The Playground Picks 13/12/19
It’s Friday the 13th, however, you’re in luck as we have a fresh batch of selections for you to enjoy through our CHILL, EXPERIMENTAL, POP and INDIE Playlists on Spotify. This week, we have included the most eye-catching music videos from our picks for you to enjoy too!
Each selection is an important piece of our curations, standing as unique works of art in relation to one another and, together, taking the listener on a journey through sound.
Tyler Myerberg – ‘Ubud’
‘Ubud’ is an ode to the mystical energy of the Balinese village of Ubud, where Tyler Myerberg spent time as a teenager and saw the majesty of enlightenment. Full of ebullient synths and textured beats, ‘Ubud’ is from the artists second album, Rites, a dedication to the miracles of every moment in this mysterious and beautiful universe.
A Winged Victory for the Sullen – ‘Aqualung, Motherf*cker’
Purveyors of contemporary ambient and electronic inspired music, A Winged Victory for the Sullen made a bold return on new album The Undivided Five, released on Ninja Tune. The pair, made up of Dustin O’Halloran and Adam Wiltzie (also a member of Stars of the Lid), have created iconic film scores and forward-thinking ambient groups, releasing a series of game-changing records for Erased Tapes and Kranky. ‘Aqualung, Motherf*cker’, the short film for the song taken from The Undivided Five, is a multi-disciplinary feat encompassing narrative, character, music and film, from the vantage point of artists in collaboration.
People – ‘Xiang’
‘想’ (‘Xiang’) is a collaboration between People, Amsterdam-based Christopher Hamilton, and South Korean Artist Juhee Hahn. Together they stretched sonic and visual fields to find a place where the digital realm and human meet: a human warmth made with machines. Pulses and a lone hi-hat undulate amongst scattered vowels, out of which the central voice emerges as the song seamlessly melts into Juhee’s pastel landscapes. The result is something so otherworldly in nature yet strangely familiar.
Waterflower – ‘Violet’
‘Violet’ – a track composed using a purple flower to generate midi signals using MIDI Sprout and a QY70, as seen at the beginning of the music video, was co-written by a Primula polyanthus plant and recorded at home. Waterflower, originally established 2006 under the alias Kroffork, is one of the first female solo acts in electronic music in Latvia. Waterflower’s live shows are theatrical, visually intriguing and rich in soundscapes, created by the artist’s ethereal vocalizations, synthesizers (using real plants to generate sound), and non-traditional object sounds using digital sampling.
Åyusp – ‘Strange Pathways’
‘Strange Pathways’ is an excerpt from Åyusp‘s (pronounced “Oy-usp”) self-titled debut album. The experimental electronica outfit consisting of two Sheffield based musicians, Graham McElearney (who has previously guested on harp for bands such as Regal Worm, Amorphous Androgynous, In The Nursery, Animat and Reverend & The Makers) and Paul Mills (formally a member of PsychoAcoustic SoundClash and The Weird & The Wonderful). The band was formed in 2016 out of a shared affection for German electronic music of the Seventies. Fusing these influences with an equal passion for ambient, classical, industrial and contemporary dance music, Åyusp blend styles creating their own unique sound.
Mabes – ‘Wait & See’
“‘Wait and see’ is ultimately a song about hope,” says Mabes, “and that most things are never as bad as they seem at the time.” The track sees Mabes playing guitar and layering vocal harmonies with Nick Webber playing the piano and Matt Newman on the double bass. ‘Wait & See’ is the final piece of the first chapter, with an EP and a debut album in store for 2020.
Aisha Badru – ‘Soil’s Daughter’
Following the release of her critically acclaimed 2018 debut album Pendulum, US singer-songwriter Aisha Badru returns with her stunning new EP – Transcendence, out February 7 2020 via Nettwerk. At the heart of Transcendence lies the new single ‘Soil’s Daughter,’ a wispy hymn with earthy vocals, about our collective roots. “This is me reflecting on the world, and this huge disconnect between us as a people and us with the planet,” says Badru, who’s given herself over to a sustainable existence, since moving from Yonkers, New York to her own little oasis outside Florida.
Ásgeir – ‘Lazy Giants’
Recalling Bon Iver‘s unworldly vocals and James Blake‘s graceful electronic touch, Ásgeir‘s ‘Lazy Giants’ is packed with imaginative lyrics and cooling energy. Deriving from folk roots and a scope of other personal influences, the Icelandic singer-songwriter is an artist who approaches emotional expression with sincerity and vulnerability.
Nikolaj Grandjean – ‘Seven Wild Horses’
‘Seven Wild Horses’ longs for the one and only; it longs for a soul mate, the complications that come along with the depth of that partnership, and the beautiful steps along that journey. Nikolaj unmasks the duplicity of making yourself suitable for your significant other and reveals a certain kind of insecurity behind the process. The single repeatedly questions if we’re enough, underlying a vacant confidence.
Magnetic Ghost – ‘Does It Dream?’
Dive into Magnetic Ghost’s celestial ether and dive in deep. ‘Does it Dream?’ is a complex experimental-pop opening track on forthcoming LP Pixels out on Round Bale Recordings Feb 28 2020. Magnetic Ghost is the project of Minneapolis musician Andrew Larson, is an ever-evolving amorphous beast, which constantly changes size, form and sound from release to release.
A is for Arrows – ‘Without You’
‘Without You’ is an intricately produced debut from Toronto’s AIFA featuring dreamy male/ female vocals and an earworm chorus. AIFA make music that fits in the groove between the likes of Alunageorge and Broods – electronic pop not lacking in a bit of bite. The track is taken from their upcoming debut EP, Roses, a highly personal, vulnerable, and self-deprecating collection of songs with a get-back-up resilience.
Fallen Roses – ‘Crush’ ft. Hannah Jenkins
Mexican-Chilean duo Fallen Roses and NYC born/Berlin-based singer Hannah Jenkins collaborate on ‘Crush’, the new sultry electronic-pop single to be released via Majestic Casual. ‘Crush’ is written by Canadian songstress and YouTube sensation Daniela Andrade, and revolves around jealousy and obsession. The laid-back and lo-fi productions ooze with warmth and passion, combining earthy hip-hop beats with vibrant cosmic sounds. An echo of summer memories swirl, as the heartfelt and organic textures weave together to transport you into heady dreams of sun-soaked days gone by.
Cub Sport – ‘Hearts in Halves’
Cub Sport continue to be one of LGBTQ’s most distinctive voices. To celebrate the end of a momentous 2019 the unstoppable Australian 4-piece announce 333 – a visual triple A-side, consisting of three brand new tracks with accompanying videos, released over three consecutive weeks. Showcasing their knack for laying down succulent synth-led grooves, the project kicks off with the infectious ‘Hearts In Halves’. Moving alongside Tim Nelson’s stellar vocals, the track immediately solidifies itself as an emphatic, standalone single.