Category: Indie Electro Pop

New Video: Carole Cettolin Releases a Swooning Love Song

Carole Cettolin is a Paris-born and-based singer/songwriter, whose career started in earnest with the her acclaimed, solo recording project Et Maxence. And with Et Maxence, Cettolin won the 2010 Crédit Mutuel Young Talent Revelation Award in the French song category. Cettolin also caught the attention of Edith Fambuena, who produced material off Cettolin’s Et Maxence debut EP. And with a growing profile, Cettolin eventually opened for  La Grande Sophie and Sia

A meeting with Nicklaus Rohrback allowed the Paris-born and-based singer/songwriter to pursue a new, synth-based sound — under her own name. The end result is Cettolin’s debut under her own name, the five-song EP Un Garçon. Thematically, the EP touches upon reconnecting with one’s inner child, haunting images and stubborn ghosts.

In the lead-up to the EP’s release, I wrote about, the breezy pop number “Tant que le temps est radieux.” Centered around glinting synth arpeggios, shimmering strings, thumping beats and Cettolin’s yearning vocals, the song is a bit hedonistic while reminding the listener to cherish every moment of life –and those, who are dear to us. But underneath the breeziness is a melancholy awareness that nothing is guaranteed. 

The EP’s latest single “Vaille que Vaille” is a swooning bit of synth pop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, skittering beats and Cettolin’s achingly plaintive vocals. At its core, the song’s narrator expresss something very rare — a contented sigh of someone who has finally found that deep, meaningful, real love. Lucky and rare are those who find it.

The recently released video for “Vaille que Vaille” is comprised from 30s and 40s movies now in the public domain and was edited to tell queer love stories that we wouldn’t have seen at the time.

New Video: French Duo Cuarto Mundo Takes Viewers on a Journey Through Time and Space

Cuarto Mundo, which translates into English as “Fourth World,” a term coined to describe the various groups of the world’s indigenous peoples is a French electronic music duo featuring Thomas Lavernhe, who has played in a number of solo projects and band, and Chilean-born Cosmo Gonik, a DJ, who has toured with Arcade Fire.

Lavernhe and Gonik’s work as Cuarto Mundo sees the pair drawing inspiration from traditional sounds across the world, to shape a journey to music’s mysterious — and perhaps mystical — roots.

The duo’s first single “Sabi Lulu” slick, electronic production centered around skittering beats and glistening synths with a traditional, percussive melody from West Java, Indonesia, written by Mang Koko. The end result is a song that’s accessible yet mischievously anachronistic: ancient sounds are paired with modern production — and in a way that’s trippy yet slaps hard.

Directed by Jade de Brito, the recently released video for “Sabi Lulu” follows the stunningly beautiful Devi Yohanita Qorina as she walks down a Paris street to an Indonesian store with traditional instruments, clothing and food. And for a moment, we see Qorina be suddenly taken back to the homeland. We then see her do traditional dance moves in the store and on the streets of Paris, followed by otherworldly and hallucinogenic sequences in which Qorina is wearing the traditional garb of the homeland in front of colorful backgrounds. This one is a bit of a journey through time and space, y’all.

New Video: Malta’s Relikc Releases an 80s Synth Pop Inspired Bop

Emerging Maltese indie outfit Relikc — currently Remy Azzopardi (vocals), Luke Greck (guitar), Ivan Giordano (bass), Jospeh Axiak (keys) and Martin Caruana drums) — can trace its origins to its founding members being lifelong friends, who started playing music together while in school. As teenagers, the band played at every single school event, eventually moving on to clubs and festivals as soon as they were of legal age.

Eager for success, the members of Relikc would bounce back and forth between writing and releasing songs to cramming their schedules with as many gigs as they could. Back in 2016, they committed themselves to writing and recording their full-length debut, 2017’s The Code of Antics, which paired heartfelt lyrics with a sound that meshed rock, funk, soul and electro pop.

Although the album was a success, the band went through a significant lineup change. After a year in which the band spent reinventing their identity and their sound, the band released “Hate That I Love You,” which saw the Maltese indie act move towards a electro pop-tinged rock sound, influenced by the bandmembers shared love of rock, funk and 80s synth pop.

