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Edition #36 • Mattiu, White Lies, ZUSTRA, NOTI x Sensu, East Sister

🕒 This newsletter is 895 words, a 7-minute read.

First, a big thank you to everyone who decided that Weekly5 is worth supporting and chose to become a member. You made 2022 already an excellent year for me!

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’ve probably missed the announcement.

A couple of days, I stumbled across this exceptional song by French pop-rock outfit Poni Hoax. The Music Never Dies deals with the dualistic nature of being a musician. “Play your cello, little girl/ You give your body to the world,” sings Nicolas Ker, the band’s singer who passed away last year.

However, the song’s chorus is a passionate love letter to music—despite all the business hassle.

I know the music never dies
It breaks against the wall of sound
Its pieces rain down upon our faces
They slice up like a knife
Through our minds and through our thighs

The song, especially its chorus, embodies my deep desire for great music. I’m hungry and excited about what 2022 holds in store for us. And now, finally, we can delve into five new songs. It’s going to be quite cinematic.

Enjoy this year’s first official edition,

Mattiu – Forza

The clouds disappear with each epochal swelling of the string orchestra. It’s almost cinematic, how Forza starts and almost tragic how the grand opening collapses to reveal a singer-songwriter tune. But then, this contrast is an allegory of the Alps—big, majestic, but also quiet and beautiful.

Mattiu Defuns, a 22-year-old singer, presents himself with his first single, Forza. It’s an atmospheric, visually stunning song that embraces pathos and—yes—kitsch with self-confidence. Forza drips of longing and a feeling of home but still sounds somehow exotic with its lyrics in Rumansh, Switzerland’s fourth official language.

White Lies – Am I Really Going To Die

As I Try Not To Fall Apart was one of 2021’s songs dear to my heart. White Lies followed up with a satirical I Don’t Want To Go To Mars. And although the latter track didn’t strike my chord as much, it demonstrated the sonic range you can expect on their upcoming album.

The third single, Am I Really Going To Die, again pivots away from As I Try Not To Fall Apart’s hymnic synth-pop vibe and the last track’s rough rock feel. Instead, White Lies feature an airy approach—it’s almost as they dialled back the prominent elements of the first two singles. Nevertheless, the result remains a groovy, undeniably catchy indie-rock song.

NOTI – hooked (Sensu Remix)

Three Swiss artists display their talent. Hooked, NOTI’s downtempo collaboration with Caroline Alves, gets a new outfit. Remixed by Sensu, who some of you might remember from the 6th edition, hooked becomes a danceable, uptempo gut punch.

Benjamin Noti’s virtuous guitar glimmers over a thick beat, and Alves’ voice gets distorted, stuttered without losing its melancholy. It’s a brilliant transformation of a track that keeps its original spirit. Sensu’s remix of hooked certainly is worthy of the title: It’s an addictive swirl of sound.

ZUSTRA – Drowned Body

To me, ZUSTRA’s upcoming debut album, The Dream of Reason, definitely is one of the more anticipated releases of 2022. With the singles Back to Dark and Walking on the Moon, the Croatian-German artist already impressively showcased her talent.

The empire strikes back and it will fuck you into pieces

Now, with Drowned Body, ZUSTRA doesn’t reinforce the anticipation but shoots into stratospheric heights. Tribal drums, a dirty riff, and her conspiratorial voice immediately open the door to an entire universe filled with pop culture references from Star Wars to Macbeth. And doesn’t the harmonica in the distance remind you of Once Upon a Time in the West?

Drowned Body is an otherworldly art-pop hymn, monumental and intimate at the same time. The soundtrack to an imaginary space western, mystery thriller, or archaic incantation ritual. Pure perfection.

East Sister – Dawning Overall

After a two year break, the Swiss trio East Sister is back. But Dawing Overall isn’t your traditional track. Instead, there’s a beautiful lack of structure; more an assembly of sounds and voices that shine seemingly disconnected. And yet, every fragment contributes to the song’s magical ambience.

Tender piano tunes shimmer like the first rays of sunlight, reflecting in clear dewdrops of strings. Sleepy-soothing singing gently kisses you awake—empty space filled with reverb. Dawning Overall is an abstract painting, not clearly defined but intriguing nonetheless.

Dive deeper

5 Songs that influenced me
Despite music having the ability to bring people together, it’s also a deeply personal experience. Five songs that probably impacted my musical preferences and maybe even my personality.

5 Songs that inspired Michael Sele
The evolution of The Beauty of Gemina shows that mastermind Michael Sele has a colourful musical background. He opens his personal songbook and presents five songs.

Music is like an old carpet. In the middle, the fabric is still pristine, displaying clear motives in the weave. That‘s where mainstream pop music resides. But here, you will discover the outer rims: brutal assaults with guitars as chainsaws and skull-crushing beats.