Category: Indie Synth Pop

Lyric Video: Montreal-based Pop Artist Thaïs Releases an Ethereal and Shimmering New Single

Thaïs is an emerging Montreal-based singer/songwriter, who specializes in an atmospheric and delicate pop centered around the French Canadian singer/songwriter’s ethereal vocals. Thematically her work focuses on melancholy, loneliness and dysfunctional and confusing love.

“Boréal,” the Montreal-based artist’s latest single finds her further establishing her sound as you’ll hear shimmering synths, thumping beats, warm blasts of looping electric guitar, a soaring hook and Thaïs’ ethereal and plaintive vocals, wobbling low end and skittering beats. Interestingly, the song was inspired by a trip that the French Canadian artist took to Iceland — and as a result, the song evokes the awe-inspiring sense of being in gorgeous, natural spaces, and taking it all deep into your soul. 

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New Video: Emerging Saudi-born British-based Artist Alewya Releases a Sensual Visual for Club Banging Debut “Sweating”

Dubbed “this decade’s triple threat” by Love Magazine, Alewya is an emerging London-based singer/songwriter, producer and artist. Born in Saudi Arabia to an Egyptian-Sudanese father and an Ethiopian mother, the rising British singer/songwriter, producer and artist has spent her life surrounded by diaspora immigrant communities: she grew up in West London and after spending several years in New York, the emerging Saudi-born, London-based multi-disciplinary artist returned to London. At home, Alewya developed and honed her ear for music: through the sounds of the Ethiopian and Arabic devotional music of her parents, and the ambient alternative rock albums her brother would play. 

Interestingly, the translation of the emerging Saudi-born, British-based artist’s name from Arabic means “most high” or “the highest” so it’s fitting that her music thematically is centered around the idea of transcendence. In fact, she sees her music as an accessible space for her and her listeners to connect on a spiritual level, with her work challenging the listener to remember the last time they felt truly connected to themselves and their emotions. “I want to move people to themself. I want them to feel the same way that I felt when I had a taste of a higher power and felt there was a presence over me. I want people to feel that.” 

Earlier this year, the emerging Saudi-born, British-based multi-disciplinary artist had an attention-grabbing feature on Little Simz’s “where’s my lighter.” Building upon a growing profile, Alewya signed to renowned British label Because Records, who will be releasing her debut single, The Busy Twist-produced “Sweating.” Centered around twinkling synth arpeggios, skittering trap beats, reggae-influenced riddims and a self-assured and sultry vocal from the rising Saudi-born, British artist, the track — to my ears, at least — will draw comparisons to Timbaland’s forward-thinking, futuristic work with Missy Elliot, Aaliyah and others. It’s the sort of song that would (and should) inspire you to grind and wine into the wee hours with that pretty young thang at the club.“It’s about feeling chemistry with someone but also about a female who is not afraid of her prowess and power,” Alewya says in press notes. “It’s a mood.” 

Directed by Jack Bowden, the recently released visual exudes with a raw, carnal energy as we see dancers in an industrial space wining and grinding. We see the emerging British-based artist confidently owning the screen while hinting at her wide-spanning talents. 

 

Abroad · Alright OK

Featuring members split between Sydney, Australia and Melbourne, Australia, the rising Aussie indie electro pop duo Abroad — Will Cruger and Jack Dawson — have managed to explode into the national and international electro pop scenes in a relatively short period of time. 2018’s London and New York, helped to establish the duo’s sound — a synthesis of organic, indie rock instrumentation and slick dance floor friendly production while amassing over a million streams.  Building upon a growing profile, the Aussie electro pop duo released two singles last year, “All I Want” and “Slide,” which also amassed over a million streams. Interestingly, those two singles continued a run of material that’s informed and inspired by the duo’s experiences traveling and living overseas.

The band’s released material has been featured on a number of popular, internationally recognized playlists including Front Left, Just Chill, New Dance Beats, The Local List and Indie Arrivals. Building upon a growing profile, the duo released “Home,” earlier this year, and the track has continued a run of attention-grabbing singles. Additionally, the band has opened for Boo Seeka, which may have led to Abroad’s Will Cruger co-written Boo Seeka’s latest single ‘Take A Look.”

