A synthpop slow-burn that takes me from 2021 to the new era of 3056 full of electric lights, flying cars, and a heartbeat at 160 bpm — yes I love this song.
The geek in me shuddered when the song starts, the strange alt-synth noises reminded me of a movement in music reminiscent of euro industrial tracks of the 2000’s — I’m talking synth chords, bass builds, and the always present feeling of a coming break.
Visually this track takes me far from the earth. It’s like a sci-fi opera of beaming lights, bright cities, crowded streets, and humming vibration viewable in everything around me.
I opened this track expecting Chet Faker to boom into my ears, but what I got was them swooning over someone, and it’s beautiful.
I like soft pop very openly. I like art that takes sounds we think will go one way and then says “There’s more here than that.” The track takes me to a place I’m not always capable of going — a quiet and beautifully numb space. I am caught up on my reminiscing, my romantic past, my romantic future, my breakups, and my connections.
“It’s Not You” is a track that gives me the unexpected, from an already entrancing artist, and leaves me missing people but needing to go.
I love how floaty this track is — it’s massive in its sound, like a big creature moving slowly through a beautiful landscape of soft noises, electric clouds, and twilight horizons.
Like a single violin in an orchestra chamber, this track sounds like an echo of vast ideas. “Only Love” is a big sound diluted into a single concentrated idea, a sound that’s alive and independent, growing and traveling away into the distance.
Tycho and Benjamin Gibbard have molded a creature unto its own. This audio sea mammal takes you on a flight to any destination you want to go.
The first time I listened to “Interior People,” I watched the music video at the same time. I was so distracted by the absolute trip-fest occurring before my eyes that I actually forgot to listen to the song.
It’s like a full-on short film of animated psychedelia of a butterfly-person riding an actual butterfly as it flies past dilapidated purple castles, pink clouds, and curly green foliage backdropped by a star-speckled black sky.
There are also a bunch of odd-looking green alien-like creatures (caterpillar things, maybe?) and a couple of questionable pinkish things (don’t ask, I’m really not sure at this point). Are they cocoons? Maybe they’re cocoons. Anyway, butterfly-lady punches out the green alien-caterpillar guys, sheds her butterfly-suit and we see that she is actually a human woman! Then she climbs inside the giant pink cocoon. She gestates for a bit amid flashing images of brightly colored shapes and emerges as a beautiful actual butterfly as the aforementioned purple towers explode into oblivion.
The last shot is of her flying alongside the butterfly she was riding earlier (who I’m going to assume is her best and only friend in this world of utter psychedelic chaos) as they cross fields of green and brown. Is she an interior person? Are the butterflies interior people? What does it all mean?!
I can’t tell you. But I can tell you one thing. This is a great, retro-esque, fantastical song, and a true testament to why King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are 18 studio albums into their unbelievably prolific oeuvre, with their latest album Butterfly 3000 (noticing a trend here?) released last month. Lead songwriter Joey Walker described “Interior People” as:
“The internal battle of questioning your own sanity, and the joy that comes in letting go and surrendering to the void”.
“I keep thinking someone
Is standing beside me
But when I turn to grab them
They jump back inside of me
They tell me to do things
And so does the radio
And learn from the satellite
That orbits my shadow, yeah”
It’s a cosmic, bold, psychedelic rock, space odyssey that’ll have you questioning your sanity in the most enjoyable way possible.
Sun-soaked and warm, Still Woozy’s new single, “Get Down”, is an ode to the magic and euphoria of infatuation. Lifted from his eagerly-awaited debut album, If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is, this track stays true to form in terms of the album title; it is, indeed, incredibly nice.
It’s a glittering little alt-pop gem that encapsulates the dreamy, spontaneous nature of holiday romance: you meet a beautiful stranger on the beach, or maybe a dancefloor. You spend the evening sharing drinks, swapping plans for adventure, discussing your love of the beautiful tropical new land in which you both find yourselves…at the end of the evening you share a kiss, and suddenly, you’re head over heels in love with a person you don’t know from a loaf of bread. You know they’ll end up hurting you and it’ll end terribly when you both leave to go home, but it doesn’t matter, because freedom and lust have wound themselves around you like sweet and sticky vines and they don’t intend on leaving any time soon. And truth be told, neither do you. Need some extra proof? Take a look at the lyrics:
“She’s gonna break me
But I don’t give a damn right now
She wanna get down, I wanna get down
We’re gonna get down, so”
“Get Down” is about the impending heartbreak borne of breezy decisions; maybe you’ve had too much sun and the alcohol’s gone to your head, or maybe that beautiful stranger really is your dream person. Only one way to find out, right?
