Best New Indie – Arliston, Adam Brookes, Marc Bird, Markus Murphy

London based indie-pop group Arliston recently released a new EP, The Ground Might Disappear.  Front to back a solid release, we were especially taken by the emotive Camomile

Arliston exists in multiple worlds. Their sound is rooted in the electro soul pop aura of Peter Gabriels SO, but considerably more modern and aware of innovative tech and all that’s available to them.  It’s romantic like the candlelight club soul of Rhye.  There’s also the minimalistic dark-step of James Blake and The XX, both in how they are built on a backbone of drum’n’bass and how they bring vocal samples most often associated with EDM to their indie pop works.  Perhaps the most striking comparison is recent Bon Iver, both in referencing his inclination for falsetto and layered vocals.  

These comparisons don’t come cheap, we just referenced some of our favorite artists, names that really define the sound we strive for with our indie playlist.  Arliston is worthy of these comparisons, and Spotify has taken notice, including the group on several editorial playlists including the flattering “Most Beautiful Songs In The World.”  Camomile is in fact beautiful, with fresh exciting melodies that revolve in new, original ways.  Its a soothing alteration to the big bass world, as Arliston is mixed big, but hits like soft thunder.  Its meant to fill every space in your auditory world, and maintains a dreamy imaginative presence without divulging into reverb-soaked ambient-scapes.

  Get lost in the elegant pop of Camomile, now on our Best New Indie playlist. 

Adam Brookes

Adam Brookes gets groovy on his new single Different Times

Brookes injects indie spirit in this yacht rock groove, progressing the cool-school jive of Steely Dan.  Altogether this chill-pop vibe should please fans of buzz artist like Dayglow and indie favs like Mac Demarco, who evolve guitar to their indie pop package. Brookes is full of tricks, and pulls a lot out of his stocked sonic war chest.  The layered effects deployed on the guitar solo recall recent jams by The War On Drugs.  Brookes adds subtle synths for texture.  With classic intellect he enhances them with subtle crunch, pulling the warmth of his preamps to lively the mix.  A homage to his days as frontman of the aggressive synth pop band Dangermaker, Different Times has evidence of these roots, but its title admits an adaptation of intention. 

Brookes solo work suggests a significant affinity for new wave vibes and cooler neon sunsets, and Different Times might be his grooviest work yet.  It comes with a nice dose of feel good pop, akin to Phoenix’s first two releases, the iconic United and underrated follow-up, Alphabetical.  Like those legendary releases it commits to a groove and a pleasant affect, its the guilt free black leather bred pop byproduct originated by the Velvet Underground and permeating through indie today.  

  Stay cool and enjoy Different Times now on our Best New Indie playlist.  

Marc Bird

Marc Bird goes on holiday with his new single Moon Puddles.  The classic cool poolside vibes are lifted by trippy cinematic deep space sonic samples.  With influences ranging from synth-gaze masters Beach House to electronic trailblazer Delia Derbyshire, Marc Bird admires the sophisticated intellect of bedroom pops origins while also embracing moderns musics dynamic history.  

  The melody is driven by softly pulled staccato guitar notes.  A brushed sugary sweet snare, vibey piano, and poppy double bass brew beneath, an arrangement fit for a Jobim Brazilian pop classic.  Birds deep heartfelt vocal swims beneath musical waves as the ocean repeatedly recedes from a dreamy cinematic sample.  A slow draw saxophone recalls the dark smoky vibes of Morphine, and how they reimagined the relationship between jazz and punk.  

  Fans of Kings of Convenience and Andrew Bird will enjoy how Marc Bird evolves the aura of contemporary Bossa standards with indie pop intellect.  Every instrument has its own space in the arrangement, as this group plays both within and between each other, respecting their instruments tonal properties and playing to its advantages.  

  A calculated effort that is fun and refreshing, enjoy Moon Puddles now on our Best New Indie playlist.  

Markus Murphy

What does ‘dream funk’ sound like?  What about Motown on the moon, or an intergalactic Beach Boys?  Markus Murphy believes he has the answers, bringing together some of the best musicians in Montreal to realize this dream LIVE in the studio.  He then walks it through a psychedelic soundscape in post production before revealing the final product.  His affinity for retro soul is on full display via the dreamy single ROLLING

Markus bring a vintage analog groove into the indie world, with trebly echoing guitar leads that suggest what My Morning Jacket might sound like if they had a stronger penchant for R’n’B aesthetic.  Its the same vibe that Khruangbin delivers on recent collabs with Leon Bridges, a sultry psychedelic soul fest that reclaims popular musics natural essence, forgoing quantization in exchange for true touch.  

  Murphy’s master stroke is letting his work live in real time, as his players provide ‘in the moment’ details lost on over-produced dubs.  A purveyor of craft, Markus reminds us that musicians can still be spot on, recalling how the original Motown and Stax groups created timeless classics in the moment, and they did it prolifically. 

  Spark it up and get Rolling, now on our Best New Indie playlist


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