We’re always on the lookout for what we consider to be a ‘Friday tune’, so you can’t even begin to imagine how happy we were to have this beauty appear before our very ears. Hold On is the brand new track from London-based producer Fabich and features the vocal talents of Josh Barry. An absolute gem.
Fabich – Hold On (ft. Josh Barry)
Summer tune alert! Out today, Never Gonna Be is the debut single from KVR – 17-year-old producer Koen Van Ravensberg (we see what he did there).
It’s a dance track that neatly fuses some of the core tried-and-trusted dance components with feel-good tropical pop. The vocals of Noréll singer Kaíva offers the finishing polish for a track that should, by rights, be getting a fair bit of radio airplay over the coming weeks.
KVR – Never Gonna Be (ft. Kaíva)
LA-based producer/DJ collective Neo Noir (Bradley Allan and Greg Ogan) recently dropped this belter and we’ve decided this is the tune to kick-off our Bank Holiday weekend. Featuring the vocals of London Ellis, our advice is that it requires full volume. You’re welcome.
Neo Noir – Colours (ft. London Ellis)
A warm, sultry Friday evening in London got even hotter in the basement environment of Birthdays in Dalston, East London. The biggest show so far by emerging soul-pop trio Rumours saw this compact venue packed out and enthralled by an hour-long set that included sublimely chilled out tunes alongside more uptempo material.
Comprising Mark Borgazzi (vocals/keyboards), Federico Bigonzetti (drums) and Marion Solheim (vocals), the band are earning a reputation for finely-crafted songs characterised by a real depth of feeling achieved through wonderful harmonies between the vocals of Borgazzi and Solheim. We’re always keen to discover whether the recorded version of this magical vocal skill can be replicated on the live stage, so it was great to hear them nail it wonderfully on the night.
The set built nicely, from a low-key but solid first half through to a much more upbeat second. So Bad, Invitations and I Do It All were particular highlights – along with new single Hunter – but there were no weak links here. It was an impressive performance for a band still in its relative early stages.
They promised an eager crowd that more new material was on the way soon. If they can create more along the lines of what’s gone before then a very bright future lies ahead… and that’s more than just a rumour.
See also: DISCOVER… Rumours
Pure synth-pop at it’s best, this one deserves to be a summer pop anthem. Meet Dan Crossley, a 21-year-old singer songwriter from Telford who has been busy writing songs throughout his teens.
He attracted plenty of attention with his debut track Feel and has now followed it up with Nothing But Love, which is what we have for this tune. It is taken from his five-track EP Feel which is out on Friday 19 May.
Dan Crossley – Nothing But Love
UK R&B singer/songwriter Lauren Faith has had an introduction to the industry that is anything but low-key. With debut track Got It Good featuring on both Kaytranada’s album 99.9% and Craig David’s latest album Following My Intuition, the 21-year-old has already cut her teeth in the most credible of ways.
Faith has been busy cooking up further material in the studio. Her first solo track, Let Them Talk starts by giving the initial impression that it is going to be a fairly straightforward R&B affair, but then breaks down into a far more jazzy, off-kilter and experimental tone, with an instrumental courtesy of emerging UK beatmaker Lostboy working to emphasise Faith’s silky delivery.
Catch Lauren Faith at her own headline show at London’s Waiting Room on 2 May – tickets here.
Lauren Faith – Let Them Talk
Rather liking Seasons Change, the first commercial release from Dead Lavender. The artists responsible are so far shrouded in mystery, although we do know that they are a London-based collaborative duo, consisting of vocalists and producers V & Oliver. With a second tune apparently in the final stages, hopefully there’s plenty more where this track came from.
The video was shot in Los Angeles on Christmas Day last year and was produced by the pair with a retro vibe using VCR filters and 90’s colour grading.
Dead Lavender – Seasons Change
Although relatively little known in the UK, Australian DJ and producer Ok Sure has been making waves throughout Australasia recently. A creator of sublime downtempo electronica masterpieces, Ok Sure – a moniker that is derived from her real name Akaysha – has been honing her considerable skills for years.
A winner of multiple DJ competitions in her homeland, she is in big demand for remixes, whilst her own original material also gets plenty of airplay on many of the major Aussie radio stations.
Ok Sure also delivers big live performances consisting of downtempo, industrial, dark melodic electronica and DJ sets pulsing with techno, deep house, electronica and whatever else takes the mood. As she launches new EP Anamnesis, we caught up with her to find out more about what makes this Melbourne livewire talent tick…
SYNC: Please tell us a bit of the background, how you first started out as a DJ?
Ok Sure: I actually developed an interest in music production before i started DJ’ing. DJ’ing was a natural progression for the sound I was taking an interest in at that time. I think I was about 14 or 15 years old and I was really getting into Wet Musik, which was a Melbourne techno collective putting on parties and releasing music. One of the guys from it – Will E Tell – was running DJ’ing lessons and I signed up for a four-week course, started buying vinyl, eventually got my own decks and the rest is history!
SYNC: DJ competitions were a big part of your early development – how did those experiences shape your work now and what opportunities did they present?
Ok Sure: I was about 20 years old when I won the Pioneer Pro DJ Search. That feels like such a long time ago! It was a nice confirmation at that age, to feel like I was on the right track. I was probably a bit lost at that stage wondering what to do with my life; Should I study more? Should I travel? Should I focus on music? I ended up doing all three.
SYNC: Who and what have influenced or shaped your sound up to now?
Ok Sure: Unrequited love, relationships, boredom, friends, other artist, procrastination (when I’m meant to be doing other things is always the best time to make music), frustration, life…
SYNC: Tell us a little about the new EP Anamnesis – how have these tracks developed and how long has the EP been in the making?
Ok Sure: I have been making music for a long time under the alias ‘Ok Sure’ with no real direction as to what I was going to do with it or how I was going to release it. It really started as a side project. I was always holding off on doing official releases as I felt I made a lot of mistakes releasing stuff in the past that I ended up hating. I wanted to sit on tracks for a really long time and if I still liked them in 2-3 years then I assumed I might like them in 10…I hoped. I was approached by a label (Upside Music) who where interested in working on a release and I thought it was time I put something out. So, I had A LOT of music sitting there and basically we just went through it all and picked out what we thought was most appropriate for the first EP. I then spent ages polishing off those tracks and trying to get them to all sound coherent – I did all the mixing and mastering on the EP – as some were from four years ago and some were from last year. Obviously my production skills have gotten better so I just had to re-work a few and get them up to scratch.
SYNC: The technical construction of a track like Xylo seems really complex and yet at the same time, it has a simple atmospheric quality. What’s the typical starting point of your production process and how does the sound evolve?
Ok Sure: Oh man, Xylo is probably about three years old, I can’t even remember how that track started. I’m literally working on like ten things at a time, bag most of the ideas then start another ten. Some tracks stick and I end up going back to continue working on them. Xylo was one of those. Honestly I don’t even know how my tracks happen, it’s hours and hours of being on auto pilot at my computer, tweaking this, going through synth sounds, samples, messing around on my keyboard until something just clicks and I roll with it. Sometimes I even listen back to my stuff and I think, how did that happen?!
SYNC: Where does your creative heart lie – creating your own originals or remixing?
Ok Sure: Remixing is fun but I would say originals I’m more passionate about. I think I was doing so many remixes to get stuff out in the world while I was trying to figure out what to do with all my original material. It was a way to release something and get your name out there without having the stress of releasing your own tracks.
SYNC: Which artists have you most enjoyed working with on remixes – and is there anyone who you would particularly like to collaborate with in the future?
Ok Sure: I think my favourite remix I’ve done is the Habits one (Gerger). I was a bit nervous with that one as I’m such a fan of their music and I thought, can I do it justice? But it came out really well and they were happy with it so that was great. Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Arca – imagine collaborating with him… a girl can dream.
SYNC: What’s in the pipeline for the rest of 2017? Are there live shows in the diary – or any plans for UK/Europe?
Ok Sure: I have a few live shows this month in Melbourne, working on the next EP which will be a bit different to Anamnesis as I’m collaborating with other vocalists. Unfortunately, there are no plans just yet for UK or Europe but I would love to organise something!
