Tag Archives: US

Leah Kate – bad idea

Leah Kate by Grant Spanier

Leah Kate by Grant Spanier

Leah Kate is a name that has been on our radar for over a year now, and for good reason.

Her latest single ‘Bad Idea’ introduces us to the new ear of pop music. Starting with soft 80’s sounding synths and electronic drums, we are delicately drawn into the record, before being hit with a magnificent pumping chorus you really can’t help but move and sing along to. The track continues to grow with subtle but effective additions, most notably a gorgeous electric guitar line during the final chorus.

Fusing honest and vulnerable lyrics with feel-good dance-worthy production, Leah Kate’s reputation is set to continue to rise through 2020 and beyond.

Sounds like: Emily Vaughn, EZI, Madi, CRAY

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Weekly Gems 113

Asha Gold – Passenger

Asha Gold

Classically trained London-based Asha Gold releases her new single ‘Passenger’, one of the first songs she ever wrote during her travels in Europe.

It’s a freedom inspiring release, full of escapism, as Asha keeps on travelling forward in a bid to grow as an individual.

Sounds like: Nakala, Frank Ocean

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The Endorphins – Parachute

The Endorphines

Stockholm siblings The Endorphins shares ‘Parachute’.

A more soulful change in direction to their previous single, ‘Dead or Alive‘, the ’90s inspired R&B breaker was written about intensely falling head over heals for someone.

Sounds like: The Magnettes, Banks, Fabich, Pastel, Midnight Pool Party, Keljet, Caswell

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Junípero – Want To

Junípero

Continuing their quest to musicalise experiences and connect deepest desires, Mexican duo Junípero shares ‘Want To’.

Mixing dream-like melodies in a way that play with every sense, the well balanced folktronica-styled track is both multi-dimensional and atmospheric.

Sounds like: Beach House, Explosions In the Sky, Mogwai, Band of Horses

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Maude Latour – Furniture

Maude Latour

New York City-based Maude Latour‘s bubbly new single ‘Furniture’ is unapologetic as ever.

Written at the lowest point of a breakup, the song oozes bravery with an ounce of playfulness. This is her joyous breakup song, that she now shares with the world!

Sounds like: Caro, Chloe Lilac, Claud

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Urchin – Break In

Urchin

London-based jazz turned indie musician Urchin (aka Leo Appleyard) shares ‘Break In’, taken from his ‘Night Light’ EP.

Making his vocal debut on the left of the centre track, it features gorgeous, heavy vocal melodies that pick up some plucky UK-influenced electronica.

Sounds like: Kudu Blue, Kllo, Two Door Cinema Club, Von Sell, Ratatat

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TALU – Take You Home

Talu

Local Crawley band TALU share their new single ‘Take You Home’.

Recording the drums in a warehouse and everything else in their living room and kitchen, the band captures the joy in everyday moments, offering a delightful slither of nostalgia that you’d desire from a modern day indie-pop band.

Sounds like: The Wombats, Two Door Cinema Club, Sea Girls, Bombay Bicycle Club, Hoofa

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Alice MC – My Love

Alice MC

South London’s Alice MC shares her new single ‘My Love’, taken from her debut EP, ‘Storyteller’.

Despite her music fitting best within the jazz, soul and folk genres, Alice MC started by studying Opera at the Guildhall School. She soon realised her destiny was within the jazz worlds.

Sounds like: Laura Marling, PJ Harvey, Lianne La Havas, Beyoncé, Kate Bush

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joan – Magnetic

joan

New single ‘Magnetic’ from Arkansas duo joan is the result of an almost fairytale story of how the band came together. Working in separate projects at the time, the two first met at a show performing in different groups and became fast friends.

Steven from joan tells us “this song is sentimental. We started writing together while we were still in two separate projects. When I heard Alan working on “magnetic” for his band in the studio, I fell in love with it. we joked back and forth for several years about making it a joan song.”

The pure pop ballad is the band’s second single release of 2020, full of catchy hooks and gorgeous harmonies, the track builds nicely culminating in a memorable final chorus with attractive adlibs from the boys. If you’re going to listen to one new track this weekend, make sure it’s this one.

Sounds like: LANY, Two Door Cinema Club, Great Good Fine Ok, COIN, flor, La Roux

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chillhum – I’m Slippin’

chillhum – I'm Slippin'

Los Angeles-based chillhum blends guitar-led pop sounds with future-beat/electronica.

A potentially unusual combination, his new single ‘I’m Slippin’ shows how it can be done successfully, immediately captivating us with lush and slightly erratic beats that are delicately weaved with his smooth vocals.

