This week’s playlist has a real European feel to it musically, and a real hint of the last days of summer. Hope you like it!
POPI is a 29-year-old French/Swedish music producer, living in Stockholm. After several releases under the name Neeco Delaf, Cold Night is their first release under their current moniker. The track has a mellow, almost tropical house track with hints of the hypnotic rhythms of Orbital, and features chopped melancholic vocals from Emily Jones. With an arrangement and a vocal performance that inspire thoughtful memories of watching the sun rise on a peaceful holiday morning, POPI really serves up a neat portion of emotional electronica.
OYLS use a similar musical palate to POPI, but the resulting track has a very different feel. In The Light sees the American band transport you to somewhere magical in the early morning light, but focusses on the uplifting moments when dancing, giving you that feeling that life could never get better than this particular moment. Party music for the soul and the feet – that’s In The Light.
Holding Back is the first new music to emerge from the London based singer, songwriter and producer LYVES since her EP Like Water earlier this year. It’s probably doing the track a disservice to call it trip hop, because musically and intellectually it’s too complex to have a genre label hung on it. On a musical level, the track has a late-night R&B feel with subtle electronica giving the track an otherworldly feel. It’s the vocals that make Holding Back though, and they lift the track to epic levels. Francesca Bergami’s voice just pours out power and emotion, with a barnstorming performance that blew me away.
Klangplanet is the working name of German producer Frieder Mollat, who has been making music since the 90s. Solitude sees him take a chilled beat, overlay it with an organic piano sound, then mix in softly bubbling synths to great effect. Almost tribal vocal samples give the track a warm, human feel. Solitude is a track with a purposeful vibe – downtempo but not downbeat. The track is available as a free download and you can find out more here.
Norwegian producer Limbic Void describes his music as being a reaction to what he feels is an increasing homogeneity in electronic music: ‘I wanted to explore the sound of old and slightly broken synths with dusty circuits, combined with solid song-crafting and moody vocals and lyrics’. He succeeds on The Alternate Life which is the lead track from his upcoming EP. Iben Bjørg Anton’s warm almost jazzy vocals work well here, delivering insightful lyrics over a track that feels inspired by early analogue electronica.
New Zealand born, Sydney based Wallace has polished up quite the gem in Black Lake. Co-written with Joel Quartermain of Eskimo Joe, the track is a love song laced with melancholy beats and defiant but deceptively soft vocals – it has a real ‘cinematic soul’ feel to it with its sparse use of strings and live drums. Black Lake sees the jazz trained singer take soul-inspired music in to new places, and bodes well for her upcoming EP which is due out October 13th.
Cody Webberley, aka Koh-dee is a Tasmanian 19-year-old electronic music producer. His new release sees his sound really develop from it’s downtempo/trap roots, working with producer/singer Kelcey Pitt on Firebird. It’s ambient electronica feel is given a human heart courtesy of Pitt’s vocals and piano playing. The track features on his new Love Me Not EP which you can catch over on Soundcloud.
Homeschool Sweathearts is the first release of Sheila And The Kit from Amsterdam. Comprising of Bo Koek (Kopna Kopna, Mass Electric) and Suzanne Kipping (ADAM), they’ve come up with an impressive debut – bubblegum pop mixing with the kind of idiosyncratic catchiness that made me love Les Rita Mitsouko so much. The duo summarise their sound as being ‘Madonna meets Hot Chip’, but it’s very much their own music and vision. Homeschool Sweathearts is fun music for fun times!
Another World by UK artist SEYD is about the loss of a partner, written from the perspective of both the dead and the living. Ghostly beats and atmospheric analogue synths combine in a dark-pop meditation on mortality. Eleanor Robinson’s vocal soars at the forefront of this arrangement, sounding akin to the likes of BANKS and Broods in vocal style, with an overall sound that invites comparisons with Swedish masters of the emotional electro such as Molly Nilsson and Susanne Sundfør.
Last up this week is Long Road Home by MADES: another female UK electronic act, forging a similar musical path to SEYD, her second single – the follow-up to Never Lonely – infuses catchy synthpop with a feeling reminiscent of early UK house, and a piano riff that will have you lifting your arms in the air! Just FYI; MADES is an acronym for Musician, Artist, Director, Editor, Songwriter – the roles she performs on each of her releases.
That’s all for this week. See you next time!