Jenn Wasner’s voice is just completely enthralling. Not to do any disservice to Andy Stack alongside whom she records at Wye Oak, but its the irresistible radiance of her vocal that elevates Its Way With Me from perfectly lovely indie-pop jangler to hit-me-in-the-feels-so-hard-it-hurts anthem. This is the second single of the year following last month’s TNT, and while there’s no official news of a new album yet, fingers crossed.
The fact that Wildhart are back putting out new music makes me so happy, especially when it’s this good and ticking all my personal favourite boxes. Breathy vocal? Check. Headily nostalgic atmosphere? Yep. Lovely floating melodies that creep up on you and infect your brain without feeling like they’re trying too hard. Sure! And like some of my favourite Wildhart tracks, they save some of the best moments of Better Bby until the end when there a few chord changes that make me happy-sad in the best possible way.
Today marks the first new music from the amazing Wildhart for three years, and what a welcome return it is. The band have gone through a lot of changes since the the release of their brilliant debut album Shine – most notably losing a member and now operating as a trio – but on His Arrows Won’t Hit Us they’re as mesmerising as they’ve ever been, front-loading on the atmosphere and gentle melodies and stripping everything else back to the very barest of essentials. Let’s hope there’s more to come.
Japanese Breakfast has made some of my favourite tracks of the last decade. Road Head and Machinist from her 2017 album Soft Sounds From Another Planet are just absolutely perfect, and her latest single Be Sweet is up there with them. The first release from her new album Jubilee which has just been announced for June, it’s completely irresistible and I can’t stop listening to it.
This is the latest single from Sofi Gev, the solo project of American singer-songwriter and indie pop artist Hannah Lovelady. Blending elements of folk, indie, electronica and pop, You’re The Star features some wonderfully subtle and evocative vocal manipulations reminiscent of Oklou’s recent album. But while Oklou’s music feels sparse and at times detached, You’re The Star is warm and richly populated with a variety of instruments and textures: an intimate, glimpse into both the strength and fragility of desire.
Two of my favourite artists of the year coming together means I was pretty sold on this before I even listened to it. Jim-E Stack brings the melancholy vibes to the fore with his remix, further teasing out the already lovelorn qualities of the original and adding warm chords and a skittering breakbeat to create something that sits right in the happy/sad sweetspot. A beautiful, dejected banger.
It’s all been a bit serious on the blog recently – lots of moody electronic stuff which obviously has its place, but still – so here’s a big refreshing wallop of positivity for your ears courtesy of Stockholm-based-artist MIYNT that’s the result “a slow disco jam and too much fruit”, apparently. A bite of papaya is an immensely wonderful record, with the hushed, lo-fo vocals contrasting wonderfully with those big, open chords and ebullient percussion. A joyful, infectious triumph.
Babeheaven are vocalist Nancy Andersen and producer-instrumentalist Jamie Travis, a duo responsible for one of my favourite songs of 2019: the monumentally fantastic Fresh Faced from their Circles EP. Honestly, if you haven’t heard it yet, go and listen to it now, it’s fucking incredible. Swimming up River is from their new album Home For Now and is a lot earthier than some of their previous work; a deep, heartfelt, soulful track that really allows Andersen’s vocal to shine.
Me Lost Me is the music project of Newcastle based musician Jayne Dent, and Nevergreen came out a few months ago as one of the singles from her latest album, The Good Noise, which was released last week. The entire album is brilliant, and ranges from meandering, folky ballads to soaring, ethereal pop, many of which are pinned together with crisp and precise drum programming. Nevergreen itself is a beguiling mix of all of these elements and more: something you could easily imagine soundtracking a hallucinatory scene in whatever mind-bending film Ari Aster currently has in the works.
Jim-E Stack is an artist who’s slowly crept onto my radar over the last couple of years by putting out a steady stream of reliably good but usually fairly understated, indie-electronica. “I’ll give this a shout out on the blog” I naively thought a couple of hours ago. “He could probably do with the support…” but oh right turns out he gets well over a million monthly listeners on Spotify and is already kind of A Big Deal. Probably should have guessed as much given the featured guest on this is Saint Bon Iver to be fair. Anyway, it’s great: and I’m very excited about his new album, Ephemera, which is out later this month.