Introducing: Simen Mitlid

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Simen Mitlid is a precociously talented singer-songwriter hailing from the woodlands of Os, Norway, crafting lush, Nordic indie-folk a la contemporaries like Sufjan Stevens, Broken Social Scene and Patrick Watson.

Recorded in vivid locales including his hometown cabin, Oslo and Vancouver, his debut LP, Everything is the Same is a charming record, imbued with a warm inviting glow, optimism and playful wonder. Most recently lifted from the record is ‘This Time’; a magical, soothing, and endearingly optimistic gem. Opening slowly with a delicate acoustic guitar and rich emotive vocal, before being ushered gently forward with a swell of twinkling keys, chimes, percussion and gentle hand claps as pure and really beautiful female vocals come to the fore. Title track, ‘Everything is the Same’ sounds much more world-weary and melancholic, yet marked by an understated optimism. Again a gentle strum leads the way, giving space for tender, touching emotion to surge and swell. There is a real strength in the songwriting and in the vocals too, which offer a real delicacy in their delivery. These are charming, beautiful and warm folk songs with intricate and sharp arrangements – and the album is a delight.

Simen Mitlid’s debut album Everything is the Same is out now, and you can listen to it here.

As a taster, ‘This Time’ & ‘Everything is the Same’ are below for your aural pleasure.

Introducing: Holy ’57

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Holy ’57 is the moniker of London-based artist Alex Mankoo, who is gearing up to release his forthcoming mini-album L.

Holy ’57’s forte appears to be that of warm, inviting and feel-good vibes, adorned with good old-fashioned, hearts-on-sleeves songwriting. Providing substance to this assertion, Mankoo has afforded us with two gems lifted from the forthcoming mini-album. Latest single ‘Canary’ swoons with sinuous melodies as it slinks along its oh so merry way, above some seductive beats. Previous single ‘Water // Chrome’ is no less joyous and entrancing as bobs along punchy drums and low bass, and like ‘Canary’, you’ll find yourself succumbing to its allure. Another consistent charm across both sublime single is the vocals, which have a soft and inviting quality to them that brings to mind something approaching Vampire Weekend or Tim Burgess, on his own solo work. A wonderful and truly refreshing listen, which you will be all the better for letting into your life.

Check out ‘Canary’ and ‘Water // Chrome’ below.

Introducing: Plain Zebra

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Plain Zebra are Derry six-piece – Vadim Zeberg (Vocals, Harmonica & Accordion), Graham Baldrick (Guitars & Vocals), Mick McCafferty (Bass & Vocals), Caolán McLaughlin (Keys & Vocals), Jason Feenan (Drums) & Aaron Mc Callion (Percussion) – who deal in brilliant bluesy/folky rock ‘n roll flavours.

‘In The Town’ sets out their stall, revolving around some stomping bluesy beats, licks a la The Black Keys with some sweet, sweet backing harmonies and some ‘Superstition-esque’ bass notes. Let’s get this clear; after the opening 10-15 seconds, these guys mean business. ‘Brickland’ continues with the bluesy-rock vibe, with an added element of mildly dubby tones, we’re left with another sublime piece of work. If you dig licks, riffs and stomping grooves, well then Derry six-piece Plain Zebra don’t disappoint. Top stuff indeed.

You can check out ‘In The Town’ & ‘Brickland’ below, and if that’s too your liking, there’s more where that came from here.

Introducing: Silver Liz

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Silver Liz are Chicago-based husband-wife duo of Carrie and Matt Wagner who delight, excite and enthral with their shoegaze-meets-dream-pop sound.

With the recording of their debut full length done and dusted, the pair are teasing us with some tantalising tasters. Latest single ‘Him’ captures the Silver Liz’s shoegaze-laden textures. Carrie Wagner’s haunting vocals lead the charge elegantly through a undulating sea of fuzz, distortion and whirring of guitars, which begin to wail piercingly with the introduction of percussion as we’re thrust into a world of enveloping spacey and shoegazey sounds. A stunning atmospheric, yearning and dreamy soundscape. Meanwhile, ‘One and Twenty’ continues with the dreamy charm but garnering a more refined, blissful and breezy lo-fi indie pop. The songs traded-off vocals have a way of transfixing and the combo of clashing guitars, electrified drums, and ambient synths find a sweet spot between pop and indie/alternative. Expect more where this came from on Silver Liz’s upcoming full length album, to be released at some point in the near future.

For now you can check out ‘Him’ & ‘One and Twenty’ below.

Introducing: Michael Rogel

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New Mexico native Michael Rogel has a touch of magic about him when it comes to producing big, banging tunes; Influenced by industrial techno and house, Rogel deals strictly in big old dance club classics.

Rogel is a pretty prolific producer too, in the last 12 months he released LP Hail Mary, a string of singles and an EP. The most recent product of this prolificy is ‘Street Night'; a track that encapsulates what Rogel is all about in just over three minutes. It is a dancefloor-ready blend of big beats, heavy bass, rickety percussion and feverish energy, combined with all manner of electronic noises, alarms, sirens and heavenly vocals. The same can be said for ‘In The Air’ albeit a more tempered take on the floor filling classics. Rogel is well worth keeping tabs one, for both the quality and quantity of his output is on point.

You can check out ‘Street Night’ & ‘In The Air’ below now.