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Janosch Troehler

Editor

Edition #120

Today, we recommend the new songs by nothhingspecial, Spell Trouble, Jake Isaac, Violence, and Rikas.

nothhingspecial. Photo: Max Lange

nothhingspecial – catacombs

Taken from the utterly brilliant sophomore EP, Where Do You Wanna Go?, the song catacombs displays German artist nothhingspecial's velvety, sombre voice. Accompanied by an addictive and anticipating rhythm, the track beautifully amalgamates melancholy and a euphoric indie-rock spark.


Spell Trouble – Thorn Armor

In his first of a series of single releases, Maximilian Seifert, aka Spell Trouble, lets gloomy post-punk collide with a filter of electronic post-modernism. As a result, Thorn Armor feels like the despairing soundtrack to a cyberpunk goth movie—dramatic in its shift of tempo, colourful in its darkness.


Jake Isaac – Black Or White

Black Or White by London's soul upstart Jake Isaac spreads a warm and tender vibe. The authentic communication at the heart of the song's message is mirrored by the composition: a human effort, composed with touching passion and created with sophistication at the fingertips. Exquisite.


Violence – Colour Decay (feat. T A K E R)

After their captivating debut record, Area Sub Rosa, Copenhagen's Violence went from a 5-piece band to a duo. Their sound became more experimental as also their collaboration with T A K E R demonstrates: Colour Decay welds together post-punk and euro-trance elements. It works surprisingly well.


Rikas – Barcelona (Learning to Love Myself)

New beginnings, a new path in life at its core, Barcelona (Learning to Love Myself) is Rikas' latest dance-provoking single. The German quartet delivers a catchy track tailored for a verified summer hit without letting cheap allegory take over. This song drips like the condensation on your chilled drink.

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Suzan Köcher’s Suprafon Returns with Impressive «Seventeen»

After five years, Suzan Köcher’s Suprafon reports back with the introspective yet empowering single «Seventeen». We celebrate the song’s video premiere.

Suzan Köcher’s Suprafon returns after five years. Photo: Marla Steinweg

What would you tell your 17-year-old self if you could travel back in time? Would you voice warnings, share concerns, or provide encouragement and comfort?

On its surface, this question is one of the overused prompts for self-reflection—and often, the results taste of superficiality. But what if one would take a conversation with one’s younger self seriously? And what if it is more an accidental conversation freed of intentionality and self-fulfilling prophecies?

The result may sound something like Seventeen. 29-year-old Suzan Köcher wrote the song thinking about someone else.

«It was only later that I realised that many lines could also be read as communication between me and my 17-year-old self. Through art, you inevitably reflect facets of yourself,» the German musician reveals.

Seventeen is not just a chance for self-reflection but a poignant turning point for Suzan Köcher’s Suprafon. It delves deep into Köcher’s emotional landscape, revealing a more personal and vulnerable side of her songwriting inspired by therapy. In many ways, it is a heartfelt return to her songwriting roots. Köcher explains:

«I started writing songs when I was 14 because I was afraid to say things and experience rejection. Music was my way of saying what I thought. When my music became more public, I backed off a bit because I was afraid of what people might think of me. Through therapy, I learnt to let go of my fears a bit and started writing much more personal songs.»

Suzan Köcher explores in Seventeen themes of adolescence: unrequited love, insecurity, and abuse of power. Despite these difficult topics, the song not only confronts past pains but also serves as a beacon of empowerment for young women.

And when I look back from where I’m standing todayI can’t believe you treated me this wayI’m glad I didn’t stay the same

In the video for Seventeen, Köcher meets with her 17-year-old ghost—not haunted but with clarity. There is a notion of tender forgiveness within the dreamy pop notes. The mellotron bits and Hammond organ add depth and texture, while Köcher’s soft, almost whispering voice takes centre stage. It’s a masterful composition that perfectly complements the emotional depth of the lyrics.

Seventeen has a more mature, refined sound—but one that preserves Suzan Köcher’s qualities: a seamless blend of psychedelic hints, krautrock vibes, and dream pop ambience spread gently on a cinematic canvas.

After half a decade, the song is a stunning return to the stage for Suzan Köcher’s Suprafon, captivating attention with emotional depth and melody. And it is a promising herald of their upcoming new album, scheduled to be released in October 2024.

