New Music: Bo Milli

Photo / Synne Sofi Bønes

Another week, another stellar newcomer to emerge from Norway. This time it’s the turn of Bergen-based Bo Milli, who has just unveiled her new single, ‘FOMO’.

Demonstrating a natural flair for writing catchy pop songs that carry with them intelligent lyrics, the track finds the 21-year-old starlet wondering how things would unfold if we were more honest with our feelings towards each other.

“I like writing lyrics that sketch out what someone would say to another person if they were actually honest. In that vein, ‘FOMO’ is about the breaking point in a casual relationship where I lose my cool — in a very literal sense: while that other person is out partying with cool people, I’m unable to hide my true feelings on the matter, unable to stay emotionally distant and hard-to-get. It’s about losing a game you’ve been engaged in with someone, because you care more. And it’s about the ‘fear of missing out’ that constant digital insight into other peoples life has fostered.”

With support from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, The Luna Collective and When The Horn Blows, Bo Milli might well be one of Norway’s next big pop exports.

Bo Milli

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JVLY – swim

Australian artist Kayle Butler’s JVLY project has been compared to modern-day legends as diverse as Jungle, LEISURE, Omar Apollo and Joe Hertz.

Released through the iconic Majestic Casual Records, new single ‘swim’ is a mesmerising slice of soulful, dreamy disco that is ideal for your weekend playlists. Explaining the inspiration behind the song, Butler explains:

“I like the irony of contrasting a kind of futile situation with a sound that makes you feel good. Kevin Parker (Tame Impala) is good at that. If you relate to the story, and the song takes you to a place that’s spirited, it might give you a bit of solace, or at least a sense that you’re not alone in the gloom. All the soul, funk and house at the afterparty is the influence sonically, I love a lot of that stuff. The chord progressions, the movement, the sounds.

I find that if I notice I’m thinking about something a lot over a period of a few days, it’s probably worth trying to carve those thoughts into a couple of lines. It might not amount to much sometimes, but at least it might help make sense of the jumble that is often trying to tell you something. That’s where swim comes from, a blurting of that mess, that’s why the lines are really just blunt statements. So, I guess the essence of it is vice, whatever or even whoever that is for you.”

To date, JVLY has amassed more than two million catalogue streams, thanks to releases like ‘tacenda’ (as well as its daste. remix), ‘windless’ and ‘me&her’.

JVLY

Looney Gloomers – Faking Paintings

Acclaimed Danish outfit Looney Gloomers have been building a steady momentum ever since the release of their debut record, ‘House of Dying Days‘ last year.

Credited with forming a new style of indie called ‘New Now’, this emerging collective of singers and multi-instrumentalists return with an explosive new single today entitled ‘Faking Paintings’.

The track finds the Copenhagen & London-based group confronting the struggles of modern-day living, as they explain:

“This song confronts the inner saboteur that keeps you awake at night. The hero of ‘Faking Paintings’ is in a fog of self-doubt, trapped in a limbo of never knowing whether he’s in or out – an uncertainty that quickly turns into anger and slowly but surely develops into; self-loathing. It’s a struggle that many young people go through today and a torment we should talk more openly about.”

The song is lifted from the band’s forthcoming sophomore ‘Between Good Friends’ album, which is scheduled for release on 30th November 2022.

Looney Gloomers

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Tonia – Afloat

One of Liverpool’s most exciting talents to have emerged this year has been soul-pop artist Tonia.

New single ‘Afloat’ continues to showcase this promising newcomer’s exceptional skills at writing refreshingly honest and relatable pieces of music. Elaborating on her new single, Tonia explains:

“It sounds like I’m talking to someone else but, with hindsight, ‘Afloat’ is more a message for myself: I became very dependent on a relationship and struggled to stand on my own two feet. This became draining on the other person and I also hated the way it made me feel. I couldn’t make any decisions or think for myself – I lost trust in my own decisions and thoughts. 

