Category Archives: noise

Music Alliance Pact – Iunie 2013

Despre trupa de luna asta am un lucru de zis: incercati sa-i prindeti live!

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ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
ValerinneIns Meer

Taking inspiration from everything that surrounds them, this three-piece from Bucharest started creating atmospheric, loud and emotional instrumental music at the beginning of last year. Combining their sound with equally haunting visuals, they will transport you to twisted worlds. If you like this song, you will definitely love their album, available on Bandcamp.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 34-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Excursiones PolaresLa Guerra Psicológica

Concepto Cero, one of La Plata’s finest record labels, just turned four, and they decided to celebrate by releasing a free compilation with songs from all of their artists. La Guerra Psicológica is an original track by El Perrodiablo, but in this case played in a blues fashion by Excursiones Polares. Both bands are from the Concepto Cero family, so we recommend you to download the whole album and check for their latest releases.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Gang Of YouthsA Sudden Light

Harmonies and punch-the-air victory songs are generally always in high demand. Sydney’s Gang Of Youths are next. This sounds like Win Butler singing at your birthday and Julian Casablancas singing at your funeral at the same time. A Sudden Light is a loose, belter of an anthem with a modulating chorus, overbearing references to children, drugs and enough harmonic “WHOAHS” to easily make them your new favourite band.

AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig
The Unused WordHeaven (Testa Remix)

Much like the recent 4AD signing SOHN, Anna aka The Unused Word is not only working and living in Vienna, but also has her finger on the pulse with her soulful mixture of hip hop and new school electronica. Heaven is taken from her debut EP ∞ (Infinity). The version here is a remix by her labelmate DJ Testa.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
RuaÀs Bolas De Gude

Rua, also known as Rua Do Absurdo, is an experimental quintet. Às Bolas De Gude shows their minimalism with beautiful vocal melodies and a marimba guiding us through the song.

CANADA: Quick Before It Melts
Ketch Harbour WolvesThe Good Blood

Weaving together history, mythology and their own personal experiences, Ketch Harbour Wolves’ new album, Queen City: Volume One, is their first of what is expected to be a multiple disc project that aims to create a sonic map of their home, Toronto. The Good Blood is an excellent gateway into this sprawling, ambitious project, and to Ketch Harbour Wolves’ majestic, cinematic back catalogue.

CHILE: Super 45
Alex y DanielCada Vez Que Invento Algo Sobre Ti

After reaching recognition and fame through their solo projects, Alex Andwandter and Daniel Riveros (Gepe) – two of the most iconic faces of Chilean pop – got together in a joint project that, under the suggestive name Alex y Daniel, combines their musical curiosity. Their new single Cada Vez Que Invento Algo Sobre Ti (“Every time I make up a story about you”) mixes Andwandter’s penchant for dance music and Riveros’ melodic instinct perfectly, leaving no room to doubt that, together, they’re dynamite.

COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo
La Etnnia feat. Doctor KrápulaLa Gran Epidemia

It is our pleasure to introduce you to perhaps Colombia’s biggest hip hop project, La Etnnia, who formed more than 25 years ago in the Las Cruces neighborhood of Bogotá. La Gran Epidemia, a preview of their eighth album Universal, features the stellar appearance of Doctor Krápula, a rock band with long renown in Colombia. You can watch the video for the song here.

DENMARK: All Scandinavian
Scarlet ChivesIn A Ground Floor Apartment

Scarlet Chives is something as rare as a Danish band signed to a Norwegian label and, in a not so distant future, that label, Riot Factory, will release the alternative rock quintet’s second full-length album. In A Ground Floor Apartment, a MAP exclusive download, is the B-side to first single The Timber Will Fall.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera
Hache STSebastian Lemba

Culture and rebellion are at the center of this experimental piece, which revolves around the figure of the black anti-slavery advocate Sebastian Lemba Calembo. This track is a portal to that struggle and it’s an essential component of the journey outlined by Hache ST in his new album, Zafra, which portrays the main ideas of life in a shared Caribbean island, and its intricate, passionate toils for freedom.

ECUADOR: Plan Arteria
El Extraño Comportamiento De Un Torso Animado¿Dónde Están Tus Amigos?