Edition #119

This week, we recommend the new songs by The Beauty of Gemina, Harry Dean Lewis, Emma Castellino, CHACHO &Friends, and Ramkot.

Michael Sele of The Beauty of Gemina, 2017. Photo: Janosch Tröhler

The Beauty of Gemina – Whispers of the Seasons

Ahead of the release of their new album, Songs of Homecoming, Switzerland's The Beauty of Gemina offer a glimpse at the record's soundscape with the new single Whispers of the Seasons. Driven by a relentless rhythm, decorated with meandering guitars, Michael Sele's deep, captivating voice takes centre stage.


Harry Dean Lewis – Blue Dunlops

An Australian in Vienna avoiding pigeonholes: Harry Dean Lewis demonstrates with his latest single, Blue Dunlops, a fantastic blend of hip-hop and indie soul. Equipped with an eccentric beat and sunny guitar hooks, the track is as wonky as it spreads a carefree summer groove. Harry Dean Lewis is a name to keep in mind.


Emma Castellino – on & on

Somewhere between indie approaches to pop and rock, French singer-songwriter Emma Castellino's new single, on & on, demands attention with its balanced composition and catchy groove. Castellino demonstrates talent in fusing smooth and tender bedroom vibes with a DIY-like roughness in her sound.


CHACHO &Friends – Moving Sand

Charlotte Viglino is a Swiss visual and sound artist. Solo, CHACHO calls experimental electronica home, but as a trio (&Friends), they delve into the depth of art rock. Moving Sand, from their debut album, is a vocalising dreamscape full of fascinating shades.


Ramkot – Zeppelin

Rock is dead? Not if Belgian Ramkot have anything to say. Loud and raw, this trio's new single, Zeppelin, howls through time and space—powered by an engine that runs on heavy rock'n'roll, oiled with drops of psychedelic sound, and expansive instrumental parts.

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Edition #118

Today, we recommend the new songs by The Destruction of the Cult of the Sun, Silvertongues, Annie Taylor, Hazlett, and IAMTHELIVING.

The Destruction of the Cult of the Sun.
The Destruction of the Cult of the Sun. Photo: Promo

The Destruction of the Cult of the Sun – Sleeper Must Awaken

With his project, The Destruction of the Cult of the Sun, artist Eben Tenner seeks to wake people up from unreflected digitalisation. He is in a release frenzy, pushing an array of singles and multiple albums this year—blending psychedelic electronica and indie-rock vibes with a funky twist. Sleeper Must Awaken is a perfect illustration.


Silvertongues – Overflow

Introducing Silvertongues, a Hamburg-based duo, with their debut single, Overflow—an anthem to the urge of overstimulating oneself. Rike Rakete and Manuel de Rien conjure up a pithy rock sound, evoking memories of Queens of the Stone Age or The Kills. Loud and proud shedding meets a melodic catchiness.


Annie Taylor – In Your Head

After Perfect Pretender, Switzerland's rock upstarts Annie Taylor deliver another groovy, sepia-coloured track: In Your Head. And again, they do not disappoint: coolness drips from every sharp bend they sling about, swirling up dust with screeching guitars and tight drums.


Hazlett – The First Train Home

Sweden-based Australian Hazlett's The First Train Home is an introspective indie-folk gem—shimmering in acoustic shades, polished with a pedal-steel guitar. Simultaneously dreamy and earthy, Hazlett merges the traditional essences of folk and country with an imposingly scaled composition.


IAMTHELIVING – The Weekend (feat. Braxton Cook)

Last year, soul man Rian Peters, aka IAMTHELIVING, already showed his quality with Make It Home Alive. For the latest single, The Weekend, he collaborated with sax-virtuoso Baxton Cook to brew an upbeat, euphoric, yet sophisticated escalation. «Dance those troubles away!»

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Edition #117

Today, we recommend the new songs by Olmo, Linn Koch-Emmery, School of X, Lov3less, and The Haunted Youth.

Francesco Lo Giudice aka Olmo. Photo: Alina Gärtig

Olmo – You Are Here

A sparkling quirkiness sprawls from this lovely lo-fi production. Intense colours meet film grain. Olmo's You Are Here is a tribute to missing someone so much that you lose your presence—finding the other everywhere and in everything. It is a beautifully composed piece of indie-folk.


