Saturday Sampler for June 18th features 10 songs from around the globe as always. There is an intimate and almost sensual element to many of the songs, but of course there are some anthemic tunes and the odd rocker. Happy weekend everyone!
Burn Antares – “Young Gun” (Sydney, Australia)
RIYL: Jefferson Airplane, GOASTT, Pond
It has been nearly a year since we have heard from Sydney-based quintet Burn Antares, who last summer shared their ’60s-inspired, debut EP Fur Coat and The Peace Boat. This week, they released their brand new single, “Young Gun”. The tracks has the band fast-forwarding their retro-brand of pop-rock by a decade, creating a steamy psychedelic-pop tune that mirrors the colorful kaleidoscope of the ’70s. And as we mentioned a year ago, what ties the trippy vibes and summery pop melodies is Grace Farriss’ sultry voice, which has the same engrossing, reel-you-in-you, drawing power of Stevie Nicks. Needlessly to say, this is one band that we have not only become big fans but might even have a small crush (yes, we will give you our love!).
Burn Antares are Grace Farriss, Sean Casey, Daniel Murchison, Tom Hoglund, and Thom Eagleton.
Dotter – “Creatures Of The Sun” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Florence Welch (Florence + The Machine), La Roux, Lana Del Rey, Robyn,
Is there another country producing euphoric and cinematic pop stars like Sweden? We do not think so. The latest to emerge is Dotter, the project of Johanna Maria Jansson. For the past year, Jansson released a couple of singles, which showcased her powerful vocals while offering a hint of what she could be. With her new song, “Creatures Of The Sun”, she has unleashed her potential, providing us with a spell-binding and colossal pop gem. While the track is euphoric and anthemic with its orchestral and cinematic nature and Jansson’s mesmerizing vocals, it is the tribal undertones that give “Creatures Of The Sun” its soul and hypnotic beauty.
Grace Joyner – “Young Thing” (Charleston, SC, USA)
RIYL: Mitski, GEoRGIA, Esther Joy Lane
We cannot get enough of South Carolina native Grace Joyner, who continues to captivate us with her vivid songwriting and immersive music. When she shared “Real” earlier in the Spring, we compared her to Lady Lamb and Eleanor Friedberger. With “Knees”, the names Sharon Van Etten and Angel Olsen easily rolled off our tongues. Now with “Young Thing”, she takes to electronic arrangements to offer an intimate and engrossing electro-pop song. Over top the slight hums of the keyboard and the electronic drum beat, Joyner sings about a manipulative, older person who shuffles through young women like a deck of cards. It is solemn even depressing story, but Joyner sucks us in with her captivating and emotional vocals and a breathtaking sound that leaves a last impression – much like Joyner has already done to us.
“Young Thing” is part of a compilation put together by Hearts & Plugs entitled, Hearts & Plugs Summer Essentials, which was released on June 1st.
Jo Marches – “The Night” (Utrecht, Netherlands)
RIYL: Memoryhouse, Porcelain Raft, really early Phantogram, Karen O
Without a doubt, the biggest surprise of the week is the debut single by Dutch woman Jo Marches, which is the project of Johanneke Kranendonk. “The Night” is absolutely stunning. The whirling synths and Kranendonk’s sweeping vocals turn this “The Night” into a dreamy, psychedelic-pop tune. Imagine Memoryhouse or early Phantogram being fronted by Karen O, and their output would likely be this lush and gorgeous single.
It is unclear when Kranendonk will share new material, but she is planning to release her debut EP later this year. If the mini-album is anything like “The Night”, then we will have one of the great hidden gems of the year.
MAINLAND – “Beggars” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Cold War Kids meets Spoon, Tokyo Police Club
It has been a little while since we have heard from New York City trio MAINLAND, who are coming off a memorable and successful trip at SXSW. While we were aware they were working on their debut album, Jordan Topf, Corey Mullee and Alex Pitta have finally shared some information and released its first single, “Beggars”. “Beggars” is full-blown, uplifting power-pop song complete with an addicting chorus, which reminds us to “Don’t stop, Don’t give up, when you’ve got the world circling, tumbling down“.
Concerning the song’s meaning, lead singer Topf offers the following: “I was just looking at all of the people on the subway and thinking about how I fit into all of that. . . I wanted to sing to people that are maybe doubting their dreams.”
Along with their previous Outcast EP and their power-pop sound, MAINLAND are setting the stage for a major breakout when Night Trials is released later this year via 300 Entertainment.
