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London singer-songwriter (and former Felix vocalist) Lucinda Chua has announced her debut solo album, Yian, due March 24 via 4AD. Lucinda self-produced and engineered eight of the album’s ten tracks, and here’s some background via press release on both the album title and the new ‘Echo’ video: “YIAN” (燕), means swallow in Chinese, and is part of “Siew Yian,” the name given to Chua by her parents to preserve her connection with her Chinese heritage. Just as the migratory songbird lives between places, so did Chua, the artist living in the in-between of the English, Malaysian and Chinese cultures that make up her heritage. In the absence of Mandarin as a mother tongue, music became a way to express the parts of herself that couldn’t be described in words; “YIAN” emerged as a way to heal. […] Following intensive studies in Chinese dance forms, Chua joined forces with film director Jade Ang Jackman and movement director Chantel Foo to create the visual for ‘Echo’; Chua’s take on a choreographed pop MV. The short film is a moving and innovative homage to Chinese fan dance and martial arts; an internal journey through the shifting seasons of emotional weather. Grounded by a stone circle, Chua dances with her handmade Chinese silk fans as the mood shifts from thorny rose garden to blizzard. “Sometimes I think we are all just footprints in the snow,” Chua says. [via Brooklyn Vegan]

This week, Samia released her sophomore album, Honey. Title track “Honey’ is about always being drunk enough that you don’t have to look around,” she says. “To me it’s the saddest song I’ve ever written, because it’s mocking my attempt to convince people I was good. Caleb Wright turned it into a campfire song, though, and I love that it can be interpreted as fun too.” [via Stereogum]

Last October, Fever Ray (Karin Dreijer) returned to us with their first new single in five years. Co-produced by their brother Olof (of the Knife), ‘What They Call Us’ was the siblings’ first new studio recording since the Knife’s 2014 Europa Europa collab ‘För Alla Namn Vi Inte Får Använda.’ Happily, the Dreijers didn’t stop there. Now, they’re releasing ‘Kandy,’ which also has a video and is co-produced and performed by both Fever Ray and the Knife’s Olof Dreijer. Over looping vocal whoops, “Down Under”-sounding percussion, synths, and flute, Karin Dreijer sings in a deep register: “She laid me down and whispered/ All girls want kandy/ Can you bring me back/ Sll girls want kandy.” [via Stereogum]

Biig Piig has dropped a video for ‘In The Dark’. It’s a track from the star’s debut mixtape, Bubblegum, in addition to recent drops ‘Picking Up’ (with Deb Never), ‘This Is What They Meant’ and ‘Kerosene’. “Bubblegum is sweet and nice to look at, but it’s sticky,” she says of the release. “I like the innocence, but was drawn to the texture — balloony, elastic, stretchy. And it bursts, too. That’s what the tape felt like.” [via Dork]

Combining classic pop punk and modern chart sensibilities, FLØRE is sure to provide all the energy you need with this new cut ‘ZOMBIE’ out via Valeria Music. In a story many can relate to, it was written about those old flames that long died that keep resurfacing, bring back all the wrong energy that saw it all go wrong in the first place. Speaking about the song, FLØRE explained “The song is about the on-off relationships you have with past lovers. They keep crawling back to you like mindless Zombies, bringing back to life what was already dead. I think breaking free from those toxic on-and-off relationships is so hard, because somewhere there’s a part of you that still gets excited when someone’s name pops up on your screen months or even years later. Which makes you fall in these memory holes again and you catch yourself wishing one day it would be different and it would work out. But some relationships can’t be killed and instead remain undead forever.”

Tchotchke arrived on the scene last summer with a self-titled debut record collecting upbeat pop-rock anthems packaged with a vintage ’70s sheen. Considering the album’s sound ranging from twee to jangle-pop—all while maintaining its period-piece aesthetic—it’s no surprise that The Lemon Twigs were behind the boards producing the project, as both groups scratch a unique itch the indie rock scene’s ignored since bands like Foxygen and Girls were on the come-up. Tchotchke have released their first single since that album with ‘Come on, Sean,’ a campy story about a rendezvous between a gardener and a housewife littered with double entendres and soundtracked by the band’s unique sonic palette, this time embellished with chintzy orchestration to match the vocals’ Joanna Newson–esque acrobatics. Additionally, the track’s Ambar Navarro–directed visual helps to flesh out the narrative, confirming its setting in 1970s suburban America. [via Flood]

From quantum physics to the worlds of high fashion and fine art, Brooklyn-based Sandflower is an artist with interests as varied as her sound. Drawing on the contrast of the buttoned-up academia of her private school upbringing against New York’s vibrant music scene, the artist cites everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Cindy Sherman, Salvador Dalí to Allen Ginsberg as inspirations for her own blend of rap-infused pop. Sandflower returns with a rowdy dancefloor-ready self-empowerment anthem, ‘Shake That Boom (Cargo Room).’ Giving off a Paula Abdul-meets-Lizzo type of vibe, the catchy single features an interesting blend of retro and newer sounds that includes “an Atlanta snare drum line, Caribbean dancing 808’s, sound design from a vintage Buchla modular synthesizer and stadium-pulsing organs,” according to producer David Sisko. The single arrives alongside an equally if not more energetic music video that sees Sandflower taking us to the streets of Tokyo. Serving up tightly choreographed numbers and bright comic interjections, the visual is just as youthful and bright as the single, with Sandflower fully feeling herself every step of the way. “’Shake That Boom (Cargo Room)’ is the energy of undeniable self-love — no — obsessive self-confidence,” Sandflower says of the track. “This song is a sonic Ted Talk about revering the wonder that is you — and the wonder that is your body. This is the song that plays in my head when I look at myself first thing in the morning. This song is the aura that wraps around me when I saunter down Lafayette Street in SoHo and when I literally ran through the streets of Tokyo while filming the video. This song should come with a warning: If you listen to this while walking down the street, this song will induce massive amounts of compliments, new friends and possible new opportunities.” [via Paper]

