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Brooklyn Pop

Drift into a higher dimension with the latest interstellar single from Rae Larz, ORACLE

Back in February, Rae Larz invited us to a tea party with a cosmic difference via her single, Tea in the Stratosphere, going by her latest release, ORACLE, she’s still reigning interstellar supreme.

After a sequence of moody stabbing synth lines, the Brooklyn-based artist’s demurely magnetic vocal lines start drawing you into the gravity of the release by transitioning between the high vocal harmonies and sermonic spoken word utterances which command with sublime conviction.

ORACLE may be more niche than your average synth pop release, but the singer, songwriter, and producer never compromises with her deep emotional expression and visualises soundscapes that are infinitely more enriching for the heart, body, soul and rhythmic pulses. Freedom emanates through every progression within ORACLE; unshackle yourselves, especially if you’re a fan of Black Honey, She Draws the Gun and Warpaint.

If you can’t get enough of Rae Larz after hearing ORACLE, you won’t have long to wait before her vibration-raising EP hits the airwaves.

ORACLE dropped on November 3rd; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

NY’s Premier Synth-Driven Rock n Roll Outfit, After the Echo, Found a New Way to Ride the Retrowaves in I Like The Way You Do:

Only Stars by After The Echo

The Brooklyn-based synth-driven rock n roll trio After the Echo laid the reverb-drenched retrowave nostalgia on thick in their latest single, I Like the Way You Do.

There are synth & guitar carved crescendo-esque hooks by the smorgasbord in the single that is authentically 80s enough that it sounds like it could have been prised from your favourite 80s flick soundtrack. While the lyrics portray a portrait of irreplicable passion from the perspective of a far-from-perfect protagonist who feels alienated by the world that surrounds them, the dreamy new wave synths and strident guitar hooks will immerse you in the soundscape so deeply you’ll find yourself torn from the 21st century.

Far from your average love song, the songwriting chops that constructed I Like The Way You Do allow romanticism to ooze from the pores of each instrumental, including the sax lines from Mitch Marcus, the pulls of the violin strings from Michael Hunter, and the massive 80s drum fills as a courtesy of the third featuring artist, Dan Caruso.

Stream and purchase I Like The Way You Do, which features on After the Echo’s LP, Only Stars, via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Foreign Saints is sonorously spectral in their debut shoegaze single, Here With Me

If you placed yourself in the middle ground of Elliott Smith and Slowdive, you would be in good company with the sonorously spectral debut single, Here With Me, from Foreign Saints.

With a slice of psychedelia written into the indie pop songwriting chops, Here With Me unravels as a hazy kaleidoscope of wistful colour. As the lyrics allude to what’s lost through time and distance, the dreamy instrumentals envelop you in their reverb-swathed cathartic tonality.

The bedroom pop project from the Brooklyn-based musician, Thomas Roberts, may not be far past its inception, but Roberts is already proving himself to be an unreckonable resonant force. Fans of The Japanese House, War on Drugs, and Day Wave won’t want to let the project slip them by, especially with the debut EP in the pipeline.

Here With Me is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nicholas Dante incited a sonic insurgence with his harsh electro-art pop debut, Rebellion

The Brooklyn-based artist, Nicholas Dante, brought the uprising we’ve all been waiting for in his electro-art pop debut single, Rebellion.

The hyper-pop elements melded with harsh electro synthetics allow industrial tones to go pop in the insurgently promising debut that the world is already paying attention to. After making light work of putting momentum behind the debut, the Avant Garde originator will undoubtedly become a landmark fixture in the future of pop.

Beyond the cinematic production, the experimentalist holds reverence to pop pioneers, naming Britney Spears, Madonna, and Janet Jackson as his main aural influences, which goes a fair way in explaining the hooky proclivities of the track that will push your speakers to their limits.

Jump on the sonic insurrection by streaming Rebellion on Spotify, Bandcamp, and Soundcloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

nasir mf. turned up the heat for electro heads in his hyper-pop exposition of obsession ‘romantic fury’

nasir mf. won us over with his emo hyperpop debut in 2022; for 2023, the queer icon in the making reached stratospheric heights with his sophomore single, romantic fury. It is impossible not to feel the heat while revelling in the affirmation that there is nothing sane or rational about passion.

The independent Brooklyn, NY-based artist created a world of carnal pleasure through the cascade of luminous synth lines and beats built to body rock to – crafted by Flame Yuppie. For any fans of PC-adjacent music in the same vein as Charli XCX, Namasenda, Caroline Polachek and SOPHIE, the ECHOVALLEY remix may be more your hyper-sonic 8-bit cup of tea.

“This track is a hyper pop banger with rap verses for the electro-loving hopeless romantics. I made this track about experiencing limerence – that obsessive, unhealthy feeling that we often get for someone. I wanted to appeal to all the people who have someone who fucks with their mental state. It is super unhealthy, but hey, it happens… it is honest.”

Stream romantic fury and the ECHOVALLEY remix on Spotify now.

Connect with nasir mf. on Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Fading Out created the ultimate indie jangle pop anthem for the socially awkward with ‘So Embarrassing’

Brooklyn—based singer-songwriter, Fading Out (Evan Bieber) has launched the latest single, So Awkward, from his forthcoming debut EP, Maybe I Thought About You Once, and shared the ultimate indie anthem for the socially awkward.

With his upbeat approach to broaching cringeworthy moments, it is enough to instil you with a newfound sense of humility. The single, inspired by those everyday moments that compel you to run the second a micro faux pas slips out, is just a fraction of the introspective gold forged in his upcoming LP.

With a sonic palette that would complement any playlists featuring Peace, Swim Deep, Viola Beach and Jaws, So Embarrassing would be on the cusp of contemporary trends if it didn’t transcend them with the extra vigour in the angular jangle-pop guitars, which any indie rock fan will register as next level. Fading out even gives Marr & Robert Smith a run for their money with the intricately melodic gravitas in this colourful earworm that will stick to your synapses like superglue from the first hit.

So Embarrassing will officially release on October 17th. Check it out on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Resonate with the fear in RAIANE.’s woundingly honest indie power-pop single, scared

Rio-born, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter RAIANE., has recently released her instantly affable indie power-pop track, scared, which unravels as an energised yet intimate exploration of the boundaries between physical and emotional vulnerability.

The searing hot guitar solos blazing around her bubble gum poppy, anthemic vocals make for an electrically alchemic combination. It is only when the short and enrapturing bitter-sweet track fades to a close, you realise just how invested you got in the bop-worthy feat of faultlessly raw pop. By all accounts, it is an exceptionally promising debut.

You can check out scared, along with the rest of the debut LP, shapeshifter, from RAIANE. for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: Wally Hoak opens up in his dark pop hit, HARD FEELINGS

Dominican Republic-born, Brooklyn-based dark pop prodigy, Wally Hoak, has been garnering plenty of hype since making his debut in 2020. His most popular track to date, Complicated, has racked up over 33k streams since the release, and based on his latest single, HARD FEELINGS, it is unlikely that his career will stop gaining traction any time soon.

In HARD FEELINGS, raw emotion is projected into dark, thorny synth lines as reverb swirls around the 808s under Hoak’s emotionally sultry vocal timbre. Lyrically, it became the ultimate ‘don’t talk to me, I’m angry track’ as it alludes to the alienating emotions that sting at the surface in the wake of toxic relationship dynamics.

Hoak went so far beyond scratching around at surface level with HARD FEELINGS; he cut right to the marrow. Naturally, we can’t wait to hear the next confessional masterpiece.

HARD FEELINGS is now available to stream on Spotify.

Connect with Wally Hoak on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Review by Amelia Vandergast