Ok Sure / oksurewhatever.com
We’re finding ourselves still listening to this beauty from Melbourne duo Two People (Phoebe Lou and Joey Clough) having first heard it a couple of months back. If We Have Time has so many wonderful qualities, not least Lou’s understated yet wonderful vocals.
Two People – If We Have Time
We’ve decided that this tune will be setting the tone of our weekend. The wonderful Girl from The Internet is just the most sublime, laid-back five minutes of listening you’ll find and we don’t tire of hearing it. The track appeared on the Los Angeles R&B group’s 2015 album Ego Death.
The Internet – Girl (ft. Kaytranada)
There’s no better way to start the week than with a track that has just the right balance to help get things moving. Away With Me is a cool collaboration between Toronto-based electronic trip Closely and Los Angeles duo Novelties, made up of Kelly Mylod and Sophie Noire.
Its tropical flavour brings the sunshine, whether or not you’re basking in the real thing wherever you are right now!
Closely / Novelties – Away With Me
As if we were not already looking forward to Joe Goddard‘s forthcoming solo album (Electric Lines, out on 21 April) enough already, he went and dropped this. Ever the creative genius, he throws several genres at new track Home, weaving and splicing it all together beautifully.
Is there anyone out there constructing more comprehensively inventive music than this right now? Doubtful.
Joe Goddard – Home
Don’t Bother Me is the latest track from one of a few prolific British artists whose output is of such quality and yet their profile remains inexplicably below the mainstream radar. We first saw Shakka – full name Shakka Philip – in a support slot for Rudimental back in 2013… he stuck in the memory not just because he lifted the roof off the place but for repeatedly making sure the crowd knew exactly who he was in between songs: “Shakka with 2 k’s, Shakka with 2 k’s…”. Many will also be familiar with his vocal appearance on Wretch 32‘s superb Blackout, and possibly some saw him touring with Basement Jaxx on their world tour in 2013/14.
Not only is Don’t Bother Me a slick tune guaranteed to get stuck in your head, but it further underlines the 27-year-old Londoner’s versatility – we still adore his wonderful radio-friendly (not remotely meant as an insult even though it might sound like one!) track When Will I See You Again? from a couple of years back which is totally different in so many respects. But we really don’t care what future directions he takes if he keeps coming up with material as good as this.
Shakka – Don’t Bother Me
Every now and then a gig comes along that leaves you a little lost for words – which isn’t great when you’ve got a review to write. But this was one of those nights when you exit the building wondering quite what you had just seen and heard.
Multi-instrumentalist Youngr – aka Dario Darnell – wrapped up his short-but-sweet seven gig European tour with this sold out date in East London ahead of a month-long stint of live shows across the US. Having first caught people’s attention with a video of his incredible take on Temper Trap‘s anthemic Sweet Disposition which went viral, his even broader one-man-band talents have come to the fore with plenty of his own material, all of which is full of hooks, drops, funk and a frankly rude level of musicianship.
A whirlwind set lasting just over an hour had it all. Not only does Darnell have a technical capability that is frankly bewildering – looping and switching from drums to guitar and synths with vocals with complete ease – but his stage presence is immense. Admittedly, he has real music pedigree; his father is the legendary August Darnell, better known in the 1980s as Kid Creole of Kid Creole and The Coconuts. His own music career has been bubbling up for a while now though, having been part of band Picture Book along with his brother Lorne (who was on hand for this run of live shows offering backing on bass), and developing his own solo material for the past couple of years.
Highlights of the night were debut single Out Of My System, September Sun, and of course, Youngr was duty-bound to reprise Sweet Disposition, which he did brilliantly. He couldn’t resist wrapping up the European tour with an extended encore that included a version of Craig David‘s Fill Me In, given a unique Youngr twist of course.
It was a BIG performance, certainly for the dimensions of Hackney’s pleasant-if-compact Oslo. If Youngr doesn’t become a household name within the next couple of years then, well, there’s something seriously wrong with people.
Now here’s a grower if ever there was one. Dirty Bass is new from LORIS, a three-piece, female-fronted electro-pop trio from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Part pop, part dance, this track is the latest release from a band that have been doing their thing since 2013, picking up plenty of favourable reviews through the likes of BBC Introducing and radio stations in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
LORIS – Dirty Bass