Monthly New Music Roundup
We like new music around here. Here are the five emerging artists we can’t stop listening to right now.
Bernard + Edith
Somewhere there is a red velvet curtain in a cave. Swathed in a thick layer of reverb and dry ice comes something beautiful and lonely. Oriental metallic chimes and soft pulses, old drum machines, the sound of rain and white noise. Unfurling and blooming out through that space – a voice. Here are two Mancunians making real dark pop on the Cocteau Twins’ Bella Union imprint alongside Beach House, Ballet School and Fleet Foxes.
Their debut LP Jem is out now and floats as close to Fever Ray as it does to charming Japanese B-movie soundtracks that were made on early synthesisers – a strange world inspired by one heart-breaking glimmer in the eyes of singer Edith’s pet dog, after whom the album is named.
Julee Cruise / Avery Tare
Chrononautz’ sound is techno in its loosest form, but also its most exciting. Using tough, livewire electronics to weave a rich tapestry of twisting, unhinged sonics, Leeds based duo Dom Clare and Leon Carey previously played as part of mid-00s experimental trio Chops, and though they’ve left the art rock eccentricity behind, they still embrace some of its primitive qualities.
Evident of their background in the DIY punk scene, the pair embrace chaos to jam out raw techno oddness. More unruly than the live techno workouts of the likes of Karenn and Blacknecks, this telepathic improvisation has birthed their latest, jerking, sprawling LP Noments. Having just seen a release on The Quietus’ label, it rapidly evolves and wildly unfurls over its continuous 32-minute stretch, in true Chrononautz style.
Truss / HDMZ
Artificial Flower Company
It’s not every month we find our- selves writing a new music column about a group who have already recorded 29 albums and a compi- lation of “early works” but to heck with it, that’s exactly what we’re about to do. You see, sometimes, longevity and prolificness are not mutually exclusive.
Artificial Flower Company have only been about since 2013 (at the very earliest) and the Salt Lake City collective – led by the mysterious A. Mitchell – have already dropped 30 full length albums on Bandcamp. Their music is an eclectic mix of folk-pop, lo-fi meanderings and psychedelic gems. There’s a lot to trudge through here and don’t expect to fall in love instantly but if you search hard enough you’ll find what you’re looking for.
The Olivia Tremor Control / Of Montreal
Douglas Dare can be best likened to a younger, cuter James Blake with stronger vocals and less bass. Having supported contemporary classical giants Nils Frahm and Ólafur Arnalds last year, Dare’s one of the newest additions to avant-garde label Erased Tapes – home to Rival Consoles, Kiasmos and ambient duo A Winged Victory For The Sullen.
Equipped with the sparse, timely accompaniment of producer-percussionist Fabian Prynn, Dare reveals a depth and timelessness that is not overwhelmed by the clichés and banalities attributed to modern-day ivory tinkling. Dare’s debut album Whelm entwines finely engineered piano with beautifully crafted lyrics, and while both gaining approval from the scarf-wearing overlords and the music-loving masses, has also been remixed by the likes of electronic contemporaries Throwing Snow and Rival Consoles. Evocative simplicity at its finest.
Son Lux / Nils Frahm
Baby-faced Norwegian beat-creator Erik Spanne (aka Drippin) experiments in and around the various gaps between grime, trap, hip-hop, dub, techno, garage… you get the picture.
His 2014 EP Silver Cloak is indicative of the rigidity that marks out a Drippin production (stark, icy, tribal rhythms with satisfyingly heavy drops punched throughout), but Drippin doesn’t keep all his beats for himself – the young producer made beats for bop-star duo Sicko Mobb’s mixtape Mulah in May, for example, and he worked on outspoken rapper Le1f’s Coins back in 2013.
More recently, he’s been picked as part of RBMA’s Class of 2015, co-run and DJed wildly popular Oslo club night Ball Em Up, and appeared alongside Novelist in NYC in July. It’s an impressive roll call of achievements for an artist that seems inevitably on the way up.
Evian Christ / Fatima Al Qadiri