Electronica newcomer Kofi Holmes Attivor, aka Mined was born to a Ghanaian family in London and raised on the RnB and soul found in his parents’ record collection. Granted his wish to get his first “sleek, silver Casio,” Attivor began investigating the sonic landscapes of Brian Eno‘s Music for Airports, as well as the work of artists such as Spooky Black, Majical Cloudz and Foals –ultimately developing his own sound embodying his philomathic outlook.
Mined mines earnest emotions mixed in an intricate, minimalistic space, and has been compared to the likes of James Blake, Caribou and Boards of Canada. “I’ve always been more drawn to poignant honest music that evokes a sense of melancholy, or sadness or nostalgia,” Mined explains.
This is readily apparent on “Mistakes,” a piece off his forthcoming EP Loves Low’s. Written as a means of escapism, Mined wrote his latest tracks in his room in London. The EP is due out spring 2017 on Peacefrog Records.
One of the UK’s best kept secrets, London songsmith Sam Brookes is back with new music following his acclaimed 2014 LP Kairos. Brookes’ latest single, “My Girl Drinks Coffee” is an elegant elegy of a track written after the dissolution of a relationship. The ruminative lyric and through-line of the song, ‘My girl drinks coffee now without me’ is evocative of a person in disbelief, particularly with the use of the possessive pronoun.
The simplicity of the thought is complemented by the song’s ethereal and stark sonic backdrop, which marks a new direction for the alt-folk artist. Having spent a few years out of the game gigging and experimenting with new equipment, the new track is indicative of a more minimal and synthesized sound. Produced by Grammy nominated Dom Monks (Ray Lamontagne, Laura Marling) and Greg Freeman (Goldfrapp, Mumford & Sons), “Coffee” was arranged and recorded in a remote boathouse on the Isle of Skye and completed at Guy Chamber’s Sleeper Sounds studio in London.
The single is available for streaming on digital outlets now. Watch the entrancing video below and look out for more music from Brookes on the way.
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.
England continues to be a steady purveyor of solid electronic dreampop, as evidenced yet again with new Suffolk act Amethysts. The duo, who’ve received support from tastemakers such as BBC Radio 1‘s Huw Stephens, caught our attention with their latest and second single, “Stones.”
Curtains of synth and hazy guitar atop sub-bass drums set the foundation for the group’s ethereal sound. The capstone of their music though is vocalist Clarice Parrot — when she goes into her upper register around 1:15, “Stones” reaches a seraphic state and the group’s potential seems to know no bounds.
Much like the stone their namesake represents, Amethyst’s music exudes inner strength and spiritual growth, so we’re looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for them. Enjoy this gem below.
British artist Bruno Major considers himself a jazz musician at heart. “I learnt how songs work through learning the American Songbook. Cole Porter, Jimmy Van Heusen, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald and later on Randy Newman and Rufus Wainright. Those are my heroes,” explains Major.
His latest offering, “Easily” is the 4th release of his current 12-month project, and is reflective of his penchant for nonchalant, jazz-inflected chord progressions — blended with bursts of modernity. Written on a hazy August afternoon with singer-songwriter Emily Elbert, and an assist from Phairo on production, the track showcases the London-based artist’s talent for crafting classic, minimal and melody-focused compositions.
With soulful vox and universally relatable lyrics such as ‘Just because it won’t come easily, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,‘ Major’s music is certainly easy on the ears. Listen below.
Following the release of their self-titled debut album in January of this year, London’s Snowpoet are preparing to release a remix EP due out December 2. It’s a beautiful alt-folk record, so today we’re delighted to bring you the first listen of the “Little Moon Man” edit by fellow British producer Jeevan Rai.
Snowpoet aspire to bring melody, form and poetry to a new setting. Comprised of vocalist Lauren Kinsella and composer Chris Hyson, together the duo create beautifully intricate, jazz-tinged and textured melodies that naturally lend themselves to a nuanced re-rendering from dexterous producers.
Jeevan Rai, a so-called laptop musician is one of them, applying bright synths, ethereal vocal loops and masterful layering to the original to create a complex and resonate rework. Currently completing a doctoral thesis on topological representations of computer music, Rai is clearly not one to rest on his laptop laurels as he endeavors to explore a spacious and neoteric sound.
The remix package — which closes out a stellar year for Snowpoet will feature other reworks by Jauge, Jeevan Rai and Vaun. Hear the magnetic “Little Moon Man” mix 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.
The musical talents of South London newcomer Hudson Scott became apparent at an early age. Having borrowed a trumpet from a local brass band at the budding age of seven, he took to the instrument quite readily (refusing to return it, in fact) and soon began to devour records by the greats such as Miles Davis and Chet Baker. His career thus began as a sideman, serving as a backing musician for Foals, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs et al., eventually stepping into the limelight with his debut EP Clay earlier this year.
He’s just revealed the glittering new track “Panning For Gold,” co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald (The xx, Låpsley) and Duncan Tootill. It’s an under-the-radar love song, radiating with ’80s pop sensibilities and modern electronic flourishes. In a confessional manner, the artist makes an appeal for a fundamentally human yet increasingly elusive need — ‘Truth be told, I’d like to fall in love, I’m panning for gold,’ he sings.
Conceding as much, Scott says: “‘Panning For Gold’ is about looking for love, sensing that it’s about to arrive and then doing your best not to trip yourself over. It’s about that initial excitement when you first meet someone great, when you’ll do whatever, put yourself out all the time, just to hang out. I don’t want to sound like a doe-eyed sadsack, but it is what it is.”
To the contrary — it’s refreshing and disarming vulnerability — in a way that is not excessively saccharine. Enjoy below.
Pushing the parameters of alt-pop with her brand of brooding electronica, UK artist The Japanese House has emerged as one of the most promising new acts to arrive out of London over the past year or so. The moniker of 21-year-old Amber Bain, The Japanese House — inspired by a vacation house she once stayed in belonging to Kate Winslet — is intended to be an androgynous epithet, much like the music itself. Following the release of two acclaimed EPs, Bain is now to set to release her third, Swim Against The Tide via Dirty Hit November 11. Imbued with sparkling production and lugubrious lyrics, the EP’s first single, “Face Like Thunder” contains the cool, translucent and lagoon-laced imagery that runs like a current throughout Bain’s body of work. Hear the new single, plus earlier effort “Cool Blue” below.
On the heels of a long run supporting The 1975, The Japanese House will be hitting the road again this October for a span of dates in the UK, EU and US. Check out her North American tour schedule below, which includes a stop in the District on November 25 at DC9.
2016 Upcoming Tour Dates:
11/21 Boston, MA | Great Scott
11/22 Brooklyn, NY | Baby’s All Right
11/25 Washington, DC | DC9
11/26 Philadelphia, PA | The Foundry
11/28 Toronto, ON | Horseshoe Tavern
11/30 Seattle, WA | The Sunset Tavern
12/1 Vancouver, BC | The Cobalt
12/3 San Francisco, CA | Rickshaw Stop
12/5 San Diego, CA | House of Blues Voodoo Room
12/7 Los Angeles, CA | The Echo
London-based outfit Hugh make genre-bending, stripped-down and spellbinding trip-hop tapestries with textured synths and silky vocals. Consisting of Joshua Idehen (vocals), Izzy Brooks (vocals), Andy Highmore (production/keys) and Tino Kolarides (guitar), their latest single “Look Back In Laughter,” recently remastered is another one for the books with its self-aware lyrical sapience and musically apposite metered percussion. Idehen’s spoken word also steps into the limelight on this number. Look out for the track to be released on an upcoming compilation later this year.