Tropic Harbour is the dreamy pop project created by Canadian native, Mark Berg.
Using music as a crutch to recover from the daily grind and a reminder to practice self-love, the visuals for his down-tempo single, ‘Softness’, perfectly match this attitude in a bid to slow things down.
Young & Sick is the project by musician and visual artist Nick van Hofwegen.
After a stroke of luck following a move from his home country of Holland to London, Nick was commissioned to put together artwork for artists such as Foster the People, Maroon5 and MikkyEkko.
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, this creative genius has taken his pen music and the result is funkily brilliant. His new single ‘Bitter End’ “is a celebration of seeing things through completely. It’s looking back at a pretty wild year of countless obstacles and turbulent skies. Through the eyes of an unstoppable maniac”.
You can purchase Young & Sick’s ‘Ojai’ EP on limited edition 7″ vinyl here, out now via Neon Gold Records / B3SCI Records.
He also plays some live dates supporting Our Lovely Friends and The Knocks (tickets here), where you can likely expect a multi-faceted experience of music performance and interactive art.
Jan 24 // Vancouver, CA @ Fortune Sound Club
Jan 25 // Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Jan 29 // Chico, CA @ Senator Theatre
Jan 31 // Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
Feb 1 // San Luis Obispo, CA @ The Fremont Theatre
Feb 2 // Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
Feb 5 // Santa Fe, NM @ Meow Wolf
Feb 6 // Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theater
Feb 8 // Dallas, TX @ Dada Dallas
Feb 9 // Austin, TX @ Historic Scoot Inn
Feb 10 // Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock Room
Feb 12 // St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room
Feb 14 // Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
Feb 15 // Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Bar
Feb 16 // Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Feb 17 // Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Feb 20 // Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
Feb 21 // Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair
Feb 23 // Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
Sounds like: Von Sell, The Knocks, Passion Pit, Summer Heart, Goldroom, Roosevelt, Sofi Tukker
Exciting newcomer EMM creates music from a unique perspective, yet her music is undeniably “EMM” when you listen to it – classically produced, authentic pop.
Landing a hand in every instrument in the track, as well as every word and melody you hear, ’11’ is another powerful ballad that comes from her past struggles of eating disorders, mental health issues, many industry evils.
Delena (fka Boba K) shares her new single ‘Animal’. She creates honest pop music with a gritty edge.
‘Animal’ is a powerful anthem of self-confidence, strength and belief, elevated by her flawless vocal delivery. Speaking of the track, Delena explains,
“I wanted to write a song which could mean something more. The moment I walked into the studio I knew exactly what the song would be about.I didn’t want a love song. I wanted a song with strength, power and authenticity! I wanted anybody who heard it, to find themselves in it!”
Aaron Taos discusses the topic of depression and constant battle between dark and light in his new single ‘Loneliness’.
The video portrays the feeling of isolation Taos felt during a rough patch he found himself in, where he wasn’t able to leave the house. He managed to get through it by appreciating the relationships around him, specifically that of his girlfriend at the time – “She was a shining light through my dark time, reminding me that as important as your goals are, connection and love is the foundation of feeling good and whole.”
Nightseason got its start when drummer-turned-producer Patrick Zeinali scoured through Spotify for a voice to accompany his new project and located Jordan Caiola. Following this digital trend, their new EP ‘Coasts’ was later written exclusively via email and touches on themes of love.
You can listen to their new single, ‘Wear The Treads Off’ which is stripped-back and a beauty of a slow-burner.
Their ‘Coasts’ EP is out now.
Sounds like: Talos, Honne, Yoke Lore, Sir Sly, Alt-J
Caymanian-born, London-based R&B newcomer Maeve shares the striking visuals for her new single ‘Eden’.
Directed by Black Dog Films‘ filmmaker Jade Jackman, choreographed by Liv Lockwood and styled by designer Asai (Dazed 100), the hallucinogenic and bestial video borders between what is real and what is not, conveying a sense of abandonment and isolation found in a toxic relationship.
The song is taken from her debut EP ‘Beasts’, out now.
Golden Vessel (aka Max Byrne) returns with ‘Moonstone’, featuring friends Elkkle and Akurei.
The upbeat track once again incorporates Byrne’s signature cross-genre style, and futuristic production.
‘Moonstone’ is inspired by the historical investigation of missing moon rocks from NASA trips into space on Apollo 11. Legend has it that the specimens once brought back to earth in 1969 were distributed across the world in the famous Goodwill Moon Rocks initiative, only to, nearly 30 years later, have mostly vanished or become untraceable.
Sounds like: MØ, Brolin, The National, Gang of Youths, Bon Iver, Alex Vargas, TENDER, Kanyon, REFS
With comparisons to soul heavyweights, Jessie Ware and Jorja Smith, it’s difficult not to stop and listen to London-based Billie Black.
Taking a slightly different direction to her former releases (including those with Mura Masa), Billie’s ‘After All’ has strings and delicate vocals, perfectly showcasing vulnerability, passion and desire.
We recently discovered rising pop-star, Harlee and we haven’t been able to get enough of her stunning debut four-track EP, ‘It’s Personal’.
The lead single from the EP, ‘Now I Know’, was written when Harlee was just 14 and explores the feelings that she experienced coming out of her first relationship and the first time she had ever felt pain.
Emphatic electro-pop band WYVE from France share their upbeat debut single, ‘Sunset on the Bay’.
Groovy by nature, WYVE effortlessly bounce between 80’s retro vibes and contemporary drumbeats and sugary synths. Having already made a start on their debut album, we are excited about what’s to come from the musical pioneers.
Anna Pancaldi releases her guitar-driven song, ‘Peace’.
Since working with producer Matt Ingram (Florence & The Machine, Lianne La Havas, Laura Marling), Pancaldi has really got down to business honing her sound and adding more grit to her already heart-felt songwriting skills.
On ‘Peace’, Pancaldi states,
“A challenge at first but now an exhilarating awakening having discovered and then explored the electric guitar. ‘Peace’ is my first ‘foot stomper’ track which I think will surprise listeners who’ve been on the journey with me so far. It feels a bold evolution for me so here we go.”
Sounds like: London Grammar, Adele, Rhye, Birdy, Maiday, Courtney Barnett
Experimenting with vocal chops and melodic riffs, ‘Horizons’ is upbeat and memorable.
Exciting Nashville producer and creator Super Duper has managed to do something unheard of – create a repetitive song that is quite simply addictive, and in no way annoying. Even Super Duper puts it on repeat, and you should too.
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!
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.
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
Dream pop time. Tropic Harbour is the musical brainchild of Canadian Mark Berg, who labels the project as a “utopian space constructed for peace of mind”.
Spending his time in the wintery conditions of his hometown in Edmonton, Berg’s new single ‘Can’t Pretend’ is a welcome respite, like a warm summer breeze floating over your face as you read a book on the beach, pondering life.
On the track Berg states “‘Can’t Pretend’ is a departure into a more downtempo electronic realm. The slow builds and atmosphere of the track play into the lyrical themes of self-discovery. It’s about letting go of a past relationship and finding myself in the process.”