I’ve been sold on Clean Cut Kid since I first heard Vitamin C back in 2015. It’s been such a pleasure to watch them develop and grow as a band, and now especially so on the brink of the release of their debut album FELT next Friday! Over the past two years, CCK have proven that they can tackle all facets of the indie pop/rock genre with a string of excellent singles as well as a very strong debut EP. All of this has built to their first album and I couldn’t be more excited for it. I picked them as one of my top five Artists to Watch in 2017 and they have not disappointed. After releasing the upbeat Leaving You Behind (read about it HERE), they have followed up with the title track, Felt, and it’s one that deserves your attention. For the majority of the song, they take on a more subdued approach, which allows Mike’s vocals (some of my very favorite at the moment), the lush harmonies, and the beautiful melodies to shine through. It shows a different side to CCK that they execute flawlessly, and when it goes into double time in the last minute, I can almost guarantee you’ll be dancing along. Listen to Felt below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify, and look for Clean Cut Kid’s debut album to drop next Friday, May 5th!
The Japanese House is back!! Amber Bain premiered her newest track on Beats 1 Radio 1 and it’s definitely worth your attention! I fell in love with The Japanese House’s layered electronica and lush harmonies back in 2015 when she released her first EP. She has since followed that up with two more incredible EPs which include some of my absolute favorite songs of the past two years. Five months after her last release, she has now shared the lead single of her new EP, Saw You In A Dream. I put The Japanese House as #1 of my Artists to Watch for 2017 and she clearly shows why it’s the spot she deserves here. Saw You In A Dream marks a sonic departure from her previous releases by utilizing more live instrumentation and less layered harmonies and synths while still remaining distinctly The Japanese House. It took me a few listens to fully appreciate it because I was expecting something more in the vein of her other work, but I’m now fully on board and can’t wait to see what she has in store. Expect the new EP to drop July 16th, and in the meantime, listen to Saw You In A Dream below!
As I said in my post about the single he released at the beginning of the year, Unbound, Ásgeir will always have a special place in pushing me to listen to new music, which has obviously become one of my biggest passions. The thing that made me initially love his music is how he effortlessly melds the organic and synthetic together, displayed expertly all throughout his debut album. We are now just over a week away from the release of his second album, and Ásgeir is showing he remains extremely adept at this while also pushing his sound further than before. His newest release, Afterglow, serves as clear evidence of that claim. The song starts driven by a lone piano before adding in Ásgeir’s beautiful falsetto and more industrial sounds that wouldn’t be out of place on Sufjan Stevens’ Age of Adz. Present as always are gorgeous vocals and harmonies that serve as the focal point. While lately it seems a lot of my favorite artists have suffered from sophomore slumps, Ásgeir definitely seems to be an exception as all three released tracks from the album are standouts. I can’t wait to see what he has in store, and luckily the waiting is almost over! Look for Asgeir’s new album, Afterglow, on May 5th and check out the title track below or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Liv Dawson is going to be a star. She has shown this time and time again, with her effortless transition between different sub-genres of pop music. She first grabbed the world’s attention with her debut single, Tapestry. Since then she has tried her hand at varying sounds with success in each one. From the piano driven Reflection to the Disclosure produced Searching, Liv Dawson’s incredible vocals are always on display and seem to suit everything she puts her stamp on. Because her last few singles have seemed to be more dance oriented, I thought perhaps that was the direction she was trending in, but she has proven that theory wrong with her latest released song, Somewhere Good. This new track has a distinctly more acoustic feel, all the while putting Liv on center stage. It’s another absolute beauty and if this doesn’t propel her even further into the public eye I’ll be shocked. Everything she touches turns to gold and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world wakes up to it. Do yourself a favor and listen to Somewhere Good below, and then go listen to everything else she’s put out, you won’t be disappointed.
In my opinion, MØ is an incredibly underrated artist in pop music. While it has been very rewarding to see her find global success in her features, particularly Lean On and Cold Water with Major Lazer, and even have a top 20 hit in the UK, I still don’t think she gets the recognition she deserves. I have been following her since she released her debut album, No Mythologies to Follow, back in 2014 which is just an incredibly strong pop album, let alone a debut, from start to finish. Since then her solo output has been fairly minimal, but almost every release has been outstanding. In 2015 her only single release was Kamikaze which was easily one of my top 20 songs of the year and you should absolutely listen to it if you haven’t. This was followed up by the equally great Final Song in the first half of 2016 and later on Drum. Now MØ has given us her first new music of the year in Nights with You. Again MØ has achieved forward thinking pop perfection! Backed almost exclusively by booming, sparse synths, her one of a kind vocals glide effortlessly as she sings about spending her nights enjoying time out with friends. In a pop music scene inundated with love songs, MØ, like usual, provides a breath of fresh air. I can’t wait to see what MØ does next, but based on her history, I’m sure it’s going to be fantastic! Check out Nights with You below, or click HERE if you don’t have Spotify!
Sigrid is here to stay. That’s the main takeaway I have from her newly released single, Plot Twist. After roaring onto the music scene earlier this year with the incredible debut track, Don’t Kill My Vibe (read my writeup HERE), I was not expecting a follow up this soon, especially after releasing remixes and an acoustic version of her first song. Luckily for us that wasn’t the case and she’s back and demanding attention on her new track. Plot Twist has all the components of Don’t Kill My Vibe that made it a hit, of the moment production, an anthemic chorus, and a strong vocal performance by the young Norwegian. The most important thing here is that Sigrid shows her staying power and that she deserves the attention garnered from her debut. Sigrid has quickly proven herself as one to watch and I can’t wait to see what she does next. Check out Plot Twist below!
Kudu Blue are a rising four piece band from the UK who are making R&B-tinged electronic pop. They first started releasing music a while ago with a string of singles including my personal favorite, Vicinity. Kudu Blue combine forward thinking eclectic production with atmospheric synths, all laying the foundation for Clementine Douglas’ powerful vocals to float on top. This has been clearly exemplified on their most recent tracks. After sharing Sugar Lemz earlier this year, they have released another new single, Drink Alone, which sees Kudu Blue at their best. I was sold at the handclap beat that opens the track and it only improves from there as Douglas pleads not to be left on her own. It seems the quartet are ramping up for a debut project, but even if that’s still a ways away, Kudu Blue are quickly being established as an act to watch, so check out Drink Alone below and stay tuned for what’s next!