I was traveling this week, got home very late last night and then, my mobile phone and only form of communication with the outside world failed. I spent most of my day dealing with technology fails. So, I decided to quickly throw together my top five, so far, of 2016. These are bands that I have already featured that I simply adore. I’m expecting great things from each of these artists.
MY TOP FIVE FOR Q1 2016
Book of Giants is a band that has me super excited this week. A Portugeuse and French group, comprised of Marine des Mazery in vocals and Ricardo Silva in composition. They released their EP “Disclosure” in 2015 and are currently working on a full album. Their influences are alternative, indie, electronic, and classical music styles. I would squarely classify them as dreampop or shoegaze. Gorgeous lyrics are paired on top of rhythmic bass lines, synths and strings. This is a band I really want you to keep an eye on for 2016. I adore them. Songs featured: “Disclosure,” “Monster,” and the stunning “Endeavor.”
The Year of the Kite
Dreamy and brooding, The Year of the Kite is a new band from the U.K. that plays atmospheric pop. Featuring Doug Cresswell, Kate Day, Mohamed Sheikh, Matthew Walsh, Rachel Walsh and Matthew Wood, this sextet features crepuscular guitars and delicate vocal harmonies, embedded on top of chiming synths. What makes this dreampop band stand out is their somber use of clarinet, which provides a haunting backdrop. Practicing in a very cold, beautiful old church, they currently have three tracks available, and each has joined the playlist at STR including; “Beauty Gone,” “Distance,” and “Wild Blood, Wild Light.” This is a band to watch in the dreampop genre for 2016.
Winter 1982 is a duo out of Birmingham England that creates a soulful, shimmering and sometimes bleak alternative folk. Comprised of Phil Barber (vocals, guitar) and Luke Phillips (piano, bass), their music is their escape from their mundane 9 to 5 existence. Their music comes from a place of self-awareness, confrontational honesty and ironically, hope. It’s haunting, gorgeous and emotionally palpable. You will feel this music in every fiber of your being. Songs featured include: ‘Worry,” “Friend,” and the stunningly beautiful “Sometimes.”
I, Us & We is a trio of brothers based out of California that create a gorgeous and lush dreamy chillwave sound. They released their first EP back in the spring of 2015. They have been regulars on my playlist ever since. They produce dreamy, chillwave tracks with evocative lyrics and a smoldering sound. Songs featured include: “Sunday,” “Alive” and their newest single, “Fences.”
Introflirt combines a blend of synthwave and crooner aesthetics, they create a modern form of synthpop they dub “croonwave.” Ben Benjamin, singer of Introflirt, developed his singing style from learning pop standards sung by crooners of the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s & 60’s. Backed by Denalda Donoros, whose stage presence is only second to her astute abilities as a sound sculptress, she creates darkly tinged soaring synth melodies. They are a formidable duo that is creating music that is both commanding and sexy as hell. I have a number of their tracks in the station’s playlist including; “Dying Everyday,” “Satisfy,” and “Sugar Rush.”
That’s it for this week’s edition of the Friday Night Five. Be sure to tune in to Strawberry Tongue Radio at 17:00, 19:00 and 21:00 EDT to hear selected tracks from each of these bands and be sure to visit their Bandcamp pages for more information and to purchase their tracks.