El Extraño Comportamiento De Un Torso Animado is an indie band with a lot of attitude. Formed by Ernesto Torres and twins Nicolás and Felipe Meneses, the trio have a punk-rock spirit with a guitar sound that invites you to dance. From their first EP, Mujer Pulpo, we present the single ¿Dónde Están Tus Amigos?

ENGLAND: Drowned In Sound
BODYWORKTame

English avant-pop or alt-rock or whatever the kids on the cobbled streets are calling it these days hasn’t had the respect it deserves for quite some time. Percolating beneath the Mumford mirth and Adele success, there’s a throbbing underbelly of eccentricity and experimentation that flirts with radio-friendly melody. Leeds’ BODYWORK are one such act, muddling Roxy Music’s odd shuffle with Wild Beasts and Heaven 17’s falsetto into a sublime cocktail of alien grooves. Download their LP for free from their website.

ESTONIA: Rada7.ee
Forgotten SunriseSisters, Brothers & Other Hellborn Creatures

Forgotten Sunrise is a cult band who are pleasing the ears of the world with negative music for positive results. They have just released their seventh album, Cretinism.

FINLAND: Glue
ConstablesLudovico

With all its members born in the early 90s, Constables is a very young band and is simply inspired by the three most important things when you are 20: sex, girls and alcohol. Musically, Constables offers melodic guitars and fast rhythms with a post-punk approach. The band has just released its debut Bedroom Culture EP, which is available on SoundCloud.

GERMANY: Coltran
Poétique ÉlectroniqueIrregular Heartbeat (Video Edit)

Poétique Électronique is a clever group: they have a good band name, they know what they want to do and they know how to do it. Their musical approach stands out from the crowd as they realise when to pause and when to push. Irregular Heartbeat is a fine example of the current penchant in electronic music for soft vocals and punchy bass. As this is my final MAP submission due to time contraints, I want to say goodbye to you folks and many thanks for the great time!

GREECE: Mouxlaloulouda
Playground NoiseThe Plan

Playground Noise’s second album, 8 Songs, brims with endlessly replayable, perfect pop tunes that glimmer with pure magic. Every note and transition is smooth and effortless, and there is such a wealth of brilliantly executed music. Brass and strings swarm beautifully around soaring guitars and vocals, and intense crescendos linger over delicate passages.

INDIA: NH7
Drawing Short StrawsPredator

Drawing Short Straws is a prog-rock band from Pune. This is their first single and a taste of what their debut LP will sound like. A combination of electronic and rock elements make for an interesting sound, which DSS are trying to hone.

INDONESIA: Deathrockstar
White Shoes & The Couples CompanyTam Tam Buku

One of Indonesia’s most beloved bands, White Shoes & The Couples Company make us proud. Purveyors of quality music, they’re coming with a new EP that rearranges traditional Indonesian songs and invites us to dance with them. After playing around Europe in June, they’ll release another EP documenting the tour.

IRELAND: Harmless Noise
The Violet RoadkillsSolar

Taken from their debut album Lead Kindly Light, Solar has everything The Violet Roadkills need to make a good first impression. The four-piece hail from Dublin and use electronics and instruments to take vintage concepts in a fresh direction, resulting in songs that are simultaneously geeky and cool. Solar’s assertive, warm bassline and beat build up to spangles of synths that sound like small studio commissions for 70s television shows. When the outer drift subsides, the beaming krautrock core of Solar begins to blast out, reaching a blisteringly heated finish.

JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies
Ykiki BeatGarden

Something something summer jam. It is that time of the year when everybody starts nominating songs as the soundtrack to the warmer months, and here is the strongest candidate from the ever-sprawling Tokyo indie scene. Garden is giddiness reduced to sonic form, powered on by handclaps, neon basslines and yelpy back-up singing. At the center, though, is an irresistible jogging melody that rarely slows down. Recommended if you like: running on really hot days.

MALTA: Stagedive Malta
Andre CamilleriSame Old Fool

In 2000, Andre Camilleri moved from Malta to Australia, where he continues to follow his musical ambitions. Having served his apprenticeship playing the streets of Berlin and Malta’s capital Valletta, wearing his trademark cowboy hat, his world is one of nostalgic reflections, acute and often intimate observations. Andre has released nine albums to date, with his influences including The Flying Burrito Brothers, Big Star, Uncle Tupelo and Hank Williams.

MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika
SantosLa Cosita

There are plenty of people religiously devoted in northern Mexico, even the drug dealers have their own sacred figure there. Santos come from that cultural background, belonging to the ‘ruidoson’ musical scene of Tijuana. Santos is the brainchild of two brothers who have embodied their faith, but their faith comes from their lust and it is well printed in this new single. La Cosita has a very intense carnal desire and highly erotic resounding kettle drums.

NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha!
Nouveau VéloKite

A gang of best friends from small towns home-recording dreampop. Much like bike-life in Holland, Nouveau Vélo has a touch of romance to it. Kite, from their new Dazed EP, could be described as upbeat melancholia, one of those songs that makes you feel nostalgic for the things that are happening right now. Possessing a chorus that catches you straight away with its blurry guitar licks and far-off vocals, Kite is a dreamy summer anthem.

PERU: SoTB
TOURISTARequiem

One day Rui Pereira decided to leave his job as a publicist to follow his true passion – music. He moved to the beach and began to make songs that would form part of his first EP, Déficit de Atención, recruiting a group of experienced musicians who soon formed TOURISTA. The band mixes its electronic concerns with indie-rock, although the labels don’t matter when you start to feel a connection with the musical passion of its creators. Requiem is TOURISTA’s latest single, take a look at its funny video.

POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog
Milcz Serce22.22

Although Nawyki/Kolizje is their first studio album, Mysłowice-based trio Milcz Serce are experienced musicians. Their debut LP talks about a break-up which starts at 10pm and ends at 9am the next day. So what you hear in 22.22 is the beginning of the whole dramatic story.

PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco?
Elektra ZagrebKesey Palms

Elektra Zagreb began in Croatia, of course. After an EP, many concerts and experience, this Portuguese quartet, now living in Lisbon, recently released their debut LP, Dreams About Dying In California. Mostly inspired by rock bands, their sound is harsh, sort of The Stooges meets Suicide. Kesey Palms is a genial piece of music in which you never know what is going to happen next, a feeling that its video achieves even more.

PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie
MoreIraPao

José Iván Lebrón Moreira (Las Abejas, Venera-3) created MoreIra after buying a second-hand Alesis Micron keyboard from a local musician. His mind racing with new musical possibilities, José embarked on an electronic solo project that is now slowly evolving into a fully-fledged band. Pao is the first single from his debut EP, available later this year. Noisy, glitchy, yet filled with heartfelt melodies, Pao is both powerful and personal – dealing with Moreira’s paternal love toward his younger sister.

SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop
Friends In AmericaQuietly Quietly

Such is my love for the sweeping, elegantly crafted indie-rock of Friends In America that their previous lack of recorded material resulted in me going to desperate lengths to consume their music. One time, after taking along my dictaphone to interview the band before a gig, I kept the ‘record’ button on during their live set just so that I could play their songs at home. This month, though, the waiting is over as FIA release their debut record What It Is To Be – from it we have a MAP exclusive download of the brilliantly melodious Quietly Quietly.

SOUTH AFRICA: Musical Mover & Shaker!
John EmpireDead Stars feat. Drunk Beggar Thief

Two honours students – hip hop artist John Empire backed by producer The English – created a meeting point between hip hop and indie influences that pushes the understanding of both genres. With their song Dead Stars, the added feature of Drunk Beggar Thief gives their sound an extra dimension. Their mixtape Drunken Night Make Up has recently been released and further shows off the duo’s range and diversity.

SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie
Asian ChairshotMask Dance

Asian Chairshot formed in 2011 and released their first official EP, Mask, in May this year. Equipped with drums, bass and guitar, the trio merges rock with Korean melodies in a powerful fashion, crafting a unique sound. Mask Dance starts out calmly but soon turns into a hard-hitting fest for the ears. The song’s refrain borrows the rhythm of traditional Korean mask dance.

SPAIN: Musikorner
Prisma CircusParadox

Prisma Circus was formed in September 2010 in Barcelona. Inspired by 70s psychedelia, with a lot of wahs and fuzz, they have toured Spain, Portugal and France, becoming the ambassadors of a new but old sound.

