PM Picks the Best New Songs: LVRA, Princess Century, CLAVVS, Jodie Nicholson + ISLA

The PM Picks playlist features the best new songs. Today, we feature LVRA, Princess Century, CLAVVS, Jodie Nicholson, and ISLA.

Hear all of this music on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.

LVRA – “Nightmare”

Chinese-Scottish electropop artist Rachel Lu goes by the LVRA moniker (pronounced Loo-Rah) and blends East Asian sounds into her sumptuous and alluring electronic musical world. Incorporating hip-hop, R&B, and big beats, “Nightmare” highlights LVRA‘s broad influences. The 20-year-old producer and songwriter throws together dynamic contrasts with delicate vocals under “attack” from heavy beats while moody textures expand and contract. Her ongoing experimental approach makes every LVRA song a thing of excitement. You never know which direction LVRA will take in a new song, but she always brings visceral thrills along for the ride.

Princess Century – “Still the Same”

Maya Postepski, better known as Princess Century, is a prolific composer of film music, a DJ with worldwide gigs, and a producer for artists like Austra and Peaches. Her second solo LP, s u r r e n d e r, is releasing on 1 October via Paper Bag Records, and it’s full of warm and richly detailed synthpop. “Still the Same” sports a clean, uncluttered arrangement with bubbly synth lines and a little drum beat propelling the song’s forward motion.

“It’s a feeling album, not a thinking album,” says Postepski. “Still the Same” examines the heartbreak at the end of a relationship. “The longing and frustration, hopelessness and desire fused into a confusing cocktail. The inescapable need to feel held and seen by the one you were closest to, but can no longer reach, then pretending it’s all ok by going out on the town in a desperate attempt for connection,” says Postepski.

CLAVVS – “Get You Home”

Brooklyn indie-electropoppers CLAVVS are releasing their new album, O, this week, and it’s not to be missed. Amber Renee and Graham Marsh make dreamy and luscious synthpop, as on their recent single, “Get You Home”. Renee’s voice is strong and melodic and so effective that it becomes another instrument in the hazy sexiness of the track. Gentle syncopated percussion adds a funky groove and makes this track a perfect excuse for cuddling on the dancefloor, or as the song suggests, going home together for more personal expressions of love.

“The question became, how do we make CLAVVS songs that we can dance to and smile to?” Renee says. “We really wanted to challenge ourselves to make something we had never made before, something that, for a long time, didn’t feel at home to us. We didn’t know how to write happy songs that felt genuine.” 

Jodie Nicholson – “Why Would You (Go)”

British indie-pop singer-songwriter Jodie Nicholson possesses a delicate and wistful voice capable of exceptionally lighting up warm and emotional music. On her new single, “Why Would You (Go)”, those mesmerizing vocals pair with gentle roiling synth waves, piano notes, and harmonies, creating a trance-like and chill vibe. Her music is a form of electronic folk-pop that spotlights the vocals to amp up the warmth levels and enhance the relatability of the lyrics.

Nicholson says the song is “about knowing a relationship is no good for you, but as soon as you see them, you’re like ‘how could I possibly leave?’. [It’s] a conversation I had with myself time and time again. You’ll hear clips of me driving, talking to myself in my car, which became a safe space for me to voice how I was feeling without ever having to admit anything to anyone else.”

ISLA – “Break the Fall”

Continuing the electropop theme of this particular column, South Africa’s ISLA is a new and emerging voice in the poppier realms of electronic music. “Break the Fall” is her very single, and it stands out as distinctive from the pack due to the engaging mood of the song and ISLA’s warm, strong, empathic voice. The track looks at the difficulties inherent in a long-distance relationship. She assures herself that she will be OK as time moves on, and it’s better to have loved than not. But the pain is real, and ISLA examines her full range of emotions. Along with the heart-felt lyrical depth, “Break the Fall” sports a memorable and melancholy chorus that shows her skill in composing a hook.

“I wrote ‘Break the Fall’ as an outlet to express all the mixed emotions I was experiencing whilst in a long-distance relationship. There were times where I felt nearly hopeless, and songwriting was a way for me to deal with the pain of missing someone I truly care about- you really have to learn to trust each other. The simple act of being in love is worth it all,” says ISLA.

Hear all of this music on the PM Picks Spotify playlist.