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Time to escape

Edition #15 | 🎵 James, BAFANG, Torp, Luna Morgenstern, Hante.

It’s a beautiful weekend here in Switzerland. The weather is perfect, and I find my mood to be uplifted by the warm sunshine. Spring has arrived, the season of new beginnings.

And I’m thinking about the future of Weekly5. That’s why I’m looking for some community members to discuss some ideas I have. If you’re willing to give me some of your precious time, please reach out to me by email (

I’m looking forward to a dialogue with you.

James are racing down to those beautiful beaches. Photo: Promo

In the meantime, I’ve curated five new songs for you. There are weeks when I’m not entirely satisfied with the selection. However, today, there are some significant highlights—thriving hymns, danceable tracks, pumping beats, shimmering melodies and intimate art.

James – Beautiful Beaches

The history of James is long and winding. Founded back in 1981, the Manchester outfit experienced great success in the early 90s. They sold over 25 million records to this day.

Now, they return with a new album, All The Colours Of You, which will be released in June. A first taste provides Beautiful Beaches, written by James’ singer Tim Booth as a reaction to migration because of climate change and last year’s devastating wildfires in California.

While inspired by actual and dark events, Booth also thematizes a repeating vision where his family finds shelter from earthquakes and fires on beautiful beaches. And yet, if you ignore the sinister backstory of Beautiful Beaches, it’s an incredibly uplifting song – a hymn to new beginnings. “I like the idea that many might not know the backstory and hear it as a post-Covid holiday song,” says Tim Booth.

BAFANG – Ibabemba

Ibabemba was actually released quite a while ago. However, the single now was officially released in Switzerland, after the Cameroonian duo BAFANG celebrated some success in France.

The brothers Enguerranet and Lancelot are the architects of a unique jewel. The sound is reduced to the max, created by a drumset, a guitar and some effects. BAFANG are dancing at the intersection of Stoner Rock, Tuareg Blues, Makossa and World Music.

Ibabemba is a thriving craziness of pure rock energy, organic grooves and hot rhythms. A bolt of lightning that strikes the minds and bodies. A summer hit for the misfits.

Torp – A Time To Kill

Now and then, there’s a folk singer that stands out. Frieder Torp is one of them. The artist, originally from Northern Germany, is currently stationed in Switzerland. His debut album, Time Flies, last Friday. On the record, Torp shows a fascinating variety of contemporary folk-pop that surpasses the usual and – honestly – worn-out genre.

A Time To Kill is demonstrating Torp’s brilliance in storytelling perfectly. Simultaneously, the song is a fictional western story and a depressing statement of US-American gun culture.

But the song also offers a glimpse of songwriting greatness: A Time To Kill starts off innocent and straightforward. Yet there’s a hint that there’s more to come. Little by little, the song grows into an overwhelmingly grande and cinematic experience. Wow!

Luna Morgenstern – In My Head

In My Head is one of these journeys deep into another human’s soul. Cologne-bred and Amsterdam-based Luna Morgenstern wrote the song at the beginning of the first lockdown. “I felt trapped and started to reflect on how I dealt with the loss of my mother,” Morgenstern explains.

In My Head clearly resides amid picturebook pop music, inspired by SOPHIE, FKA twigs and Charli XCX, featuring a larger-than-life electronic soundscape. Luna Morgenstern combines this premise with her crystal-clear voice and an addictive hook.

Despite having the ingredients of a catchy pop song, something about this single feels different. Maybe it’s the gigantic climax at the track’s finish; perhaps it’s Morgenstern’s impressive courage of letting down the guards and grant an intimate insight.

Hante. – Blank Love

Hélène de Thoury, aka Hante., is the high priestess of Parisian darkness. She summons electronic demons that grab you by your ankles and tear you down the abyss she conjures.

While earlier songs feature a distinct yet modern interpretation of darkwave, Hante.’s latest single is different. Blank Love is taking the goth atmosphere and adding a pumping techno beat. It’s a song that sounds like a fast drive through a tunnel—driven, exciting but also scary.

With Blank Love, de Thoury is closer to the sound of Minuit Machine, where she’s creating similar addictive, dance-provoking obscurity together with Amandine Stioui. Hante.’s Blank Love is a must for every melancholic soul with a flair for stomping beats.

Obviously, you’ll find the tracks as well on the Spotify and Apple Music playlists. And if you feel like it, comment on this edition and let me know which song touched you this week.

All the best,