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Avant Garde Pop

Music

Saphira takes us for an electronic ride down the Apocalytic Highway

Electronic Alternative Pop comes in many forms, from the wistful and ethereal to the heavy and dance-oriented. Sitting somewhere in the middle is this, the new single from ‘singer-songwriter from another dimension’ Saphira.

Taking in themes around impending environmental disaster, and humans apparent masochistic delight in letting the planet burn in the pursuit of a quick buck, ‘Apocalyptic Highway’ is a charming, ironic little satire set over a sparse melody of chimes, swirls, and swoops. Saphira’s vocal is mercurial, wandering between poetic spoken word and whimsical high-register singing, somewhere between Warpaint, Bjork, and the Cardigans. As much performance art as electronica, ‘Apocalyptic Highway’ is out now on all major streaming platforms.

Hear ‘Apocalyptic Highway’ on Spotify. See the video on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes

Music

Britta Pejic has broken the monocultural mould with their rhythmically beguiling Alt Pop hit ‘Spring Roll Skin’

Britta Pejic has served up a smorgasbord of culture in her latest electronic Avant-Garde Latin Pop single ‘Spring Roll Skin’. With windingly psychedelic guitar notes adding beguile to the rhythmically arrestive instrumentals which create the perfect platform for Britta Pejic’s almost phantasmal vocals, the only thing which parallels the ingenuity is how deeply you will fall into the magnetically mellifluous release.

If you could imagine what it would sound like if Kate Bush strove for a more colourful and tribal sound, you’ll get a good idea of what you can expect when you hit play on Spring Roll Skin which was released on October 31st.

You can check out Spring Roll Skin for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Pleaseprettylea – Yack!: Conceptually Avant-Garde Dark Pop

Pleaseprettylea

West Midlands, UK artist Pleaseprettylea is due to hit the airwaves with her artfully enticing Dark Pop single “Yack!” on November 25th. With elements of Hip Hop within the darkly hypnotic production, the single transcends genre as it unravels as a powerfully conceptual single which deals with the concept of sickness in relation to vulnerability, trauma and vices.

Pleaseprettylea is never afraid to tackle taboo or difficult concepts in her tracks, Yack! is definitely no exception. It unravels as a theatrical breath of fresh air in a time when baseless information around mental health and self-care seems to be found in every corner of the internet. But with Pleaseprettylea’s Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in counselling, you can fall into the soundscape and find trust in the artist’s wisdom and alluring sound which shares the same immense level of expression as artists such as Bjork, PJ Harvey, Amanda Palmer and Kate Bush.

Yack! is due for release from November 25th, pre-save the track on all major streaming platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Le’lani brings evocative obscurity to Pop with “Can’t Wait 4 U”

Musician and performance artist Le’lani is acclaimed as a paragon of performativity in LA. Her latest solo single “Can’t Wait 4 U” is provocative enough to make her name internationally recognisable.

The track kicks off with beats which bring an enticing level of anticipation and energy while you’re treated to a recording of doubt-laden introspection. After a tantalizing instrumental segment, Le’lani’s hypnotically alluring vocals finally breeze into the mix and bring a sense of tranquillity to the soundscape. Any fans of Portishead definitely won’t want to let this release pass them by.

You can check out Can’t Wait 4 U which was released on October 16th for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

With an EP due to drop in 2021, you’ll definitely want Le’lani on your radar.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

BEA BOX is set to release her rhythmically explorative, seductively Avant-Garde Pop single “Kiss Me”

We were lucky enough to get a taste of Canadian artist BEA BOX’s upcoming single “Kiss Me”, just one of the tracks which feature on her highly anticipated EP “Origami” which strives for originally and strikingly succeeds.

Her culturally dynamic style helped to orchestrate an authentically enigmatic single which is all too easy to sink into. As you fall, you’ll get pick out myriads of different artful textures, even the snobbiest of musos would struggle to best-place and pigeon-hole BEA BOX’s boundlessly expressive sound which plays around with tribally rhythmic electronica, seductive Pop and the Avant-Garde.

Kiss Me is due for release on October 30th, you’ll be able to hear it on BEA BOX’s official website and SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

ZORYA – Dreams: Ambiently Avant-Garde Dream Pop

https://open.spotify.com/track/66u3wwJhT0MXXQu4l6jEpK

“Dreams” is the recently released ambiently Avant-Garde single from London-based Alt Pop artist ZORYA. Hit play, and slip into the artfully bold, tonally cathartic layers of the devilishly progressive track which unravels with perception-shifting spiritual wisdom.

The ethereally enticing dreamscape pulls you in with baroque and gothic elements, but it is ZORYA’s vocals which will leave the tightest shackles around your synapses as they verse poetic lyrics which lead you through arcane metaphors for life.

You can check out ZORYA’s track on Spotify, SoundCloud and Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Heavy Salad have given ‘cult hit’ a brand-new meaning with their debut album “Cult Casual”

The debut album from Manchester’s finest soulfully-blessed Psychedelic trailblazers Heavy Salad has finally dropped.

