Tag Archives: pop

Bella Loka

Being a part of the music industry with its very own calendar and demands can be hard on ones personal relationships. As a result, making music together with your partner could be one way to circumvent those problems, albeit creating others at the same time, like how to separate and professional life.

Bella Loka, consisting of David and Tea Boothby, a young couple from Camden, London, seem to be heading in the right direction with that. Concurrently they also succeed at creating catchy electro-pop tunes.

David is mainly responsible for the laptop production and guitars whereas Tea is in charge of vocals, piano, songwriting while also contributing guitar sounds. On top of that, she is the one that usually comes up with ideas for new songs, writing them for guitar and piano at first, while David takes care of the necessary managerial duties that come with being a musician.

Their sound, although clearly aimed at a mainstream, pop-affine audience, has its roots in the diverse influences of both Tea and David. Tea sums it up when she says that, “[f]rom the earliest age I was exposed to an incredibly eclectic mix of roots, soul, gospel, folk, rock and pop through my mum and dad’s love of music and widely differing music tastes”, while later on developing her very own taste listening to the likes of Queen, Radiohead, Björk and David Bowie. Bowie seems to be something both can agree on. David, who otherwise has a strong bias towards guitar-heavy music, mentions his abstract fear of Bowie “becom[ing] a borderline obsession”.

On the 2nd of September they are releasing their first EP, ‘Escape’ and at the moment they are extensively touring clubs and venues in the UK. Among the songs on the EP, ‘Colin’ stands out musically with a progressive pop-beat that really carries the song along with Tea’s always prominent vocals.

My personal (lyrical highlight) of the mini-album is ‘Wake Up (You Could do much Better)’. It is a song about personal progress and the necessity of dealing with traumas from the past, topics of great personal importance for Tea. “I wrote Wake Up after a period of intense frustration and the positive message of “you could do much better” was a kind of Eye Of The Tiger moment for me”.  It developed into a dark exploration of personal traumas, also incorporating experiences of domestic abuse that happened to people close to her.

Otherwise Tea has a very positive outlook of the music industry, being aware of the hardships of women, especially their ongoing sexualization when it comes to marketing. But her personal experience speak of different reactions by her listeners: “What we’ve been finding at shows is that there’s a real appetite amongst the music-loving public to see women making real art and music without feeling the need to diminish themselves in that way.”

And Tea and David definitely are making ‘real art and music’. Escape is a solid pop EP, that has good aspects to develop upon and it will be exciting where Bella Loka is taking their sound. Making it sound more rough, edgy and losing some of the polished popishness could really do them well. Considering their diverse influences they might very well succeed at that.

Year: 2014

Genre: Electro-Pop

More From Bella Loka:

Official Website | Soundcloud | YouTube | Facebook

Zhala – Prophet / I’m in love

Being associated with two of Sweden’s biggest icons of contemporary pop is definitely not a hindrance to success in the music industry these days. And Zhala can boast exactly that. She performed as a chorist for Lykke Li and got signed on Robyn‘s very own music label Konichiwa Records in 2012.

In early 2014 she released her first EP ‘Prophet’. And it’s the title song that stands out from the rest of the pop tunes on that record. ‘Prophet’ is soaking with rave influences. So much that Zhala describes her own music as ‘religious rave’. It’s a label most appropriate for the tune that starts with a thumping, but still relatively mellow beat. But as soon as the sharp synths set in around the minute mark it steadily develops into a hardcore rave tune which feels almost comically exaggerated close to the end of the song.

It’s a very promising first release and the premiere of her newest tune, the catchy and upbeat ‘I’m in Love’ on the last weekend on P1 shows that we can expect a lot more from the Swedish songstress.

Year: 2014

Genre: Synthpop / Rave

More From Zhala:

Official Website | Soundcloud | YouTube

Shindu – Down The Line

‘Can’t go back. I Lost the track. Nothing is right. Everything is wrong.’ Oh, how I can feel them right now… They are a Belgian duo that goes by the name of Shindu. It consists of Chibi, who provides the vocals and Chris, who’s in charge of the beats. They were formed in 2011 and have not stopped to create amazing electronic music ever since.

Their newest release, which I stumbled upon while browsing through amazing ‘Electronic Rumors’, is the above linked video to ‘Down the Line’. It accompanies their recent single release of ‘Trust me’ as a B-Side. And I must say that I like it even better than the single itself. It has a kind of retro 80’s ‘Drive’ atmosphere to it and sheds light onto the darker times during one’s life.

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TEED X Anna Lunoe – Feels Like

It’s Anna Lunoe – again! The only appropriate reaction to her newest song comes from ‘dropthebassline’ who ask whether ‘Anna Lunoe can ever make a bad track?’ Slowly I’m beginning to think that’s not at all possible.

For ‘Feels Like’ she teams up with notorious producer ‘Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ to produce one of this year’s best techhouse tracks yet.  It is released on TEED’s very own new label ‘Nice Age’ and is special in its modes of creation, because both Anna Lunoe and TEED contributed vocals and production, so it really is a collaboration down to its core.

Both, the new TEED label as well as Anna Lunoe’s development to one of the leading ladies of global house culture are exciting prospects for the future of electronic music and ‘Feels Like’ is a testament to that.

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XXYYXX feat. Vanessa Elisha – Unknown

I’m so stoked. The new XXYYXX EP seems to be right around the corner, as electro’s wonderkid releases ‘Unknown’, his latest track featuring Vanessa Elisha.

Vanessa Elisha already made some waves (sorry for the pun) with her ‘Midnight Swim’ EP where she teamed up with a diverse array of producers for some fine soul-infused electro. The choice to work together with XXYYXX not only indicates that she really has a knack for choosing the best people to work with, but also that she’s amazingly good at what she does.

To me, ‘Unknown’ doesn’t yet reach up to something like ‘About You’. But hey, that was one of the most mind-boggling debuts ever had. So it’s still one hell of an awesome song.

Continue reading XXYYXX feat. Vanessa Elisha – Unknown

Zambri – Hundred Hearts

‘Hundred Hearts’ is produced by the two New-Yorkers Christi Jo and Jessica Zambri. Together they call themselves Zambri and experiment with a diversity of electronic sounds.  They released their debut LP ‘House of Basaa‘ in 2012 but it became very quiet around them soon after. Their last upload to their SoundCloud account also dates back to almost two years ago. One can only hope that this won’t be the last we’ve heard of them.

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Peking Duk ft. Nicole Millar – High

Wonderfully dancey tunes – a happily weird music video – strong vocals and lyrics. That is all that makes this track so damn good. It’s an Australian collaboration between the up and coming producer duo Peking Duk and singer Nicole Millar who has just released her first solo tune.

Also recommended: Yahtzel’s tropical beats remix of ‘High’.

Continue reading Peking Duk ft. Nicole Millar – High