7 Chill Electropop Singles

chill electropop 00XYLØ

“I Still Wait for You”

The L.A. duo behind XYLØ consists of Chase Duddy (producer/drummer/songwriter ) and his younger sister, Paige (vocalist/songwriter). The pair have me wondering what my brother and I might have accomplished if we spent all that time arguing over the remote control cultivating those music skills. I still don’t think we’d be able to nail the funky fresh sound of XYLØ’s brand of electropop. “I Still Wait for You” is kickback and feisty all at the same time. Expect some serious playlist placement for this single. Give it a spin below…

Kan Wakan

“Still Feather”

SAIGO, the featured vocalist on Kan Wakan’s new single, provides wavering vocals that have an almost James Blake feel in their ethereal delivery. Gueorgui Linev, the L.A.-based artist who performs as Kan Wakan, uses SAIGO’s voice like another instrumental layer rather than the focal point of this track. The end result is fluid and beautiful; more like a dream you unexpectedly find yourself in during an afternoon’s doze than that verse-hook-verse one expects from a radio hit. According to the artist, “‘Still Feather” ruminates on our industrial daydream; the precarious union of technology and prosperity.” That industrial element remains subtle on “Still Feather” but very present in the brooding atmosphere of this meditative piece. Listen for yourself below…*

ARY

“Childhood Dreams”

The Norwegian singer-songwriter known as ARY released this single shortly after Valentine’s Day. “Childhood Dreams” sets some meditative songwriting against a background with some real bounce. The lyrics drive at striking a balance between one’s ambitions and one’s personal life. But, when a person has ambitions, the matter is often personal so, Grrrrl, I really get you on this one. “Childhood Dreams” from ARY was released through Petroleum Records and is available for your listening pleasure below…

Jocelyn Alice

“Bound to You”

Jocelyn Alice is a rising talent in her native Canada and it looks like she’s ready to cross the border into the American charts. Her new single, “Bound to You”, definitely marks her as someone you might want to keep an eye on. Her nimble voice has some Big City sass while the emotive power says Small Town sincere. Make sure you check out “Bound to You” by Jocelyn Alice so you can someday say, “I heard her when…”

Biyo

“Focus”

The Nashville duo known as BIYO dropped this super chill single a little over a month ago. Combining eletropop with R&B elements, Biyo creates a sleek number that could easily make the radio rounds. The shifting soundscape that supports the single builds in energy without ever going full on rowdy so this is a great track for those at-home playlists rather than club-scene-crunk. Give the single a spin below…

White Night

“Close”

The cross-continent duo fuses together 80s synth pop elements with contemporary modes of song construction for a fresh sound. Yes, I’m talking about White Night and their new single, “Close”. Dreamy vocals float over a vibrant aural landscape that changes in color and texture as you move from start to finish. White Night is the undertaking of Willi Leinen and Elizabeth Boardman, one based in Berlin and the other in San Francisco. Thankfully, the band has found ways to overcome the challenge of physical divide to create such captivating music. Listen to “Close” by White Night below…

Phil Good

“Growing Up”

“Growing Up” marks the second single from L.A.-based artist known as Phil Good (formerly of DRESSES). Phil Good might not be his real name, but his sound has an authentically emotional core that is subtle and powerful in the same breath. And, that’s because it feels real, unlike a lot of the overly emotive drivel out there. I bet everyone who listens to “Growing Up” has either been on this side of the conversation or its implied prequel. Either way, you’ll relate. Give “Growing Up” from Phil Good a listen below…

* This segment was corrected. Originally, we stated that Kan Wakan provide the vocals for his single, but SAIGO was actually the featured vocalist on this track.

7 Singer-Songwriters for an Easygoing Afternoon

7 singer-songwriters 004Ben Zaidi

“Irene”

Ben Zaidi certainly has as promising a start as any artist could hope for. After growing up in Seattle, Zaidi moved to New York City before attending Harvard University to study music and creative writing. The new single from the artist, “Irene”, is soulful and soft-spoken. The minimal texturing keeps the track’s focus where it belongs: on Zaidi’s subtly emotive voice and the poetic narrative within his lyrics. This is definitely a songwriter to watch. Give “Irene” a spin below and, if you like what you’re hearing, delve further into Ben Zaidi’s online musical offerings through Soundcloud here.

