On Repeat: the place where we round up the most exciting new music releases. Five tracks, all recently released, featuring artists we can’t get enough of right now – so, almost certainly, you’ll find at least one song in this bunch to add to your playlists.
ALARA – “A BLACKENED ROSE”
This Lorde-esque electronic brooder is a synth haven cut from an emotional cloth, the track’s lyrics also reveal an astute, evocative songwriter. A New Jersey resident and a debut release, the odds are stacked favourably even before we press play. Alara’s sonic direction doesn’t feel limiting in any way, everything ebbs and pulses in tow with the artist’s’ unique captivation – her voice is of the velvety, bewitching kind, finding the perfect correlation between haunting and husky. It’s a song about relationships and realising your own worth, imagined through the metaphor of a ‘blackened rose painted white,’ the intricately personal storytelling leads to a victorious culmination of evident self-renewal: “When the time comes/ We all will die/ But I’m too young to see the world through your eyes.” A portrait of emotional experience that leaves us reeling, not for the feeling but for more.
TOKYO TEA ROOM – “ALWAYS TOMORROW”
It’s easy for psychedelic music to sound washy and hollow – for Canterbury’s Tokyo Tea Room, depth has never been a problem (whether that’s in the sonic makeup or the lyrical discourse). They’ve picked up some credible supporters because of this (including BBC 6Music, Line of Best Fit and Dork), enhancing their reputation nationally as well as boosting their profile on the live front (they’ve already played shows with the likes of Spring King and The Moonlandingz). ‘Always Tomorrow’ is beautiful; a willowy meander of balmy synths, bass, guitars and drums. Each instrument knows when to step back and let the other lead, at the same time work as a whole, to compose a masterful, elegant design. Tokyo Tea Room have their signature locked down, a summoning of both blissful and euphoric amongst tight grooves and fluid riffs. There is versatility within the genre if you look in the right places.
RVBY – “HANGING ON”
Beamed out of Bristol, Ruby Donadel releases sophisticated modern pop under the memorable nom de plume, RVBY. If you mix the stick-in-your-head hooks of Zara Larsson with the undeniable star presence of Robyn and the off-kilter Scandi flair of Lykke Li, then the undeniable pull of RVBY’s latest track exists somewhere in that space. ‘Hanging On’ is RVBY’s third release to date, this powerful beacon of luscious production, melody and voice is the fire sign of her material thus far. The ethereal high register she commands is a statement, of course. The song’s structure is immensely enticing, building to a high in the first thirty seconds. The openly relatable lyrics are the common ground that makes the song universally appealing. Really there’s very little to complain about, the song is pure invigoration and enjoyment. Listen.
FRANKIIE – “COMPARE”
Vancouver-based FRANKIIE usher in a new album campaign with a song that tackles self judgement and illusions of the social-media-age, interrogating the relationship we have with social media and how we interact with voyeurism. The four-piece tap into a ’70s rock sound aligning modern day comparisons with Sunflower Bean, the Preatures and Ex Hex. ‘Compare’ is a rip-roaring jolt of harmony, big riffs, punchy drums and soaring, anthemic vocals – a satisfying appetizer before the main course arrives in September via Paper Bag Records.
LAURAN HIBBERD – “FRANKIE’S GIRLFRIEND”
Lauran Hibberd has been on a winning streak since the start of the year, a run of singles and a boat load of live dates (including a coveted spot at Glastonbury and a tour with Hippo Campus), it really feels like Hibberd’s career is starting to take off in a big way. Her latest track offers a slice of her upcoming debut EP, Everything is Dogs (due 20th September), and it’s another catchy indie rock, slacker gem. File next to Zuzu and Australia’s Alex Lahey, it’s an American sound but totally irregardless of location or derision. The lyrics are snappy and true to Hibberd’s confrontational, incredibly honest nature and the riffs are tightly packed, basically, everything about this song is a complete joy – breezily tongue-in-cheek, fast paced and irresistibly charismatic.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest additions to our On Repeat playlist by following the Complete Collection on Spotify:
Photo Credit [RVBY]: Ania Shrimpton