan, Twin Shadow, Jai Paul, JUNGLE, Disclosure, Prince, Blood Orange, Harts, Oyinda, Shy Girls

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OTR – Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR - Close Feat Kai Straw

OTR manages to get the chilled but tense vibe just right with his latest single, ‘Close’, which includes the soulful vocals by Kai Straw.

The 25-year old aerospace engineer-turned-producer uses his mathematical mind as a key component when it comes to his music, producing off-kilter melodies and electronic sounds.

Sounds like: Hotel Garuda, Gryffin, ODESZA, Petit Biscuit, Porter Robinson

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NAVA – Ritual

NAVA

NAVA is the highly energetic project of Persian songwriter Nava Golchini and three other Italian musicians. Visually, NAVA is a mix of horror and fashion inspired by the works of visionary designer Gareth Pugh.

The debut single ‘Ritual’ gives us a glimpse into the NAVA world – full of electro arrangements, tribal instruments and dark metropolitan landscapes.

‘Ritual’ is out now on Factory Flaws.

Sounds like: Nimmo

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Betablock3r – Make You Happy

Betablock3r

It could be 2014 again, and boy it feels good! During your visit, expect luscious vocals, addictive synth drops and and nu-disco undertone. All this, courtesy of Betablock3r and the new single ‘Make You Happy’.

It is the first single off their debut EP Monolith, out now.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Chromeo, RAC, Nightdrive

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Tanners – Holy Water

Tanners

It wouldn’t be a decent weekly gems feature without some pop in there. This week Tanners is the chosen one.

Tanners is the moniker of New York City-based songwriter and producer Tanner Peterson. Leading the way for women in creative music tech, Tanners has also spoken at TEDxTeen.

Inspired by her childhood love for the beach, ‘Holy Water’ celebrates the beauty and electricity born from allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable and enveloped by the ocean. “It’s a thank you song to the ocean for teaching me to embrace vulnerability,” Tanners says of the track.

Sounds like: Shura, Monogem, Ronika, Jessie Ware

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Young Sierra – Next To You

Young Sierra - Next To You

Meet emerging alt-pop trio Young Sierra, who were born from a school friendship, and bonded “over a shared love of low bit-rate Drake mp3s, eighties pop and hot-sauce”.

They have the kind of frantic energy of Arcade Fire and the cheeky nature of The 1975. Naughty.

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Electric Youth, The 1975, Night Panther, Bad Sounds

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Weekly Gems 34

Sam Frankl – Patina

Sam Frankl

Brixton-based Sam Frankl is making waves with his groovy new number ‘Patina’.

Also a thin layer that forms on various metals due to oxidisation, ‘Patina’ is a song about a girl inconspicuously enquiring about her ex-boyfriend’s new relationship, scraping away at the surface to discover the boy’s true emotional state.

Sounds like: Alt-J, ISLAND

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Bit Funk – Getting Worse Feat. Oktavian

Bit Funk - Getting Worse Feat. Oktavian

We’ve all been there, minding our own business listening to a hot new nu-disco track, then suddenly bam! It happens. We fall. Hard.

Well, that’s what happened to us when we first played ‘Getting Worse’ by Bit Funk featuring Oktavian. Listen below!

Sounds like: The Him, Le Youth, Pat Lok, Goldroom, Penguin Prison

Bit Funk
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Oktavian
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Brett Castro – Much About Sadness

Brett Castro

Wow, does this 21 year old have natural soul or what!

Brett Castro fuses folk music and timeless R&B to tell stories about growing up in a small town. His new single ‘Much About Sadness’ is written to a girl in his hometown who was diagnosed with depression, letting her know she is never alone.

Sounds like: Fleet Foxes, Tame Impala, Bon Iver, Prince

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Mountain Bird – The Wolf

Mountain Bird by Gustav Wiking

Swedish project Mountain Bird (aka Adam Öhman) shares his interpretation of speaking to a lover suffering with mental illness.

Taking a very different musical approach to Brett Castro, Mountain Bird draws on Scandinavian melancholy with synth heavy melodies.

Sounds like: Dead Ceremony, The Kite String Tangle

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LANNDS – Legends

LANNDS - Legends

Time to listen to the soothing vocals of LANNDS on their new single ‘Legends’.

Proving to be legends themselves, Memphis-born artist Rania Woodard and producer/songwriter Brian Squillace have racked up over 2 million streams to date under the project.

“We’re all legends in this town, we don’t sleep through the night,” Woodard slurs over a serene, buoyant synth bed, before teasing, “oh we’ll burn this city down, make room for the fire.”

