Introducing: Varsity Star

Varsity Star is a Brooklyn-based electronic musician / producer. He grew up in the suburbs of Boston, played jazz through college until becoming comfortable making music alone.

In 2017 he headed to Berlin, partially spurred by a biblical flea infestation in his apartment but also for music and while there, recorded his first album, Model Home.  Now, back on American soil, with a second album under his belt and mostly pest-free, Varsity Star has been occupying his time with shorter form output – singles, EPS, remixes & the like.

Most recently, that has seen the release of That’s Something; a just under 20 minute excursion into a world of electronic goodness built around an ear for melody, playfulness and richness of sound – demonstrated in exquisite fashion by both ‘Ball’ & ‘Treehouse’. ‘Ball’ is playful, pinging here and there, as a bouncing beat dances gleefully with pulsing synth and bendy, playful melodies – it is buoyant, bright and utterly contagious. While ‘Treehouse’ offers a more mellow take on the sound as it slinks and gentle bubbles along richly melodic keys, soft plush beats and twinkly synths as it meanders with a wide-eyed wandering air and peace of mind.

Varsity Star’s most recent release, a rework of ’19TET’ by UK producer Inwards, is a perfect coming together of all these aforementioned attributes. Warm woozy synths drift by like fluffy clouds on a balmy summer day while a flurry of beats – soft and crunchy – rush by like a babbling brook as we are whisked away, transfixed by the serenity, beauty and melodic allure. A wonderfully inventive and masterful producer.

You can sample some choice cuts below and if that’s not enough to sate your appetite, there’s loads more where that came from here.

pantology – ‘Reverie’

Brooklyn pianist/producer, pantology just released his debut EP, 2Q19. which displays an eclectic blend of deftly woven genres, resulting in a lush, expansive and cinematic sound.

Capturing this aesthetic perfectly is the EP’s lead single ‘Reverie’. Opening with solitary keys that set a pensive tone before emerging from this murky origin, blending with lush synths, warm tones and twinkly keys. It is lush, dreamy and spaced-out as it drifts melodically along with a breezy air before jolting into a cinematic crescendo, illuminated by more boisterous beats and  sumptuous brass. It is an absolute delight that is cinematic in scope and scale, and revels in its epic, expansive and lofty ambitions.

Listen to ‘Reverie’ below now and if you like what you hear, there entire EP is here.

DRAMAS – ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’

DRAMAS are Austrian duo Viktoria Winter and Mario Wienerroither, who from their Viennese base, cultivate a stunning brew of dreamy electronic-pop.

Lifted from their 2018 LP Nothing is Permanent, ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’ is a beguiling example of their flair for dreamy pop and ethereal electronica being pushed into more experimental, spaced-out zones of bleary psych. Winter’s beguiling vocal floats with a weightlessness above a blanket of hypnotic shimmering synth and frazzled electronics, on contrast to the deep bass groove and snappy beats which propel us onward. Their’s is a sound of consummate balance and ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’ finds an exquisite balance between bright and dark, heavy and light and analog and the digital. This is sweet, hypnotic and dreamy, and its transfixing allure is just irresistible.

Listen to ‘Comfort Zone / Robot’ below and if that is to your liking, why not check out Nothing is Permanent here.

SACRE – ’10:00PM FIRE IRAE’

Parisian pair SACRE appear to have a flair for bubbly, infectious and elegant synth pop and their latest single, ’10:00PM FIRE IRAE’ is a perfect exponent of this spirit.

The duo are prepping the release of the follow-up to their 2018 debut album, entitled Love Revolution, it will be released later this year and is preceded by lead single ’10:00PM FIRE IRAE’. It is an utterly entrancing track the seamlessly encompassing parts electronica, electro-pop and house under its fluid spell. Shuffling along an irresistible, swaggering groove, crisp neon beats collide with phasing bursts of frazzled electronics, winding synth and squelching basslines creating a transfixing three-minutes of infectious, neon-bright and beautiful electronica. Brimming with breezy, chillout vibes, ’10:00PM FIRE IRAE’ truly flourishes as the elegant, crisp, airy vocals come to the fore.

Listen to ’10:00PM FIRE IRAE’ below:

Touboura – ‘Awakening’

Touboura is an instrumental kraut/space/drone electronica outfit from Greece.

Revolving around the talents of Sofia Touboura, these are experimental, imaginative sounds imbued with of wonderment and awe, and none more so than latest single ‘Awakening’.

A three-and-a-half minute long hypnotic intrepid adventure in sound and space. Opening with an ever-progressing, relentless rhythmic surge, bouyed by a motorik beat, it gains in intensity before stopping abruptly, succumbing to the enveloping blissed-out airy synthscapes before rising again, amid a haze of hissing noise, distortion and fuzz which begins to fade as cosmic sounds cascade and chime, as rhythmic surge electrifies us once more. A heady brew of swirling psych, beautiful spaced-out noise and Motorik rhythms, it is a wonder of imagination and ideas that finds a home in your consciousness. An enthralling, intrepid and awe-inspiring experience.

