"The swirling blue and deep red colors of the cover of Elliot Moss’ latest EP, Boomerang, sets the tone of the record, with warm and cool tones melting into one work of art. Opening song “Closedloop” highlights Moss’ neo-soul talent, with laid back synths and drum beats allowing his voice to stand out. Like the contrast of the red versus blue color, or the back and forth of a boomerang, the album is built the push and pull of opposing sides. Moss notes that the songwriting process of this album was about capturing “his ambivalence as he struggled between choosing to face the sometimes-unpleasant realities of the outside world or to withdraw inwards to a place of relative safety.” It’s a struggle we all face, especially in trying stressful political times. How much do we put ourselves out there? Should we just stay home? “Oh it would be better if the world slowed down,” he croons... " - Impose Magazine
"Beneath the Brine was a breakthrough LP for San Francisco indie/orchestral rock band The Family Crest, pushing the seven-piece assemblage into bigger venues and more prominent national music media. Their massive, orchestrally backed arrangements were a powerful, quixotic hook that is almost impossible to find elsewhere, vast sonic vistas that at times almost threaten to overwhelm the the listener. Spinning your way through Beneath the Brine with headphones, one can’t help but wonder at the enormity of a recording process that included hundreds of musicians and vocalists. It’s easy to picture frontman Liam McCormick as some kind of Brian Wilson-esque eccentric, slowly descending into madness while trying to fit in one more string section or choir. It’s a sound so big, it feels like it could collapse in on itself at any moment to form a black hole. The Family Crest’s new EP, Prelude to War, only accelerates toward that musical event horizon. It delivers a dose of both the familiar and the experimental: Huge, rollicking numbers with a few sparse moments of tenderness interspersed throughout. There’s material here that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Beneath the Brine, but also several songs that hint at an evolution and embrace of even more seemingly disparate genres. One thing is certain: These guys are just as explosive as ever, and these songs are going to bring the house down in a live setting." - Paste
"When Taylor Kirk and his bandmates in Timber Timbre set out for France a year ago to record their newest record, Sincerely, Future Pollution, they envisioned a sound you could dance to, that was worthy of celebration. For more than a decade, the Montreal-based band — led by Kirk, who handles much of the writing and recording — has explored the gnarled and shadowy corners of rock, evolving from sun-bleached cabin beams to '70s country twang. None of it has exactly been the stuff that gets one shaking, outside of a narcotized sway in the corner of a plywood bar. Sincerely, Future Pollution isn't, either. But maybe it's not the time to dance. Instead, Sincerely, Future Pollution is another window into Kirk's sweetly darkened sensibility, this time filtered through holistic collaborations with Timber Timbre's supporting cast, keyboardist Mathieu Charbonneau and guitarist/bassist Simon Trottier. Along for the ride are a wealth of prototypical electronics the trio found in that French studio where they recorded their sixth album. "We were using a palette that I didn't feel was ours," said Kirk. Those unfamiliar instruments lend the album a patina of Reaganism, a vintage sound that feels all too relevant these days." - NPR
"Toydrum aka James Griffith and Pablo Clements release My Eye On You (To Reinvision), a collective interpretation of the duo’s catalogue to date on Skint Records. Gavin Clark died in 2015 aged just 46 and it was his death that proved the catalyst for My Eye On You (To Reinvision). 'We wanted as many people as possible to hear Gavin’s songs,' says Pablo. These new versions will introduce Gavin to a whole different audience. His legacy needs to be strong and we feel these versions will help with that. Friends and peers have been asked to re-envision Toydrum’s music in whatever way they see fit. Some artists have reworked tracks whilst others have covered the songs. The album sees exclusive collaborations with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, Trentemøller, Frank Wiedemann, Pye Corner Audio and more." - Bleep
"Chaz Bundick is a chameleon. Pioneering the chillwave epoch of the early 2010s under the moniker Toro y Moi, he’s since tried his hand at funk, psychedelic rock, and even hip-hop. Now, shedding the stage name and any semblance of his pop heritage, he’s teamed up with Californian jazz duo The Mattson 2 to deliver an expressive collection of fluid, vibrant psychedelia. Evoking the hallucinogenic soul and jazz of late 60s and early 70s counterculture, Star Stuff channels the political angst of musicians like Funkadelic and Sun Ra into a postmillennial milieu. The intoxicating guitar tones of the wah-wah-drenched Steve Pink melt seamlessly into Jonathan Mattson’s restrained drumming on the deceptively named Disco Kid, an unsettling cut of moody melodies and soft keys that drift in and out like smoke over polished bass notes. The faraway cawing of crows swoops in like a bad dream in the latter half of the track, before a smooth guitar solo brings us back down to earth. They know how to set a mood. Star Stuff is a voyage into the realm of the indefinite and, by Bundick’s own admission, the music he has always wanted to make. He’s in his element here, embracing the improvisational jazz of The Mattson 2 as together they pry open your third eye and flood your mind with their cosmic apparitions." - The Skinny
