“Tremolo” by No Kill

Brooklyn duo No Kill just released “Tremolo,” the first single from their upcoming debut album Gold Chorus.

On first listen, “Tremolo” is soothing despite the distorted guitars and upbeat despite confessions of anxieties – along the same juxtapositioning style of New Order’s “1963”.

No Kill’s sound is reminiscent of the 2011-2013 era of lofi-ish Fender stratocaster style dream pop, although more Trails and Ways and Beach House than Say Lou Lou electro-pop dream pop.

Check out their single on Soundcloud, Spotify, or Bandcamp.

“Petrol Station” by Sorcha Richardson

Sorcha Richardson eloquently brings you back to your summer love and then breaks your heart when she reminds you of where you are now with her track “Petrol Station”.

Partially PBR&B a la BANKS and George Maple, Sorcha’s voice is simultaneously soothing and passionate, blending with the light riffs at the 1-minute mark and then standing out strongly at the start of the chorus a 15 seconds after.

Singing “If I, If I never told you that I wanna hold you, that I wanna hold you, I just wish it was old news” and “My rib cage is bruised, but that side of love we tasted, You find that stuff you chase it”, Sorcha travels back to the moments that stand out with a past unrequited love or possibly a passionate but fleeting experience. It’s that time when you keep thinking “Fuck, there will never be a love this amazing.”

But by stating “I’m not holding out For anything better,” Sorcha also reminds you that you will carry that love forever – “Can we just stay here forever?”

“Water Water” by Empress Of

Empress Of (aka Brooklyn’s Lorely Rodriguez) flows through the frustrations of a relationship in “Water Water” – in a way through developing a metaphor of water usage and rights.

Very much a combination of the styles of her earlier track “Tristeza” and the more recent “Realize You,” “Water Water” starts off a little spooky and eerie then develops into a dancey beat combined with competing feelings toward a floundering relationship. A bit of a juxtaposition of exciting electrobeats and depressingly “real” lyrics like New Order’s “1963.”

“She Exists in My Mind” by Michna

“She Exists in My Mind” by Michna is on repeat.

What’s essentially an instrumental track is so captivating from the beginning with its six seconds of water flows to the first synth chords to the airy vocals to the warbles to the drum beats.

Although Michna is from Brooklyn, “She Exists in My Mind” feels like driving on the 405 in LA during a crisp clear night.

“Color Theory” by Tea Leigh

This post is about a year late, but it still needs to get out to feature one of BoxSpeaker’s favorite dream pop acts – Tea Leigh:

Some tracks such as “Color Theory” (above) and “Do You Sleep” are epitomic of dream pop – with their beachy Fender Telecaster riffs and breathy vocals.

Then there are songs like “Rushing In” that fall in what Tea Leigh coins “dream folk” – the same vocals but without the breathy sustained effects (like The Knife without the electrobeats) and with an acoustic guitar instead of the Telecaster.

“I Need a Star” by Clintongore

Clintongore is a “cosmic synth pop” duo separated by the wide expanse of the United States – singer Sierra Frost is based in San Francisco and drummer/synth player Chris Crawford is based in Brooklyn.

While Clintongore’s single “I Need a Star” is more upbeat and higher-pitched (and even has some overdriven guitar riffs behind the distorted vocals in the chorus), tracks like “Keep in Mind” and “Homesick” really embody the “cosmic” portion of their self-described genre – producing styles similar to electroclash heard in Adult. tracks mixed with the space-y, 80s feel of music from Liquid Sky.


Tribal Beats – International Roundup

I’ve been really into bands that integrate a “tribal drumming” sound into their music, so here’s a roundup of some bands around the world with tribal beats:

“Big Heat” by THUMPERS (London, England)

THUMPERS considers themselves “co-ed alt. pop” amongst other mashups of music styles. They use their tribal drumming beats to create a very Jamaican-influenced offshoot of dreampop. That combination with quick high-hats make you mistake guitars and synths for steel drums in the background.

“Unconsolable” by X Ambassadors (Brooklyn, NY)

Tape One by Young Fathers (Edinburgh, Scotland)

Young Fathers adds tribal drumming to their hip hop beats to give a fuller background sound complementing their rap.