March 4, 2014
Lisa Alma - Oh Darling, Let’s Be Adventurers (EP) - Review

With its four tracks beating a lofty boom-clap beat progression, “Oh Darling, Let’s Be Adventurers” is the follow-up EP from Lisa Alma’s self-titled debut full-length release. All the tracks are essentially about love spoken with a female perspective and as the title suggests there’s an air of innocence and youthful naiveté that accompanies each track. However, to call Lisa Alma’s romantic pieces child’s play would be an understatement. Coming off bolder and stronger, Alma still hones in dreamy loftiness that created her self-titled debut yet drives harder with hook-heavy rhythms.

The first track of the four-track EP is the light percussive-punch of the album opener “Oh Darling”. Driven by its 80’s pop-flair and subtle electronic edges, the puppy love of “Oh Darling” is wonderfully-cut and carefully spliced with clean bridging. Following is “When I Knew”, slower and smoother than its preceding track. With its sustained keys and spacious melodies, “When I Knew” moves along with an oceanic calm before the lead single “Magic Power” takes helm. “Magic Power”, a track about being “so good together” that “a few months we copied the keys”, is perhaps the most eye-catching of track of the album. Whether it’s how Alma suggestively whispers “baby” or the quick riffs and seductive guitar slides that move against heavy drum kicks on the track, “Magic Power” is sleek, sexy and uniquely Lisa Alma. However, like perhaps any good showman Alma saved her strongest track for last. Reverberating with an arpeggiating baseline and Lisa’s delicate vocals, “Bittersweet” is Alma’s woman-in-charge, reverse-machismo ballad to being her lover’s savior as the track dreamily floats away to melancholic strings and drifting electric guitar. While the hot and heavy tone seems to be the lovechild of Alma’s sweat and tears, I can only imagine how many more potential offspring are made to Alma’s EP. As inappropriate as it sounds, it’s the perfect album for you know what.

Stream the album below and check out the video for an acoustic version of Lisa Alma’s  ”Oh Darling”:

February 27, 2014
iamamiwhoami - Hunting for Pearls

Morphsuits! Fishing nets! Icecubes! These are just a few of the things that feature in “Hunting for Pearls”, the latest video single from Swedish viral enigma iamamiwhoami. Reminiscent of iamamwhoami’s Claes “Midnight Ruler” Björklund’s production on fellow Swedish act Azure Blue, “Hunting for Pearls” resonates with a deeper vintage electronic feel than iamamwhoami’s previous works. While vocalist Jonna Lee’s vocals are not as prominent on this track, the single which is perhaps more melodically-driven is much more upbeat. Kick, kick, snare elements beat against racing arpeggios and sci-fi beats while our protagonist scurries away from those men in tights through the ice and snow.

Check it out below:

February 18, 2014
Rebecca & Fiona - Candy Love

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Synthpop DJing duo Rebecca & Fiona return to the forefront of Stockholm pop with their latest single “Candy Love”, in what seems to be a retrospective of Rebecca & FIona’s career. Their video panning across their rise to fame showing the duo with emotions high and low, “Candy Love” is perhaps the most sonically-evolved of all their tracks yet. Swapping their quick-tempoed dancefloor beats for slower, heavier sounds, arpeggios pound through their breathy, robotic vocals and more personal lyrics. The track is lyrically a bit of what Rebecca & FIona could deem as lessons learned on the road. As the duo state “Candy Love” is about finding priorities in life as the two elaborate, 

"It’s about a person having a destructive lifestyle where the person only gets attention through this way of life. This creates a Catch-22 where the question is, ‘should I stop doing drugs and the drinking and not get the same appreciation from others, or dare to live healthier and not get it anymore?’"

Despite the heavier subject matter, Rebecca & Fiona still do what they do best and are far abandoning their pop-friendly, hook-heavy approach to music. After all, it’s Rebecca & Fiona and they still know how to have a good time whether it be nailing loops or glamming-it-up on the latest music video.

You can check out “Candy Love” below:

February 18, 2014
Disa - Stones

It’s been almost a year since the Copenhagen-based Icelandic artist Disa Jakobs put out her first track for “Sun”, and to follow up Jakobs returns another track with the air of the classical elements (you know air, earth, wind and fire?). Titled “Stones”, the track certainly has that cosmic energy to it, not only through its computer generated landscapes but with Disa’s delicate vocals eerily and levitating arpeggios floating against the crushing bassline of the song.

You can check it out below:

February 17, 2014
This Is Head - Staring Lenses

Malmö-based kraut rockers This is Head, return with not only another hypnotic track but another mind-tripping video. Their latest of their efforts is “Staring Lenses”, is a strobe-light flickering, bass-guitar pounding track filled with death-spiralling guitars and murkily-doubled vocals. An aggressive single, “Staring Lenses” is relentless, constantly pulsating, constantly building up until bittersweet strings and guitar wobble marvelously end off the track as the cherry on top.

Check out the video below:

February 17, 2014
Marlene - Stay Awake

The follow-up to her dancefloor thumping single “Bon Voyage" which has earned her the press rights as Sweden’s one to watch, is Marlene Strand’s latest single "Stay Awake". Constructed on sharp crescendos, the momentum-building "Stay Awake" builds upon snappy pop-drum kicks and subwoofer boom culminating together in the tidal wave that is Marlene’s R&B smooth. As for the video, which appears to be quintessential Southern California - it’s crisp, clean and full contrasting silhouettes to compliment Strand’s emotive vocal outbursts.

You can check out the video below:

February 17, 2014
Alice Boman - Skiss 3

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"Skiss 3" is the name of Alice Boman’s latest work from her debut EP "Skisser". A fine piece of classical pop, the video for "Skiss 3" is directed by her labelmate Henric Claesson from This is Head. The video which quickly pans through grainy cityscapes is set to Boman’s vocal loftiness and love-riddled lyrics as she hums the words, "There’s no place I rather be now, than right here with you". Just under three minutes, the track is short, sweet and filled with longing and feelings of nostalgia.

You can check it out “Skiss 3” and her other tracks from “Skisser” below:

February 17, 2014
Tomas Barfod - Pulsing (feat. Nina Kinert)

"Pulsing" is the latest single from Danish electronic producer and is a collaboration between him and Swedish singer Nina Kinert. A momentum-building track, striking synths and pounding (as the track title may suggest) bass wobbles detail “Pulsing” as Kinert’s sugar-sweet vocals add to the mix. The video on the other hand which deals with a sort of necrophilia and love of dead things, is anything from the sugar-sweet of Nina’s vocals and instead reverberates with the sinister bass groove of the track. Director Cherise Payne, who worked on the video which follows a tale of teenage love at the local meat market had this to say about the track:

The first thing that struck me about Tomas’ track was that the melody and vocal were so beautiful but there was an underlying darkness in the bass and the beat. I wanted to explore this idea of beauty and darkness in the video by presenting a series of contrasts. The blood and gore of a meat market is contrasted with the passion and skill a butcher lends to their work, much like an artist working on a sculpture. The haze of a young couple exploring the city after a night out is contrasted with the the focus and bustle of a busy early morning market

Check out the video below:

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