To say that BENEE is a rising indie-pop star is almost a disservice at this point. The breakout artist of the last 12 months has been releasing enchanting music and it looks as though the New Zealand sensation is set to continue her ascent to the very top.
Written and recorded with Josh Fountain shortly after New Zealand opened up from lockdown, BENEE was inspired to write her new single ‘Snail’ after spending weeks in isolation,
“When we were in lockdown, I was fascinated by snails. There wasn’t really a lot to be doing, so I would spend a lot of time outside looking at snails and would think about how they’re doing their own little thing and they’re all free. I just played around with the idea of being kind of like a snail and how I come out in the rain. Being stuck inside because of COVID, it’s kind of my lockdown song.”
Thick synth bass licks greet you to the unique project, almost acting as the percussion. As we continue, the tracks’ ever-expanding mix of creative elements and synths build layer upon layer of pop mastery, culminating in a busy song that you can’t help but find new ear candy with each listen.
With a chorus hook that just won’t quit, we would be impressed if this remains on your mind for anything less than the rest of your day at the very least.
Sounds like: G Flip, mallrat, Cub Sport, Vera Blue, HAIM, Remi Wolf
St. South is the moniker for Australian singer-songwriter-producer-multi-instrumentalist Olivia Gavranich.
She is known for creating blissful, nuanced and soulful electro on her own terms. Taken from her debut full-length album ‘Get Well Soon’, the visuals for ‘Growing Up’ refine the simplicity of life, out there in the world.
Sounds like: CAPPA, Tusks, Haux, Vancouver Sleep Clinic, Henry Green
Following the extremely well-received release with Lord Silva, School of X releases ‘Bad Love’.
Inspired by Eks-skolen – an anti-establishment art collective that was based in Copenhagen in the 1960s – the emo-tinged song by School of X’s Rasmus Littauer (MØ, Liss, Clairo) is about the loss of trust or faith.
Born from a remote connection via Instagram and a mutual love of big cats, London-based Welsh/Finnish electro-pop duo Rochelle and Vee are Tigerpunsh.
Brand new onto the scene, their single ‘Shade’ holds a bursting energy throughout, with delicate Eastern synths and experimental pop elements. A great start to what could be a very exciting future for the girls!
Sounds like: Broods, EXES, MS MR, Vera Blue, RAINDEAR, Nova Club, Georgia
Having entered the music scene from the early age of 17, this rising star has already received national recognition within the UK.
In his signature soul-infused, pop sound, HUDSUN’s latest offering ‘Shutdown’ speaks of the frustration in attempting to break someone out of an emotional prison they have created for themselves wrapped up.
Singer-songwriters Zoe Konez and Antonio Lulic combine on the rousing alternative-pop anthem “Echo”. Drawing on influences from Zoe’s indie background and Antonio’s stadium-filling pop tones, it’s an epic piece of pop-fusion that details a longing for adventure at the expense of personal relationships.
Sounds like: Oh Wonder, Of Monsters and Men, Ben Howard
Introducing Illyin Pipes, a blissed-out pop duo from Toronto.
Their mutual affinity for textured soundscapes, layered harmonies and heavy electronic synths, fully presents itself in their melancholic debut EP, ‘Waking Up’.
We asked Illyin Pipes to put together a playlist for Indietronica to coincide with the EP release.
Little Dragon – Feather Have always loved Little Dragon and Feather feels like a dreamy modern take on 80s synth-pop meets 90s trip-hop. I love a vibey vocal and airy synth over a driving bass line.
Arthur Russel – That’s Us/Wild Combination I heard this song for the first time two years ago and fell deeply in love with it. I had a challenging couple of months shortly after finding it and truly couldn’t listen to any other song. Just this over and over. And it’s still my very top favourite.
Radiohead – House of Cards Everything Thom Yorke touches is a dream to me. His solo releases are beautiful and I love his contemporary dance music videos. House of Cards is on this list because it’s so perfectly vulnerable, and my top pick from “In Rainbow’s” which I come back to all the time.
Brian Eno – The Big Ship I usually listen to Brian Eno’s hour-long tracks, but Big Ship is a cinematic, emotional shorty.
10CC – I’m Not In Love I discovered this song in high school and burned it onto a CD with a bunch of my other favourites at the time. Still playlisting it a decade later! It’s so soft and I love the weird whisper section partway through.
Hundred Waters – Murmurs I love Hundred Waters’ quiet vocals and acoustic piano over bold drum choices/effects.
Solange – Losing You Such a sweet pop song. Dev Hyne’s nails the writing/production.
Talking Heads – This Must Be The Place/Naive Melody David Byrne’s lyrics are amazing and the repetitive bass line makes me want to listen to it forever. The live version from “Stop Making Sense” is so good.
Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal This song transports me to a dark club fantasy in my mind. I have closed my eyes and danced to this song many times.
Aphex Twin – #3 (Rhubarb) This song is what got me into ambient music. Airy/calming/sweet/meditative. I often listen to it when I’m writing.
Blood Orange – Best to You Feat. Empress Of Another Dev Hynes track but a duet with Empress of. So dancy!
Beach House – Sparks I love the steady shoegaze-y guitar and alto vocals. I’m also a sucker for songs that don’t change chords at the bridge: altering the melody of the vocal for a moment, or going to an interlude is always my songwriting instinct.
Massive Attack – Teardrop The vocals are an inspiration: so close they’re almost whispered, then building dynamically at all the right times.
Washed Out – Feel it All Around Dreamy, lo-fi, psychedelic, synth-pop <3
The Cars – Drive Total 80s heaven. I love the subtle and emotional lyrics. We’ve covered this live a couple of times and it feels really nice to play.
You can listen to the EP below.
Sounds like: Susanne Sundfør, Lykke Li, RALPH, Vera Blue, BANKS, Washed Out
Moving can be a great form of therapy, so why restrict it? That’s exactly what VeraBlue is doing in the video for her single ‘Regular Touch’.
Vera Blue’s delicate and ethereal vocals in the track are led by her dancing performance in the beautifully shot New Zealand-based location, giving us a glimpse of what it’s like to watch Vera Blue on stage,
“I dance a lot when I’m performing on tour, because the songs make me want to move.” explains Vera. Before this project, I was sort of hiding behind my guitar when I was on stage, but now I can really go for it. That’s what the electronic side adds to the music.”
She heads to the US to support Jacob Banks on his North American tour.