Cult Casual hit record stores on September 25th and affirmed that the optimism that I’ve held since hearing their eccentrically resolving sophomore single Battery Acid in 2019 was entirely well placed.

Some records, you put on the turntable and know you’ll be apathetic about letting the needle hit it again. Others, you know you’ll delve right back in for the successive hits of emotion which manifested the first time around. Cult Casual is firmly in the latter camp.

Track 1, Death is a gentle Surf Pop easing into the colourful chaos which ensues in the form of their cult hit (in the most literal use of the phrase) Battery Acid. Track 3, The Wish is the feat of feisty grunge which blows every other Garage Rock artist in Manchester out of the water while simultaneously giving artists such as Dinosaur Jr a run for their money.

Track 4, Inner Versions carries the same bite as The Wish, but this time the playful angst is projected over punchy Indie Rock licks, leaving plenty of space for guitarist Rob Glennie to humbly unveil the virtuosic talent he’s been hiding all along. Track 5, Reverse Snake is Heavy Salad’s psych Rock scathing attack on the ideocracy which led us to Brexit. Arcanely, they actually succeeded in creating a high-vibe Anti-Brexit track.

Fans of Avant-Garde will be suitably enraptured in the album from Track 6 where the experimentalism truly starts to take hold. After you’ve enjoyed all the juicy Psych Pop earworms, it’s time to immerse yourselves in the unpredictable yet pragmatic progressive nature of High Priestess and This Song is Not About Lizards. Unapologetically, the tracks take seismic shifts in tone and ferocity, leaving you at the mercy of their rhythmic prowess and whatever celestial magic the Priestesses are serving up in the form of their intoxicating vocals.

Whichever plateau you’ve floated to with the former singles, Routine Dream will allow you to crash down to earth with the scuzzily confrontational track which serves an aggressive yet compassionate reminder that you’re probably living blind. Thankfully, there’s plenty of aural comfort in Slow Ride which will make sure that you’re in the best possible mindset for the evocative assault which follows.

The final track It’s OK to Bleed will break my heart over and over again. In a time where people are more likely to invest in bitcoin rather than their emotional intelligence, it’s utterly priceless. Straight from the intro, the tenderness rings through the guitar progressions, then, the vocal and lyrical empathy bring torrid emotions to the front but there’s plenty of solace to be found in the track which unravels as gospel for the impious.

In short, it’s a cosmic rollercoaster and easily up there with the best things to happen in 2020. Listen to it.

You can check out Cult Casual via Spotify & Bandcamp or you can (and you definitely should) treat yourself to a CD or vinyl copy of the album released via Dripped in Gold Recordings.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Melt into the Experimental Funk in Benzo Fabulous’ Alt Pop single “Jonathan in Jerusalem”

For some artists, experimentalism comes at the cost of accessibility, yet up and coming Alt-Pop artist Benzo Fabulous found the perfect balance in their Lo-Fi Garage Pop single “Jonathan in Jerusalem”.

Discernibly, Benzo Fabulous allows their creativity to lead the way when constructing their singles instead of their desire to appeal to the masses with a plastic and uniform sound. As a result, Jonathan in Jerusalem is laden with Psychedelic Funk and has plenty of Avant-Garde aural mayhem to throw your way.

The Brighton-based artist is definitely one to watch if you enjoy melting into off the cuff and endearingly eccentric tracks.

You can listen to Jonathan in Jerusalem for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The Digital Dreamers – Matzo Ball Marriage: Obscurely Infectious Avant-Garde Pop Rock

Matzo Ball Marriage” is the eccentrically orchestrated latest single from Avant-Garde Experimental artist The Digital Dreamers. Any fans of Frank Zappa will definitely want to delve into the aural insanity which ensues after you hit play.

The growling bass notes in the prelude may lead you to believe that you’re about to be introduced to a serious Funk Rock track. But when the endearingly adrenalizing vocals kick in over the up-tempo piano notes as they electrically sail through their progressions, you’ll realise that The Digital Dreamers only takes the quality of their slightly obscure, insanely infectious sound seriously.

They’ve left quite the impression. We’re already stoked to hear what comes next.

You can check out Matzo Ball Marriage for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Hitlist – Sincerely yours, Mary: An Avant-Garde Approach to Summer Pop

Hitlist never fails to win us over with their Avant-Garde approach to Pop. Their latest single “Sincerely yours, Mary” is a sun-soaked eccentric twist on the archetypal Summer club hits which I’m sure you’re as tired of hearing as we are.

The theatrically exotic earworm is a minefield of entrancing melodic hooks which invites you to imagine how the Mama Mia soundtrack would have turned out if it was orchestrated by PSY in collaboration with the Venga Boys. If you have one, your soul will feel suitably fuzzy upon recognising this feat of playfully infectious aural alchemy.

If the mainstream preferred creatively unabashed tracks instead of mindlessly accessible assimilative music, Sincerely yours, Mary would hold a chart position.

You can check out Hitlist’s latest single Sincerely yours, Mary for yourselves by heading over to Vimeo.

Review by Amelia Vandergast