At this time of the year, we know that when we skip a week of great releases we have a lot more to show the following week. As work gets hectic in the midst of a never-ending pandemic (that finally seems to have a light at the end of the tunnel) great releases follow each other. It’s overwhelming in both a positive way (as a listener, and a music breather) and negative (we can only but imagine the number of words we are pushing to write on the following days). But in the end, all that matters – even more nowadays – is making justice to these new releases. Because after all music is the only way we are being saved from boredom and negativeness.
So, we got our hands busy and did this for all the music lovers out there. There are a lot of new findings here, mixed with some extraordinary new releases from some acts that you might know already. We make no distinction in the end. Because great songs are independent of the artist’s current projection. So here they are, 12 great new releases from the last couple of weeks for you to get lost in them and get saved by them.
balloon maker – m.boy (live)
We tend to not post live songs in our posts. But some songs are just made for the live versions. It’s where the sonority lies better. For us, that’s the case with balloon maker’s latest track m.boy. Filmed in one live take – during these troubled times – the track perfectly introduces this Swedish band and talks about introducing order and finding a way in the midst of this machinery we call social media in the outbreak of a pandemic. Everything about it sounds cool and warm inside, with the organ elements perfectly and melodically involved with the beautiful vocal work, and a band where everything plays a role and a purpose in a warming sonority. There are synths that make a night shine and a beautiful melancholic that beyond natural sounds life-saving. And all these feelings that emanate from the track are even more obvious in the live setting the video so perfectly transmits.
Daniel Santiago feat. Eric Clapton – Open World
Open World is Daniel Santiago’s latest track and the first single from his upcoming album Song for Tomorrow to be released on April 9th. And when a track features Eric Clapton you know it has to come from a very highly regarded guitarist, composer, or multi-instrumentalist. Daniel is actually all of them, and one that perfectly blends his home-country (Brasil) sonority with elements from all over the world. If Eric Clapton’s guitar elements are pretty evident in the track, the actual evolution of the song and the way it transposes genres is the most surprising factor. Both dreamy and light, but also catchy and merging pop with Brasilian sonorities and jazz, Open World is both catchy, familiar and innovative, and risky. It truly sounds genuine to the meaning of its title, pursuing a gorgeous and positive sonority that easily fills our hearts.
Freddie Dickson – Idiot’s Dream
Freddie Dickson is one of those acts we will always remember, not only because of his consistency in writing and producing great songs but also because of what he represents as a musician. Born in the UK he moved to Berlin risking everything for his music, and that sense of risk is one of the most evident things we find in the intensity of his songs. His latest track, Idiot’s Dream lingers on that sense of risk and in the amount of inner strength a musician has to have to take this mission ahead.
The track sounds highly dark, melancholic, but also infused with a powerful rock feel and a sense of power that is so intrinsic to his music. It features a lot of already well-known rising stars from the Berlin music scene and sounds like a superb anthem to what feels to be a musician in this crazy century, showcasing Freddie’s inner strength that is always allied with his poetic take on music. And sensibility and power.
James Ollier – Circles
One of the things we love the most in a folk song is how powerful it can be (or become) regardless of its smoothness and depth. This is just another song where this happens. The British singer-songwriter James Ollier owns a voice capable of fill a whole room, which becomes more breathtaking due to his downbeat compositions. Circles is a song about letting go, about ending up, and at last the meaning and purpose of life, “One day you’re the sea the next you’re the stone” shows Ollier’s vision of the waves (and circles) of life. Close to Marcus Mumford and his band in many ways, Circles is a pretty good introduction to James’s music. We dare you to circle around his music.
Kinn – Chase the Sun
Apparently, chasing the sun is quite impossible but it’s worth trying. At least is what Alyssa Kinn says in this analogy. Chasing the Sun is about how brave one is when one decides to chase at all costs something bigger than themselves. It has its pleasure but it has its pain too and sometimes it can crush you. This is a modern version of Icarus’ story: less dramatic, more emphatic and beautifully sang. Kinn says “this is a song I want to dance to and cry to” when confronted with its ambiguous storytelling. In fact, this dream-pop-folk-ish track sounds like a mermaid chant as it hypnotizes us whether to glory or to the abyss. In the end, it’s up to you to decide what you want to chace. But be prepared to get burned.
Minta & The Brook Trout – Matador
Francisca Cortesão is the name responsible for the band Minta & The Brook Trout. Hailing from our own Portugal, their music is universal and should be listened to by all. But most particularly by the gentle souls out there who enjoy tender melancholic folk-infused tracks that serve both the thought and the slow dance purposes of life.
