Another week gone and 2018 seems to be galloping along so quickly! But here we are with another roundup for you and it’s a real voyage of delectation and discovery. From introspective musings to hedonism unchained, we’ve got it all for you this week.
First up is Superheart, who conjures up a warm and comforting sound on Satellite. The vocals have a soothing and pleasing air, the multiple layers adding to the sense that you’re caught up in someone else’s pleasant daydream. The arrangement follows a similar path, creating an overall sound that somehow flawlessly marries the anthemic urgency in the understated guitars to more a chilled yet reassuring bassline and synths. Topping it off there’s a steely positivity to the lyrics that shines through the generally relaxed ambiance, making Satellite a perfect distillation of the happy/sad sound.
Make Me by Canadian singer, songwriter, musician and choreographer Reign is a very different musical proposition – as it takes a reflective look on the often mindless joy that accompanies being in love. The track eschews the temptation to go down the club banger route, instead using the relaxed tempo and rich arrangement to allow Reign’s vocals to breathe life in to the lyrics. There’s a strange, almost wistful ambiance to the track that made me wonder if Reign was singing about love lost or love in the now, but that just added to the beauty of the song.
Vignette is the third and last single to be released from shallou’s upcoming Souls EP which is due out 27th April, and sees the man himself take of vocal duties to great effect. His rich, fragile vocal performance adds a bittersweet layer of emotion and pathos to an arrangement that already captures a real sense of melancholy with sweeping melodies and lush sound. It makes Vignette one of those songs you’ll dance to alone when feeling a bit low, lonely or maybe on the point of declaring love.
Lightening the tone in some ways and darkening it in others, Witches by Mira Aasma is described as ‘a story about a witch that has had enough and finds the strength to take control over her situation’. It has a folkish and earthy air to it, as the rhythms, vocals and melody feel like they harken back to days when we were more in touch with nature, and the ability to use what was around us without destroying it did not raise suspicion and fear. That’s not to say the song is a dour affair, as there’s still a light air to the vocals and a quixotic sense of empowerment that makes Witches quite an intoxicating brew.
It’s always a pleasure to hear a new song from Sofi Tukker as you know you’re in for something fun and a bit left field – and this time round it’s Tucker’s debut as the lead vocalist. Batshit won’t disappoint, riffing on a sound familiar to Daft Punk fans but mixing in some Latin rhythm (and sass!) and a sensual if not overtly sexual atmosphere. It’s a song that seems tailor-made for a Drag Race finale, doling out attitude, camp and defiance in equal measure. Mainly though it’s a fun song, made for wild times with wilder friends. The track will feature of the duo’s upcoming Treehouse album which is shaping up to be a real party album! There’s a world tour on the way on the back of the album as well so we all get to share in the genial madness.
And now back to the more reflective vibe on this week’s roundup! My Darling sees Cloud Kid team up with Dooqu to supply the guest vocals on his latest release and it perfectly captures both artists real strengths. The vocals have that aura of nostalgic reverie we’ve come to expect from Cloud Kid, whilst the track sees Dooqu experiment with his usual upbeat sound to play about with elements of downtempo and ambient. What that gets you is a track that manages to energise and relax the listener simultaneously, like a massage for the soul leaving you feel fresh and renewed. And to ease the soul a bit more, you can get the track as a free download – click on the link to find out more.
Liverpool’s Pizzagirl serves up another slice (sorry!) of perfect electropop on Seagulls. Gentle in its rhythms, the touching lyrics are added more emotional weight by vocals that channel an innocent view of the world that most of us lose as we leave childhood behind. That’s not so say the track is naïve or without charm, it’s more that it still manages to view reality though a different, more delightfully frank prism. Seagulls will feature on the interestingly titled upcoming EP An Extended Play which is out on Friday April 13th via Hit or Heist.
Manchester electro-Pop duo Tonica manage to metaphorically leave their home city behind to capture some of the heady expectation of success, love and glamour that the west coast of America promises in new track California. Underneath its glossy and bubbly exterior there’s a real sense of heart and emotion, as the lyrics contemplate what we have to leave behind as we journey down our own personal paths to self-fulfilment. Pop music with a heart and a brain, and blessed with an insanely catchy chorus, California is sure to brighten your day whether you are in Long Beach or Levenshulme.
I bet you thought there’s be no Swedes in this week’s roundup but never fear, we have COSiMA and her track Dear C to please the Scandilovers out there. It’s a far cry from a pure pop banger, instead using subtle changes in tone and the gentlest of musical brushstrokes to create a sound that is instantly captivating. It slowly builds, from being personal and at times stark in its honesty to become something that is awash with hard yet heartfelt majesty. It’s like listening to heartbreak in musical form, but an easy and rewarding listen for all that.
As you may have noticed over the last two years I’m not ashamed to indulge my weakness for Nordic pop and Skinny Fish; a production duo from Sweden know how to tick all my musical boxes on We Belong to The Night. An infectious saxophone (!) lead line is deft and delightful, as the duo fuses elements of house, electropop and more on a track that makes no secret of its intention to pummel you into submission with its pop perfection.
Well that’s it for this week, I hope there’s been something about the ten songs that stimulated your musical taste buds, and if not there’s plenty of music out there, so why not go explore? Until next week then.