What? ‘Calling It’
What they say? Automatic is Izzy Glaudini (synths, vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals) and Halle Saxon (bass, vocals). The band first met while immersed in L.A.’s DIY music scene and started jamming together in 2017. Once they started playing out, word quickly spread about their explosive live shows. Over the past year they have become a mainstay on the L.A. club circuit. ‘Calling It’ is their first single on Stones Throw. Says Izzy Glaudini on the track, “Its lyrics capture the sensation of being adrift in a wide-open space, and the desire to rip it all up and start over.”
Why we love it? With its slick, chunky lead bass and zipping synths, ‘Calling It’ is a mere two-and-a-half minute minimalist masterpiece of sharp, post punk cool.(NK)
FFO: Gary Numan, Talking Heads, NEU
Who? Dude York
What they say? The delightfully melodramatic “Box” sounds like a lost gem from the NYC early aughts post-punk revival, with Richards’ deep, emotive voice singing playful nods to The Killers and Dashboard Confessional while sneaking in lines of a fallout that cut deep—“Now on your own/There’s no one left for you to hide from behind your phone”—before soaring into the Cure-like chorus “I’ll never love again.”
Why we love it? Simple, fun indie pop with playful lyrics and a carefree mid-00s vibe that borrows from the best, ‘Box’ is the kind of track you can play on repeat when you’re in a bit of a foul mood and never get sick of.(NK)
FFO: Diet Cig, LVL Up, Arcade Fire
Who? The Goa Express
What? ‘The Day’
What they say? Brooklyn new wave tinged with northern psyche.
Why we love it? Hazy, anthemic indie rock is the dominating feature of The Goa Express’ sound and ‘The Day’ is a guitar-driven bullet train careering down a rickety track. Energetic, noisy and catchy – what’s not to like?(NK)
FFO: YAK, The Orielles, DMA’S
What they say? Featuring staccato electronics and swooning arpeggiated vocals, ‘Strangers’ details another simmering cut from the five-track EP. Written in a series of flashbacks with each verse acting as a question-response to the previous one, it finds a sound sitting between the likes of Jessy Lanza, Fever Ray and FKA twigs.
Why we love it? Twinkling neo-electronica with an operatic future RnB tinge, ‘Strangers’ wanders a dark space between musical worlds. Weird and wonderful.(NK)
FFO: James Blake, Blood Orange, Oneotrix Point Never
Who? Sinead O’Brien
What? Taking On Time
What they say? ‘This track is something quite ambitious for me-there is no genre, no setting. It’s got to stand on its own. Working with Dan Carey was an incredibly good fit. He got the track out of us, from draft stage to final take in only a few hours! I’m excited to see what people hear in there, in that world we’ve created’.
Why we love it? Squalling kraut inspired noise rock, rumbles while O’Brien delivers scorching polemic that deconstructs reality and time. Abrasive and awesome.(BC)
FFO: The Fall, Patti Smith, Life Without Buildings, The Slits, CAN
Who? Sal Dulu
What they say? Following on from his solo piano composition, “Xompulse”, released in January this year, Sal Dulu collaborated with Atlanta based Hip Hop artist, StaHHr. Sal Dulu is evolving as a composer and producer creating an eclectic body of work that is gaining him critical acclaim. “Buzzcut” continues in an experimental vein, fusing elements of Hip Hop, Jazz and classical genres to create Sal Dulu’s latest release.
Why we love it? Sal Dulu is a fascinarting genre blurring producer who creates textures from fragments of jazz, hip hop and ambient sounds. Layered with intricate samples and strings, its an affecting coctail only enlivened by MC StaHHr, who delivers infectious cutting rhymes, that punctuate this clever composition.(BC)
FFO:Avalanches, DJ Shadow, Tribe Called Quest
Listen to Buzzcut (feat. staHHr) by Sal Dulu on #SoundCloud
What? ‘Love Is Happening!
What they say?“I’ve been lucky enough not to get my heart broken too badly so far, which is great, but it’s shit for writing pop songs,” says Gruff ab Arwel a.k.a Bitw.
However to suggest in anyway that a lack of heartache has led to a lack of pop songs on Bitw’s debut album would be disingenuous to say the least. Instead, the album is dripping in infectious songs, rolling rhythms and a melodic touch so graceful and seamless that if anything it feels like pop is oozing from every song on the album.
Why we love it? Subtle and washed out, this tender little number rustles out of the darkness with drum machine click, almost post punk like baselines and twinkling riffs. Its garnished with insidiously hushed melodies that gleam like hot coals on a roaring fire, enveloped by the creeping relaisation that you are not alone and all is not lost. A little pop gem.(BC)
FFO: Cate Le Bon, Y Niwl, Real Estate
Where? Hamburg / Berlin
What they say? “It is about hypocrisy and manipulation – in the larger social and political context, but also in the small relations. I think everything starts here: in daily life together. So many faces – so many masks. I sometimes wonder why people find it so hard to reveal true feelings and to be honest – to themselves and to the outside world. Many things seem artificial, aloof and wrong. You rarely see a real, open soul – mostly children, before they learn to laugh about things they do not find funny.”
What we love it? Sinister, shadowy and twitchy, the simmering textires and subtley shifting beats are like wooping coughs underscore this melodramatic examination of fakers. Swooping and yelping with an alluringly noirish atmosphere. Intoxicating and unsettling.(BC)
FFO: Drugstore, Kate Bush, Portishead, Patti Smith