It’s Friday, the end of the week, but the Artist of the Week poll fun is just beginning! Starting now you have the power to make one of these five bubbling hot artists from around the world into our next artist of the week. All you have to do is cast your vote. It doesn’t matter who you are or where; this is the online democracy at work. You have from now until 11 a.m. EST next Friday when the poll will close.
At their core, the songs Sapphire Slows makes are dance numbers. Using synthesizers and a cheap drum machine, the solo project of Tokyo’s Kinuko Hiramatsu has been spinning out minimal dance meteors since early 2011. But these are not straightforward floor fillers, the music adds an unsettling element alongside the feet-moving stuff, Hiramatsu’s chilly vocals and shadowy vibe making her stuff even more intriguing.
Swathed in the lo-fi fuzz reminiscent of a vinyl rip, The younger Lover’s songs of heartbreak infuse the jangly, saccharine vibes of ’60s girl groups with the punchier potency of surf rock. But his style occasionally strays from the classic Phil Spector formula. Things get shaken up with the shuffle of a drum machine in “My Tears Are Wasted (And So Am I),” or the acoustic lead in “If You Send For Me.” The bass maintains a steady supporting role throughout the album, but stands out as the punky best friend in “Easy Afternoon” and “I Can’t (Kim) Deal With It.” If this album was an object, it’d be a big red construction paper valentine; slightly crumpled, encased with glittery temporary tattoos, bubblegum and pun-laden endearments written (and subsequently scratched out) in crayon.
Known as Sun Glitters, the Luxembourg-based laptop artist weaves warm threads through his cascading ones and zeros. Alongside vocalist Sara Cappai (whose voice is looped, pitched, and multiplied into the ghosts of a thousand summers past), Ferreira focuses his work towards the lushest and most nostalgia inducing tones. Sure, Sun Glitters’ new forthcoming album Scattered into Light is due out in the dead of winter (AKA January 28). But the offering successfully capitalizes on a host of unseasonalable emotions.
Plenty of artists look to the ’80s, ’70s or ’60s for inspiration. Klischée (Cliché in English) looks all the way back to the 1930s, when big bands ruled. Although they update the classic jazz orchestra instrumentation with the latest computer gear, the Swiss group preserves the jovial spirit of swing pioneers such as Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw. The proof is on Klischée’s smiling faces in the video for the single “Tin Tin,” a punchy dance track that samples and loops pre-WWII horns.
An often misunderstood genre with a misunderstood fanbase, emo has made a glorious comeback in the past few years, and not just in the States. Breaking through the Western supremacy of it all, Tokyo four piece Malegoat is arguably one of the more fun, dynamic bands of its kind. Their style swings somewhere between math rock and classic emo, with playfully fluctuating time signatures and sloppy shouting over layers upon layers of intricately woven melodies. They occasionally diversify, ditching their upbeat, erratic pace for a slightly sullen trumpet and more hushed vocals. Softer songs like “Ignore” and “Tidying” hark back to the days of ’90s emo forerunners American Football. But they resist the tired clichés by keeping their overall vibe sunny and sanguine.