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Misery, optimism and activism

Edition #13 | Markian, Lea Porcelain, Pink Turns Blue, Husten, Odd Beholder

After last week's special edition, we return today to the same procedure as every week (Yes, the same procedure as every Sunday, James).

That's not a bad thing as I could pick from two weeks worth of material. It was hard to pick and choose from many great songs released in the past couple of days. But I think I've managed to compile five new songs that show a wide variety of styles from both well-established artists and fresh talents you should keep an eye out for.

Today's Weekly5 features atmospheric tunes from Markian and Husten. Lea Porcelain and Pink Turns Blue deliver songs between melancholy and optimism, while Odd Beholder appeals to our consciousness.

And as always, you can find the new tracks in the playlists:

Markian – Misery

There's something archaic about Misery, the debut single of Lucerne-based artist Markian Dlaboha. It's a droning sound echoing in a pitch-black cave, created only with his voice and a looper. It's a journey to our deepest worries and the human error of repeating mistakes. "Would you mind telling me what is wrong with me? I never learn from history," Markian sings.

In 2019, Markian won second place in the band contest Sprungfeder and could produce Misery together with Anna Murphy (Cellar Darling, ex-Eluveitie) in Lucerne's Soundfarm Studios.

Out of the gate, Misery is neither light nor catchy. However, with a charismatic voice, Markian creates an incredible experience bordering on a hypnotic, religious ritual. I'm converted. Let's all attend Markian's service.

Lea Porcelain – Just a Dream

In February, Lea Porcelain released Ohio, staying close to the duo's signature post-punk-inspired sound but also demonstrating a development towards a less densely packed arrangement.

This week, the last album teaser was published: Just A Dream differs quite heavily from Ohio with its even lighter feeling. Carried by Markus Nikolaus' voice and a glimmering guitar, the track reminds me of Nirvana's unplugged songs. And still, if you listen closely, you can hear the eternity of their sound in the background.

Lea Porcelain explain their single as follows: "The message we want to send out with this is that all of our dreams and wishes are all still there for us all to take. Every day anew. Especially in uncertain times. We just have to make them become reality. Day by day, piece by piece, step by step. These uncertain times are also times of opportunity. And you can still live your dream if you take chances. And you if can carry yourself through the coldest of winters with the warmest of hearts."

Pink Turns Blue – There Must Be So Much More

Pink Turnes Blue became part of Germany's post-punk spearhead when they formed back in 1985. Naming themselves after a Hüsker Dü song, the early influences of Thomas Elbern (vox, guitars) and Mic Jogwer (vox, bass, and keyboards) have been genre heroes like The Cure or Clan of Xymox.

Songs like If two Worlds kiss or Your Master is calling still regularly fill up dark dancefloors. And now, 36 years after their first appearance in the world, Pink Turns Blue return with a brand new single. There Must Be So Much More is "a warning of complacency. An urgent call to refine oneself and to make the world a better place."

Although There Must Be So Much More is rooted deeply in post-punk, the balance between the guitar accents and the melodic piano place the song in a field of tension between melancholy and optimism. It's a relaxed yet driven track.

Husten – Weit leuchten die Felder

Moses Schneider, Gisbert zu Knyphausen, and der dünne Mann. This trio of exceptional musicians promises greatness. The proof that these expectations aren't exaggerated is delivered by the new single Weit leuchten die Felder.

The German supergroup Husten doesn't create simple music. It's avant-garde pop music, laced with contemporary poetry and fantastic ambient. They paint pictures with sounds and words alike.

Etwas wirft mich aus dem Strahl der Zeit,
Durch die Falltür einer Dunkelheit,
In folgenschwere Schwerelosigkeit.

Weit leuchten die Felder is an incredible creation, impossible to categorize. Husten demonstrate nothing but the sheer will to conceive uniqueness. And they accomplish it so effortlessly that it seems otherworldly.

Odd Beholder – Disaster Movies

Swiss artist Daniela Weinmann returns with her electronica and art-pop project Odd Beholder. Her latest single is called Disaster Movies, and she announces her upcoming sophomore record Sunny Bay.

It's a stunning track, shimmering and dreaming. The crystal voice of Weinmann carries you out of this world. But Disaster Movies is very music tied to reality as it's the artistic extension of her political activism. Shortly after releasing her debut album, All Reality Is Virtual, Weinmann co-founded the Swiss chapter of "Music Declares Emergency" – fighting against climate change.

As beautiful as it sounds, Disaster Movies is a vital commentary about our society's decadence and destructive consumerism.

An older song recommended

Sometimes, I find myself indulging in weird behaviour. For example, I type in random words into the Spotify search and listen to the first search result. That's how I stumbled over Mai Lan, a French designer, artist, and musician.

Her 2017 single Nail Polish is a pumping track fuzing sugar-coated pop music with a rioting attitude and exciting beats. What a ride!

That's it. I hope you've found some inspiration, a new song you like, or even a new artist you will watch from today.

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Have a great day,