CIEL - haha charade - Kluster B - LEYA - Big Fox - 13//ali_fawn - Asgeir

CIEL have just released 'The Shore' and yet another Brighton (England) band comes on to our radar with some excellent dream pop, the seaside town is certainly a hotbed for musical talent these days. === Indie band haha charade share 'Forgotten Words' a refined rocker that carries a good few hooks. === From Kluster B we have 'Counterpart' a genre spanning delight where layers of instrumentation and melodic vocals work so well together. === It took me a while to get into the new LEYA song 'Wave' but it was one of those pieces I kept on going back to & I'm glad I did, it's original, atmospheric & quite creative. === We are not short of talented Scandinavian artist's at the moment and there is plenty of room for Big Fox and the dreamy and seductive song 'Beast'. === Another track that took a couple of plays or so to get, is from 13//ali_fawn who makes a second appearance here with 'Mirrorshade', there is plenty going on with what is a musical journey, the song evolving and becoming quite mesmerising. === Icelandic artist Asgeir has shared 'Pictures' along with a fine video, the song is full of simmering emotion, along with some fabulous vocals and a splendid musical backdrop.

CIEL - The Shore.

Brighton-based newcomers CIEL share mesmeric dream pop jaunt ‘The Shore’, lead single from the band’s debut EP ‘Movement’ out this spring.

Heavily leaning on a collection of interwoven guitars, pulsing bass-lines and intriguing vocal harmonies, the trio’s first release offers a fascinating glimpse into their dreamy world of alt-pop gems, conjuring up innovative and nostalgic ideas which only add to their intrinsic mystique.

Comprising of Dutch musician Michelle Hindriks and the friends she made upon relocation to Brighton, the three-piece have quickly earned kudos for their exquisite live show, having already supported the likes of Hatchie, Sasami and Penelope Isles, as well as working with the latter’s Jack Wolter on their upcoming debut EP.

Discussing their lead single, Hinkdriks explained: “The song is about a moment where you feel stuck in your life and are waiting for it to ‘really’ begin; yet at the same time, you realise it’s just an illusion and your life has already begun, and you’re living it right now. Losing the connection with that essence can feel extremely frustrating”.

Produced by Penelope Isles’ Jack Wolter, CIEL’s ‘The Shore’ is out January 22nd and will be available via all digital platforms.


haha charade - Forgotten Words.

Forgotten Words is about the abrupt ending to a relationship. The lyrics outline the inability to say how you’re feeling, as if there’s so much to say, you can’t say anything at all. The accompanying music is melodramatic to channel what it feels like processing grief. The climax of the song highlights the visceral explosions of internal rage, juxtaposed with the cadence of the melody, which represents outwardly shutting down because it hurts too much to think about it.

The haha charade story began from humble beginnings of playing in basements, living rooms, and garages. The band's cult following that was growing, lead to haha charade's debut show in the Philadelphia area during the summer of 2018.

haha charade’s ability to merge genres and coin their unique style is attributed to a collaborative artistic approach to everything from songwriting to artwork and performance.  haha charade consists of vocalists and guitarists, Alex Wade and Justin Lefler, bassist, Matt Bowe, and drummer, Brendan McBride. With three main songwriters in the group, each writer brings their own independent influences from Punk, Garage Rock, Folk Rock, and Hip Hop, which merges together to create the haha charade sound.

Musical stylings are influenced by a multitude of bands including The Strokes, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Rebelution, with a mix of cheeky and political lyrics influenced by bands such as Arctic Monkeys and State Radio.  This creates the noteworthy, psychedelic, surfy vibe that can be found on their 2020 debut self titled LP.


Kluster B - Counterpart.

Kluster B (fka Kluster) was founded by four friends and a virtual drummer in Malmö 2014, a real life drummer joined in shortly afterwards and the gang was complete. Since, the quintet has been active on as well the Malmö indie scene as playing shows in Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, supporting acts such as Frankie Cosmos, Omni and Nicole Sabouné. Debut album 'civic' was released in 2018 and Kluster received praise from Line of Best Fit, BBC Radio 6, major Swedish music magazines and more. The band is now back with new single 'Counterpart', the first taste from their upcoming sophomore album.

