Artist: Maya Killtron
Album/EP: Never Dance Alone
This tune feels like you’re stepping into a time machine. It’s candy-coated 80s synth pop at its finest that would drop into a roller rink just as well as an old-school party playlist. Exciting, fast-paced, chock-full of groovy riffs, and super accessible – this truly feels like pop production from another era at its peak. I can easily see “Whiplash” being a personal summer staple from now on.
Artist: Van Echelpoel
Song: “Ziet Em Dunn” (Watch Him Pose)
Is it satire? I think so? Either way, Van Echelpoel feels like the Belgian equivalent of Ylvis (they made that viral song about foxes saying things) – quick and silly, yes, but damn do they know how to write a catchy dance/pop song. It doesn’t even matter that the entire thing is in Belgian slang, I still listened four times in a row. (If you’re feeling impatient, skip to 0:39 of the video below to reach the music or use the shortened version – although it lacks English subtitles.)
Artist: Kele Okereke
Song: “Streets Been Talkin”
It may sound like a basic acoustic folk song at first, but the bridges and choruses of “Streets Been Talkin” hide magic worth waiting for. A clever shift into a gentle R&B/folk fusion sprinkled with instrumental swells throughout the track makes this a fresh twist on basic singer-songwriter fare without losing its pleasant serenity. Quite the departure for Bloc Party’s Okereke, but a welcome one.
Artist: Yellow Shoots
Song: “Make It To The Summer”
A little bit of haziness pushes this groovy tune into the realm of psychedelic R&B, but it’s got some great danceable disco elements mixed in, too: a trebly guitar, slapping bass, and oh so jangling tambourine challenge you to not tap your toes. But don’t forget the light acid injection, either – Yellow Shoots makes it easy to drift away in this lazy summer jam.
Artist: RYAN Playground
The sampling, processing, and production of this indie pop tune makes it stand out as unconventional and incredibly intriguing. You’re never really sure where the song is going to go next, but nothing sticks out of place. Even the beat drop built around what sounds strangely like a little girl’s gasp is effectively layered in to keep from throwing you off too much. There’s also more going on here in the lyrical content, which makes “Prolongation” all the more interesting.
Album/EP: Everything All At Once
This track sounds like somebody took some alt-rockers, left them to bake on the pavement during a hot summer day, and then had them write a song immediately after a couple cold drinks. I swear it’ll make more sense when you listen. Some noise rock influences guide the song as it slowly unravels, but not before BIRDS crows in your ear a bit first – maybe not for every rock fan, but I definitely dug it. Sometimes while listening, being put slightly on edge is a good thing.