What do I know about Luxembourg? Well, it’s very rich, it’s very small, it’s has a royal family and they’ve legalised euthanasia – lucky them! They also have a very well kept secret that I unearthed strolling through SoundCloud the other day and they’re called Monophona.
Formed by DJ/Producer Jorsch and folk-singer Claudine (no last names as yet) in 2010, despite sucessful careers in their own right, they were eager to take on a new musical challenge. Monophona melds Jorsch’s knowledge of electronica and Claudine’s passion for intimate melodies and together create something that half resembles what we would call ‘trip-hop’.
Now I know I’m incredibly late to the party with this Australian electronica duo but when I saw this video I couldn’t help but share the feel good vibes.
For those that aren’t aware, Fishing are Russel Fitzgibbon and Doug Wright who are from the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney and they make the kind of electronica which makes you swell with happiness inside. This is no more apparent than on this special live recording of ‘Pee Green Bote’ they did in a tiny rowing boat sailing down the Thames. Doug’s face on the left is priceless. The song is pretty chilled too.
Watch the video below:
There is nothing quite like a new band who write hits like they’re already popstar monoliths.
ASTR are pop duo from New York who’ve been causing a stir with their latest track and our Song of the Day, ‘Operate’. It’s the kind of song you’d imagine Rihanna should be singing. In fact it doesn’t sound a million miles away from tracks found on her darker hip-hop inspired, post-Chris Brown break up album Rated R. This is only a good thing in my opinion.
Listen to the track below to see what all the fuss is about.
Am I breaking the rules by choosing the same artist for SOTD twice in the same month? Probably, but when Valentina is producing so much good music it would be wrong not to, particularly if it’s just so I don’t look lazy, which is of course completely untrue. Kinda.
If the song sounds familiar then it’s because you probably heard the Joe Goddard reworking played a million times back in 2011. Originally conceived as an acapella, the Hot Chip impresario morphed the track into a house banger that quickly became one of the most played tracks in clubs and on the radio (plus 1.5 million YouTube views so far). Now Valentina has revisited the track to finally mark her stamp on it and, in my humble opinion, it is the best incarnation of the song yet. It moves in a more trip-hop, Kate Bush meets Massive Attack direction and features some masterful production work from Kwes.
Ain’t nothing wrong with Torquay, the Devonshire town has got it all: Agatha Christie was born there, steam trains are still a-go-go and there is even a replica Golden Hind moored in the habour. Who’da thunk it? And now they can add a really awesome band to its profile thanks to indie-pop five-piece Big Wave.
Big Wave announced this week that their latest single ‘Goldmine’ will be released on golden cassette via Art is Hard on May 20th. It actually took me a second and third glance for me to realise that ‘GW Bridge’ is only the B-side for this release as it has enough punchy pop hooks to warrant being a single in itself. It’s like the cheery, unaffected step daughter of a marriage between Kenickie and Elastica – despite the fact its named after a popular suicide spot in New York. We’ll leave it up to you to google that one.
I have to be honest, I hadn’t heard of either Giselle or Zebra Safari until yesterday. Hopefully my delayed enthusiasm for them both can be redeemed by making the Zebra Safari remix of Giselle’s beautiful track ‘Silk’ Song of the Day.
For those uninitiated, Giselle is an Australian singer-songwriter who reminds me a little of Bat For Lashes or Feist in the way that she creates pop music – just not how you know it. Zebra Safari on the other hand are a Swedish production duo who have been rapidly building a name for themselves recently for some masterful remixes, of which ‘Silk’ is certainly one of their best efforts to date.
Sunshine! At last! This must be how those folks in Game of Thrones must have felt after their last winter! Because that’s how we should rationalize our seasonal shifts, right? Through ficticious soft-porn tv shows about the middle ages, only with dragons and better teeth.
I would imagine SOTD’s will suddenly take on a sunnier disposition from now on thanks to this break in the misery. I certainly felt a track suited to a weekend chilling on in the sun would be more appropriate, which lead me to London production duo Snakehips. Hip hop beats reminiscent of De La Soul perfectly match the RnB and Soul guitar licks and hazy synths on this funky little number. Snakehips’s nod to the classic Erykah Badu track in the title and the main refrain just seals the deal, with the vocal provided by up-and-coming London-based Australian George Maple.
If by some miracle you didn’t know that the eternally ‘mysterious’ artist Jai Paul unexpectedly released his first album yesterday then consider yourself now informed. With no fanfare or prior warning (only an anecdotal article on Noisey predicted the release last week), Paul quietly uploaded the album on to his Bandcamp and waited for the world to blow its load. And boy did they! I’m afraid Twitter will be stained for life.
I’m sure we can expect a million articles to be written this week once again analysing the way in which shock-and-awe release schedules are used to create hype and how this changes our perspective of the music. There will be even more about Paul’s intentions by using this method and the mysticism that surrounds him. Theories that it may be intended as a mixtape instead of a proper album are already abundant as well as rumours of his retirement from music altogether.
‘Blackout Boutique’? I wonder what this could mean? I would like to say its some trashy club where piles of bodies marinaded in gin have gathered, as this would be most true for this writer, but I’m sure the debonair pop trio Department M have a more suave and poetic idea in mind.
The first time I heard Valentina‘s music I was happily taken back to the first time I heard Kate Bush. There is something inexplicable in Kate’s music, so enjoyable yet slightly beyond my own understanding, which I think is also evident in Valentina’s music too. It’s so easy to be swept away in the sea-shanty rhythm and subtly anthemic melodies that breeze through ‘Ladders’. It marks her out as a very special talent indeed.