I have been focusing on really learning to trust myself and truly knowing what’s best for me. All my friends will agree that I always second-guess myself even if what I’m saying is right. I wrote Afloat at the perfect time. It was exactly what I needed to say to someone and also the realisation of what was missing in the relationship. 

Maybe I realised slightly too late but I learnt that it is so important, to be honest. Your own feelings are valid even if it means hurting someone you care about.”

With only three other singles released to date, Tonia has already picked up praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1 and Introducing, The Independent and Crack in the Road. Forthcoming debut EP ‘Afloat’ is out on the 20th January 2023.

Tonia

Sweeney – Die a Bitch

LA-based musician, filmmaker and actor Sweeney is back with another impressively bold pop production through the release of his introspective new single, ‘Die a Bitch’.

Written by Sweeney as a ‘diary of self reflection’, the song looks at all the hardships and personal struggles that he has faced so far in his life, as well as his desire to overcome the pressures that hold him down.

As an all encompassing creative, Sweeney (aka Hunter Sweeney) has been building momentum since the release of his 2020 single ‘Popstar’, which as since garnered more than 2.4 million streams on Spotify alone.

Sweeney

New Music: PRIESTESS

Photo / Ana Trindade

Hailing from London, PRIESTESS is a critically acclaimed alternative-pop project formed by musician Kate Fleur Young.

New single ‘HOOKS’ is lifted from the artist’s debut ‘Landscapes’ EP, and presents listeners with an immersive sonic experience that is as haunting as it is intriguing in character.

“This track was written about my experience within an abusive relationship and the relatability I felt about people that ‘go back’ to their partners even when they know it’s unhealthy and bad for them. This experience was one that was very hard for me to extricate myself from and I felt it was like an intoxicating monster that had its hooks in me making it very hard to leave.”

With praise from established tastemakers as notable as CLASH, Wonderland and M magazines, PRIESTESS looks set to become one of the UK’s most interesting newcomers in 2023.

PRIESTESS

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Watch: Kleo – Broken Hallelujah

After much hype over the last twelve months, Danish indie-pop artist Kleo finally unveils her debut EP, entitled ‘I Love This Movie’ (out now).

Serving as a commentary on the key moments of life, the record treats listeners to a gorgeously dreamy collection of songs that are deeply captivating – both lyrically and sonically.

Alongside the EP, Kleo has also released a lyric video for ‘Broken Hallelujah’, which was written as an ode to ‘the one who got away’.

Kleo

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New Music: Ben Wolf

We’re starting the day by introducing you to Belgian singer and songwriter Ben Wolf. With a style of sound that is sincere and emotive in tone, Wolff creates pop songs that present powerful and impactful lyrics over beautifully melodic productions.

Wolf’s journey into songwriting began as a way for him to process the grief that he suffered when his best friend passed away, as he explains:

“I picked up the pen for the first time on the night after my best friend passed away. At that moment I felt numb, but wanted to feel something. I wrote her a letter, but that didn’t suffice.”

An artist who is already gaining traction in his home nation, Wolf has so far garnered more than 200k career streams from only a handful of releases.

Ben Wolf

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NORAA – Not Available

German-Chadian artist NORAA has been steadily building momentum across Europe since the release of her debut EP ‘Mixed Feelings’ back in 2019.

Now commanding more than 60k monthly listeners on Spotify, this rising talent unveils a new collection of songs, entitled ‘Twenty Two’ (out now).

Lifted from the EP is ‘Not Available’, which presents listeners with a finessed yet emotive piece of stripped-back R&B that was inspired by the tolls of dating.

“It is quite a classic R&B acoustic singer-songwriter piece which I wrote last spring, when I found myself just being tired from dating. It is about taking time to heal and coming back stronger eventually.”

NORAA

Lana Lubany – CLONES

Photo / Sahra Zadat

UK-based Palestinian/American starlet Lana Lubany is back with a show-stopping pop anthem that is sure to get you in the weekend mood.

