Right in the forefront of Italy’s buzzing electronic music scene is enigmatic Iranian-born singer Nava Golchini and her band, aka NAVA.
A unique blend of culture and electronic twists, they create music that is truly visceral, both musically and visually. Their new single ‘Skin’ is soft and edgy, as it explores the darker side of human nature.
Out to set the message straight and spread an empowering message to her fans, Talitha is doing ‘Fine On My Own’.
Having only released a smattering of singles over the past two years, Talitha is creating her own definition of R&B in the UK, slowly emerging as one to watch within the genre. The predominantly R&B track hits with a unique vibe, taking pop influences from artists like SIA whilst adding an urban twist.
We haven’t shared music from electronic duo, Kaleida since 2015, so it was a pleasant surprise to see a new release appear in our inbox!
A lesson in sonic minimalism, the Glashier-directed stunning visuals features an array of solo dancers filmed on the streets in a fully locked-down Berlin.
Sounds like: Aquilo, New Order, Depeche Mode, The Human League, VÉRITÉ, Salt Ashes, Evvy, Monogem, Paperwhite, Chvrches, Palmedo, Prinze George, Nina Yasmineh, Day Wave, Poliça, Rhye, MS MR, Roisin Murphy
Berlin-based electronic pop band NIHILS shares the pop-kissed new single ‘Lost in L.A.’.
In an era of instant gratification, will we ever truly find what we are looking for? This song imagines driving through a desolate Los Angeles looking for purpose and a sense of belonging in an era of never lasting joy.
Lisbon trio Vaarwell is back with a sultry new single, ‘New Woman’.
Set in a dreamlike scene, warm keys underpin the delicate, ethereal vocals we have come to expect from Margarida Falcã. Accompanied by subtle electronic elements, we join Vaarwell on their journey to becoming vulnerable.
East London songwriter Runrummer‘s new single ‘Toronto’ speaks about her experience living in Ontario when she was 19.
It’s about growing up with big dreams, but being confined to aprehensions, “about being gay, coming out, experimenting with drugs, living far away from home for the first time, and trying to live up to people’s expectations.”
What happens when some talented artists team up? A song destined for success, that’s what!
Dutch producer Boris Deckers de Breda aka BODÉ release ‘Wiz’ with San Antonio, Texas singer/songwriter Billy Vena – an honest record about being destined for music success, but with the price that comes with it, aka empty pockets.
Hard working London lads, Hoofa, share their anthemic new single, ‘Alone’.
With comparisons to indie band contemporaries such as Larkins and Sea Girls, as well and lyrical influences from more nostalgic acts such as The Beautiful South and PEACE, this is a perfect slice of jangly pop.
Sounds like: Kodaline, Larkins, Sea Girls, PEACE, The Beautiful South, Little Comets
Toronto vocalist/producer Tom Probizanski – aka Zanski – has an almost emo twist to his electronic take on R&B and alt-pop.
His new single ‘Consequence’ explores the theme of self-acceptance in the face of overwhelming internal struggle, a continual theme throughout his music, which varies in sound from gritty lo-fi electronica to vocal-rich, synth-heavy production, tailored with emotional lyrics and heavy themes.
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!
Moving on to her next single, CAPPA is back with ‘Next Ex’, the first track from her current ‘Queen Of Hearts’ EP.
Illustrious, whispering vocals layered over deep, pop-laden synths, another cracking number from CAPPA.
Whilst we have you, definitely check out the new PUSHER track featuring CAPPA.
CAPPA is current on tour, supporting MattWertz.
9/20: Phoenix, AZ @ Last Exit Live
9/23: Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe
9/27: San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
9/29: Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge
9/30: Seattle, WA @ Nectar Lounge
10/4: Salt Lake City, UT @ TBD
10/6: Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
10/8: Lawrence, KS @ Bottleneck
10/9: St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
10/19: Orlando, FL @ TBD
10/21: Charlotte, NC @ TBD
10/26: Washington, DC @ Gypsy Sallys
10/27: Allston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall
10/28: New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom
10/30: Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live
11/10: Detroit, MI @ Magic Bag
11/11: Grand Rapid, MI @ TBD
11/12: Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
11/13: Minneapolis, NM @ Studio B
11/15: Madison, WI @ High Noon Saloon
11/16: Indianapolis, IN @ White Rabbit
11/17: Louisville, KY @ Headliner Music
12/2: Atlanta, GA @ Aisle 5
12/3: Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
Sounds like: Lorde, Lana Del Rey, HOLYCHILD, Purity Ring, Washed Out, Say Lou Lou, The Knife, M83, KLOE, Druzy, Taylor Swift, The Knife
Sekuoia teams up with fellow Dane, Kill J for ‘Lamp In The Dark’; a deep-beating electronic track in which Kill J’s falsetto vocals glide in perfectly.
As Sekuoia puts it himself, “the process was one of the most creative things I’ve done. KIll J had some really good input regarding the production, and I had a bit of input towards some vocal aspects. For me, she was the ideal collab”.
It’s out now via Nowadays Records.
Sounds like: Active Child, Grimes, Purity Ring, Keep Shelly in Athens, Monogem, Washed Out, MØ, Tomas Barfod, War on Drugs, Maps, WhoMadeWho, Flume, Lomovolokno, Chet Faker
Making her own way in the music business, CAPPA returns with her latest pop number, ‘I’m Good’.
