London trio Jaded have been earning rave reviews for this track which is fast becoming something of a summer anthem.
The producers – Nari Man, Jordan Park, and Teo Cretella – met in London from Iran, Italy and London respectively and have been picking up plenty of airplay since last year’s track 4000Hz hit the nation’s ears. In The Morning is their latest brash and highly infections effort and, for us, is infinitely better. And you can catch the guys live on 25 August at London’s KOKO.
As for the video, well, we’ve all found ourselves out late when an attack of the munchies strikes so there’s a lesson to be learned here: if you’re out tonight or over the weekend, be prepared – take snacks. Lots of snacks.
Jaded – In The Morning
We fell totally and utterly in love with recent Neo Noir track Colours, but this one has done much to wrestle for top spot in our affections. Featuring incredible other-worldly vocals from Brooke Williams, this reinvention of the 1995 song by Courtney Love’s Hole is a multi-dimensional thing of beauty that ebbs and flows, taking you on a real musical journey that you really don’t want to end.
Neo Noir are an LA-based producer/DJ collective made up of Bradley Allan and Greg Ogan. They have that knack of creating EDM tunes of real substance as well as style and we look forward to hearing a lot more from them in the months ahead. In the meantime, if you like Violet, check out When I Was Young, which also features Williams’ wonderful vocals and is super-special.
Neo Noir – Violet (ft. Brooke Williams)
We caught sight of CROOX during the Bristol leg of the early summer Dot To Dot Festival back in May and must admit to being more than a little taken aback by the energy and front shown by this four-strong group’s live show. They hail from the south coast musical powerhouse that is Brighton, and we decided to find out more about this enigmatic electronic/hip-hop/R&B-infused crew.
We sent them questions, and they built up the suspense brilliantly by making us wait a while! But it was worth it… Continue reading
LA-based DJ and songwriter Halo (aka. Danielle Tambellini) has dropped new tune Top of the World and it’s a catchy one. Her profile is steadily growing in the States following a series of support shows for a number of acts including Alessia Cara as well as DJ slots at The City nightclub in Cancun.
If you like what you hear, also check out Halo’s Love You So.
Halo – Top of the World
Gravity is the new track from Danish experimental pop songstress Kill J. It has all the ingredients we love – it’s leftfield, quirky and wonderfully multi-layered. Very much looking forward to hearing and seeing more from her over the coming months.
Kill J – Gravity
North London-based producer and artist Raphaella has released her first solo release of the year with the sublime Turn Around. It’s slick and stripped back right from the off, providing just the right backing for a rich, soulful vocal.
Speaking about the track, Raphaella said: “Turn Around is about the moment you walk away from someone because you know they’re no good for you. Your head has made the decision, but you know your heart could betray you any moment. Love is hard and the right decision is almost never the easiest – it’s the last bit of your heart that hasn’t let go, saying if you wanted me to, I could turn around and come right back. Turn Around is the last song before letting go.”
Expect a lot more to come from Raphaella. She has been busy in the studio working on projects with luminaries such as Rudimental, MNEK, Steel Banglez, MIST, Gorgon City, Watermat and Wilkinson.
Raphaella – Turn Around
Some singers just have a mysterious, beguiling air about them. Whether it’s down to the beautifully smooth and multi-faceted voice or bewitching stage presence, Kyla La Grange had this Friday night Thekla crowd in the palm of her hand from the moment she walked on to the very end of her hour-long set.
The Watford-born singer showed off her incredible versatility, equally adept as she is at low or uptempo dance-infused material, emotionally-charged ballads – and even at one point towards the end of proceedings, full-on rock. Her material broadly spans the pop genre, albeit predominantly of the darkside variety, but there is also a bedrock of folk in what she does, and the combination of all of this is what makes her show so special.
Her set included material from across both of her albums – 2012’s Ashes and Cut Your Teeth from 2014 – as well as new songs, including Love Harder and Violet Blue both released this year, and Justify from late 2016.
It is perhaps the Cut Your Teeth album that best signifies the sound that La Grange really excels at. Her voice fits so perfectly with the atmospheric electronica backdrop created by the genius DJ and producer Jakwob, so it’s no wonder that the show ended with the title track from that album. It was an uplifting end to a very special performance.
Kyla La Grange – Justify
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, and with a suitable cracking video to go with it.
And while you’re about it, don’t miss the absolutely sublime acoustic version of this song – both versions are below.