He explains,

“I felt as if the song was building towards an eerie and almost disorienting climax, and that’s what I tried to achieve with my sound design, all of which I did entirely from scratch. The way the almost acoustic verse and pre-chorus build and lead into the droning lead synth and distorted bass reminded me of the feeling of transitioning between two different states of mind. This idea is where the lyrical concept of “I’m Slippin” was really solidified, and I tried to draw on my own personal experiences to give the listener vivid descriptive phrases that made them feel almost as if they themselves are making such a transition just from listening to the song.”

Sounds like: Ed Sheeran, Flume, Louis The Child, Petit Biscuit, Troye Sivan, Robotaki

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Kate Lynn – Easy For You

Kate Lynn

New alternative pop act Kate Lynn returns with her second single of 2020. Following her debut single ‘Summer 09’ and sophomore release ‘Told You to Stay’, ‘Easy For You’ is the summer pop break-up anthem we all need to hear at least once in our lives.

Now living in Nashville, the young singer-songwriter draws from personal experiences, specifically in this case discussing the emotions she felt during an awkward run-in with her ex. “It just made me think about how you can go from knowing someone on such a deep level to strangers in only a few months, I was still frustrated with how things ended and couldn’t understand how it was so easy for him to move on.

The song begins with a perfect introduction to Kate’s softer tones and sublime vocal control. As the track grows, the power within the delivery builds to match culminating in a huge anthemic finale. Full of luscious synths and a catchy hook in the chorus, ‘Easy For You’ is a hard tune to ignore.

Sounds like: Dagny, Ralph

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Super Duper – Quiver Feat. Lonas

Super Duper

Nashville-producer Super Duper shares the ambient ‘Quiver’ featuring Lonas, out now via FADER Label.

It’s a bittersweet bedroom pop daydream, inspired by a concerning late-night call to Lonas by a friend.

Lonas explains,

“Depression and drugs have taken a lot of my friends and peers over the years. Most often you don’t get the chance to intervene or tell them you love them. The only call you get is the one letting you know they’re gone. In June of 2018 I was woken up by a call from one of my best friends. He was drunk and alone in New York. He was done. Calling to say goodbye. I kept him on the phone for two hours, weaving my words like I was disarming a bomb, wishing I were more qualified for the job, that I had steadier hands. In the end, it took a team of friends, parents and a brief trip to the psych ward to save my friend. It took me over a year to put into words how helpless I felt trying to save him from 3000 miles away. Part of me hopes that no one will relate to these words, but I fear it may be the most relatable song I’ve written.”

Beautiful.

Sounds like: Kasbo, Petit Biscuit, Grant, Talos

Super Duper
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Lonas
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Syd Silvair – Heroine

Syd Silvair

We have literally had Syd Silvair‘s EP, ‘Reverie’ on repeat this week.

With its bittersweet echoes of retro and nostalgia combined with witchcraft-inspired disco and luscious danceable art-pop, the NYC-based singer/songwriter is like a dark descendant of Stevie Nicks.

Speaking about her EP, she explains,

“There’s an altered state of mind I go to when I pull tarot cards, or listen to lush 70’s disco, or watch something surreal by David Lynch–I let myself live in that dreamy headspace while creating these songs. All the different vehicles that drive my escapism really shaped the lyrical and sonic story of ‘Reverie.’ This EP was my way of reclaiming the value of a reverie. Daydreaming tends to have some shame attached to it as if it’s not a productive use of time. I think now more than ever, it’s not only a valid pastime but a really beautiful way of getting back in touch with our deepest selves.”

The closing track is the spiritually focused ‘Heroine’. Putting us in a gorgeous dreamstate, it considers the perils of infatuation toward another.

Sounds like: Lana Del Rey, Harry, Stevie Nicks

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Playlist: Jens Kuross

Jens Kuross

Los Angeles-based vocalist, songwriter and alternative producer Jens Kuross has just released the shadowy single, ‘Done With Dancing’, a new stripped-down take of the track ‘Yard Two Stone’ that he collaborated on with Lane 8 last December.

Having toured the world as the drummer for RY X, Howling, and The Acid (a supergroup comprised of DJ/Producer Adam Freeland, Californian polymath Steve Nalepa, and RY X – who Jens also performs with as an active member of), as well as supported Bonobo, Rhye, GoGo Penguin and RY X, it’s time for Jens to step forward.

First on the list is his playlist called “Jens Friends”. You can check it out below.

Fred and Luna – Mini Song
This was the first song on the first release from a label my good friend Frank Wiedemann started a couple of years ago. It’s very minimal but it really makes the most out of all of its elements. There are no wasted sounds. It sounds like it could simultaneously be a Kraftwerk b-side from 1980 and also a hip new track on some indie-electronic playlist on Spotify…wait…

Point Lobo – Platform
Producer, Engineer, Drummer Miles Senzaki is great at everything he does. And I should know as he’s engineered almost all of my own recordings. His solo project “Point Lobo” is a perfect distillation of his love of Prince, Talking Heads and I don’t know what else really. It’s beautifully done and impeccably crafted.

