Who? Jackie Mendoza
What? 'De Lejos'
Where? New York
They say: Written about the emotional difficulty she faced while being in a long distance relationship with her girlfriend, 'De Lejos'originally had a ukulele, synth-pop backbone, but after working with producer Rusty Santos (Panda Bear’s upcoming Buoys), it eventually took the form of a ballad with a minimal beat. “We transformed the sound of the ukulele and stripped down the instrumentation so the message would be the centrepiece of the song." Says Mendoza, "It’s a big step out of my comfort zone, but I’m really excited about its final form.”
Why we love it: De Lejos is a lucious piece of Latin pop music, all minimal, shimmering guitars, flickering percussion and modular synth stabs. Even though the lyrics are a mystery, Mendoza's voice transports you to their emotional origin with soothing, dreamy tones.
FFO: Poliça, Bat For Lashes
Who? Molly Nilsson
What? I Hope You Die
They say: "On I Hope You Die, one of Molly Nilsson’s most iconic songs from her new album 'History' out now on Night School records, the songwriter flips the song title into a tale of doomed romance, a relationship based on miscommunications and the thrill of the other. It’s also one of the most heartfelt songs full of pathos written by anyone, an ode to obsession. Doomed romance, life lived on the flipside of day and the role of the outsider in society are themes that crop up through-out History. On Bottles Of Tomorrow, the narrator is sweeping up, in love with the night and examining the remains a society leaves behind."
Why we love it? Exquisite yet minimal electronics reverb shrouded sounds set with a gaze into the middle distance, merging the icy synth-pop of the nascent synth bands and wrapped in the heavy atmosphere of post-industrial landscapes of Berlin, where it was recorded. Like a figure appearing through the fog, Nilsson's haunted tone is ripe with the duality and finality of doomed love and a relentless sense of existential melancholia.(BC)
FFO: Yazoo, Cocteau Twins, Joy Division
Who? The Empty Page
What? 'When The Cloud Explodes'
They say: 'Anyone that has ever spent much time in the North-West can attest to the fact that it’s always bloody raining', says singer/bassist Kel, 'I think that’s one of the reasons why cities like Manchester and Liverpool are full of creatives. There is so much art, poetry, literature and music here. It’s because we’re always stuck inside having to find novel ways to entertain ourselves.'
Why we love it: ‘When The Cloud Explodes’ is an ode to the North of England - brash and uncompromising alt-punk for the greyest of skies and the toughest of times.(NK)
FFO: Bikini Kill, Pixies
What? 'Four Leaf Clover'
They say: Lisa Brammer, Lana Kooper, Jasmine van der Waals and Annemarie van den Born blend washed-out walls of sound and sunny california feelings, driving garage rock and melancholic, meandering dream pop, and combine all this with clever and sharp, sometimes bitter observations about everything interpersonal.
Why we love it: Dakota's latest effort is a reverb-drenched delight, Warpaint via Dum Dum Girls in its epic, guitar-driven pop sound. The band's debut album Here's The 101 On How To Disappear is out February 8th on Sinnibus records.(NK)
FFO: Warpaint, Dum Dum Girls, 2:54
Who? Heavy Heart
What? Bed Bug
They say: Notable for releasing a new song every month through 2016, Heavy Heart are back with 'Bed Bug' the first track produced by Grammy award winner Gabe Wax.Evolving from a secret project at home to playing headline shows around the country.
Why we love it: Sea sawing between doe eye'd melodies, crashing percussion and reverb soaked riffs, Bed Bug inhabits the tantalising headspace of crumbling love that you want to hold onto even though you know its not good for you. Its laced with vocalist Anna Vincent's bitter-sweet vocals that envelop you under the sheets. Sumptuous. (BC)
FFO: My Bloody Valentine, Sorry, Our Girl
Who? Swine Tax
What? 'Hold Your Own'
Where? Newcastle (UK)
They say: Whilst somewhat ambiguous, 'Hold Your Own' can be read as a commentary on precarious employment and endemic loneliness in society. The track is propelled along by a tightly-wound rhythm section and punchy overdriven guitars. Vocal lines such as “take night classes, lose the glasses” are delivered with characteristic irony and suggest a critical outlook towards 'self-help'.
Why we love it: 'Hold Your Own' sees Swine Tax effortlessly tackling big themes with their sharp, witty and wiry brand of indie rock. (NK)
FFO: Pavement, Dinosaur JR, Ought
Who? Daniel Thorne
What From Inside, Looking In
They say? Thorne says “Thematically, this music was inspired by birds-eye aerial images and the idea of perspective - how something incredibly complex like a river or the surface of the ocean is reduced to a simple line or shape when viewed from the heavens. The line between natural and man-made becomes increasingly blurred.”
Why we love it? Ever wondered what the an impending apocalypse would sound like? Then new Erased tapes signing Daniel Thorne's extraordinary new track lifted from his debut album in March, takes the neo-classical template up a notch with a melange of jazz-tinged twitching strings and saxophones causing awe-inspiring ambient crescendos, before giving way to a widescreen majesty that could score an epic film. (BC)
FFO:Oliver Coates, Tim Hecker, Ben Vince, Colin Stetson, Mary Lattimore and Joseph Shabason
Who? Julia Meijer
What Train Ticket
They Say? Julia Meijer is a Swedish born, songwriter and guitarist who is based in Oxford. Following her previous singles, Julia is gearing up to release her new single, Train Ticket featuring Fyfe Dangerfield, in March 2019, followed by her debut album, Always Awake, in Spring 2019. Julia explains the theme for the single, “Train Ticket is about uncertainty, expectations and disappointments. I wanted to write a song with a sense of tension in the rhythmic interplay, reflective of the tension of the lyrics as they unfold”.
Why We Love It? Skipping playfully across the tracks, Julia's artful melodies cartwheels through travel, boogie singed riffs, interlocking keyboard lines and skittish percussion with a scrunched up train ticket in her back pocket. It's a cosmic pop delightful! (BC)
FFO: Lykki Li, Courtney Barnett, Pip Blom