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Edition #102

Today, we recommend the new songs by Holy Esque, Nola Kin, vega vi, Tanlines, and Millie Turner.

Whispers, screams, pleads, summons. Today's selection stylistically stretches wide from apocalyptic post-punk to innovative indie-folk. But also blends proven artists and promising newcomers.

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Holy Esque – Ask Me Twice

Sometime around 2016, Holy Esque appeared on my radar with the otherworldly debut album At Hope's Ravine. Then, the Glasgow-based band kind of faded away. The sophomore album, Television / Sweet, could not gain the same traction.

After the 2020 EP CPH and a Covid-related release with acoustic versions, they emerged back into my attention with a new single: Ask Me Twice. Holy Esque seamlessly continue creating their signature sound, which is then lifted by Pat Hynes' raspy, vibrato-heavy vocal performance to new heights.

Ask Me Twice juxtaposes an escalating, loud sound with Hynes, who first almost whispers but then screams in frustration. Even now, with a steady stream of post-punk revival bands, Holy Esque still sound unique.

Nola Kin – The Table

Nola Kin made her first entry to Weekly5 with the astonishing song Not What You Think in 2022, where the Swiss artist and former Klain Karoo singer demonstrated impressively that she has not lost an ounce of emotional impact.

After touring through Germany with Black Sea Dahu, Nola Kin will release her second EP, Mayhem, in May. The Table is not only the second teaser to the EP but also a song that digs deep into intimate conversations, advocating honesty, open-mindedness, and vulnerability.

However, the brilliance of The Table is its composition. In the beginning, it almost fools the listener with its straight-forward indie-folk, almost country-like sound, only to then turn the knob of experimentalism with a weirdly distorted guitar solo, creating a fresh take on a rather traditionalist genre.

vega vi – Afloat

Darkness creeps through a meandering, electronic ambient landscape. A deep, dangerous, yet seductive voice reverbs in your head. Afloat is likewise a profoundly physical and ethereal experience.

The artist vega vi, based in the Techno capital Berlin, also operates with synthesizers. But instead of stomping beats, Afloat is dominated by pulsating and floating waves, evoking an almost disorienting, enchanting composition.

Her vocals first spotlighted, slowly sink into the soundscape like stones in water. The song, a teaser for vega vi's upcoming namesake EP, is a promising release, provoking anticipation for the next journey into this sombre sonic underwater world of hers.

Tanlines – Vanishing Point

Brooklyn's duo Tanlines are a product of another time. In 2008, Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm founded the band, providing their debut album, Mixed Emotions, 2012, which was applauded for an intriguing mix of indie-rock and electronica.

Last year, Tanlines released The Big Mess, their third album, after an eight-year break. With their new single, Vanishing Point, they state their intention not to go silent again, and simultaneously provide a track that is both refreshing and nostalgia-filled.

Vanishing Point blends indie-rock elements and synth-pop vibes, and somehow sounds sometimes like a sonic twin to The Police's Every Breath You Take. And despite the rather melancholic sound, Vanishing Point creates also euphoria with its anticipating piano play.

Millie Turner – Venus

U.K. singer Millie Turner was only 17 when she appeared with the song Underwater in the spotlight in 2017. Today, she already has two albums under her belt—and makes no sign of stopping.

While her biggest hits, like January or Night Running, present contemporary, electro-heavy pop compositions, it seems that Turner has grown again significantly since the sophomore album, Eye of the Storm.

Venus plays it less save in the pop realm. Turner experiments with her exceptional voice, and through the composition, a freezing Nordic wind blows over atmospheric strings.