Still Parade – “Chamber”

Still Parade, also known as Berlin based musician Niklas Kramer, has been slowly building up a strong foundation for his upcoming debut album Concrete Vision, including the impressively complex “7:41” as well as the lush, softer “Walk in the Park.” Now, the dream/psych pop aesthetic continues with the newest track off the new album, “Chamber.” Despite the loose, dreamy composition of synth and instrumentals, the composition is incredibly tight and focused, giving me high hopes for the upcoming album. Concrete Vision will be released June 10th.

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photo by Tonje Thilesen
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Aloha – “Signal Drift”

Ohio based indie group Aloha is all set to release their first album in almost half a decade, Little Windows Cut Right Through, following 2010’s Home Acres. The three singles that have already emerged from the new album all sound wonderfully reminiscent of 80’s pop, complete with evocative synth and a myriad of clean, focused. guitar melodies. “Signal Drift” is perhaps the most lush and expansive track out of the three, which somehow remains both melancholy and uplifting at the same time. The vocals border on falsetto at times, which flows almost seamlessly into the beautifully shrill and shimmering instrumentals. Little Windows Cut Right Through will be released May 6th.

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photo by Suzanne Price

Prism Tats – “Never Been Shy”

Prism Tats, also known as South African musician Garrett van der Spek, is one of Anti-‘s newest signees, and considering his impressive self-titled debut, it’s clear to see where the appeal initially came from. Van der Spek’s aesthetic throughout the album seems to combine the best parts of garage punk and alternative pop into one sleek, consistent package, which, despite its jagged demeanor, still manages to show true emotion flawlessly. Among the album’s numerous irresistible tracks, including the quirky “Creep Out// Freak Out” as well as the softer “Know It All,” “Never Been Shy” seems to broadcast Van der Spek’s multi-faceted skill set the most, mixing together sharp, rampaging instrumentals with wonderfully distorted vocals. Prism Tats’ debut is out now, so make sure you check out the rest of the tracks – there’s something for every taste.

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photo by Cara Robbins

Roosevelt – “Colours”

The last I heard from Cologne-based artist Roosevelt was when he released the infectious, disco-inspired track “Night Moves” about a year ago, and I couldn’t help but marvel at his ability to layer textures and even build entire narratives with synth. Now, after years of singles, the electronic producer, singer, and songwriter – also known as Marius Lauber – is all set to release a self-titled debut album. “Colours,” the first single from the new album, follows the same nu-disco vibe that possessed his previous tracks, but here, it’s a bit more vivid and consistently upbeat, with clean, focused percussion, and numerous melodic riffs. And, perhaps most importantly, the synths are still wonderfully infectious. Roosevelt’s debut album will be released August 19th.

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photo courtesy of artist

James Blake – “Timeless”

Last month, James Blake shared “Modern Soul,” the first single from the follow-up to 2013’s brilliant album Overgrown, titled Radio Silence. Now, the English producer and singer has released “Timeless,” a hypnotic, mesmerizing track that highlights all the best parts of Blake’s smooth falsetto croon. It’s clear that there’s some emotion that will be further fleshed out in the upcoming album, and that Blake’s immense skill hasn’t diminished in the slightest. Radio Silence is anticipated to be quite long, with eighteen tracks and one track clocking in at around 20 minutes, but no matter – there’s just more of it to love.

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photo courtesy of pitchfork

Kllo – “Bolide”

Cousins Simon Lam and Chloe Kaul make up Kllo, a Melbourne-based electronic duo specializing in wonderfully textured, glitchy sounding pop. Their last EP Cusp was released back in 2014, and now, the duo has announced their follow up EP Well Worn, due August 5th via Ghostly International. Their newest single “Bolide” provides the foundation for what Well Worn will hopefully hold, that being sleek, smooth instrumentation that also tends to morph into a more jagged, textured persona. True to its celestial title, the track alludes to and sounds like a mixture of various explosions and implosions, and Kaul’s vocals somehow sound delicate and commanding all at once.

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photo courtesy of stereogum

Two People – “Fading”

Snakadaktal, before their dissolution two years ago, was a band that truly knew the inner workings of the synth-pop and ambient genres, mixing together the two to create something other worldly and intimate. Though they left us with one beautiful studio album back in 2013, many craved more, which makes band alumni Pheobe Lou and Joey Clough’s new project Two People that much more sweet. “Fading,” from the duo’s upcoming EP, channels the same ambiance and sense of control that Snakadaktal had, but feels deeper and more mature. Lou’s voice dances in between bouts of synth and bass, making the song’s theme of the desire for something more substantial that much more wistful.

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photo courtesy of the line of best fit

Delorean – “Musik”

Barcelona based electro-pop band Delorean have been relatively quiet since their previous album Apar, releasing just one single and a handful of remixes. So, it was big news when the band announced their new album Musik, as well as the title track – a synth-soaked song chock full of impressive, glitchy instrumentation and vivid, Lust For Youth style vocals. Musik will be released June 22nd.

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photo by Rafa Castells

Car Seat Headrest – “Fill in the Blank”

Last October, Car Seat Headrest released their first proper album Teens of Style, which took the best of frontman Will Toledo’s eleven impressive bandcamp albums and put them all in one place, and categorized as the sort of music that isn’t ashamed or afraid to broadcast the sort of feelings that time and time again are heavily stigmatized, like depression or cynicism. Teens of Denial, the upcoming full length full of brand new tracks, is no exception, and the recent release of single “Fill in the Blank” shows off Toledo’s simultaneous criticisms of himself as well as his frustrations with the outside world. The compressed, rampaging guitar instrumentals serve as an appropriate backdrop for Toledo’s sickly cynical, yet ironically earnest vocals and lyrics that seem to build in intensity as the track plays on. Many have noted Car Seat Headrest’s intense skill – especially in the recent single “Drunk Drivers/ Killer Whales” – and some have even gone as far as to say that Teens of Denial could be the #1 album of 2016. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if that’s true, but thankfully we won’t have to wait long – Teens of Denial comes out May 20th.

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photo by Anna Webber

Young Magic – “Sleep Now”

The smooth, luscious synth that opens “Sleep Now,” the newest single from New York based chill-wave/ electronic pop duo Young Magic, almost feels like the epitome of the word atmospheric, and brilliantly melts into the core of the track almost seamlessly. Lead singer Melati Malay brings out her Indonesian background in the track, as her smooth, lullaby-tinged vocals mingle with gamelan and heavy synth fueled instrumentals. Overall, it feels warm and intimate, which is what Malay wanted in order to capture the essence of her beloved homeland. “Sleep Now” comes from the duo’s upcoming album Still Life, which will be released next month.

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photo by Landon Speers