We’ve got a very varied collection this week – at least sound wise – but many of the tracks share a common theme; one of looking inward and taking stock of life. Being true to yourself is a very important element of the artistic process and as you can hear this week there’s many ways to express that inner self.
Georgia Long is fiveoclockcharlie; a new solo project that sees her expand on and refine the musical influences she explored in previous acts like The Long Girlz, The Shock, and The Alchemists. Her new track Close Encounters of the Third Time (a collaboration with producers and co-writers Steven Solomon and William Boreing) showcases her new sound and great vocals to great effect with its euphoric collision of an upbeat electronic arrangement and not so subtle rock stylings. The result is a prime slice of upfront electro-pop; sassy and confident, brash at times but with an energy that won’t be denied.
From that we move on to something more sublime with a hint of summer in the guise of Glass; the new collaborative single from singer Inga and producer ÅSN. The two Norwegians have created in a divine piece of Scandi-pop, perfectly capturing those moments of sober reflection on the happy memories of the early days of a love affair. Playful and catchy, thoughtful and honest, but not taking itself too seriously, Glass delivers the goods in every way. The track is out now via Norway’s Sailor Music label.
Another collaboration sees French producer PL4NET DUST team up with singer Cynthia on his new EP. No Excuses is the first cut to be released from the EP and fuses elements of early drum and bass with some softer musical tones and a sterling vocal performance that harks back to the days of classic trip hop. With its brooding air and uneasy sense of apprehension and anticipation, No Excuses is a perfect soundtrack for a night spent lost in urban reverie.
Another track that has influences of trip hop infused in its very DNA is Pine by Cinnamon Shops. But it also takes those tones and rhythms and gives them a more organic feel, lightening the sometimes sombre genre with a light, chiming percussion and vocals that give the song a lovely sense of pensive detachment. Like early morning sunlight dappling a placid lake, Pines creates an ambiance of calm as it glides gently along. The track features on the Sunlight Yes album which you can find on Bandcamp, Spotify and other digital services.
Continuing with the lighter musical theme, Koloto’s Alatheia utilises organic sounds expressed within a more electronic sonic architecture to deliver a cultural and musical melting pot of joy. The former member of Delta Sleep brings some of the intricate math rock structures with her, as well as cadences that would just as easily be at home in a piece of classical music. Tricky and fun filled, Alatheia is three minutes of pure musical pleasure.
Turnmills is the first new track from British production and DJ duo Maribou State since their 2015 breakthrough album Portraits, as well as being the title track of their upcoming album. Inspired by the famous (and quite notorious depending on which nights you went there) defunct London nightclub the track encapsulates the wonderful sense of good natured hedonism and togetherness that resulted in the club making such an impact on British clubbing culture. Lush strings and urban rhythms entwine with an almost euphoric chorus giving the track that has that perfect end of the night feel – though at Turnmills that could sometimes be after midday! The duo are also working with the Night Time Industries Association to raise awareness of the current pressures to which late night and after hours clubs in the UK are increasingly subjected – you can find out more here and here.
Danny Klein (vocals, synth, keys) and Tara Zepeda (vocals) are Lost in Los Angeles and they have a very musical vision on the evidence of In The Dark. A confluence of futurepop, dark electro and rock aesthetics, it’s a sublime confection of solemn musical tones that is ominous and addictive in turn. The duskier shades of the arrangement are shot through with a club friendly pace and production that gives In The Dark an upbeat feel in tune with the underlying positive message of the lyrics.
Norway’s Bearson (Jakob Bjørn Hansen) has teamed up with Ashe to serve up another flawless slice of Scandi-pop in Get Lost. An almost playground rhythm cascades brightly over a light percussion giving the track a real sense of purpose and direction. With lyrics that muse on what they’ve described ‘the paradoxical idea that sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself’, Get Lost shows Bearson is taking his previously more overtly tropical house sound down some very interesting and rewarding musical avenues.
With a post-rock patina applied to a synthwave sound, Moves by Finland’s Vast Days certainly captures the attention. Fusing an organic bass line with brooding synths and vocals that pitch themselves between trip hop and trance, Moves sounds like it is made up of a wealth of musical contradictions, with elements that shouldn’t work together yet do so with considerable finesse as if it came in to the world fully formed. It feels like it was made for late night listening, the soundtrack to another world, where only there’s only flickering neon and music played low to break the silence of the night.
Alexandra Sullivan aka Cherophobiac is an alternative-electronic musician based in New York. Surgery is the title track of her latest album and it takes the listener on a very honest musical and lyrical journey. A voyage in one of the more reflective and painful periods in a person’s life, it captures the events that pervade an episode of illness, where the extraordinary becomes commonplace and we have to explore ideas and eventualities far removed from everyday life. The understated arrangement feels very much in sync with the dark, introspective nature of the lyrics making Surgery easy on the ear, yet cathartic for the soul.
That’s it for this week, hope you found something of interest in this week’s choices and be sure to explore more of the artists musical output – it’s a hard life for a musician at times and it always helps them to know they’ve made a connection with someone new.