Sunday, 19 November 2017

Playlist: International #016 - Novelty Daughter, KWAYE, Teen Daze, General Crush, NEWMEN & more

Novelty Daughter - U Want What I Want
Novelty Daughter - Photo: Noah Emrich & Lydo Le

Info: Our latest International Independent Playlist is an even bounce between North America and Europe with acts coming in from the U.S., Canada, U.K., Holland and Germany at five-apiece as we scour cyberspace for the best new discoveries for you ears.

1. Novelty Daughter - 'U Want What I Want' from the album Inertia (Brooklyn, New York)

With a background in vocal jazz and piano, Faith Harding released her second album as Novelty Daughter, Inertia, this month. The off-beat dance-pop track 'U Want What I Want' was an instant favourite of ours due to its heavy yet muted beat and twinkling synths, starting out like an 80's hip-hop mix the track is pretty cutting edge in terms of contemporary electro-pop music.

2. Blurred Out - 'Meadows' (Oakland, California)

Reviewed hear earlier this week, we definitely felt 'Meadows' by San Francisco four-piece Blurred Out was worth another spin, just in case you missed it. "Reminiscent of so many bands I love, it recalls a mixture of early Smashing Pumpkins circa Siamese Dream, Sugar's Copper Blue and the slightest dash of Weezer's Pinkerton on the distorted guitar in particular."

3. General Crush - 'Honey Clouds' (Boston, MA)

A really nice mixture of dream-folk and downtempo electronica is to be found on the newest single from Ray Ward, aka General Crush, 'Honey Clouds'. Perhaps the appeal lay in the fact that it reminded me of one of my favourite Irish acts of the last while Le Boom, but ultimately it's how either of the aforementioned styles would be fine on their own, but put them together and it turns into something highly enjoyable.

Cpt. Smith - I Hate Nights Out
Cpt. Smith - Photo: Celf Calon Photography

4. Cpt. Smith - 'I Hate Nights Out' (Carmarthen, Wales)

Cranking it up now with some thrash-punk via Welsh quartet Cpt. Smith and their recent single 'I Hate Nights Out' which was released on the excellent indie label I KA CHING Records. The track is just over two and a half minutes long and sweeps you along like a reef break wave before spitting you out on the shoreline, good old punk chaos and then some.

5. Someone - 'Forget Forgive' (Amsterdam, Holland)

Dutch Art-Pop solo act Tessa Rose Jackson, aka Someone, released her third single, 'Forget Forgive' just this week, the thick bass intro leads to the most mellow and slightly intoxicating vocals and a truly dreamy chorus. Talking about the track she shares; '"Forget Forgive' is the most personal track I’ve written so far.  Playing the song to other people actually always feels a bit icky, like reading an excerpt from my diary out in public. It’s super naked. It’s a really intimate lyric about battling some pretty nasty demons and, in overcoming them, figuring out the kind of person you want to be. I wrote and recorded it all in one night (between the hours of 11PM and 4AM) in my home studio in Amsterdam. Some songs take ages to fine-tune and hone, but this one felt like I was just solidifying a strain of thought that had been flowing around inside my head for ages."

6. NEWMEN - 'Electric Eel' (Frankfurt, Germany)

The single 'Electric Eel' is part of a dual release with other A-Side 'Humanin' from new wave and indie rock German group NEWMEN. It certainly has that industrial Kraftwerkian feel to it from the very beginning and a luscious 80's synth strand runs through from start to finish. The band describe their modus operandi as follows; Link between what was and what’s to come remains the band’s motive: "From rediscovered treasures to recent wave adoptions, from psychedelic dreams to electronic rhythms, from drone walls to Italian holidays, from NYC muscle to Autobahn Düsseldorf. Take your pleasures seriously!"

NEWMEN - 'Electric Eel' / 'Humanin'

7. Oscar Jerome - 'Subdued' (London, U.K.)

Strafing 70's disco-soul รก la Curtis Mayfield and Shuggie Otis and contemporary hip-hip and electronica, if Childish Gambino and SBTRKT combined on a funky duet perhaps, both the sincerity and feel good nature of Oscar Jerome's latest single 'Subdued' are captivating when combined, and stylistically very rare for this side of the Atlantic. His mini-opus is one groover that just keeps giving right up until the final cymbal crash.

8. Lavender Child - 'Happy Illusions' (Toronto, Canada)

The soft and gentle moroseness of single 'Happy Illusions' by Toronto's Lavender Child is a very alluring piece, cello and piano dance playfully in a regretful waltz, this sounds like a contradiction, but as the track progresses and the emotional energy build this is the sense the listener is left with. The track is taken from her forthcoming album Reflections which is due out in early 2018.

9. KWAYE - 'Lost In My Boots' (Zimbabwe / London)

London-based KWAYE delivers an absolute soul-pop zinger with his latest single 'Lost In My Boots', the vocal delivery and range are right out of the top drawer. With a gleeful mix of 80's pop and 90's dance music courtesy of the piano I'm feeling all kinds of nostalgia for Yazz and George Michael, whilst vocally very distinct, the musical space KWAYE is working in means he could be the U.K.'s answer to Blood Orange.

KWAYE - Lost In My Boots
KWAYE - Photo credit: Xavier Marshall

10. Teen Daze - 'Kilika' (British Columbia, Canada)

Prolific indie-pop and ambient electronic act Jamison Isaak aka Teen Daze released his latest LP, Themes For Dying Earth at the beginning of this year and the latest single to be taken from the album is 'Kilika'. From spacey dreamscapes to 80's movie OST guitars, Teen Daze provides great comfort and a twinkling sense of wellbeing with 'Kilika'.

Listen to Issue #015 of our best of independent International Playlist right here

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