Sounds like: Björk, Vök, Låpsley, The Japanese House, Daughter, TENDER

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Pizzagirl – Coffee Shop

Pizzagirl

Bedroom pop producer Pizzagirl (aka Liam Brown from Liverpool) shares his floozy track ‘Coffee Shop’, ahead of the release of his debut EP, titled ‘An Extended Play’, set for release on 13 April.

Ironically, Liam doesn’t have any affiliations with pizza, but this pizzaboy likes it that way – quirky, introspective electronica with a DIY atttitude.

Oh and his best mate shoots his videos and his mum takes his press shots.

Sounds like: Roosevelt, Summer Heart

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CAPYAC x MOONZz – Afterhours

CAPYAC

A lot of exciting things happen ‘Afterhours’ and that includes the creation of quirky musical project, CAPYAC, featuring P. Sugz and Potion.

Their new single is a story of unrequited love bouncing around an array of pulsating electronics and percussion rhythms, and features the soulful vocals of MOONZz.

Sounds like: Kudu Blue, Jorja Smith, Flume, Hotel Garuda

CAPYAC
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MOONZz
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Weekly Gems 32

NASAYA – Orange Feat. Cehryl

NASAYA - Orange Feat. Cehryl

French musician and producer NASAYA releases new single ‘Orange’ featuring LA based singer-songwriter Cehryl.

Opposing in directions, ‘Orange’ is both dreamy but danceable with psychedelic vocals and futuristic funk moves full of bass. Listen below.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Le Youth, Autograf, Pat Lok, Kaytranada, Shay Lia

NASAYA
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Cehryl
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Hanne Leland – Carry On

Hanne Leland by Maddie Cordoba

Meet Norwegian born, London based electro-pop singer and songwriter, Hanne Leland.

Like many good pop artists out at the moment, Hanne has also experienced a stint of working in Nashville before focusing more on electro-pop sounds that country-pop.

Sounds like: All Saints, Nelly Furtado

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The Hails – Younger

The Hails - Younger

The Hails is a fresh young four-piece from Florida.

They make music that has a generous nod to 70’s groove-oriented pop but maintains a modern perspective on rock and electronic.

Sounds like: Fleet Foxes, Fleetwood Mac

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KIDDO – TROUBLE

KIDDO - TROUBLE

Stockholm-based KIDDO is following in the cool Scandi footsteps of Dagny and Sigrid.

Her brazen new single is a song about escaping relating, as KIDDO reminisces “about a time when I knew I had lost everything but it was too painful to face it so I tried to ignore the truth for a little longer in every possible way.”

It’s out now via Stockholm-based independent label BLNK Music.

Sounds like: Kesha, Billie Eilish, Sigrid, Dagny, Soleima, Icona Pop

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Knox White – You’ve Been My Girl

Knox White

Time to get funky and sexy with Knox White‘s new single ‘You’ve Been My Girl’.

Following some unexpected advice from music kings, Lionel Ritchie and Paul McCartney, the Los Angeles-based Knox decided to hit up New Orleans to gain some creative perspective. Upon his return to Los Angeles, Knox started collaborating and touring with producer Josh Legg aka Goldroom, and the result is an exciting throwback style of chill wave pop.

Sounds like: Prince, Blood Orange, Harts

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Phil Good – Better

Phil Good - Better

Los Angeles-based Phil Good shares a positive new tune called ‘Better’.

As his cover shot suggests, some days Phil wakes up and just can’t face life, but remember you just need to ride it out and things always get better.

Sounds like: Draper, Honne, Joseph Salvat, Miike Snow, Glass Animals, Joywave, Just Kiddin’

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Stage Republic – Rise and Fall

Stage Republic - Rise and Fall

Stage Republic is a two-person music project based in The Netherlands.

Citing a strong influence from the 80’s, the duo’s new single ‘Rise and Fall’ started as a one minute piece of improvisation to test a new synthesiser and the end result now showcases a brilliant way to bridge the gap between indie and pop.

Sounds like: CHAPPO, Steely Dan, Maroon 5

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Year of the Brother – Slow One

Year Of The Brother

Portland-based indie-pop trio Year of the Brother share the video for ‘Slow One’.

Directed by independent filmmaker Derek Mari, the video follows the boys on promo night! Groovy!

Their ‘Filling Empty Pools’ EP is out now.

Sounds like: Kyko, Will Joseph Cook, Owl City

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Playlist: Mar

Mar by Tatsiana Tribunalova

Meet Mar, a Dutch-Caribbean-Indonesian who grew up on a houseboat with his musical family in Amsterdam.

We have been blown away by his emotive and often heartbreaking music, specifically his current EP ‘Things Will Be’, which touches on key issues such as depression and suicide.

As a little introduction to the music of Mar, we asked him to put together a playlist for you.