“Manila Palm” is vocal sample-driven progressive electronica that is atmospheric and ethereal to start, and builds into something other-worldly and groovy-as-hell. It’ll have your body moving of its own accord midway through.
This song is a sonic journey of melody-laden beats and percussion with a definite shimmering, twinkling, rounded edge. There’s a spaciousness in its progressive style that exudes freedom and expansion, with a vaguely tribal element that really drives the track home.
All of this is emphasized in the music video, which is beautifully shot and directed, and features a juxtaposition of scenes that move seamlessly from naturalistic outdoor environments and animals to cityscapes and rooftops – both of which feature groups of people dancing together to the beat of “Manila Palm.” The same Japanese girl is featured in both, as she tries to find her place in the world.
The bulk of the song is made up of its crescendo, bookmarked on either end by slow, pretty, almost haunting lighter notes. It’s supple, laidback, and moody. It’s mysterious for sure, but therein lies its beauty.
Parra for Cuva’s new album Juno was released on July 16th 2021.
I was listening to some Alan Watts chillstep today. It was a lecture about not really having control and that once we realize what we really are, we can let go and trust. All the while we can think we’ve made a decision but it’s simply just a ‘happening.’ The thinker is thought, the experiencer is experienced. It all comes down to arriving here, now.
Sometimes I’m left feeling like the present moment is a million miles away when it’s ironically right here, right now. All the scribbles of past and future that we trace and retrace could all fade to nothing if we were just able to be present.
Italian outfit Palmaria have released “Lluvia,” a song about trusting our own destiny and continuing to walk our unique journey through life. A journey of a million miles, simply to arrive right where we started. At least there’s great music such as this along the way.
Wherever you are, I hope you enjoy this. From us to us.
Is this the prettiest break-up song that ever was? Damn right it is. While the lyrics tell a lonely story of heartbreak and never being able to go back, the perfect juxtaposition created by the way the light, twinkling melodies wind around the softly spoken, dreamy vocals makes “Now I’m Alone (feat. Sofía Valdés)” gorgeously palatable without being even slightly woe-is-me. It’s a wavy and pensive offering from the alt-pop duo, and Valdés’ vocals add a distinctive, gentle edge that’s very welcome.
HONNE is teasing the release of their upcoming album with a three-song EP called PART 1: WWYD, which features “Now I’m Alone,” as well as “IDGAF About Pain” and “What Would You Do?”
Their new album, Let’s Just Say The World Ended a Week From Now, What Would You Do?is due out October 22nd. Written last year amidst the global pandemic, it’s a poignant title for the troubling times in which we find ourselves, and a reminder to put pride aside and resolve past regrets or unfinished business where we can.
In an official press statement, HONNE say on their forthcoming album:
“In the past, we’ve limited ourselves. We might get to a section of a song and things are getting really exciting, but we then pull ourselves back and say, ‘Can we really do that?’. Now, we’ve sidestepped the rules and done whatever we wanted to do.”
Jungle are masters of putting a new-school edge on old-school nostalgia and then adding a whole bunch of contemporary texture that makes it impossible to sit still. You only need to watch one of their music videos (seriously, any of them) to see the absolute power they have to make their listeners get up and dance.
Their latest single from their upcoming album, Loving in Stereo, also marks their first feature collaboration with Dreamville rapper, Bas. It’s straight-up, feel-good hip-hop at its finest. It may not be quite as energetic and joyous as previous single “Keep Moving”, but it more than makes up for it in funk, style, and groove. It’s Jungle all right, but a laid-back, cheery, chilled-out version. And while I miss Jungle’s usual vocal additions, Bas absolutely kills it by adding his own spin to the sound of the track, while ensuring Jungle’s usual unstoppable magic is maintained throughout.
