RYDER – Nirvana


LA-based indie-pop artist RYDER is of the new school musical generation, mixing future-pop melodies with classical structures and striking originality. Songwriting since age 13 and further honing her craft at NYU, RYDER has had extensive training and worked with a range of talented producers since the inception of her budding musical career.

Speaking on her influences in relation to her recent single “Nirvana,” RYDER states: “I grew up around classical music and used to perform in choirs as a young kid, where I’d sing classical choral arrangements and folk music as well as a brief stint in opera. The hauntingly beautiful melodies and harmonic layers from those genres are inspiring motifs I try to constantly incorporate in my music wherever I can. ‘Nirvana’ to me is a blend of classical melodic moments with contemporary pop music.”

Lead by RYDER’s unconventional vocals, “Nirvana” starts out with sparse instrumentation and builds tastefully throughout–bolstered by understated synths and colorful beats to the end. When RYDER reaches the apex of her register around the one-minute mark, she’ll take you right to the song’s namesake–just open the door and tune in below.

Avindale – Lost and Found


Arriving from El Paso, Avindale is a Texan trio whose synth-rock sound defies expectations of their place of origin. With influences like Coldplay and M83, the three-piece, Oscar (vocals / keys), Gary (bass) and Matt (drums) have carved out their own indie pop sound consisting of dreamy synthscapes and distinct melodies. They independently released their second EP, Time Frames earlier this month — so listen to their single “Lost And Found” and then go support the new EP if you feel as windswept by their music as we do.

Nadia Nair – Blow


You can almost see the smoke emanating from Nadia Nairs breathy vocals as she sings on “Blow,” the third single from the Swedish singer’s upcoming debut album. “Blow” is an empowering, galvanizing pop number about emitting the bad from your life: “It’s about letting go with passion – smoke it out,” states Nair. Aiming to blend modern sounds as showcased here amongst ancient themes on her forthcoming debut, Beautiful Poetry will be self-released on April 29 via Nair’s label, Naboobia Records. Stream “Blow” below.

Highasakite – Golden Ticket


Highasakite have revealed the drop date of their forthcoming album Camp Echo — due out May 20 on Propeller Recordings. In advance of the release, the Norwegian collective previously shared the tempestuous track “Someone Who’ll Get It” and now they’ve unveiled the lead single “Golden Ticket.” The more upbeat, pop leanings of the track belie the dystopian subtext of the song, the opening line of which references a post-World War II poem by Gunvor Hofmo, ‘Det er ingen hverdag mer’ [translation: there’s no more every day]. “It’s a very famous verse, and was used a lot around the time of the Norwegian terrorist attacks [Oslo and Utøya, 2011],” explains vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik. It’s this substantive nature of Highasakite’s lyricism alloyed with their sonorous arrangements that makes their music so resonant.

Camp Echo is available for pre-order HERE.

Highasakite – Someone Who’ll Get It

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Norway’s Highasakite have announced a new album to be released later this year, which will be the follow-up to their 2014 debut LP Silent Treatment. Just as they did on their first album, the new material will grapple with social issues and tackle today’s turbulent political clime with their acclaimed brand of dark indie-pop. In fact, the theme of the album is war and terrorism, according to vocalist Ingrid Helene Håvik. “It’s not a political album in the sense that I want people to side with specific party or mindset, but it has been central in my life,” Håvik says. “There are not many love songs on the album, because I haven’t been in that state of mind for a long time. Global warming and war have been my main concern.” Regardless, encased in her smouldering vocals — the stormy and newly released track “Someone Who’ll Get It” shows Håvik exploring this heavy subject matter in a relational context.

ELEL – Kiss Kiss

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We had the pleasure of interviewing ELEL back in March just before the release of their debut EP, and now they’re back with another delightful track called “Kiss Kiss.” The indie-pop collective from Nashville — whose music is often described as “world pop” is layered with swirling keyboards, guitars, horns, percussion, and rollicking drums, creating a resoundingly catchy and overall affirming sound. Stream “Kiss Kiss” below and look out for the group’s debut album Geode to drop via Mom + Pop Music in early 2016.

BØRNS – The Emotion


LA-based act BØRNS, aka Garrett Borns is a rising new talent who’s made a splash for his sunkissed indie-pop hooks. The newcomer, who originally hails from Michigan relocated to LA where he wrote (with heavyweight producers like Emile Haynie) and finally debuted his highly-anticipated album Dopamine last month. No doubt his new surroundings affected the singer’s sound, as a press release calls his music “pure Southern California in a bottle.” Listen to the heartfelt track “The Emotion” below for a sample of his sensibilities.

People in the DMV can catch BØRNS live at Rams Head Live on December 1.

Geographer – Ready 2 Wear (Felix Da Housecat Cover)


Geographer is the moniker of SF-based musician Mike Deni who impressed us back in 2013 with his rendition of Arthur Russell’s “This Is How We Walk On The Moon.” The reimagining was so inspiring for the so-called ‘romantic’ indie artist that he decided to record an entire oeuvre of covers. The forthcoming EP, entitled Endless Motion is due for release in December and will include a variety of covers, including but not limited to reworkings of Kate Bush and Paul Simon. Listen to his lush but minimalist twist on Felix Da Housecat‘s “Ready 2 Wear” along with the original below.