The duo’s second and latest single of this year, is the euphoric and swooning club banger “Alright, OK.” Centered around a slick production featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, skittering beats, an enormous hook and achingly plaintive, multi-part harmony-led vocals, “Alright, OK” — to my ears at least — reminds me quite a bit of In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and White Lies, if they managed to cover Stevie Nicks‘”Stand Back.”  Arguably, one of the most anthemic tracks they’ve released to date, “Alright, OK” is a decidedly ambitious track delivered with swaggering self-assuredness and a heart-on-your-sleeve earnestness.

“I think this is our best work yet,” the band’s Jack Dawson says in press notes.. “We are huge believers in taking people somewhere, whether it is a memory of a loved one, being in love with someone, or just dancing by yourself we want to cover all dem feels!”

 

 

 

 

 

New Audio: Human Love Returns with a Trippy Motorik Groove-Driven New Single

Formed in 2010, the critically applauded New York-based act The Dig — Emilie Mosseri (vocals, bass), David Baldwin (vocals, guitar), Erick Eiser (keys, guitar) and Mark Demiglio (drums) released two albums and two EPs — 2010’s full-length debut Electric Toys, 2012’s Midnight Flowers and 2013’s Tired Hearts EP and You & I EP. Last, the member of the New York-based act relocated to Los Angeles. and the move managed to spark  a major period of transformation for each of the individual bandmembers — with each member pursuing their own creative projects. 

Notably, Emilie Mosseri established himself as a film and television composer, who earned widespread acclaim for crafting the score  for A24 Films‘ critically applauded Last Black Man in San Francisco, as well as the scores for the TV series Homecoming, which currently stars Janelle Monae and Kajillionaire, which will star Miranda July.

Ironically, working separately proved to have a unifying effect on the band’s individual members — they were emboldened to take new risks, which resulted in a completely new musical project for its longtime collaborators — the newly named Human Love. Black Void EP, Human Love‘s Sonny DiPerri-co-produced, four song debut EP is slated for a July 10, 2020 release, and the effort sees the longtime collaborators completely altering the creative process they were used to through their run as The Dig. “In the past, one person would bring in an idea and we’d build everything from there, but now the process is so much more collaborative, with everyone bringing in their specific perspective to everything we make,” the band’s David Baldwin says in press notes. “I think there’s something beautiful about us going in different directions and then coming back together like this,”EmilIe Mosseri adds “We’re taking what we’d explored on our own and feeding it back into this music, and pushing everything forward to create something completely new.”

Reportedly, Black Void will see the band crafting cinematic material with a pulsating, dance floor friendly energy and a psychedelic vibe — all while revealing the idiosyncratic impulses of each individual member of the band. Last month, I wrote about the  This Is Happening-era LCD Soundsystem-like “Goldmine,” a track centered around a sinuous and strutting, disco-influenced groove paired with Baldwin and Mosseri’s ethereal vocals singing surrealistic lyrics. “‘Goldmine’  is the song that inspired us to start Human Love,” the members of the band explain in press notes. “When the four of us are together, one of our favorite things to do is jam on one riff endlessly.  To us this song conjures up a feeling of transition.  When we first started writing it we were still in our previous band together, and by the time we finished it we had decided to start something new.  It has a feeling of leaving something behind.  Deciding to move away from what’s comfortable and familiar, and embrace the unknown.”

“Lemon Dove,” Black Void’s second and latest single is trippy song featuring shimmering synth arpeggios, a shuffling four-on-the-floor led motorik groove and ethereal vocals — and while centered around an improvised, free-flowing and summery air, the the song manages to bring Kraftwerk and Evil Heat-era Primal Scream to mind. 

