Not only possessing a really cool, not to mention unusual, name, Painted on Silent Blue trade in dream like indie-pop, music. It does so by swathing lilting piano sounds with lush harmonies, changing languages as others might change key and it is this multi-linguistic delivery which best sums up what lies at the heart of their music. Even if they are not singing in a language you can understand, Miracles never loses its appeal, proving that vocal lines are more than just about communicating in words but are equally able to communicate through emotion on a less conscious level.
This Viennese duo certainly knows the art of understatement and like all working with such spacious sound palettes fully understand that atmosphere and anticipation are just as important as the actual notes, rhythm and words that they use to create these gossamer tracks. Beauty is as much about what is left out as it is about its more obvious qualities and Painted on Silent Blue are fully aware of this.
Thames are a four piece band from Saint Louis with sharp songwriting skills that allow them to tackle difficult subject matter and lyric themes in a way that keeps their music enjoyable to listen to. Apart from this, it is also very clear that these guys are humble and genuinely want to deliver a strong message through their music. Characterised by an understated calmness that shows their belief and confidence in this artistic vision, these guys have something truly sensitive and special to offer.
“The Fear Of Losing The Ones You Love.” is taken from their most recent album release, “The Fear,” which is characterised by their distinctive heartfelt sound that is also really enjoyable to listen to and fun at the same time. With a steady yet mellow driving beat, delicate piano melodies and smooth vocals this song features very interesting use of harmonic movement and melody. Unexpected notes colour the smooth melodies vibrantly and all the elements together create a mesmerising texture. Apart from this it is also very interesting to note how the vocal tone is used in several different ways to add character and dynamic to the lyric delivery. Overall Thames are definitely on to something good and their own belief and determination in the sound they envision and create shines through. Go ahead and check it out!
-Sarah Marie Bugeja
Even with the amount of new music being made every day, with sheer weight of collective imaginations, the genre splicing experiments, the fusing and fusion of styles Garrison Carver seems to be on to something new here. Yes, there is a trippy trap beat, a cool R&B vibe and a rap delivery but that is then cocooned in something totally unexpected. Around these more expected elements he wraps a dream-pop haze, chilled psychedelia and electronic washes.
It’s confusing, but experience tells us that is a good thing, expectations are made to be subverted, rules are made to be broken and new musical horizons are their to be explored and DD does all of those things and more. Blissed out hip-hop? Ethereal R&B? Dream-rap? Are those even a thing? The fact that you have to invent whole new genres to put the music in is an indication of just how original this music is and how singular and lateral Garrison Carver’s thinking is.
Anyone who begins in Damien Rice’s minimalistic territory, slowly shifts up a gear into psych driven, cosmic Americana and finds room for blistering alt-rock guitar work outs, all in the space of three and a half minutes is someone that you really need to keep on your “ones to watch” list. Eli Smart’s Pretty Words, No More Words is a song built on simple lines and hypnotic and repetitive phrases, but it is the continuous layering up, texturising and dynamic growth of the song that is the real joy here.
By twists and turns it offers something new at every step, you can feel the weight of the song gradually growing but doing so organically, a gentle blossoming rather than being forced anywhere against its will. There is something wonderfully detached and remarkably loose about the sound Eli Smart creates here but it is also flooded with acid tinged psychedelic waves washing in from the darker underbelly of California’s lost hippy dream. Very smart indeed!
Mórtola is a passionate singer and songwriter with a deep fascination for new wave textures, electronic music punch and plain pop appeal. Her music is rich and really lavish, yet very personal and direct – obviously stemming from the artist’s great dedication to her craft.
“Alive” perfectly portrays the artist’s instinctive and personal songwriting style. Although the sound is big and powerful, it is also very intimate with only a few, yet well-focused elements that embrace a “less is more” philosophy, blending old-school and new school tonal ideas.
One one end, the track echoes back to the principles of classic songwriting. On the other end, however the sound is modern and impactful, featuring powerful drum samples and tight beats with a gritty feel. The rhythm section offers a perfect musical backbone to the excellent synth melodies and far-reaching lyrics. It’s always fascinating to me to hear how artists are able to turn a simple riff or even a simple rhythmic idea into a full-fledge song with a powerful sound.