The Maltese indie outfit’s latest single “Would You Ever” sees the band pushing their sound further in the electronic direction. Centered around glistening synth arpeggios, a throbbing, funky bass line and Azzopardi’s plaintive vocals singing heartfelt and lived-in lyrics, an infectious hook, and a fittingly 80s inspired bit of riffage, “Would You Ever” is a slickly produced bop that brings St. Lucia, Haerts, and others to mind while detailing a new and tumultuous relationship on the brink.

Directed by Matthew Muscat Drago, the recently released video for “Would You Ever” is an incredibly 80s inspired visual follows a passionate artistic couple as their fight and make-up throughout while creating inspired art.

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Ibeyi Release a Dreamy and Symbolic Visual for Swaggering “Made of Gold”

Deriving their name from the Yoruba word for twins ibeji, the acclaimed French-Cuban, London-based twin sibling duo Ibeyi (pronounced ee-bey-ee) — Lisa-Kainde Diaz and Naomi Diaz — can trace the origins of their music career to growing up in a deeply musical home: their father, Anga Diaz, was best known for his work as a member of the intentionally acclaimed Buena Vista Social Club and for collaborating with Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez and Compay Segundo. Sadly, Anga died with the Diaz Sisters were 11.

Upon their father’s death, the Diaz Sisters began studying Yoruba folk songs and the cajon an Afro-Caribbean drum that their father played throughout most of his music career. Interestingly, although Yoruba is primarily spoken throughout Nigeria and Benin, the African language has been spoken in some fashion in the Diaz Sisters’ native Cuba since the 1700s, when the slave trade brought Africans to the Caribbean. When the sisters began studying their late father’s musical culture and heritage, they had a deeper understanding of their father as a person; but they also were in touch with their ancestral history.

The duo’s 2015 self-titled debut was released to widespread critical praise. Thematically, the album dealt with the past — the loss of their father, their relationship with each other, their father’s origins, their own origins and connecting with their roots. The album’s saw the duo quickly establishing a unique sound that meshes elements of electro pop, hip-hop, jazz, the blues and Yoruba folk music. The JOVM mainstays’ sophomore album, 2017’s Ash found the duo writing songs firmly rooted in Afro-Cuban culture and history while being among the most visceral, politically charged material of their catalog to date, with the album thematically touching upon race, gender and sexual identity.

Earlier this year, the twins headed back into the studio to begin work on their third, full-length album. Understandably, feeling a sense of chaos, informed by the chaotic state of our world, the acclaimed twins set out to invoke the age-old teachings of their ancestors to remobilize the power of their birth-given destiny as Ibeyi.

The duo are currently working on the album, which is slated for release next year. But in the meantime, “Made of Gold” is the first bit of new material from the London-based JOVM mainstays since the release of Ash. Centered around a lush and textured production featuring atmospheric synths, buzzing bass synths, skittering tweeter and woofer rattling beats that evokes unease and menace while meshing contemporary Afro pop/Afrobeats, electro pop and trap in an infectious fashion. While being one of the few songs of the sibling duo’s growing catalog with lyrics sung in English, the song features swaggering verses delivered by Gambian-British emcee Pa Salieu.

“The first song we produced in the studio was ‘Made of Gold.’ Whilst we were creating the layers of the backing vocals, we could feel that we were making contact with our ancestors; that what we were recording was calling on the brujas and our ancestors for their ancient knowledge,” says Lisa-Kaindé Diaz. “‘Made of Gold’ is about connecting to our ancestors’ knowledge, to the truths of the past and the power of the ancient. The line is not broken, nor is it lost. Protected by these spells, our third album will see us conveying our reconnection to that power and channeling that magic into our new music.”

Directed by Daniel Sannwald, the recently released video for “Made of Gold” is a highly symbolic, gorgeously shot visual conceptualized by Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi. The video is inspired by Frida Kahlo’s The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Diego, Me and Señor Xolotl. The video features Naomi as the Queen of Thunder, a referrence to her Yoruba god, Shango — and Lisa-Kaindé as the Queen of Water, a reference to her Yoruba goddess, Yemaya, Emerging from the sky to join the sun and the moon is Pa Salieu. It’s trippy fever dream but much like their music rooted in their Yoruba heritage and tradition.

