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indie-pop

Music

Andy Host – Heartbeats: International Upbeat Brit Pop

I was one of the lucky few who had the pleasure to listen to German singer song writer Andy Host’s brand new single Heartbeats in the build up to its release. The single will be available to download and in a stunning array of other formats from November 17th.  I’ve been well and truly caught up in the momentum of Andy Hosts new sound. To say that Heartbeats is an upbeat track would be the biggest understatement I could ever make. It’s packed full of raw unadulterated positive vibes that will quite literally take your breath away and guide you into a chaotic state of euphoria.

Andy Host uses his talent with his passion for the Indie Pop and Brit Pop sound and truly brings the genres he dabbles within to life. His previous project ‘Louder Than Gray’ was a mix of melancholic sounds in the midst of pensive emotions, his new musical venture couldn’t be more different, it’s overwhelming with raucous energy, love and passion.

You can taste a sample of his brand new single Heartbeats on his website before it is release date.

http://andy-host.com/#soundcheck

Stay connected to the musical enigma through the Facebook link below for more info on his new upcoming releases.

https://www.facebook.com/SongwriterAndyHost/

Music

Ari Releases Icelandic Electronic Indie-pop Track ‘Spor’

Spor is proof that you don’t necessarily have to understand lyrics to appreciate how great they sound. As a singer working in his native Icelandic, obviously those who will understand the lyrical content will make up only a fraction of the music market place Ari finds himself in but right from the first bar of Spor you realise that this doesn’t matter. The vocal delivery is so smooth, so ethereal, so polished and perfect for the music it sits alongside, once you think of it as another part of the instrumental make up of the song, you won’t even notice the language barrier and there really is no such thing as a music barrier.

The result is a sumptuous, widescreen, electronic indie-pop; it is cinematic and forward thinking, deftly produced and both futuristic and otherworldly. There is probably something of the geography of his homeland infused in the music and it isn’t that hard to notice an almost subliminal description of that lands wide skies and dramatic vistas etched into the music’s glorious soundscaping.

Music

A&R Factory Present: ARLO

Where ‘Ivory’ gained the pop newcomer some impressive praise, ‘Shake The Room’ is poised to floor the fence sitters in proving this 24-year old Londoner has what it takes to stamp his mark all over 2017 and all off his own back.

In the man’s own words : “’Shake The Room’ is about losing confidence in yourself, not trusting your gut and allowing others to control your future”. In pure defiance, he sings “I don’t need your reverence, I don’t need your approval” – constantly striving to be the individual that he was always destined to be.

A songwriter and vocalist who cites influences from current pop giants Adele and Kanye West to 80’s pop heroes Terence Trent D’Arby and Tears For Fears. ARLO displays a natural knack for story-telling with a wise head on his young shoulders, his narrative is delivered by his distinctive vocal all wrapped up in uplifting pop rhythms and triumphant percussion

Shake The Room is the second in a series of songs to come from ARLO across the summer and gives you some insight into what he has to offer.

https://soundcloud.com/iam_arlo

https://www.facebook.com/iamarlomusic

https://twitter.com/iam_arlo

https://www.instagram.com/Iam_arlo

Music

A&R Factory Present: Wild Front

Organically formed, South Coast Band, Wild Front, aim to pair the unrestrained emotions of music with the capricious nature of life. It came as no surprise when the band formed,as the 4 had been musically working together for years.

Although 80’s rock and alternative indie is a love they all share, their primary musical influences are so different. Jack offers his love of folk and Josh studied classical music at university, whereas Mike and Joe’s musical repertoire ranges from West Coast hip hop to indie folk. It’s this exotic mix that creates their unique anddistinctive sound. Wild Front have just released their self-titled debut EP,and are in the studio constantly writing and recording new material.

Music

A&R Factory Present: B O K E H

Born in Cape Town, South Africa, raised in Wellington, New Zealand, Chloë Lewer grew up too shy to ever sing in front of anyone. Instead, she spent her childhood and university years working as an actress. At age 21, she met a filmmaker who persuaded her to start a ukulele busking adventure with him in Berlin, which quickly developed into a touring band called ‘Charity Children’ with two albums under their sleeves over five years.