CAPPA says the track is an “expression most of us use a lot without ever really thinking about it. For me, this song is about declaring that you can be so much happier alone than hanging on some random person’s arm. It feels anthemic and empowering to me and I hope it feels the same to listeners!”
Sounds like: Lorde, Lana Del Rey, HOLYCHILD, Purity Ring, Washed Out, Say Lou Lou, The Knife, M83, KLOE, Druzy, Taylor Swift, The Knife
Giving us a glimpse into their musical world, we chat with UK electronic duo, Empathy Test, and find out whether they are human or really androids.
Why did you start making music, and where did the name Empathy Test come from?
We’ve known each other since we were kids and both come from creative backgrounds. For us, music was a natural progression from other forms of expression like drawing and writing. We taught ourselves to play guitar in our teens and started writing and recording our own songs. Empathy Test came about many years later, after we’d both worked separately on some other very different projects. One day we just finally found a way for us both to collaborate and a style that suited us both. It probably took us a year from then to find a name that worked for the project. We wanted it to say something about our mutual love of Sci-Fi and the influence that it had had, both on the music and the artwork, which Adam does for us. Isaac was re-watching Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner for the fourth or fifth time, when he heard Tyrell say “Is this to be an Empathy Test?” and there it was. It’s what they use in the film to work out whether someone is a human or an android.
Describe your sound in three words.
Mesmerising future pop.
Despite writing critically acclaimed songs, and having a large fan base, Empathy Test remains unsigned. Has this been a conscious decision?
We’ve always wanted to be described as “critically acclaimed” – thanks! Has it been a conscious decision to remain unsigned? Yes and no. Our game plan was always to release two EPs, then an album. The first EP would be a self-release, the second we’d release via an independent. Then, fingers crossed, we’d release the album via a major. So far, so good. Three month’s after self-releasing Losing Touch (February, 2014) we caught the attention of Stars & Letters Records on Twitter. S&L agreed to release our second EP, Throwing Stones in December 2014. A year later, the album is nearly finished and we’re about to start pitching it to labels. We’ve had a few offers already but as we see it, there’s no point in being “signed” unless the label can do something you can’t do yourself. For us, it’s providing us with a much bigger audience than we already have. Once you’ve made a big enough name for yourself, you may as well just do it yourself.
Why did you decide to release a remix EP?
As a place holder really. We’d released two EPs and people were already hungry for more. We needed to record the album but didn’t want to keep people waiting too long. Over the course of 2014 we’d made a lot of new friends in electronic bands and we thought it’d be fun to get them to remix tracks from the second EP. We asked more people than we needed to, in case they didn’t have time or didn’t come up with anything, and ended up with way too many remixes. Then we felt we couldn’t reject any of them so we ended up putting out a ten track EP, which let’s face it, is basically an album.
Stars & Letters said they’d release it and that we should try and get as much press as possible in order to sell more copies of the original EP, so we planned this insane schedule of fortnightly premières for almost all of the remixes. Midway through the promo period S&L informed us they didn’t have the time or resources to see it through, leaving us to finished the promotion and release it ourselves. The irony was, after all that we had a few fans, particularly in Russia, grumbling that we should stop “rehashing our old tracks” and give people what they wanted – an album – or two!
Your album ‘Demons’ is out this year, as well as securing support slots with DE/VISION. It sounds like you have a good year ahead. Are you excited?
We’ve actually changed the name as we’ve dropped the title track, Demons, for the time being. New working title is ‘Shadows’. There’s no release date as yet because we don’t yet know who is going to release it. We’ve started working with German booking agency Pluswelt, which is home to some pretty big alternative acts like Clan of Xymox, Combichrist and Grendel. DE/VISION are on there too and so yeah, excited to be performing with them at their two pre-album launch shows in Germany in April. There’s also some big shows planned for the end of the year and the possibility of a support slot on a European tour too with another Pluswelt band, fingers crossed. So yeah, it looks set to be another big year for us and we are very excited to finally share some new material with you.
Where do you cite your musical influences from?
In a nutshell,’80s Pop and Sci-Fi soundtracks, ’90s guitar bands and UK underground dance music. More recently, Black City Lights, Electric Youth, Chromatics, Chvrches, Purity Ring, FKA Twigs, Avec Sans, Gems, Mt. Wolf.
We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?
We both loved The Japanese House when we played with them at Camden Barfly at the end of last year. ‘Still’ was one of the best tracks of 2015; an amazingly well-crafted track. ‘All The Sad Young Men’ by Spector is also up there, and ‘Leave A Trace’ by Chvrches. Two great albums last year were Agent Side Grinder‘s ‘Alkimia’ and Lord Huron‘s ‘Strange Tails’. Guitar music is definitely making a comeback and there’s a lot of very ’90s sounding bands appearing, which we’re all for, by the way. You can check out Isaac’s top tracks 10 of 2015 here.
We’ve invested in Empathy Test. Have you? Listen to more of their songs and support them at tradiio.com/empathy-test.
Sounds like: School of Seven Bells, Chvrches, Purity Ring, The Chain Gang of 1974, Avec Sans, Cut Once