Today’s serving of new music cocktails features six stunning artists from Australia, Canada, England, and the USA. With genres ranging from indie pop to Australian chillwave and British soul, this week’s Melodic Tonic lives up to its name. Let’s kick things off with one of Canada’s finest indie rockers.


Preoccupations – “Espionage” (Calgary, Canada)

RIYL: Bauhaus, David Bowie, Sisters of Mercy, Underworld

Everything old is new again: this maxim holds true in music – specifically in the resurrection of Goth-inspired modern rock. While younger listeners may find the newest single from Preoccupations edgy and brooding, discerning ears will relish in its ‘80s New Wave tones. The Canadian rockers have always projected a Bauhaus-meets-Bowie aura, but on “Espionage” it is especially powerful.

If this single is any indication, the band’s upcoming third LP, New Material, will be on our Albums of the Year list come December. New Material arrives March 23 via Jagjaguwar and Flemish Eye with streaming and pre-order links here and from Bandcamp.

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Lowpines – “Broken Wing” (West London, England)

RIYL: Guster, Midlake, Mimicking Birds, Mercury Rev

Oli Deakin – a.k.a. Lowpines – has vocals so smooth you freeze in awe when you first hear him. Cozy and intimate with rich, warm tones, his music has a certain indie coffee shop appeal, but there is much more to this British artist than surface charm. We called him “stunning” and “an artist to watch” back in 2016 when he’d released his EP That Bridge Washed Away in the Storm; now he’s proving yet again why he is one of the world’s most criminally underrated singer/songwriters.

As his “Broken Wing” single wraps you in its melancholy embrace, you realize his is the voice your soul has been needing. Let the dulcet tones of this tune take your mind to a place of comfort and rest. The new Lowpines album, In Silver Halides, arrives February 23 from Adventure Club Records.

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The Orielles – “Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)” (Halifax, England)

RIYL: Hinds, Wavves, Mac DeMarco, Oh Sees

The “happy dream pop” of England’s The Orielles is addictive. We’ve been fans since discovering sisters Esme and Sidonie Hand-Halford and their friend Henry Wade last spring. On their new “Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)” single the trio (ages 21, 18, and 17) prove that age is meaningless when you possess talent as insanely impressive as theirs. If you’re not a fan of The Orielles, you’re missing out on some of the freshest sounds in the entire music industry.

Their forthcoming album, Silver Dollar Moment, is inspired by a late-night gig they played at Toronto’s Silver Dollar Room before it permanently closed last year. The LP arrives February 12 from Heavenly Recordings and Rough Trade.

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Sure Sure – “Giants” (Los Angeles, USA)

RIYL: Beck, Weezer, Nada Surf

Perhaps you’re inclined to make resolutions for the new year. If you want to make some changes that don’t involve gyms or diets, how about turning to emerging Los Angeles indie band Sure Sure for guidance? Their newest single “Giants” – an early contender for Song of the Summer – offers tasty morsels of sage advice:

“Don’t let your job work you up
Don’t get too comfy with your neighbor
Don’t get a life and fuck it up
Just walk on over, I’ll get you off.”

Sure Sure are: Chris Beachy (keys/vocals), Charlie Glick (guitar/vocals), Kevin Farzad (drums), and Michael Coleman (producer). Their self-titled, self-released debut album is out now on iTunes, on vinyl, and streaming on their website.

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The James Hunter Six – “I Got Eyes” (Essex, England)

RIYL: The Dap-Kings, Charles Bradley, Lee Fields

Old-school blue-eyed soul sounds fresh and new on the latest from The James Hunter Six. The effervescent rhythms of “I Got Eyes” will have you dancing the night away thanks to its irresistible energy and life-affirming horns. Hunter has been making our pulses race on each of his solo albums and his two previous releases with this outfit. But the upcoming Whatever It Takes might just outshine his 2016 LP, Hold On! The former Van Morrison band member and backup singer is a wellspring of soulful joy, and this tune features the perfect lyrics for your upcoming Valentine’s Day wooing: “You’re the livin’ definition of a love so fine.” Preach it, brother James!

Whatever It Takes is due February 2 via Daptone Records with pre-orders from the label and iTunes.

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Emerson Leif x Golden Vessel – “Hesitate” (Brisbane, Australia)

RIYL: Bon Iver, Bonobo, James Blake

Australians may be experiencing a heat wave right now, but two of the country’s electronic artists are generating maximum chill with their newest collaboration. Indie producer Max Byrne (better known as Golden Vessel) has teamed up again with fellow Brisbane artist Emerson Leif on the lush, spellbinding “Hesitate.” The Brisbanites’ latest effort finds them waxing philosophical about weighty topics like religion while hypnotic beats pulse beneath.

The path to enlightenment finally has a meditation soundtrack that won’t lull you to sleep.

You can find this single on iTunes and Spotify.

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