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Pip Blom – Babies Are A Lie

Boy Azooga – Face Behind Her Cigarette

Pontus Wallgren – About Me ft. Julia Bjernelind

Alexander Biggs – Figure It Out

F E L I N – 21st Century

The Yada Yada Yadas – Oceans

Amanda Mair – Rush

Hatchie – Sure

TRACE – Low

Tearjerker – Getting By

Joey Pecoraro – Here We Are Again

PIP BLOM – BABIES ARE A LIE

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Amsterdam-based Pip Blom comes out swinging with Babies Are A Lie.

The lo-fi laidback delight charms with its chilled-out guitar and sing-along chorus.

About the track, Pip said: “I’d like people to get creative with it. Let them come up with their own story behind the song.

“It means something to me, but I really like the idea that it can mean something different to everyone. All I can say, it’s a pretty personal one and it means a lot to me.”

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BOY AZOOGA – FACE BEHIND HER CIGARETTE

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Boy Azooga, the psych-flecked musical vehicle for Cardiff’s Davey Newington, have a badass track in Face Behind Her Cigarette.

With its sexy bass, groovy guitar and bouncing beat, the synth-pop smash draws inspiration from the late Nigerian funk musician William Onyeabor.

Davey said: “The song is basically a celebration (rip-off) of William Onyeabor's music.

“My mate Dylan played me some of his songs a couple years ago and I fell in love – I wanted to make a track that you could dance to.

“All the percussion is purposefully loud in the mix, like in Onyeabor’s, to give it a lively feel. The backing vocal effect in the chorus is inspired by Black Sabbath's Planet Caravan.

“Like our other songs, it’s all just a way of filtering the music I love into something that is hopefully new.”

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PONTUS WALLGREN – ABOUT ME ft. JULIA BJERNELIND

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Pontus Wallgren is a Stockholm-based songwriter and musician. He’s also a self-described procrastinating mixing engineer.

Teaming up with singer Julia Bjernelind, single About Me electrifies with its dreamy soundscape.

About the track, Pontus said: “The song was written as part of a project which will yield four singles in total this year.

“I started writing a bunch of songs and I wanted to work together with singers that would also write the lyrics.

“All the songs started out guitar-driven with a shoegaze influence, but while working on the songs they started leaning towards a more electronic sound.”

Julia, who wrote the lyrics for the single, added: “The song is about affirmation and how far you can be willing to go for it.”

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ALEXANDER BIGGS – FIGURE IT OUT

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(Alexander Biggs by Ash Koek)

Melbourne’s Alexander Biggs showcases a strong songwriting ability and emotionally captivating voice on debut EP, Still You Sharpen Your Teeth.

Lead single Figure It Out – a punchy little number – arose out of hesitation.

About the track, Alexander said: “I was facing a lot of conflict in my life. Mostly about my music. I was worried about how people would see me now that I’m not just this guy making songs out of his bedroom anymore.

“But the song came out of a place of hopefulness, which is a bit different from me – I’m normally a lot more cynical. It came from a place of understanding that everything will pass. Negative things will come, but they’ll be gone soon enough – and you’ll ‘figure it out’, so to speak.”

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F E L I N – 21st CENTURY

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Stockholm’s F E L I N is an audio-visual duo consisting of songwriter/artist Elin Blom and photographer/director Fredrik Etoall.

The couple’s Scandi-pop sound and imagery makes for a powerful combination.

On track 21st Century, the melodic rock anthem explodes with its dirty synth and crunchy guitar riffs.

About the track, Elin said: “We’re the lost generation. The generation where the image of caring is more important than to actually care. The generation where it’s more important to get likes than to be liked. The generation where how you look on the outside is more important than how you feel on the inside.

“We get more lonely each day even though we have the whole world just one click away. We’re living in a fantasy world without boundaries while the world outside gets more and more f**ked up. But in the end will we also be the generation who actually makes a change in the world?

“No matter what we decide to do we’re still going to be the future of the 21st century so let’s make it a future we want to live in.” 

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THE YADA YADA YADAS – OCEANS

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Durham-based The Yada Yada Yadas have mastered the craft of creative alt-pop songs by burying them deep beneath piles of dirt, feedback, and uncompromisingly creamy fuzz.

The band – with their Seinfeld-inspired name – are obsessed with the idea of letting the listener dig through the messy surface of noise to discover the simplicity of the pop gem that lies within each track for themselves.

Debut single Oceans gives us a taste of the trio’s upcoming EP, Way…No Way…

The song – a love letter and break-up in three short minutes – captivates with its delicious distortion.

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AMANDA MAIR – RUSH

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Stockholm’s Amanda Mair first gained recognition when she was a teenager with her debut single, House.

Having since evolved as an artist and songwriter, she returns to the fore with Rush – a dark and contemplative track that mulls over a physical and emotional connection. Introduced as a piano ballad, the song turns cold with chilling synth.   

About the song, Amanda said: “Rush is about when passionate attraction and destructive addiction allows you to repeat the same hurtful mistake over and over again.”

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HATCHIE – SURE

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Australia’s Harriette Pilbeam, AKA Hatchie, hits the right note with her irresistible pop.

The Brisbane-based musician sets her emotional life to song with single Sure.

The track – written in a day on a whim when a melody jumped into Harriette’s head – blurs layers of hazy guitar with bursts of cascading synths to bring life to the superb shoegaze.

About the song, Harriette said: “I wrote Sure about people I know falling in and out of the same relationship issues as we grew out of our teens into early adulthood.

“When I initially wrote it, it was about a couple that decided to give it ‘one more shot’ over and over again because they couldn't bear to be apart. When I think about all the lyrics now I realise that it could be interpreted in a number of different ways.”

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TRACE – LOW

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Southern California born and raised, singer-songwriter TRACE effortlessly mixes fresh sounding synth-pop with R&B.

Now based in LA, the musician pulls at the heartstrings with the emotionally raw single Low.

About the track, she said: “When I wrote Low, the hook came first. Which is kind of rare for me and also speaks volumes to a point that was so strongly on my mind at the time: know better, do worse. 

“Low is essentially the confession of making a poor decision on purpose. It’s about knowing the pull someone who is bad for you has on you – so you play into it, entertain it and even give them compliments like telling them they make you feel golden.”

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TEARJERKER – GETTING BY

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Shoegaze has never sounded sweeter thanks to Canadian indie-rockers Tearjerker.

Getting By drifts along gently with its blissful melody.

About the track, frontman Micah Bonte said: “This track comes from a piano piece that we'd had recorded for a while. For years it had been just sitting in an old demo folder and then one weekend we dusted it off and took a listen, and it sparked for everyone. From there, we added instrumentation and vocals over the next few days and it was basically done. 

“Getting By holds a mirror up to 2017. It seemed like every morning this year we were reluctant to open a newspaper, with the dread of ‘what the fu*k is next?’

“We had been particularly impacted by watching American news over the summer, and feeling so gutted about millions of people at risk of losing their health care. It's hard to imagine that there are so many people who can't afford to get sick.

“So the words for the song really come from that sentiment. ‘Spending all my life just getting by’ just means the struggle is very real, we feel it too – and we're all going to get through it together.”

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JOEY PECORARO – HERE WE ARE AGAIN

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Michigan musician Joey Pecoraro serves up chillwave in cinematic style.

On track Here We Are Again, the tranquil instrumental is driven by the rich layered soundscape. Alongside the wistful trumpet and vintage keys, the hazy beat produces an atmospheric jazz that you can easily kick back and daydream to.

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