mxmtoon – ‘porcelain’

46337840_269551107095808_6593642378458824704_o

We were introduced to the delectable talents of mxmtoon – the work of Oakland-based Maia – with charming, breezy and bewitching single ‘i feel like chet’ just last month.

The 18-year-old Oakland artist is back with ‘porcelain’ another beautiful single; a tender and moving piece of enchanting bedroom-folk. ‘Porcelain’ thrives and flourishes with its stripped-back approach, pairing a gentle ukulele with beautifully breezy vocal and heartfelt lyricism, all dripping in melody. It is a rich and heartfelt sound creating an atmosphere of real beauty, you cannot help but be captivated by her music or resist its powerful emotional pull.

Give mxmtoon’s ‘porcelain’ a spin below and if you like what you hear, it is lifted from the new Plum Blossom EP, which you can listen to here.

Va Banque – ‘Transformer’

artworks-000427111767-abihp3-original

Va Banque is a music collective from Cologne & Hamburg in Germany with a penchant for the synthesizing sound of the ’70s and early ’80s

Working from their hideaway studio of solitude in Hamburg City, Va Banque produce a gripping cocktail of dark yet hopeful, electronica underpinned by krautrock and post-punk vibes. Following a series of EPs, Va Banque released their self-titled debut album in 2011 and are now following that up with new LP, Va Banque in Einzelteilen and to give you an idea of what to expect, we have ‘Transformer'; the first single lifted from the record. Propelled by dark drums and rumbling raw basslines that are joined by winding guitar lines, modular synths and electronics hisses and oddities; ‘Transformer’ sounds a lot like what a Joy Division and John Carpenter collaboration might have turned out. A warped and thrilling ride, it is a sprawling five minute long dark yet optimistic voyage that expands beyond the crunching rhythms, climaxing with an enveloping bright, blissed-out burst of light.

You can listen to ‘Transformer’ below and Va Banque’s new album Va Banque in Einzelteilen is out now (listen to it here).

HAVVK – ‘Always The Same’

48238150_1823459401098406_8972322853282119680_n

Berlin-based Irish outfit HAVVK (formerly HAWK) are a formidable force of nature and self-evidently brilliant guitar band, and led by the charismatic Julie Hawk, they have a MASSIVE sound – this much is abundantly clear from the first few notes of new single ‘Always The Same’.

‘Always The Same’ is the first track lifted from HAVVK’s debut album – due out in the new year – and delivers an incredibly powerful and pulsating blast of vital, grunge-fueled indie-rock. Burning with frustration and fury, it thunders along hammering, bone-rattling percussion interspersed with sharp riffs, unrelenting guitar lines as Hawk’s stunning vocals enter the fray, rendering everything else secondary. The soaring power of Hawk’s vocal at its most intense charges to a cathartic climax that brings the house down around us. You can feel the frustration and the fury throughout – musically, lyrically and vocally – as the band expose female objectification by flipping it on its head, and in doing so deliver a fierce, uncompromising, pulsating and compelling tune.

You can listen to ‘Always The Same’ below and keep an eye out for the debut album come the new year.

Introducing: Sulkin’ Raven

Sulkin-Raven-768x768

Sulkin’ Raven is the brainchild of Kevin De Nicolo, an electronic music producer, composer, and DJ hailing from North Hollywood, California.

Sulkin’ Raven’s intricate and delicately woven, glitchy atmospheric electronica flows from a well of ambient sounds and interspersed with subtle grooves and melodies, and charming computer game synths and 8-bit sounds – a fine and fascinating balance that his recently released Strange Days + Other voices EP is testament to.

‘Help! I’m Ambient’ is, as the name suggests, a work of slow burning ambient sounds. This is one to get lost in, as it evokes moods, feelings and memories on this magical trip through ethereal, atmospheric textures. ‘Not Near Whatever’ is simply gorgeous as it unfolds radiating a sense of awe and wonder as sounds drip, splash and twinkle amid the chiming tones, glitchy sounds and flourishes exuberant light. It bubbles and fizzes with playful computer game synths and 8-bit sounds delighting in delivering irresistible melodies. ‘I Can’t Even’ is a sort of crossing point between the two above; ethereal tones and atmospheric textures abound while slivers of synths and 8-bit sounds create a retro-futuristic vibe. Be they dreamy, playful, or both, Sulkin’ Raven wares are magical and beautiful instrumental electronic jams.

Listen to some choice cuts below and if you like what you hear, check out the new EP here.

The Hannah Barberas – ‘Oh Santa Claus!’

a2444180050_10

Self-proclaimed “DIY pop partisans”, The Hannah Barberas – Damien, Lucy, Doug & Matthew – an indie-pop foursome from New Cross, London who’ve a knack for charming effervescent indie-pop gems; a rep confirmed by a slew of irresistible singles and EPs throughout the year.

The foursome have returned to see off 2018 with a new and festive minded EP called Christmas Bandwagon with all proceeds donated to Shelter; a charity working to combat homelessness and bad housing in the UK. The latest effort is fronted by ‘Oh Santa Claus!’ which is in keeping with their own tradition of catchy indie-pop jams. ‘Oh Santa Claus!’ sees their dreamy ’60s inspired jangle, met with a wee bit of Christmas sparkle and draped in tinsel. The festive theme is wrapped up in all woozy and breezy vibes and dripping with melody, and those harmonies, they are just a delight. An enchanting and addicting parcel of perfect pop-craft harmony,

You can listen to the cheerful ‘Oh Santa Claus!’ below and if that is to your liking, the EP is available from their Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to UK charity Shelter.

Joy Downer – ‘Plastic Wrap’

artworks-000447418908-6ygs7h-original

Los Angeles-based Joy Downer aka husband and wife duo Joy and Jeff Downer have been building a rep for cooking up all manner of gorgeous indie-pop.

The creative chemistry between the pair is electric, as evidenced by buoyant, breezy and grooving previous single ‘Stranger Places’. The good news is, Joy Downer are back with a new track and it is just as incredibly addicting and deeply infectious as anything that has gone before it. A catchy-as-hell chorus, mesmerizing melody, seductive groove, lush synths, rhythmic guitars, and pulsing drum machines converge to leave us with a earworm piece of synthy indie-pop perfection. The vocals from Joy meanwhile are like a cool breeze on a hot day, cool, alluring and refreshing.

You’ll find yourself powerless to the infectious feel good vibes and be putting it on “repeat, repeat, repeat.” Get acquainted with ‘Plastic Wrap’ below:

ZENDR & James Chatburn – ‘Simply No Better’

ZENDR

UK producer ZENDR and Australian artist James Chatburn have joined forces to deliver a fresh cut of future soul in the shape of ‘Simply No Better’.

This new single from the pair is a textured mesh of instrumentals – a chunky breakbeat groove, glowing electronic beats and glistening synths – all pieced together with finesse and peppered with jazzy brass riffs. In doing so, ZENDR has crafted a cocktail that’s the perfect backdrop for Chatburn’s soulful vocals. While ‘Simply No Better’ radiates a mild aura of euphoria, it smoulders with a nagging sense of melancholy – mostly due to Chatburn’s world-weary and soul-soaked vocals. It is a rich and dreamy sound, both mellow and soulful, and oozing with opulent melodies throughout.

Tune in now: