Who? Palace Winter
What? The Deeper End
Where? Copenhagen, Denmark
What they say? Dissonance is exactly what comes to mind when imagining the synthesizer pioneers breaking out in Townes van Zandt tunes, but Palace Winter — perennial experts in genre alchemy — prove us wrong again. Instead, ‘The Deeper End (feat. Jason Lytle)’ has the same driving-through-the-desert-on-a-sunny-day feeling as many country-folk classics, despite the unusual juxtaposition.
“Think Kraftwerk playing a classic country song” says Carl Coleman (one half of Palace Winter alongside Casper Hesselager)
Why we love it? ‘The Deeper End’ is about a bad trip Carl Coleman experienced at some strange house party he went to with his sister but with its central refrain of “But you didn’t think that anyone could take it all away, And you didn’t think that you’d become the one you are today” he could equally be reflecting upon the current zeitgeist.
‘The Deeper End’ is propelled along some dusty country road by the energy of Casper Hesselager’s church organ synth theme and the song’s gathering sense of dread is only leavened by the optimism afforded by Grandaddy’s lead singer Jason Lytle’s vocal interjection. ‘The Deeper End’ captures shadows and light to perfection. (Simon Godley)
FFO: Kraftwerk, Townes Van Zandt, Grandaddy.
What? Heart Emoji
What they say? Inspired by ’90s and 2000s R&B/pop, we typically write instrumentals first with a topic in mind for the lyrics afterwards. We landed on a funky and danceable beat, pushing the envelope a little with the groove. Often our songs are written in a perspective different from our own, this one exploring “online love” and the idea that someone could pursue another romantically without even really knowing them. It seems like an everyday thing now, superficial or not, and that’s how we’re treating it in the song. We all love a pretty face.
Why we love it? A warm slice of funky bubblegum pop filled with personality, high-quality pop production and a fantastic chorus laced with enticing sound bites that make it worth listening to over and over. Pop perfection. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Michael Medrano, Charlie Puth, Bright Light, Bright Light
What? It’s Only A Heartbreak
What they say? ‘It’s Only A Heartbreak’ is actually partly inspired by the classic movie “Casablanca” from 1942, and Humphrey Bogart’s famous quote: “Here’s looking at you, kid”. Like the movie, the song is about knowing that you will never get someone back, but you can secretly still look at, and admire, that certain someone. The song carries a nonchalant expression, but the undertone makes it pretty obvious that you’re not over that person yet.
Why we love it? An expertly crafted break up song worthy of sitting up there with the pop greats. Featuring Dagny’s fantastic vocals front and centre that allows her playful character to shine, the minimal production sits in amazing contrast to the vocal and compliments it with every passing second. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Little Mix, Dua Lipa
Why we love it? With every new release from this artist, they’re solidifying a vision of talent and uniqueness that exhumes from the speaker and ‘Waves‘ is no different, a fantastic showcase of beautiful melodies, strong vocal performance, and top-notch production. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Halsey, Baby Queen, Bea Miller
What? Where’s Razkid?
Why we love it? Hard-hitting production with superb lyrical content that displays a next-level layer of wit and wordplay that bites with scathing results. The whole track speeds by like a train, decimating everything in its path but leaves a lasting stamp of identity to let you know Razkid was here. (Lloyd Best)
FFO: Lady Leeshur, Skepta, JME
Who? Misty Coast
What? In a Million years
What they say? “the song represents a recurring theme on the album, and it lingers in thoughts about whether we should choose to ignore the reality outside of what we experience as our world – or if we should dare to seek a larger, perhaps unpleasant truth.”
Why we love it? Soaring with bittersweet Kim Deal-esque melodies and exploding across the galaxy on chiming guitars and spiralling percussion. A slice of wondrous dream pop that speaks to our fears and unsettling inequalities and threats to our world, whilst being an insatiable singalong at the same time. Cracking! (Bill Cummings)
Who? Better Person
What? Close to You
What they say? While I was writing this song in Berlin, I started feeling tormented by never-ending obligations to go out and socialize every night. I would force myself out, get way too drunk and waste a lot of time talking to random people. What I was really longing for was a quieter night with someone I truly care about.”
“That sentiment feels quite funny now since both my partner and I got infected with Covid-19 back in March and haven’t been able to fully recover from it to this day. We’ve been stuck at home constantly feeling ill and exhausted. So now, ironically one of my biggest dreams is to be able to go out without worrying about my health! Listening to this track makes me look back at those party times with a nostalgic smile.
Why we love it? Elegant and resigned this shimmering slice of Sophostipop ripples with a need for space and isolation from the bustling Berlin nightlife. Which is ironic given we have been stuck in a lot lately. Sensitive and soulful vocals, and these enveloping sumptuously produced sounds are rippling with synths, glistening guitars and a strident beat. Gorgeous. (Bill Cummings)
FFO: Blue Nile, Roxy Music, Sean Nicholas Savage, John Maus