- Tom H
New Music Spotlight (October 2021)
In this early October edition of New Music Spotlight, we take a brief look and listen to new single and EP releases from White Lies, Karis Lee, Voix, Spunsugar, Angel Olsen, and Ryan Wright. Read on, listen, and enjoy!
Be sure to check out the SoundThread Music Blog Spotify playlist where you can stream the single and EP's below and a lot more great new indie tunes!
White Lies | As I Try Not To Fall Apart (new single)
With the first taste of new music from their forthcoming album, London-based alternative/indie rock trio White Lies releases its upbeat, synth-driven new single, "As I Try Not To Fall Apart." Comprised of Harry McVeigh (lead vocals, guitar), Charles Cave (bass guitar and backing vocals), and Jack Lawrence-Brown (drums), White Lies delightfully weaves its modernized and captivating style of 80's alt/pop throughout this solid and ultra-catchy gem of a single.
"Why every morning waking up
Must I try not to fall, must I try not to fall apart?
You take me in your grateful arms
And I try not to fall, oh I try not to fall apart"
On social media, the band announced a February 18, 2022 release date for the new album, As I Try Not To Fall Apart, along with news of a massive tour of the UK and Europe that will kick off during March 2022.
Karis Lee | Counterfeit Love (new single)
R&B/Pop singer and songwriter Karis Lee delivers a clever, tuneful wordplay reflecting upon unauthentic relationships in her impressive new single, "Counterfeit Love." Karis' warm, soulful vocals narrate this piece of captivating musical poetry that speaks to the innate desire of wanting real, emotional connection within a relationship while preserving one's self-worth.
"This counterfeit love
Ain't the real thing
Wake up with you
Shake the empty
A hollow smile for your sake
A lying kiss that you take"
Produced by Adam Reid, the song has been in the works for quite some time prior to its release. "I've been sitting on 'Counterfeit Love' for YEARS and today it's out in the world," Karis comments. It was just over a year ago that Karis' solo career as singer-songwriter became official with the release of her debut single, "2pm" and follow-up "Double." Watch for more new single releases from this emerging artist and queue up "Counterfeit Love" on your playlists!
Voix | Anywhere (new single)
Ever since the songwriting and production duo of Andi Anderson and Mike Smith created the artistic alias of Voix, they have consistently released one infectious, upbeat single after another. I first discovered the clean, tight pop production and infectious melodies of Voix with "Pull You Down," one of my favorite single releases from 2020. "Anywhere" is the latest release from the duo - an uplifting track that clearly gives testament to the solid songwriting sensibilities, uplifting vocals and crisp production that Voix consistently crafts.
The moment I saw you, I knew
I would go anywhere with you
As long as you’re always my view
I would go anywhere with you
With each single release from Voix, I'm always looking forward to hearing what Andi and Mike have in store for us next. This is definitely an up-and-coming indie/electronic pop band to keep on your musical radar.
Spunsugar | Things That I Confuse (new EP)
Swedish alternative rock/shoegaze band Spunsugar kicked off 2021 with the release of "(You Never) Turn Around," a delightful indie pop single that saw the band leaning toward a dreamier, more euphoric sound than its previous releases. Continuing in this musical direction, Spunsugar unveils its impressive new four-track EP, Things That I Confuse, packed with anger, manipulation, attachment issues and love misunderstandings. Add gorgeous melodies and swirling soundscapes - what's not to like?
Comprised of Elin Ramstedt, Cordelia Moreau, and Felix Sjöström, the trio comments on their new EP: "The songs on Things That I Confuse pretty much wrote themselves in a frenzy. Still, they sound more Spunsugar than ever. It's still as timeless and nostalgic as it is fresh. The four songs consist of two more pop-like tracks and two that have kept the more noisy aggressive sound that has become a staple of the band. Now there's an added layer of an icy lo-fi feel. References to giallo films and Japanese movie monsters work to tell stories of close relationships, trauma and regret that keeps one up at night. Every second is thought through, there's no unnecessary fluff. Every note serves a purpose on this EP."
if you like what you hear, check out Spunsugar's 2020 debut album release, Drive-Through Chapel, which showcases the band's dark and pulsing blend of shoegaze and post-punk with textured soundscapes.
Angel Olsen | Aisles (new EP)
Many indie music fans will have already heard and fallen in love with "Like I Used To," Angel Olsen's stunning duet with Sharon Van Etten. Angel recently launched new label somethingscosmic, with the help of longtime partners at Jagjaguwar Records, that will serve as the home for all her covers, collaborations, and one-off singles. The first release on somthingscosmic is Angel's Aisles EP, a collection of five cleverly-reworked 80's cover songs from Laura Branigan ("Gloria"), Billy Idol ("Eyes Without A Face"), Men Without Hats ("Safety Dance"), OMD ("If You Leave"), and Alphaville ("Forever Young").
The haunting, slower-paced production and Angel's mesmerizing vocals - that range from deadpan to soaring - transform each of these songs into something refreshing and unique. The first time I heard the EP, I found myself looping back for multiple listens. Angel's re-interpretations of these 80's classics are truly captivating.
Angel provides background on her first output on somethingscosmic: "The first release is the Aisles EP - 5 covers of songs from the 80's I worked on with my friend Adam McDaniel. I know it's not really in my history to do something unintentional or just for the hell of it, but my connection to these songs is pretty straightforward. I just wanted to have a little fun and be a little more spontaneous, and I think I needed to remember that I could!"
Regarding the selection of songs, Angel comments, "Summer 2020 was tough for many reasons. But Adam and his wife Emily opened their home to me and made it a safe space to create and let go. I told Adam I had an idea to record some covers and bring some of the band into the mix, or add other players. I wanted to record 80's songs that I'd overheard walking the aisles at the grocery store, and I needed to laugh and have fun and be a little less serious about the recording process in general. I thought about completely changing some of the songs and turning them inside out."
Ryan Wright | u were never mine (new single)
Virginia-based singer-songwriter and producer Ryan Wright unveils her ethereal and melodramatic synth-pop heartbreak song, "u were never mine." The lyrical theme of the track speaks to the scenario of being ghosted by someone you're into and the unexpected devastation that comes from having the relationship collapse before it even really begins.
Couldn’t care less
if you let me go
Cause maybe you missed out
I guess you’ll never know
And you are
You’re somebody’s valentine
But I know
I know u were never mine
"I knew intellectually that my distress over the whole thing was probably silly but also knew I couldn't help the way I was feeling," Ryan explains. "I wanted the song to convey all of these emotions I wasn't able to reconcile - the disappointment of having this person not be who I thought they were and trying to deal with the fact that I was honestly heartbroken even though I knew this particular relationship didn't warrant that kind of devastation. Being able to transform this painful situation into something strange and beautiful - elevating it into art - made everything I was feeling easier to process. And it allowed me to get the upper hand - to actually gain something from the whole experience rather than just feeling the loss."
Ryan's musical influences range from the classic (The Cars, Roy Orbison, The Smiths) to the current (The Killers, The 1975, Lana Del Ray) to the local musicians she grew up playing with and learning from. Her indie dream-pop has been compared to Lorde, Lennon Stella and The Japanese House. New single "u were never mine" gained its inspiration from these very influences as Ryan reveals: "We listened to a lot of The Cars for inspiration. Interestingly, the song ended up reflecting the idea of 'cars' thematically as well. When you're young, your car is kind of your sanctuary, so it makes sense as the place where you'd give a confession."