Summer is officially here in the northern hemisphere while winter has arrived in the southern hemisphere. And to celebrate, we have seven songs to fit both seasons. From Sweden to Canada, Australia to Slovenia, Belgium to the USA, we have seven songs that are summery, eerie, and blistering.
Brödet – “Ultra Friend” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Yumi Zouma, Wet, Glass Children
Stockholm sextet Brödet arrived on the music scene last year with a band, as their debut EP Mammon received critical acclaim in Sweden and Europe as a whole. Their take on electronica and indietronica was considered refreshing, where the smokey melodies and tripped-out, dark rhythms were amplified over the electronics. They return with a brand new single, “Ultra Friend”, which could see the band achieve a following that extends beyond Sweden.
“Ultra Friend” is a sultry number. . It once again dazzles with sparse beats and rhythms and understated, melodic approach a la Yumi Zouma and Wet – two similar acts who have achieved huge success through clever and aggressive online marketing. It is, however, Stella Cartriers’ vocals that draw you, serenading the listeners with the warm tones of her whispery voice. It is an enchantment that is to be desired.
The single has been released on Naiv Recordings, who also distributed Mammon. In addition to Cartrier, Brödet also include co-founder Carl Christian Holmberg, Jonas Thunberg, Otto Reimers, Maximilian Wiking Kern, and Erik Holmberg.
FEW BITS – “Anyone Else” (Belgium)
RIYL: Mazzy Starr, Day Wave, Best Coast
When we were first introduced to singer-songwriter Karolien Van Ransbeeck’s project, FEW BITS, she left us astounded by her lush, Hope Sandoval-esque vocals on “Summer Sun”. Her second single from her new album, “Anyone Else” is more of the same dreamy, Mazzy Starr vibe that permeates across this jangle, surf-pop tune. The song is like a gorgeous summer evening, where a warmth still radiates beneath the oncoming cool, ocean breeze and the fading sun displays a stunning array of light. This is an event that you surely will not forget and wish to experience each and every day.
With respect to FEW BITS, we will have that opportunity when her new album, Big Sparks, arrives on September 30th via Play It Again Sam (Belgium).
Green Gerry – “Mean Miracle” (Los Angeles via Athens, GA, USA)
RIYL: Temples, The Kinks, Foxygen
Get your dancing shoes on because relative newcomer Green Gerry has released a pulsating single. The groovy rhythms – highlighted by a great bass lines – and the jangly guitar licks provide the gyrating moments, but the cascading frenzy of instruments provide the knockout blow. While this could be a summer anthem, the song is quite the opposite. It’s actually an anti-summer anthem, offering a critique about the “lack of originality” that permeates today’s society and how image means more than substance. “Shake that ass, I feel I love you so much” sings Gerry, expressing what the summer actually means to most. It’s a clever track whose underlying meaning unfortunately will be lost on most.
“Mean Miracle” is the A-Side to Green Gerry’s, upcoming split single “Mean Miracle/Raindrops In Every Single People”, which is available on Hit City U.S.A.
Haiku Garden – “Rosetta” (Ljubljana, Slovenia)
RIYL: My Bloody Valentine, A Place to Bury Strangers, The Jesus and Mary Chain
This week’s accidental discovery goes to Haiku Garden. From the small, central European country of Slovenia, whose total population is 2 million people and is home to the beautiful Julian Alps, Haiku Garden recently released their debut EP, Waver. From it is the shoegaze gem “Rosetta”, which is My Bloody Valentine reincarnated. The crystalline guitars, the terrific lead-in followed by the shimmering lull and cataclysmic ending personify the greatness of the Irish shoegazers. Maybe we have found an heir to MBV, and all we had to do was look towards the little nation of Slovenia to find them.
The Lonely Rivals – “Save It For Tomorrow” (Sydney/Perth, Australia)
RIYL: Paul Simon, Yeasayer, Jinja Safari
A new “super-group” was recently launched – well, a super-group if you are familiar with the Australian music scene. The aptly named The Lonely Rivals is a collaboration between songwriters Marcus Azon of Jinja Safari, Tenielle Neda of Neda, and Joel Quartermain of Eskimo Joe. The group’s first single is “Save It For Tomorrow”, which personifies the catchy and oft-kilter, Caribbean-influenced, pop approach of Paul Simon. Like the great singer-songwriter’s work, “Save It For Tomorrow” has a surprisingly, summertime, jitterbug feel, where you will find yourself dancing to the soaring harmonies and the rhythmic percussion. Here is hoping for more of the same from this unexpected project in the very near future.
The Pack A.D. – “Fair Enough” (Vancouver, Canada)
RIYL: Wytches, Wolf Alice, Oblivians, Bass Drum of Death
A couple of weeks ago, Vancouver duo The Pack A.D. stopped in Ottawa to share new songs from their forthcoming new album, Positive Thinking, which promises to be a return to the duo’s grittier, harder beginnings. Recently, they shared “Fair Enough”, which might be the darkest song they have shared. Taking a more controlled approach as approach to the frenetic energy of the past efforts, Becky Black (vocals/guitar) and Maya Miller (drums/vocals) offer an eerie and harrowing song that echoes the creepy darkness of Wytches. It is a brilliant track from one of Canada’s most underrated duos.
Positive Thinking arrives August 12th via Cadence Music.
Steady Holiday – “Superstar” (Los Angeles, USA)
RIYL: The Limiñanas, Pearl Charles, New Pharaohs
For years, Dre Babinski opted to stay on the sidelines as a supporting player to multiple Los Angeles-area bands. Now Babinski steps into the spotlight with her own project Steady Holiday. This Friday, her debut album, Under The Influence, arrives, and the lead track is the beautiful “Superstar”. With a cinematic indie sound that beautifully blends a ’60s espionage, film-noir vibe, the song is spine-tingling goodness. Babinski’s innocent vocals add a tinge of sweetness to the song, which only adds to this song’s haunting and suspenseful qualities.
Under The Influence arrives June 24th via Infinite Best Recordings, and it could be one of the surprises of the year.
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