Counterpart is yet another glimpse of Kluster's playful sound - a melting pot of broad influences such as pop, punk, noise, lo-fi, indie and jazz. According to the band, 'Counterpart' is a track that begs for humbleness from the counterpart, a wish for ones human shortcomings to be accepted.

The members have a history as academic jazz players, forming Kluster B after longing to find a collective process free from strict genre playbooks and narrow-minded academic rules. A process that resulted in Kluster B's captivating characteristic dynamic and turning points, alternating from melodious to dissonance, complex to simple.

Kluster B consist of Linnea Hall (vocals), Pontus Örnstrand (keyboard), Sebastian Hegedüs (guitar), Adam Jonsson (guitar) and Andreas Pollak (drums) and are available for interviews and other requests. Counterpart is out now, the band's sophomore LP will be out later this spring.


LEYA - Wave.

LEYA, the project of Marilu Donovan (Eartheater, Aerial East, Julie Byrne) and Adam Markiewicz (PC Worship, The Dreebs), this week shared a self-directed video for "WAVE," the second single from their forthcoming sophomore album Flood Dream. "The video features our two friends," explain LEYA on their enveloping track, "disciples of 34th generation Shaolin warrior monk and activist Shi Yan Ming, founder of the luminous USA Shaolin Temple in Manhattan, where RZA, Rosie Perez, Wesley Snipes, Jim Jarmusch, and Tricky have all trained.

They are part of the wave." The song follows the album's lead single "WEIGHT," which features the operatic-pop vocalist GABI as well as LEYA's surprise-dropped collaborative EP with Eartheater, Angel Lust, released December 2019 via PAN.

On March 6th, LEYA will celebrate their album release show in New York City with Eartheater and head out on a North America tour, including dates opening for Brooklyn black metal band Liturgy. Flood Dream will be released March 6th on CD/LP/Digital and is available for pre-order via NNA Tapes.


Big Fox - Beast.

Malmö, Sweden-based artist Charlotta Perers AKA Big Fox returns six years after her last album release with fifth single lifted from upcoming full-length “See How the Light Falls”. Initially due for release in May 2018, Charlotta received some news which derailed the campaign.

“A few weeks before the album was supposed to be released, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma,” she says. “It all happened very quickly and it was almost like entering a parallel world with a different time scale, rules and priorities.”

The process permitted a much deeper sense of perspective to come to light for Perers; “Life suddenly became very intense, very here and now - but that amplified positive experiences too. But it felt good to know that the album was waiting for me on the other side. It was a reminder of something else, the someone I was outside the hospital.”

18 months down the line, Charlotta is better and “slowly reclaiming my life back”. The period of gestation gave the finished album more gravity and significance for the songwriter. “When I listen to it now, I actually like the album even more,” she says. “I have some distance from it. When you’re in the middle of the process, it's easy to get caught up in the details and not really hear the song anymore.”

Charlotta didn’t allow “See How the Light Falls” to be rushed. Taking two and a half years to finish, and five years to release the album, Perers laboured over it, allowing it to unravel and accumulate organically.

“My experience of creativity is that I get this vague feeling of being pointed in a certain direction,” she says. “It rarely explains itself more than that. But I’ve learnt that if I give it time and attention then things slowly start to move and grow into something, like with the lyrics, I can search for the right lyrics for a long time, even give up, and then some months later it’s as if the missing words find me rather than the other way around.”

Produced by Tom Malmros (Alice Boman, This is Head), the full-length explores varying sonic avenues, showcasing instrumental eclecticism in the form of subtle brass blasts, swelling cello and scintillating synthesisers.

On her new single, ‘Beast’, Charlotta interrogates the process of using violence and fear to enforce order, and frames through a plucky-pop lens. She comments on how it’s thematically introspective, and how the track has purposely adopted pop characteristics; “I've been thinking a lot about our need for control, how we justify the use of violence to create order. And my part in that order.

