As we head towards the end of the month, the Saturday Sampler July 30th edition has ten songs perfect for the summer. Sit back and relax (or dance – because it’s the weekend, so why not?), and take a bite out of this tasty musical menu featuring songs from Australia, Belgium, England, Greece, Norway, Sweden, and the US.
Anti Pony – “Under The Palm Trees” (Stockholm, Sweden)
RIYL: Springtime Carnivore, La Sera, FURS
At this time of year, the best music is songs that put a smile on your face and make you think of what the next day will bring. Swedish duo Anti Pony have delivered just that with the perfect summertime song. “Under The Palm Trees” is a dreamy, delicious tune that resonates the era – the ’70s – that gave us some of the best and most lush psychedelic-pop. It’s one that will have you going “ooh” when its three minutes expire. It may also have you asking, “Since when does Stockholm have palm trees and sound like Hawaii?” Just goes to show that great music can not only move you emotionally but a surprise band can also take you to unexpected places.
“Under The Palm Trees” is out now via Lazy Octopus Records.
Folly Rae – “U” (London, England)
RIYL: Broods, Lykke Li, Ellie Goulding
Be ready to fall hard for the sultry dance beats of Folly Rae. The English/Norwegian singer (whose real name is Rachel Virtue) is making waves thanks to this hypnotic new single. “U” has an infectious groove and a bass-heavy melody that will dance around your headspace with irresistible staying power. Folly Rae studied classical dance, so it’s no surprise that she has a masterful command of movement, not just in her delivery of this catchy chorus but with her vocals that float with effortless grace. She performed earlier this year at SXSW festival, but we expect that won’t be her only festival appearance. Once her upcoming EP, Money & Power, releases, she’ll be in hot demand at fests worldwide. Since we don’t have a release date on it yet, you can stream her tunes at her SoundCloud page.
Lunablind – “Rio Gin” (Leeds, England)
RIYL: Viola Beach, The Police
This new single from Leeds-based indie rock quartet Lunablind is seriously addictive. “Rio Gin” has a long, catchy intro that echoes faintly of The Police at their early best. (Think “Tea in the Sahara” with edgier attitude.) The fervor builds to reveal a tight chorus that continues to escalate at a steady pace without ever losing steam. Once they get to the repeated “I’ll tell you what I want” refrain at the bridge, you’re ready for the sound to truly explode. Their restraint is a bit of a tease that produces one instant result: you hit repeat again and again. What we want is a full album, not just a four-song EP. Hopefully “Rio Gin” is a sign of even better things to come from this talented band.
Lunablind are: Nath Sayers, Sam Garbett, Luke D’Aulerio, and Harry Beech.
mallrat – “Uninvited” (Brisbane, Australia)
RIYL: Alessia Cara, Charlie XCX
mallrat, the 17-year-old multi-talented artist from Brisbane, is back with another great and whimsical single. The project of Grace Shaw (the self-proclaimed “Hannah Montana of the rap game”) delivers a surprising summertime anti-summer tune with “Uninvited”. While many will gravitate to the stuttering, electro-R&B vibe, pay attention to the lyrics. Whereas people will be lining up to attend the big party down the street or at the club downtown, Shaw shares a tune about getting out of the party and feeling uncomfortable in such a situation. It is a clever and brilliant song, and the best anti-party anthem since Alessia Cara’s “Here”.
“Uninvited” is the title track from mallrat’s forthcoming new EP which arrives August 12th.
Oscar and the Wolf – “The Game” (Brussels, Belgium)
RIYL: Flume, London Grammar, The XX
Oscar and The Wolf – the electro-pop outfit led by Belgian alt-pop star Max Colombie – is making inroads in North America thanks to this moody electronic darkpop single. The group is already well known in Europe, but we expect “The Game” will be a game-changer that will bring recognition on this side of the pond. Colombie formed Oscar and the Wolf six years ago, and their 2014 debut album Entity went to #1 in Belgium. Based on the steamy allure of this single, it seems destined for a similar fate.
Priest – “We’re The Same” (Orlando, USA)
RIYL: CHVRCHES, Purity Ring, Shura
We have long been infatuated with Orlando electro-pop duo Priest. Their music does one of two things: puts a permanent smile on your face or leaves you mesmerized. Their latest single, “We’re The Same”, is the latter. The track is arguably the most breathtaking song Priest have created, demonstrating that the band are still evolving and finding new ways to amaze us. All we want to do is spin this song over and over again, as it makes us feel young and alive. For those who are down in the dumps, carefully take a listen to the lyrics because it is a message of hope and that returning home is always possible, even after a summer of fun and excitement.
SLØTFACE – “Take Me Dancing” (Stavenger, Norway)
RIYL: Wolf Alice, Black Honey, Big Deal
Every summertime playlist needs a bit of a rocker, and fortunately Norwegian quartet SLØTFACE have delivered. Their latest single, “Take Me Dancing”, is an awesome, coming-of-age tune that echoes the blistering energy of Wolf Alice and Black Honey. It is an anthem for people young and old – anyone who is just looking to let go and be free. As frontwoman Haley Shea says, “Please take me out dancing Saturday night.” Hey, it’s Saturday, so let’s have a party!
“Take Me Dancing” is out now via Propeller Recordings.
SLØTFACE are: Haley Shea (vocals), Lasse Lokøy (bass), Halvard Skeie Wiencke (drums), and Tor-Arne Vikingstad (guitar)
SYML – “Where’s My Love” (Seattle, USA)
RIYL: Perfume Genius, Haux, Axel Flovent
Breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. There is not much more to say about SYML‘s beautiful new single, “Where’s My Love”. This piano-driven ballad echoes the enchantment and honesty of fellow Seattle-based artist Perfume Genius, but it possesses the haunting, glacial pop of Haux and Axel Flovent.
SYML is Welsh for “simple”, and the song is just that with few arrangements. However, it is one of the most gorgeous songs of the year. When Brian Fennell, who is the man behind SYML and the founding member of the star band Barcelona, releases his new EP, Hurt For Me, on September 9th, the world will discover how great an artist he is.
Total Slacker – “Turn on the Lights” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: DIIV, Yuck, Jacuzzi Boys
It’s been two years since Brooklyn indie punk trio Total Slacker released their last album, Slip Away. Now they’re due to unleash their trademark shoegaze/alternative rock wall of sound again on their upcoming release, Parallels. The newest single from that LP, “Turn on the Lights”, has plenty of vintage ‘90s-era fuzzy guitar and powerful hooks. It’s the kind of song that you crank up, listen to, and then keep on repeat for the next few hours. We’re warning you: it’s that addictive.
Total Slacker are: Tucker Rountree (guitar, vocals), Lydia Gammill (bass), and Mattie Siegal (drums).
Xylouris White – “Black Peak” (Crete, Greece & New York City, USA)
RIYL: Dirty Three, Beats Antique
“Black Peak” doesn’t sound like most of the new singles we share, and that’s a good thing. We love unique sounds, and few groups make music quite like Xylouris White. That’s because it’s the combination of Dirty Three drummer Jim White teamed up with Greek lute player George Xylouris. This duo recently opened for Kurt Vile on his North American tour. While that exposure helped create new fans, Xylouris White hasn’t become a household name – yet. It’s only a matter of time. If you love fresh sounds that don’t follow a standard formula, then “Black Peak” might be the perfect flavor to spice up your sonic palette. It’s from the group’s forthcoming second album of the same name that’s out October 7 on Bella Union. Pre-orders are at the label and iTunes.
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