Julia Lucille

“Eternally”

Singer-songwriter Julia Lucille might be a California native, but she spent time in Portland studying music at Lewis and Clark College before moving to Austin, where she currently resides. I can definitely see Lucille’s ambient-folk sound doing well in any one of the aforementioned locations. There is a desolation that can be heard on “Eternally” that denotes a Western sensibility – something a little mystical yet still a little hopeless. “Eternally” comes to us from Julia Lucille’s forthcoming album, Chthonic, which comes out on April 7th so mark your calendar. Before that happens, sink down into “Eternally” below…

Jordan Prince

“Woman (One of These Days)”

Jordan Prince made the jump over the Big Pond, bringing his Louisiana folk all the way to Munich, Germany. His new single, “Woman (One of These Days)”, comes to us from Prince’s upcoming ep, No Manual. I love the simple, earthy sound and easygoing attitude. The lyrics don’t really describe your typical romantic sentiments, as the title might suggest. Instead, the author suggests the subject delves even further into “man’s perverted obsessions, and how he can’t control or forgive his own guilt as he becomes self aware of his action.” Despite the weighty topic, Jordan Prince keeps his melody lithe. Listen to “Woman (One of These Days)” below…

Stevie Talks

“Pollyanna”

This Costa Mesa artist has a distinctly coastal vibe in his indie-folk sound. Stevie Talks claims “Pollyanna” is about “a girl [he] cannot stand” but I think the songwriter might be a little conflicted on that particular point. In the same breath, “Pollyanna” comes across as anguished and wistful, but with enough bounce to keep the mood light. Give the single a spin below and, if you like the summery sound of Stevie Talks, you can move on to his previous single “LYM (Leave Your Man)” which came out a few months back. Let’s hope more songs are on the way.

Sasha

“Gracious”

The North London singer-songwriter who goes simply by the moniker Sasha creates ambient dreamscapes of sound. On her new single, “Gracious”, Sasha sets her nimble voice afloat the gentle current of a stark yet beautiful arrangement. “Gracious” is the perfect song for a mellow and meditative morning. Or perhaps you can find four minutes to zen out with the single before launching into your litany of tasks for the day. I can almost guarantee a calmer sense of being will stay with you throughout the rest of the day. Listen to “Gracious” below…

Alessandra

“Your River”

The Swedish musician known as Alessandra not only wrote and performed her new single, but she also produced the track. That’s rather ambitious for any young artist, but Alessandra pulls off the feat with great success. On “The River”, powerful vocals are met with equal energy from the underlying soundscape. “Your River” marks the first single from Alessandra’s soon-to-be-released debut EP.  This emotive number centers on an experience of bittersweet summer love. And, for anyone who’s been there, you feel the sudden return of those heart-wrenching highs and lows as you listen to “Your River”. Which you should do. Right now.

Carmen Rosa

“Wild One”

London singer-songwriter Carmen Rosa is gearing up to release her debut EP with this new single. “Wild One” combines smokey vocals with an aural landscape that has a cinematic feel. I can easily imagine this song playing as a dramatic scene carries out on the silver screen with slinky satin dresses and plenty cigarette smoke. This is a promising start for the EP to come from Carmen Rosa which should be available next week (March 31) through Hometown Records. Until then, enjoy “Wild One” below…

7 Energizing Electropop Singles

electropop singles 00Luna Aura

“The Next One”

Phoenix might be Luna Aura’s hometown, but this pop potentate spends a lot of time in the Los Angeles area these days. Luna Aura’s latest single addresses that “infamous LA/Hollywood lifestyle,” pairing her introspection with an uplifting energy. If you dig, “The Next One” I also suggest checking out the super fun video Luna Aura made for the track (available here), but the single is available for your listening pleasure below…

Kill Paris

“Junkie”

The artist who has created music under the moniker Kill Paris for more than a decade faced unexpected outrage for that name in the wake of the Paris attacks, but fans and new listeners alike should readily recognize that the zen, richly textured tracks of this producer do not encourage violence. Quite the contrary. “Junkie”, which delves into the chemistry of love, features the talents of Nevve (who co-wrote this song) and Monster. Love certainly has its ups and down that can leave those subject to its whims feeling like an addict. “Junkie” addresses these emotional constraints as the chill beat and ethereal vocals alleviates the weight of rumination. Give “Junkie” by Kill Paris a listen below (or download it here) and then delve further into the artist’s extensive catalog.

Papa Ya

“Sunny”

This track from Papa Ya is bound to be a new weekend classic. “Sunny” will have you looking for a bottle of champagne to pop before the first hook. The duo known as Papa Ya is relatively new on the circuit, but they’ve already hashed out some viral hits. I expect “Sunny” will enjoy quite a similar reception. The summertime vibe and fresh production style will hook listeners from the get-go. Consider that fair warning. Listen below and then download “Sunny” by Papa Ya for your personal playlist (available here).