A bit like the destruction derby cars featured in the video, the sonority in the latest track, Matador, suggests collisions (at least the ones inside our complex minds) but also suggests being balanced and lullabied into and out of those collisions. Being part of their upcoming 4th album entitled Demolition Derby (April 2021), this sounds like Aimee Mann got softer in order for us to make peace with what troubles us. We particularly enjoy the thoughtful vibes in it and how we can feel floating inside the mind of the creators in this dreamy-slow folk ballad that talks about the passage of time.
Phobophobes – I Mean It All
Living the dream in South London, we aim batteries at Phobophobes, who are releasing more and more snacks for their new album, Modern Medicine, to be released in June. They present themselves more calm and nostalgic, having as a premise the story of a new love that slowly fades due to a serious event. The nostalgic music video reveals an old recording of the singer’s family, Jamie Bardolph Taylor, celebrating his grandmother’s birthday in the 70s. All together results in I Mean It All, and a touching theme that promises to mark our year.
Prinze George – Centuries
Probably one of the catchiest songs we’ve heard this year is the latest track from Prinze George. Entitled Centuries, it works as the first single from their sophomore release the LP Happy Garden coming out on March 26th.
Clearly melancholic and cruel on how it portrays love as it actually is instead of romanticizing it, the track takes the best out of an 80s inspired sonority, modernizing it, and making us as listeners jumping around our seats while singing about the dark sides of love. They explain: “When you love someone, you observe your reality shifting in positive and negative ways, but you accept it because it’s impossible to leave someone who makes your life fuller and sweeter, especially when it becomes a habit, even if it makes you weaker as an individual in certain ways”. Not only it speaks louder than words in the meaning it transmits, and in the truth, it focuses on, but also in the beauty it portrays. And just like true love, we find ourselves obsessed with this track, neglecting other tracks just to listen to it one more time. We can try to explain why we love it so much, but what matters is what we can’t explain. That feeling inside us every time we listen to it.
Service – Salvation
BREAKING NEWS: Denmark presents their “vaccine” in the form of music. Service launches Salvation, their first single ever and it attempts to save everyone from a pandemic called “lack of dedication to contemplation and devotion”. It should be administrated to every person who’s afraid of loving and letting love take their heart and soul. In fact, this is a project formed with the intention of please everybody, a “study in how neutral the aesthetic expression could be, without losing its foundation and of existence”. Nothing but public service, Salvation is a soft ballad that shows some darkness in the deepest of emotions, it shows vulnerability and pureness that can be heard and seen in the unsettling and personal video.
Sorry – Cigarette Packet
After releasing their first album of originals, 925, in 2020, the British band begins to break new ground in 2021. They’ve now released two singles, Cigarette Packet and Separate. Both were recorded during the British lockdown and present us with hallucinating and experimental rhythms as if they were spinning in our heads in an infinite loop. And the truth is that it beats very well in our system. And suddenly the craving for a cigarette feels real. Time to press play again and let the two minutes and eighteen of the song flame in our hearts and go up in smoke.
The Undercover Time Travellers– Life In Reverse
From Lisbon to the world, a pearl. They’re called The Undercover Time Travellers, and are composed of Amanda Naughton, Duarte Leal, and Francesco Pintaudi. Their flow, well, their flow speaks for itself. From blues to folk, Life In Reverse has a bit of everything, with two voices as clear as water and rhythms that leave no one indifferent. They are the perfect soundtrack for any western movie. Or for your summer trip, with your head in the wind, a full car, and lots and lots of heat and smiles. Oh, and radio at 100 so that everyone can hear this challenge.
Walther, angenehm – Lost (New Ep)
Walther, angenehm is an independent four-member band from Germany, who surprised us completely with their debut EP entitled Lost. Fusing several highly relevant genres like psychedelic rock, indie rock, huge guitar solos (both acoustic and electric), and a clear sense of wonder and surprise. Focused on evolutionary songs that take their time to grow but where everything sounds a bit overwhelming in the way they feel familiar but yet like nothing else ever made. The tracks are superbly produced, providing a surreal engagement and sense of within to the listener.
Pleasant opens everything up with a 7-minute electric-acoustic guitar-based track (with no vocals). Sawya introduces the gentle-warm-but-edgy vocals that characterize the band’s vocal elements in style and some big bassed vibes. Lost is the first highlight of the EP in the way it can sound cinematic, electrifying, acoustic, warm, and unpredictable, but also our favorite song to play without getting tired (it even features hip hop elements by Ill Chill). Flaws is perhaps the most impactful song of the pack: it takes its time to grow (once again) and highlights the guitar sonority like an ethereal central element of an acoustic dream. Sounds vague enough until the vocals give it the depth that acts like ISLAND have. The final two songs, Panic and Split, are two exceptional instrumental-based indie rock anthems which sonority goes from similarities with The Doors to Darkside’s kind of electronic feel (without ever sounding electronic though). Masterfully beautiful.
Have a great weekend!