I’m not sure if the Roundup has never featured at least one Scandinavian act, but that’s the situation this week! The focus is firmly on the Anglosphere – America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK taking up the musical reins this time round with considerable aplomb.
LE∆DR is a Los Angeles-based producer, singer and songwriter who says his influences encompass everything from classical to jazz to house. On new single Waves he channels a Café Del Mar type ambiance, using sound and melody to paint a state of mind as much as it creates a beautiful song. With a vocal style that breathes a quiet strength and an arrangement that comes across like it was born of years of yearning, Waves is a song that feels like a reassuring hug in musical form.
Long Island’s Shiffley fashion indie-pop with an electronic twist, new song Cut Out My Heart being a prime example of their well refined style. With vocals that are upbeat and a bit cheeky in manner, the song blends rhythms of an indie anthem with a melody that wouldn’t be amiss on an 80s synthpop classic. The emphasis is very much on conjuring up a fun sound and giving the listener something to smile about for a while. It does that with considerable ease! The track features on the new album Paper Cranes which you can currently stream on Spotify
Londoner Lial has followed up debut single Heart Scars with Midas – a cutting and current slice of personal pop. With the emphasis on producing a warm and expansive melodic atmosphere, it draws the listener in to its lyrical world – one where gender roles are changed to highlight the stereotypes that can be imposed on us all. Pertinent, a bit political but not preachy, Midas is a valuable and well-crafted contribution to the ongoing dialogue about what it is to be a woman – or man for that matter.
Dantercepies is the latest single from Edinburgh-based quartet Redolent. It juxtaposes the experimental tones familiar to fans of Aphex Twin with some post-rock rhythms and left field but danceable electronica in a similar vein to Vessels. The result is a track that transports the listener on a musical journey filled with driving beats and lots of vocal attitude courtesy of Ian Herbert’s spoken word delivery. Be sure to check out more of Redolent’s stirring sound on Spotify.
Stef Animal from The Golden Awesome has ventured outside the confines of the well regarded New Zealand dreamgazers to release her debut album Top Gear. Owl comes from that album and it’s an odd-shaped gem of a track. Clocking in at just over two minutes, it has more invention that you’d hear on many albums; a glorious collision of fantasy game soundtrack and Enya style baroque ambiance where retro sounds meet high art, but in a listenable and enchanting form. If lo-fi epics weren’t a thing before, they are now!
The ambient tones of The Search for Soulman are tricky but captivating, with organ sounds and glitchy effects setting the scene for some jazz-infused chilled beats. With a trumpet and street scene samples; the overall effect is one of happening upon the soundtrack for a 70s cop flick set in a gritty part of New York – edgy but with a knowing sense of class, The Search for Soulman is confident and captivating.
The Final Girl sees Australian Isserley follow up her Sadposting album with a more polished but still angular take on her deconstructed approach to Industrial. From the opening percussive salvo, the track see Roxxi Wallace push the genre in to ever dark places both musically and lyrically, layers of emotional turmoil and musical dissonance pummelling the listener with a series of unsettling but ultimately rewarding sonic sorties. The track features on her current Misanthropy Exhibition EP which is available on Bandcamp.
Skyepaint is the (previously featured) solo project of Australian Amos Wellings, and his second single Bury Us in Gold sees him apply a very modern sheen to a classic synthpop sound. Fans of Zynic and Xenturion Prime will love the broad and heartening musical brushstrokes, the light and airy melody interweaving flawlessly with Welling’s vocals while the lyrics lend the track an aspirational futurepop flavour. Electronic pop doesn’t come much better than this! You can get the track on a ‘name your price’ basis via his Bandcamp page.
Peaklife by King Monday is an at times claustrophobic song, with its minimal garage-inspired beats, urban stylings sand cut up sounds mirroring the open but emotionally austere lyrics. A musical and lyrical soundtrack to the dark times we all encounter in life, the heartfelt and on occasions dispassionate vocals capture and illuminate the black dog in an oddly uplifting manner.
Hot on the heels of working with shallou on Lies, Riah is back with a new single of her own. Prom is post-love song, which sees her fighting and possibly losing the battle against her feelings for a former love. The track pulsates with a quiet energy and a softly rolling arrangement that is very much in sympathy with the earnest lyrics and achingly fragile vocals. With a Scandipop vibe and a retrowave sound, Prom is the Homecoming Queen of melancholy electro.
And that’s it for this week, there’s something beautiful music out there at the moment by these acts and we’ve just captured but a brief part of it – so pop over to their social media sites and show them some listener love. Until next week!