This is definitely the case of Mórtola;s new single. This talented artist can seamlessly start from a relatively simple concept and build up the foundation to an inspiring and direct tone, which deeply connect with listeners of all walks of life.
When you have your roots in two of the coolest cities on the planet, namely Berlin and San Francisco, it follows that something musically interesting is on the cards, just by virtue of having soaked up a certain creative vibe which hangs in the air of such cities. Golden Heart is a wonderful mix of slick 80’s pop and a modern hazy indie sound which seems to channel those past musical glories.
It is built on a wave of beautiful understatement and elegant strings, funky beats and gorgeously ethereal vocals which seem often to be happy just to punctuate the music rather than dominate it. If music ever summed up the places it inhabits then White Night are the perfect example, the classical grandeur of the old world meeting the exploratory nature of the new, the tight, electro-pop of the German musical story meeting the looser spirit of the American west coast. But this isn’t music which in anyway sounds retro because of its influences, if anything it is more forward thinking than any of its contemporaries and that is the perfect evolution for pop music.
As someone whose creative boundaries know no bounds, from filmmaker and teen author to internet media developer to food writer, it comes as no surprise that when it comes to her music it works to the same high bench marks she has set herself in her other endeavours. Taken from the album Escape Emotion, Knell is a heady blend of modern pop, chilled dance, washes of classical texture and emotive ambience.
Pop can be many things, such is the breadth of ideas it carries but here instead of pandering to its more obvious elements, Jennifer Zhang works in its dreamier and more exotic climes, a place more about intangible atmospherics and subtle musical motifs than the bolder and blatantly obvious hook laden pop that is the generic norm.
Under the title of Invisible Dears, Thomas Baud mixes a strange and heady brew. It is part post-folk, part neo-psychedelic, part retro and nostalgic, part futuristic and forward looking, part dream like and part driving and anyone who can do all of that in just one song is someone who you really need to get to know better. If Syd Barrett’s story had been a less tragic one and he had carried on making music, this is the sort of sound I imagine he would have gathered around him.
But whereas Barrett would have arrived at his musical destination through a series of random accidents or via belligerent non-conformity, Baud’s approach seems much more deliberate, intricately planned, deftly crafted and purposeful. Barrett would have sprung his version on you as a joke, which only he was on the inside of, Baud, delivers his with not only fine precision but also a knowing wink. If one song can cover so much ground imagine how great a full Invisible Dears album is going to be.
Rarely does the music world gift us with a vocal as smooth as Matt Johnson of The The. Casomado brings that in spades over a backdrop of lovingly filtered hip hop beats on his new track Rose Plague. Wrapped in light guitar licks and inquisitively pitch-bent synths, Rose Plague is the perfect complement to any time spent from the chill haze of a morning routine to a cooldown from the day’s trials. Its appeal is in this ubiquitous appropriateness. The word viral comes to mind.
This is music you could meditate to. You could get lost in it and enjoy some lovely introspection. In the company of others, this could be mood music for an intimate conversation just as easily as it could be a soundscape for exploring a virtual world with friends. This music is electronic in nature but also exudes a natural, organic feeling. It fits right whether you’re clearing the dancefloor before the next DJ set, or if you’re exploring a woodland trail hoping you reach the summit by sunrise.
Casomado displays tenderness in his approach to both his own performance and the context of his presentation. It’s always refreshing to hear a musician who really seems to swim in his music, as opposed to swimming over it. It’s a quality we don’t always get to hear outside of shoegaze or dream pop. These influences are a welcome addition to Rose Plague’s rooted hip hop sensibility.
If there is such a thing as dream-dance then LADLX makes it. Moonlight is a chilled and sonorous blend of slow groove dance, ambient hip-hop and hazy electronica and it sounds like nothing that you have heard before. The elements that make up the track might be familiar in their own right but when they are assembled in this intricate and unusual way the result is nothing short of spectacular new sonic architecture.
It is like sleepwalking through a techno-soundscape or the sort of dreams that robots might have, it alternately chills and grooves as the dynamic twists and turns, one moment infectious and dance-fuelled the next half heard and dreamlike. Dance music is already a broad section of the modern musical spectrum but I think LADLX has just invented a new sub-genre. What it is called is anyone’s guess.