Category: Electro Pop

New Audio: JOVM Mainstays Yumi Zouma Releases a Breezy Club Banger

Over the course of this site’s almost nine year history, I’ve spilled quite of virtual ink over the acclaimed, internationally-based synth pop act Yumi Zouma. And as you may recall, the act which is now currently comprised of Christie Simpson, Charlie Ryder and Josh Burgess initially formed in their hometown of  Christchurch, New Zealand; however, since the 2011 earthquake that devastated their hometown and the rest of the region, the members of the band have been split across different locations across the globe with members residing in New York, Paris and Christchurch.

Primarily writing and recorded by email, the band wasn’t initially meant to be a live band but they received attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere for a breezy yet bittersweet, 80s synth pop-inspired sound centered around Christie Simpson’s ethereal and tender vocals. Since the release of their Turntable Kitchen released cover of Oasis’ 1995 full-length effort, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?, the renowned synth pop act released an EP trilogy, with the last EP, the aptly titled EP III being released through their longtime label home  Cascine Records last September.

The act’s latest single “Bruise” continues the act’s long-held reputation for crafting breezy, hook-driven synth pop with an underlying bittersweet quality — but the new single may arguably be the most dance floor friendly track they’ve released to date, as it also possesses a muscular and propulsive thump. Interestingly, as the band notes the origins of their latest single were steeped in loss, as the instrumental part of the song was written after Sam Perry informed the rest of the band that he was leaving the band and moving to Serbia — but the track has become a beacon for optimism for the band. “We were all distraught until Josh said ‘Cheer me up guys — let’s write a song for Nelly Furtado. Nelly never replied but we came up with a smash.” 

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New Video: London’s Rude Audio Releases a Trippy Visual for Trance Inducing New Single “Repeat Offender”

Rude Audio is a London-based production and DJ collective primarily centered around founding and core trio Mark Ratcliff, who as a solo producer and artist, has had releases played by acclaimed DJs Andrew Weatherall, Laurent Garnier, Kris Needs, Don Letts, Graeme Park and Rob da Bank, as well as BBC Radio 6’s Nemone and Gideon Coe; Owain Lloyd, who has made a career as a mixing engineer for the likes of Paul Oakenfold, Paul Weller, Niall Horan and a lengthy lists of others; and Dave “The Rave” Brennan, formerly of The End Recordings, and Bombis Records. And although each individual member of the collective’s core has an acclaimed career in their own right, the act as a whole has developed a critically applauded sound that seamlessly meshes elements of deep house, acid house, techno and dub. Additionally, they’re known for the legendary and highly-popular underground parties, including their residency at Kentish Towns’ Flaxon Ptootch, where electronic music heavyweights like The Chemical Brothers have been invited to drop by, dig deep into their record collections and playlists and play anything they want. 

2016’s Rudest EP found the collective refining their sound — while still drawing from dub, the material increasingly leaned towards propulsive, club-banging house music. The acclaimed British electronic collective followed that effort up with 2018’s Rude Redux EP.  Continuing a prolific and productive period for the British electronic collective, their forthcoming Street Light Interference is slated for a July 15, 2019 release through Zirkus Records. Interestingly, the album’s writing sessions found Ratcliff changing things up — inspired by the old adage about getting your head together in country, Ratcliff disappeared to the middle of nowhere for a few days, where he laid down the album’s basic tracks.

Ratcliff returned to London, where he worked with Owain Lloyd to bash the basic tracks he had laid down into shape.  The duo’s mutual love of dub and left-field house and the incorporation of several shinier elements may make Street Light Interference some of the collective’s most trance-like in some time. Coincidentally, this may have been inspired by the fact that the collective’s Dave Brennan, who’s long been their voice of reason, pushing them away from their trance tendencies wasn’t around. The album also features remixes from some of the act’s favorite remixes and producers including Bedford Falls Players, Mark Cooper, Fearless Few Collective, Kitsch Kub, Valtow, Zar, and others “I had half an eye on some of the underground but outdoor summer parties proliferating in my manor when pulling together various elements on the release, although the likelihood of engaging with a blissful, sun kissed milieu in South London during July and August is less likely than engaging with a dirty rave in a damp squat, where everyone’s complaining about why we aren’t having a summer this year,” the collective’s Mark Ratcliff says in press notes. 

Street Light Interference’s first single is the propulsive yet minimalist “Repeat Offender.” Centered by layers of arpeggiated synths, reverb-drenched drum machine, recalling classic dub, and a trancey vibe, the bears an uncanny resemblance to Kraftwerk and Octo Octa — but with the bracing iciness of stepping into a cool pool on a hot summer afternoon. 