Linn Koch-Emmery – Rocknroll

Linn Koch-Emmery's long-awaited sophomore album, Borderline Iconic, is here. But the song Rocknroll is not what the title suggests: The dragging, dramatic rhythm haunts this story of forgetting about the joys of life. Yet, Rocknroll builds up big like a dark Western soundtrack for a standoff with one's mind.


School of X – Bad Design

Bad Design is good pop. Danish Rasmus Littauer, aka School of X, provides a catchy melody accompanied by a hip-hop-esque beat. He reminds us that the cherished moments in life never last long enough. But the exploding refrain, underlined with rumbling guitars, makes the medicine go down easy.


Lov3less – High Life

After celebrating queer sex in MMMami Mami, Dutch artist Lov3less expands the message of joy to life itself. It is a sunny, optimistic anthem to a utopia where people meet and support each other regardless—delivered with confidence and contagious euphoria.


The Haunted Youth – Into You

The Haunted Youth are back with a new single: Into You. Part of their live shows for quite a while now, the song is a borderline cheesy admission of love by the 30-year-old Belgian artist Joachim Liebens with a lush dream-pop composition to propel Into You to ecstatic heights.

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«Panic overwhelmed me and I thought I would die»

Swiss synth-pop artist THYMIAN opens up about the traumatic experience processed in his new EP «White Knuckled».

Dramatic—that is the meaning of «white knuckled». The interpretation is still fitting, but for THYMIAN, it was the literal description of the knuckles turning white when grabbing something really tight. In his case, grabbing on to life.

Josip Tijan aka THYMIAN
Josip Tijan, aka THYMIAN. Photo: Nicola Troehler

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Edition #116

Today, we recommend the new songs by Evelinn Trouble, Arthur Hnatek, A Certain Someone, Tuys, and Sensu.

Evelinn Trouble released a haunting anti-war anthem.
Evelinn Trouble released a haunting anti-war anthem. Photo: Noëlle Guidon

Evelinn Trouble – Dark Times (To Those Born After)

Referencing the same-titled poem by German writer Bertolt Brecht, Dark Times (To Those Born After) is a haunting anti-war anthem by Swiss-Swedish artist Evelinn Trouble without answers to the despairs and cruelty humanity continues to bring upon itself again and again.


Arthur Hnatek – Chando

Arthur Hnatek is synonymous with exhilarating, constantly evolving electronic compositions. Chando, the Swiss artist's latest urging experiment, brings together filigree synthesizer work, expanding waves, and subtle percussion to create a sonic hallucinogen.


A Certain Someone – Time Is On My Side

With his 2023 debut single, Pathetic Fallacy, René Arbeithuber has already convinced us with his 80s-flavoured, sombre sound. Time Is On My Side again pays hommage to the darker tones of the decade, leaning more into the synth-pop of Depeche Mode and New Order. A song for sad dancers.


Sensu – Freeze

After her stunning EP, AM___PM, Swiss electronica posterchild Sensu returns. Her new single, Freeze, follows an undeniable flow, pushed by the contrasting staccato beats and stuttering vocals to the brink of escalation. A must-listen for fans of garage and post-D&B.


Tuys – The Dream You Never Had

The Dream You Never Had does not rush its build-up. The Luxemburg-born band Tuys explore each facet of the song, its art-rock attitude and its subtle psychedelic twists, with patience. The song draws one in slowly, but ultimately, you will be submerged in its lush, velvet dress.

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Finding Nemo: Switzerland’s Ignorance of Non-binary People

Nemo’s victory at the Eurovision Song Contest with «The Code» highlights Switzerland’s lagging progress in acknowledging non-binary people.

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On May 12, shortly after midnight, Swiss musician Nemo won the Eurovision Song Contest 2024 in Malmö, Sweden. The winning performance, achieved with the song The Code, was Switzerland’s third win after a long drought since 1988.

Photo: Screenshot YouTube/ESC

Nemo Mettler (24) gained mainstream success in 2017 as a rapper with Swiss-German lyrics. The song Du gained platinum status—there was no way around the up-and-coming artist.

One can question Eurovision’s artistic value. It is mainly an entertaining spectacle, but Nemo’s The Code was one of the few truly interesting songs performed.

But Nemo’s triumph—thanks to overwhelming success with the juries and the public vote—is not the centre of this story. Nemo also represents a premiere for Eurovision: It is the first time a non-binary person has won. And it puts Switzerland politically in an awkward position.

Switzerland’s Federal Council Against A Third Gender

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