I enjoyed the retro synthwave for Costa Rica vs Serbia so much that I had a look for similar stuff from Brazil and Switzerland so that we could continue to party in pastel neon shades. Oh boy, was that a good decision.
Brazil’s Lola Disco produce beautiful, heartfelt simulacra of 80s pop-funk tracks that you’ll swear you heard first time round. And the cover art is fantastic! This is the kind of artist that produces a tribute track to San Junipero. Sheer sunny positivity.
For Switzerland, I didn’t find any perfect 80s throwbacks, but I did find the delicate building ambience of Odd Beholder.
Ooof, here we go. Are Germany going to win their 5th World Cup as defending champions or is someone else somehow going to manage to get past them?
Representing Germany, we’ve got Cold Leather, a group of excitingly noisy punks who absolutely get the job done and in a quite entertaining and aesthetic manner to boot. Their album Smart Moves is well under 30 minutes long but contains 100% of your RDA of grit, yelling and frantic guitars.
Representing Mexico, we take a long draught from the well of doom metal witchcraft with Spacegoat. They’ve got my favourite combination of heavy riffing, huge female vocals and esoteric lyrical themes. I recommend you start with Transmuta to experience a bit of doom metal en español.
Morning! Wake up and smell the football and feel the quality of the retrowave synth pop that I have sourced for you.
Representing Costa Rica we have Patterns, whose cool 80s throwback synthpop makes me think of a version of CSS that the NME weren’t adventurous enough to pick up on.
Representing Serbia we have Isidor who makes what I can only describe as hard-hitting sci-fi music. Don your technojackets and wear your cyber-sunglasses at night.
Do you remember when Ronaldo was covered in moths? Ellie and Lucy do.
It’s only the third day of the World Cup and already I’m scrambling to catch up with the cascade of footballing fun.
For France, have something chill and beautiful from PV Nova & Hippocampe Fou. I love a bit of Francophone rap, and I especially enjoyed Hippocampe Fou’s previous song Las Estrellas.
For Australia, I give you the magical sound of Nardean with Creatress. She’s absolutely fantastic and I want to hear more.
Let’s be real, this is the first Big Game of the tournament. And appropriately, we have some big songs.
Representing Portugal, it’s the Anarchicks. I’ve got a nice interview with Rita and Ana from the band in the can, which I need to get round to editing for your listening pleasure. We Claim The Right is all about how it’s basically up to you to keep pushing and disobeying and creating your own world. Also, it has a great riff. The Anarchicks are working on new material (the last I heard anyway) and I can’t wait.
Representing Spain, we’ve got a bit of heartfelt pop with the very recent new single from Alice Wonder. With a video featuring a bit of rock and roll destruction and the fabulously telling refrain “You’ve got me making songs for you” it’s something I’m surprised I’ve not heard on UK radio.
So the first Friday of the World Cup brings us the fun of Group B. Morocco and Iran are the teams in Group B that aren’t Portugal (current European champions) or Spain (highly skilled but disappearing into a drama vortex)
Representing Morocco, we have a bit of incredibly smooth jazz infused beats from saib. Relax yourself and think of this sort of thing drifting out of a balcony in Casablanca.
Iran has a strong tradition of instrumental post-rock and atmospheric metal. Across The Waves fit nicely into this tradition and provide a nicely chill counterpoint to the music from Morocco.
Team Egypt are missing the lovely Mo Salah for the first match, and tbh I have no strong feelings one way or the other about the current Uruguay line-up. Let’s dance!
Representing Egypt, FRKTL is the project of Sarah Badr. She’s from Cairo and began making deeply exciting, slightly threatening, expansively ambient music during her undergrad in Creative Computing at Goldsmith’s. The album I’ve embedded is called Prose Edda – yes, all the titles are in Icelandic. Yes, Iceland will be coming up soon.
Representing Uruguay, we have Montevideo’s premier brass-enhanced funk rock outfit Croupier Funk. All they ask is that you dance.