[CCP Interview]: Great Good Fine OK on the Group’s Genesis Story & their Stylistic Influences


It’s been a busy past year for Great Good Fine OK, who since their relatively recent inception have put out two EP’s — Body Diamond and 2M2H under major label Sony. The Brooklyn duo is comprised of vocalist Jon Sandler and musician Luke Moellman, who have a flair for falsetto and shiny ’80s-imbibed production, respectively. We caught up with the guys of GGFO before their explosive set at DC9 to discuss the genesis of their name, their live musical influences, Justin Bieber, collaborating with artists such as St. Lucia, and the ‘fanciest’ deli in Brooklyn.

Thanks for taking the time to chat with CCP! First things first, how did GGFO come together?

Jon: Luke was living around the corner from me in Brooklyn with a friend of mine and a former bandmate, so we had become friends. Then one day about two years ago we said ‘let’s collaborate on something’ and decided to write a song together. Luke sent me the music to our first track (“You’re The One For Me”) and I wrote the lyrics and melody that night. We were both pumped about it, sent it to some friends who were also pumped about it and that’s kinda how it started. We formed a team around that one song, continued writing more songs until eventually we put a band together.

Luke: Yeah I remember we were walking back home from where we recorded the vocals and were like, ‘This is cool, we should start a real band.’ And Jon relayed he’d been saving the perfect band name his whole life. He was like, ‘It’s so good you ready to hear it?’ And I was bracing myself for it to not be that good. He said “Great Good Fine OK” and I was like okay.

Jon: We marinated on it for two months and asked everyone we knew what we thought – I feel like it was a 50/50 split of people that loved it or hated it. So we were on the fence but we had been talking about it and calling the project that for so long that when it came time to actually start making a Facebook page and such we were just like, that’s it.

We dig it [so much so that we bought a t-shirt!]. Has the creative / songwriting process stayed the same since that initial song?

Luke: More or less. Sometimes it’s a really developed and thought out structure, other times it’s a couple of ideas strung together. I’ll send it to Jon, he’ll add some stuff and we’ll go back and forth.

Did either of you study music growing up?

Luke: I did, I went to music school at University of Miami.

Jon: I did not, but I’ve just been singing my whole life. I was in choir since as long as I can remember, performed in musicals in high school and was in a couple of bands in college.

Speaking of performing, you guys have talked about how you were inspired by iconic ‘80s pop stars like Prince and Michael Jackson. In what ways have those artists influenced you?

Luke: It’s a combination of things – the musical style, the charisma of the performers, the catchy melodies, the rhythmic delivery of Michael Jackson, the falsetto stuff that Prince does, and the production of Quincy Jones.

Jon: Yeah, the songwriting but also the performance element of those artists informs what I want the live show to be like.

And who are you listening to currently?

Luke: Russian artist Tesla Boy, our friends Joywave who just came out with their debut album, Alina Baraz, and Shura.

Jon: I’m also personally obsessed with Jack Ü – especially that Justin Bieber song [“Where Are Ü Now”]. I think I listened to that about 100 times this past week, I don’t know why it’s speaking to me. I’ve been writing a lot for EDM artists so my brain has been tapped into that world and I’ve been exploring and appreciating really good EDM tracks, so that’s where I stumbled upon Jack Ü. I also co-wrote and performed on a Chainsmokers song and they’re awesome — travelling all over the world and killing it right now. We love them.

We love The Chainsmokers collab (“Let You Go”). You guys also worked with with St. Lucia recently. How did those collaborations come about?

Luke: Yeah the guys from The Chainsmokers had reached out to us. For the St. Lucia track, we had this song (“Something To Believe In”) with Jon singing those parts that St. Lucia sings (the lower stuff), and as we were sitting around one day trying to finish up the EP we realized it sounded like Jon was trying to sing like Jean-Philip from St. Lucia. We had just run into him at a Christmas party and thought it’d be cool to try to get him, so we wrote him an email and he was so nice — he was right in the middle of working on their new album so we were like we’ll understand if you won’t be able to do it. He happened to be on vacation with his wife in Germany, but he had a mic with him so he did it in his spare time and sent it back to us. It was perfect.

What inspired the title track of the EP, “Too Much To Handle”?

Luke: That song started with the music I sent to Jon; I had just moved out of an apartment that I had been living in with an ex-girlfriend I’d just broken up with. So I was living in a new place and whatever energy was going on at that time just kinda came out through that song.

Jon: Weirdly, whatever Luke sends me, even if he doesn’t tell me what it’s about I seem to write something that goes along with it. To me that song is just about how tough life can be and how you always seem to get through it.

What’s next for Great Good Fine OK?

Jon: We’re writing and recording a lot, accumulating songs, trying to figure out how we want to release more stuff, and then touring in the fall. We just got off the tour with Magic Man and we’re chomping at the bit to get back at it.

Naturally. What’s your favorite spot to grab a bite or beverage in Brooklyn?

Jon: There’s this deli / bodega around the corner from me that I call “Fancy deli” that I get sandwiches from four or five times a week.

Luke: There’s a cool speakeasy bar on Vanderbilt. No signage of course.

Listen to Great Good Fine Ok’s single with The Chainsmokers “Let You Go” below and be sure to like them on Facebook to keep up with their latest happenings. Their live show (and Jon’s dance moves) are not to be missed.

As a bonus, check out this fantastic, synth-laden remix by house producer Vasta and grab a free download on his Soundcloud page.