Speaking to NME earlier this year, Jungle said of Loving in Stereo:
“It’s all kind of chaotic and magical, and I think that that’s why there’s that energy to the record – everything just went up a level.”
This song, in its entirety, is a lo-fi wave just blowing over your ears, a smooth alt-rock blues boat sailing through the breeze.
Charlotte Day Wilson’s vocal timbre is beautifully comforting and immensely expressive. It’s an amazing experience to listen to a vocal range that not only adds an emotional track to beautifully stimulating instrumentation and have it mould in such a complimenting way.
“I Can Only Whisper” isn’t all waves though, at a point this boat docks at a Persian market, slow-burning into the closing hour. A heart-warming sound from a heart-warming artist.
There’s something special about this song. I can’t quite put my finger on it though. But that’s the thing with that which is special, it’s often abstract, obscure, a quality that cannot be grasped and yet is felt.
“Animals in The Kitchen” is the kind of song I sit down to write about and have to crane my neck so as to be able to glance far above me in order to catch a glimpse of the musicianship and talent that places such artists high above the ordinary.
The music video too, leaves me in awe, as I take in the music with a deep respect for creativity, artistry, and the coming together of ideas to produce something wholly unique.
A glowing write-up you say? Sit back and be wowed just as I was. Enjoy.
Music – the best thing on the planet that brings pleasure™. It’s uncomplicated and the worst it can do is ‘miss the mark.’
Klaz’s “Give In” does just what it’s supposed to do — create a world of sound that is so engrossing and transportive so as to make you lose your way just long enough that you end up giving in, without ever having to put in the effort to let go.
“Give In” makes me want to float amidst the good vibes that abide when all non-sense dissipates. It is so beautiful, serving as a reminder as to just why I’m so drawn to music.
If you want to give in and float on by too, I’d recommend adding Klaz’s “Give In” to your best playlists. Enjoy.
There is something animalistic and yet extremely otherworldly about Royal Canoe’s “Surrender.” It’s quite a little experience, a trip down a garden full of electric sounds and poisonous plants.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been attracted to someone you should not be attracted to, or in another sentence, is an immediate red flag, but you just can’t help yourself – you have to surrender – this is that feeling. Royal Canoe has created a track that warps and bends itself into exactly what you want. Its whole game is conformation in hope of satisfaction. This song wants you to listen to it and only it – no one else.
“Surrender” is like a mesmerizing audio escape into a dangerous place — just surrender.
“Fine and Peachy” is like the lovechild of Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette; a definitive, blunt but playful nod to the plain-speaking pushback of the female greats of the ’90s.
Eliza Shaddad sticks her middle finger up to the liars, cheats, and gaslighters of the world with a mesmerizing voice and sardonic lyrics. The Scottish-Sudanese songstress nakedly confesses her truth, commanding space completely and unapologetically. The lead single of her latest album, The Woman You Want, is refreshing and righteous with opening lyrics that sucker-punch straight to the point:
“F*ck you, just tell me what you want me to sayInstead of screwing with my head for days”
It’s ‘90’s-era indie rock with gnarly roots, emotive femine power, and exquisite vocals. Shaddad says in a press statement:
“It’s a groovy, loose, rebellious, sick-of-this-sh*t kind of song which delights in some of the country influences I’ve been enjoying over the last few months. It’s super fun to sing, jump and get all your frustrations out to. I had so much fun too, making the music video for this at home with the wonderful Jodie Canwell who’s collaborated with me on all the beautiful visuals for this album.”
It’s scathing and blunt, with a bluesy swing that’ll have you feeling so full of female empowerment and assertiveness, you’ll be calling up that person who’s been stringing you along and demanding an answer in no time flat. A powerful song by a powerful woman.
Geez, this song pulls my heartstrings. Not sure which ones really, but there’s something really emotive about it that has grown on me with each subsequent listen (and there’ve been a lot of listens to date).
In case it’s not obvious by the pronounced accent, The Ninth Wave are from Glasgow, Scotland. Their latest single “Maybe You Didn’t Know” manages to blend indie rock with art pop and something from the 80s, resulting in a song unlike any I’ve heard in the last few months. Heck, maybe ever, as I’m struggling to put my finger on who to compare this to.
