Saturday Sampler May 27th once again goes global for some fine, new music delicacies. There are some familiar names on the list, and a handful of newcomers that blew us away. Hopefully, they will do the same for you and expanding your musical palette in the process.
DBFC – “Disco Coco” (Paris, France & Manchester, England)
RIYL: Daft Punk, Kraftwerk, Faust
When we last heard from DBFC, they had us grooving to their ‘60s psychedelia – meets – 90s Mancunian vibe on “Sinner”. The song was crazy infectious and extremely fresh. For their newest single, the mad scientists continue the experimentation by throwing disco and krautrock into the proverbial music blender.
If “Sinner” was Frankenstein, “Disco Coco” is The Bride of Frankenstein. With blaring synths and the surf-tinged guitar riffs echoing in the foreground and the spatial beats popping in the background, “Disco Coco” has the feel of a monster bash. A hint of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is heard in the melody, causing one to break out into the iconic werewolf / zombie dance of the classic video. But unlike that iconic song, this one is groovier, more dashing, and reeks of cool. Get your dancing shoes on because DBFC have concocted a maddeningly brilliant and catchy number.
DBFC are French electro-pop producer Dombrance and Manchester-based David Shaw, Antoine Reininger, and Guillaume Rossel.
Downtown Boys – “A Wall” (Providence, USA)
RIYL: Hop Along, Girlpool
If you’re not already in love with the politically-charged fervor of Rhode Island indie punk band Downtown Boys, then this is the song that will make you fall hard. They’ve mastered the subtle art of not giving a fuck, and on “A Wall” they don’t hold back.
For their third album (and their first on the legendary SubPop label), Cost of Living, the bilingual group tackles hot topics. They call this album “a megaphone for their protest music, amplifying and centering Chicana, queer, and Latino voices in the far-too-whitewashed world of rock.” If the unbridled fury of “A Wall” and its pointed lyrics (“Do I need to say more?”) doesn’t have you raising a fist in solidarity with these badass musicians, then you need to have your head examined.
Downtown Boys are Victoria Ruiz, Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, Norlan Olivo, and Mary Regalado.
Katie Von Schleicher – “Paranoia” (Brooklyn, USA)
RIYL: Wilder Maker, Sharon Van Etten, Cat Power
It takes a certain amount of self-deprecating humor to call your new album Shitty Hits. But that’s exactly what Brooklyn-based indie artist Katie Von Schleicher has done. The singer/songwriter is about to release the follow-up to her 2015 debut, Bleaksploitation, and lead single “Paranoia” has us counting down the days until it arrives.
Earlier this month we praised Katie’s “honeyed vocals” on the latest Wilder Honey single, “New Streets.” Now we get to bask in the lush textures of her solo work. “Paranoia” is a rich tapestry of sounds centered around heavy keys and her signature vocals. “I don’t want to be lied to,” she sings just before a staccato delivery of the title. The song then weaves in woozy, reverb-drenched guitars that makes your head spin in delight. July needs to hurry up, because we need this album ASAP.
Los Porcos – “Driving to the Beach” (Manchester, England)
RIYL: Daft Punk, WU LYF, FAMY, LUH
It’s been five years since Manchester-based indie pop icons WU LYF branched off with three of their original members (Tom McClung, Joe Manning, and Evans Kati) forming Los Porcos. With summer fast approaching, the group – whose members love big, juicy beats as much as cryptic anonymity – wants to whisk you away to a tropical paradise on their newest single.
“Driving to the Beach” offers a tantalizing blend of disco-infused yacht rock sounds sure to get you dancing. It’s one of two tracks on the group’s Isla De Los Porcos EP which is streaming now on Soundcloud. You don’t need details about each member of the band or where they’re all located. Just crank up this sun-kissed tune and let your worries drift away.
Los Porcos are: Arthur, Bruce, Tom, Joe, Evans, and Ian.
Noah Slee – “Told” (Berlin, Germany via Auckland, New Zealand)
RIYL: Chance the Rapper, Childish Gambino, Michael Kiwanuka
We don’t often share hip hop-infused R&B music, but when it sounds this good we cannot ignore it. Noah Slee is riding a tidal wave of momentum with the likes of MTV, Noisey, and Indie Shuffle exclaiming their fandom for the Auckland-born, Berlin-based artist. Music fans across the globe have also gotten on the bandwagon, as evidenced by his songs being spun a few million times on various platforms. The young man is a star in the making, and “Told” will only catapult him to this destination.
Slow it down, back it right up.
We can move to this groove.
My music will do that.
With you I will do that.