Human Barbie – Don’t Run Away
Human Barbie is the brainchild of Bassist, songwriter, producer Chris Hackman. Chris and I met when we were fresh out of school and still playing jazz gigs to make a living, then somehow migrated into the indie-electronic scene together. This project has its fingers in some 60’s psych-rock but Chris also tastily brings some of his jazz sensibilities to bear here.

Tyler Chester – Setting
I knew of Tyler for a while before he and I met, primarily from his work with Blake Mills but he and I eventually ended up collaborating on a track that’s on his most recent record. This track, “Setting”, is from that same record. It has some really beautiful but dirty synth tones that make you feel like you’re listening to Vangelis if he was doing all his composing in a dusty basement with a bunch of broken gear that’s just barely clinging to life.

Howling – Lullaby
This is my favorite track off the Howling album “Sacred Ground”. Probably because I helped write it and I’m feeling a little shameless. “Write” might actually be a generous term here as it was almost entirely improvised. We were all just in a room jamming and Frank (Wiedemann) hit record in the middle of it. Then I came back around later and layered some synth pads. It’s probably the only song you’ll ever hear on an electronic dance record that wasn’t tracked to click.

The Acid – Onyx
This is another song I helped write. I’m super proud of the piano part I played. It’s an odd phrase length but it feels entirely natural and it ended up being the germ that inspired the whole song. The Acid boys ended up going for the jugular in the build and outro which wouldn’t have been my first choice but it definitely works and you can’t argue with the results.

GF3 – Prelude 5
I produced a couple of EP’s for some friends of mine in a jazz trio who wanted their jazz record to sound nothing like a jazz record. I’m super proud of how it all turned out but this might be my favorite offering from that little experiment. It’s the most stripped back of all the recordings but I think the subtle, understated effects on very delicately performed acoustic instruments yielded some really beautiful results.

Nalepa – A Study of Dreams
Steve Nalepa is the secret weapon behind so many amazing electronic tracks that you’ve probably heard. Working with him has really taught me a lot about the beauty and potential of raw sound. My tendency is to get a little lost in the weeds of music theory land and Steve can bring me back to earth by just producing some amazing sound that, once heard, inspires you to write a whole song if not a whole record.

Jeff Parker – Executive Life
I don’t know Jeff, but I do know some of the guys that played on this record. I think this is just a really creative example of incorporating sampling and electronic musical techniques into a jazz/improvisatory context. Usually, attempts at jazz-electronic synthesis go horribly wrong, ending up in the nauseatingly bland category of “smooth”, but the results here are phenomenal.

Louis Cole – Big Green Suitcase
Louis and I both got our start playing drums in the LA jazz scene but he had a bead on his artistic persona long before I could really figure mine out. This might be my favorite track from his eponymous first album. It really captures all of his quirky, beautiful, sincerity and adds a tinge of nostalgia with that pseudo-Bossa Nova drum machine pattern and the line-cliché in the piano.

Sounds like: Ry X, Sacred Animals, Solomon Grey, Bonobo, Rhye, James Blake, Howling, The Acid

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Weekly Gems 109

Joshua Worden – Easy to Say Feat. Casey Harper

Joshua Worden

Joshua Worden recently hit a deeply introspective period and his new selection of releases shows this.

With an educational background in Jazz Guitar and English Literature, his music is stripped back and takes a slower pace these days, dabbling in R&B, pop, trip-hop, and chillwave. Listen to ‘Easy To Say’ featuring Casey Harper.

Sounds like: Kllo, Kudu Blue, Rhye, Blood Orange, Moses Sumney, The Internet

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Logan Prescott – How We Wanted

Logan Prescott

Dallas-based Indie Pop artist Logan Prescott shares the uber dreamy pop single ‘How We Wanted’.

Tender guitars, dreamy synths and an all encompassing 80’s boyband vibe. Perfect for fans of LANY and joan.

Sounds lik: LANY, The 1975, COIN, joan

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Junípero – New Beginnings

Junípero

The Mexican dream-pop scene is bubbling away like a reactive volcano.

Junípero is the project of Joán Melendrez and Janelle Saucedo, who enjoy experimenting with transcendent thunderous and melodic sounds. Listen to their debut single ‘New Beginnings’ below.

Sounds like: Beach House, Explosions In the Sky, Mogwai

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DiRTY RADiO x Jafunk – The Baddest

DiRTY RADiO x Jafunk

From dreampop to nu-disco tinged funk, DiRTY RADiO team up with Jafunk on ultra smooth new track, ‘The Baddest’.

Despite never meeting, the two worlds have somehow collided into a kaleidoscope of sounds. With summer written all over it, click play right now.

