Tag Archives: The National

Weekly Gems 56

STRUAN – Awake

STRUAN

We’ve been desperately searching for some sweet, nostalgic heartbreak songs to play on the radio during our late night drives and we’ve just found one – ‘Awake’ by STRUAN.

Surprisingly written with this in mind, STRUAN explains he created ‘Awake’ because he was out in Los Angeles and couldn’t sleep thinking about his ex.

Sounds like: LANY, Great Good Fine Ok, Joan, The 1975

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Beauty Sleep – The Dark

Beauty Sleep

Rising Belfast dream-pop trio Beauty Sleep creates magical, synth-driven music. The three met at a friend’s party and bonded over a mutual love of G&Ts and music.

They are gearing to release their debut LP, ‘Be Kind’ is set for release on 17th May on Quiet Arch records. Listen to ‘The Dark’ below.

Sounds like: All Tvvins, Pleasure Beach

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Caswell – Surface

Caswell

Following a stint of live shows last year, including Latitude Festival, Caswell releases ‘Surface’, a song of self-discovery and re-empowerment to reach a potential she didn’t realise she had the whole time.

It’s a crisp and clear rendition with definite musical intentions, and sets the tone for her second EP, to be released in April.

Sounds like: Låpsley, Skott, Lorde, Charlotte Cardin, Jorja Smith, JONES, Ray BLK, Sigrid, Maggie Rogers

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O Future – VOYEUR

O Future

Meet O Future (fka OOFJ), an electronic duo mixing electronics with symphony orchestra and voice consisting of Jens Bjornkjaer originally from Denmark and Katherine Mills Rymer from South Africa, now located in Los Angeles.

O Future’s new single ‘VOYEUR’ gains pleasure in watching other people’s vanity from afar in what the duo calls a “global turn on”, and with a gorgeously, exciting looping bass line throughout, what’s not to enjoy?

Sounds like: Grimes, Georgia, Santigold

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Sea Girls – Open Up Your Head

Sea Girls

Current favs, Sea Girls, share their latest single, ‘Open Your Head’ – it’s about unconditional love and is another brilliant addition to their stellar back catalogue

Can’t wait for their album? In the mean time you can catch them at one of their live dates in the UK this February and March…

Sounds like: The Kooks, The Maccabees, Bombay Bicycle Club, Swimming Tapes, Slow Riot, Two Door Cinema Club

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Leaone – Prairie Fires

Leaone

Meet Leaone (pronounced ‘Lee-own’).

After landing support from the Arts Council England’s International Development fund, Leaone found himself working from Transmitter Park Studios in Brooklyn New York, alongside multi-instrumentalist and producer Tom Marsh (of Lana Del Rey’s band) and Abe Seiferth (Yeasayer, Bears In Heaven, James Murphy), on a body of new material.

The result is ‘Prairie Fires’, a deeply devastatingly emotive song that Leaone wrote at a time when he had to leave behind a blossoming romance.

Sounds like: The National

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Girl Crush – Baby Steps

Girl Crush

Last but definitely not least is Girl Crush, the music and fashion project of Swedish/British duo, Ottilia Kjulsten and David Sugar.

These two have a special interest in lost youth, lust-stricken heartbreak and a future that never arrived, which they define as “promcore”. Their new single ‘Baby Steps’ is out now via Brilliance Records.

p.s. Want to be as cool as these guys? Then buy one of their limited edition pieces of merchandise which they offer with every track release.

Sounds like: Niki & The Dove, LOVE SICK, So Below, Ralph, Anna of the North, Call Me Loop, SUMif

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Weekly Gems 53

Make Friends – Drop Naked

Make Friends

Bristol-based four-piece Make Friends are set to send tingles down your ears.

Lead by emotional stories, the subject matter of their debut single, ‘Drop Naked’ may be dark, but the complex grooves and stretched indie-pop chords suggests otherwise.

Expect their EP in spring.

Sounds like: Bombay Bicycle Club, Foals, Sea Girls, Ten Fé, Suzi Island, Everything Everything

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TENDER – Slow Love

TENDER

We are super excited about TENDER‘s new single, ‘Slow Love’, taken from their album ‘Fear Of Falling Asleep’, out via Partisan Records.

Much like TENDER’s other offerings, ‘Slow Love’ has a delightful bassline throughout with soulful vocals, inspired by the moments that come just before sleep when silence descends, and doubt and fear and desire take over.

