Posts Tagged ‘minimalist pop’

May 30, 2018
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Aside from my first year of existence (which was spent in Portland), I’ve lived in California all my life. It’s a very beautiful state, with all sorts of climates and landscapes.

Montréal musician Aaron Powell, who releases music under the name Fog Lake, certainly captures certain shades of California on his song of the same name. The pastoral California he paints on his folksy indie track is haunted by heartache and nostalgia. California is beautifully sad, a heartrending reminder of intimate trips past golden dunes, across verdant mountains, to pristine lakes. Remember that morning you were the first to wake, and you sat there on a boulder, watching and waiting for the brilliant sun to rise above above the lake? A mist hung over the water’s surface and you wished the moment could last forever, because what seemed so perfect the night before, that clasping of hands, that tender caress, can only lead to heartbreaking despair. Fog Lake’s pastoral charm and bittersweet vocals are reminiscent of early Blind Pilot, enveloped in lush keys and an earnest, early Youth Lagoon bedroom pop aura. California is lifted from Fog Lake’s next full length, Captain, out July 5th via Stack Your Roster.

May 16, 2018
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Beautifully haunting doesn’t even begin to describe Tula’s latest single, Bullet. The Berlin based Swedish songstress offers up some dusky aching electronica and pop after having captivated us with her exceptional voice and exquisite minimalist pop for the past several years. That’s right, the first time we ever featured Tula was well over five years ago, when she riveted us with a now gone for the interwebs performance on Berlin Sessions. Bullet’s sparse soundscape is punctuated by glitchy trembling sonic patterns and trip hop styled percussion, all tied together by Tula’s vocal performance. Its gossamer and opaque production is reminiscent of Marian Hill’s future pop fused with Sevdaliza’s sinuous twisting music. Bullet is a ghostly and near-macabre ballad whose music video is fittingly crepuscular and austere. Watch the film below. 

May 9, 2018
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There’s no hiding the fact that I’m still addicted to songs like Looking For Knives and St. James, even though we haven’t heard from DYAN in quite some time. The Los Angeles-based alt pop trio even mesmerized me when I made sure to catch them live at SXSW over a year ago, but they’ve dropped off the map since then. I’m happy to share that DYAN has finally returned with their gorgeously entrancing indie pop. They’ve offered up a superb cover of José González´ Cycling Trivialities, giving the Swedish artist’s song a delicate and intricate re-imaging on a track so unmistakably DYAN. The song trickles gently, burbles softly, and captivates fully. It’s not surprising that DYAN and José González are a match made in heaven. His capricious strolling melodies and finespun folk music lends itself perfectly to DYAN’s understated beauty and eloquent intonation, which at times feels like Florence Welch gone minimalist. Alexis Marsh of DYAN explains: "I cycle my fair share of trivialities. It feels too delicate to have been written for a stranger, as a judgement of their public persona; it could be directed at anyone. At all of us. But whoever it’s directed to/from, this is a one-sided story …“  I’ll gladly continue cycling through DYAN’s growing repertoire of elegant musical offerings, and none of it is ever trivial. Their cover of Cycling Trivialities will be on a new EP named Absence. 

April 19, 2018

One of the first things I did this morning after I got up was listen to new Lykke Li. Yes, you read that right. New. Lykke. Li. Pretty huge deal, huh? The beloved Swedish indie pop luminary teased us recently with a cryptic clip on her socials, and now she’s announced a guest talent studded new album named ‘so sad so sexy’, out June 8th on RCA Records. As if our hearts weren’t pumping hard with excitement just from this news, Lykke has also dropped two brand new songs from the album. ‘hard rain’, which you can stream above, was even produced by illustrious musician (and ex-Vampire Weekend member) Rostam. It’s a sparse rhythmic captivator, with very Rostam-like drifting synths and soft beats. Lykke Li also shared a second song named ‘deep end’, produced by Jeff Bhasker, Malay, and T-Minus, which sees her shifting her sound towards more of an R&B inflected pop tone. New album ‘so sad so sexy’ will also feature Aminé and more. You can pre-order, here.