Massive Attack – Teardrop
I was born in ’87 I really think the 90s era in music had a huge impact on me. I love the video for this one, the whole package. The simple chords the simple melodies yet so powerful.

D’Angelo – Africa
Big fan of D’Angelo’s album Voodoo. This song stands out to me because it’s the only lullaby, he made I think. It’s more pure and honest than the other songs. I love the choice for the snare sound.

Jeff Buckley – So Real
I heard Jeff kinda recently like 3/4 years ago or something and fell in love immediately, his guitar work is brilliant and his voice and falsetto are too. This song is truth to me.

Björk – All is Full of Love
Björk is not like any other artist in her presentation. I remember seeing this video and was like wtf, this speaks to my soul. Robot clones of her kissing eachother in slowmo. fkyh! The production and lyrics are gold too. Everything fits.

Chris Whitley – Big Sky Country
My father, a major infuence on my musical career, used to wake me and my sis up with this song and warm milk w honey. So everytime I hear this song I feel his love. Love the song and the bass specially.

James Blake – Retrograde
James to me has one of the best live shows I’ve seen thus far. So pure and everything so well played/sung. His music is so powerful, simple but well put together.

The Isley Brothers – Sensuality Part 1&2
My pianist played me this song, again the simplicity seems there, also in the solo, but the chord progression is kinda tricky to come up with. One of the most sexy tunes of all time to me

Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl
Prince. The one I connected to while discovering I could sing falsetto haha. So unique. So feminine and powerful but a brought to earth as a man. What an amazing artist. Even though I’m deffo not fan of all of his work, when he touched me with a song he really did it deeply. Like this one. (Sexy M.F in playlist as Most Beautiful . . . is not available on Spotify)

Bill Evans – My Foolish Heart
His trio formation live show is what I always put on when I need some background music. Love his style of chords choice. This song to me is peaceful autumn, warm ginger tea and a book.

Mats & Morgan Band – Hollmervalsen
My father came back from a Scandinavian tour and brought back this weird album from fusion duo Mats and Morgan. I used to listen to this song so often, trying to learn the tempo changes. When music becomes so boring for you, you decide make a robotic fusion song. That’s this to me.

Sounds like: Prince, Blood Orange, The 1975

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Weekly Submithub Gems 6

LCAW – Staring at the Sun

LCAW

LCAW (aka 22 year old Leon Weber) is sharing an interesting message in his new track ‘Staring at the Sun’, which features the lush vocal tones of New York City-based singer/songwriter, Sophie Hintze.

LCAW says,

“‘Staring At The Sun’ has a clear message – If you feel trapped in a place or a situation you need to break free, pack up your things and just go. The Sun is quite symbolic in this picture, on the one hand it stands for hope, a better future, adventure; and on the other hand it is a burden. Staring directly at the sun for too long blinds you, leaving you on a path without navigation. The lyrics embrace a loss of direction. Hypnotised by yellow lines, moving faster than the speed of light, renegades without a plan. In the end it’ll be worth it.”

It’s out now via Ultra Records / Columbia Records.

Sounds like: Claire Ridgley, Lorde

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Magdalena Bay – Move Slow

Magdalena Bay - Move Slow

Magdalena Bay is a duo comprised of Mica Tenenbaum (Singer/Songwriter) and Matthew Lewin (Songwriter/Producer).

Kylie-esq pop melodies combine with modern disco-infused guitar riffs create a song that will make you up your game on the dance floor.

Sounds like: Kylie, Robyn, Tame Impala, Miami Horror

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Cassia – Sink

Cassia by Niall Lea

Manchester indie band Cassia share the uplifting ‘Sink’.

Despite shows at Reading and Leeds Festivals, the trio’s agenda is to make their fans dance and not mosh, and it’s quite understandable that this would happen with their calypso-infused offerings.

The new song will form part of the band’s debut EP ‘Movers & Shapers’ which is due out later this year.

Sounds like: Two Door Cinema Club, Jake Bugg

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Derrival – Ice Cream

Derrival

Vancouver-based five-piece Derrival share new track ‘Ice Cream’.

Despite the two year hiatus, the band are very much up to facing the challenges thrown at them from the music industry.

Sounds like: Youngr, Young the Giant

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Temptress – What I Want

Temptress - What I Want

South London duo Temptress have just dropped the awesome ‘What I Want’, which has been produced by Chris Zane (Passion Pit, Friendly Fires, Holy Ghost!)

It very much has a nu-disco vibe throughout, which works well with Jess’ soulful vocals and the retro basslines.

Sounds like: Pat Lok, Goldroom, Jessie Ware

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Simon Zion – Ego Avenue

Simon Zion - Ego Avenue

Swedish artist, Simon Zion is determined to make it this year, despite exploring his faults in new single, ‘Ego Avenue’.

