With their debut EP slated for release next month, Gothenburg’s School ’94 pulls shades of the ’80s into the EP’s title track “Like You.” The melodic, soft-focused riffs and shimmering keyboard carry this lovestruck anthem through a pool of romantic bliss as singer Alice Botéus powers through and bathes the track in lush, wailing vocals. At times it feels like Cocteau Twins, with a brief cameo by Pat Benatar. But in reality, it’s just four young Swedes with a youthful glow that has rejuvenated an era of music past, taking all those nostalgic moments and turning them into love songs with no concept of the past or the present.
Between producing records, playing in Ejecta, and his duties as co-founder of the New York-Los Angeles imprint Driftless Recordings, Joel Ford tends to keep a pretty packed schedule. While previous releases have been pretty sporadic, the Brooklyn-based producer is set to drop his first proper solo album in 2015. “Breathe” finds Ford scrolling through samples of ’80s and ’90s action thrillers, forging a lustrous fantasy world on the thuds of blistering, hi-fi techno. Leanne Macomber comes equipped for another cinematic production courtesy of her Ejecta counterpart. Her icy, bated vocals swerve through lanes of metallic percussion and bleak, mutated synths, an action-packed joyride that sees Macomber trail the beat through so many twist and turns, the mere thought of a sequel is almost too much to handle.
Joel Ford’s forthcoming mini-album, Fugitive, drops early next year via Driftless Recordings.
Swedish duo Bam Spacey have decided to take one more euphoric joyride before the release of their forthcoming album. “Delar Av En Historia (2002)” is Swedish for “parts of a history,” a theme that remains prevalent as this lush gem sparkles in a sea of ambiguity and ghostly electronics. The intro finds sparse flutters of insect and wilderness sounds igniting a glistening array of hi-hats and silky percussion that give the track a warm, luscious glow. Lucid vocals flush in and out of touch, as nostalgia wails through and taps you on the ear. Nothing is clear by the end, but the track continues to drift further into a blissful oblivion, leaving puzzle pieces scattered throughout its lush soundscapes for you to decipher.
Bam Spacey’s debut album 1998 drops October 14th via Ceremony Recordings.
Brooklyn musician Bill Gillim introduced the world to the devotional sounds of Megafortress back in 2012, promptly releasing a self-titled EP of lustrous, meditative hymns on Software Label. A whole new journey finds Gillim’s angelic falsetto taking a back seat to fuller, stripped down vocals on the beautifully twisted new single “Live In Grace.” Lush organ sounds sparsely glimmer through patches of delicate fuzz, giving him access to a realm of unearthed thoughts and fears trapped in stillness. In the midst of some heavy proclamations, Gillim’s ascension to ”Grace” is often shrouded in the fear of his own delusion. However, the contemplative wanderer still travels off the beaten path, hoping that through all the obscurity and discord, a more tangible picture presents itself and safely leads him to higher ground.
Megafortress’ debut album Believer will be released on November 4th via Driftless Recordings.
Nick Hakim‘s hybrid sound often finds elements of blues and folk dancing in the night, bridging love, loss, and fantasy into gut-wrenching ballads that lead to a river of tears. With the release of Where Will We Go Pt. 2 fast approaching, Nick Hakim drops another gloomy summer jam titled ”Lift Me Up.” Hakim leads with a weepy falsetto as the piano keys bleed through a subtle, airy production. As he relives the loss of a friend, his pain encompasses the track, which leads to vocals so crisp it’s bone chilling. Each harmony is delicate, yet visceral, triggering emotions that feel strangely close to home.
Where Will We Go Pt. 2 will be out on September 16th via Earseed Records.
The Halifax-based duo Vogue Dots are the latest slice of goodness to emerge from Cascine‘s singles imprint, CSCN. Made on an island cottage in Belle Isle, their left-field pop experiments have led to the birth of “Way Out” and the lush B-side “Thunder.” Each song blushes with serenity, splashing a pop canvas with warm shades of blistering sound and melodies that flourish from a distance.
“Way Out” leads with bubbling loops that eventually flood the track in a flurry of upbeat atmospherics. This brief flash of skittish pop is succeeded by “Thunder,” a track that feels nothing like its namesake. It’s the calm after the storm, a shimmering gem brushed with earthly textures and a seductive hint of mystery.
“Way Out” and “Thunder” are available now via CSCN.
Saint Pepsi, a.k.a. Ryan DeRobertis, debuted his vocal chops amongst the beaming thumps of disco on the funked-out A-side “Fiona Coyne.” Now his head-over-heels summer jams continue as “Fall Harder” sees DeRebortis still helplessly in love, pining over his summer romance, and reliving those blissful moments on this warm, breezy production. With fuller vocals blowing in the forefront, a textured breeze of shiny blips and riffs carries the song into a whole new world of smooth, care-free goodness. Saint Pepsi evolves on this track, honing his pop sensibilities with a love-struck heart, which results in one of the better B-sides you’ll hear all summer.
Saint Pepsi’s Fiona Coyne/Fall Harder 7” is available now via Carpark Records.
Somerville Jack is the moniker of Hamilton musician Chris McComas, one half of the dreamy duo Permanent Vacation. With summer still picking up steam, his first track “It’s Me” provides lucid visions of eternal sunshine, beaming through jangly pop hooks and lush vocals that fill you with the glorious feeling that beach days are just around the corner. It’s carefree and breezy, a marvelous effort that lets Mother Nature know she’s officially been put on notice.
Gearing up for the release of his sophomore album, Wrong, the Brooklyn-based artist Chris Masullo, a.k.a. Nicholas Nicholas, is back with a foggy new single titled “Cave.” Continuing down a path of lush, melancholic shoegaze, the track builds off a smooth ripple of drums and a bleak wind of atmospherics; a sonic landscape perfect for Masullo’s vocals to glow bright in the song’s beautiful darkness. The song burns out with a sad outro that finds him still circling his sub-conscious in search of truths that lay on the horizon, but have yet to be revealed.
Wrong will be out on August 19th via Miscreant Records.