With “It’s a Lie,” pecq makes an immense contribution to the synthwave city in my mind, creating late-night sci-fi and pulsing retro sounds.
pecq has designed a smokey vista, a mind-melting synthetic space and a sound that is the equivalent of dry ice on electronica — sharp, static, and cool. It’s one of those tracks I’ll always hear in a club when I find myself just people-watching. It’s a whirlwind of ideas, moments, pulsing epiphanies, and a moment of bliss that ends up lasting for hours.
The track creates a sci-fi utopia and then gives you more — more neon, more lights, and more noise. It’s a smokey synth dream.
WEVAL has created a soundscape that goes into a spiral of slow overlapping sounds and zooms into itself like an eternal whirlpool.
It’s not always easy to combine the idea of magic and electro, to create something that’s truly fantastical in its characterization. “Forever,” however, sounds like a remixed Ghibli track or an electro montage of Lord of The Rings.The track is magical and minuscule – it zooms in on its own minute details until the soundwaves become nothing but patterns and then it zooms in some more. Eventually, we are just left with the beauty of sound particles sparking off each other like spells.
This track is an eternal whirlpool of magic and mana for the day.
Kytes blows open a door and lets the electro-fire rock out with “Mister Burns” — a sizzling combo of oil and water making the sparks fly.
“Mister Burns” is a quick flame, a powerful combination of sparks and electric discharges that jolt and bounce across the room setting fire to every feeling inside of you. There’s a bombast to the track, it goes hard and it goes quick, the fuse is lit and there is no way to stop it, there is no out and there is no solution, all you have to do is join the heat and burn up.
“Mister Burns” is an aggressive and all-engulfing track that will flood your house and burn down every corner, but you’ll be so happy the fire started.
Mindchatter kicks me right back to my high school existence and then pulls me back into a club of vibes and sounds.
A whistle is replaced by an electro sample and a beat increase, and I cannot explain how hard my nostalgia was triggered. Mindchatter has given me everything I ever wanted from this song – vibes on top of vibes while keeping a level of purity. It’s as though they went back in time and fixed the problem, created a utopia, and then wrote the chill trap anthem for everyone to remember.
“Young Folks” is a Potion of eternal youth and a time travel machine all in one.
Elephant Talks gives Jungle’s “Good Times” a stadium-level upgrade and It makes the best sound for the biggest crowd.
It’s a wavey arm experience, a crowd full of pretty visitors slamming their hands in the air and lifting their feet off the ground. The track has been put into hyper-speed and all the funk has been boosted to a level of beautiful insanity. It’s all a slow start, but that’s just for comfort, and then suddenly it all goes into the stratosphere and I couldn’t help but jump around.
The track takes everything it has and lays it in front of you on the stadium stage and loses its mind with you.
“Love And Motown” from Sweet Tempest got the thumbs up from all of us here at Indie Shuffle, Jason’s wife included.
For this Berlin-based synth-pop duo, it’s all “Love And Motown” but for me, it’s all love and mountains. I’m seated in a beautiful outdoor courtyard in the center of a bowl of mountains — the air has the breath of summer and the soundwaves are filled with this shimmering track.
It’s amazing how a great song can elevate and already-incredible moment, and Sweet Tempest’s “Love And Motown” does just that.
“Baby Blue Eyes” is what my mind feels like at all times — a noisy and ironically calm space filled with whipping electric guitars and an immediate conversation with myself in the mirror.
It’s a comfort for a lazy thought; you don’t feel like doing anything today? Good, then put this track on, pour some beer and relax. J ember takes every artist’s self-glorified procrastination and gives us a reason to do it – a reason to just sit and melt in the sun of its sound.
J ember has spoken to my out-of-control mind and offered pure acceptance as a respite.
It’s a garden of words with “cursive” a special little track that’s as charming as a love letter.
The written word is something of a tragedy nowadays – no one writes with a physical hand anymore and no one publishes those words. ghost orchard has me reminiscing on the days when love letters were sent by hand and written with the teardrops of a longing romance.
“cursive” is the sweetest little collection of words and it gives me all the smiles, all the love, and a soft tint of blush.