New Video: India’s Us and I Release the Slow-Burning and Aching “First Love”

Formed back in 2018, the emerging Bangalore, India-based synth pop duo Us and I — Bidisha Kesh (vocals) and Guarav Govilkar (production) — features members who come from very different backgrounds, who bonded over the fact that they share similar musical sensibilities: As the story goes, when they started to work together, Kesh and Govlikar quickly realized that they shared a unique way of crafting songs with deeply personal lyrics paired with the melancholia of the orange and yellow colors leaking from the sounds of their synthesizers. 

The duo spent the next two years developing and honing a sound that they believe will act as a bridge between the synth-driven work of Chromatics and the slow-burning, dream pop of Beach House — with subtle nods to darkwave and post-punk. Thematically, the duo’s material generally draws from everyday life and the relationships around them. 

As a result of the pandemic, the Bangalore-based duo played a few online, live-at-home livestream sessions. which helped the band gain attention for their debut EP Loveless, which was released earlier this year. Thematically, Loveless focuses on a universal subject, love — in particularly, a past love and how the nostalgia and grief of that past love can hit us like waves. Now, as you may recall, I wrote about Loveless single “Fragile,” deliberately crafted, textured pop centered around glistening synth arpeggios, sinuous bass lines, thumping beats and Kesh’s gorgeous vocals in a song that reminded me quite a bit of Dead Blue-era Still Corners.

The EP’s latest single “First Love” is slow-burning ballad centered around an atmospheric arrangement of twinkling piano, glistening synth arpeggios and Kesh’s achingly plaintive vocals. While sonically “First Love” strikes me as being a bit like Still Corners meets Tales of Us era Goldfrapp, the song as the duo explains is about “the nostalgic longing to be near someone that is distant, or that has bene loved and then lost — ‘the love that remains.'”

Fittingly, the recently released video for “First Love” is nostalgic and brims with an aching and unresolved longing for a time, place, and situation that can’t be recovered. And as a result, ghosts linger and taunt throughout.

tiger lily is a rising Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based Asian-American singer/songwriter and pop artist. But she can actually trace the origins of her career to fronting a Seattle-based all-female grunge band, which built up a regional profile: That band received praise from The Seattle Times and was once named “Seattle’s Best Underage Band” by Seattle Weekly. Adding to that growing profile, the band also received airplay from KEXP.

Stepping out into the spotlight as a solo artist, the Seattle-born, Los Angeles-based pop artist has opened for Grammy-nominated duo Social House — and she has amassed over 70,000 followers across Tik Tok and Instagram. But more important, tiger lily is a vocal advocate for greater representation of Asian Americans and other POC artists in the music industry — with interviews appearing in Audiofemme, Spin Magazine and others.

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the course of this year. you might recall that I wrote about the rising Asian American artist’s collaboration with Seattle-born and-based electronic music producer Fluencie, a collaboration that the duo can trace back to when they met as students at Ingraham High School. “juneau, alaska” was a slickly produced, radio friendly, Top 40-like confection that began with an acoustic guitar pop introduction before quickly morphing into a Taylor Swift/Phoebe Ryan-like banger centered around shimmering and wobbling synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and an enormous hook. But underneath the song’s crowd pleasing surface, the song is rooted in an aching nostalgia for a period of time that seemed simpler and can’t be had again.

tiger lily’s latest single finds her collaborating with rising Toronto-based electronic music producer and artist MKSTN. During the course of the past year, both artists have released tracks to praise from Spin Magazine, Stereofox and Earmilk and landed on Spotify playlists like Fresh Finds, Indie pop and Make Out. MKSTN also had his music played in sets by artists like Martin Garrix and JOVM mainstay Washed Out. tiger lily on the other hand, also played benefit shows, which raised money for charities that supported POC and LGBTQ+ lives.

Although the duo met virtually, their collaboration together “like we’re an indie movie” is a achingly nostalgic bop centered around a dusty lo-fi-like production featuring twinkling synth arpeggios, shimmering hi-hat bursts, a strummed electronic guitar figure, skittering beats serving as a silky bed for tiger lily’s breathily sultry cooing. Sonically, the track — to my ears, at least — reminds me a bit of Washed Out’s earlier work.

