Thank goodness we didn’t have to wait long for the latest offering from Manchester minimal-poppers The 1975 and their forthcoming EP IV which is set to release May 20, with freshly minted single “fallingforyou”. Last week, we gave you Ninjas the drop on the dreary cut “Haunt // Bed”, and today follows suit with that slow-burning aesthetic spearheaded by Matthew Healy’s longing coo, steeped in a blanket of shoegazey reverb. At the heart of “fallingforyou”, beats a faint, driving synth just audible enough to get your hips swinging while lost in The 1975’s stimulating wave of melancholia. It is a track recalling some of The xx’s earliest and best work, but is also completely unique on its own. It seems with every release The 1975 are becoming more confident in building their sound, and haven’t once missed the mark production wise. Stream “fallingforyou” above and check out their latest North American tour dates in support of The Neighbourhood here.
Consistency. Something this planet’s unpredictable climate and the Indie Dojo do not have common. ‘Cause no matter if you are currently being slapped in face with an unbearable heatwave or you have ice tsunamis (yes, this is a real thing) knocking down your doors, you’ve always got that weekly playlist to bundle up to or in LA’s case…get naked with. Hey…don’t judge. It’s f’n hot.
Los Angeles based R&B/pop-songstress BANKS got us out of bed on the right foot early this Monday morning by gracing our ears with her newest single “Warm Water”, produced by one of the most musically educated and progressive minds within the electronic community, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. “Warm Water” is a dreamy, romantic slice of pop music, placing BANKS’ lusty, soulful refrain front and center over a minimally focused R&B track. With the recent success of hyper-expressive vocalists like Frank Ocean, Rhye and Jessie Ware being displayed on every major taste-making outlet on the web, it seems BANKS is arriving at the perfect moment in time for her sound to be appreciated. The impending single is getting set to to release on May 27 through London’s Good Years Recordings, so have an early listen to “Warm Water”, and you will quickly find out how we were so moved by such simple instrumentation.
If you’re like us, you’ve probably looped Disclosure‘s “Latch” track to the point of record-scratching — it’s a stellar jam and one that’s pleasantly led to the UK duo’s generous amount of press coverage as of late. But all the credit can’t go to the production; Sam Smith‘s impassioned vocals are impressive in their own right and with this acoustic version, flushed with beautiful string and piano work, we get to see just how impactive his voice really is. He’s emotional, but so commanding at the same time. Treat yourself below, and be sure to revisit the original, too.
Not my usual album review here, but I liked this single that came across my inbox. “Mirror” begins with some ambient sound and marches into an effective mix of distortion, simple percussion and a driving baseline, setting the stage for a dreamy guitar and vocals. The tune grows more complex and triumphant as it goes along, leaving the listener satisfied.
The song has a little bit of an 80′s feel, but this happens organically and isn’t sought after, in my view. A grittier, modern version of The Police was my initial impression. Anyway, check this single out here!
BETS stole our hearts and ears with her release of the quirky single, “Rooftop Lover.” If you haven’t heard it yet, you’re missing out. Her unique tone pairs perfectly with the lazy strumming on the track, creating a overwhelmingly enjoyable indie pop jam. After hearing this song ad nauseam (it was quite the favorite here at the office) we decided that we wanted to know more about the woman behind this longing rooftop wanderer. So, we fired over some questions to get to know her better.
TMN: Hello BETS! Thank you so much for taking some time to answer some questions for us. As a newcomer to the scene, we know a lot of our readers would like to get to know you better!
BETS: Hi! Thanks for having me.
TMN: First up, why don’t you tell us how you got into music. Did your parents encourage you as a child, or was it something you were just interested in personally?
BETS: I definitely was encouraged as a child to be creative. We didn’t have a TV growing up, so instead we did things like draw, make music and run around inventing things –pretty unheard of in this day and age. I also come from a very artistic family, so I think it was the combination of those things that definitely ignited the spark in me to create things and to be an artist.
TMN: When was the turning point in your life where you had the confidence to know you wanted to be fully involved as a singer?
BETS: I always dreamed of being a singer, but it’s only very recently that I got the courage to step out onto the stage. I’ve been writing poems and songs and singing since I was a teenager, but I always kept it to myself. It was my own little secret. Somewhere along the line I realized I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I just wasn’t going to die happy without music being my life.
TMN: How many instruments do you play? Do you have one that you gravitate more than the others?
BETS: I don’t play any instruments, but I wish I played ALL instruments. I do own a few though with high hopes…so you never know! Oh, and I love bass in a big way.
TMN: You’re currently splitting your time between NY and LA. What’s the reasoning behind that?
BETS: That’s really something that happened rather than being something that was planned. I moved to LA from Brooklyn 3 years ago, but I go back and forth so often for work & family stuff that really I just live between the two. For music, it seems perfect actually and I love both cities too much to let one go…for now.
TMN: If it were solely based on food alone, which city would you rather live in?
BETS: LA for the healthy fresh food, NY for the restaurants and falafel…see, I’m torn.
TMN: Let’s ask another food based question. If you were on Death Row, what would your last meal be?
BETS: Artichokes, greek salad, and my famous homemade ice cream cake.
TMN: Your voice is just as unique as some of the instrumentation on your record, who are other female singers you look up to or enjoy listening to?
BETS: Why, thank you! I love listening to old school stuff…people like Nina Simone, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin. Grew up listening to a ton of oldies, so I guess it stuck.
TMN: We absolutely loved “Rooftop Lover”. It was definitely on repeat at TMN HQ for quite some time. What was your inspiration behind that song?
BETS: I wrote that tune because I would always go with my girlfriend and songwriting partner, Christina O’Connor, to make music on a roof in Hollywood and I started calling us “the rooftop lovers” and then decided to write a song about it. It became a love song… don’t they all.
TMN: Name three musicians you would love to collaborate with in the future.
BETS: Oh, so many! Would love to do musical collaborations with Haim, Lykke Li, and The National. And while I’m making wishes, I’d also like to collaborate with Lena Dunham on something creative someday, please.
TMN: This one is a little off the wall, but we always love hearing what people have to say. If your music were an animal, what would it be?
BETS: If my music was an animal it would be a Bali Bird of Paradise… or just a puppy dog named Bear.
TMN: Ok, one last one for fun. If you were stuck on a deserted island with only one musicians catalogue of music, who would it be and why?
BETS: I’d be stuck with the Beatles catalogue (for obvious reasons) and some coconut water.
TMN: Alright, thanks so much for the virtual sit down! Feel free to talk about anything else you’d like to share with our readers at this time.”
BETS: All I want to say is thanks to all the listeners for helping me leave my secret songwriting life behind, I love you all. Lots of exciting new songs, videos and shows coming this summer so stay in touch here: www.betsmusic.com xx