It’s all melting into a sunset and I adore every moment on “Pacific Ave.”
Pearl & The Oyster have gone and made my heart all woozy with “Pacific Ave” — a chilled psych rock track drizzling in honey electro and salty blues. The track shouts calm like a siren and keeps your mind in check as the sea water washes over you.
It’s not just that this track keeps me calm, but it also satisfies me, like in my heart, in my soul, and in every waking thought I have. The track is a beach towel against the blazing sand and a Pina Colada against the heat.
I love and adore this track with a part of my heart I never knew I could.
“One For Paradise” feels like a track you discover about 3 hours into a SoundCloud dive. It hits you with everything you’ve been searching for and some more. The track is a pulsing little gem reflecting all the light around it and yet just as smooth as an incense and a fragrant candle on a Sunday afternoon.
The track drips charisma and heart. It sounds like a track that a friend made and you’re the first to hear it and it slaps.
I feel like I’ve made the closest friend in 2 minutes and I don’t wanna let them go.
LOMELI gives my eyes a rest as I focus out into the distance and embrace the vibes of this song.
“Interrupter” is the feeling of looking out a window into the rain, the embracing of fog around your house, and blurry lights against a stained glass window. It’s uncertain comfort and joyful peace. LOMELI has created an inviting and slow-building cigarette smoke experience – fuzzy and floaty, mesmerizing and intriguing.
“Interrupter” is best listened to alone in a dark room as the rain falls. It’s romantic and expressionist, fashionable and yet as cuddly as the best wool jersey. Enjoy!
FOZSA gives us a social and pulsing electronic track that sounds like a million conversations about the best things.
“Flea Market” is an unplaceable track filled with ideas that leap and flow over each other in a pulsing social scene. It is fast and poppy with slices of electro and chill but at the same time a chill track with slices of pop. It’s the best socializer at the party and the most welcoming.
Anything you want to talk about, this track is here for it and will enjoy every moment with you.
“Clockwork” is like an immaculately designed watch filled with clicks and twitches that leave you guessing, moving, and always entertained.
Good Jester has gone and made the best watch in the business – it’s a Rolex that can go into the depths of your mind, a maverick of design, and is a timeless piece for every occasion. It’s not just good for the aesthetic, but it’s also the first thing to get the vibes going and the last thing you want to hear leaving. The track kept me intrigued from the first little metronome all the way to the last tick as time stood still.
“Clockwork” is a gold-lined piece of jewellery and I want to spend all my money on it.
meija creates a zoo of sounds, feelings, and rhapsodies that not only surprise, but entice my mind with every second.
It truly is a mind game with “Matter Over Mind” — a brass instrument booms in and out as angsty vocals attack the mind and the violins scatter in the background. This is what an epiphany sounds like – the cacophony of realization – the boom of an idea.
I cannot explain how much I adore the live version of this though, the earthy apartment style of the filming and the tangible sounds – this is just a glorified band practice, but everyone is at 100% at all times and I love it.
Scott Lavene’s “Prettiest Peach” really captures attention with its vivid and unique storytelling.
“Prettiest Peach came from a conversation with an aunt and brother at my Dad’s funeral. It’s about my family and humans in general, leaning towards the bright light, how people are odd and how oddness is excellent, how characters should be celebrated. It’s also about how the men in my family are generally a bit shit whereas mum, all mums, most mums, somehow hold it all afloat”
Unlike what I normally hear and share, this song stands out as different. But the bassline and the wordplay are what make “Prettiest Peach” stand out as excellent. The Jamie T’esque vocal performance adds a layer of nostalgic value for those of us who grew up with Panic Prevention in our playlists.
Consider me a fan who will be watching what’s to come from this artist of odd pop and twisted ballads.
It’s a collage of sounds and identities with “People That We Know” and I love meeting all these new people.
People-watching is a pastime that almost every aspiring artist has to take part in at some point. It’s a rite of passage into the world of understanding humans, and Turnover has taken that idea — the feeling of looking at people — and given it an audio identity and at the same time spicing it with some romance.
The track bleeds sunset vibes, but with a million people on a beach, slowly walking through the soundwaves and it’s entertainingly artsy.