As the relationship turned to friendship and the band went into hiatus, Chloë sought new artistic endeavours. Teaming up with Dutch writer/producer Wouter Rentema, also the drummer of ‘Charity Children’, the pair spent the Summer of 2016 locked inside various studios about the German capital and recording synths in a disused chapel in The Netherlands, developing what would become Chloë’s artistic alter-ego: B O K E H.

‘Don’t Leave The Fire’ feels like the diary no one was ever meant to find. The highs and lows of life and love lost are explored over a six track EP, in what is clearly a very personal musical letter. Intimate, sincere vocals, charged by an epic Electropop production with obvious 80s influences, expose B O K E H’s world and all the colourful, beautiful and painful spots of her imaginarie.

‘I Know You Know’, the first single from the EP, is scheduled for release Feb 17th, 2017.

Music

A&R Factory Present: Ruby Empress

Having already amassed 500K plays on Soundcloud, Ruby Empress, with their brand of Scandinavian indie pop, are clearly building up quite the following.

Ahead of the release of the band’s 6-track EP Empressionism out later this week, Ruby Empress have treated fans to a piece of synth pop perfection with their latest offering; Escapism Deluxe.

The track boasts a truly bountiful production. Piecing together elements of electronica, synth and pop behind a thumping baseline probably sounds like a lot all happening at once, but Tom Serner’s light vocals work brilliantly against the amalgamation of sounds.

The song kicks off bubbling under the surface to only then erupt into full-blown euphoria. It may feel like you’re being transported to another world, but you want to stick around to see where else this song can take you.

In the past few years Sweden has really been at the forefront of producing excellently crafted pop songs and stars. With the likes of Tove Lo and Zara Larsson already establishing themselves as ones to watch, Ruby Empress can now be added to the list of Scandinavian acts showing the rest of the world how to do pop properly.

Words: Yusuf Tamanna
Music

A&R Factory Present: Leaone

Leaone continues his rise with the sublime new single ‘Goldtooth’, released this October 21st, and another stunning track that marks out this hugely promising new talent.

Self-produced and mixed by Jim Lowe (Stereophonics), Leaone began writing in his parent’s attic after a series of events (losing his girlfriend, job, and getting mugged) led him back home to his native Suffolk. Following a meeting with Jim at his Shepherds Bush studio the pair started working together, with Jim mixing and performing on some of Leaone’s material.

‘Young Green Eyes’ was the first track from those sessions to be released earlier this year, and an astonishing start for a promising contemporary artist. Written about his ex-girlfriend, the song is a haunting, reflective piece that reflects Leaone’s influences of both Johnny Cash and Elliott Smith.

‘Goldtooth’ picks up where ‘Young Green Eyes’ left off, with Leaone’s distinctive vocals pulling at the emotive heartstrings with superb delivery and melody, all swept along by an undercurrent of haunting and sparse instrumentation.

Since releasing his last single release, performing with Emmy The Great and Roddy Woomble (Idlewild), Leaone has finished work on his debut EP, set to be released this autumn, and from what we’ve heard so far, it’s looking set to be something very, very special. Leaone is also already back in the studio, writing and recording his second EP after securing Arts Council funding for the release.

‘Goldtooth’ will be released on October 21st 2016, and will be available from all good digital stores. More live dates and details of Leaone’s debut EP are set to follow in the coming weeks.

Music

A&R Factory Present: ELKI

Elki is a brand spanking new artist from Sydney, Australia, with a love for songwriters such as Kate Bush, Burt Bacharach, and Stevie Wonder. After managing to avoid social media all her life, she finally decided to bite the bullet and jump head first into it all, in order to get her first track out and into the world. 

 

Elki collaborated with renowned Australian producer Joel Quartermain (Meg Mag, Little Birdy, Eskimo Joe) to create her debut track, ‘Sirens’. She was a fan of Joel’s production work, and after sending him some demos, Elki was stoked when he was keen to work with her.

 

The tune ‘Sirens’ is inspired by the neo-noir film ‘Body Heat’ from the 80s. The pared back intimate verses were written to contrast with the explosive and powerful declaration in the choruses – of power and guilt. The mellotron strings and Jupiter synth work in tandem to swell to an orchestral climax and a stomping chorus. 