“We're often so good at rationally explaining and justifying our actions that we end up convincing ourselves that we had no other choice. Maybe we didn't. But the heart never forgets the eyes of the one we have betrayed. The heart never forgets. I wasn't sure if I could write this song. Finish it. Balance it. It seemed so fragile, tipped over so easily. But it was almost as if it wanted to be written, needed to be. Sometimes maybe even the difficult subjects need their pop costume.”


13//ali_fawn - Mirrorshade.

Detroit-based producer and multi-instrumentalist Alister Fawnwoda AKA 13//ali_fawn releases ‘Mirrorshade’, second taste of forthcoming album ‘Ruby Beach’, due Summer 2020 and mixed by Welsh powerhouse David Wrench (Caribou, FKA Twigs, Sampha, Shura, The xx, Young Fathers, +++).

Born in Motor City, Fawnwoda cultivated his musicianship through learning violin and piano from a young age. Honing his métier, he studied music, poetry and visual arts at The University of Miami and then the Tibetan Buddhist-founded Naropa University.

In 2016 he moved to LA to work under the tutelage of Hans Zimmer as an intern, and by 2019 Ali had moved back to Detroit to quench a hankering for eclectic collaborations, both as a producer and as a musician. To date, he’s worked on projects with producers Cole M. Greif-Neil (Beck, Ariel Pink), Gordon Raphael (The Strokes), Sonny DiPerri (DIIV, Animal Collective), Marta Salogni (Björk, The xx), and many more. Additionally, he’s joined forces with musicians including Alex Carapetis (Nine Inch Nails, The Voidz), Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Mauro Refosco (Talking Heads, Atoms for Peace), and Philip Peterson (Portugal. The Man).

Ali talks about his newest feat, ‘Mirrorshade’, which features; “The emotional inspiration was to make a song people could make love and babies to.

One of the conceptual ideas was to create a song form that features bursts of drum parts that evolve over time held down by a percussion phrase. The main low instrument in the percussion section is Mauro’s Surdo drum. Mirrorshade is a track featuring Alex Carapetis on drums, Mauro Refosco on percussion, Jenny Lee Lindberg on Bass, Joey Stevens on guitar and me on synthesizers and programming. It was mixed by David Wrench and mastered by John Davis.”


Asgeir - Pictures.

Ásgeir shares another cut from his forthcoming new album ‘Bury The Moon’ – new track ‘Pictures’ arrives with an accompanying video, for which the artist immersed himself in nature in his home country, in a bid to reflect the inspiration of the track. The video illustrates the artist’s connection to his country, its roots and its music – whilst at the same time, it is a representation of inner reflection. Inspired by the Icelandic landscape and traditional Icelandic folk music, Asgeir locked himself away in a summerhouse deep in the countryside to write the new album. Revisiting his acoustic beginnings and taking things back to basics, he conjured up ‘Pictures’, the next single to be released from the highly anticipated album.

Talking about the new track, the introvert artist said: “The lyrics paint pictures of daily life, from when we wake up and go to work and how our dreams come alive in the nighttime. It also depicts the importance of not thinking more of your country than other countries / or yourself over other people, and the importance of unity between people.”

The lauded Icelandic artist makes music that penetrates a little deeper than most. A potent Icelandic songwriter, his debut album soared to success in his native land, before English language edition ‘In The Silence’ connected with an entirely new audience. An artist of rare scope, sincerity, and emotion, his next step might well be his bravest, and his most enduring.  ‘Bury The Moon’ – or ‘Sátt’, to give the record its Icelandic title – is out on 7th February on One Little Indian Records.

Asgeir continues; “The director (Einar Egilsson) came up with this idea of doing something with references to old western movies. We felt like the song was kind of split in half, the verses are melancholic and sad while the choruses are more hopeful and so the video expresses those conflicting emotions on the screen. The plot follows a man that is free for a while but is then captured by this sheriff character. The verses show the man when he has lost his freedom, but the choruses show him when he is free.”