April 5, 2018
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I’d love to learn how rising bedroom-pop artist pizzagirl came up with his name, but for now, let’s focus on the downtempo analog bliss that exudes from Seabirds, his latest taste from a forthcoming debut EP instead. A hint of early The xx trickles through the song’s tender, airy strums during its opening bars, while some early Youth Lagoon also rears its head in pizzagirl’s misty soundscape. Seabirds’ lo-fi electronica & pop is riddled with syncopated beats that evoke Starfucker, but there’s a starkness to pizzagirl’s vocals that remind me of Majical Cloudz, too. Yes, it’s minimalism is quite misleading, a veil for its eclectic sonic anatomy. The Liverpool artist will be releasing his debut EP, titled An Extended Play, on April 13th. Seabirds is out today via independent label Heist or Hit. Keep up with pizzagirl on his website, here.

April 5, 2018
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I Turned Away is the flip side to Westerman’s recent acclaimed single Confirmation, but it could steal the limelight itself with its glassy pilose vocals and its light, airy indietronica and folk. The British musician floats us high into the stratosphere with his track about illusions and mirages, which was recorded in one take with the intention of retaining its rawness. I Turned Away was written about the realization that what you thought was there was never really there, something many of us have no doubt encountered in our own experiences, too. Westerman reunites with electronic producer Bullion on the light shimmering song. If you missed out on companion track Confirmation previously, you can stream the tune below. 

April 2, 2018
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Bernice’s new song Glue really does stick to us like an endearing adhesive. It’s a finely textured and whimsically crafted tune from the rising Toronto pop experimentalists, and it’s a must for anyone who loves Dirty Projectors and Hundred Waters. The spacey, jazzy ambling art pop tune arrives with news of a new album from the group named “Puff LP: In the air without a shape” which follows on Bernice’s acclaimed 2017 Puff EP. The languorous wafting song is deeply entrancing and delightfully capricious. “Puff LP: In the air without a shape” will be out on May 25th via Arts & Crafts.

March 28, 2018
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Newmen is new to us, but this Frankfurt outfit has been making their mark in Germany for several years now. They mesmerize us with with wavy hypnotic electronica and diaphanous synthpop on Delay, their first release off an upcoming full length named SOFT WARE, arriving on May 4th. The slow simmering, steady blooming track is absolutely arresting, a moody crescendo of lavish synths and minimalist soundscapes. Watch the official video for Newmen’s Delay below. The single is available through the band’s website, here.

March 24, 2018
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There’s no possible way a new Marian Hill song could surface without us giving it some love here on IHM. We have less than two months to go before the duo release their sophomore album, and we also can’t wait to catch them at Coachella and on tour in San Francisco. The platinum-certified Philadelphia project spellbinds us as they tend to do with new song Differently. Slinky beats and wily bass are interspersed spaciously across the snazzy song, making it a mischievous pouncing, sensual prowling new Marian Hill treat that we can’t put down. Differently was produced by Marian Hill and notable Canadian producer Boi-1da (Drake, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Lana Del Rey). The duo also recently released a short episode for Differently as part of their ten one-minute visual series which conceptualizes each song off forthcoming album Unsual. Watch the episode for Differently below. Sophomor ealbum Unusual drops on May 11th. Pre-order, here, if you haven’t already done so like we have. Visit their website, here, for spring tour dates. 

March 23, 2018
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It’s fortunate we don’t have to “countdown forever” before diving into the burbling pop bewitchment of Jinka’s new single. The Berlin based singer songwriter and producer provides a more luminous peak into her fantastical pop world on the glossy prancing gem. Countdown Forever is yet another superb track from Jinka’s growing repertoire of icy, snowy treats, which started ever so promisingly over half a year ago with jocund twisting Trash From The Past. Visit that song and Jinka’s other releases on Soundcloud, here.