Hi, hey, hiya and howdy friends! Here’s hoping you are having a FAB Friday and are looking forward to that wondrous weekend ahead. We have the perfect little list of tunes to share with you this week, all hand picked and boogie-tested by our lovely melon heads. So sit back, relax and pop those headphones in!
French artist LMA is on a steady rise in his home country, opening shows for the likes of Vald and Hervé, going onto a national television show and with plenty of support from the blogosphere. We never believe that language should be a barrier in music, so we’re happy to feature his new French-language bop ‘Libre’. The title, which means “free”, really connects to the flowing style and uplifting sound of this genre-crossing track that brings in elements of funk, jazz, hiphop and indie-pop. That’s very in keeping with the artist’s playful approach to music and his aim to always push the boundaries of his creativity.
“‘Libre’ is a nod towards my American influences, like Mac Miller and Isaiah or even Kaytranada. I wanted to do a song that was groovy and danceable, all while speaking of rather personal subjects. It’s this contrast that I find interesting.”
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The last time we featured JVLY was two years ago! Yeah, we had to double check that. It feels like no time at all since we last enjoyed the mellifluous sounds of this cutting-edge artist and producer. Luckily, the Australian talent is back with his chillest track to date – ‘swim’. In a Honne-esque style, deeply cut bass lines and breathy soul vocals entice the listener into this relaxed-yet-sensual world. Things heat up a little bit around the chorus when the artist persuasively sings, “you might be the only one”, over a tapestry of tinny cymbals, slapping bass, and melodic synths.
“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.”
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The British-Nigerian afrobeats artist Maulo got his big break when British boxing sensation Anthony Joshua chose his track ‘Ambition’ to walk out to at a key match. Suddenly, this artist’s music was put in front of tens of thousands of potential new fans and he’s taken this opportunity with both hands. Knowing he’s got to keep that energy high, Maulo’s newest track ‘Roll It’ is a fire party track. His effortless flow is put up front, backed by infectious percussion drums and lush synths, all of which has been expertly produced by Specialist Moss (Shy FX, Zed Bias, Mr. Williamz). Keep an eye out for his second EP next year!
“The dance culture in afrobeats was the main inspiration behind ‘Roll It’, I remember spending hours and hours on TikTok watching dancers dance to different songs, and their choreography brought these songs further to life. They inspired me to want to make something that represented me, my style, and my sound, which I could share with the dance community, and I hope people love it when they hear it. Also, when you listen to ‘Roll It’ compared to my previous records, I hope you can hear the evolution in my sound as well.”
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daste. is another one of those names that’s been on our radar before. Sine dropped their dusk&dawn album last year, this Australian trio have been busy working on their next installment of innovative indie dance-pop stylings. If their comeback single ‘butterfly (so free)’ is anything to go by, there’s on thing for certain – the wait has definitely been worth it. You can’t help but feeling lighter and more optimistic when listening to this shimmering indie number. From the addictive head-bopping beats through to the lofi guitars, everything has been designed to encourage the listener to seek out life’s silver linings.
“Our latest single, butterfly (so free), is a super fun, high energy, dance track that was written with our good friend MaxByrne (Golden Vessel) after a delicious dinner. There must have been some magic in the ramen we had because we went into the studio straight after and wrote and recorded the whole song that night.We started out by playing together on the piano and nylon guitar and came up with the chord progression, which felt like it had the potential for a lot of liveliness and movement. We then switched the piano out for a lovely Juno-106 synth patch and knew straight away that all it needed was a simple beat to channel that energy. The melodies and lyrics spilled out from there as we decided to personify that feeling of being free and uninhibited to a butterfly. At its core, the track is about having trust in the people you love. I’ve heard people say that their partner is uncomfortable when they go out and have fun without them. That’s crazy! You should be able to have full trust and respect for your partner to do whatever makes them happy.”