Dark, sultry and seductive in character, new single ‘CLONES’ delivers a sound that blends iconic 00’s R&B tones with Middle Eastern-inspired alternative pop.

“’CLONES’ has upbeat, nostalgic sonics with contrasting dark lyrics, and is PHASE 3 of my concept project ‘THE HOLY LAND’.  It’s about being so lost that I start seeing strangers in my own reflection – each face representing a new version of myself, which is supposed to help me find myself, but instead I end up lost and questioning my identity & purpose. I become addicted to the ‘new package’ feeling – never finishing anything, always starting something new, because that’s much easier than facing a harsh reality.”

To date, this emerging talent has garnered critical praise from the likes of NME and Fader magazines, while also accumulating more than 14 million streams on Spotify alone.

Lana Lubany

New Music: Luchi Blue

Hailing from South East London, rising singer, rapper, producer and model Luchi Blue has marked himself as one of the Capital’s most promising new talents this year.

While on the surface Blue’s work features distinct hip hop elements, this is an artist who is unafraid to fuse other genres and musical styles into his productions – resulting in sounds that feel refreshingly original. Speaking on his new single ‘3AM’, Blue explains:

This song is about waiting for that late-night reply from the person you love and all of the thoughts about your relationship that go with that moment in time.

With support from the likes of 9Bills, EQUATE and 1987 magazines, Blue is one UK talent to keep on your radars over the next twelve months.

Luchi Blue

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Martin Luke Brown – love is a back hole !

Leicester-born musician Martin Luke Brown is back with one of the most heart-warming pieces of indie-pop that you’ll likely experience all week.

Inspired by young love and it’s entanglements, ‘love is a back hole !’ treats listeners to a stripped-back sound that is utterly charming to experience.

“‘I wrote ‘love is a back hole !’ as a bit of an experiment with how true to life I could push myself to be lyrically. It makes me laugh how specific it is, even down to the expletives. It’s just a love song innit –  true to my exact situation now. I wanted it to feel like a warm hug, Michael Cera, coming of age indie film sort of vibes.”

To date, Luke Brown has earned himself more than twenty million career streams on Spotify, a loyal fan base across social media and countless endorsements from some of the UK’s most prominent music outlets and tastemakers. A debut album is on it’s way in 2023.

Martin Luke Brown

New Music: Sidders

The boroughs of North London have always served as a hotbed of musical talent for the city, and today’s introduction of singer, songwriter and rapper Sidders continues to build on the iconic area’s legacy.

‘Paper Kisses’ fuses British hip hop with alternative pop, and adds extra touches of old-school jazz and nostalgic bossa nova for good measure. Elaborating on the lyrical concept behind the song, Sidders explains:

“I wrote the track when there was a lot of pressure to stray away from the love of things. It’s a reminder that you can trust in yourself and not get lost in the noise of always chasing money.”

To date, this promising musician has picked up praise from the likes of COLORS and Clash, sold out a series of shows in London, and also performed gigs in the city and further out into Europe alongside Bone Slim, Edbl, Mom Tudie and Danny Sanchez.

Sidders

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PEPTALK – Hey!

One of Australia’s most promising emerging outfits this year has been all-female indie trio PEPTALK.

Anthemic new single ‘Hey!’ marks the group’s third release to date, and treats listeners to an infectious blend of indie-pop and rock – further showcasing this band’s massive potential for global music domination.

“‘Hey!’ is all about not wanting to mess up a good thing. As we were writing it we drew from not only romantic relationships but our friendship with each other. Ultimately the lyrics are all about faking it til you make it. It really came together once we finished the chorus, as we listened back we left the mic on and it captured us screaming the song together in the studio. It really captured the energy of the song and its message of enjoying the good thing while it’s happening.”

Consisting of accomplished songwriters Jay-Lee Kwan, Lara Frew and Phoebe Sinclair, PEPTALK have had an impressive debut year, garnering widespread praise from tastemakers all across the globe.