TURKEY: WEARTBEAT
Da PoetOther Side feat. Ince Sarj

Da Poet, one of the most showy producers in the Turkish hip hop scene, creates an innovative, sharp sound. He tries to connect with his audience just as much without speaking and expects listeners to pay attention to the instrumental parts of hip hop.

UNITED STATES: We Listen For You
KaleidicoPretty Panasonic Dear

Kaleidico is a band that has been around for a few years but, being perfectionists, scrutinized every detail before releasing their first album this month. It’s dreamy, smart, catchy and all too perfect for the summer moments creeping up on us.

VENEZUELA: Música y Más
Los MentasCacería (live)

Los Mentas formed in Caracas in 1998, influenced by punk and rockabilly from the early 50s, resulting in a fusion that went down well in the music scene in Venezuela. After six studio albums and 15 years of experience, they have released their first live album, Arriba Carajo!, recorded in the main rock bars of the country.


Music Alliance Pact – Februarie 2013

In aceasta luna ii avem pe cei de la Subumbra, o formatie de care am aflat recent, dar care m-a surprins.

ROMANIA: Babylon Noise
SubumbraGood People Are Rainbows
Subumbra started like an art audio-video project, a punk band made up of three brothers who recorded their lo-fi songs in a poor home studio. Recently, the project took a new direction as they began to use more electronic instruments and sampling. Subumbra is about taking the core of punk music and merging it with contemporary influences such as chillstep, dubstep and hip hop.