Paper Route – “Chariots” (Nashville, USA)
RIYL: Mutemath, Jack’s Mannequin, Passion Pit
“Chariots” is the newest track from Paper Route, a band who has quietly gained in popularity and in stature. This latest single, however, could position the Nashville-based trio as one of the year’s biggest movers, as “Chariots” has everything you need in an indietronica-electro-pop track. Paper Route seamlessly blend a soaring chorus, electronic elements, and perfectly placed guitar riffs to satisfy a myriad of musical fans.
Bassist Chad Howat notes about the song: “‘Chariots’ is a song we couldn’t be more proud of. It’s a bit of everything we’ve always strived to do condensed into a few minutes: a manic beat, glow-of-the-halo atmospherics, and a deeply personal, but simple, lyric. If this isn’t the cornerstone to our new album, then it’s at least the apex.”
If you do not have your radar set on Paper Route just yet, now just might be a good time to start, as their forthcoming, debut album, Real Emotion, will arrive this fall via Kemosabe Records/Sony Music.
Paper Route is JT Daly (vocals, keyboards, percussion), Chad Howat (bass, piano, programming), and Nick Aranda (guitar).
Rachel Oto – “Leap” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: Patti Yang, Johnny Cash, Lucinda Williams
There is always a place for the gritty, honest singer-songwriter. One who does not beat around the bush with lavish arrangements and pretty words. Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Patti Smith, Patsy Cline, Joan Jett – just some of the great artists who have given us some of the most memorable songs and stories. A young singer-songwriter who could one day join this Mt. Rushmore of musicians is Los Angeles-based Rachel Oto. Yesterday, her debut EP, Run, was released, and among the four songs is “Leap”.
Labeling her music as “saloon rock”, “Leap” is a quiet barn-burner that slowly builds while Oto tells the story of a person on the run. The song has a Johnny Cash-esque vibe while the cinematic nature of this gritty rocker could be the anthem for a modern-day Josey Wales. Yeah, it is pretty awesome.
Run is available via Pasadena label AndromiDen Recordings, and it can be picked up on Bandcamp.
Sam Evian – “Sleep Easy” (New York City, USA)
RIYL: Kurt Vile, Andy Shauf, Steve Gunn, American Wrestlers
There are times where words cannot describe a song, where all that needs to be said is, “Listen to the song and it describes itself”. Sam Evian‘s debut single, “Sleep Easy”, is one of those rare tunes. With the laid-back, retro-rock approach of Kurt Vile and Steve Gunn, the whispery vocals akin to Andy Shauf and Gary McClure of American Wrestlers, and the songwriting chops of these four great singer-songwriters, Evian offers a memorable first single. It is a song that both in sound and lyrics defines what American rock ‘n roll should be – one that you could listen with the top down while traveling across the country, at barbecue surrounded by friends and family, or at the local bar where everyone’s eyes are fixated on the storyteller. This song is genuinely brilliant.
“Sleep Easy” is avaialble now via Saddle Creek. His debut album, Premium, is expected later this year, and it is one we will have to add to the list.
WYLDE – “Siren” (West Lothian, Scotland)
RIYL: Eagulls, Wytches, My Bloody Valentine
There is always one track that sleeps through the cracks, and the second single by Scottish quartet WYLDE is just that, much to our embarrassment because “Siren” is awesome. Combining the raw, post-punk rock of early Eagulls and Wytches with the stirring shoegaze of My Bloody Valentine, “Siren” is four minutes of mind-bending and head-splitting crystalline guitars, droned-out vocals, and surging intensity. “Siren” is not merely a song; it is an experience that takes us back to when indie rock and shoegaze were heralded as the saviors of the music industry. And maybe WYLDE will be among those who save indie rock from the jaws of the mainstream pop.
WYLDE are Chloe Dueñas, Robbie Broome, Monica Anderson, and Jamie Walker.
Zola Blood – “Heartbeat” (London, England)
RIYL: Liu Bei, Richard Walters, Mt. Wolf, Local Natives
We end the Saturday Sampler with a stunning single by a band who is slowly gaining a reputation as being among England’s most exciting electronic acts. Zola Blood are not your ordinary quartet – they are more ambient and even verge of post-rock at times than they are EDM, house, or heavy bass. Their new single, “Heartbeat”, demonstrates why the band is receiving an immense of buzz. Lush, intimate, and sensual, the song is like a late-night, romantic foray where nothing needs to be said to realize something special is about to happen.
Speaking about special, “Heartbeat” is the lead single from Zola Blood’s forthcoming, debut album, Infinite Games, which is expected later this year.
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