Aria does the thing HAERTS pull without the band feeling: putting up a wall of sound and singing just breaking it down brick by brick with a cannon of a voice. With the big chorus “If I gave you everything I have / if I gave you everything in my heart / doesn’t mean that we would stand a chance / just like taking a shot in the dark” actually hitting bullseye, Aria feels like a vet on song number two already.
Yumi Zouma's breezy autumn pop charmed us instantly on their self-titled debut EP, hinting of a female-fronted, pop-allured Wild Nothing. New single Alena is slightly more pop-tingled, but the beats are hidden in a wall of fog so the breezy soft-focus effect the three piece is already known for doesn’t lose its effect. Another New Zealand act (well, at least partly) that’s winning over hearts worldwide.
"Why don’t we runaway?" asks rising star Grace Mitchell herself, the center question of her new track Runaway in which she describes the silliness of it all, and how she sometimes wishes to escape pretty much everything. There’s a sense of starting over with a clean slate more powerful than ever, rather than turn your back on things and cry in some corner - that exact feeling is translated into the track in which Grace takes matters into own hands (and voice, re: sampling her own ooh’s).
La Plage could be described as the younger, Belgian offspring of the ever popular Phoenix that perfectly embody those la plage (French for “the beach”) vibes on their debut offerings Rendez Vous and Mark. Incredibly catchy yet riding high on that playful, je m’en fous pop-vibe in which nothing has to be perfect (as long as it’s fun, it’s fine) (that French lisp is the best) - Rendez Vous is the track that’s fit for radio, but Mark is the slow-burning track that creeps under your skin and finds a place in your grooving heart. They found a home on Honeymoon, a new NY boutique label that aims for eternal summers.
Singer-songwriter Rhodes has been making a name for himself these past couple of months with his piano-tingled, honest songwriting that speaks to the heart; the comparison with Sam Smith immediately comes to mind, but Rhodes’ take on the genre is much more minimal, with just his piano and voice sending tingles up your spine. On live demo What If Love, premiering here at DN, he asks himself “what if love is a feeling / to believe in”, with the idea of love being the one true thing one could need in his or her life. It’s all very direct and leaves you kind of breathless - basically a really, really beautiful track.
Producer du jour Arca (Kanye West, FKA Twigs and soon Björk) brings the artwork for his Thievery alive in the kinda NSFW-visual created by longtime collaborator Jesse Kanda. Both the song and video bring up this unsettling, “what is this” kind of emotion that sparks all kinds of things within us. It’s a bold, very 2k15 move in every way to create a soundscape this unheard and unrivaled, that just washes over you; the video on the other hand, gives Nicki Minaj a run for her money, with a morbid creature dancing just for you.
It’s been a long time coming but I’m falling short… Låpsley opens the doors to her own little world once again on new track Falling Short, admitting her own flaws over a drop dead gorgeous simple piano arrangement, adding to the beauty with these subtle electronic blips. Her already iconic low voice sampling trick is back too, now used as a gimmick echo’ing her own thoughts instead of being the second person in a duet. Big things lay ahead for this one.
Rosie Lowe tells a stark bedtime story on her new single Water Came Down, toddler-samples included, her first release post-debut EP, now signed to Wolf Tone. It’s about fire versus water lyrically but basically tells the story of a relationship and its ups and downs and the importance of a good foundation - but “don’t you rush it, take your timeIf it’s true love, you’ve got the rest of life” - a beautiful life lesson from Rosie Lowe, which comes with this piece of visual beauty above.
Elliphant and MØ, bad gals from the north, team up for One More, a late-night dubby clubby jam. The pair slow down the tempo (especially compared to their BPM-heavy own material) and bump ‘n grind over a bouncy thing of slow-burning dark love. “And it’s open all night, you can hang with me, I got money” - these sisters from other misters find their feng shui in each other.
The newest addition to the Aesop roster, the label that brought you SOHN, TĀLĀ and all of your other recent electronic wet dreams, are Sylas, a London duo that still bathe in that new to the internet mystery, with their cross-genre debut and story rightfully feeding that mystery. Their debut offering Hollow comes with a big Brain Eno stamp of approval (full story over at The Fader) and sees a boy-boy duo begging you not to wait on them, with falsetto’s hidden behind vocoders and a foggy wall of apathetic beats. It immediately grabs you by the throat, only to leave you breathless near the end of the track.
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