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.”
Introducing Zhao, a self-taught multi-instrumentalist as pure as they come. Also the producer and vocalist of his solo project, Zhao’s new EP ‘Ride’ takes you on a journey blissful collection of upbeat love songs tinged with regret and doubt, effortlessly combining classical with modern electronic pop.
The first single release from the EP is called ‘Lifetime’ and is probably the most enchanting of the four tracks.
His EP ‘Ride’ is out on 27 October. Pre-order here.
Sounds like: Roosevelt, Summer Heart, Washed Out, Neon Indian, Honne, Thomas Azier, Hurts, Josef Salvat, Goldroom
Another Los Angeles-pop songstress, TRACE has just shared her new single, ‘You Don’t Know Me’ – a song about first impressions.
TRACE is the daughter of Vietnamese pop icon Carol Kim, and has always been surrounded by music. Despite trying not to follow in her mum’s footsteps, TRACE couldn’t resist penning tracks and recording them in the bathroom.
Listen to one of the results below.
Sounds like: Lana Del Rey, Laurel, Tove Lo, Broods, GEMS, Lykke Li, Phantogram, So Below, Jessie Ware, LUEM, Cat Power, Lorde, James Blake, Banks
Rock musicians-turned electronic producers Polarbearz share ‘Recognize’. Despite being located in the distant Lapland and writing a song about being different, the duo have managed to create music that sounds so on point.
Bristol quartet New Carnival have just dropped ‘Solid Gold’.
‘Solid Gold’ a luscious indie rock ballad with a fiery underbelly. Much like the fascination of gold itself, the track draws listeners in, immediately turning them into a hypnotic state as lead singer Max Radford purrs “come a little closer, move a little nearer”.
You can catch them at the Omeara in London on 21 September.
Sounds like: Arcade Fire, Foals, The Maccabees, Coldplay
Mushroom People is a German electronic trio who all used to be in rock bands.
With some decent remixes under their belt (including XYLØ, NoMBe, Rainsford), Mushroom People have released their own track called ‘Wisdom Talk’, which sways more towards the contemporary pop sound than rock, although if you listen carefully you may find some powerful influences in there.
JOME is the project of Los Angeles-based songwriter, Jesse Marc.
He has teamed up with New Orleanian writer/producer Christoph Andersson (G-Eazy, OliviaO’Brien, Monopol) on ‘Crystalline’.
JOME explains, “Crystalline is a song about getting away from our modern addictions to technology and immediacy. It was written for someone really close to us who was going through a tough time, as a reminder that everything will settle in time.”
We receive a huge amount of submissions via SubmitHub, and unfortunately cannot review all of the tracks, so we have decided to compile those tracks into a weekly segment of gems we’ve particularly enjoyed.
Dream Lake – Midnight Sun
Swedish electro-pop duo Dream Lake share the dreamy ‘Midnight Sun’.
This song perfectly encapsulates the airy, long days of light during the summer in Sweden, with dreamy vocals and romantic keys.
US-based Tigers and Thieves share ‘Change Your Mind’, an indie rock track that has all the markings of a hit, despite being recorded in their garage studio. It’s been mixed by Brian McTear (TheWar on Drugs, Sharon Van Etten, LocalNatives).
Sounds like: Local Natives, Foster the People, The Neighbourhood, alt-J, Surfer Blood, The Temper Trap, Nick Mulvey