[TGIF] Mixtape Colors

Like a proper mixtape of genres, these are the best new releases we've heard all week.

With the temperatures rising across all Europe, and to particular severe temperatures here in Portugal, we are completely in for fresh tracks that somehow are capable of relaxing our bodies and making us feel the melodies instead of the heat. The tracks that follow do that. Each one on its own genre (or a mix of genres). Quite distinct from each other. But altogether a very nice mixtape of tracks. Or should we say a nice and cold buck of refreshments?

Conditioner – Terms of Surrender

Conditioner are a Los Angeles-based duo who make bright, buoyant indie rock that rewards a close listen. Driven by sparkling clean Telecaster tones, the billowing pads of a Moog or Juno, and stacked vocal harmonies, Conditioner’s songs ask more questions than they answer – “what the hell are any of us doing here?”. Their latest track entitled “Terms of Surrender” was released 3 days ago and is part of their self-titled debut album to be released in September. The track talks about surrendering to love and we guess that’s the answer to the question they make as a band. Encompassing indie rock with indie-pop elements and a lot of psychedelic flavours (also in the video), there is a general feel-good feeling about the track and a lot of ins and outs of melodies that generality tends to make us dream along with it.

Culture Wars – Lose Money

Culture Wars are a trio from Austin that is about to release their debut EP. Entitled “teche”, the pop and electronic vibes are evident in the first advance, the single entitled “Lose Money” that was released two days ago. Sounding solid and dance-inviting, a bit like a The Weeknd track, the efforts of Alex Dugan, David Grayson and Dillion Randolph are giving them solid feedback: with millions of streams in the previous singles, a TikTok account booming and a place in the top 30 of Alternative radio. The latest track is “a testament to the strength of working as a team, this song stands out as one of my all-time favorites”. We can’t put it down either, the solid build-up to the chorus and the way the energetic and catchy pop vibes always sound is a testament to Culture Wars quality as a new band.

Dirty Nice – Cartoon Song

Cartoon Song” is one of the latest releases by one of the most interesting and novel bands we listen to this entire year (and probably the last 5 years or so). With a very relaxed and contagious chilled but somewhat romantic vibe, the overall sound is akin to a high-summer, inner-city scene – skittish beats underpinning synthesizer sprinklers glittering the hot pavement. The track is about the capacity to forgive or to give something as a way of asking for an apology but also as a way of celebrating how the little things we share can actually say much about the relationship and grow into a symbol of the feelings we nurture for each other. A pop track that is also a track without a specific feel or genre but tender and gorgeous.

Emily McMichael – Peaches In My Ice Cream

Emily McMichael is a Nashville-based indie-pop artist who has gained a notable following through playing shows for thousands of people, landing on Spotify Editorial playlists, & gaining over 60k followers on TikTok. That’s what is typically the custom way of making way through the music industry nowadays. The best part about it is actually how relaxed versus romantic and honest her tracks really sound like. And the latest, entitled “Peaches In My Ice Cream” is the perfect summer jam about loving someone and not being able to get enough of them. Nowadays we are doing too much stuff in not enough time to do everything. Sometimes we lose the notion of giving time to the ones we love. And if lo-fi productions like these, which sound sweet and melodic, can remind us of that, then we don’t how to love them back.

Malcolm Forbes 70th Birthday Party – Heppy

With one of the most incredible band names we’ve seen, Malcolm Forbes 70th Birthday Party are two friends that have come together over a love of rainforests, beaches, synthesizers, dancing and parties. The name is given as a homage “to one of, if not ‘the’, greatest party of all time. The richest man in the world flew in friends from around the world to spend a lavish weekend indulging in many of the delights life has to offer”. And as a proper homage, “Heppy” is like a party that mixes what sounds like a disco feeling with rock and pop, filled with melodic hooks and catchy intense vocals that celebrate the 80’s: “It’s that wild friend at a party that is funny and energetic but really doesn’t care if they are noticed or not“.

manic pixie – beautiful words

“While reading some of my favourite books, I started a note on my phone titled “beautiful words” where I could list some of my favourite beautiful quotes. After revisiting it a couple of times to add more, I began to see the little quotes as lyrics I could use. So I wrote a song about escapism using two of my favourite book quotes, which are featured in the song”. And just like that manic pixie’s latest track entitled “beautiful words” was born. A beautiful and wavy lo-fi pop where we can feel the bass driving the melody and the engaging deep vocals of her doing almost everything rest. The vocal hooks are a no-brainer due to their sweet tone and natural melodic feel, while the relaxed vibe of the sonority really feels like we are among the letters of a book flowing naturally through the reader’s mind. A short track that gets better the most we listen to it. To the point that almost feels like it could play till infinity.

The Fontanas – Pot Of Gold

Desprentious and rooted in Soul music, The Fontanas also mix Latin and funk elements into their tracks. Already known across the globe due to their European tours already in the bag, they keep spreading their vibes in the most natural and easiest of ways. “Pot Of Gold“, their newest track, is the proof of that. With very strong main vocals from Kay Elizabeth (already one of their trademarks), the whole way of the track is both relaxed and energetic, retro-sounding but with bits of modernity, and sounds as easy as going for those night dancing moves on a Friday night. There is a natural tripping sonority about it, and the chorus is catchy and groovy for ages. The track talks about love and independence and given the other space to breathe: “whilst it might feel like a good match, that person needs freedom to grow and become the person they want to be. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let them go free”.

Have a nice weekend!!