Refusing to stagnate in the electronic scene, Alexis positions herself as enigmatic and ever-resilient. It’s a difficult task having grown up in Texas and moved to London, yet, the now UK-based producer, vocalist and DJ has come to the forefront of her genre – an already exciting addition to the genre via her sets at Boiler Room and podcast on Resident Audio. Now, this attention is taking her forward as she becomes the second artist launched on the newly launched London label Remedy!, and kicks her musical aspirations off with the release of ‘angelcore’. Carried by a bedding of hypnotic industrial rhythms, Alexis delivers a bewitching whispering of vocal lines. A gradual build of anticipation is felt throughout the track by a slow knotting of pulsing beats and low-end noise. You are constantly in the balance between paranoia and jubilation. With an almost unsettling other-worldly quality, you get the feeling that Alexis has built a world of her own that is channelled through her music. As she walks you through the song you feel simultaneously laid back and at knife-edge. In an air of confusion, you can’t help but fall deep into the sound. Alexis’ true talent shines in crafting a song which has an elegantly simple feel but is no doubt complicated and intricate in composition. It is often underestimated how much care and attention to detail must go into making a sound that you can call your own, but it’s in moments like this where it should be commended. [via Line Of Best Fit]

Taylor Swift has shared the music video for ‘Lavender Haze,’ a cut from her latest album Midnights. Taking its title from a Mad Men episode, ‘Lavender Haze’ sees Swift singing about antiquated gender roles. It was also partially inspired by Swift having to dodge “weird rumors” and “tabloid stuff” over the course of her career. Laith Ashley De La Cruz, a transgender actor and activist, plays Swift’s love interest in the video. “There is lots of lavender. There is lots of haze. There is my incredible costar @laith_ashley who I absolutely adored working with,” Swift wrote in a tweet upon the video’s release. “This was the first video I wrote out of the 3 that have been released, and this one really helped me conceptualize the world and mood of Midnights, like a sultry sleepless 70’s fever dream. Hope you like it.” Swift has been a longtime advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. During a 2020 speech commemorating the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots, Swift called out the erasure of transgender and nonbinary people from the US census. “When you don’t collect information on a group of people, that means you have every excuse in the world not to support them. When you don’t collect data on a community, that’s a really, really brutal way of dismissing them,” she said at the time. [via Consequence]

LVRA has shared new single ‘anxiety’. The Chinese-Scottish multi-hyphenate has a true gift for sound design, interpolating electronic tropes into her singular realm. A flurry of singles have seen LVRA sketch out a unique identity, with seven-track project Soft Like Steel landing on March 22. News of the announce coincides with something fresh from LVRA, who has just shared the startling, multi-faceted digi-jewel ‘anxiety’. A real message from the heart, the lyrics deal with mental health issues, while the electronic production hurls her vocal far off into the future. A song that truly stands apart from its peers, ‘anxiety’ pivots between over-thinking and the urge for self-acceptance. She comments… “I’ve lived my life as an overthinker, my mental balance completely tipped over by even the most minuscule of events. Music allows my brain to focus on something else, and creating gives me something to channel the energy into. Often I’m trying to turn negative emotions into a source of strength and I feel like Anxiety was borne out of my desire to live and accept this part of me. It’s kind of ambiguous whether or not it’s the voice inside my head that’s taunting me or some kind of f u to the voice inside my head.” [via Clash]

Cementing herself in the upper echelons of Australian singer-songwriters, Gena Rose Bruce navigates emotional turmoil, fragility, death and honesty on Deep Is The Way, her second record, out now via Dot Dash / Remote Control Records. To coincide with the release, Gena Rose Bruce shared a video for the doom-laden ‘Destroy Myself’, directed by Ryan Downey. With its buzzing synths and chugging guitars, the track sees Bruce reflects on her own dark compulsions.

Kimbra releases her single and accompanying music video for ‘Foolish Thinking,’ the third single off of her upcoming album A Reckoning. Directed by Alex Cook, the music video is an intimate vignette into the experience of being a mother. The subject of the song is Kimbra’s future daughter, who is shown confronting the struggles of growing up and eventually has to face young motherhood herself. Kimbra has to accept that she cannot always protect her child, reflecting, “It’s not my place and no matter what I say, you’re gonna do what you want anyway.” Of the release, Kimbra says, “I wrote this song at the piano in a matter of hours. It started as a letter to my future daughter but quickly partnered with melody. It felt as though I were channeling my future self; a Mother trying to protect her child from pain while understanding that they must experience adversity to grow. I was imagining the loss of control when you realize the most loving thing is to let go. Having Ryan sing the second verse added a beautiful dimension because he has the actual lived experience of being a father so could perform my words from a very personal place. I feel there’s a lot of expectation on mothers to have it all figured out before they pass on their blueprint to the next generation. I wanted to make a song that would ease that external pressure a little, because we will always be learning right alongside them.” Director Alex Cook adds, “Hearing the track for the first time, there was such a rare sincerity and emotional depth in the song and lyrics. There is often an almost inseparable sense of wonder and pain in the experience of growing up. Sometimes it isn’t until years later that we begin to understand the full emotional complexity of a life event. We hoped to carry those feelings into the video as we follow a mother watching her young girl grow up through life stages until she has a child of her own. The mother’s light, her warmth, follows her daughter through scenes of her life, until she enters into her own phase of motherhood.” [via Broadway World]

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