🕒 This newsletter is 672 words, a 6-minute read.
After Dark/Melancholic and Beats/Pop, it’s time to cast ourselves in the universe of smoothness and groove. Ten more songs await you that had a tight grip on me with their drive, their incredible atmosphere, their coolness.
The past months have been a challenging ride for all of us. The tracks in today’s edition of “2021 Repeat” give me room to breathe, let me escape reality, or simply provide the soundtrack to relax and reflect. And I hope that the following sounds may have the same effect on you.
You will find a wild mix of genres—from flamboyant alt-pop and exuberant electro-jazz to hauntingly beautiful singer-songwriters.
Moreover, today’s edition will be the last one before the grand finale, “The Essentials”, where I’ll reveal the ten songs that made me survive this crazy year.
Spread love, not the virus. Stay save,
Charity Children – My Alchemy
Love, seen through the eyes of an addict: My Alchemy is a confession of affection by Berlin-based Kiwi duo Charity Children. The song’s flamboyant glow, the avid groove, paired with detours into psychedelic realms, make for a gripping experience. My Alchemy is bittersweet, self-destructive, powerful, and magic—a song that creeps under your skin and stays there.
Al Pride – Sweat Soaked
Swiss indie ensemble Al Pride’s Sweat Soaked is pure excellence. The slightly weird yet sunny sound contrasts the song’s lyrics’ devastating honesty—an ode to the thoughtful hearts in sweat-soaked bedsheets lined with loneliness. Sweat Soaked is dripping honey in our ears. I’ve no doubt: This is a masterpiece.
Jungle by Night – E17 Snack
The perfect start to a new day: E17 Snack by the nine-headed Dutch ensemble Jungle by Night always gets me in a good mood. The playful extravagance, the anticipating excitement in the brass section, the hopping synth melodies—it’s the perfect storm, a cheerful hurra on life. And Jungle by Night have a point: Let’s enjoy the moment.
Louis Dunford – My Generation
Louis Dunford is an exceptional storyteller, and My Generation is the definitive proof. A depressing tale of a society drifting apart, about a nation in the gutter. Chilling to the bones, brilliantly told and magnificently arranged. Dunford’s lyrics are so on point; they immediately create sceneries. Despair rarely sounded so beautiful. God only knows what we’re dying for.
Sweet Crisis – Love Me Like Sugar
Love Me Like Sugar is a tribute to the 70s. Sweet Crisis, founded in 2015 in Cambridge, recreated the vintage sound so perfectly, it almost seems like they’re time travellers. It’s a larger-than-life song, full of tender soul, slinging guitars and raspy lines fuzed together through a seductive groove. The passion stings right into your heart.
Lea Porcelain – Shoot the Moon
Shoot the Moon hits the ground running and never stops. Breathless, tireless, electrified. The German duo Lea Porcelain summons the universe’s energy and throws it back at you. The desperate longing, the crushing doubt, and the exploding euphoria are highly addictive. It’s a dangerous song.
Kele – Smalltown Boy
Kelechukwu Rowland Okereke, known as the frontman of Bloc Party, has created a haunting rendition of Bronski Beat’s 1984 single Smalltown Boy. The evergreen about homosexuality is originally a driven pop hymn but becomes a terrific sinister song in the hands of the British artist. The undying melody reverbs in the darkness, rendering every inch of your skin in goosebumps.
Viagra Boys – In Spite of Ourselves (feat. Amy Taylor)
This one goes all the way back to the very first edition: In Spite of Ourselves by the rambling Swedish band called Viagra Boys and Amy Taylor messes around with country music. It’s a brilliant, weird, and hilarious love song for the misfits. But despite its white trash ambience, In Spite of Ourselves still is adorable in its quirkiness.
Schattenmusik – Tote Tauben
A fascinating, otherworldly experience. Tote Tauben by Schattenmusik, a brotherly duo, sounds innocent like a children’s lullaby and sinister like the literature of Edgar Allan Poe. An obscure piano piece; cloudy, calm, conspirational and regretful. The mixture of sadness and acceptance is simply stunning.
Sam Himself – Nothing Like the Night
Maybe Switzerland’s sexiest voice: Sam Himself. His song Nothing Like the Night is an urging indie rock hymn about letting yourself go in uncontrollable situations. Perfectly capturing the feeling in the midst of a pandemic, Sam Himself’s single still remains on a hopeful note. Nothing Like the Night is the comforting blanket of certainty: You’re not alone.