As the artists put it, “We connected over the internet. We thought it’d be cool to capture Tumblr and internet culture into our take on a modern indie movie soundtrack. The song was inspired by Spotify playlist names and distant memories of spontaneous trips to chase a summer love. As the hook, sung over Paris field recordings and lofi riffs goes, ‘kiss me in the rain like you’ll only ever love me / like we’re in an indie movie.’”

New Video: Rising British Act APRE Release a Shimmering 80s inspired Synth Bop

With the release of “All Mine” and “You,” the rising, British, experimental electro pop duo APRE — Charlie Brown (lead vocals, guitar, drums, keys, synths, bass and programming) and Jules Konieczny (backing vocals, keys, synths, bass, programming and drums — have exploded into the national scene, receiving critical applause from the likes of The Sunday Times, NME, DIY Magazine, Clash Magazine, Gigwise, The Line of Best Fit and Notion, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1‘s Jack Saunders and Clara Amfo and BBC Radio 6′s Lauren Laverne and Tom Robinson. Adding to a growing profile, the duo have opened for JOVM mainstay Sam Fender, Friendly Fires and Inhaler.

“All Mine” and “You” will appear on the duo’s nine-track mixtape A001, which is slated for a February 1, 2022 release. But in the meantime, the duo have released the mixtape’s third single “Waste My Time,” a lush, hook-driven bop featuring layers of glistening synth arpeggios, stuttering boom bap breakbeats, squiggling bursts of guitar, and Brown’s plaintive vocals. And while decidedly influenced by 80s synth pop and New Wave, the duo explain that “‘Waste My Time’ is about big egos and how they take over and control you and you don’t realise it until it’s too late, leaving you taken advantage of, making it even harder to remove yourself from the relationship because you are trapped by their ego, almost forcing their morals and beliefs to become your own.” 

Fittingly, the recently released video for “Waste My Time” is given a gritty VHS like feel, featuring the duo performing the song in front of fuzzy, psychedelic imagery. Trip out while you get down, y’all.

New Video: Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul Release a Feverish Visual for Infectious and Off-Kilter Banger “Blenda”

Charlotte Adigéry and Bolis Pupul are a Ghent, Belgium electronic duo, who exploded into the national and international scenes with the release of 2019’s critically applauded, David and Stephen Dewaele-produced Zandoli EP. Their unpredictable and subversive take on electro pop sees the pair poking and prodding at the pop zeitgeist with a provocative and sly sense of humor. Adding to a growing profile, EP singles “Paténipat” and “High Lights” received airplay on UK Radio and were playlisted by BBC Radio 6

Adigéry and Pupul’s full-length debut as a duo, Topical Dancer is slated for a March 4, 2022 release through Soulwax‘s own label DEEWEE. Co-written and co-produced by Soulwax and the acclaimed duo, Topical Dancer is deeply rooted in two things: their perspectives as Belgians with immigrant backgrounds with Adigéry proudly claiming Guadeloupean and French-Martinique ancestry and Pupul being of Chinese descent, and the conversations the duo have had touching upon cultural appropriation, misogyny, racism, social media vanity, post-colonialism.

So while being a snapshot of their thoughts and observations of pop culture in the early 2020s, the album also further cements their sound and approach; they manage to craft thoughtful songs that bang hard centered around their idiosyncratic and off-kilter take on familiar genres and styles. “We like to fuck things up a bit,” Pupul laughs. “We cringe when we feel like we’re making something that already exists, so we’re always looking for things to combine to make it sound not like a pop song, not like an R&B song, not a techno song. We’re always putting different worlds together. Charlotte and I get bored when things get too predictable.”  

The album’s 13 songs are also fueled by a restless desire to not be boxed in — and to escape narrow perceptions of who they are and what they can be. “One thing that always comes up,” Bolis Pupul says, “is that people perceive me as the producer, and Charlotte as just a singer. Or that being a Black artist means you should be making ‘urban’ music. Those kinds of boxes don’t feel good to us.”But they manage to do all of this with a satirical bent; for the duo it’s emancipation through humor/ “I don’t want to feel this heaviness on me,” Charlotte Adigéry says. “These aren’t my crosses to bear. Topical Dancer is my way of freeing myself of these issues. And of having fun.”

