Musicians and labels find getting their music out there difficult enough at the best of times, but the incoming GDPR regulations will see some organisations lose nearly 90% of their mailing lists. You’ll be hearing from a lot of people over the next few days, all asking for you to keep in touch with them, so please help them to keep in contact with you. But now on to the music!
Francisco based Bobbi Rohs presents the listener with a musical tour de force on Revolution. With a vocal performance that exhibits a sharp, rock-infused vibe that feels like it can see right in to your soul, her domineering, soaring voice alone can overwhelm the senses at times. Evocative lyrics and an arrangement that come across as if inspired by the dark rock madness that is Killing Joke, softened with trap and R&B nuances that somehow add to the melodramatic tones; Revolution breaks rules, demolishes genres and pushes the boundaries of electronic soul.
Karina Pankovska (from Latvia) and Nicolaj Roos (from Denmark) have only been creating music together as Twin Tonality since late last year, but that’s not something you’d pick up from the confident and accomplished Sleepover. Warm and breathy female vocals are dappled like sunlight on a shimmering, undulating arrangement that bears comparison with the likes of Cocteau Twins and Slowdive, but it’s all filtered through a more electronic and ethereal musical lens, lending Sleepover and wonderfully visual and dreamlike quality.
I can’t believe it’s been a year since we interviewed Memoryy (aka American producer Shaun Hettinger) but since then he’s been busy on a new EP, which will feature remixes and reworkings of his song Not Over You. He’s teamed up the synth-pop blog Vehlinggo to do so and the first single to be released is the Drinker remix which brings out the song’s internal intensity whilst still retaining the appealing synthwave feel to the original. At times minimal but leavened with swathes of cinematic pathos, it unveils new depths and layers that’ll resonate with Memoryy’s own fan base as well as those with a taste for acts like The xx and Phantogram.
FEELS is a Finnish electro-pop group operating between London and Helsinki. Comprising of singer / songwriter Sofi Meronen and keyboardist Mikael Myrskog. New song Cosmic With You is a wonderful slice of densely layered and textured electronic indie, but still has some infectious pop hooks at its core. Melancholy without being downbeat, its blend of electronic leads and indie vibes, all topped off with Meronen’s sweetly tuned vocals lend the track a hazy, transcendent feeling of intergalactic joy. The duo will be playing a London edition of the Diamond Club night at The Old Blue Last on 31st May to tie in with the single.
It’s a quick return to the blog for Finland’s Vast Days after we recently brought you their track Moves, but one listen to The Wait for Escape and you’ll know why we’ve featured them again. Covering similar musical terrain to their previous song, there’s a more distinct emphasis on the electronic nuances in the arrangement with an atmospherically upbeat guitar occasionally breaking though the layers of icy synths. The ghostly and at times whispered vocals add to the sensation of being privy in someone’s intimate moments of reverie, which they’ve put down in otherworldly musical form.
We covered Pick Up Your Heart, the debut single from South London singer-songwriter Paige Bea back in December and she’s come up with another winner in Your Echo. It’s another prime cut of electronic soul, adding some darker and more experimental nuances and rhythms to her sound, but with a textured, almost decadently luxurious feel pervading the arrangement. The vocals are as rich as you’d expect, harking back at times to the 50s Blue Note, late night style, but with a modern, feminist feel.
This particular King Arthur is no myth, but Places sees the Dutch producer cement his position as part of dance music royalty. It’s a club-oriented, fun song; euphoric hooks playfully competing for attention with some very sophisticated Nordic style female vocals, a soupçon of French disco and a 70s funk guitar, all adding a patina of classic pop to the proceedings. An uplifting chorus and a sensual bassline top off the mix, resulting in Places capturing that perfect feeling of youthful weekend hedonism.
Originally from my home town Cork in Ireland, but now based in Brooklyn, Lenii and her track Pretty Face has a sound that transcends borders. The traces of CHVRCHES in the vocal phrases and pulsating synths are complemented by some serious fretwork that doesn’t feel out of place on an otherwise reflective and chilled sounding arrangement. The track feels glittery and magical as if from a Disney movie, but the lyrics have a different darker inspiration: Lenii says Pretty Face was inspired by the Miyazaki film Howl’s Moving Castle, which features a plotline where a young girl gets cursed with old age. That mixture of magic, realism and primal fears makes Pretty Face a formidable and slightly unnerving song.
Another song on this weekend’s roundup features subtle homages to the much missed and underrated Cocteau Twins. Polychrome’s Dreaming About You (the ‘you’ in question being Ryan Gosling according to the band!) has that wonderful bass sound perfected by Simone Raymonde, reverberating yet heavenly in tone. The female vocals feel akin to Fraser’s esoteric outpourings but there’s vocal harmonies and grounded lyrics that lend the track an air more akin to an electro Fleetwood Mac who oddly enough are, along with Cocteau Twins, one of my favourite bands. There’s a sturdy but accepting feel to Dreaming About You as Polychrome create their own musical world and invite us to share it with them. The song comes from the band’s new, eponymous album which you can check out on Spotify. There’s a suitably hypnotic video for the track as well, you can watch here.
Last up this week is the moody, atmospheric electropop of Bruxelles Romance who are unsurprisingly from Belgium. There’s a nod towards the past in the arrangement on Chaos, with a Peter Hook-like bass driving the track forward and a hint towards some dark electro and the sounds of Kirlian Camera and Air, but one of the highlights of the track are the vocals. As the arrangement broods like Heathcliff on a moor, the vocals have a decadent primal quality, exuding an almost sexual fervour. The duo has also released a video for the song which utilises a die animation technique, a new concept to me but one that matches Chaos perfectly.
That’s it for this week, we hope you found something you liked and if not, well, there’s a whole wold of music out there.