I’m running solo on the Saturday Sampler for May 14th, as Hollie is in Atlanta attending the Shaky Knees Music Festival. I’ll do my best to fill the gap and share music that not only is great but memorable, and, therefore, will make you want to follow these upcoming artists. As usual, the ten songs come from across the globe, including for a couple of unexpected locations.
AVERS – “Everything Hz” (Richmond, VA, USA)
Besides the release of Radiohead’s new album and the sophomore release by Eagulls, the next best news of the week was AVERS‘ announcement that they were releasing a new album this summer. The first single from their sophomore album is “Everything Hz”, which is an absolute rocker and adrenaline rush. The song echoes the college rock scene of the mid-90s and early-2000s with the crunchy guitar riffs and bar-room filling, blistering hooks. This song is just awesome.
AVERS are Adrian Olsen, Alexandra Spalding, James Mason, James Lloyd Hodges, and Charlie Glen.
BANFF x Caitlin Park – “My Love, My Lover” (Brisbane / Sydney, Australia)
Two of Australia’s rising acts recently collaborated on an absolute gem of a song. “My Love, My Lover” by Brisbane-based Benjamin Forbes, who goes by the moniker BANFF, and subtronica artist Caitlin Park from Sydney is stunning. The two’s vocals perfectly complement one another, and the song’s alt-folk-pop melody is light, breezy, and highly infectious. And the easy fluidity of the song demonstrates that a natural chemistry exists between Forbes and Park, resembling the same easiness that is heard Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward’s project as She & Him. As great as that duo is, they haven’t written song as beautiful and catchy as “My Love, My Lover”.
The single is available now via Melbourne boutique label We Are Golden.
BF/C – “Temple” (Gothenburg, Sweden)
Just who are BF/C? They’re a new duo comprised of Gothenberg residents – singer-songwriter Barish Firatli and producer/composer Californiaman!. Their first single is the aptly titled “Temple” because this song is one to be worshipped. With its beautiful cinematic melody combined with dramatic moments and suspenseful turns, “Temple” is like a tune straight out of ’70s / ’80s film noir. It will leave you breathless while chills run down your spine as the song slowly builds to its climatic finish. The song may only be five minutes long, but it is an unforgettable experience. Cannot wait to hear what’s next from this collaboration.
Cerise – “St. Nick” (Brooklyn via Los Angeles, USA)
This gem of a song was found completely by accident, and what a treasure it is. “St. Nick” is the second single by Brooklyn-based Cerise Leang – or simply Cerise – and this stripped down, indie rock tune is a gritty, haunting delight. The song recalls early P.J. Harvey in that the music is simple yet powerful, and the songwriting is extraordinary and poignant, where Leang uses the backdrop of Christmas to describe many of society’s ills. Here is an artist to watch over the coming weeks, as Cerise will release her debut album on June 24th.
One more thing to note is that Leang plays most of the instruments, performing guitars, keys, organs, percussion, and drums on her album. She is also supported by producer Joseph Arthur, who also provides background vocals and plays guitars, bass, synths, piano, percussion, and drums.
Golden Age – “Tinted Windows” (New York City, USA)
It’s been seven months since we’ve last heard from Golden Age, the synth-pop / dream-pop trio from Queens, New York who in October shared the dreamy “High Noon”. Their new single, “Tinted Windows”, is another stunning single. More upbeat and euphoric than their last single, “Tinted Windows” retains frontwoman Sydney Sahr’s optimistic and engaging songwriting style. But it is Sahr’s voice that really grabs your attention – soft and angelic, where her voice alone entrances you. The synths, piano, and electric drums, though, provide a wonderful palette for Sahr to shine, offering multiple layers of sound and texture to accentuate the vulnerability in Sahr’s vocals and in the story she tells. ReverbNation CONNECT identified Golden Age as a band to watch recently, but we could have told you that last fall.
Plane Ticket – “Postcard From Glasgow” (Torres Vedras, Portugal)
It is so simple but Plane Ticket is an awesome band name. Fortunately for everyone, this Portuguese quartet have the music to match their name. Their brand of shoegaze, psychedelic-pop is shimmering delicious and infectious, as evidenced on their latest single, “Postcard From Glasgow”. With the crystalline guitars, the lush harmonies, and the breathtaking melodies, we are taken on a dreamy flight high above the clouds. It’s the type of trip that you do not want it to end because the journey has been exciting, beautiful, and euphoric.
Plane Ticket are Leonel Nunes, Pedro Manuel Silva, João Matias, and Filipe Damil Vicente
Plastic Mermaids – “Alaska” (Isle of Wight, England)
For the past three years, Isle of Wight residents Douglas Richards, Jamie Richards, Chris Jones, Tom Farren, and Chris Newnham have quietly blown away music fans in the UK with their sonic explorations and transcendent soundscapes as Plastic Mermaids. They’ve released two EPs within a year apart, and the quintet continues to churn out new singles, like “Alaska”. This track is spectacular. The dramatic build in the song, the brilliant story about a woman traveling to an unknown place as part of her journey of self-discovery, and the unconventional but highly euphoric approach all echo Portugal. The Man. For years Plastic Mermaids were a mysterious, unknown entity, but that won’t be for long if they continue to create songs as brilliant as “Alaska”.
The single is out via London-based, boutique label Cross Key Records.
RAINDEAR – “Feathers” (Malmö, Sweden)
Just exactly what is the ceiling for RAINDEAR, the project of emerging Swedish sensation Rebecca Bergcrantz? The folks at Billboard are quite bullish on her future after featuring her latest single, “Feathers”, on Thursday. The song is a stark but majestic number that grabs your attention immediately and holds on for its entire five minutes thanks to the controlled beats, the haunting melody, and Bergcrantz’s deep yet enthralling vocals. As you listen to the song, you can’t but think you’re walking through the Enchanted Forest and a fairy tale is coming to live before your eyes. It’s a style that will have Bergcrantz being compared to Björk and Lorde.
“Feathers” is the single from RAINDEAR’s debut album Embers, which is out now via Vanguard Music Boulevard.
sere – “Hazy” (Auckland, New Zealand)
New Zealand is known for its great singer-songwriters in the indie-folk, dream-pop, and indie-rock fields, its arty and whimsical bands like Flight of the Conchords, and the world-renown dub-step-reggae fusion. It’s not necessarily known for its edgy and dark rock scene. Well, that should change quickly once people open their ears to sere, a psychedelic doom-rock quartet out of Auckland. Their second single is the deeply hypnotic mind-bender “Hazy”. Like the title says, this is one trippy, cathartic song. It’s not overpowering nor explosive like Deafheaven, but instead sere use a melodic pace with heavy bass lines and a guttural sound to take over your mind. It’s a song that combines all the great things of Ozzy Osbourne, Swans, and Ty Segall but packaged into one mind-blowing experience.
“Hazy” is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming, debut album, which should drop some time this summer (or winter if you live in the Southern Hemisphere).
Twin River – “Settle Down” (Vancouver, Canada)
There’s a huge swell of enthusiasm and buzz building for Twin River, the Vancouver-based quintet who amazed listeners, including us, with the stunning “Antony”. Their second single from their forthcoming album is “Settle Down”, another spectacular track, which further sees the band move away from its alt-folk beginnings to more of an alt-pop sound. As you listen to the shimmering guitars and frontwoman Courtney Bromley’s dreamy vocals, it’s easy to understand why so many people are falling head over heels for this emerging band. Could Twin River be this year’s Alvvays? So far, they’re on track to be, and we’ll know for sure when their sophomore LP, Passing Shade arrives on June 17th via Light Organ Records.
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