It’s been a hard week here in Manchester to say the least, and I’m still struggling to put in to words how I feel about the horror of it all. I can say is that I’ve been inspired by the reaction of so many people – the families of the victims, the people of Manchester in the way they have responded to hate with messages of love, sharing and unity. If you’d like to offer financial support to the families of the victims, you can get more details here. Like many others we’ve got to keep going so with that in mind, on with the music.

Philadelphia duo Camp Candle’s Before the Night is an amazing blend of downtempo, synth and RnB which is sonic sugar to the ears.  Mark “Nu Ra” Cave and Briana “Hetepsa” Mills have a sophisticated and beguiling sound which got me checking out more of their music and I liked what I heard! The track and accompanying EP is released via Manimal Vinyl.

How Could We Know is the latest single from Adaline and is featured on her forthcoming album Aquatic, due out on June 2nd. She describes the track as being about ‘falling in love in the most inopportune moment’ and thinking, ‘if only this was a different place/different time’.  Her sweet angelic voice brings a lot of emotion to what could best be described as a synth power ballad in what is very much her own style.

Originally from Sydney, James Shuar aka Wild Eyed Boy swapped sunshine for snow during a first winter in London a few years ago and now considers the city his home. You can hear the influences of both cities on I Don’t Know Anymore, it’s ‘stadium synthpop’ matching a summery ballad sound to gritty lyrics. Check out Spotify to hear more of his soulful voice.

Angie Shyr’s project Jackie Highway shows she has a knack for writing infectious indie synth gems with The Grant. Layers of piano, ethereal vocals and chiming samples work together perfectly to deliver a cautionary tale about Mother Nature.  Check out the video for Here I Am if you want to see and hear more from Jackie Highway!

Cumulus by Nsay Mada is a beautiful wisp of a track, with Mada’s Aaliyah style vocals giving the track a sheen that brings layers of soul to a slinky and well produced sound. It’s cool and seductive poise is sure to draw in the listener to its world.

93 Acres has at its creative centre 24year old Dubliner Hugh Clarke. Clarke says that he feels the years spent around choirs and orchestras lend a unique spin to his electronic productions. You can certainly hear that on Lay Down. A very melodic ballad switching male and female vocals, it is infused with a sound and structure that would equally be at home in a concert hall. Clarke states that the aim of 93 ACRES is to ‘facilitate the artistic collaboration of multiple talented artists fostering collective creativity’ and he is certainly off to a great start here!

Scandinavian label Hybris Records has an impressive roster of artists and one the highlights is the music of the group Postiljonen; exemplified with their track track Crazy. Mia Brox’s soaring vocals and the sublime production of Daniel Sjörs and Joel Nyström Holm combine to create music full of heartache and nostalgia, on a track that skilfully mixes their blend of dreampop with an infectious Scandinavian pop sound. Oh, and it features the best sax I’ve heard in years!

Dallas synthwave trio Pleasure Crisis formed in 2015 but are currently bringing their first round of live shows to the stage. Carefully crafted songs have culminated in a sound that is both polished and perfected. Brandi Paige’s powerful feminine vocals glide over retro synth sounds, with lashings of driving guitars, pulsing basslines and dynamic drums giving their latest track Frozen Heart a dynamic urgency.

The Oyster Murders are a four piece from Brisbane, Australia. The band say they often incorporate 90’s alternative influences into their sound, which can be characterized by a mixture of analogue synths, dreamy guitar and vocals. This is illustrated perfectly on Shake Your Head which is the bands’ latest release. It’s a darker and more electronic take on their more usual dreampop sound and shows the bands’ willingness to push their boundaries and expand their musical horizons.

Brixton boy Sam Frankl finishes off this week’s roundup with Gold Rush, a very smart and sensual track which has bossa nova at its roots but subverts that somewhat to brew up a politicised take on his smooth, laid back electronic sound. Frankl was inspired to write the song after seeing the destruction of working class housing in his area and its replacement by more expensive housing. It’s a serious message delivered by an amazing voice and a stunning song.

Well that’s our ten picks for this week, hope you liked some of what you heard and that it has tempted you to check out more of their music. Until next week!