For a change, we’re straight down to business this weekend with the roundup – it’s about the music after all!
It still surprises when bands manage to create a new sound by mixing up genres that I consider to be running out of steam creatively. Reaux have done that with their track Better which has managed to take elements of trap, synthpop and indie and make something musically different and instantly memorable. The vocals and lyrics give Better a bit of a street edge – there’s something special going on here, I think you’ll sense that too.
Next up is GERMANS from Brooklyn; Little Red sees Julia Kwamya collaborate with Oli Deakin of Lowpines on a piece that is as moody as it is beautiful; mellow beats and gently chiming guitars bubbling under what is one of the best vocal duets you’ll hear this year. Kwamya wrote the lyrics for Little Red and she says it’s her interpretation of the classic Little Red Riding Hood tale. “It’s about the victim’s remorse of Little Red Riding Hood and her desire to go home and cry on her mother’s shoulder,” she explains. “Little Red killed the big bad wolf in my version of the tale.”
It’s a return to the blog for Isserley, having featured her track Advent a few months ago. Privilege carries on in a similar tone, it’s ominous but tight mix of trap and industrial sounds creating an aura of menace, amplified by her lyrical and vocal delivery. It’s worth checking out her Soundcloud, you won’t be disappointed. Isserley says she has an album in the pipeline, and it’s bound to see her sound gain a wider audience.
Scottish artist ONR released his debut single Jericho through Capitol Records in the US. It’s a synth driven number with banks of 80’s style electronics creating an anthemic upbeat feel. Think of acts like The Killers, Depeche Mode, Arcade Fire and David Bowie and that gives you some musical comparisons. That’s not to say the track is derivative, it’s more that Jericho successfully pulls off the feat of being non-mainstream musically, yet catchy and accessible.
We do seem to have a bit of a weakness for Nyiko here at Electronic North, having featured his music a few times already, but when he keeps on producing tracks like In The Middle who can blame us? A soulful synth track that just aches with class, in large part because of an excellent vocal performance but also due to the smooth and slinky musical arrangement. In The Middle is four minutes of perfect musical seduction.
Sydney born but London based Wild Eyed Boy is another returnee with his quality track Stay Cool. It follows a similar musical path to previous release I Don’t Know Anymore, with a slickly produced, slightly retro synthpop/rock sound providing a solid base for Shuar’s sweet vocals and gritty lyrics – this time about social anxiety.
Fellow Australian Golden Vessel has teamed up with OKBADLANDS on Less~More – a dreamy trip through a world of chilled percussion, jazzy flute stylings and honeyed vocals. It’s a real ear worm and is the next single off Golden Vessel’s forthcoming Right/Side EP which will be released on September 29th and is currently up for pre-order.
All The Time by DYR is like a trip through the ages of dance music. Whilst not in any sense a retro track, it takes elements of early house music, electro, techno and Chic era disco, and blends in subtle but driving percussion to deliver a track that makes your feet want to move and your hips want to sway in time to the most infectious bass line you’ll hear this year.
Oleka are a four-piece band from South-East London who make dark, modern pop. Lights is from the upcoming double A-side single Lights / City That I’m From, due in late August, via their own Drift City label. The band say they draw inspiration from acts like Actress, Arthur Russell and Solange, which you can hear in the soulful vocals, layered percussion and rich, analogue synth melodies.
Last up this week is Chicago-based act Presteign with his track Grid Plan. The track will feature on his upcoming Built Environments album and is a slow burner which weaves it’s way gently through a sparse electronic soundscape of gothic electro and synthwave sounds, serving up a track that somehow delivers a sense of ‘ambient menace’. I like it yet it gives me chills, as if the villain in a Stephen King novel is creeping up behind me as I relax.
Hope you liked this week’s ten prime cuts – see you again next weekend!