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Liverool’s Ladytron are well-known for their eerie and provocative indie-synth sound; it’s something that reflects the tough exterior of their home city which also possesses a strong music history and vibrant present scene. The four-piece recently released the lead single ‘City Of Angels” from their upcoming album, Time’s Arrow. In the case that you missed it, here’s your second chance to hop on the band wagon via the track’s haunting video, directed by Manuel Nogueira. It’s a choreographed musical thriller inspired shot in a brutalist-designed mansion in which the band haunts the set that surrounds lead actress Bianca Comparato (3%). It’s supernatural and mysterious with the volume turned to max.
“Where we are from it is always Halloween.”
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Next up we have a full blown album from Barton Hartshorn, as he returns with the gorgeous ‘Manchester Sun’. Not only available for streaming but also via physical CD & Vinyl copies, ‘Manchester Sun’ is a glorious collection of folk offerings including the immaculate ‘Georgetown’ and ‘Starter Kiss’. Vibrant mixtures of melodies can be found throughout detailed by his smokey, delectable tones. A truly remarkable project, with something to suit everyone, don’t miss the ‘Manchester Sun’ collection and perhaps consider supporting Barton Hartshorn by purchasing your very own physical copy? One things for sure, you certainly won’t regret it.
“As I was writing the songs I could tell that they’d need a different approach to the previous album. These were guitar-driven indie-folk tracks with an Americana overtone. There was a definite theme of missed opportunity in the stories within. Although I toyed with the idea of a purely guitar and vocal album, I knew that certain tracks would benefit from additional voices and textures. Some songs, like ‘In a House Overlooking the Sea’ and ‘Starter Kiss’, arrived late in the recording process but just demanded to be included! I certainly can’t imagine the album without them now…”
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Up on our radar next we have 25-year-old Norwegian musician dePresno and his new single ‘Silence’. Known for the unique depth of his voice, dePresno’s vocal sits beautifully within the baritone region and is one of his most recognisable qualities. Keen to experiment and play within a multitude of genres, dePresno dives into the realms of pop, country and R&B with fluidity, fluency and flair. New offering ‘Silence’ is a glistening piano ballad to add to his ever growing collection and features delicate production and captivating emotive tendencies throughout.
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Last but by no means least and ending this instalment of Mini Melon Mix-Ups is none other than Aussie artist cln and his sophomore album “Over, All Again”. Over the past few months you may have seen his name grace the Purple Melon pages numerous times as he revealed a plethora of exciting and enticing singles. Now it is out greatest pleasure to be able to share the culmination and the entire body of work that ins “Over, All Again”. Including a vast array of favourites such as “Undone”, “Into the Night”, “Endlessly” and “That Place” we have been taken on sensory journey with cln firmly behind the wheel. A truly captivating 12 track collection, theres plenty to sink your teeth into whilst you are whisked away into cln’s world. So strap in and hold on tight, you’re in for an exceptional ride.
“This album represents a real sonic shift for me. I don’t think it sounds anything like my previous work, and it is a big mix of sounds and genres. The album is also representative of the changes in my life over the last few years since Dawn Chorus was released.
One of the biggest changes between albums is my shift towards work in acoustic research. I spend a lot of my time trying to solve environmental and ecological problems using sounds and artificial intelligence. I mostly work on birds, and spend a lot of time in remote places deploying recorders. I hear some incredible soundscapes when I am out there, and they heavily inspire my work.
Throughout the album, you will hear scattered recordings of interesting sounds that I come across in my travel. I have some really cool stuff in there: Powerful Owl, Noisy Pitta, Marbled Frogmouth, Albert’s Lyrebird, and a bunch of other rare and interesting species. I have kept them quite subtle, so as not to overpower the songs, but I love that they are nestled in there. I think natural noises are about as beautiful as it gets, and they are my biggest inspirations for making music.
I have tried to make this album cohesive and unique. I have not tried to stick to any templates or genres. I have essentially just made music that I think sounds cool. If it resonates with others too, then that is a huge bonus and I find it a huge privilege that there are people taking time to listen to my work. I hope you enjoy it. Listen to it from start to finish if you can, preferably on a car ride to a beautiful unspoiled place. When you get there though, I encourage you to take out the headphones and enjoy the natural sounds instead.”
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