Bottom line is this is a front-runner for my favorite song of July.
A wave of self-conscious romance beams through this synth-pop track and leaves a reverberating feeling of romanticism until the next loop.
I’ve grown to quietly love the synth-pop sound of The Jungle Giants. I’ve also grown to love the self-contained story arc of their new upcoming “Love Signs” tour, what didn’t grow on me however was this song, no it leaped on me, hugged me, and asked me out for a coffee at the local neon buzzed diner. “Love Signs ” is a pulsing track with an ironically floaty narrative that makes me want to slam on my headphones and do some footwork.
The Synthetic cuddle is real and the warmest thing around.
Oooh, but Phil from Havêa’s remix of Url’s “Honey” is smooth as a knife through melted butter. The original is great in its own right, but this remix lays on the groove so thick it’s transportive.
Two bars in, you’re suddenly at a beach party on some tropical island in the early hours of the morning; it’s mid-Summer, the people are beautiful, your drink is delicious, the stranger at the bar is eyeing you as you sway around the dancefloor without a care in the world. Maybe there’s a flower in your hair. Maybe the stranger gave it to you. Maybe you want him to give you another. Doesn’t matter, as long as “Honey” is providing the soundtrack.
“Honey” is a super laid-back, nu-disco-inspired funky house jam with tight and refined mixing and quality. There’s a retro feel that presents itself as a fresh take, and it works beautifully. It’s unique and minimalist, with a swelling warmth and sparkle. It’s got a sophisticated, sensual vibe with a definite hedonistic undertone (maybe the aforementioned stranger does too?), and I am absolutely here for it.
Manchester Orchestra has explored some decidedly unexpected directions in their latest album, The Million Masks of God, that have taken them out of their post-hardcore comfort zone. The benefit of this is no better exemplified than by the ability of microhouse artists, Local Natives, to remix their tracks into brighter, more danceable numbers.
“Bed Head” is one such track, wherein the brooding, glitchy original is turned on its head to become upbeat, playful, and considerably brighter. The remix sees singer Andy Hull’s vocals altered into an airy falsetto presented alongside softened melodies, sparkling synths, and grooving bass. And of course, the trucking, resonant beat typical of the microhouse genre is ever-present. Did I ever think I’d want to get up and jam to Manchester Orchestra? No, I did not. Did Local Natives not only make this notion accessible but entirely impossible not to do? You best believe they did.
The core of the song shines through like a golden thread, despite the added keys and sun-kissed dance beat. There’s a lot of pop and sparkle that wasn’t there before, but the initial sound is still kept somewhat intact.
The original version of “Bed Head” features on Manchester Orchestra’s sixth studio album, The Million Masks of God, which was released in April of this year via Loma Vista Records.
Funky, textured, lo-fi beats so full of nostalgia they’ll catapult you straight back to the early ’90s. With an old-school trip-hop vibe, this dreamlike offering will have you shuffling along in no time.
Originally released by Canadian instrumental group BADBADNOTGOOD and American vocalist Samuel T. Herring (of Future Islands) in 2016, “Time Moves Slow” is the basis of the main looped sample of “Running Away” by VANO 3000. Bringing new attention to the original track courtesy of a viral TikTok video (what a time to be alive, right?), VANO 3000’s version was officially released with the original artists in June of this year.
As of the 8th of June 2021, “Running Away” has been used in nearly two billion TikTok videos, and as of the 18th of June, VANO had been tagged in over 500 000 TikTok videos and received over 2.7 billion listens. Yeah, you read that right. Billions. We’re living in a new age, ladies and gentlemen; VANO 3000 broke the TikTok fourth wall so hard, he managed to get an official release.
And as for the vocal loop, courtesy of Herring?
“Running away is easy. It’s the leaving that’s hard.”
Coming through with that much-needed Summer atmosphere in this cold and rainy Cape Town weather, Nashville-bassed singer-songwriter Mokita and LA-Based alt-pop duo slenderbodies mark their first collaboration with “Speeding Up.”
