Yesterday, Hollie featured five American artists on the Melodic Tonic, as she had American Thanksgiving, which is this Thursday, on her mind. On the Matinee November 24 edition, the spotlight shines on six artists from outside the USA, although one of the bands isn’t from too far away.
Alissia – “Take Off” (Geneva, Switzerland)
Plenty of artists have been given the label as the next Prince or his heir, but it may be in 23-year old musician Alissia Benveniste – or simply just Alissa – where we have an individual truly worthy of the comparison. A multi-instrumentalist and classically trained, Alissa first picked up the bass when she was attending Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, and she hasn’t turned back. The result is Alissa jumping into the funk sphere, bringing that classic raucous flair back into today’s music world. Her latest single, “Take Off”, is a jubilant and electrifying single that channels the Purple One’s most funk-defied times. Funk has a new addition to its royalty.
“Take Off” is the lead single from Alissa’s forthcoming EP, Back To The Funkture, which is due January 29.
A Z E K E L – “The War Inside” (East London, UK)
On Sunday, The Weeknd took home two American Music Awards, including for favorrite soul/R&B album. It won’t be long before East London artist A Z E K E L will be similarly recognized. Earlier this year, he amazed us with his brilliant “Made About The Boy”, which was taken from his excellent debut EP, Raw, Vol. 1. Now getting set to release Vol. 2, A Z E K E L has shared “The War Inside”. The song is a masterful combination of R&B, blues, trip-hop, and garage, which together create a trippy and hypnotic vibe. Lyrically, too, the song is timely, as A Z E K E L commentates about how people deal with the multitude of influences affecting them.
Raw, Vol. 2 is expected early 2016 via Thunderlightning Recordings.
BLAJK – “Lost” (Toronto, Canada)
In trying to describe how great BLAJK‘s latest single, “Lost”, the only thing that could say is, “Holy f***!” The Toronto quintet are creating music unlike anything being released in Canada. They are channeling the industrial music of mid- and late-1970s Manchester and Leeds; a sound that is heavy, dark, and hypnotic. “Lost” is all that plus breathtakingly stunning. The song – and the band’s approach – lies somewhere between Joy Division, The Neighbourhood, The 1975, The National, and Australia’s emerging indie-band City Calm Down. And like all these bands, they are fronted by a lead singer, Jordan Radics, whose voice cannot be described yet leaves a long-lasting impact. BLAJK could very well be Canada’s next great band.
The five-piece is expected to drop a new single in early December, which we cannot wait to hear.
BLAJK are Jordan Radics (vocals), Paul Doherty (guitar, production), Brent Gordon (guitar), Thomas Conrad (bass, keys), and Ray McTaggart (drums).
Francis – “Horses” (Falun, Sweden)
It’s hard to believe that Sweden’s Francis has been around for a decade, yet they remain an under-the-radar band including in their home country. That should soon change in 2016 when their international debut album (although second album overall) will be released. The first single on the album, “Follow Me Home”, is a slow-building, cinematic, indie-pop tune with an undeniable ’80s sound. The latest track, “Horses”, is similarly a stunning track that is sensual and warm. It’s a song that leaves you lost in the gorgeous melodies and at the end of it with a smile on your face. So again, someone please explain how this band isn’t more popular.
“Horses” is the second single from Marathon, which will be released via Strangers Candy on February 5th, 2016.
Francis are Petra Mases, Petter Nygårdh, Jerker Krumlinde, Paulina Mellkvist, and Oskar Bond.
Mat Cammarano – “Ashes” (Perth, Australia)
Mat Cammarano is a self-taught artist. He’s an multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, and he also recently opened up his own label, Milkman Recordings. Cammarano’s second single, “Ashes”, is a stuttering garage-rock gem that sneaks up on you yet you can’t turn away. It’s cool, haunting, and infectious with a style that echoes of Foals. I wish I could share with you more information about this young artist, but I cannot. Instead, just enjoy this great track.
Thyla – “Us And Them” (Brighton, UK)
Earlier this year, Brighton four-piece Thyla released the gritty and terrific “Betty”, which reminded us of Wolf Alice and Garage. They’ve just released a new single, “Us And Them”, that continues with the band’s mind-blowing and awesome take on indie-rock. The track is a blistering, spiraling rocker that has the edginess of Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and the attitude of Pat Benatar. Frontwoman Millie Duthie’s voice, particularly, channels the great ’80s icons, as eve on the audio her presence can be felt. That’s two great singles from this young band. What can they do to top them?
Thyla are Millie Duthie (vocals/guitar); Elis Davies (guitar), Danny Southwell (drums), and Dan Hole (bass).
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