BETS has already scored many kudos for their singles “Don’t Give a F#CK” and “Jenny”, and now the all-female dream pop band is unveiling their new single, “Free Tonight”. The song is a longing wish for the freedom of people doing the good work of political and cultural activism who today are imprisoned in one form or another. BET’s voice mesmerizes as it lulls us into a full dream state with her, as the gentle, warm, optimistic melodies wash over us. It’s a much-needed dose of hope and empathy that we need in these harsh and most unempathetic times.
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Dutch producer Lodewijk Fluttert (a.k.a. Bakermat) is known for his minimalist style of electronic music that draws in soul and jazz influences. Bakermat has released a number of successful singles since his debut in 2012, including “Vandaag”, which went platinum in Germany. He began creating music at 18 whilst attending the University of Utrecht, where he discovered his love for deep house. This year, he plans to release a series of singles that began earlier this year with “Games”. Now Bakermat is back with “Ballade”, a tune that shows off his versatility in that it’s less of a dance tune than a beautiful pop ballad, stripped down and pure. That suggests Bakermat is continuing to broaden his sound as he builds towards greater success.
California’s Xu Xu Fang create dark and mesmerizing pysch rock music full of swirling textures, ethereal female vocals and hard-charging rhythms. It’s an intoxicating and fresh sound meant for the night, either dancing at a club or chilling out at home. Xu Xu Fang’s music is flat-out beautiful and essential. Tomorrow the group will release their debut album, Daylong Secret, via the Sound Ranch, following major success with a series of splendid EPs. Rooted in psych rock, Xu Xu Fang will also appeal to electronic and dance music fans as they manage to channel a Massive Attack/Portishead vibe. Highly recommended.
Portugal’s Sinistro delivers an eerie and beautifully unsettling track with “Semente”, the title tune of the group’s upcoming full-length. A dark and unsettling music bed that summons memories of Antimatter, Portishead or Ulver’s stopover in the realm of motion picture soundtracks while vocalist Patricia Andrade evokes even more mystery with her seductive and deeply emotive voice.
The song is derived from an improvisation the band conducted in the final hours of the writing stages. Andrade improvised the lyrics and recorded three takes though the first, as it happened, was the one that made the album. Director José Dinis conceived the slow-motion sequence shot which took a little more effort to get right than the song itself, although the visual results are equally stunning.
Chicago’s Waco Brothers released their latest album, Going Down in History, last week and previous to that, we had the pleasure of premiering the album’s first single, “Had Enough”, in audio form. Now the band has released a beautifully shot lyric video for the song, which goes well beyond the standard lyric video and feels a lot more like a short film. Chicago filmmaker Dave Anderson made the video and filled it with intense imagery to match the tune’s visceral anger over income inequality. The thing is that we need this brand of outraged, but hooky UK punk very much in these troubled times. The tune manages to channel Joe Strummer every so often and the visual energy of the video matches up perfectly with Waco Brothers’ having “had enough”.