Those four lines say everything about this song. It is a four-minute, groovy experience that will have you moving on the dance floor, your bedroom, kitchen, or in the car. The production work is right out of the ‘80s, recalling the old-school mixtapes and playbacks of the East Coast USA. Yet the sensual and immediate R&B vibe is reminiscent of the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. But this isn’t just another song with little substance. Slee’s songwriting is terrific, akin to Donald Glover’s and Chance the Rapper’s introspective and sentimental approach. If Slee continues down this path, he’ll be mentioned alongside these great artists in no time. It might happen as soon as August 4th when his debut album, Otherland, will be released.
Prism Tats – “The Liar” (Seattle & Los Angeles via Durban, South Africa)
RIYL: Deerhunter, Mikal Cronin, The Raveonettes
Garett van der Spek – the South African artist better known as Prism Tats – wowed us last year with “Pacifist Masochist” from his self-titled debut. The song we described as having “impossibly catchy hooks” was insanely great, but now we’re scrambling to pick up our jaws over the intensity of his newest offering, “The Liar.”
The scorching heat of this tune should come with warnings about spontaneous combustion. The churn of guitars and driving percussion blazes a path through the song’s first half before erupting into pure fire at the bridge. We dare you to listen to this and not yell “Oh hell yes!” when it ends. This is your new go-to anthem when you need a jolt of inspiration or motivation. Trust us when we say it’s 100% effective at jump-starting your heart.
Queue – “Frontier” (Northeast USA)
RIYL: Black Honey, Heart, City Calm Down
It’s been almost a year to the day since we last heard from Queue. As the five members of the indie collective are scattered across the US Northeast, they can be forgiven for the year long delay. They were one of the most exciting, new bands we came across in 2016 with their varied sound, ranging from Sharon Van Etten-style, emotive indie-rock to blistering anthems a la Wolf Alice. So what do they for an encore? They change things up, of course!
Their new single, “Frontier”, still has a Brit-indie-rock vibe that reverberates through it. The pulsating bass line, the military-style drumming, the crystalline guitar, and the darkness that shrouds the song are right out of Manchester and Leeds. There is, however, an ’80s sentimentality that glistens through, mostly due to Olivia Price’s soft, angelic vocals. They never rise too high nor fall too low, thus keeping us completely engrossed in this story of a person with “misplaced eyes”. Mesmerizing, it’s the only way to describe this song. Let’s hope it won’t be long before we hear from this great little band (it would help if they all lived in the same city).
Queue are Olivia Price, Tyler Ringland, Aida Mekonnen, Dan Snelling, and Steve Vannell. The five reside in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and New York.
Slow Dancer – “I Would” (Melbourne, Australia)
RIYL: Jim James, Tobias Jesso Jr., Nick Drake
If were to create a list of artists for whom we have fallen head over heels in 2017, it would start with Simon Okely, the man behind Slow Dancer. Not even through five months of the year, Okely has been featured on our site six times, including sharing a few photos from his experience at SXSW. The Australian singer-songwriter’s music is, in a word, magic. Every single tune he has released so far has cast a spell on everyone who has come across his work, and “I Would” is no different.
This song is captivating and absolutely breathtaking. Okely’s unique voice is, as always, spectacular. The arrangements and instrumentation are masterful, building slowly with the mastery of one of the world’s great symphonies. But it is Okely’s songwriting that stands above everything. This endearing song can be interpreted in many ways, but for us it is about redemption, resilience, and the hope that accompanies the word tomorrow.
Sticks and stones will break my bones,
But your words could destroy me.
But I’ll just I have to reveal myself.
Like you know I would.
Yeah, you know I would.
We bow down to the brilliance of Okely, who once again has brought us down to our knees.
Washed Out – “Get Lost” (Perry, Georgia, USA)
RIYL: Toro y Moi, Tame Impala, Cut Copy
Has it really been four years since Ernest Greene, the man behind Washed Out, has released new music? It only seems like yesterday that his masterful Paracosm was released, which explains how well his music ages and how timeless his music is. Yesterday, he released his first single since 2013, and it’s like he never took a break.
“Get Lost” is made for summer. It is breezy, intimate, groovy, and a flat out trip. Greene’s production work is once again immaculate, allowing every element to shine through without them feeling like they are competing against each other. His voice, meanwhile, hovers effortlessly above the multiple layers, as if a higher being or our conscience is speaking to us. Tinges of Kevin Parker / Tame Impala psychedelia also float through the air to give the song a hazy, zany feeling. The song is akin to falling through the rabbit hole, but instead of landing in Wonderland we’ve arrived on a mysterious beach decorated with bonfires and hosting a rabid dance party. All one can do in such a situation is, as the song title says, get lost in the moment.
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