Sounds like: Pat Lok, Jean Tonique, Keljet, Gigamesh, Moon Boots, Tobtok, Moullinex, Pomo, Anderson Paak, Mac Miller

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Blu DeTiger – Figure It Out

Blu DeTiger

Meet Blu DeTiger, touring bassist for Caroline Polachek, The Knocks, and Fletcher, and a credible artist in her own right.

Her art-pop single ‘Figure It Out’ is so bright and colourful that you need to put on those sunnies sharpsih.

Sounds like: Kitten, Sofi Tukker, The Knocks

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Far West – Can’t Let Go

Far West - Can't Let Go

Far West is, as you’ve guessed it, from the West Coast of the US, in California.

They have a unique take on bellowing indie/synthpop, reminiscent of the early ’00s. The new single ‘Can’t Let Go’ has big synth leads with a poppy vibe, and is written about trying to let go of something that isn’t good for you.

Sounds like: Passion Pit, Bombay Bicycle Club

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Night Tales – Feel Nothing

Night Tales

Australian electronic duo Night Tales – aka amaliza (Australian-born Kamaliza Salamba, formerly of Olympic Ayres) and Third Floor (UK-born/Aussie-based Aaron Bannie) drop their 3rd single of 2020 titled ‘Feel Nothing.’

It’s a positively-led dance number with a tender touch, written about a relationship that is emotionally spent.

Sounds like: Duke Dumont, Just Kiddin, The Magician, The Aston Shuffle, Hayden James

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Makk Mikkael – fear

Makk Mikkael

Montreal based artist Makk Mikkael (MacKenzie Michael) has been writing music from a young age. Since then, she has explored different cities in her home country of Canada, to finally settle in Montréal.

The heartbeat of her new single is a minimalistic down-tempo electro track with ethereal vocals and driving rhythm, which soon goes off-kilter as the ‘fear’ takes over.

Sounds like: BABii, Men I Trust

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Bronze Whale – Hold. Wait. Fall. Feat Poles

Bronze Whale - Hold. Wait. Fall. Feat Poles

First Bronze Whale are walking, next they are stopping.

Stripped right back, the minimal electronic track features fellow label mate and longtime friend, Poles. It’s about being dragged back into a relationship even when you know it’s toxic. Needing to see it through regardless of what it takes from you.

Sounds like: James Blake, Chet Faker, Flume, Droeloe, Weeknd, OTR, CLN

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Nao Yoshioka – Up and Away feat. PHER

Nao Yoshioka

Rising Japanese star Nao Yoshioka is showcasing her modern R&B and soul.

Born in Japan, now living in the US, Nao has been perfecting her craft and working alongside legendary musicians in the scene to create an authentic & powerful new album ‘Undeniable’, out now. Listen to her slow and sensual single, ‘Up And Away’ featuring PHER.

Sounds like: Aaliyah, Solange, H.E.R, Marie Dahlstrom, Oscar Jerome, Ella Mai, Alicia Keys

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Madnap – Silhouettes Feat. Little Shadows

Madnap

After relocating to Los Angeles in 2017, producer/songwriter/remixer Madnap – aka Kyle Fitzgibbons – shares ‘Silhouettes’ featuring Little Shadows.

The emo-tinged, trap-pop track is his favourite to date, and perfectly captures the Madnap sound in 2020.

Sounds like: yetep, Rome In Silver, Manila Killa, LIONE, juuku

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SamYell – Lose Yourself

SAMYELL

California native Samyell has a creative superpower that he is meant to share with the world.

Produced by Osinachi Nwaneri (T.I., Ciara, Black Eyed Peas), ‘Lose Yourself’ will make you do just that.

An infectious nighttime, jazz infused R&B anthem, it urges you to “get lost through temptations of money drugs and false promises.”

Sounds like: The Weeknd, Babyface, Timbaland, Ginuwine, Pharrell

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Mona Vale – All This Time

Mona Vale

Songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist Jamie Hoddle – aka Mona Vale – has created an altogether chilled track called ‘All This Time’.

Starting in the pop realms and soon developing into an indie form of ambient electronica, the song is about the early stages of a relationship, setting nostalgic emotions on fire.

Sounds like: XY&O, Nightly, Great Good Fine Ok, Maribou State

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Melyz – Bad Together

Melyz

Swiss artist Melyz shares her provactive new single ‘Bad Together’.

with a hint of R&B club vibes, the song takes a darker approach than previous releases, as it considers how toxic and destructive a relationship can become when it gets too passionate.

Sounds like: Banks

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Still Woozy – Window

Still Woozy

The vibrant visuals for ‘Window’ from Portland-based Still Woozy is a short and sweet burst of summertime, cocktail-sipping bliss, full of playful melodies, complete with a sample nod to Marvin Gaye.

Want more? We’re also massively digging his Tame Impala isolation cover below.

Sounds like: Easy Life, Yakul, Clairo, Max Pope, Von Sell, Low Hum

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