Gaya is an India-born, Dubai-based artist that has the talent and smarts to add weirdness and mystery to contemporary pop singing. I agree with Beehype when they compare her to the likes of Björk, Joanna Newsom, and Fiona Apple.
Her new music video for “The Bous Who Cried Love” is understated and beautiful.
Modern Guns is an Indonesian melodic hardcore punk band based in Depok in the West Java province. Its new album, The Place Where I Left You (Armstretch Records), is worth the listen if you’re into Brand New, and you should be into Brand New (because they’re great!). You can check out the album on Spotify and iTunes as well.
The blend of emo, ambience, and punk works well here, whereas most bands fumble at sounding melodic and aggressive at the same time. Keep your eyes and ears out for more Modern Guns music coming out hopefully soon.
Lutendo Muthala, aka King Lutendo, is a rapper, producer, illustrator, and designer from Venda, a former republic and Bantustan and now a province located in northern South Africa. His latest release, Electric Jungle, is 10 tracks of driving rap, with a sort of production that refuses to be simple. The results are compelling, Muthala is an artist I’m excited to now follow.
“I approach the way I make music the exact same way I paint,” Lutendo tells The African Hip Hop Blog, “I like for the overall sound (and not just the lyrics) to be as expressive as possible, almost like the music version of Basquiat. If I had to put it into a word I would describe the sound as cinematic. I like to imagine I’m creating art film soundtracks when I make music, with the story already told in the lyrics.”
Mikko Joensuu‘s “There Used To Be A Darkness” is the first taste of the Finnish musician’s upcoming album, Amen 2, the second of an album trilogy all named Amen (Amen 1, Amen 2, and Amen 3). As the name suggests, the music evokes a sort of spiritual serenity with its glowing electronic ambience. But then a Stone Roses-like groove kicks in and you feel like you’re in a Jason Bourne movie trailer.
If Joensuu can make 11-minutes seem like not enough time for a song, then I can’t wait to hear the rest of Amen 2.
Santa Martha’s El Otro Grupo (The Other Group) is making the best music that 2007 Radiohead isn’t making anymore. The music video for “Fragmento” (“Fragment”) is as bleak and dreamy as In Rainbows, with fluttering guitar riffs gliding along soaring vocals under a rock drummer’s impression of trip-hop as we travel backwards in time to remove all the slime and glitter off that dude.
According to Beehype, “Fragmento” is the second single off the Colombian trio’s upcoming second record. Stay tuned for new music, and make sure to check out all their past music on SoundCloud.
Israeli-born Liraz Charhi takes the music of her parents’ homeland of Iran and adds her own modern flair inspired by psychedelia and hip-hop. “Nozi Nozi” starts off with a familiar Middle Eastern oud and keyboard line with the steady percussion driving Charhi’s excellent singing. But halfway through the song, the groove changes to some lava lamp groove with just the drums and vocals. And then the beat changes again to some hip-hop beat that still matches Charhi’s voice.
Taken all together, “Nozi Nozi” sounds like something Tame Impala would sample. And speaking of Tame Impala, she does an excellent cover of “Elephant.”
According to her Bandcamp, expect a new release September 5th.
Singapore punk rock band Standover walks the line between punk rock and full-on metal. The sound is self-described “Japanese style skate-punk,” which, from listening to A new Chapter, sounds like punk music that’s as aggressive as possible without losing a sense of melody. If you’re a fan of Saves The Day and other heavier emo bands, you’ll love this band.
These songs are technically just demos, but they’re still fun to listen and, dare I say, skate to. Watch the video teaser here. Keep watch for a new full release hopefully soon.
Accra rapper Worlasi‘s “One Life” is a calm, introverted, and beautiful 7-minute track that’s part rap and part hymn. Six Strings’ acoustic guitar plucks to a train-like drum, shuffling along as the Ghana rapper looks at the world moving around him and wondering out loud what it all means in a melodic, auto-tuned voice similar to Kanye West’s own moody lament, 808s & Heartbreak.
From Beehype: “‘One Life’ is probably the most extraordinary and multifaceted video to have emerged out of Ghanian music scene this year yet…what stands out most are Worlasi’s melancholic, auto-tuned, and multi-layered verses contrasted with the heartening part of Sena Dagadu. She literally pops up in the fifth minute of the video (directed by Abstrakte Films), and she changes the mood entirely.”
“You only got one life to live / If you happen to have a good one, be grateful”
Bandcamp Daily did a great profile on the Paris-based rock group Dead Pirates and how it transformed from a fake cartoon band into a real band. I recommend reading the entire profile as you check out the music video for “Ugo” below.
The group began as musical accompaniment for a music video by French illustrator Matthieu Bessudo (known as Mcbess). At first Mcbess did all the music, but soon he recruited other members and began touring the music. A side project turned into a full-time gig.
“It was strange,” Mcbess tells Bandcamp. “I went to South America to do an exhibition, and a friend of mine there was into some good music and said it would be easy to set up a tour. He landed us like six or seven dates.”
Highmare is the group’s debut LP. The “Ugo” music video features Mcbess’ trademark Max Fleischer-inspired artwork as the video is some sort of twisted adult spin on the classic animation.
Carioca label Transfusão Noise Records is one of Brazil’s best sources for lo-fi and alternative music. The label’s ongoing “Cassete Club” series through its Escritório extension is worth going through to find all new Brazilian indie music.
Felipe Neiva’s “Conte Comigo” is the latest single from the series that stands out to me. Starting out as a pleasant fuzzy indie jam (at first it sounds like Interpol’s “NYC”), the song grows into something exciting and uniquely Brazilian.
I love what Club Fonograma has to say on the song: “This third offering comes from Felipe Neiva, an artist that caught our attention thanks to his song’s somber, wounded spirit laced in affecting guitars. The track initially offers pure indie rock which then timehops back into a 60s freak out, a move that works because it places the vocal’s garbled pleas in the proper context.”
We’re due for a new Felipe Neiva EP later this year, so stay tuned.