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 39-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie The OmelettesPerfect Wave The Omelettes’ sophomore album seeks to part from the 60s British sound of their first work and the result is something much more psychedelic and introspective. Perfect Wave is one of our favorite tracks from the new record, The Drawing & The Traveller. You can also watch a video of their song Mondays here. AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They? Them SwoopsToo Fast For Love Never trust a happy song, right? While Tame Impala are still trumping the globe with Lonerism and Gotye’s break-up song is STILL unfortunately stalking us everywhere, we do make mood-lifting songs here in Australia. Indie-pop ain’t a dirty word, especially when bands like Them Swoops make tracks like this. Too Fast For Love will probably sound like the first time you heard The Shins. Felt good, hey? We’re not such a sombre bunch after all. AUSTRIA: Walzerkönig Sex JamsShark Vs Apple The alternate girl/boy singing on Shark Vs Apple and its saucy, playful lyrics make it an instant favourite. Basically, the first single from the new Sex Jams album Trouble, Honey is what Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta would have sounded like had Grease been a noise-rock musical. Half of Sex Jams also play in May 2012’s MAP band and this year’s Eurosonic favourites Mile Me Deaf. BRAZIL: Meio Desligado SambanzoXangô Sambanzo is one of the projects of saxophonist Thiago França, also a member of Metá Metá and collaborator of artists such as Gui Amabis and Romulo Froes. Xangô is taken from the album Etiópia, which features some experimental music with strong influences of jazz, Candomblé, Afrobeat and rock. CANADA: Quick Before It Melts BarbarosaSinking West The title track of Barbarosa’s debut EP calls up images of the Wild West – rugged, romantic, ruthless and without rules. Sinking West’s menacing undertone is brightened by modern pop sensibilities, and the playing is fast and fierce. The full EP is available now on the band’s website. CHILE: Super 45 PerroskyA Mil Millas Perrosky, a duet formed by brothers Álvaro and Alejandro Gómez, offer a local interpretation of the music styles that gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll in the USA. Their fifth album Vivos is swarmed by distorted guitars, vocal effects and, of course, a great set of songs. Our highlight is the touching blues ballad A Mil Millas (“A Thousand Miles Away”), which depicts a man searching for himself but whose possibilities seem blocked to him. CHINA: Wooozy Tengger CavalryWar Horse Deeply influenced by the nomadic culture of north Asia, Tengger Cavalry’s music evokes ancient times when wandering warriors, steeds and wolves danced across the great grasslands. The melody of horse-head fiddle, the rhythm of heavy drum, the echo of Mongolian throat singing and the distortion of guitar all create an expressive scene of pagan culture. COLOMBIA: El Parlante Amarillo La PulpafonicCamelia Jam for the ears, that’s how we can describe the sound of La Pulpafonic. A project born in Bogotá, it aims to present Colombian folklore within a new context and a new flavor: the taste of the fruit pulp. Electronic sounds literally extracted from fruits, mixed with an eclectic explosion of dance rhythms from this century. From their first work released in 2012, we squeeze out the song Camelia. DENMARK: All Scandinavian Freja LoebW.O.M.D. Earlier this month Freja Loeb followed up her 2011 debut album Odyssey with the release of a new EP titled W.O.M.D. Where the album stood on the shoulders of the 1980s pop scene, the EP finds its sources of inspiration in the same decade’s rock scenes. Here’s the title track as a MAP exclusive. DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: La Casetera Las AcevedoCena En La Terraza Love is still in the air, after a Valentine’s Day full of fresh romantic tunes brought by several Ibero-American bands. Las Acevedo, the hippie twin sisters of folk, present this breezy love song about dining in terraces, chasing fireflies and packing away your significant other inside a trunk with flowers in their hair. ECUADOR: Plan Arteria Marley Muerto Dorado Salmon Violeta (featuring Frances Possieri) Marley Muerto is led by Daniel Pasquel, a musician and producer who was born on the same day that Bob Marley died. This project sees him play with a range of electronic sounds and collaborate with some important local artists. Pararmar is his debut album released while his band, Can Can, takes a break. ENGLAND: The Guardian Music Blog GNODVisions Of Load Taken from GNOD’s forthcoming album Chaudelande (released on February 25 by Rocket Recordings), Visions Of Load captures neatly – that is to say, powerfully and sprawlingly – the krautrockin’, shoegazin’, prog-metallic sludginess of this Salford band at their most freakily magnificent. “It recalls Can’s ga-ga go-go music while the singer yelps like Alan Vega doused in even more echo,” said our New Band of the Day writer, who nevertheless promised that, notwithstanding the far-out sonics and instrumental melee, you could still dance to it. He just didn’t specify what type of shoes you might need. ESTONIA: Rada7 Candy EmpireLucky Candy Empire is a new band founded late 2011 by restless multi-instrumentalist Ervin Trofimov of acclaimed experimental rock band Opium Flirt. Trofimov has previously recorded in various genres such as instrumental prog-rock, acoustic folk and electronic pop, but Candy Empire’s sound can be described as a futuristic version of Blondie