There is no better way to get over hump day then your weekly injection of Cloud 9, bringing you the best sounds from across the “Cloud of Sound”. There was no shortage of new music this week as we brought you new tracks from Abra [‘Crybaby‘], Macca Wiles [‘Gwaup‘], Kavale [‘West Drive‘], A2 [‘Holograms‘]. The UK scene was out in force with Eklipse bringing through the vibes with The Haze Cassette EP and Mark Asari delivering the visuals for ‘Let Me‘. We also had the pleasure of premiering some music with Lily Kiing [‘Love & Shit‘] and Jo Jordan [‘Bounce‘] giving us new tracks. But with every new week comes a new selection of track, so sit back, plug-in and relax as we present;
L Ø S T C U L T U R E | Cloud 9: 033.
1. Junior Empire – West Coast
Get acquainted with London debutants Junior Empire who pack a pop punch with first drop ‘West Coast‘. Step into their kaleidoscope world of nonchalant, breezy vocals and dream like piano dripping over a hard hitting, powerful 90s drum beat. Bursting into full bloom with a chorus supercharged with simmering guitar, euphoric violins and dirtied sunshine synths. With more songs to follow shortly, the London 5-piece promise to share some instantly infectious pop tunes in the build-up to their debut EP out later this year. Speaking about West Coast, the band said “We wrote this one about our first time living in LA. Open roads and the underlying feeling that nothing is permanent and a vacuous future of endless opportunity awaits. In other words when uve just become single….“
2. Maya Killtron – Never Dance Alone
Some things don’t die and funk is one of those things. Toronto’s Maya Killtron, a trained classical violinist and jazz arranger who loves to sing funk and soul and now she has gone into the lost early-80s version of the genre with her joyous new song ‘Never Dance Alone‘. It’s a throwback of the highest degree, with sunny horns, scratchy guitar, and Maya’s brassy vocals leading the way to disco nirvana. The song comes after a run of successful releases with NYC’s Tropical House DJ’s Love Taps, and ‘Never Dance Alone‘ returns to her roots in Funk, Pop and R&B.’ The track is a different kind of summer anthem; a throwback to dances, neighbourhood block parties where people just got down.
3. Leena Ojala – Hey Ya!
To be honest, downtempo covers of high tempo songs are some of the coolest types of covers out there. On one hand, the lyrics and general melody are the same, but the covers that really go outside of the box completely transform a song from fast and poppy to a genuine, stripped back classic. A moody, mid-tempo synth-pop rendition, Leena Ojala’s ‘Hey Ya!‘ is more wistful than funky-fresh. Combining the South London artist’s astral vocals and frosty trip-hop production, the cover creates a sense of cerebral atmosphere; a dreamscape of synths and trap-lite beats. Leena shared that while working with producer Benbrick, they “went for a completely different sound and feel, keeping it uptempo but changing the emotion from happy to that of dreamy or reminiscing the past.”
4. Lovestarrs – Drop Dead Gorgeous
Lovestarrs aka Sarah McIntosh [vocals] and her brother Hamish [bass and synths] are back to tease us with a taste of their debut album in the form of lead single ‘Get Your Sexy On‘, which has released earlier this month. B-side ‘Drop Dead Gorgeous‘ supports the track in an equally lighthearted manner, slowly revealing a straight woman’s interest in another girl through an anthemically indie “Stacey’s Mom” vibe. No strangers to the unexpected, in a former incarnation the band had a string of European hits and were praised by the likes of The Guardian, NME, Clash and The 405, but received a crushing blow when their album was shelved prior to its already confirmed release with Parlophone/EMI. Now, with the backing of artist-empowering label DEFDISCO, Sarah and Hamish are back with a vengeance – and nothing will stop them this time.
5. Saint Clair – Heavy On My Heart
Saint Clair, is the latest release through Kieron McIntosh‘s fledgling Wunderkind imprint, which launched with Pigeons & Planes and Disco Naivete-approved soul talent Obenewa. Saint Clair’s immersive new tune ‘Heavy On My Heart‘ finds the French-speaking Londoner once again working [as she did on impressive debut ‘Sailing‘] with Ninja Tune‘s Raffertie & Ben Jones on production duties. Currently touring as part of Laura Marling‘s live band, Saint Clair isn’t giving much away ahead of her own live debut later this month, beyond a fondness for the work of Son Lux & James Blake, bolstered by her previous stints singing alongside the likes of Kwabs and Ghostpoet.
6. Skott – Porcelain
Skott grew up in a forest commune run by outcast folk musicians, we’re told, not hearing contemporary music until her mid-teens when she visited the city for the first time. Whatever the context, ‘Porcelain‘ is an impressive debut, a stomping effort with a memorable chorus and that edgy hint of darkness that many of our favorite Scandinavian pop artists do so well. With a chilling vocal, recalling Norwegian starlet Emilie Nicolas, Skott paints a beautifully bucolic picture complete with fairy-tale-esque, layered refrain and flute punctuation, pulled from the aforementioned folk upbringing. There’s a fragility in this debut effort that is somehow undercut by a subtextual confidence from a new artist we are bound to see a lot more from in near future.
7. r e l – Factory
r e l is a 20 year old artist based out of Los Angeles. r e l ’s music radiates emotion, embodying what she calls “evoca-pop”– music that makes you think and feel– and what has been labeled by music-tastemakers and fans as dream pop/alternative r&b. This past May she released her debut self-titled EP containing the upbeat, ever popular track, ‘Plateau‘. r e l ’s music has been featured on notable blogs such as MTV Iggy, Hilly Dilly, BaebleMusic and Impose Magazine. r e l has played at several historic venues throughout the Los Angeles area including Echo, Satellite, and The Mint, along with playing industry showcases including the DL at Dirty Laundry and BMI’s songwriter showcase. She has been working nonstop on new music and visuals for her upcoming full length album, to be released in late 2016.
8. JONES – Melt
25-year-old London born chanteuse JONES announces brand new single ‘Melt‘ which has been co-written and produced by HONNE, will be released 29th July on 37 Adventures. ‘Melt‘ is taken from JONES’ forthcoming debut album New Skin, due for release 2016. New Skin has come together thanks to JONES’ work with some incredible studio talents; Lana Del Rey collaborator Justin Parker, Savages producer and xx mixer Rodaidh McDonald, Two Inch Punch, XO, Oceaan and the enigmatic A.K. Paul as well as aforementioned HONNE. ‘Melt‘ is starkly modern, electronic soul with a pop direction. It takes the boldness of Pharrell Williams’ style of production fused with the darkness and wildness of artists like Little Dragon.
9. Tobi Lou – Hopefully
Tobi Lou, formerly known as Wonda, has dropped his first track of 2016, ‘Hopefully‘. Tugging on our vulnerable heart strings, the Chicago Californian sings,”I need you more than I would like to admit, I love you so much, shit just doesn’t make sense“. The four minute track is impressively dynamic and encompasses two different sides of Lou’s talent. ‘Hopefully‘ works as both a love song and a woozy afterparty anthem, which is an accomplishment in itself. Lou alternates between rapping and singing about a faded relationship all while trying to bury his feelings and find the remedy for lost love. This is probably why ‘Hopefully‘ has the potential to provoke two reactions when you listen: turning up or turning down.
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