Just about enough retro guitar riffs and not too heavy on the auto tune, ‘Ego Avenue’ is a strong debut that immediately draws comparisons to Bon Iver and Francis and The Lights.

Sounds like: Chet Faker, Bon Iver, Francis and The Lights, Jack Garratt, Prince, Paul Simon

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Love Ssega – Hot Electrolytes

Love Ssega

Hot damn! Love Ssega is back with ‘Hot Electrolytes’.

The Kat Hassan-directed video bursts with colour, mirroring the warm tones throughout the track.

Explaining the track, Love Ssega says “This track has hopefully raised two eyebrows and a wry smile. To me it feels like a sledgehammer of passion, colour and sound, as that’s what I was going for. If it’s not surprising, it’s not exciting.”

‘Hot Electrolytes’ is taken from Love Ssega’s forthcoming ‘Emancipation!’ EP, which is set for release later this summer.

Sounds like: Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, Tom Tom Club, Kindness, LA Priest, Prince

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Van Bobbi – Morro Bay

Van Bobbi

Van Bobbi

Van Bobbi is a Californian gentleman who enjoys coffees and coconuts, and we’re pretty sure he likes a sunset too.

Van Bobbi’s smooth and enticing vocals taste delicious alongside near-perfect production on his latest release, ‘Morro Bay’. What else is there to like during these dark months?

Head over to his SoundCloud for a free download of the track.

Sounds like: Autograf, Goldroom, Le Youth, Figgy, Prince, Chromeo, Penguin Prison

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Cocoa Futures – The Blue

Cocoa Futures by Sara Amroussi-Gilissen

Cocoa Futures by Sara Amroussi-Gilissen

It’s the weekend, so time for some fun!

Meet Scottish born, Cocoa Futures, who create deliciously erratic pop.

Led by frontman Greg, and produced alongside Marc Withasee (Micachu & the Shapes), Cocoa Futures’ latest track, ‘The Blue’, was born from a mutual love of messing things up (in this case, gleeful and gloomy feelings) to create a passionate sound.

‘The Blue’ is out now on Lost In The Manor Records, and ‘The Blue’ EP launch will be held on Saturday 3 December at the Sebright Arms.

Sounds like: Talking Heads, Metronomy, Prince

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Playlist: Hudson Scott

Hudson Scott

Hudson Scott

We wrote about London based, multi-instrumentalist, Hudson Scott, a few months back.

Since then, Hudson’s been in the studio with Rodaidh McDonald (Låpsley, King Krule, The xx).

Lucky for us, Hudson has taken a little bit of time out of his busy schedule to put together one hell of a playlist for Indietronica.

Talking Heads – Born Under Punches

This is one of my favourite opening tracks of any record for sure- the perfect blend of groove, adventure and hooks.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – First World Problem

I’m an album listener, I like a body of work to sink my teeth into, but its sometimes nice when a band you love throws you a loose bone as good as this.

Chris Cohen – In A Fable

This song is so good. I love how warm and meandering it is and how the form has hardly any repetition but every melody is beautiful.

Shuggie Otis – Special

Shuggie has been a proper hero of mine for a while now but this one is pretty new to me. Its real bouncy.

Arthur Russell – You And Me Both

Another of my hero’s. This song is another meanderer, loads of breathing room. Arthur Russel has this amazing ability to balance romance and groove without it ever being cheesy and I think I’ll listen to him for my whole life.

Orange Juice – Rip It Up

Two things I wanted to get on this list was some 80’s tunes and some synth nerdery so I ticked both boxes with this song. Amazing song and inspired use of what I’m pretty sure is a Roland TB-303 (the synth that birthed acid house) for the bass- you hardly hear that synth in this pop context and it works so well.

Blood Orange – Desiree

Definitely his best record so far- I love it right now and this track is a standout.

Little Cub – Intent

These guys are my best pals an they’re gonna do big things in the next few years. Huge beat at the end.

David Bowie – Ashes To Ashes

Needs no introduction.

Gwen Guthrie – Padlock (Larry Levan Mix)

I’m telling you to never doubt the triangle as an instrument- you’ve got to be pretty confident to have it pretty much on its own for almost 30 seconds though! This song’s chorus kills it.

UK Tour Dates

September 4 | We Are Your Friends, The Bullingdon, Oxford
September 15 | The Victoria, London
October 14 | What Became Of Us Festival, The Cookie, Leicester
October 15 | What Became Of Us Festival, The Bullingdon, Oxford
October 28 | Beacons Metro Festival, Headrow House, Leeds

Sounds like: The Maccabees, Foals, Morrissey, Prince, Simply Red, Simple Minds, Miles Davis, Chet Baker

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