Music

A&R Factory Present: Bad Bad Hats

Bad Bad Hats is an indie rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Kerry Alexander (vocals, guitar, wisdom), Chris Hoge (drums, courage), and Noah Boswell (bass, power) met while attending Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn. Kerry and Chris began writing songs together in 2010, recording a collection of demos that would later become their first EP. The addition of their friend Noah in 2012 solidified the line-up. The indie rock trio’s songwriting quickly caught the ear of Minneapolis label Afternoon Records, whose alumni includes Yellow Ostrich, Now Now, Haley Bonar, and One for the Team, among others. Afternoon Records signed the trio and released their It Hurts EP in early 2013. Two years later, the band is ready to release their bold debut LP, Psychic Reader, due out on July 17th.

Before the three joined forces (creating what is now known as the Triforce), Alexander recorded rough demos in her mom’s walk-in shower and sang 90s pop covers at open mic nights. Hoge played electric guitar in high school, but took up drums in college to fill out his own fuzzy recordings. Boswell played in jazz band by day and spun turntables by night in a teen experimental rap squad called The Erotic Assassins.

As primary songwriter, Kerry’s perspective is the guiding force behind Bad Bad Hats. In her early teens, Kerry’s family moved away from her childhood home in Birmingham, Alabama. As the new kid at a new school, Alexander began writing songs to temper her loneliness and take up the time. Inspired by popular female songwriters of the 90s, notably Alanis Morissette, Kim Deal, and Letters to Cleo’s Kay Hanley, Kerry developed a unique songwriting voice of her own. She embraces classic melodies and simple arrangements, and does not shy away from emotive lyrics. It’s Kerry’s party and she’ll cry if she wants to.

Since the release of It Hurts, the three friends have performed around the Midwest, working on new material that expands upon the homespun sound of their previous work. Psychic Reader is the result of their sonic growth. Bolstered by the experimental touches of the album’s producer, Brett Bullion, Psychic Reader draws from the influences of all three members, exploring a number of musical styles over the course of 33 minutes. Kerry’s strong vocals and lyrical sensibilities tie the songs together as a cohesive unit, making for an album that is both surprising and universal.

Music

A&R Factory Present: BLAJK

Born from Toronto’s rapidly flourishing music scene, indie pop 4 piece ‘BLAJK’ wear their influences on a well-tailored sleeve. Fresh off of their first tour supporting Banners and fellow Torontonians Young Empires, BLAJK release the lead single from their forthcoming EP. “Good Liars” sees lead vocalist Jordan Radics tell the story of contrived, synthetic lives and personalities broadcast through screens and filters. BLAJK bring a sense of polished performance and compelling production to their latest single that they will be showcasing first at Canadian Music Week and on a tour of western Canada with Young Empires, and then at their debut festival performance at Bestival Toronto.
“Good Liars was built off another song we had written about a year ago.  We had always liked its energy but didn’t really know where to go with it.  So when it came time to piece together all the demos we had for the EP, that song quickly evolved and became one of our favourites.  The original demo sounded much different and it took a couple nights of writing to really bring it to life.  But when Jordan sang over it we knew it was strong and it proves to be whenever we play it live.” – BLAJK
Tour Dates
May 4 / The Velvet Underground / Toronto, ON (w/ Baio, ROMES, Only Yours and TMPL)
May 6 / Royal Ontario Museum / Toronto, ON
May 8 / Adelaide Hall / Toronto, ON (w/ Big Black Delta, Rolemodel and Wilde)
May 18 / Sugar Nightclub / Victoria, BC (w/ Young Empires)
May 19 / Fortune Sound Club / Vancouver, BC (w/ Young Empires)
May 20 / Habitat / Kelowna, BC (w/ Young Empires)
May 21 / Commonwealth / Calgary, AB (w/ Young Empires)
May 22 / Starlite Room / Edmonton, AB (w/ Young Empires)
May 24 / Amigos / Saskatoon, SK (w/ Young Empires)
May 25 / Park Theatre / Winnipeg, MB (w/ Young Empires)
Jun 12 / Bestival / Toronto, ON

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