MUSIC

Blood Cultures Release Magnetic Video "Broadcasting"

The mysterious New Jersey indie-electronica outfit pairs a vibrant and arresting music video with a cut from their latest album, Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs.

Pouty Cowboy

In the wake of their 2019 LP Oh Uncertainty! A Universe Despairs, the New Jersey psych-pop group Blood Cultures has released their new video for "Broadcasting."

"Broadcasting" sounds massive in its electronic scope, melding distorted industrial indie-pop with the band's anxious lyrics. "When this ends the way you know it will / with a bang, will you be laughing still?" Blood Cultures asks in a far away falsetto, crafting a vibrant yet troubled sonic narrative to challenge the listener. The video, directed by Saleem Barbados, embraces that same kind of high-strung juxtaposition, featuring Bharatanatyam dancer Anjali Mehta as her evocative choreography plays out against the harsh squat buildings and corrugated metal of Brooklyn.

"I was raised in New Jersey, after my parents immigrated from Pakistan," Blood Cultures says of the track. "Growing up with one culture inside your home, and another one at school, in your community, and in media is a hard thing to navigate in terms of understanding who you are and where you belong, if anywhere. The struggle for identity is almost a guarantee for any first-generation-American, but when we present those struggles with pride, it becomes a lot easier to see that we're not alone in facing them; that these feelings are universal." Mehta's embodiment of the explorations in "Broadcasting" feels beautifully vital, deepening the song's questions of belonging and isolation in a magnetic visual dialogue.

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MUSIC

Fake Shark Makes a Comeback with "Invincible"

The Canadian indie-pop outfit returns with an anthemic new single and their first release of 2019.

Zachary Vague

Fake Shark's new single is an anthemic shot of energy, the sound of the band closing ranks with an arena-rock feel.

The Vancouver group's latest release is their first since last year's Walking Through a Fantasy, and now, in an exclusive Popdust premiere, Fake Shark shares "Invincible," the next chapter in the band's story.

A staccato piano introduces the track, followed close behind by lead singer Kevvy's murmured vocals, racking up the song's tension. "Feel like I've been on the run forever," Kevvy confesses, just before the chorus arrives over echoing guitars and booming drums. Fake Shark's brawny sound tears the song open, while Kevvy's slick vocals promise that the band isn't going anywhere: "Invincible" is the sound of Fake Shark insisting on their own presence.

"We've been through so much together, and we're still here and we're not going anywhere because we've only just scratched the surface of our potential," Kevvy says of the story behind "Invincible." "We've all been to hell and back together, been hit with everything this industry can throw at us and we keep coming back." "Invincible" kicks off a new phase in Fake Shark's career with characteristic vigor, and it's anyone's guess what's next.

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MUSIC

HĒIR Plays Games on New Single "My Love"

The singer-songwriter's latest single strips away the indie-electronica sheen for a sparser, more intimate track.

Lara Giliberto

HĒIR's "My Love" is an arresting gem, opening with a sparse guitar and growing steadily into something sultry and sardonic.

Patricia Manfield is the voice and pen behind HĒIR, a globe-trotting singer-songwriter with three compelling singles to her name so far. Her music combines wryly potent vocals with dynamic indie-electronica, a reliably effective mix, as evidenced by her past singles "Threads" and "Soundtrack." But "My Love," her latest offering, turns down the percussive power of her last few releases in favor of a more intimate and disarming sound.

"My Love" is a sort-of love letter, as its title hints at—but HĒIR's specificity makes the track far more enticing than just that. HĒIR's lyrics are softly browbeating, convincing the object of her affections that his current relationship is killing him. "She controls you, you gave her the switch / You'll be dialed if needed again," she reminds him over the sound of sliding guitar strings. The trick of "My Love," and the best part of HĒIR's songwriting here, is that she never outright tells him to leave his toxic girlfriend. She just pulls on the already-unraveling threads, emphasizing the track's feel of coy seduction as the drums kick in: "So I keep dancing, fooling you somehow / Why don't you keep me tied up to your bed?"

HĒIR makes "My Love" risky fun, from the song's slight production and her perfectly double-edged delivery, but the track also showcases an artist coming into her own, effectively building character and sound with the barest materials.

Follow HĒIR online at Instagram | Spotify | YouTube

MUSIC

Luna Shadows Makes a Promise on "practice"

The indie-pop singer-songwriter's latest single blends dance electronica with a melancholy edge.

Larsen Sotelo

Luna Shadows' latest single makes a quietly powerful promise on its hook: "Love is just practice / We'll keep working at it."

For Shadows' brand of ethereal pop, this is familiar territory. The singer-songwriter has released a steady stream of alternative, dance-inflected synth pop since 2016, characterized by opaque electronic production and Shadows' pensive vocal work. "practice," her new release, is no different, meditating on love and loss in a sad and nostalgic soundscape.

Shadows' discography to date is adept at balancing the darkness indie pop can cast with a tendency towards house and dance beats, resulting in a sonic tension that makes her songs sound especially urgent. "practice" floats the notes of a guitar over echoing background vocalizations, electronic flourishes, and a barely-audible drum. On its own, the sound of the track is abstract, then Shadows' soft voice signals the bass to kick in, grafting a groove onto the instrumental and sending the song's pulse rocketing skyward.

"No permanent damage can ruin us," Luna Shadows assures her lover. It's unclear, between her earnest vocals and the song's melancholy sound, whether that's true. But for the moment that "practice" chooses to embrace, it doesn't matter. The sentiment keeps the track's emotional core afloat and lets the listener drift along its dreamy beat.

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MUSIC

The Sunset Kids Release New Single "Volcano"

The Canadian electropop duo's third single is a stirring portrait of a relationship in conflict.

Renat Touichev

"It's hard to be strong on your own," the Sunset Kids sing on "Volcano," their newest track.

The Sunset Kids—a Canadian duo comprised of songwriters Josh Palmer and Ellaya Zampieri—stirred up attention for their dreamy brand of electropop with their two previous singles, the trippy "Fantasy" and the romantic "Ocean Clear." Now, on "Volcano," the Sunset Kids tune their tender electronica to a slower and even more emotional frequency.

An urgent acoustic guitar riff opens onto a lush wave of synths, as Palmer and Zampieri's voices intertwine, coming apart on the hook and re-engaging the harmony on the verses. The lyrics spell out a couple's arguments in fits and starts, tracing how vulnerability and fear in a relationship can turn into conflict. The Sunset Kids feel like they're doing their best to understand this moment, and the track matches their effort: a soft and forgiving soundscape, landing in a style somewhere between Chvrches and Of Monsters and Men.

The duo says the song is meant to be an exploration of complicated relationships: "Sometimes it erupts when we are on the edge and can take no more." "Volcano" is powerful as a snapshot of a particular moment of crisis in a relationship, as well as a brazen reminder of the duo's incipient talent.

The Sunset Kids - Volcano (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com


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