“The process of making Lemon Dove was spontaneous,” the band’s Erick Eiser recalls in press notes. “All of the ideas came out fluidly without music second guessing. It’s really exciting to work on music when spontaneity reigns over deliberation. The harmonies and music in the first section of the song were inspired and adapted from a Debussy Prelude and there’s a spirit to the music that connects with the name of the band as a lyric that we found really special. It’s about love. It’s about summer.”  

Born in Central Asia, the rising Berlin-based singer/songwriter, multi-hnstrumetnnalist, composer and producer Liam Mour can trace the origins of his music career to when he learned to play the piano at six — and at an early age, he began to record and produce music on mixers and tape machines. Because of his background, Mour was gradually drawn to enhancing his technical skills in music production.

After relocating to Berlin, Mour set up his own studio at Funkhaus Berlin, where he has pursued a number of musical projects, which have allowed him to play with Nils Frahm, tour with Gold Panda and to open for Four Tet and Max Cooper.

Mour’s latest single “Douro” is a slick synthesis of ambient electronics and techno thump that’s centered around layers of chiming percussion, shimmering synth arpeggios, a mournful horn sample and skittering beats. Sonically, the hook-driven track may remind listeners of Bonobo and Octo Octa — but with a subtle darkness just under the shimmering surface.

 

 

 

 

Hologramme · Préface (Printemps) – Hologramme

Clément Leduc is a Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, songwriter and electronic music artist, who initially made a name for himself by collaborating with fellow Canadian artists Geoffroy, La Bronze and Dead Obies.  Leduc stepped out from behind the dials and knobs and into the spotlight as a solo artist with his solo recording project Hologramme. Leduc’s self-produced, 2015 Hologramme debut was released to critical applause, eventually landing on ICI Musique‘s Best Albums list an being named GAMIQ’s Best Electronic Album of the Year.

Leduc spent  2018 in Berlin, where he soaked up new influences and new sounds that wound up deeply influencing his critically applauded,  sophomore album last year’s Felicity, an effort that saw him collaborating with Les praises’ and Hubert Lenoir‘s Felix Petit, Gustafson’s Adrien Bletton, Senegalese guitarist Assane Seck, and Laurence-Anne‘s Laurent Saint Pierre to create a dream-like and sensual soundscape that drew from the  music of South Africa and South America.

The Montreal-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer and songwriter has had an enormous year so far: he released a five song remix EP Felicity tracks with remixes by Fakear, Robert Robert, Ouri and others, earlier this month — and he released his first bit of new material since the release of Felicity with “Alaska,” a slow-burning and atmospheric track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, bubbling electronics, shuffling and clattering beats and sultry vocal samples that’s both dance floor friendly and cinematic.

“Préface (Printemps),” the rising French Canadian producer’s second and latest single of 2020 continues a run of cinematic material with elements of deep house and techno  — but while being a less polished and urgent track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, tweeter and woofer rocking beats, sultry vocal samples within an expansive song structure featuring atmospheric and dreamy sections. Much like its predecessor, the track will bring comparisons to Bonobo and Octo Octa — but while balancing earnestness with ambition.

 

 

New Video: Quebec City-based Electro Pop Act New Bleach Release a Lysergic Visual for Brooding and Atmospheric “Silver Lining”

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Quebec City-based indie duo New Bleach, which features Dominic Pelletier and Raphaël Potvin, best known for their work in the acclaimed Francophone rock act Caravane. And from the Oracular Spectacular-era MGMT-like “Awake,” Pelletier’s and Potvin’s work with New Bleach is a decided sonic departure. 

Building upon the attention they received for “Awake,” the duo’s latest single “Silver Living” is a slick and brooding synthesis of Quiet Storm-like R&B, shimmering and arpeggiated synths, skittering trap beats, plaintive falsetto vocals — and while subtly recalling the brooding atmospherics of JOVM mainstays Beacon, the song is part old-school love song and an urgent plea for hope in a seemingly hopeless world. 

Directed by Maxyme Gagné and the members of New Bleach, the recently released video was shot on a grainy Super 8-like filter, which gives the proceedings a subtly nostalgic and lysergic haze — but the video itself is centered around a simple concept: the members of New Bleach driving around in a car through trippy backgrounds. 

