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Indie & Alt Pop Shorts of the week of February 19th

8 mins read

This week in alt pop and indie folk, get ready for a whirlwind of new tunes and captivating updates. From Teddy Is Offline’s dreamy vibes in “Talking To The Wall” to Bat For Lashes’ ethereal journey with “The Dream Of Delphi,” there’s a treasure trove of sounds to dive into. Brooklyn’s own M Wagner is dropping his debut album “We Could Stay,” blending Euro-electronic vibes with a touch of techno. And don’t miss Belgian indie darlings MOONEYE’s return with “Come With Me And Hide,” serving up heartfelt acoustic tunes inspired by American storytelling. Check it out and see more below.

Irish ethereal pop artist TEDDY IS OFFLINE is back with his latest mesmerizing track, “Talking To The Wall.”

Known for his dreamy, angelic vocals and melancholic lyrics, Teddy’s music falls somewhere between dream pop and ethereal soundscapes. Drawing inspiration from artists like Nothing Nowhere and Slowdive, TEDDY creates a captivating sonic experience that transports listeners to another realm.

Brooklyn-based electronic artist M Wagner is set to release his debut album, *We Could Stay*, on May 17, 2024, via Extremely Pure.

Drawing inspiration from European electronic sensibilities and the glacial ambience of artists like Vladislav Delay and Biosphere, Wagner creates a textural soundscape that is both crisp and immersive. The album, infused with minimalist techno influences reminiscent of Wolfgang Voigt, is a diary of Wagner’s peripatetic life, featuring field recordings from significant personal experiences, including his move from Chicago to New York.

The lead single “Release Yrself,” available now, showcases Wagner’s ability to blend classical influences with electronic music, featuring a main loop sampled from Stravinsky’s Concerto in D for String Orchestra. The album *We Could Stay* explores themes of existential uncertainty and environmental concerns, balanced with an underlying optimism and elements of poptimism influenced by Wagner’s time at Goldsmiths and exposure to the PC Music scene.

Run For Cover Records is gearing up for a special release from Another Michael, with their forthcoming LP “Pick Me Up, Turn Me Upside Down” set to drop on May 31, 2024.

The album features 12 tracks written by Michael Doherty along with Nick Sebastiano, Alenni Davis, and Noah Dardaris. Their sound blends elements of pop, acoustic, folk, and indie rock.

Ewan McGregor and Clara McGregor make an entrance into the music scene with their debut duet “Seabird,” set to be the leading track of the drama film ‘Bleeding Love,’ in which they both star.

This revamped rendition of the Alessi Brothers classic, released on 16th February, merges indie dynamism with the duo’s harmonious connection, offering a fresh take under the production wizardry of Raven Artson.

“Seabird” not only showcases Ewan’s continued passion for musical performances, evident from his roles in ‘Moulin Rouge!’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ but also marks Clara’s impressive debut in music. The collaboration brings a unique blend of deep bass and vibrant synths, setting the stage for a soundtrack that integrates natural sounds for an immersive listening experience.

‘Bleeding Love,’ directed by Emma Westenberg, explores a poignant story of a father-daughter relationship strained by addiction and hope. With a soundtrack featuring contributions from Leona Lewis, Josh da Costa, and Tall Juan, the film promises an auditory journey as compelling as its narrative. “Seabird” and the full soundtrack, out on 23rd February, are poised to enrich the film’s emotional depth, available for streaming alongside the US film premiere.

Nefarious Industries gears up for the intriguing release of MARTIN HOWTH’s a cappella album, “Distant Dissonance,” this April.

Known for his eclectic solo performances, Howth’s upcoming album is a collection of live takes, each one captured in a different historic locale to infuse the sound with the essence of each space. The first taste of this auditory journey is “Dear Dorine,” a track originally conceived as a letter to an unknown girl but ultimately became a reflective missive to Howth’s past self.

The accompanying music video, shot in the allegedly haunted Historic Strauss Mansion Museum, offers a haunting visual that complements the stairwell’s acoustics where the song was recorded live.

BAT FOR LASHES, the ethereal force in music, helmed by the London-based artist Natasha Khan, is set to enchant with her sixth studio album, The Dream Of Delphi.

Diving into the celestial depths of motherhood, the title track emerges as a “part pagan invocation, part celestial synth epic,” serving as the album’s spellbinding manifesto. Scheduled for release on May 31 under the Mercury KX label, this project marks Khan’s first venture since her embrace of motherhood and promises an exploration into the realms of vulnerability and existential wonder.

In a move that intertwines the ancient with the modern, Khan has self-produced this 10-song record, a journey initiated during the solitude of the 2020 COVID lockdown. The album, described as a tapestry of “quiet domesticity” and “existential wonder,” delves into Khan’s personal narrative of motherhood, the dissolution of her relationship with her daughter’s father, and the cyclical nature of life, death, and rebirth. Inspired by the likes of Delia Derbyshire and Beverly Glenn Copeland, the album promises a mesmerizing blend of pianos, bass flutes, harps, organs, mellotrons, and synthesisers.

Accompanying the album’s announcement is the atmospheric official video for The Dream Of Delphi, filmed in the English countryside and directed by Freddie Leyden. This visual piece, heralding the album’s themes, is just the beginning of a larger, yet-to-be-revealed album film.

This summer, Bat For Lashes will return to the UK stage for her first headline shows in five years, including a notable performance at the Barbican in London. Tickets will be available from March 1, with an artist pre-sale starting February 28 for those who register in advance.

Alternative-R&B act SYLO unveils his latest single and accompanying video, “Fall Into Me,” the first offering from his forthcoming full-length record.