Fabich – Hold On (ft. Josh Barry)
Fabich – Hold On (ft. Josh Barry) Acoustic
It’s been a good long while since a song as beautiful as this floated into our ears. The Feeling is the work of Australian singer-songwriter Eilish Gilligan.
Although pop in essence, it’s hard to find the descriptive words to do the song justice, so take a listen, and welcome this unique track into your life.
This track appears on The Sync List 11 – listen to the full playlist on Soundcloud here.
Eilish Gilligan – The Feeling
Bristol-based singer/producer Tamu Massif has revealed new track Animals, taken from his second EP Bala which is out now.
“I approach writing songs as collages” explains the Bristol-based artist, whose real name is Dave Dixon. “I usually layer up different sections and then connect them. On Bala, sampling my own voice became integral to the songwriting process and I started recording tracks purely to lay down vocals I could manipulate elsewhere.”
The places in which Bala was conceived find their way into the music, both in the lyrics and through field recordings. “Recording clips on my phone in various locations and moments over the past few years has allowed me to add a personal context to the music,” explains Dixon. “It documents where I’ve been, both mentally and physically.”
Tamu Massif has recently completed a tour support slot with The Japanese House, and can be seen performing live again at London’s Citadel Festival on 16 July. Tickets here.
Tamu Massif – Animals
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 weekend. Featuring the vocals of London Ellis, our advice is that it requires full volume. You’re welcome.
Neo Noir – Colours (ft. London Ellis)
London-based Rumours is an electronic soul-pop trio made up of Mark Borgazzi, Federico Bigonzetti and Marion Solheim.
Mark and Fede come from Italy and have been making music together since childhood until they moved to London at the age of 18. There they met Norwegian student Marion and they joined forces in 2014. The band is a cosmopolitan mix of Italy, Norway and London, which somehow seems to enrich their diverse and hard-to-categorise musical style.
Blending electronic production with emotive songwriting, a key ingredient of Rumours’ sound is Mark and Marion’s intertwining male/female vocal dynamic. Their voices strike a unique balance that just works beautifully, and adds a hugely captivating edge to their music.
As we look ahead to their headline London show on 12 May, we caught up with Mark to find out more about the Rumours sound…
SYNC: Please tell us a bit about the band’s background.
MARK: Rumours came to life about two years ago. There are three of us in the band; Federico, Mark and Marion. Fede and I go way back, we grew up together in Italy, and then moved to London as soon as we turned 18. Here we met Marion, who had also moved to London from Norway and was studying at the same music school as us. We met in 2015, had an instant connection and started working together shortly after.
SYNC: How do you feel that your different nationalities/backgrounds influence your musical leanings?
MARK: We all have quite different musical backgrounds which all have a pretty strong influence on Rumours’ music. Fede, who is a producer and drummer, has always been very interested in electronic music. He follows and discovers new music from all kinds of genres and he strongly features this variety of influences in the production of our songs.
Marion’s taste and musical background is also very varied. She is currently into Neo Classical and experimental ambient music, but has a background in singing folk and soul. I think that what she brings to the table, is a more edgy and unexpected twist, especially when it comes to melodies and harmonies. My influences have been songwriters in general, but the NeoSoul and R&B artists I grew up listening to have probably shaped me more than others.
Rumours – I Do It All
SYNC: How does the band’s songwriting process work? Does one of you typically take the lead or is it a more collaborative process?
MARK: So far we have developed a process where I will find an idea and shape it into a simple arrangement before I pass it on to Fede who will then develop and work on the production of the music. Marion writes with me at different stages of the process. Sometimes I just have a hook that I really like and we develop a song around it together, sometimes I get inspiration for a more complete song all at once and we then work on the details and make changes together. As I said before, I have always admired a well-written song. I see songwriting as a craft that you need to develop and evolve constantly. To write something simple and easy to listen to, but with a relatable meaning and expression, is not such an easy thing.
SYNC: New single Invitations has a particularly smooth and emotive vibe. What’s the story behind this track?
MARK: We hadn’t released anything for quite a long time after our debut EP Shapes last year, so we were eager to share and release something new, that would reflect our development and growth. Invitations is a very rhythmic song, where the harmonies and melodies play on the contrasting range of our voices. The song is about being inspired and we want to allow that to mean different things to different people. This track is not as easy listening, or as immediately catching as some of our other songs, but is definitely an indication of what’s to come.
Rumours – Invitations
SYNC: What can fans expect from your live shows, and what are the challenges in bringing certain elements of your studio sound to the live performance?