Lyric Video: French Electro Pop Duo Ninety’s Story Returns with an Atmospheric, R&B Inspired Single

Tracing their origins back to when its members — Guillaume Adamo and Florian Deyz — met in grade school, the Nice, France-based indie pop duo Ninety’s Story have developed a warm, sophisticated and sensual music inspired by the French Riviera and the likes of Phoenix, Daft Punk and Air. The duo released their debut single “KIKUKYU” and their debut EP through Kitsuné Musique in 2017. Adding to a growing profile, the Nice-based duo have opened for Archive, Morcheeba, Pale Waves and Puggy among others.

Additionally, the duo wrote the music for Citroën C4 Aircross ad campaign that aired in China —  with the band representing the company at the Paris and Hangzhou Motor Shows. Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site, you may recall that I wrote about the rising French duo’s acoustic rendition of the breezy yet anthemic “APO.” The French electronic duo return with the sultry R&B-influenced “Home.” Centered around skittering trap and boom bap beats, atmospheric synths, expressive and bluesy bursts of guitar, fuzzy bass synth, plaintive vocals, a soaring hook and an enormous drop “Home” may remind some listeners of JOVM mainstays Beacon, as well as Montreal’s Seoul and Detroit-based JOVM mainstays Gosh Pith. “The song was composed, produced and recorded in Brussels during the quarantine period,” the rising French duo explain. “Everything was quiet outside and put us into a very inspiring [sic] mood, different than usual.”

Directed by Victor Rahman, the recently released, cinematically shot lyric video features the rising French duo rocking out to the song during a gorgeous purple-red sunset. “For the video, we drove across Belgium and just stop [sic] in a  spot were [sic] the sunset and the sea were beautiful. We just put the music [on] very loud and enjoyed the vibe in front of the camera,” the duo says. 

New Audio: Video Age Releases a Slow-Burning and Shimmering New Single

With the release of their first two albums, 2016’s full-length debut Living Alone and 2018’s sophomore album Pop Therapy, the New Orleans-based act Video Age — founding members Ross Farbe and Ray Micarelli, along with Nick Corson and Duncan Troast — received attention for crafting hook-driven material with a decidedly 80s synth pop-inspired sound.

Following the release of Pop Therapy, the band’s songwriting partners and co-founders Farbe and Micarelli were eager to write new material and continue upon the momentum they had just started to build up. The band convened at Farbe’s home studio to work on the band’s highly anticipated third album, Pleasure Line, which is slated for an August 7, 2020 release through Winspear, who recently signed the band.

Inspired by a vast range of influences including Janet Jackson, David Bowie and Paul McCartney, Pleasure Line finds the band crafting neon-bright 80s pop-like melodies to create an optimistic sound — with the material taking on a rosy hue.  “I’m often trying to create a more idealized version of the world I’m in,” Video Age’s Ross Farbe says in press notes. “In fact, some of that optimism may come as a result of both Farbe and Micarelli getting married this year — just a few weeks apart from each other. “We’re feeling the love,” Farbe says. 

Written as a salve that protects against cynicism. the album’s material is meant to help the listener see and feel a world full of romantic potential. But the album isn’t centered around one-dimensional puppy love — it’s the sort of fulfilling love that’s complicated, confusing and never easy; but ultimately worth it. Earlier this year, I wrote about “Shadow On The Wall” a decidedly  80s synth pop track — i.e., Tom Tom Club, Talking Heads and early Madonna — with a subtle hint of 70s AM rock. But while the track is superficially dance floor friendly, it manages to hint at something much darker under the surface. Pleasure Line’s second and latest single, album title track “Pleasure Line” is a slow- burning Quiet Storm meets Prince-like track centered around shimmering synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, twinkling keys, Nile Rodgers-like guitar and an infectious hook. Interestingly, the song manages to be thematically about a restless anxiousness that eventually turns into possibility and love; of making comfort out of discomfort.