Starlight Cleaning Co., Girl Skin, Doss, La Femme, Yndi, STEEN, Lauran Hibberd are among the press releases for April.
Starlight Cleaning Co. – ‘The Race’: A bright pop song with jangling guitars, heartfelt harmonies, a large touch of Americana, and a sound that reminds the ‘70s. This is the new single from Mojave-desert-based Starlight Cleaning Co. featuring influential roots guitarist, the late Neal Casal. After meeting at Pappy and Harriet’s in 2015, musicians Rachel Dean and Tim Paul Gray turned their respective solo acts into a full band three years ago, resulting in a soulful and beautifully focused operation that sounds like they could have thrived in both the Seventies and Eighties. The beauty of the song is towered by their great harmonies, while Rachel’s voice soars with perfect pitch and a natural fervor over a melodic hook. The album is a hopeful examination of the human experience during life-altering times. ‘This record is a reflection of our life together as well as the individual paths that led us here: the struggles, uncertainty, the hopefulness, and love,’ Dean says, ‘We hope that it resonates with others in their lives and brings us together as we all seem to deal with these common themes. We dedicate this album, in loving memory, to our dear friend Neal Casal.’
Girl Skin – ‘You’re a Freak’: A gentle pop song with beautiful harmonies and a retro sound inspired by the classics and the purity of the Shins meets The Jesus and Mary Chain’s moody style. The song slowly progresses into a bombastic blend of harmonies, poignant strings, and percussion with a folksy authenticity. As the latest single from the band’s acclaimed debut album, ‘Shade is on the other Side,’ the song was deemed a ‘celebration of all of the beautiful freaks and the gorgeous outsiders’ by frontman Sid Simons. It comes with a must-see video directed and edited by Sam Centore, produced by Sophie Mitchell, and styled by Nika de Carlo, while the album combines elements of fragile folk and delicate art-rock to create ethereal chamber-pop songs that fearlessly revel in Simons’ most private thoughts. Musically, the album exists somewhere between monumental British statements such as All Things Must Pass and The Man Who, where quiet and tender folk meets dramatic guitar-pop. ‘I wanted these songs to give listeners a layered experience,’ Simons says of the album as a whole. ‘There’s the first intuitive reaction which I wanted to be joyful and optimistic. But then, as they listened further, other emotions would come to the fore: Darker, more complex emotions that give the songs, breadth, and depth. And I’m excited by the different interpretations people are having to the same song, some feeling the darker shades, others feeling the lighter ones.’
Doss – ‘Look’: A punchy dance-y electronica, which turns to be rather playful over the neon lights of a dark street. This comes (with a video) from ‘4 New Hit Songs,’ the new EP from cult favorite vocalist, songwriter, and producer Doss, and her first body of work in seven years: It is set to be released on May 7 via LuckyMe. Doss built a reputation for her nimble, light-hearted approach to bridging ’10s EDM and ’00s electro with classic trance and drum & bass—never quite serious but always sincere. ‘I was thinking about the spaces the song would be played in,’ says Doss. ‘Dancing in slow motion, lights flickering, getting lost in the sound. Whatever happened before is a blur and whatever will happen after isn’t clear yet.’ An underground fixture in music and design, she has also made major fans of artists like the late SOPHIE, with whom she toured in 2018 and had an ongoing collaboration, and Porter Robinson, who helped Doss trend on Twitter when she played his Secret Sky festival. Last year, Lady Gaga highlighted Doss on her ‘Women of Choice’ playlist for Apple Music and featured her as a DJ at her album release party, in collaboration with PAPER.
Yndi – ‘Amazona’: The song blends a French pop tune and Brazilian drums with real melancholia and words whispered to your ear. The song comes from Franco-Brazillian artist Yndi’s debut LP, ‘Noir Brésil,’ out May 28, the first work away from her previous Dream Koala moniker. She decided to retire the moniker back in 2017 and began writing what ultimately became Noir Brésil, a modern pop album where Afro-Brazilian percussion meets French and Portuguese poetry to create an immersive soundscape. You can watch her perform the song here. ‘I wrote this piece on an atabaque (Afro-Brazilian percussion) rhythm inspired by the myth of the amazons, warrior women, and the Douanier Rousseau’s painting ‘La Guerre,’’ Yndi continues, ‘The violence of the lyrics contrasts with the melancholic harmonies: the moon and fire.…It is a song in homage to the anger and strength that one needs as a woman in the contemporary world.’
La Femme – ‘Foutre le Bordel’: The song is pure mechanical energy, a fast psychedelic trip with a sort of Plastic Bertrand punk vibe. This is another track from La Femme’s new and highly anticipated third album, ‘Paradigmes,’ which is out now via Disque Pointu/IDOL; the video for ‘Foutre le Bordel’ (‘Fuck it up’) features footage from over 500+ live shows across the world. On the album, ‘every song is a different sonic voyage’… ‘Geography must be important to us because of the fact we traveled quite a lot over the last few years, and different places brought different inspiration to us,’ the band explains. ‘We like the folklore of places and what comes out of them.’
STEEN – ‘Red Lights’: A cool, beat-driven ballad with soulful vocals written by genre-bending Steen, a Southern California native indie-band, made up of sibling-duo Steen and Zay. The track is fueled by surf punk guitars, synthesizers that met with heavy vocals. When asked about the new record coming together, STEEN shares: ‘Once you cut through the feel-good acoustics of the record, Red Lights is heavy and encompassed in pain. It’s a play on humanity’s fatal flaws, mental health, and addiction. It’s so common to fully recognize toxic behaviors yet continue to full-heartedly live in misery. Amid the outcry and fire burning inside, when you lived in the fire for as long as many have, you can burn through your own demises and see the other side.’ At the end of the day, it’s our duty to do the best we can even when we feel alone—when we experience life’s everyday wildfires.’ The two brothers work with a unique cultural palette of Euro-African and Latin-Asian descent and musical influences that range from David Bowie to Odd Future. The track was written and produced by STEEN with additional arrangements made by Justin Raisen (David Bowie, Sky Ferreira, Billie Elish).
Lauran Hibberd – ‘How Am I Still Alive?’: A fuzzed-out grunge-punk-infected (almost Built to Spill) pop song with witty lyrics and an irreverent take capable to brighten up your bleakest days. The video for the song (which features The Regrettes’ Lydia Night) ‘is a collection of (lockdown available) ideas. A transatlantic home video with animation seemed to be the only way we could get Lydia and I side-by-side,’ reveals UK sensation Lauran Hibberd. ’It’s based on documenting your every sleepless move (in the home video footage), whilst having your maddest thoughts and dreams (in the animation). I think it summarises how weird it is to live in a shutdown world right now and where our minds go throughout.’ Her brand new EP ‘Goober,’ was produced by Suzy Shinn (Weezer, Dua Lipa, fall Out Boy, Pani! At the Disco), mixed by Rob Kinelski (Billie Eilish, King Princess, FINNEAS), and will be available via Entertainment One on July 30. ‘How Am I Still Alive?’ is out now and available via all digital platforms.
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