MARK: Our live show is probably what has developed the most since we started. The show is quite loyal to our recordings but the songs gain more energy and dynamics when performed live. We’ve got a little team of good friends that add a different dimension to our live music sets. We always work with the same sound engineer, Phil. He knows our music very well and has been such a big part of achieving the right sound when we play live. Recreating our sound live can be a challenge due to the high production level of our music. This is why we have recently added a fourth musician, our talented friend Jason. He brings a whole new dimension to our live performances allowing us to better capture our studio sound. We have also recently collaborated with Claudio, a great filmmaker, for creating some visuals for our show. We received some great feedback for this at Archspace where we played our last London gig with Soundcrash.
Rumours – So Bad (Live for Sofar Sounds)
SYNC: So what are the plans beyond your upcoming live shows? Is there an album in the pipeline, and further live dates or festival appearances?
MARK: On 12 May, we will be performing at Birthdays in Dalston, London, then the following day we will be playing The Funk & Soul Weekender Festival in Camber Sands. Also later this summer we’re heading to Croatia to play Dimension Festival. We haven’t got an album on the way just yet, but we will definitely be releasing more music before the summer so please stay tuned!
Tickets for Rumours’ London show on 12 May are available here.
New from Youngr – aka Dario Darnell – is Monsters, a characteristically uptempo electronic pop tune that will get stuck in your head on the first listen.
For the uninitiated, Youngr is a name you will get to know over the course of this summer as his superb live act is just made for creating a huge impact at festivals over the coming months, including The Great Escape, Sundown, Boardmasters and Latitude. Check out our review of his recent London show and witness his live technical brilliance in all it’s looping glory on this slick re-working of Be The One by Dua Lipa.
Youngr – Monsters
These are exciting times for Icelandic band Vök. Not only will they figure prominently on the upcoming 10th edition of our Sync List (an honour that, let’s face it, any band would be excited about!), but they are also about to release their new album Figure on 28 April which, if there’s any justice in the world, will see them come to far greater prominence.
Since forming in 2013, their indie-electronica style has drawn comparisons with a whole host of luminaries such as The xx and Portishead, and the sound is broadly mellow, reflective, but above all, totally atmospheric. For full effect, they need to be seen and heard live – and the UK dates on their extensive month-long European tour include stop-offs in London (17 May), Salford (18) and Bristol (19) – buy tickets here.
Given how their music has been captivating us over the past few months, we were keen to catch up with saxophonist Andri Már ahead of their tour, and find out more about the band, its inspirations, and the forthcoming live dates…
SYNC: So please tell us a bit of the background to Vök, how you guys got together etc, and who’s who in the band.
ANDRI: The beginning for us was a fluke! We started the band to try out playing live and we got hooked! Me and Margrét have been friends for the last 10 years and her and Óli grew up together. We got to know Einar about the same time we started the band but it took a couple years for us to start working together! Margrét and I write most of the music and Einar being a sound tech polishes with us and then Óli is the social media expert! We are all very different individuals but we find that it works to our advantage.
Vök – Show Me
SYNC: Although of course there have been a couple of EPs, you must be very excited about the imminent album release! How long has Figure been in the planning/making?
ANDRI: Oh yes! We are ecstatic! Figure has been in the making basically since we first started playing music. We had a very steep learning curve and had to experiment with a lot of things before we felt we were able to make this album the way we wanted to make it. But I feel it has worked in our favour, as we’ve been able to lay a good foundation for this release.
SYNC: Although there are a few obvious comparisons with the likes of The xx, the album is a way more complex package than any such simple generalisation suggests.
ANDRI: Thank you! It is always fun to hear the comparisons but you are right, I don’t think that generalisation really works anymore. Our influences range from The xx and Portishead to the Arctic Monkeys and all the way back to Frank Sinatra! So it’s a very wide range of influences. There are for instance some books that have had an influence on our lyric writing, i.e. the Discworld series and Grass for His Pillow to name some.
Vök – Waiting
SYNC: You’re about to hit the road for an extensive European tour. What can fans expect from your live shows, and what are the challenges in bringing certain elements of your studio sound to the live performance?
ANDRI: We want to bring out our and your emotions and try and take you on a journey through the concert. There are very powerful chapters and there are some downlow as well so there is hopefully something for everyone.
We have always been a band that is more about the live performing than the studio and so far we have translated the live element more into the studio than vice versa. There are definitely challenges to overcome but I personally like it when musicians have the courage to deviate from the album and make some sort of unique atmosphere for those that have gone along to the shows.
Vök – Breaking Bones
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