The recently released video follows a young boy, who internally may be one of the oldest young men you’ve ever seen, as he works a mundane office job at home. But everything isn’t as it seems. The boy finds a glowing orb, which initially confuses, then entrances and summons him before fading to black. Trippy indeed. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Aussie Electro Pop Act Haiku Hands Release a Cinematically Shot Visual for “Dare You Not To Dance”

Featuring a core trio comprised of Claire Nakazawa, Beatrice Lewis and Mie Nakazawa, the Australian indie electro pop act Haiku Hands is split between Melbourne and Sydney, and together the members of the act, who are influenced by hip-hop, pop, electro pop dance music and others, curate, perform and work as part of a larger collective that engages with and explores social norms with their lyrical, musical and visual content. Last year was a big year for the Aussie electro pop act as their previously released, high-energy bangers “Squat,” “Jupiter,” and “Not About You” amassed over 3.5 million streams — and as a result, each single landed spots on iTunes charts across the globe; in fact, “Jupiter” was included on Matt Wilkinson‘s Best Songs of 2018 So Far list, and received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X.

Earlier this year, the Aussie electro pop act went on a month-long North American tour with CHAI that featured stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, as well as an opening date for Cupcake in Chicago, along with appearances at a handful of SXSW showcases.

Building upon a rapidly growing national and international profile, the Aussie electro pop act are about to embark on a month-long tour of North America with CHAI that features stops in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland and the Market Hotel, as well as an opening slot for Cupcake in Chicago, and along with that they had a busy SXSW, making appearances at a number of showcases, which have helped expand their profile internationally. But in the meantime, the act’s latest single is the brash and infectious “Dare You Not To Dance,” which will further cement their reputation for crafting club bangers that mesh elements of riot grrl punk, hip-hop, house music, drum ‘n’ bass, EDM and trap music with enormous, shout along worthy hooks in a way that brings M.I.A. and Gwen Stefani to mind.

Directed by Nathan Lewis, the recently released, incredibly cinematic video follows a collection of different young people, enthusiastically dancing in public — and in some cases while they’re supposed to be working or some other moment; and unlike the occasional passerby, these dancers are completely unguarded and free. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Angolan-Portuguese Global Dance Music Artist Pongo Releases Pastel Colored Surrealist Visuals for Sultry “Chora”

Pongo is an up-and-coming Luanda, Angola-born, Lisbon, Portugal-based pop artist. As a child, the Angolan-Portuguese pop artist’s family was forced to feel Angola to escape a lengthy and very bloody civil war that decimated their homeland. Pongo and her family eventually settled in Lisbon, where she’s lived ever since. 

The Angolan-Portuguese pop artist got the attention of the acclaimed, Portuguese act Buraka Som Sistema, an electronic dance music act that specialized in a sound that meshed tech beats with zouk, a rapid-fire  musical style from Martinique and Guadeloupe and kuduro, an up-tempo dance music genre from Angola that blends elements of soca and samba, in what was dubbed zouk bass and progressive kuduro. In 2008, Buraka Som Sistema released their smash hit, “Kalemba (Wengue Wengue), a single that went on to sell 10 million copies and eventually landed them a MTV Europe Award for Best Portuguese Act. Adding to a growing international profile, the track received co-signs from the likes of Diplo, Hot Chip and Shakira.

Released last year, Pongo’s solo debut Baia EP was a genre-blurring, globalist affair that found the Angolan-Portuguese artist pairing Portuguese lyrics with a sound that meshed elements of Angolan kiduro with Western styles like techno and bass. Released just before her appearance at this year’s Great Escape Festival, the expanded edition of the Baia EP features a new track, “Chora.” Deriving its title from the Portuguese word for “cry,” Pongo’s latest single meshes dancehall, soca and trap within a slick production consisting of glistening bursts of steel drum and snares, stuttering, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and self-assured and vaguely trap and hip-hop inspired vocal delivery from the Angolan Portuguese artist. The Baia EP expanded edition also features remixes of “Chora” by 20syl, who has remixed and re-worked material by King Krule, Schoolboy Q, and Rihanna — and a remix by Anoraak, which will be released through renowned French electronic music label Kitsune next month.

Created by French direction and production duo Rush Hour, the recently released video for “Chora” is a pastel-colored, Dadaesque, pan-African dream, centered around a stunningly beautiful, up-and-coming, global star. 

Luna Shadows is a Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer, who has developed a reputation for a staunchly DIY approach with the Los Angeles-based artist writing, performing, recording, producing, engineering and editing every note of her own work — and for sultry, melancholy pop that Billboard has called “. . . refreshingly soulful and haunting . ..” and has been compared by some as Lana Del Ray taking Lorde to the beach.