Sounds like: MOTHXR, Jungle, Glass Animals, HUNTAR, Caribou, Air, The National, Tame Impala, Boxed In, Honne, Colouring

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Satin Jackets ft. Panama – Automatic

Satin Jackets ft. Panama - Automatic

We are huge fans of Germany’s finest disco kid, Satin Jackets (aka Tim Bernhardt) and Sydney-based singer/songwriter, Panama. Their new collab is a dreamy leftfield pop at its best.

Expect the second Satin Jackets’ album, ‘Solar Nights’, on April 26 via Eskimo Recordings.

Sounds like: Goldroom, Du Tonc, Honne, MOTHXR

Satin Jackets
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Panama
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Joe Slater – Nothing Ever Seems to Change

Joe Slater by Rob Blackham

Joe Slater by Rob Blackham

Liverpool-based singer/songwriter Joe Slater shares his new single, ‘Nothing Ever Seems to Change’.

With an underlying hint of country, pop, folk, blues and soul, Joe writes music that is highly emotive and personal.

Joe plays Green Note, London on Thursday.

Sounds like: James Bay, Bob Dylan, Harry Styles

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CUT_ – Fever Feat. Klangstof

CUT_

Sultry artist CUT_ combines forces with Klangstof to create a captivating atmosphere where there is but one message: Sex.

‘Fever’, a minimalistic song, is soft yet sensual which ultimate leads to a burning tension between the two vocals with the addition of lush reverbs and slow moving synths.

Sounds like: James Blake, Kllo, Massive Attack, Phantogram, Kito, Broods

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Weekly Gems 49

Sasha – Ouch!

Sasha

Self-described “tragic” songstress Sasha is speaking a lyrical frankness in her new single, ‘Ouch!’, written about foreseeing being stung in a relationship.

The single blends unique and interesting soundscapes with sweet pop production and has elements of ‘Pure Imagination’ featured in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. Tasty.

Sounds like: Billie Eilish, VÉRITÉ, Rae Morris, The Japanese House

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Bohnes – Raging On A Sunday

Bohnes

Introducing the new project called Bohnes by Alex DeLeon from the band The Cab.

His new single ‘Raging On A Sunday’ is a frenetic two middle fingers to religion, caught up with an anthemic rock backdrop, glitches of grungy electronica and a retro-inspired, R&B-tipped vocal range.

Get yourself to the mosh pit this Sunday.

Sounds like: The Weeknd, Twenty One Pilots

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The Beamish Boys – Don’t Flatter Yourself (Acoustic Version)

The Beamish Boys

The Beamish Boys are two brothers from Australia who combine uplifting songwriting with harmonious elements of folk, pop and soul.

What started out as jamming sessions in their garage soon turned out to working with international artists and labels, and tours.

The acoustic version of ‘Don’t Flatter Yourself’ is a generous nod to the Ed Sheerans and Emma McGraths of this world.

Sounds like: Ed Sheeran, Emma McGrath

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Maeve – Eden

Maeve

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.

Sounds like: AuRa, The 1975, FKA Twigs, Daughter

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Katy Tiz – Life Feat. Ed Drewett

Katy Tiz

Katy Tiz has teamed up with esteemed songwriter Ed Drewett on new single, ‘Life’, which has a Bonnie & Clyde context.

Recorded whilst suffering with laryngitis, this is a testament to Katy Tiz’s determination, and the result is a raw and enchanting song that is upfront and honest.

Sounds like: Ella Eyre, Meghan Trainor, Aly & AJ, Bonnie McKee

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Golden Vessel – MOONSTONE Feat. Elkkle & Akurei

Golden Vessel

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

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Lincoln Jesser – Undone

Lincoln Jesser - Undone

American producer Lincoln Jesser produces indie synth-pop with sky-high aspirations.

Growing up at school, Jesser would often play in jazz sessions during the breaks, but it wasn’t until he listened to The Strokes that his passion for music was spiked.

Moving slowly into the electronic realms of production brings us to Jesser’s release today, called ‘Undone’, which you can listen to below:

Sounds like: Summer Heart, Joe Goddard, Goldroom

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Mines Falls – In the Rain

Mines Falls

Mines Falls are a brother duo from Los Angeles. They create piano ballads with the addition of electronic instrumentation.

As the title suggests, ‘In the Rain’ is a moody track full of both strength and sadness.

Listen below before buying tickets to one of their East Coast shows.

Sounds like: The National, James Blake, Solomon Grey

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Interview: Solomon Grey

Solomon Grey

Electronic duo Solomon Grey are gearing up to release their sophomore album ‘Human Music’, out on 16 February via Mercury KX Records. The record was mixed by Dave Fridmann (MGMT, Flaming Lips, Tame Impala) and features a full orchestra recorded in Budapest.

We caught up with Tom and Joe…

1. Describe your sound in three words.

Emotive, cinematic, classic (we held to hold back from writing average or something similar).

2. Where did the name Solomon Grey come from?

There was a day of flinging names around, Tom said Solomon Grey (the inspiration for that is another story) and we thought it sounded right. At the time we wanted people to think it was one person. We always enjoyed reviews wrongly thinking Floyd or Gnarls Barkley were one artist.

3. Your music is hugely emotive, and your visuals and live shows, hugely atmospheric. Which comes first when creating music?

We normally talk about the visual aspect of a track once the first few ideas are down. It’s always present in the idea from an early point. Also, atmosphere is vital to how we work with a tune. Always trying to find where a track sits and how to achieve that. We are always discussing and sharing ideas, it’s part of the joys of working as a duo.

4. You toured with Above & Beyond in 2016. What was that like?

Amazing. Performing live on the tour ended up inspiring a lot of how we wrote this latest album. Those venues, the acoustics, the seated audiences. The whole Above and Beyond family were so great to us, we owe them everything. Still can’t quite believe that we played the Hollywood bowl. What a privilege.

5. Your upcoming sophomore album, ‘Human Music’, is out next month, and follows Joe’s extremely difficult journey with his mother. Was this album particularly hard to make?

Joe, “in places. This is hard to explain but it was a very lovely time spending that last summer with Sandy. We were together for the end and it was special. I think the whole point of the album is that from the offset I thought something like this would be as you described it ‘an extremely difficult journey’ but it turned out to be a beautiful celebration of our lives together and an honour and pleasure to be there at the end. There were difficult moments of course but mostly it was a time I will cherish. We were best friends and it was good being there together at the end”. Tom, “Making the album was challenging because of the amount of musical ideas Joe brought but we got through it.”

6. We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?

Arctic Lake recorded all their latest tracks next door and we think they are amazing. Msafiri Zawose has an album out called Uhamiaji which we keep playing on the way into work. Also, @iamofficer is recording his second album next door at the moment and we keep humming the melodies on our way home. It sounds beautiful, but he is still working on it so keep a look out for its release.

Sounds like: Aquilo, Heaven 17, Depeche Mode, Ásgeir, Chet Faker, James Vincent McMorrow, Hozier, Lane 8, The National, Son Lux, M83, James Blake, Bon Iver

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Emerson Leif x Golden Vessel – Hesitate

Emerson Leif x Golden Vessel

Brisbane-based Emerson Leif shares the beautiful ‘Hesitate’, which was co-written with his good friend (and frequent collaborator) Golden Vessel.

Despite a satisfying life at the time of writing ‘Hesitate’, the notion of an elusive state of unhappiness continue to nag at Emerson,

“I found myself feeling very alone and without purpose. I could not accept that we just exist: eat, sleep, work, repeat. We are sold a kind of ‘happiness’ like it’s something we can work towards but what’s on offer is fleeting, if at all… had many questions about life but the greatest question was one of God. Or better yet, one for God. “Are you there?” Honestly, religion just felt so tired and insular. I wanted something tangible. I wanted to find truth. The idea of searching is perhaps most terrifying, because what if one finds nothing.”

This religious undertone can be found in the vocal and guitar loops that have been manipulated to sound like an organ.

Listen below.

Sounds like: Brolin, The National, Gang of Youths, Bon Iver, Alex Vargas, TENDER, Kanyon, REFS

Emerson Leif
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Golden Vessel
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Weekly Gems 24

Weslee – Boy Like You

Weslee

Mysterious UK-based duo Weslee share their visuals for ‘Boy Like You’.

Another lip-smacking and dreamy song, the Alexandra Gavillet-directed video for ‘Boy Like You’ takes inspiration from Kanye West and centres on the infatuation of the lead male figure through a series of personal camcorder style shots filmed around a hazy American summer.

