Frøkedal - So Below - Alexa Dark

Frøkedal - Stranger.

Background - Acclaimed Oslo, Norway based artist Frøkedal is now sharing her new single ‘Stranger’. Celebrated by the likes of The New Yorker, The Sunday Times, The Independent and Q Magazine; new single ‘Stranger’ is a worthy successor to her Norwegian Grammy-nominated debut LP of 2016, ‘Hold On Dreamer’.

The track explores the promise of new beginnings – both in a lyrical and more literal sense – with ‘Stranger’ signalling the first in a series of standalone singles this year for Norwegian singer/songwriter/producer Anne Lise Frøkedal. 

“I was working with my own dogma on the last album,” Frøkedal explains, “the fact that I wanted everything to sound very simple and ‘less is more’ in terms of instrumentation. This time round, I wanted to work song-by-song for a little while, just to liberate myself I guess. We just followed the track and did what we thought was best for each individual song, and somehow they ended up sounding quite natural and organic – dry vocals, not a lot of effects, but probably more textured and detailed in a way.”

Despite track-by-track production, Frøkedal’s lyrical output took a much more thematic approach: “When I started writing this new material, I was picturing different ages or stages in our lives when our vision gets a little blurred. I wanted the songs (and the characters) to channel these critical moments when decisions are dominated by emotion and not necessarily by logic,” she says.

Though the new tracks are not written, or presented, in clear chronology, ‘Stranger’ does feel like a natural place to start – written from the perspective of a young person, leaving behind their childhood and stepping out into the unknown. “It’s an adventurous song, and looks upon the future positively, but in a sense of leaving behind all you know in hope of what’s around the corner. It looks back on that urge to leave with a certain nostalgia; how being a young dreamer is both a beautiful and naive thing.” Facebook here.

Last years 'Hold On Dreamer' album, was one of my favourites for 2016 and with new song 'Stranger' Frøkedal continues the momentum. It's fresh and understated musical arrangement makes a fine backdrop for her melodic and purposeful vocals. With more singles to follow this year, I hope we can share some of them in due course.

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So Below - Ruin.

Background - Following on from the success of single 'Hard', released late last year, New Zealand born goth-pop artist So Below has returned with a brand new single, 'Ruin'. Co-written with Sombear of Now, Now and Chelsea Jade - with additional production from The Naked and Famous' Aaron Short - the track takes cues from the darker reaches of electronica while readapting the modern dance format for a midnight-hued take on pop music.

Set to a tapestry of pulsing bass and heavy duty kicks, ‘Ruin’ acts as an ode to disappointment, emphasizing the emptiness after placing your trust in those who do not deserve it.  Using the more electronic hints of Trent Reznor’s work in Nine Inch Nails as a reference point, So Below’s vocals glide over the track’s steadily enveloping instrumental, applying pressure and intensity leading into the track’s crescendo, a wash of full bodied synths and emotionally wrought lyricism.

Teaming up in the UK for the first time with London based label Limited Health (S4U/Raveena), ‘Ruin’ is a realization of So Below’s full potential as one of pop music’s most impactful and innovative artists. Bringing together shades of modern electronica’s darker side as well as a maturity of songwriting beyond her years, So Below’s latest single is a masterful take on pop’s tried and true formula - leaving a track that’s as subtle as it is intense, engaging existing fans while surely inspiring a wave of new ones. Facebook here.

This is the forth appearance of So Below on Beehive Candy, this time with the new single 'Ruin'. It's true to say that it's a little less goth, with some fine dance orientated electronica adding a different dimension. Overall So Below remains consistent in delivering some superb hook laden material, so much so, that a fifth appearance seems pretty likely!

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Alexa Dark - Empty Drinks.

Background - Alternative rock songwriter and guitarist, Alexa Dark, announces her debut EP, Empty Drinks/Empty Hearts, due out August 2017. The album was produced by Angelo "Doc" Velasquez (The Weeknd's Trilogy, The Fray, Christina Perri) and mixed by Patrick Kelly. Alexa Dark also debuts her new single and music video, "Empty Drinks.

Raised between Spain, London and Germany, now based in New York City and London, the songs are inspired by Alexa Dark's transient lifestyle. The songs were written in bedrooms, planes, between drinks outside East London clubs during early  morning hours and on the concrete of various metropolitan cities. Conceived in heartbreak, in transit and from boundless nostalgia, these tracks intertwine cultural and personal narratives, influenced by the Spanish singer songwriters played in her childhood kitchen, in addition to female rock legends such as Patti Smith, Debbie Harry and Kim Gordon.

Empty Drinks/Empty Hearts is a collection of songs cultivated in the brief moment when the party is over, when the sobriety comes just before the morning does. "Blur" is one of the first songs Alexa wrote and has evolved to cater to many different relationships and situations throughout her life. "Nothing More" is an "anti-love" song, about loving but in an untraditional sense. Referring to the EP's title, "Empty Drinks" is a party anthem that encapsulates the sober realization and reflection on the emptiness felt at the end of the night. Website here, Facebook here.

We featured 'Blur' just last month and the latest track shared 'Empty Drinks' deserves our attention as well. We stated in our previous article that her "vocals are well suited to alt rock, tuneful with just a little rock'n'roll edge". That seems a fair assessment in light of this fine new song. Alexa Dark is a natural alt rock artist with some quality musicians alongside, adding some alt rock power.


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