“Lifetime” is the feel-good track we all deserve when the sun is hot and the vibe is right.
SG Lewis has created a beat-for-beat happy song, that not only flies in the face of other soft-sided joy tracks but also gives us a glimpse into a charismatic and ever-loving rendition of SG Lewis’s persona.
The track is uplifting, uproaring, and ultimately a momentous crescendo of smiles. The fact that it’s all so simply designed and extremely well executed just goes to show what gold this track has struck with sound and color.
I’m done waiting for the most uplifting track of the month, cause this is it.
Bear with me. This one starts out weird, but really fills into itself at the 1 minute mark. The intro may as well be a completely different song.
The first half of this song is actually pretty dark, for that matter. Then the vocals kick in around the 2 minute mark and something about the tempo manages to pick up. I’ve listened to this song 20+ times now, and I keep wanting to come back over and over and over again.
Perhaps the aforementioned long/dark intro is in fact what draws me in? When I finally emerge to the light at the end of the tunnel I find my eardrums vindicated in some sort of weird way. I reckon some of you might experience that as well. For others, this one’s gonna be too far out there.
All that said, part of the point of Indie Shuffle is to expose you to music you otherwise wouldn’t have listened to. German-based producer Jan Moehlmann’s “Magnetize” certainly manages to pull that off.
I really like this band, and have liked them for many years. They’ve got a knack for combining beautiful and haunting vocals with absolutely incredible soundscapes.
The song starts in somewhat typical ANIMA! fashion: broody with an abundance of instrumental intricacy. From there it builds and builds and builds until it breaks into a bit of an indietronic dance at around the 1:05 mark. There’s a hint of pop about it all, but it always comes back to something that steers clear of being too simple. And I think that’s what I like most about their style.
“Let It Go” comes as part of the multi-city duo’s upcoming album Not At This Time, due for release in January of 2023.
Olivia Dean gives us warning signs and beaming soul-pop with “Danger.”
There’s a certain sneaky vibe to “Danger,” it’s like a slow heist track, but the whole heist is done by hip teenagers and they’re here to steal your heart. Olivia Dean has given me butterflies but also just the swaggiest feeling this side of a fashion week and I can’t help but feel like starting a frivolous romance for no reason other than to feel cool.
The Alpha Zulu album grows in my heart with “My Elixir” — a warm tonic for a cold heart and a calm little bop for anyone listening.
Phoenix has given me a milestone track for every feeling with the new Alpha Zulu album and “My Elixir” is exactly what it says on the package, a well-designed, earthy, and warm tonic for the heart. The track is filled with reminiscence, romance, and soft revelation.
If you’ve ever seen the beautiful effect lavender tea has when you pour it, this track is just as mesmerizing, slowly taking over your soul, filling it with magic and purple joy.
“My Elixir” is a must and a great refresher from a rough day.
“Saturnus” whirls and twirls in my mind like a galaxy sucked into the depths of a jazzy black hole.
There’s something ethereal about this track, the way the bluesy bass hits and spits its rhythm from a distance, almost as if you know it’s playing at an immeasurable volume, but you’re just far enough to enjoy it. And the way the track swoops in its lyrics like a meteor crashing in slow motion is a joy to witness.
The track shouts sensuality in a way that is universal to understand and also galactic in its scope and feel. It’s a slow expansion and somehow we’re all moving closer together because of it.
A track that put my mind at ease and my body in a trance, “We’re All Dreaming” is a cool, collected, and vibey body-check.
There’s something about the feeling that a good new-age soul electro track gives you — the smooth smoke waves, the strong coffee pops, and a dreamlike vocal current that takes me into the ether of my dreams. Sweatson Klank has given me rest and relaxation, but also just enough of a vibe to work to, a vibe to talk to, and a vibe to generally just live my life to. The world seems like a dream and “We’re All Dreaming” is here to comfort that thought.
Take me anywhere, play this track, and I’ll be happy and content.
The Super Hi remix of “Feel It” by Crooked Colours is a stab to the dancehall heart and we all love the pain.
I felt every single part of this track as it built and built in my ears, giving me sweat sensations and audio waves that taste like home. The track is uplifting and welcome in every weekend playlist. It’s hard, groovy, and an electric bop to keep the energy up. We all felt everything with the original, but the Super Hi remix goes hard and doesn’t look back for anyone.
“Feel It” the Super Hi remix is an absolute joy to hear and a vibe that could loop in my head forever
This track is flirty with a twist. The twist being that the object of one’s flirtation is not man. Oh yes, you heard right — not man, but rather, mushroom. After sufficient consensual courting, you take it out for dinner — wine and dine it — and when you return home, you play Virtual Perfection Cowboy’s “Stoned Ape.”
By this point, you have played your cards so right that you’re in for a night of sheer wonderment. The song plays on repeat, bringing a smile to each side of your face. By which point, you ponder how strange it is to have two sides of one face and how bizarre it is that the back of your head is, in essence, blind because your eyes are in a strictly monogamous relationship with the front of your head, also known as ‘the face.’
As the night winds down, you scoff at ‘the face’ because you have formed an alliance, out of compassion, with the back of your head. “Stoned Ape” is still on repeat and you’re totally content knowing the night has been filled with good music and new revelations that you may or may not remember by morning.
This track holds such sweet pain. It’s the epitome of a happy-sad track. “Die For You” hits me in a place very few see.
Joji has always been someone who fluctuates between polar opposites — going from fast electro into slower more reflective pieces. But through all these tracks they have had one thing consistently: honesty. Joji has made a space for my sad little heart to cry and for my hands to miss the cheek of a loved one. “Die For You” is an empty plead for comfort from a lover already moving on and it hits every soft nerve in my heart and yet I’ll still keep coming back.
“Die For You” is what I’d do on repeat just to kiss this track again.
Who doesn’t love a catchy tune? If you’re in the minority, then you might want to skip Bearcubs’ “Damages” featuring Harvey Causon, because this sure is one catchy track!
It’s got that modern indie vibe with huge earworm potential. All that is left to do, is to let that little worm roll around in your brain, make itself at home, put the kettle on, and settle in for the night.
Now that you’re done imagining a worm residing between your ears, here’s what you need to know: Bearcubs is the immersive solo project from 30-year-old electronic artist Jack Ritchie. For this standalone electronic pop single, they teamed up with Harvey Causon, making use of their soulful melodies.
As though a glitter ball mesmerizes one from above, Fonteray’s “Green Viridian” is the perfect track one can lift their head towards, get lost in, and escape whatever unease we might have found ourselves in.
“Green Viridian” was created as part of a songwriting challenge that this Australian artist was doing with some friends during covid as a way to stay connected and creative. Speaking to the track, Fonteray explains:
“During one particular challenge I had these chords and bassline that I was really vibing with and knew immediately that I wanted to turn them into a full song. Going through my notes on my phone I had the words ‘Green Viridian’ written down and I decided to run with the theme of colour, and how certain people can leave such an impression on your life that you permanently associate them with. Whether that be a song, a place, or in this case a colour”
It’s a beautifully connected sentiment born from a time of disconnect. I hope this reaches all those upon which it can strike a chord.
“Julia” is a modern romance, filled with queer wishes, soft kisses and a wallop of a guitar.
Almost as if rebranding Juliet from the famous Shakespeare, “Julia” recreates a longing feeling of romance akin to a foggy memory at a party, a soft kiss embedded in the back of your mind, a curl of hair and a neckline shaded by the romance of flirtation. Vox Rea has given me all the warm feelings and an ecstatic release of love and shoegaze passion that is akin to the great indie film soundtrack.
If Shakespeare could curate music in the 2020’s this would be a top track.
“Afterworld” is romance – a bubbly, soft-spoken feeling that builds and builds until finally it bursts out my heart in heartfelt guitars and embracing vocals.
Phantom Youth has taken every romantic film I’ve ever seen, cut them up, and collaged them into a 3 and half minute soundscape that had me flying. It took me from teenage days running over sports fields and pavillions into the glancing eyes at the bar. It’s a history of romance written like a novel and you are the main character.
All I could think about was that fleeting moment when you release from a lover’s kiss and you both just feel it.
It’s overwhelming and near impossible how much this track has suddenly become a part of me – a new lover.