The music video features grainy, old-school footage of roller skaters, which may seem like an incongruent visual backdrop, but actually adds a sense of purity and sincerity to what is really a very unique and pretty track. They’re not even trying to be cool (unless wearing a helmet, knee pads and long socks was cool in the ‘70’s – oh wait, it probably was…okay, these people are actually super dope); the focus is more on the fact that a various group of people of differing ages, races and genders are all just enjoying themselves outside in the sunshine. Somehow, “Speeding Up” provides the perfect soundtrack.
It’s hard not to enjoy this track. Erring more towards the commercial pop side of the musical spectrum than we’re used to from slenderbodies, this track has enough texture and intricacy in its pretty, winding melodies to keep your interest deeply rooted. The synths and driving percussion provide a colorful electronic base for the dreamy falsetto, and everything gels together quite beautifully. It’s like a melting pot of electronica, indie, alt-pop goodness, and trust me, you’re definitely going to want to take a bite or two.
“Shee” emanates a beautiful love for a singular human that creates a vibing and woozy sound that comforts as much as it entertains.
It’s a track built for rainy weather nostalgia, “Shee” takes everything we understand about love and projects it over a singular person, whether that’s a friend or a lover, the content is all the same — a heartwarming journey into our feelings towards them, towards their struggles, triumphs, and vices. A cool, breezy instrumental track blows over this warm narrative making for an entrancing show of steam and air.
“Shee” is for anyone feeling the nostalgia of affection and the love of a person.
I think we can all relate to being misunderstood, romantically being friend-zoned — as the “youngens” would say — but I also think we can all relate to that moment of pure stupid confidence and this track is all about that.
The ‘fool’ is a symbolic item of most mythologies, it’s always a sign of naivety and just pure unadulterated confidence — a youthful moment of just dumb decision making. Andrew Applepie’s “Fool” slams all that into a love letter and sends it via dove to the closest lover it knows. This beautifully dumb gesture of love leads to an amazingly heartwarming indie-pop track that makes us all feel the feels.
I’m a sucker for lofi house, in case you didn’t notice. Most of the time songs make their way into my playlist, but occasionally one stands out enough that I reckon it deserves a spot of its own on the homepage.
Case in point: Liam Mour’s “If We Only Had.” It’s a slow-builder, as many house tracks are. But as it moves along it manages to capture an emotional state that I can only compare to Jamie xx. And that’s a pretty solid compliment if you ask me.
For more by Germany producer Liam Mour follow this link.
This is a remix of an already funky song and SG’s Paradise takes it sky-high to deliver the smoothest flight.
I’ve loved the Bee Gees since day one. They have been a staple in my classic playlists, but with this empowering remix the song becomes so much more! It becomes a fluffy and funky flight of disco tech and smooth electronic. Like a never-ending flight…but who would want it to end anyway? A flight of joy-inducing sounds that dig into your ears and don’t let go. I’d buy a ticket for this plane any time of the day and I am more than willing to save up.
The location is Disco Central but the flight is just as good!
A good old viewpoint sundowner track bopping through your ears: never a bad choice; always a success.
I like the vocal timbre of this song, I’m just gonna say that from the get-go. The vocals-use on this track is immensely comforting and there is an obvious reason for this because it’s all about the ‘stay together’ — the getting through this as a family. A chilled electro track bumps and hops as the narrative talks to you, supports you, and does everything you need it to do.
We all deserve a sundowner with friends, right now that is almost impossible in South Afria, and yet “Together” makes it feel so available.
Faye Webster’s latest single, “A Dream With A Baseball Player” is slow and woozy, and is about her crush on the Atlanta Braves player Ronald Acuña Jr. Beyond that though, the track is about the nature of infatuation, and how we create stories and have conversations with our object of desire in our heads that are based on feeling and yearning, rather than reality.
Pretty, soft, vocals and light, sensuous synths spiral around each other, underscored by sparse but grounding saxophone accents. Slinky R&B instrumentation rounds out the subtly surreal lyricism to create a track that is equal parts emotive and humorous.
In a statement, Webster says of the track:
“Off tour, I spent so much of my time watching baseball that I thought I wanted to be a baseball player. But I’m not, so I guess the next best thing was having a crush on one. I guess this song explains what having a crush feels like. Having made-up conversations with them in your head even though you don’t speak their language, wearing their team jersey every day, things that make you feel closer to this person that you don’t know at all. But I sang at the Braves game, and they let us meet so I think I got that one out of my system.”
