Best New Indie – BAH.ROMA, Fricky, Graham Riley, Jaewon

The soul of Ukraine mourns through its art.  Waves of inspired works pour from its war torn ashes.  The sentiment rings true on Останній день літа (The Last Day of Summer), the new single from BAH.ROMA .  A Ukrainian indie musician from the region of Ukraine which has been occupied by Russia for 9 years, his recent release breaks language barriers with soul and emotion.

  The striking lyric video image features him stranded in a new urban wasteland, observing the devastation around him solemnly.  The image is pure and effective, free of flash and embellishments.  The revolution will not be televised.  

BAH.ROMA is featured on our Best New Indie Playlist.  

Fricky bridges the gap between chill pop, lounge, and classic dub on their recent Häntextra.  The Swedish based Artist, producer and designer Erik Friman breaks language barriers on this infectious stylistic masterpiece.  His delivery and native tongue presents exotic, adapting to an island type control.  There’s evidence of Reggae influence to match the musics clear dub inspiration.  We find that blend to be absolutely exhilirhating.  

Beyond a killer track, Fricky is an intriguing art project.  Get a load of this!  Taken from their press release:

Erik Friman chose to explore his inner self through the ghost of a 90’s RnB superstar called Fricky. This allowed space for him to explore and make more melodic and atmospheric sounds, as opposed to the monotone rap style he’d been doing earlier. And by playing this sort of twisted fantasy game with this alter ego, Fricky became a channel for Eriks inner thoughts, and simultaneously a popular figure amongst music fans after what was to be called Contagious songs filled with playful lyrics and punchlines.  Fricky now decided he would try and become the brightest shooting star of Sweden, more or less as an experiment. Just like his idol Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he manifested that idea into reality.

Dig into Häntextra now on our Best New Indie Playlist

Graham Riley caught our attention with the catchy chill melancholy of his new single Front Porch.  The cover image of a scratchy cowboy on horseback is more a stylistic mirage, or perhaps a conceptual homage to the misunderstood.  “Do you know where your homies at?  He’s sitting by his lonely self.  Meanwhile you’re a shell.”  Riley connects with a sense of lonerism masked as adventurism. 

He dresses that sentiment with updated indie underground jest.  It’s that fresh hip hop inspired indie pop sound that only this new generation can offer, bred from an unaltered upbringing of musical multiculturalism, the first generation not quietly inhibited by lines drawn.  We hear hear a heavy influence of Frank Ocean to match his self prescribed inspiration of Still Woozy and Kevin Abstract.  The associations ring true, Front Porch is a vibe.

Hear Front Porch now on our Best New Indie Playlist

Chicago bedroom producer Jaewon recently dropped a five song EP, Poison Lake.  We were intrigued by the title track, which features some enticing compositional contrast.  It’s heard in moments of progressive surprise and in the effective female vocal accompaniment.  Stylistically it bridges the gap between Brit Pop icons like Arctic Monkeys and recent trends in psych rock.  

The EP also features stand outs like the catchy jam Umbrellas, which features a blend of the urban indie appeal of The Strokes and the classic indie retro psych appeal of Dr Dog. The latter influence really shines through in the rhythm design and in the cheeky falsetto call and response throwback.  

A stylistic gem, Jaewon pulls the shine back on the revelatory Cracks, allowing his compositional essence to shine through on this bare guitar and voice arrangement.  You can trace his eclectic nature back to the Beatles.  Overall the EP displays a classic scope of influence appropriately adapted with new indie traits.  Really impressive for this self proclaimed bedroom producer. 

Jaewon is featured on our Best New Indie Playlist


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