With his debut release via The Orchard, Sylo showcases his signature blend of soulful melodies and deeply personal lyrics, creating an intimate sonic experience that resonates with listeners. “Fall Into Me” exudes compassion and self-reflection, inviting listeners on a journey of self-actualization alongside Sylo. Directed by Kevin Lien, the playful official video captures Sylo from various perspectives, offering a new dimension to his craft.

Daymé Arocena, the Afro-Cuban sensation, has just released her new album “Alkemi” on February 23, 2024, via Brownswood Recordings.

This marks her first release since “Sonocardiogram” in 2019, showcasing a bold evolution in her sound. “Alkemi” is a transformative fusion of neo-soul, Afro-Caribbean rhythms, and modern pop sensibilities, emphasizing Arocena’s artistic liberation and her embrace of a more cosmopolitan and versatile musical approach.

The album features standout tracks like “American Boy,” which Arocena describes as a progressive pop anthem celebrating her defiance against industry norms. The collaboration with iconic producer Eduardo Cabra in Puerto Rico has significantly influenced the album’s direction, blending Arocena’s Afro-Cuban roots with contemporary elements like analogue synths and electronica.

“Alkemi” explores themes of transformation and alchemy, mixing various musical elements to create something radiant, much like gold. The album includes collaborations with artists like Rafa Pabön on “Suave y Pegao” and Vicente García on “A Fuego Lento,” each adding their unique energy to the project.

Daymé Arocena’s journey from Havana to the global stage, highlighted by her studies at the Amadeo Roldán conservatory and her work with the Cuban-Canadian jazz collective Maqueque, has culminated in “Alkemi.” This album not only showcases her growth as an artist but also her willingness to push the boundaries of Latin pop music.

Alt-pop rockers THE DRIVER ERA kicks off 2024 with their latest single, “Get Off My Phone,” showcasing a blend of personal lyricism and alternative sound.

The modern breakup anthem addresses the intrusion of social media on healing from a past relationship. With over 450 million global streams, 50 million YouTube views, and 31 million social followers, the duo continues to solidify their position in the alt-pop space, following the success of their previous releases and sold-out world tour.

Louise Lemón’s latest album, “Lifetime of Tears,” delves deep into personal metamorphosis, offering a poignant exploration of finding light amidst darkness.

With tracks like “Shattered Heart” and “Tears as Fuel,” Lemón’s distinctive blend of noir-sound captivates listeners, drawing inspiration from influences like Fleetwood Mac and The Allman Brothers.

Recorded at the renowned Atlantis Studio in Stockholm, the album boasts a pristine and contemporary sound, reflecting Lemón’s growth as both a songwriter and producer.

In the vibrant tapestry of the alt-country and indie scene, OLIN JANUSZ emerges once again, stitching new narratives into the fabric of genre-defying music with the anticipated release of “Please Leave Quietly.”

Set to enchant listeners on April 5, 2024, this album promises a confluence of textures from guitar, mellotron, and organ, to the more classical tones of violin, viola, and cello, underscoring Janusz’s multifaceted musical journey. The digital realm buzzes with two advance tracks available for immediate consumption, offering a taste of the sonic feast that awaits.

Belgian duo ULTRA SUNN has unveiled their latest single, “Some Ghost Could Follow,” a preview from their upcoming debut album “US,” set to drop on April 19th via Artoffact Records.

Harkening back to Belgium’s 1980s New Beat scene, the duo, comprised of Gaelle Souflet and Sam Huge, infuses modern flair into the genre’s classic sound. Their music video for “Some Ghost Could Follow” can be streamed on YouTube, while the album is available for pre-order on Bandcamp. With a diverse range of influences spanning from Baroque music to contemporary pop icons like Lana Del Rey and Beyonce, ULTRA SUNN’s message of positivity and empowerment shines through their work.

As they gear up for a series of international tour dates, including stops in Europe, North America, and South America, ULTRA SUNN continues to captivate audiences with their electrifying performances and infectious energy.

Mikahl Anthony, the enigmatic artist and filmmaker, unveils his highly anticipated double A-sided single “Space Blue / Deep ‘Ain’t It” today, February 23, 2024, on R&S Records.

With these tracks, Anthony offers a glimpse into the sonic landscape of his upcoming album, “MUSE,” showcasing a fusion of soulful hip hop, funk, jazz, and afrobeat influences.

“Space Blue,” produced by Nico “Donnie Trumpet” Segal, features modern, spacey undertones and reflects on deep connections, while “Deep ‘Ain’t It,” produced by Renzel and Evil Needle, delves into profound introspection.

Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, Mikahl Anthony’s musical journey spans the global alt-soul/hip-hop scene, with notable collaborations including projects with Via Rosa and Jean Deaux. “MUSE” embodies Anthony’s mantra of self-reflection through storytelling, offering an immersive audio/visual experience that captivates audiences with its depth and complexity.

Hamilton, Ontario musician Linnea Siggelkow, known by her project name Ellis, shares her latest single “What I Know Now” along with a poignant music video directed by Justin Singer.

The track offers a candid reflection on Siggelkow’s experiences within the music industry, serving as a diss track to the challenges she faced with labels and the press, ultimately highlighting the universal theme of hindsight’s bittersweet lessons. Despite its specific references, the song’s chorus resonates universally, encapsulating the hindsight that often accompanies personal growth and self-discovery.

“what I know now” is part of Ellis’ forthcoming sophomore album, “no place that feels like,” set to release on April 26th. This album represents a culmination of introspection and contemplation, featuring 11 delicate yet powerful tracks that delve into uncertainty and doubt. Through her music, Ellis navigates the complexities of identity and the quest for self-understanding, offering listeners a relatable journey through introspection and vulnerability.

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