So far Luna Shadows work has amassed over 35 million Spotify streams, with tracks landing on tastemaker playlists like New Music Friday, Indie Pop, Weekend Beats and Weekly Buzz, reaching #7 on the US Charts and #18 on the Global Viral Charts.  Building upon a growing profile, the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer has also received airplay on radio stations worldwide, including KROQ, BBC Radio 1 and Beats 1 — and she played a sold out, live debut show at renowned Los Angeles indie music showcase School Night. And amazingly, Luna Shadows has done that without a label.

Recently, Luna Shadows has begun collaborating with two acclaimed, mainstream indie pop producers, Now Now‘s Brad Hale and The Naked and Famous‘ Thom Powers to help shoulder the production and editing load.

2019 may be a big year for the Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electronic music artist and electronic music producer, as she signed to +1 Records, who will be releasing her first single of the year “lowercase.” Centered around a sleek radio friendly yet club-banging production featuring tweeter and woofer rocking beats, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, chopped up vocal samples, twinkling keys, Luna Shadow’s plaintive and sultry vocals and an enormous hook — and while infectious, the track is imbued with the bitterness, heartache and confusion of a dysfunctional relationship full of power plays and accusation.

“‘lowercase’ is a song about recognizing your power through awareness in a situation where you were made to feel incredibly small by another. This takedown is detailed through a central metaphor, a reference to the millennial digital communication ‘you break down to lowercase, the capitals you take for only you.'”

 

 

 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Swedish Pop Artist Molly Hammar Releases a Sultry Visual for New Banger “Words”

Born Elly Natalia Pettersson Hammar, the up-and-coming, 23 year-old, Stockholm, Sweden-born and-raised pop singer/songwriter Molly Hammar can trace the origins of her music career to when she participated on the eighth season of TV4’s talent show Idol, where she reached the final four. 

In 2015, Hammar participated in the Swedish music competition Melodifestivalen, in which the winning song and performer win their country’s slot in the annual Eurovision contest. Her song “I’ll be Fine” finished sixth in the semi-final and although it didn’t reach the finals, it peaked at #65 on the Swedish Singles Chart and at #6 on the Swedish Download Charts ahead of that year’s winner Andra Chansen.  

Hammar competed in 2016’s Melodifestivalen with “Hunger,” which lost in the second semi-final to Andra Chasen; however, she also co-wrote the Maltese entry in Eurovision 2016 “Walk on Water,” performed by Ira Losco. (Hammar joined Losco as a backing vocalist during that year’s Eurovision.) However, it was her debut EP SEX, which she released while still as a teenager that put her on the national map, garnering attention for bold songwriting and a rebellious pop with a lust for life. At the time, Hammer explained that she wrote the EP because she “wanted to tell my own story, to discuss sex from my perspective and my own experience.” 

Building upon a growing national profile, Hammar went on to perform on the Swedish Grammies; but over the past few years, the young, up-and-coming pop artist has spent the time focusing on writing new material, including “There’s No Place Like Me,” a collaboration with Big Narstie, which is ultimately about when you truly feel yourself. Interestingly, her latest single “Words” will further establish her reputation for crafting bangers, centered around anthemic hooks, earnest songwriting and sleek, club-banging production — in this case, a looped, twinkling piano sample, tweeter and woofer rocking beats. 

“‘Words’ is a song that I’ve been wanting to release ever sine that hot summer’s day in the studio in 2017,” Hammer explains in press notes. “It’s about a very common subject . . . how we very seldom dare to be open and honest with each other and how we sometimes just don’t talk with one another. I hope that this song will make people open up their hearts and open up to each other, too.” 

Directed by Jonathan Wendt and Hamza Sultan, the recently released video is imbued with sensuality, longing and confusion over the direction of a romantic relationship. 

Hildur Höglind is an up-and-coming, Swedish alt-pop artist, who grew up in a family of musicians in the small village of Johannishus, Sweden — and over the past few years, Höglind’s career has grown exponentially: she’s gone from playing at local clubs when she was 15 and not even old enough to even be in the club to playing some of her homeland’s biggest festivals.

Höglind’s forthcoming EP Take Off is slated for release later this year — and reportedly, the EP’s material will further establish the young artist’s reputation for lyrics that broach heavy subjects like mental illness, existential dread and our desperate attempts to understand be understood with a wisdom that belies her youth paired with sleek, hook-driven synth pop.

“Further Apart,” Take Off‘s latest single prominently features Höglind’s aching and tender vocals paired with a sleek and atmospheric production consisting of layers of arpeggiated bass and shimmering synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, blasts of strummed acoustic guitar and a rousingly anthemic hook. And while the song is an infectious radio anthem, the song is imbued with a bittersweet quality — as though there’s the tacit understanding both parties are continuing on with something that probably should end, if they weren’t afraid of what was next.