Earlier this year, the duo released “Thank You,” an off-kilter banger, centered around Adigéry’s deadpan delivery, skittering beats, layers of buzzing synth arpeggios an an enormous hook. And at its core, the song’s narrator seeks revenge against all mansplainers and all unwarned, unsolicited and dumb opinions from outsiders.

Topical Dancer‘s second and latest single “Blenda” is an off-kilter banger centered around African inspired polyrhythm, wobbling bass synths, skittering beats, Adigéry’s trademark deadpan delivery slightly giving way to incredulousness paired with the duo’s unerring knack for crafting a razor sharp, infectious hook. “Blenda” references how “I am a product of colonialism,” Adigéry says “and I feel guilty for taking up space in a white country. The song also draws some influence from Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race. “It talks about the colonial past and post-colonial present in the UK,” Adigéry continues, “but that isn’t merely a British or American problem, Belgium is part of that as well.” She says that her home country is likewise “oblivious to a big part of its history” which “results in general ignorance and a lack of understanding and empathy towards Belgian inhabitants of immigrant descent.” 

Directed by Bob Jeusette, the recently released video for “Blenda” continues a run of visuals that are feverish mindfucks: we see two young children, a Black child and an Asian child, presumably stand-ins for Adigéry and Pupul, watching a TV show that shills cheap foreign shit, interspersed with a Black woman being chased by men wearing pigeon masks and other wild and inexplicable goings-on. Racism and self-hate are culturally ingrained y’all — and it’s fucking awful.

New Video: Paris-based Electro Pop Duo Entrée Libre Releases a Summery, Club Friendly Ode to Travel

Formed back in 2019. Parisian indie electro pop duo Entrée Libre consists of two childhood friends, who derived the project’s name from the first letter of their first names. Sonically, the pair have developed joyful, spontaneous and hook driven pop. which for the duo served as an escape from the our strange and uncertain moment.

Entrée Libre’s debut EP is slated for release in 2022 . The forthcoming EP will feature previously released singles “L’Air du temps,” “Dehors,” and its third and latest single, the funky “Aller Simple.” Centered around a slick, dance floor friendly production featuring twinkling and arpeggiated synths, squiggling Nile Rodgers-like funk guitar, thumping beats, a propulsive disco-tinged bass line, and an infectious shout-along worthy hook, “Aller Simple” is one-part 80s New Order, one- part JOVM mainstays DBFC, one-part Daft Punk. And at its core is the very human desire to escape and start over — or just to go somewhere for a necessary reset.

Directed by frequent visual collaborator Leila Macaire, the recently released video is a playful and summery blast, that follows the pair and their friends as they travel and goof off — in much warmer climes. It makes me long for travel and new adventures. Soon, I hope. Soon.

Lyric Video: Cambodian-Canadian Artist Visrei Releases a Swooning and Dreamy Single

Donavan Nguon is a Cambodian-Canadian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and creative mastermind behind the solo, indie electro pop recording project Visreri. Inspired by an eclectic array of influencers including Yasutaka Nakata, Sky Ferreira, My Bloody Valentine and others, Nguon’s work with Visrei sees the Cambodian-Canadian artist crafting painterly soundscapes with synths superimposed on thumping rhythms.

Nguon’s full-length debut is slated for a Winter 2022 release through Lisbon Lux Records. The album’s first single “Quelqu’un d’autre” is a swooning bit of dreamy pop centered around layers of glistening and twinkling synth arpeggios, skittering beats paired with an infectious hook and the Cambodian-Canadian artist’s achingly plaintive vocals. Sonically. “Quelqu’un d’autre” may bring Washed Out’s Within and Without to mind. But as the Canadian singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer explains the song thematically can be read in two very different yet profound ways: The song describes the sensation of having to worry about being lonely, of not having a lover/soulmate and the desperate push to search and meet new people. But it also conveys a reassuring message in the event that your hopes don’t come true.