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 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).

 

Closing the Distance: Marianne Dissard

Marianne Dissard 01Closing the Distance is a new series in which we try to expose artists with desert roots who have since moved to other locales. Let’s bring this community a little closer together.

by Mark Anderson
Senior Editor

Is it fair to call Marianne Dissard an “International Jet Setter”? Why not?

Having toured the world extensively whether by foot, or donkey, or Trans-Siberian Rail (I’m sincerely hoping jalopy, junk boat, and helicopter too), playing her unique “baroque desert noir chanson” music to thousands of fans, it’s easy to think that the title might apply.

I think I prefer “Adventurer” or “Explorer”. Something more along the lines of Jeanne Baré, Isabelle Eberhardt, Nellie Bly or… Tintin. Forging her own path and creating her own destiny.

When she sent us news about her latest release, Cibola Gold: Best of 2008 – 2015, calling it, “my closing statement as a​ the odd​ ​chanteuse ​out ​in Arizona…a farewell to my beloved Tucson” including a new 24-page booklet of photos and musings she herself designed, I had to take the opportunity to ask some questions about life in Europe, the musical process, and what’s next for Dissard.

Mark Anderson for YabYum: Where in Europe do you currently reside? Please tell us all that you do there.

Marianne Dissard: ​I left Arizona almost three years ago. I first aimed at living in Sicily (Palermo) but wound up spending a year in Paris teaching yoga, on a sabbatical from performing and making my own music. Then I spent a year in a small Italian town called Matera (in the small, quiet region of Basilicata) to write a book of memoirs about my return to Europe. I’ve since been bouncing from Italy to Berlin and London, and Paris depending on where I have shows.

Marianne Dissard 02What were your thoughts on the Tucson/Arizona music scene when you moved in 2013? Did anything in particular prompt the move to Europe? I know you’ve toured there often…

MD: ​I was born in France but left with my parents for Mesa when I was a teenager (yes, I went to school at Dobson High ;). After studying film in LA at USC, I went to Tucson in 1994 to make a film on Giant Sand. I didn’t leave for two decades, sucked in by the music scene down there. I owe it all I’ve become. My collaborations with Tucson musicians – mostly those orbiting around Calexico and Giant Sand – has made my music what it is but it was time to move. I’d been more and more inspired and drawn to scenes beyond Tucson after meeting by chance a DJ from Minneapolis’ Rhymesayers label. This led to collaborations with BK-One and Budo, and a desire to experiment further with my own work.

I’ve heard from various folks that live music seems to be appreciated more in Europe. Would you agree with this? If so, why do you suppose that is?

MD: ​Live music is appreciated differently in Europe than in the States, as is food or coffee. For the kind of music I do, I would say there are more state subsidies and institutionalized support, as well as maybe more affluent fans.

Marianne Dissard 03Please tell us about Cibola Gold. Why did you want to release this collection now?

MD: ​I like to round things up nicely, for my own sake as well as that of my current or future fans and a “Best Of” is a way of guiding them through my work.​ My albums have evolved in style from the first, a more folky, Calexico-tinged venture to the darker, Nick Cav-ish sounds of the latest. It might feel complex to sum it up and it is. BK-One says it best in the essay he wrote for Cibola Gold’s booklet: “Marianne’s music plays effortlessly with contradictions. Tender, yet abrasive. Melodramatic, but vulnerable. Comical and heartbreaking.​”

How and where did you meet Yan Péchin? Please tell us about him. Are they any other members of your band at this time you’d care to tell us about?

MD: ​Blessed in Tucson with such fabulous backup tour musicians​​​ (Sergio Mendoza, Brian Lopez, Gabriel Sullivan…), I was under the gun to come up with European players who could bring the same energy and passion to ​the live shows. I remembered this French guitar player I had seen in 2001 in Paris – and whose skills and style became the benchmark for any guitarists I worked with from that day. I called him up a couple of years ago and we started touring Europe as a duo mostly. He’s just about as dramatic as I get on stage, with expressionistic pedal work I’ve only ever witnessed from Tucson maestro Connor Gallaher.

Being a world-traveler, please relate a favorite place to play that you have experienced. What made it so special?

​MD: A favorite place? Maybe the poolside show I did in 2011 at the Great Wall near Beijing? ​Or the benefit show in Christchurch’s tiny port town (reminded me of Bisbee!) after the major earthquake that wiped its venues? And definitely the shows on my Pyrénées walking tour, when, alongside my gear-carrying donkey, I went from small town to villages of my home region.

Marianne Dissard 04Living in Europe right now, is there a heightened sense of fear or alarm due to terrorism that you yourself notice? I imagine it could be similar to the U.S. where it always “looms in the distance” but perhaps it’s more direct over there. Do you feel as comfortable as in the past traveling the countryside?

MD: ​Yes, I feel safer than in Arizona, less paranoid about walking into a restaurant where a gun-toting madman is eating his tots. I was in Paris when the November attacks happened. The next day’s sounds (helicopters, sirens) reminded me of the sounds of my neighborhood in Tucson and the people’s attitudes for a few weeks following (kinder, calmer) also reminded me that there is another way to live than this stressful, neighbor-hating survival mode we take for normal here – and everywhere. I am spending this month volunteering in Calais, France at the service of the migrants of the Jungle camp. What I’m seeing there is a dream in action, from all the volunteers on the ground, of what Europe could be: open, tolerant, curious, loving. The borders are alike everywhere, from Calais to Nogales. Our responsibilities are the same.

What is in the works for Marianne Dissard? More music videos? New singles? Parts of the world to visit?

MD: ​I’m writing a book (due sometime late this year), will be recording a new album in Paris with producer Budo. I’m also producing an album myself for this great Franco-american artist, Allyson Ezell. And yes, more videos, always. They’re little bits of comic reliefs in my life that I truly enjoy crafting.

~

Preview Cibola Gold: Best of 2008 – 2015 below. I strongly recommend purchasing the Signed Deluxe Edition CD available through her Bandcamp page which includes the aforementioned 24 page booklet – along with the music, the visual stimuli and prose found within imbue a sense totality for the listener. For more info on Marianne Dissard, visit her website.

Marianne Dissard 05