Genre- and gender-fluid, LA Westside based SER grew up as a jazz-playing alto saxophonist, but – multi-instrumentalism to the fore, taking in guitar and piano – now goes the full electronic route with sequencing, beats, and vocal loops to bring us ‘Green Light’, A gentle vocal track overlaying chilled, mellow backing and clipped, electronic drums. SER’s arrangement is sparse without being empty, their vocal delivery light and fluid atop the space created by the composition. There’s touches of chilled out psyche-pop indie a la the quiet bits of Glass Animals or Alt-J squirrelled away in here along with the downtempo EDM backdrop and rising chords, SER creating a mixed-up and, yes, genre-fluid cool pop track that mixes up a bunch of influences, gives them a good shake, and produces something neat and original.
UK-based multi-instrumentalist and producer, Endless Wires (Tom Evans) established themselves as one to watch in the Vaporwave scene with the release of his arresting debut single, Accept to Enter, featuring vocals from Kabelle.
With vocals that will take you right back to the 90s and remind you of the forcefully resounding timbre of Cher, Whitney Houston and Madonna falling into the synthwave reverb-laced soundscape that kicks off with moody synth notes and transgresses into a stridently electrifying aural experience, it is an entrancing and evocative ride from the start. The addition of the classic rock guitar solos in the tense build-up to the highest crescendo was undoubtedly the cherry on the cake.
Stockholm’s indie synth-pop outfit The Mermaids have made their debut with the atmospherically sensual bi-lingual track, ‘L’auntre’. Any fans of the Midnight, Gunship, Wolf Club, St. Vincent or any other act experimenting with retro-inspired chillwave tones will want to delve into the ambience of the polyphonically immersive single.
With the glassy notes brushing up against the moody pulsating throbs of the bassline in the unapologetically 80s-inspired mix, L’auntre is contemporary as synthwave gets, which undoubtedly puts The Mermaids in good stead for success in the future. You’ll want them on your radar with chilled summer nights being not too far in the distance.
After making an unforgettable impression on us with his 2020 single, ‘You Keep Running’, Copenhagen-residing pop artist 3oland has released his brooding, glassy single, ‘Whatever You Want from Me’ and left us even more assured that he’s one to watch with his contemporary yet undeniably accessible sound.
If you could imagine what it would sound like if 90s pop artists carried the style and gravitas of contemporary alt-indie-pop icons, you’ll get an idea of what is on offer in Whatever You Want from Me. It’s a touching lyrical tale of self-sacrifice and an invitation to one of witness the sincerest forms of unconditional love; there’s no doubt it came straight from the soul.
Whatever You Want from Me is now available to stream on SoundCloud.
After spending years as a session guitarist working alongside Greta Isaac and Hannah Grace, Lloyd Jerwood made his solo debut with his single, ‘To New York’.
The dream-pop track speaks to dreamers, to the ones who live vicariously through fantasy instead of inviting real-life chaos into their lives. Considering that we’ve all had plenty of time to spend with our fantasies and exploring meta possibilities during pandemic life, it is safe to say plenty will find resonance within this evocatively fiery release that utilises driving indie jangle-pop guitars and shimmering synths, to exhilarating radio-ready effect.
After such a promising debut, the rest of 2021 looks bright for Lloyd Jerwood.
To New York is now available to stream via Soundcloud.
Before singer-songwriter and instrumentalist Peter Horton’s relocation from NYC to Tokyo, he performed with artists such as El Niño. After putting down roots in Japan and being inspired by the culture, he was ready to make his debut as a solo artist.
His debut album, Spirit of Inquiry, released in 2020, containing 20 tracks that meld elements of 00s alt-rock with 80s synth-pop. The lead track, Out of My Head, kicks off with angular indie jangle-pop riffs before the synths start to do the heavy lifting with the melodies while the guitars lace the soundscape with effervescently brash garage rock tones.
The eccentricity, combined with the sonic innovation, which Peter Horton brought to Out of My Head, will be a fresh experience for even the most discerning indie-pop fan. The lyrics are sure to resonate with anyone struggling to get back on track and feeling on top. Given that we have all just collectively endured a global pandemic, Peter Horton’s intended audience will have expanded exponentially.
You can check out Peter Horton’s debut album by heading over to Spotify.
UK-based singer-songwriter Coupdeka brought narrative pop to the next level with her latest single, Love Online, which optimistically captures the potential for love during Covid times, even if it has to be digital.
Under the influence of 80s indie icons such as Mazzy Star, The Slits and Blondie, Coupdekat brought a comforting feeling of familiarity to the track as she runs through the dystopic pitfalls of dating in 2021; if you know, you know. And if you know, you’ll undoubtedly find plenty of resonance in lyrics such as “we only make love online”.
Any fans of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Shiny Toy Guns will appreciate Coupdekat’s indie approach to contemporary pop with Love Online.
With slight reminiscences to Enya, Bjork and the Human League echoing throughout Georgia Polyniki’s latest uplifting pop track, the aural nostalgia defined by decades gone by is instantly perceptible. By switching between operatic and pop vocals, with Shadows of Brightness, she stamped down her radiating signature sound on the airwaves.
With her unique take on synthy electronica complemented by her empowering piano melodies, Georgia Polyniki ensured that no other 2021 pop track could lift you higher. It’s a perennial pop earworm that you’ll never want to leave.
Shadows of Brightness released on March 8th; you can hear it for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
After releasing their 2020 single, ‘Silencio’, Brazilian artist Ernesto Carlos has continued to enamour listeners with their eccentric sound that proves expression doesn’t have to be serious to add nuance on the airwaves.
The standout track, ‘Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas’ from his debut album ‘Jorge’ exhibits the best of Ernesto Carlos’ high vibes and disregard for creative constraints. With all of the aural insanity of the Talking Heads, the easy rhythms of ska reggae and a futuristic infusion of 8-bit, it’s safe to say that you’ve never heard anything like the smorgasbord of euphoria on offer here. There’s even the echo of the 60s psych-pop within Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas to ensure that it unfolded as vibrantly as possible.
Unilingual English minds unable to decipher the lyrics will still be able to take plenty away from this energetic feat of cosmic pop.
Ontem eu matei trinta pessoas is available to stream with the rest of Ernesto Carlos’ debut album via Spotify.
London-based pop artist, Joe Hayes has followed on from their enigmatic 2020 debut with their sophomore single ‘My Mind’.
In some ways, it’s a familiar funk-fuelled perennial pop earworm. In others, it’s an eccentrically daring release that exhibits Joe Hayes’ natural born authentic talent when it comes to reflecting human emotion through hook-filled melodies and massive choruses.
My Mind is a stunning portrait of how agony and euphoria often come hand in hand with love. With palpitation-inducing breaks and energising drops, My Mind is a flawless feat of radio-ready pop that will leave any fans of Bruno Mars, Jax Jones and Charlie Puth arrested from the first verse to the last.