"The Dewaele brothers are back! Again! This time, as actual Soulwax. After (kinda) leaving it for about a decade, the Soulwax name gets a workout on From Deewee, a 50 minute, glistening synth odyssey beamed in from their Ghent studio. It’s actually a kind-of follow on record from last year’s 2007, which they released with their Die Verboten project (I gave that one a glowing review too by the way). Whereas 2007 was a sprawling, largely instrumental affair, save for a few vocodered lines here and there, From Deewee sees the return of Stephen Dewaele’s gloriously gentle, honeyed vocals alongside their more pop sensibility. I doubt anyone’s made the line “there’s so much bullshit coming out of your mouth” sound so good before, but on ‘Goodnight Transmission’, he layers that thing up so much, it sounds like something from any given Crosby, Stills & Nash album. Essentially it’s one, full flowing organism of a record - a synth starship, pulsating through a shimmering, metallic galaxy far, far away. Recorded in one take, and featuring with two drummers, a myriad of vintage synths, a few guitars and god knows how much more technology all hardwired into their mixing desk, the record flows together effortlessly. Picking up from where that Die Verboten album left off, which was actually recorded in 2007, but left on a shelf until last year, From Deewee finds this incarnation of Soulwax in a hypnotic mood. Perhaps inspired by the response of that record, here they employ driving, LCD Soundsystem-esque drumming to give a scrappy disco pulse throughout the whole thing, with the bouncing synth lines providing the heft and the everything else skating over the top. It’s a trick the brothers have been employing for a long time - in fact, probably since 2004’s rockier ‘Any Minute Now’. Still, there’s time for the old Soulwax to peek through, most notably on the almost-glam-rock stomp of ‘Do You Want To Get Into Trouble?’, and the bouncing piano of the quasi-ballad ‘Trespassers’, which is as close to melancholic as things get on here. They did always do the weirdest ballads (1998’s ‘Proverbial Pants’ is a good example), so it’s nice to hear they’ve not lost their more wistful side. ‘From Deewee’ does actually sound like the logical progression of Soulwax, despite the decade and myriad other projects in-between the two. There’s no 2manydjs mash-ups, and no nu-rave big room bangers: it’s all very mature, considered, but also outrageously groovy and melodic." - Drowned In Sound
“I’d like to think that music makes people think and act differently, inspires them, or in certain cases, helps them cope with greater problems. I’ve always made music hoping that someone would hear it and take it for whatever worked for them at the time, and hopefully make them feel okay. I think a lot of my music reflects the freedom and intimacy that comes with the simple and often quiet reflective feel of acoustic music. Sometimes I’m wounded and sad (when I write), but I think to truly show triumph and beauty you need to show how you overcome sadness or trouble. Also, I’ve always felt that music could also be fun and humorous too. I try not to take it too seriously so hopefully it gives a little joy along with sounding triumphant.” - Damien DeRose of Peasant (1985 - 2015)
"Alice Jemima has a presence that cannot be ignored. This singer-songwriter from Devon turned heads with her mesmerising reworking of Blackstreet’s No Diggity. Atmospheric, seductive, dangerous: her cover version was all those things, and her self-titled debut album sees her galvanise on her xx-like guitar music with spectacular disposition. Jemima’s music is haunting. Profoundly so. It’s like she’s speaking directly into your soul, while you stand alone in a cold, colourless kitchen that has seen better days. The minimalist guitar riffs and sparing percussion of the xx can be felt throughout Jemima’s melancholy murals, which have been produced by Roy Kerr (London Grammar, Foxes) and tend towards the sour side of relationships (Falling Out of Love). She feels like a kindred spirit of Cathy Davey, Daughter singer Elena Tonra, and Portishead’s Beth Gibbons: female singers who can make the hairs on your skin stand up on end with their blend of vulnerability and menace. Jemima’s knack for bittersweet sorrow (Toxic) will get under your skin fast, and it will likely be the strongest feeling that keeps willing you to listen again. But there are other shades to her sound. Softly spoken depictions of lovers in the dark, blinking in and out of sight as she commands over a pulsing rhythm (When You Dance). The chilled seductiveness of So and its swelling heartbeat. And the strange, otherworldliness of Liquorice, with its layers of rhythmic electronic plods, hand drum slams, and vocal intrigue that reward your ears, and stretches the mind, every time. Jemima’s debut is gripping headphones music that fills your yearning for minimalist tones and melancholy. There’s a chance that The xx fans who haven’t been taken with the trio’s latest effort will listen to Jemima and think, “now, this is what I wanted”. Sure, she’s the latest in a long line of musicians who have been heavily influenced by that formula, but through nimble, inventive instrumentation, an aura of heady self-reliance (Electric) and self-belief (Take Me Back), which make a for positive arc, and a haunting presence that rivals Lana Del Rey, Jemima’s 2017 debut outclasses The xx. She’s been pipped for success already, and this fiercely haunting debut is proof we’ll be hearing much more of Alice Jemima." - PressPLAY OK
Jon Von Letscher has been writing songs since he was 13. He was always fascinated by making his own recordings and lyrics and started making a living from it in 2011. Lyrics are what fascinated him the most. Growing up he studied the dictionary and today he can make any lyric sound like poetry. Jon is originally from Austin, Texas but is currently based out of both Gothenburg, Sweden as well as Austin. Currently Jon is focusing on helping European producers write quality lyrics in English (rap, indie, pop, rock, you name it), you will be able to find some examples on his website.
Of Congolese origin and based in Belgium, Baloji is a poet, composer, lyricist, beatmaker, scriptwriter, actor, video artist and stylist. His music stands at the crossroads of African music, rap, the French singer-songwriter tradition, afro-american music (soul, funk, jazz) discovered via hip hop culture and sampling; and electronic music (trance, deep house) which was prevalent in the region of Belgium where Baloji grew up. Baloji means “man of science” in Swahili, but during the colonial period that meaning shifted to “man of the occult sciences and sorcery”. By placing his resilience at the centre of his work, Baloji reconciles all these influences to enrich his creative projects. “64 bits & Malachite” offers a musical style based in these cross-fertilisations and collaborations, unbridled and freed from the labels of “genres”. 64 bits is the current reference for processors. It evokes the idea of built-in obsolescence; how previous versions, even if they still function, are designed to become useless. Malachite is a green-layered stone found in Katanga (DRC Congo). 64 Bits & Malachite mines our operating systems: it is a metaphor of our era, a melody of diaspora; a nomadic music between encounters and collisions.