Say Lou Lou – Peppermint

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Say Lou Lou, the Swedish sister pop outfit are releasing a new EP, Everything We Touch June 2. The twin sisters, Miranda and Elektra Kilbey are hard at work on their debut album—due out later this year—and have been generating buzz by continually sharing new material along the way. Stream their new ballad “Peppermint” off the eminent EP below.

I Break Horses – Denial

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Swedish duo I Break Horses, consisting of members Maria Lindén and Fredrik Balck produce a magical lo-fi fusion of shoegaze and dreampop. This January saw the release of their sophomore LP Chiaroscuro via the label Bella Union (Beach House, Explosions in the Sky, Fleet Foxes). Stream the single “Denial” and check out their spring tour dates across the US below.

 

Tour Dates:

4/14 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
4/15 – Washington DC @ DC9
4/17 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
4/18 – Brooklyn, NY @ Rough Trade
4/19 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
4/21 – Montreal, QC @ Il Motore
4/22 – Toronto, ON @ Underground at the Drake
4/24 – Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom – Pike Room
4/25 – Chicago, IL @ Empty Bottle
4/26 – Minneapolis, MN @ Triple Rock
4/29 – Seattle, WA @ The Crocodile
4/30 – Portland, OR @ Holocene
5/2 – San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
5/3 – Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theater

Empress Of – Realize You

Empress Of live

Empress Of is the enigmatic new songstress out of Brooklyn with one of the more amusing artist sites I’ve ever seen. With her distinctive and engaging dreampop sound, singer/producer Lorely Rodriguez released her debut EP Systems last year and has been touring around ever since. Stream “Realize You” and “Hat Trick” below, and if you’re one of the lucky ones at SXSW, catch her at the Elysium this Saturday, 3/15.

Painted Zeros – Call Back

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Photo by Kenneth Bachor

The Painted Zeros are a new band based out of Brooklyn, producing melodic and introspective dreampop. Stream their track “Call Back” below and pick up a free download of this gem here. They also have an upcoming EP S V A L B A R D set to release this Saturday, February 22 via the label Last Place Tapes.

The National Pool – Better

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About a month ago the following synth track fell into inbox, only to be delivered to my spam folder. Fortunately I was able to recover it before it was too late, as not everyday does a local talent such as The National Pool present itself in my purview.

The Baltimore-based group consists of Bradley White and Kyle Cornett, who have been making chilled out tunes together since 2006. On their track “Better,” the duo explore a verse-verse song structure with the meditative repetition of a simple set of lyrics, counterbalanced by a flurry of synth sounds and the use of a vocoder. The result is a dreamy soundscape, similar to Odesza. Stream below.

Braids – Lemonade

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Props to my Canadian friend Jon Keypour for this one, who introduced me to the Montreal-based indie/art-rock group known as Braids. Their dreampop sound is experimental in nature — akin to Animal Collective if their vocalist were female.

The kaleidoscopic track “Lemonade” is off their debut album, Native Speaker, which while a couple years old is still relevant. The Canadian quartet recently released a new album and is currently on tour in Europe.

 

Artist Spotlight: Au Revoir Simone

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The Brooklyn-based trio Au Revoir Simone have been on my radar since 2007, the year they went on tour with Peter, Bjorn and John and I was discovering the wonders of dreampop. Described by London’s The Times as “a collision between the Waitresses, Stereolab and Kings of Convenience, their music has power from what it holds back rather than spells out, and is just waiting to be fallen in love with (or to).” Indeed, their whimsical Still Night, Still Light LP from 2009 was on heavy rotation in my playlist at the time and still is — sample a few favorites off the album below, including a rad remix by Neon Indian and a disco edit of “Only You Can Make You Happy.”

 

After a long hiatus the group released a new full-length album last month, Move In Spectrums, which debuts a more space-age pop sound that diverges from their prior lighter fare. While it may not hold the same charm as their previous efforts, they have definitely paved the way for many female bands in existence today (ah hem, HAIM).

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Au Revoir Simone will be performing at DC’s U Street Music Hall tonight, and at the Highline Ballroom in NYC tomorrow!

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Oct 15 – Washington, DC – U Street Music Hall
Oct 16 – NYC – Highline Ballroom
Oct 18 – Boston – Brighton Music Hall
Oct 19 – Montreal – The Belmont
Oct 20 – Toronto – The Drake Hotel
Oct 22 – Los Angeles – Echoplex
Oct 23 – San Francisco – Slim’s
Oct 25 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir
Oct 26 – Vancouver, Canada – Electric Owl
Oct 27 – Seattle – Neumos
Oct 28 – Chicago – Lincoln Hall

St. Lucia – September

South African-born artist Jean-Philip Grobler, aka St. Lucia released his debut EP September this September. However, I first fell in love with his sound upon hearing the single “Closer Than This” last spring. Having traveled around the world with a choir in his youth and later honing his musical sensibilities across the pond, the electro-indie artist now produces his signature shimmering synths out of Brooklyn.

St. Lucia will actually be performing in D.C. this Thursday, December 13th at U Street Music Hall with British producer Alex Metric for the All Things Gold party. Should be a fun event – so if you have nothing better to do and enjoy these ditties as much as I do – go check it out.

I’ve got a feeling we will never get closer than this
I can’t imagine there’s a way to get closer than this