Sunday, 11 February 2018

International Playlist #018: Kidsmoke, Nilüfer Yanya, Mamas Gun, DYLYN & more

NILUFER YANYA - Thanks For Nothing
Nilüfer Yanya - Photo: Molly Daniel

Info: We're back with our latest round up of independent single releases from around the globe over the past few weeks. Above you'll find great tracks from the U.K., France, Canada, the U.S. Denmark and for the first time ever, Japan! As always I've gone through a large chunk of tracks to pick what are my 10 favourites which I hope you enjoy too. It's important for me personally to retain an active interest in the new independent releases from outside of Ireland for fresh perspectives, and when I get to the end of each year and collate a best of list from the previous 12 months I end up hooked on the songs for a long time afterwards, I'm still listening to the 2017 list almost every day.

1. 22 year old London-based solo act Nilüfer Yanya releases her new single 'Thanks 4 Nothing', riding on the success of having two of her 2017 singles landing in Pitchfork's Top 100 for 2017. The track is an emotionally bare and powerful piece of shimmering soul-pop and indie, bustling from grandiose drums to soft bossa nova moments which is also accompanied by the below video.

2. It's always a good day when Welsh lo-fi indie-pop merchants Kidsmoke release new material, we've loved all of the releases that have been covered here over the years and new track 'Sister Sadness' is no different. It has a noughties indie day-glo vibe, everything is soft and gentle, vocals, percussion, dainty guitar riffs and ultimately, a slow-burning feel-good overtone which delivers with ease.

3. Another firm favourite which we were so happy to discover a while back comes via Oakland, CA duo The Saxophones, the guys with the keys to the time machine. They serve up a gorgeous cover of David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti's 'Just You', and it's blissful. I'm in a darkened dingy old jazz joint on my own in the dark and the crooning and brass is everywhere around my head.

4. London funk and soul quintet Mamas Gun release a boogie-tastic zinger straight from the Curtis Mayfield songbook in their new single 'London Girls' which will be featured on their forthcoming album 'Golden Days' due out in May. This is such a delightful and accurate tribute to the zenith of funk and soul music, step on their care-free soul train and enjoy the ride.

5. French house producer Tell has swapped the clubs for the studio with the first single from his Petit Garçon EP (out next month) in the form of 'Pourquoi Pas' (Why Not?) under the performance banner of Miel de Montagne. Il est parfait! The French have always known how to do their electronica well, retro synths and 80's vox abound, we like.

6. Montreal's Alex Rand shares 'My Mettle Changes' which grabbed me instantly when I first heard it, a diverse concoction of contemporary experimental-pop and moments of 70's psych. Rand ratchets up the tension and underworld atmospherics before sweeping briefly off to a moment of stillness at the 3:00 mark, reminiscent of Anthony & The Johnsons or Arcade Fire, but it's that intensity throughout which makes the single so gripping.

The fin. - Snow
The fin. - Snow

7. Gah, I just love this track from Japanese synth-pop trio The fin., 'Snow (Again)'. The Kobe act nail the surreal escapism and ultra-sonic landscapes are painted with a neon brush, fizzing static electronic effects buzz and echo, and the downtempo beat feels like a happy death knell if that makes any sense, an acceptance of the final moments of life. Only complaint here is that I wish it was five times longer but I'll just have to wait until their album There comes out later this spring.

8. Danish trio Marshall Cecil's latest single 'Beautiful World' is another hypnotic affair, a glistening piece of indie post-punk which pulls the rug from under you as they briefly delve into hip-hop mode, big soaring distant guitar progressions and a whimsical drum beat create a dual sense of calm and spaced-out unconsciousness.

9. L.A.'s DYLYN serves up the ultimate pop banger in 'Wolf' which premiered on CLASH upon release. Pounding synths and exploding drum-pads battle with her polished and angst-ridden vocal to deliver a track that is easily engaged with.

10. I'm really enjoying this indie stomper from Essex three-piece Bilk, 'Give Up', a neo-punk rocker full of bravado and high-tempo swagger, from the metronome beat intro to the thick bass. These likely lads deal with the themes of boredom and distraction with a light-hearted lyrical stab at idleness, definitely want to here more from where this came from these 18-year-old chaps.


To listen to our last Spotify Independent International Playlist head over here

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