with Neil Young on guitar. They have unveiled their new single Lucky with a colorful animated video. FINLAND: Glue HexvesselWoods To Conjure Inspired by the mysticism of Finnish nature, Hexvessel mixes an acoustic folk vibe with psychedelic and electric doom sounds, creating dense, spaced-out atmospherics. Woods To Conjure is included in the band’s second album No Holier Temple. Hexvessel will be heading to the SXSW festival in Texas in March. GERMANY: Coltran PollyesterConcierge D’Amour The most advanced band in Munich’s music scene is Pollyester. Although Polly Lapkovskaja and Manuel da Coll play in several other groups, the duo found a unique and remarkable style on their latest record Earthly Powers. Relying heavily on a groovy rhythm section with drums and bass, the rediscovered synths and Polly’s vocals add up to something between disco and New Wave, and has been met with critical acclaim. ICELAND: Rjóminn Morgan KaneNine Nine is a song about a guy trying to get to a girl to tell her that she was right and strong, when he was wrong. Morgan Kane’s songwriting is influenced by Serge Gainsbourg. INDIA: NH7 Apu And The DentistNo Messages For Rumi Apu And The Dentist is the experimental rock project of Mumbai-based duo Saurabh Roy and Achint Thakkar. With this track, which also features local musicians Suraj Manik, Jeremy D’Souza and Krishna Jhaveri, they have created a psychedelic rock soundscape. A debut EP is slated for release in 2013. INDONESIA: Deathrockstar Backwood SunSeven Shadows Backwood Sun is one of the most promising indie acts in Jakarta. The band are often described as an Indonesian version of Fleet Foxes, but even if they are heavily influenced by them, it doesn’t stop Backwood Sun making humble, honest music. IRELAND: Harmless Noise Girl BandWhy They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage Few could predict a post-punk version of a techno track that took its vocal sample from a hip hop song. This cover version, however, was recorded for the third and final Quompilation album of Irish bands’ favourite songs. Blawan’s original Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage is a psychotic, six-minute stamp through disturbia and the four males of Dublin’s Girl Band managed to eke out almost two extra minutes, using that time and their canny production values to flesh out and reanimate bare bones, breathing life through a spirited reiteration of the vocal hook. ITALY: Polaroid Brothers In Law(Shadow II) Leave Me Brothers In Law is a young three-piece band from Pesaro, on the always surprising Italian east coast. The dirt of the sea has sneaked dirty sounds into their songs. File under: dream-pop bandits, C86 catchers, Captured Tracks lovers. Brothers In Law just released their debut album Hard Times For Dreamers and they have been invited to play at next month’s SXSW. A dream coming true. JAPAN: Make Believe Melodies Hotel MexicoA.I. In Dreams Hotel Mexico, hailing from the historic city of Kyoto, have been one of the most chirped about bands in the Japanese indie scene for several years now. Many cite them as the first chillwave group in Japan, but that label does them a disservice. A.I. In Dreams, taken from new album Her Decorated Post Love, is laid-back but never lazy, the guitars creating a lush sound while voices dart by in the back. It is a song rich in detail, something this outfit excels at. MALTA: Stagedive Malta The SuburbaniteBlow My Mind The Suburbanite is the project of Maltese-Canadian Robert Pisani, backed by a floating collective involving a number of other local band members who have helped shape their sound. A Field Guide To The Suburbanite is a seven-song collection which embraces the spirit and naivety of the past; a frolic on the beach, the first love, Saturday nights indoors… all with hummable melodies. Listening to that debut EP is like taking a walk through Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, without the Oompa-Loompas chanting those annoying moralising ditties. MEXICO: Red Bull Panamérika 60 TigresPicoso One of the country’s best live acts, 60 Tigres started as a six-piece in 2005 in the northern city of Monterrey and has had many member variations since then. They mix Latin grooves with great melody lines, sparkling keyboards and the heritage of early-90s strident indie guitars. Take a chance with their anthemic, danceable new single Picoso. NETHERLANDS: Subbacultcha! APRILThe Rise And Fall Of A Beautiful Bird Last year I had the privilege to witness APRIL’s first ever gig. Amidst the seedy rock ‘n’ roll crowd this enigmatic duo generated plenty of attention – both frontwoman and man rockin’ high heels while channelling Bowie-esque vibes like it was nobody’s business. On stage it soon became clear that their originality did not stop at their taste in fashion, combining drum computers with reverberant guitar melodies, groovy basslines and intricate, contrasting vocals. With their new single, due to be released on February 23 via Subroutine Records, APRIL has replaced their drum machine for a real drummer and their melodramatic side for a sound that embodies the same confidence they project in a live setting. PERU: SoTB Rafo RáezLos Regalos Del Viento Rafo Ráez has been creating songs since high school, with his catchy compositions making him one of the most beloved musicians in Peru. With eight albums under his belt, Rafo’s music has gone through rock, trova, punk and Peruvian folklore. And with a penchant for poetry, they have also been part of theater plays. POLAND: Łukasz Kuśmierz Weblog Południce vs. Liquid MollyDolina, Dolinuszka