Here's some chill tracks to get you through those Monday blues
Cure those pesky Monday feels with tunes from Glasshouse, Anna of the North and Plainstrider.
Mondays. They're tough, we get it. Luckily for you though, based on the success of our last few ventures into the world of chilled-out electronica (such as THIS one, THIS one and THIS one), we've decided to make these every-now-and-again articles a more permanent, fortnightly fixture. So let's get down to it, shall we? Here's a couple of relaxing, chilled-out tunes from some really rad electronic artists that we're vibing heavily with, to ease you with your post-weekend blues.
Yumi Zouma - Keep It Close To Me
With a rolling percussion line, effortless melodies and soft, delicate vocals, Keep It Close To Me is a good introduction to New Zealand group Yumi Zouma if you haven't been acquainted thus far. It's the first single from their upcoming debut album and it's obvious to see why. The contrast between the elegant vocals, the simplistic, yet focused percussion, and the expansive synth melodies work exceptionally well, with the waves of harmony blending in to each other without making the song come across as muddled. “Yumi Zouma has always been an exercise in refining ideas and collaborating,” reflects the band's guitarist on the new album and the group as a whole, “but this was the first time we weren’t limited or protected by distance. With Yoncalla (the forthcoming debut), the process was different, and it can be scary to present raw ideas to your friends but it’s also incredible to see songs evolve through the sparks of inspiration that bounce between people in the same room”. Listening back to some of the group's previous work, I think what was said about the new album is truly evident on Keep It Close To Me - the different rhythms and melodies feel far more connected and intertwined than their previous work, an obvious sign that working together closely really works well for the band, something I definitely hope continues on with the remaining singles from Yoncalla and beyond.
Plainstrider - Late Night Mystery Call
With it's many releases over the past year or so, Stoney Roads Records have an incredibly dynamic, versatile roster. From the large, synth-filled sounds of Mazde to the thumping, sample-filled house of Piecey, the Stoney Roads crew seem to have it pretty bloody figured out and by the sounds of things, their latest signing confirms this once again. Armed with a nostalgic, house-infused single Late Night Mystery Call, Sydney producer Plainstrider is the latest act to come from the label, and possibly one of their strongest signees to date. One thing that I really like about Late Night Mystery Call is how it's not just a thumping, 4x4 house beat for six minutes or so - it's got character, so to speak. I feel like a lot of this comes from the vintage video game-esque preset he toys with across the song's length, it makes the track unique and different to everything else being released in the house world, a feature very hard to come across in an obviously quite limiting genre. The keys that come in just after the nostalgic video game melody is a definite highlight of Late Night Mystery Call too.
Anna Of The North - Baby
We've sort of featured Anna Of The North before in the form of the remix Feki did of The Dreamer (listen HERE), but we've never actually featured an original by intercontinental dream-pop duo before, something that I'm happy is changing with Baby. Baby is an incredible, stripped-back piece from the New Zealand/Norway production duo, with soft-spoken, fragile vocals from frontwoman Anna Lotterud working well together with the percussion-soaked beat, a beat that manages to keep at bay and showcase Lotterud's vocals, but overall, still adds a bit of oomph to the track (those epic drum hits towards the end is something I haven't heard in a long time). Really good stuff.
SEAVERA (pictured above) - Caving
With a vocal sophistication that matches the likes of Banks, SEAVERA is an Australian newcomer you'll be wishing you met before, especially after hearing her latest single Caving. Mixed by the lord of production Andrei Eremin (Chet Faker, Wafia and Haitus Kaiyote have done business with him before), Caving has a sound I haven't heard come out of Australia in a while. The beat and vocals come together to create something quite dark, yet at the same time the song sounds extremely lifting and blissful, and I can't quite place my finger on exactly how this happens. Whether it be the deep piano keys that contrast the lightness of SEAVERA's vocals or whatever else, Caving is an emotively complex single that is, on paper, quite simplistic. The release of Caving also marks SEAVERA's debut on the live stage – playing a single launch show in her current home town Melbourne next month. Details HERE.
Braille Face - Glow
Signed to the recently re-launched Australian label Spirit Face, Braille Face is a producer out of Melbourne that has seriously impressed us with the release of Glow, his debut release. The light ambience of Glow instantly reminds me of work by LUCIANBLOMKAMP or even the more ambient work by Bonobo, but in a way that distances itself from the previously mentioned artists through the use of unique, Thom Yorke-esque vocals and soft melodies. Across it's sprawling four minutes, Glow takes an unexplored genre in Australia and makes it his own, with deep chords and a lush, suprisingly bouncy bassline that sort of warp around his dark, but clean-cut vocals.
Glasshouse - Back To You
We originally met Glasshouse through his work with Feki on their cover of James Blake's Retrograde (listen HERE), which saw the duo's soft-spoken vocals perfectly match the chilled-out, twinkling melodies from the original re-made by Feki. Back To You is the debut single from the duo and it's a mesmerizing, four-minute exploration of soft sounds and delicate melodies, perfectly encompassing the whole 'chilled-out sound' we're looking for here. Dom Buckland's smooth vocals work incredibly well with the light guitar melodies and atmospheric percussion, with it all layering together to create something really quite soothing and inviting. They also released a cover of Banks a few months ago that we think may just rival their previously mentioned work with Feki, listen to their cover of Brain HERE.
Dro Carey - Grow Lithe
The last track here comes from recent Soothsayer signee Dro Carey, who will be joining the likes of Roland Tings on the emerging Australian label. Grow Lithe is a bit more upbeat and danceable than the rest of the tracks here, but it still works incredibly well in creating a nice, chilled-out vibe. Quick-paced bass matched by frenzied percussion form the backbone of Grow Lithe, which builds and builds as the song progresses through the input of various melodies and samples, creating a flowing sort-of feeling throughout the song's length. The producer will also be performing at Soothsayer's upcoming birthday party, which will also feature label mate Roland Tings, as well as Otologic and CC:DISCO!. Get the details to the party HERE.