UK wunderkind Raleigh Ritchie has been turning heads for a long minute now, and is currently having a bit of a moment with his chartstorming new single “Stronger Than Ever” soaring up the playlist at Radio 1 after breaking into the UK Top 40 earlier this month. But there’s a more obscure offering that’s had our heartstrings in a vice grip for ages now that we’re honored to finally premiere today, as we bring you a sensational new deep cut in “Birthday Girl”. Like a picturesque sunset seen through the wooded forest, it sounds like the UK’s answer to Frank Ocean basking in the California sun with The Neighbourhood. What’s to become of “Birthday Girl” we’re not quite sure, but we’re thrilled to roll out the red carpet for its arrival into the world exclusively below.
After releasing their debut Varsity EPwith us earlier this year, NYC pop kingpins ASTR have been moving from strength to strength, hitting the road earlier this month with The Knocks on a co-headline run for the ages. And with the Crystal Arcade tour just now hitting it’s halfway mark, the duo celebrate with the unveiling of their brilliant new video for “Blue Hawaii” today. Directed to crisp perfection by KRSP, it’s like getting lost in a digital paradise matrix on acid, and it’s easily one of our favorite video offerings of the year to date. Take the trip with ASTR above, it’s a good one.
We first met Ryn Weaver in a crowded NYC bar some four or five years ago, upon which she matter-of-factly informed us she was going to be a star. Today she takes the first public steps towards fulfilling that prophecy, with the unveiling of her larger-than-life debut single “OctaHate” today. It starts innocently enough, a looped stutter-step intro and playful keys quickly giving way to a serpentine topline before that chorus (THAT chorus) takes flight and Weaver never looks back, effortlessly showcasing a downright insane vocal ability in the process. And just like that, one of the brightest new stars of 2014 has arrived. BIG things to come from this one.
Honeymoon is a new thing quite dear to our hearts, springing forth from our extended family tree, a crazy cousin of sorts. Today, their first release finds its way into the world in the form of Anna of the North‘s “Sway”. Anna’s been making quite a name for herself in her few short months of existence, quickly establishing herself as Norway’s latest bid for the Scandinavian it-girl crown, her frostbitten allure and shadowy exuberance striking a perfect midpoint between Game of Thrones and Lykke Li. “Sway” opens its eyes slowly and carefully like a hazy sunrise, equal parts brooding and uplifting, wrapping you up in a woozy blanket of Scandinavian nostalgia and lukewarm synths for three minutes of gentle bliss. “Sway” is out today via Honeymoon, support the fam HERE.
We first introduced you to Portland trio EXROYALE back in November, and today we’re here to bring the exclusive premiere of their long-anticipated follow up single before their Popshop debut tomorrow. Just as delicately spritely as lead offering “Give It Up”, “Without It” turns the dream machine up to 11 with skywriter harmonies aplenty and perfectly angular hooks that sink in with an effortless touch. EXROYALE hit LA for their live debut at School Night on Monday, before the main event at Popshop West tomorrow alongside Hoodlem, Tower, and Movement; tix still available HERE.
Next weekend brings with it arguably LA’s show of the summer as Robyn and Royksopp‘s Do It Againtour hits the Hollywood Bowl for an unforgettable night of Scandinavian pop euphoria. And as this is an occasion worth endless celebration, we’ve thrown together a not-so-little preparty with our friends at Mondrian Los Angeles and Goldroom‘s Binary Entertainment for the second installment of our brand new Popshop Poolside series. Last month’s launch with Miami Horror was a runaway success, and this month we’re back with Sweden’s Zhala and local hero Hendo on the decks. And as Zhala’s the first artist signed to Robyn’s Konichiwa Records label, we wouldn’t be surprised if there was some Scandi pop royalty in the mix next weekend… It’s all going down next Sunday, June 29th at the Skybar at Mondrian from 1-7pm, absolutely FREE with RSVP at SkybarLA@mhgc.com. Dive in, LA.
Los Angeles’ Wildcat! Wildcat! have held a special place in our hearts ever since their electrifying debut found its way into the world with us two years back. Flash forward to today and they’re debut longplayer, No Moon At All, is cresting over the horizon as the trio prepare its release later this summer. They announce its impending arrival with brand new cut, “Hero, a power anthem for the anti-hero and quite possibly the band’s best offering to date. As the synths roar to life, it surges forward and shapeshifts into a sharp-tongued, synth-fueled behemoth, fangs bared and fearless. Gone may be the sunny disposition of Wildcat yore, but dark skies have never sounded so good. No Moon At All is out August 5th on Downtown, and to celebrate, we’re welcoming W!W! back to our fair city with arms wide open, presenting their triumphant return to Brooklyn on August 12th at Glasslands with support from Marley Carroll and High Chief. Tickets available now HERE, don’t sleep on this one.
We pulled back the curtain on the first full lineup of Miniature Tigers‘ Popshop trifecta with the reveal of the LA bill earlier this week, and now it’s NYC’s turn. Supporting the Tigers once again are The Griswolds, who come aboard the Cruel Runnings tour for the entirety of its run, plus our new favorite LA upstarts MUNA getting things started early. It’s all going down July 10th at Westway, with $12 advance tix on sale now HERE.
Hats off to Jinja Safari, who in the past 18 months have not only established themselves as one of Australia’s finest new exports, but have become something of an emerging scene unto themselves in the process. There’s the well-documented pursuits of the band’s frontmen; Marcus Azon with his ongoing collaboration with YesYou – which yielded one of the best songs of 2012 on “Frivolous Life” – and Pepa Knight’s solo project, whose debut single “Rahh” we premiered earlier this year. And now we’re pleased to introduce you to Berlin Bar Hounds, the braindchild of Jinja drummer Jacob Borg. On debut single “Le Rambles”, he weaves together a single spontaneous thread of sophisticated pop, like a downtrodden take on James Murphy‘s “All My Friends” as covered by The National at their most wistful. Embark on a feel trip with the exclusive premiere below.
Meet our latest LA love affair, MUNA. Fresh off the release of their debut More Perfect EP, MUNA arrive dressed to impress with an initial offering that just about lives up to its ambitious title, most notably on moving EP standout “2BMoved”. From the ‘80s theme song intro to the ret synths, it will melt you down to a pulp and build you right back up again. Any all-girl trio coming out of LA between now and the literal end of time will face inevitable HAIM comparisons and they’re not out of place here, but MUNA are more than just the latest heirs to the HAIM sisters’ alt pop throne and ably prove so across the rest of More Perfect. Catch MUNA coming to a Neon Gold stage near you soon and be sure to keep a close eye on this lot in the months to come.