Mushroom People

“Favorite Sweater”

If I’m being totally honest, when I saw the name Mushroom People I expected some clunky, psyched-out electronica; basically, the rave equivalent of a jam band. What I found instead was a chilled out electropop track highlighted by the smokey vocals of Bahamian artist Sophie. Two brothers from Germany make up the musical duo that is Mushroom People and both performed in rock bands before embarking into electronic realms. Maybe that’s why Mushroom People demonstrates such a strong understanding of song construction. Far too many artists look to electronic instrumentation as a means of creating music without having to study traditional modes. Not these guys. Listen to “Favorite Sweater” from Mushroom People below…

PLAYDATE

“My Mistake”

A lot of tracks that have crossed my path of late have a retro-style synth sound that harkens back to the early days of my youth (i.e. 1980s). Now, the important thing to remember when adding some retro-chic flair to your project is to adapt that sound for a contemporary audience. Don’t just rehash New Wave or some equally played out sound that has already come and gone. Scavenge the remains and make it your own. That’s exactly what PLAYDATE does on “My Mistake”. Coming from the indie side of the electropop spectrum, PLAYDATE has a style that transcends both time and genre to create something funky and a little familiar but totally fresh. Listen to “My Mistake” below or head here to score your own copy.

coyóte

“Napoleon Syndrome”

There’s some serious shit talking on “Napoleon Syndrome” by coyóte, a band out of the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. Of course, it’s some high-energy dissing set to a dance beat so I’m all about it. Usually, I ascribe to a no-drama policy unless that drama could possibly end in a dance off. “Napoleon Syndrome” combines super catchy hooks and electropop vitality with club rock guitars and a solid rhythm to ground it out. Make sure you give this new single from coyóte a listen below…

Mia Koo

“See You Online”

The pop wunderkind known as Mia Koo is “Classically Trained in Violin, Voice, Guitar, Piano, Drums, Guitar, Bass, Terrible Ukelele and a fiend for Clean Audio/Pro-Tools since a very young age.” After working as a songwriter-for-hire, Mia Koo is ready to launch into orbit under her own banner. “See You Online” is available online here or you can check out the single in video form below…

7 Emerging Singer Songwriters

singersongwriter

by Carly Schorman
Senior Editor

Lucas Laufen

“Boulders”

Australian artist Lucas Laufen pairs a stripped down sound with an emotive lyricism; both of which can be heard on his new single, “Boulders”. Laufen spent much of this past year out on tour, but he returned to his home nation to perform and gather inspiration for his forthcoming release, due out next year, before heading to Berlin where the artist will be living for the foreseeable future while working on his second EP. “Boulders” is peaceful and pensive – my favorite combo. Give the single a listen below and then head here for the complete EP.

Nicole Boggs

“Something New”

Nashville-based artist Nicole Boggs has a smoldering voice and a soulful sound on her new single – the aptly titled, “Something New”. After releasing her debut album three years ago, Boggs decided to take her sound in a new direction. This single is the transitory process between what was and what she will become. And, I must say, I’m intrigued. Fusing blues and soul, “Something New” provides a stellar introduction to the sultry vocal stylings of Nicole Boggs. Give the single a spin below or head here to get your own digi-download of the new EP, also titled Something New.

Cody Crump

“Seventeen”

The mellow folk music of L.A.’s Cody Crump heard on “Seventeen” envelopes the listener in sweet and somber sounds. This single comes to us from Crump’s ambitious 2016 album, Good Luck, which clocks in at 19-tracks. Pairing a straightforward lyricism with an orchestral layering of vocals and guitars, Crump crafts an uplifting musicality on “Seventeen” that carries through to his other songs. You can check out the complete LP right here, but first give “Seventeen” a listen below…

Amy Gillespie

“Wintertime (For Blue)”

This dreamy number by Amy Gillespie immediately reminded me of Joni Mitchell. Only then did I realize that the “For Blue” part of the title of this track was actually a dedication to Mitchell’s quintessential album, Blue. Gillespie shares many qualities with Mitchell including a penchant for introspective lyrics and gentle shifting soundscapes. Give “Wintertime (For Blue)” a listen below or score your own copy of the single here.

Justy

“Can’t Explain It”

Staten Island’s Justy has a unique, smokey-sweet voice reminiscent of Macy Gray. On her latest single, “Can’t Explain”, Justy meanders through the enchantment of love against a mellow, jazz-tinged musicality. The single incorporates HipHop elements for a completely modern take on the love song. At only 21-years-old, Justy is quickly establishing herself as an artist to watch. Give “Can’t Explain It” a listen below…

Bethany Becker 

“I Want Love”

The music of Bethany Becker might come along with the tag “country” but you shouldn’t go in expecting Loretta Lynn. Instead, think early Taylor Swift: pop-tinged country. “I Want Love” offers an innocent, earthy, upbeat anthem for those transitioning into adolescence. Hailing from Austin, the 18-year-old Becker proves she’s got promise on “I Want Love” which was written with a little assistance from Grammy-nominated songwriter and producer, Jeff Pardo. This single is the title track from her 2016 debut LP (available here). Check out “I Want Love” by Bethany Becker below…

Madi Earl

“Walls”

Madi Earl might not be old enough to vote, but she’s already garnishing attention for her songwriting skills. “Walls” has an electropop vibe and smooth vocal style. Earl’s not just a singer-songwriter, but also a pianist and violinist. Madi Earl plans to release her debut EP next year so this is definitely a young artist to keep an ear turned toward. Give “Walls” a listen below or head here for your very own copy. If you dig “Walls”, I also suggest looking into other her previous singles (also available through iTunes and Soundcloud).