Południce are a female vocal group who sing traditional, folklore, Polish and Ukrainian (sometimes Belarusian) songs. On their album Południce / Elektronice, they couple these with modern electronic productions from guest musicians – Dolina, Dolinuszka features heavy bass beats from Liquid Molly. If you think about it logically it should result in disaster, but it is in fact majestic. PORTUGAL: Posso Ouvir Um Disco? Little FriendSunken Low John Almeida is not a freshman as a musician or a composer. Before this first solo single, he played with some major Portuguese indie artists (The Weatherman, We Trust) who, as a sign of friendship, have returned their gratitude by appearing on his first solo record. The video for Sunken Low was directed by Lewis Arnold and has Jo Hartley (This Is England, Dead Man’s Shoes, The Young Victoria) as the protagonist. PUERTO RICO: Puerto Rico Indie Los PepiniyozEntre Las Paredes Los Pepiniyoz have been making their brand of high-energy, melodic punk for more than a decade now – writing songs that reach for the heart without losing any attitude. Throughout the years the band has served as a sort of workshop for a lot of local rockers and now, after a long hiatus, have returned to the boricua scene with a new line-up and a solid three-song EP. Entre Las Paredes is the catchiest tune of the bunch and will probably make you lust for new material from Los Pepiniyoz. RUSSIA: Big Echo Dasha ShultsKite Dasha Shults, a 16-year-old wonder from Saint-Petersburg, has taken her first steps from covering her favorites by Ellie Goulding and Laura Marling to making her own simple, beautiful songs. She sings about kites, nightmares and, of course, love. SCOTLAND: The Pop Cop Kevin HarperKingdom Of Wires Influenced by warm, fuzzy guitar bands of the American West Coast, Kevin Harper first appeared in the Music Alliance Pact in March 2011 under the guise of Little Eskimos, a solo project that evolved into a group. He’s back on his own again, not that you could tell from this talented multi-instrumentalist’s canny knack of sounding like a full band is at work. Mr Harper is probably one of the most accomplished pop songwriters in Scotland, yet he’s still little-known in his native land. If there’s any justice, his forthcoming debut solo album Kingdom Of Wires should change all that. SINGAPORE: I’m Waking Up To… HalcyonBuilding With Sticks One of the artists we’ve got on our radar this year is Halcyon (Zhong Ren Koh), who’s managed to come out just a little more broken in Singapore’s cookie cutter society. We love the singer-songwriter, and we love even more that Halcyon has broken out from that particular mould to become an emerging multi-instrumentalist. His arrangements are delicate and achingly heartfelt – sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t, but it’s more real than most of the crap out there. SOUTH KOREA: Korean Indie From The AirportColors Electro rock duo From The Airport formed in 2012 and they’re not afraid to throw other genres in the mix. Second single Everyone’s Alright was released last month but here we get to hear them as they first came out with electro-pop debut single Colors, which brought the two producers plenty of positive attention when it was unleashed in October. SPAIN: Musikorner MegaafoníaSeñor Gutiérrez Formed in 2005, Megaafonía have been active until this month, when they decided to split due to creative differences, although they will remain friends. They released two albums, Despechado and Tutto, and we will certainly miss their fresh pop (influenced by the likes of ELO, Xavier Cugat and Bom Bom Chip) and their irreverent and highly ironic lyrics. SWEDEN: Ja Ja Ja Dödens DalBakom Stjärnor, Bakom Tiden Dödens Dal is a duo with a fingertip feel and fondness for gloomy, instrumental and really rather mind-boggling electronica. They first came to our attention last year with their brilliantly dark debut single Det Står Skrivet, and now they’re back with the pitch-black follow-up Bakom Stjärnor, Bakom Tiden. Both tracks come from the album Gå Ensam Förbi Horisonten, released this month via Flora & Fauna. SWITZERLAND: 78s Last Leaf DownFake Lights In The Sky Last Leaf Down is a shoegaze outfit from Solothurn. Heavenly, ethereal sounds and distinct, dreamy vocals make them deserving of your attention. Here’s their new track Fake Lights In The Sky. TURKEY: WEARTBEAT BaykuşGel Yeter Baykuş (once known as Kaotik) comes from the grey city of Ankara where our grunge acts always sprout fertile. Anatolian tunes bound up with post-grunge styling are common but Baykuş succeed in making their sound more solid and more garage-like. Gel Yeter is catchy enough to start a pogo party on its own. UNITED STATES: We Listen For You The Long WivesThe Hollow Fin The Long Wives’ standout track The Hollow Fin is deceivingly gentle. The softly-plucked guitar and the eased restraint of the vocals invite the listener to get close to the speaker and its warm, wispy, radiant sounds. But there’s more to this track than meets the ear. Like most great pieces of art that explore the juxtaposition between surface appearances and the evils that can lurk below, the power comes from an unidentifiable element onto which the listener just can’t seem to put their finger. VENEZUELA: Música y Más Los ParanoiasNo Hace Falta After almost two years of absence, Los Paranoias return to the scene with No Hace Falta, a single released last month and the first cut of their next studio album Que Se Activen Las Alarmas, scheduled to come out in the coming months.


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