With her third album Danish electro-pop Chanteuse Oh Land continues her crusade to conquer the international charts. While her last, self titled album leaned towards the dancefloor (clearly departing from the melancholic chamber-pop of her debut) this one awaits with twice the opulence and catchiness. But the minimalism and playfulness of earlier days are not lost – they are just perfectly intertwined with the pop exuberance that is so en vogue these days. “Wish Bone” is a worthy follow up and a stepstone for the ever growing success of this unique artist.
One half of AIR, Jean-Benoit Dunckel, and Icelandic producer Barði Jóhannsson, also known as Bang Gang, teamed up under the name Starwalker for an audiovisual experiment, as they call it. “Bad Weather” is the first song this new duo releases, featuring Franco-Dutch singer Karen Ann. The accompanying video was shot in the north of Iceland, spotlighting an astonishing, haunted landscape, perfectly fitting the hopeful melancholy of the music. Let’s hope those two don’t take too much time with their album.
Folk Music is an ubiquitous commodity these days, oozing out of every speaker and flooding every playlist, so sifting chaff from the wheat is a full time job – one that we love to do. But there are these bands who are always guaranteed to deliver a unique take on such a common ground. Enter Tunng, who recently released their fifth album “Turbines” and deliver a both catchy and off-beat folk epic meets chamber electronica masterpiece. It’s one of those rare offerings where simplicity unfolds a manifold richness of texture in your arachnoid mater.
Well, the last album of the month became an album for three months, but a look at our home page will show you, that I was very busy and could not return to my little column earlier. But I return with an amazing album from one half of indie darlings Hype Williams. Dean Blunt, who released his debut solo album “The Narcissist II” last year, follows up with the enigmatic “The Redeemer”, a kind of audio drama in its truest sense. Folky pop songs are mixed with electronic sound collages, vocals and noises play an equal role – an artsy experiment or just the blueprint of how pop music has to sound these days, you decide!
Brandt Brauer Frick release their third studio album and its exactly what you expected and hoped it to be. At least when you expected it to move a little bit away from the minimality and straightness of the first two albums and to become a more versatile version of what Brandt Brauer Frick do. The rhythms are twisted in any direction from time to time, while the structures move from dance-tracks to songs and beyond. If the older albums showed the fans of digital music that you can dance to analogue music, too, than this album shows these people what analogue instruments are able to achieve.
Usually gracing the world’s clubs as a Deep House DJ with the name Red Rack’em, Scottish producer Danny Berman decided to change his name to Hot Coins for his first studio album. But since for that release he moved from House to No-Wave infused Funk and Disco, its only logical to change the name, too. And so “The Damage Is Done” became a debut album proving a man’s year long dedication to and knowledge of dance music: a somehow nerdy affair sparking geek emotions.
While their neighbours, the Swedes, look back at a long history of internationally successful pop music, the Finns only recently realized that songs in English might get by far more attention than songs in Finnish. Enter Sin Cos Tan with their self-titled debut album, a new band formed by two of Finland’s most successful electronic artists, Juho Paalosmaa and Jori Hulkkonen. Their Synth-Pop is a dark, emotionally evocative mixture of Pet Shop Boys and New Order and the album a perfectly crafted cinematic journey. To get a better impression of what this means we provide you with a full stream of the album and 200 free downloads of “In Binary” for you.
Hugo Manuel’s debut album as Chad Valley is often being criticized for its schmaltzy and cheesy sound, wading deep in late 80s and early 90s synth-pop and R’n’B. Well, that might be true for anyone not caring for some drama and nostalgia in their pop albums. But these people probably have not even liked “Relayted” and thus shouldn’t bother us. In my opinion “Young Hunger” is a perfectly crafted pop album, graced by some magnificent artist like Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Glasser and Twin Shadow. These names alone are proof that this album is a prime example of contemporary pop.
Copenhagen’s Efterklang are a marvelous live band you shouldn’t miss on their upcoming tour. While a trio in the studio the number of band members increases to seven people on stage. And that’s definitely what they need for the complex sound-scapes their melancholic pop songs are built from. The latest album “Piramida” is a little less quirky than its predecessor “Magic Chairs” and instead banks on reduced coolness. From time to time you even think, that this is the album that “Coexist” should have been.
Eugene McGuinnes might seem to be a reborn mod, but on his second solo album he’s trying to walk in the shoes of such diverse artists as Morrissey and Robbie Williams. On his last album Eugene looked like a Pete Townshend double and perfectly emulated the Blues-Rock sound of The Who. But on “The Invitation to A Voyage” the guitars are spiced up with Synths (and sometimes even drum machines): the result is an irresistible pop-gem, still influenced by Blues-Rock.