‘Awakening’ is the second single lifted from (I died so many times that I became) Immortal EP released via To Pikap Records – you can find it here.

Listen to ‘Awakening’ below.

Mesa Luna – ‘Woronoco’

35f09a3a77adbc194e4798b8ea27077c38499fb2

Mesa Luna, the one-man dream-pop project of multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer, Justice McLellan is preparing to release debut LP Lash on March 22.

Last we encountered the Vancouver artist was with blissful and shimmering synth-filled lead single ‘Dispel’, and McLellan is back with another taste of the forthcoming record in the shape of ‘Woronoco’. It is a blissed-out, majestic and heavenly slice of shoegaze indebted dream-pop that is equally beautiful and affecting. With ‘Woronoco’, Mesa Luna weaves atmospheric textures, glacial elegance, shimmering electronics, reverberating synth, slowburning guitars, yearning emotion and hushed heartfelt vocals together to create a song that is delicate and pristine yet simultaneously powerful and a compelling wall of noise. Yet another exquisite and emphatic track from Vancouver; things are looking rather well for the album on March 2.

Listen to ‘Woronoco’ below:

High Tides – ‘Summer Reflections’

50394076_1926593464130395_1954210175514574848_n

The chill of winter briefly reared its ugly head here at the weekend, causing a fair bit of chaos in its wake but High Tides – the hazy synth duo of Warren Kroll & Steven Lutes – provide a different, more welcome type of chill.

From the coastal shores of the mind, by way of the Midwest, the pair have shared ‘Summer Reflections’, the latest single lifted from their forthcoming album Paradise Daze, a gorgeous, summery slice of chillwave, dripping with warmth and sunshine. Bringing all the elegant, chilled and blissfully euphoric vibes, it flits between a mild Balearic tone, shimmering sun-kissed synths and crisp, fresh an frosty elegance. This is tranquil escapism to a place of calmness, warmth and haziness, with a definite late night feel.

You can listen to ‘Summer Reflections’ below & their forthcoming album Paradise Daze, which will be released on March 8th via Rad Cult.

Orla – ‘Dream’

dream

Orla is an 18 year old Irish musician and producer from Co Meath who has a preference for dreamy, elegant and atmospheric sounds; as demonstrated with exquisite finesse on her debut single ‘dream’.

The aptly titled ‘dream’ is an elegant and calming instrumental track that weaves its way through a dreamy world of truly captivating atmospheric soundscapes. It moves slowly, drifting elegantly with a weightlessness, lulling us into a state of blissful tranquillity as gentle guitar chords chime and reverberate, and keys twinkle amid a rich haze and dripping melody. As the atmospheric mist clears, like clouds parting to reveal the sun following a downpour, ‘dream’ shifts to a brighter, shimmering tone revealing an added layer of wistful heart-strung emotion. A simply gorgeous track.

You can listen to ‘dream’ below now.

Paris Love-Child – ‘Don’t Leave it Alone’

79044d3d3ba788f5cfe11f2034cbecb3bae55b64

Paris Love-Child (PL-C) is London-based singer, songwriter, DJ and model who is blurring the lines between hip-hop, grime, dancehall & electronic.

Latest single ‘Don’t Leave it Alone’ more heavily indebted to the former irresistible; it is brilliant, cool, staggeringly smooth and funky disco-jam. Shuffling along an irresistible, swaggering groove, crisp, popping neon beats, phasing bursts of frazzled electronics, winding synth and super smooth soulful vocals are all employed to bring about eight-minutes of spacey synth-disco, and it’s one hell of a ride! ‘Don’t Leave it Alone’ is rather special; beautifully crafted it is a real groover of resplendent colour, pulsating and relentless electronics.

Tune into ‘Don’t Leave it Alone’ below now:

Death Hags – ‘Electrochemical Communication’

22405609_2097752783795006_3622914140081378268_n

Death Hags is the multifaceted project of Los Angeles-based, French electronica artist, Lola Jean. Working mostly from the secluded hideaway hills of East LA, Jean crafts hypnotic, futuristic and minimal electronica inspired by the likes of like Brian Eno or Björk.

The latest release from the enigmatic creative force that is Death Hags, is new single ‘Electrochemical Communication’. A hypnotic, futuristic and post-industrial-themed track, it revels in its charmingly monotony and krautrock-esque gripping repetitiousness. A steady drum machine tips along at a metronomic pace and joined by hooks and melody, as synths swarm and cascade to create a rich atmospheric soundscape; a perfect backdrop for Jean’s soothing vocals and poetic lyrics (in both English and French) to thrive. ‘Electrochemical Communication’ is born of a shadowy futuristic world of that is hypnotic, dreamy and filled with spellbinding electronic beats; simply astounding.

Listen to ‘Electrochemical Communication’ below: