London electropop outfit Zola Blood seem to be able to do no wrong. They’ve got a number of ethereal electronica singles under the belt, and their latest effort “Islands” is equally immersive. Shrouded in atmospheric synths, staccato claps and alluring vocals from lead singer Matt, the song is about getting lost with a significant other in what feels like your own personal enclave.
Matt explained: “A friend of mine was telling me about an evening she spent with her boyfriend of the time, getting rained on all night in a tent and said in passing that they felt like an island. That imagery just stuck in my head.”
The track has an excellent progression– and just as the sun is getting in the eyes of the song’s paramour, the melody is sure to get in the ears of the listener. The London four-piece will release their debut full-length, Infinite Games in early 2017. Meantime, stream “Islands” below.
After the release of a well-received debut EP last year, Sam Knowles (Karma Kid) and Jake Norman (Armeria) aka Shy Luv have a new single on their hands that’s set to propel them in an exciting new direction for 2017. What initially began as an informal studio sesh between the artists quickly propagated the new electropop project, on which all material is written, performed and produced by the duo. Sonically similar to Talking Heads or Hot Chip, their new track “Joyrider” is just that — a jubilant nu-disco journey punctuated by a funky bassline and afrobeat percussion. Go on a joyride with Shy Luv below.
Before you ride off into your weekend, we’ve got another installment of THE COVERUP today, a segment in which we feature a fresh take on a classic. Today’s cover comes courtesy ofNight Drive, a new wave band based out of Texas who create modern, dark synthpop inspired by sci-fi cinematic landscapes. While they’re in the midst of working on their new album, they were inspired to do a reimagining of Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love,” coupled with LCD Soundsystem‘s “Too Much Love.” According to Night Drive, it’s “what you might expect if Jimmy Page and James Murphy had a child in a dystopian NYC landscape, circa 2025.” Listen below.
We were first introduced to TRUE a couple years back, with the release of their second single “Colors Of My Estimation.” Now, the virtually un-googeable Swiss group is gearing up to release their debut record, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Consisting of Daniela Sarda (vocals) and Rico Baumann (production and drums), the future R&B duo make idiosyncratic electropop with fresh instrumentation and a touch of nostalgia. Despite the digital blackout, the project has managed to position themselves for global success with only a single EP and handful of tracks, thanks to exposure from the likes of BBC 1 and MTV Europe.
Both seasoned jazz musicians, Dani and Rico’s music is full of unexpected twists and turns and meticulous nuance that feels effortless and instantly catchy. The LP, Wrapped In Air is due to drop September 23 on Mouthwatering Records. For a taste of their pop expertise, take a listen to the single “Back In A Second” — and earlier effort “It’s Not The Wind” for a sample of their softer throwback production.
Back with the third installment of his handful of releases, Brooklyn-based German artist Von Sell shared his latest electropop offering this week. The new single, “Stay” was crafted in conjunction with producer Nick Stumpf (Cavemen, NVDES) and is a brighter, more upbeat number than previous slow-burner of an effort “I Insist.” Speaking on the inspiration for the track, David Von Sell states “I remember thinking about these archaic roles men and women assign each other in relationships, emotionally, sexually, temperamentally, intellectually. We’ve evolved in every way until it comes to how our relationships actually materialize. It’s like we’re still wearing our kids clothes and they hardly fit but we refuse to buy something new in our size ‘cause of our programming.” Layered with glittering synths, thick bass, and playful vocal effects, the new track is another infectious addition to Von Sell’s collection and further assurance that the soulful artist has staying power.
Stream “Stay” and if you’re in the NYC area, you can catch Von Sell at his artist residency this month at Pianos on August 10, 17, 24 and 31.
Australia’s “dream beat” artist Sui Zhen has already accumulated a following for herself overseas, but this month marks her first North American release. Born Becky Sui Zhen, the quirk-pop singer is a visual artist and art museum professional by day, who makes music inspired by Japanese lovers rock, ’80s electro-bossanova, and dubby-lounge pop (which she discovered on holiday in Japan). Her new album Secretly Susan dropped June 17 via TwoSyllable on digital platforms and pink vinyl. Take a listen to “Take It All Back” and pick up the album today for your tiki-tinged beach party playlist.
East London duoNight Games have been making waves this past year with their spacious take on electronic pop and steady stream of self-released singles. “Faithless,” our fave so far is an emotive and at once sensuous song that recalls the likes of Rhye and FKA Twigs. The pair, Constance and Paul ply silky, dusky synths and swooning melodies into a mysterious, intriguing package that more than gives us faith in their ability to further establish themselves as an act. We suspect a debut EP is not far off so let’s not play games — stream the single below.
Phantogram is planning to release their third studio album, aptly titled Three this September. Having experienced a rough year, the album will reportedly showcase a darker, weightier side of the New York duo comprised of Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter. In addition to the passing of their idols David Bowie and Prince, Barthel also tragically lost her sister to suicide. In the wake of such sorrow, the duo managed to find inspiration amidst the blackness, which quickly became central to the LP’s narrative. Carter told Pitchfork, “The idea that all of our heroes are gone—of everyone and everything being destroyed around us and we’re still standing, and we’re still pushing on, and we’re still moving forward. That’s also a lot of motivation for us to keep going and going and going, and that’s I think the main theme behind the album.”
The first taste of the record — “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” certainly showcases this aspect. Even while they grapple with this darker matter, the duo’s electropop edge, hook-laden melodies and resilient spirit remain intact. Watch the lyric video for the single below.
As the producer of G-Eazy‘s hit track “My, Myself & I” and a myriad of other projects, Christoph Andersson clearly has a knack for crisp production. This week he’s releasing his debut EP under his new solo project Monopol. The lead single from the EP “Somebody That I’ll Never Be” is an admirable electropop song that hooks you right from the opening synth spikes.
All the more admirable when you consider that it was written during a massive rainstorm in the middle of a jungle in Nicaragua, according to Andersson. Symptomatic of more than just a physical storm, “It’s a song about the desperation of trying to salvage a dying relationship,” he explains. Listen below and check out Monopol’s eponymous EP, out May 13.
Von Sellcame onto our radarin 2015 with his infectious electropop track “Ivan,” making CCP’s list of electronic artists to keep an eye out for in the future. Now the Brooklyn-by-way-of-Berlin musician has made good on that prediction with a new song out called “I Insist.” More mellow and pensive than previous effort, “I Insist” is a soulful electro jam with smooth production and delectable vox.