PEPTALK

New Music: Smurgy

Hailing from New Zealand comes psych-pop newcomer Smurgy. Through a unique style of music-making, this promising artist creates sonic experiences like none other.

Smurgy’s ‘Mess’ is a prime example of this talent’s extraordinary work. Inspired by heartbreak, the song presents listeners with a dreamy sound that is bittersweet yet also mesmerising in character.

With songs already featured on notable playlists like Spotify’s Fuzzy, Crush and Fresh Finds AU & NZ, Smurgy is most certainly one talent to watch for in 2023.

Smurgy

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New Music: Bäckar

Emerging from Los Angeles is singer, songwriter and producer Joseph Brooks, who goes by the moniker of Bäckar.

Fans of PinkPantheress and Imogen Heap will most likely fall in love with Bäckar’s latest single, entitled ‘Self Reflection’.

The song showcases a soundscape that is both experimental and future-forward, while also paying homage to Brooks’s pop icons from the past – ranging from The Beach Boys to Depeche Mode and Prince.

An upcoming debut album is currently in production. In the meantime, listeners can enjoy Bäckar’s catalogue of releases on Spotify.

Bäckar

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KYE – Clique

Australian-based starlet KYE returns with a dazzling slice of endorphin-boosting pop on her new single, ‘Clique’.

Energising and uplifting in character, the song is dedicated to KYE’s nearest and dearest, and serves as an anthem for friendship and human connection.

“‘Clique’ is an ode to the crew that makes you your best self. The friends that ride or die for you. I wrote this for my best friends who are all the main character. This one is for the groggy mornings and the foggy nights before; the friends you make at the party and forget the next day.”

After a hugely successful year that saw the rising artist garnering high praise from respected tastemakers and media outlets, as well as over a million streams on Spotify alone, KYE looks set to have a stellar 2023.

KYE

Nia Archives – So Tell Me…

Photo / Cosmo Webber

Recently crowned as BBC Introducing’s Artist of the Year, Bardford’s Nia Archives unveils her latest single, entitled ‘So Tell Me…’.

Through its captivating jungle production, the song presents listeners with a melodic sound that feels warm and emotive in tone. Lyrically, the track was inspired by a time in Nia’s life when she had to consider whether she should stay or leave a situation.

Already an artist who looks certain to take over the UK music mainstream in 2023, Nia Archives has so far accumulated more than 25 million career streams on Spotify, while also garnering tastemaker support from the likes of BBC Radio 1, 6Music and 1Xtra, Mixmag, NME, British Vogue, The Face, The Fader and i-D magazines.

Nia Archives

Live Dates 2022

  • 02 Dec – Up Ya Archives @ London, Unit 58
  • 03 Dec – Up Ya Archives @ London, Unit 58

New Music: Young Culture

Photo / Danny DeRusso

Hailing from Albany in New York, three-piece outfit Young Culture create a nostalgic kind of punk-pop that is impossible not to feel some kind of love for.

Anthemic new single ‘Not In Love’ treats listeners to a 00’s inspired blend of indie-rock, pop and punk. The sound feels sentimental and old-school in tone, but still maintains a fresh and current edge.

The trio are currently preparing for a North American tour, initially starting in December before picking up again from March next year. Tickets can be found here.

Young Culture

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ROSIE – Good For Me

Sometimes, the most powerful songs are also the simplest. A case in point is US starlet ROSIE’s newest single, entitled ‘Good For Me’.

Stripped-back in its choice of instrumentation, the track’s mellow production sets the scene for ROSIE’s emotive vocals and vulnerable lyrics to glide over a beautiful melody.

“I want to be transparent. Everything is exactly as it appears. The scale of emotions that everyone feels is such a spectrum. The bad days are equally as important as the good days.”
 

The song closes an impressive year for the New York native singer & songwriter, who now commands more than 800k monthly Spotify listeners and has garnered millions of catalogue streams across all platforms.

ROSIE