Sounds like: Ben Khan, Kacy Hill, Blood Orange, Wet, Off Bloom

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Scene Writers vs Cookin’ on 3 Burners – Real Life Baby

Scene Writers

Exciting Berlin-based duo Scene Writers (aka Christian Huerter and Sebastian Nouvortne) take inspiration from the art amidst the urban sprawl of Berlin.

They have produced a vibrant re-work of 3 Burners‘ ‘Real Life Baby’, which you can listen to below.

Sounds like: Becky Hill, Kungs, Draper

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joan – Tokyo

joan - Tokyo

We are still massively crushing on duo joan.

Continuing their knack for producing heartbreaking pop songs with a retro twist, ‘Tokyo’ is inspired by that moment of falling for someone but your time is running out. ​​​​​​​

Sounds like: Shura, Two Door Cinema Club, St. Lucia, LANY, Great Good Fine Ok, The 1975

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Argonaut & Wasp – Radio Sound

Argonaut & Wasp

Boom! Argonaut & Wasp are back with a funky new number called ‘Radio Sound’.

It is part of a double single, and combines elements of alternative, pop, indie, and funk to provide a bright sound, inspired by the bustling streets of Brooklyn.

It is released on the band’s own Bang! Jango Records.

Sounds like: The Strokes, Bad Sounds, Modest Mouse, Talking Heads, Phoenix, Miami Horror, Bag Raiders

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ELD – Desire

ELD - Desire

Swedish trio ELD share their brilliant new single ‘Desire’.

Creating a big emotions and an anthemic sound reminiscent of Arcade Fire and The National, ‘Desire’ amalgamates electronica with post punk elements, and even enters the shoegaze realm in parts.

Listen below and prepare to be blown away.

Sounds like: Arcade Fire, The National, Interpol, Ulrich Schnauss

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Amanda Mair – Empty Blockings

Amanda Mair

Rising Swedish teenager Amanda Mair shares ‘Empty Blockings’.

In the video, Amanda broaches the highly important topic of anxiety and depression,

“I wanted to show the feeling of the continuously searchers desperation. The every day hope for running away from anxiety and sorrow but the faith is to weak and puts you in a circle of running and running until you don’t know what you’re running away from.”

It’s out now via Despotz Records.

Sounds like: Susanne Sundfør, OH Land, Zola Jesus

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Dan Flynn – Across The Wire

Dan Flynn

Melbourne musician Dan Flynn shares ‘Across The Wire’.

Much like all good folk songs, there is a soft melancholy throughout the song, and the addition of the lo-fi choir makes it an all atmospheric feat.

‘Across the Wire’ is the lead single taken from Dan Flynn’s upcoming solo album ‘Ghost Melodies’, out on 22 September.

Sounds like: The Slow Show, Sufjan Stevens, The National, Arcade Fire

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Playlist: KEELS

KEELS

KEELS

The ever-poetic KEELS has just shared his new track, the unapologetically hook-driven ‘Prison Walls’, ahead of his sold out show at St Pancras Old Church on the 27 April.

KEELS has put together a playlist for us, perfect for a Monday morning coffee break.

The National – Hard To Find
Beautiful track I can listen to when in so many moods.

Birdy – Keeping Your Head Up
Great uplifting vocals

AC/DC – Thunderstruck
This track never fails to get me ready for action.

Bryan Adams – Summer Of ’69
When summer is in the air this track is a winner.

Ariana & The Rose – Supercool
Really like this relatively unknown track.

Dua Lipa – Blow Your Mind (Mwah)
This girls got attitude I like

Circa Waves – T-Shirt Weather
Seen these guys live a few times and they are great. Again another seasonal track.

Vance Joy – Fire and the Flood
Great moody track.

Lumineers – Ophelia
Love this.

Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in The Dark
Always have to have a few classics in the playlist and who better than the Boss to have on play.

Sounds like: Keane, Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit, Coldplay, Young Guns, Bon Iver, The National, Birdy, Ben Howard, Jack Savoretti

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KEELS – Surrender

KEELS

KEELS

Time for some poetic music from KEELS (aka Niall Keels, formerly of Empire Divide).

A newcomer on the singer/songwriter scene, KEELS fits nicely in place amongst the likes of Frightened Rabbit and Coldplay with his radio ready, but thought provoking material.

Listen to the wintery tune, ‘Surrender’ below.

‘Surrender’ is out on 2 December.

Sounds like: Keane, Biffy Clyro, Frightened Rabbit, Coldplay, Young Guns, Bon Iver, The National, Birdy, Ben Howard

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