Australian/German singer-songwriter Christa Vi will be releasing her latest EP Makeshift Happiness on 25 September, which puts a darker, more contemporary spin on both electropop, vintage disco, and R&B. Her brooding new video for the sultry title track only brings that mood out further. And no, she’s not the one miming the song in the video, but rather the bartender at the beginning. Either way, this track (and video) is a keeper.
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Having moved from Tokyo to Boston and since graduated from the Berklee College of Music, Emergency Tiara has steadily shown great promise with each new track she’s put out. The kind of amorphous musician who can shift from orchestral pop to vintage Motown in a heartbeat, her songs are playful yet deftly crafted, as you can hear on the vibrant soul track “When I Grow Up”.
It’s refreshing to hear experimental music that celebrates pop music in all its rosy-hued glory, with nary a trace of preciousness, pretentiousness, or irony. While Jonathan Rauberts and Kristen Sonntag bring a fair bit of experimentation to their music as Surrender the Spirit, any sonic bells and whistles serve the music, which can be a delicate line for any musician to walk. On their new EP Premonition the hook reigns supreme, but just like ABBA had a real progressive bent 40 years ago—something not many people are aware of today—there’s an open-mindedness to adventure that makes this record, which you can listen to below, all the more charming.
French pianist and composer Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch is set to release her debut album Like Water Through the Sand 13 November on 139701, the experimental arm of the esteemed UK record label FatCat. The beautiful “Strelka” can be heard below, and as Levienaise-Farrouch explains, it brings resolution and optimism to the record.
Kevin Korber: Honestly, Chromatics’ next album could be Kill For Love, Part 2 and I would still be solidly on board. Fortunately, Johnny Jewel is a smarter and better songwriter than that, and “Shadow” indicates one of those subtle reinventions that highlights aspects of his music that listeners hadn’t thought about before. Even if “Shadow” is a one-off, it’s one worth having on “repeat” for the next few weeks. [9/10]