This dreamy and smooth offering was the final single released ahead of Webster’s latest album, I Know I’m Funny, haha, which dropped on June 25th of this year.
As the second single off of Lindsey Bitson’s first EP, Bathing in Yesterday’s Fires, “Wash” is a vocally sultry and instrumentally psychedelic exploration of sound and of the human experience.
Written as a reflection on the nature of addiction, it still feels relatable to all: looking to be safe and to feel happy. It’s interesting: we all seek happiness, each and every one of us, in everything that we do. Some of us find routes towards that sought-after contentment fraught with thorns and obstacles, and others somehow strike luck and hop on a fluffy cloud upon which to float there.
Those that land there covered in thorns have thick skin, those on the clouds are a little more precious, but either way, that we arrive and can be together, in happiness, is beautiful and special.
Wherever you are on your journey to happiness, I hope you’re on your way, I hope you get there soon, and I hope that adding “Wash” to your soundtrack along the way makes it that much more bearable. With its gorgeous composition and faultless performance, I have no doubt it will.
“Nostalgic Montage ” is a song with a title literally up my alley. A conglomeration of youthful sounds in the audioscape take me back a few years to soft memories and it’s lovely.
The title gives it all away — the sound, the feel, the aesthetic — it’s all a bag of trinkets, soft toys, soft memories, and electric pianos. It has a soundscape filled with the calm noises of sundowns spent at the top of a jungle gym hydrated by soda pop and the blowing wind. “Nostalgic Montage ” is a waving track of cloud-like noises all soft and fuzzy, the enveloping calm hugs you, and boy it’s a good one.
This is a song more than worthy of that playlist we all know: the quiet one, the nostalgic one, the young one. Enjoy!
You’re sitting on a beach with your friends in the sunshine. The lake is lapping at the shore, the birds are doing their thing, the sun is beating down its warmth, soft white clouds are skittering across the sky. Someone cracks open a couple of cold ones and turns the volume up on the portable speaker. “Magic” is the soundtrack.
This may be your reality, or it may be your quarantine-dream, but “Magic” is a fitting choice all the same.
While Polo & Pan are masters of dipping in and out of endless realities, they manage to create a golden thread of symmetry throughout everything they produce. Staying true to their trippy, dreamy, atmospheric soundscape, “Magic” has a definite psychedelic bent and is broad and quirky in both style and melody. It’s uplifting and genre-defying, and is exactly the glittering, twinkling, spark of joy we need right now.
Their latest album, Cyclorama, is out now for your listening pleasure and features this gem of a track, as well as a couple of other gorgeous offerings. The term cyclorama refers to the “background device employed to cover the back/sides of the stage and used with special lighting to create the illusion of sky, open space, or great distance.” I don’t know about you, but I’ll take all the sky, open space, and great distance I can get right now – especially if “Magic” is the bus I take to get there.
In the duo’s own words:
“It’s a musical odyssey through the steps of human existence from birth to adulthood to death… and transcendence! After our first journey in space with ‘Caravelle,’ we can’t wait to take you on a hedonistic excursion through time with ‘Cyclorama.’
Ahead of the release of his long-awaited debut album, Still Woozy has blessed us with a brand new single: “That’s Life.”The album, If This Isn’t Nice, I Don’t Know What Is, drops on August 13, and coincidentally perfectly encapsulates how I feel about his music.
The indie-pop king’s latest sparkly little crowd-pleaser is full of quirky guitar riffs, simple and honest lyrics, and well-thought-out composition. “That’s Life” speaks to the feeling of romantic nostalgia for a relationship that used to be happy and easy, but no longer is. It’s about that deep desire to be able to go back to a time when things were working, but as the lyrics suggest, life doesn’t work that way. In as much as losing a relationship and the happiness it used to bring can be really tough, people are meant to develop and grow, and sometimes things just don’t work out; there’s no going back, and that’s just life.
In true Still Woozy form, it’s an innovative and witty take on a painful experience. According to the artist himself, “That’s Life” is
“An attempt to make peace with life’s inconsistencies.”
And he may as well do so while backed by an absolute jam of a track. We’re all along for the ride.