Not many left now!
For France, Illy Baze sonically shows us what Serhat thought he was trying to do. The visuals are interesting too: contrasting moody bisexual lighting on a deserted dancefloor with the quotidian details of the blessed Thérése herself. His album is pretty special too – cosmic themes and ASMR noises turn up on Extrateresse and Oumamama, named after the unknown space object moving through our solar system.
Trixie Whitley is a Belgian American pop artist from Ghent whose new single Heartbeat goes on a voyage through multi-layered trip hoppy cascading melodies. The accompanying album will be her 4th – I can’t believe I’d never been introduced to her music before because it is exactly my sort of thing.
Phoneme-wise, it’s been a wee while since we’ve had a double ‘sw’ match in the knockout stages of the World Cup. In fact, since Swaziland have renamed themselves to eSwatini, this is now your only option.
For Sweden, home of sophisticated space age synth pop, we have some incredible throwback Italo disco from Carino Cat.
For Switzerland, home of the world’s largest particle accelerator, we have some ambient electro with absolutely fantastic sci-fi artwork.
For this mellow Sunday lunchtime game let’s have a bit of slightly challenging art music.
For England please meet Hannah Silva whose games with syllables and language become pleasantly mind-bending. She also has an awesome blog where she talks to musicians and poets about their work and their creative process. Start with the article where she’s sort of interviewing herself and work through them all.
For Panama enjoy a good couple of hours of chunky ASMR sounds from Noise for Bliss. Enjoy with headphones for full binaural brain-scratching effects.
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.
I bet you thought that I was totally 100% on top of all the latest Mick Pedaja news. Well, here’s some that I missed. He has this new project, SUMRA, which takes the electronic side of his work to the next level. Laniakea is a seven track ambient album which incorporates samples of vocal techniques from around the world into gorgeously floaty dreamscapes. Enjoy!
What do I like more than ambient music? I like proggy analog synth ambient music. What do I like more than proggy analog synth ambient music? Vintage Estonian proggy analog synth ambient music.
I wouldn’t normally go to the same country twice in a week (ED: this is a lie, especially as far as Estonia is concerned) but if Procrastination Queen was spiky, energetic and up to to minute, then Hingus is a smooth classic – dreamlike, spacious, airy, celestial. Pour yourself whatever it is you enjoy, and relax.
Sven Grünberg was a prog rocker in the Soviet era, which was logistically and ideologically difficult, but he’s survived musically to produce a great body of ambient and film music work and to chair the Estonian Institute of Buddhism. Nice one, Sven.
Well. One of the few nice things that happened this week was that ERR released the details of the 20 contenders for Eesti Laul 2017. The Listen Outsiders are going to be covering the alternative end of the Eurovision beat for the 2017 season, and as part of that we’re heading to the final of Eesti Laul next March.
So who might we see there? Angeelia is one of the artists who are new to the contest – she’s a singer songwriter from Tallinn and she’s going to be entering a song called We Ride With Our Flow. We haven’t heard the actual song yet, but embedded above is her collaboration with NOËP (another exciting electropop act from Tallinn!) which was initially drawn to my attention by none other than official Listen Outside Genius Mick Pedaja.
This song has a sense of beautiful geometric calm that showcases two gorgeous voices. Can’t wait to hear your song, Angeelia.
A sudden outbreak of wanderlust has occurred at Listen Outside – we wish we were packing our bags for a trip to Helsinki and all points North. Let’s listen to something dreamy from Finland.
Lapsihymy (literally ‘child smile’ and definitely not lapsimyhy or ‘child selling’) make beautifully expansive and free-flowing electronic music, that is somehow simultaneously emotionally warm but sonically chilly. It’s as suitable for dancing as it is for sitting down and thinking about the vast unknowableness of the universe and having a cup of tea. Enjoy the whole album, and melt into your weekend.
Lapsihymy are on Soundcloud
Lapsihymy are on Bandcamp
There was a bit of fabulous news from Turkey this week – Listen Outside favourites Model are releasing a new album in early 2017 after spending late 2016 on their separate projects.
Because we’ve already posted Mey twice (do go and have a listen if you haven’t yet!) it’s time to recommend something else from Turkey with huge emotional vocals and a sort of 90’s vibe…
Glasxs are an indie-electronica project with a big element of trip-hop. They have an album of English-language songs out soon, but also work in Turkish. The video for their most recent single Hayaletler is part of an ongoing relationship with visual artist A Orçun Can. I like Glasxs, I wonder what’s coming next?
Glasxs have a website
Glasxs are on Soundcloud