stream: Galaa, “The Speech”


What’s exciting about living in Germany is that those artists who are touring Europe hardly miss visiting Germany. Every day, albeit just the Day 2 of living in Berlin, I check out various websites to see who are coming. So far I put down Brendan Perry (from Dead Can Dance), Sharon Van Etten and Hot Chip on my notebook as must-see.

Moving now on to introducing a new album from our favourite sextet from Toronto, Canada. Their latest long-play “The Speech” is a collection of smooth, relaxing and mature synth-pop tunes. It also includes one of my favourite singles of the last year, “Ender”. Stream from a cute Bandcamp player from below.

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Focus: SHIPS


We are focusing today on Dublin’s synth-pop duo, SHIPS. A musical project of Simon and Sorca as SHIPS started in 2012. Continously releasing a strong suite of singles since 2012, the duo has finally released their debut album last May, titled Precession. We have spoken to Simon and Sorca about the making of this album and how the concept of the album, which was inspired by what was learnt throughout their life, the past and future.

Interview: SHIPS
By Satoru ‘Teshi’ Teshima, June 2, 2017

Hello! Very nice to meet you. How’s everything?
Hi, lovely to meet you, everything is well here for us in Dublin.  Thanks for inviting us to chat.

We always ask artists this question. Please describe Ships in three words.
Sorca: Hmmm three? I’m not sure I have one that would do, Simon?
Simon: I’ll stick to empirical descriptions, Duo, suffix, journey

What’s the creative role between the two?
We write songs together and sometimes separately, and we record them here at our home, in Dublin.We both like to sing and play different instruments and we like to sit together and share production ideas, then try to make them happen, and we take turns making dinner.

We read that most recording is done in house. What’s your set up?
We have a small studio set up in the attic. It’s cosy, with a big sky light. There are some synthsisers, bass guitars, regular guitars and a few other odds and ends.
The music is recorded and mixed onto a computer and the rest is history.

You have been making music since 2012. How did it all start?
When we met we had an instant connection around our musical loves and we just took it from there.  We’ve been writing and preforming together ever since. We’ve put out a few of singles over the years, each quite different, mostly just trying ideas out.

And in May, you have released your debut album. What took you so long?
We just followed the natural course of things, we didn’t rush in, and it happened when it was ready.

‘Precession’ is the name of the album and you said that this album draws inspiration from what you’ve learned in the past and what there is still to learn. Can you tell us why and how you reached to this concept?
Much of our experience of life is rooted in cycles.  We are all part of our own set of cycles, from experiences, to emotional cycles and of course, intrinsically tied to the cycles of our planet, our galaxy and our universe. One of the beautiful aspects of experiencing something again and again, is that you get a chance to take with you what you learned from before, and add it to the experience, each time it comes around. Making each personal precession uniquely different, with something new to learn at every moment.

And how is it reflected in the songs featured in the album?
Each song speaks of parts of ourselves that have learned something along the way. They are as much a selection of songs about the self as they are about the experience of being human in general. They kind of speak directly from experience, none are abstract or have storylines, you might say they are upfront and transparant in this way.

I believe that by learning something new, you continue to discover more to learn. Do you agree?
Absolutely! Although at times it might seem daunting that behind every door is another door, it’s also very exciting!

What do you believe in music?
Music is a powerful evoker of emotion that cuts across barriers of language or understanding. Music is for everyone.

What’s next for Ships? Touring Japan anytime soon?
We would love to tour Japan, we’re drawn to your culture’s strong connection with the planet and respect for nature. We’d love to visit and play music there along the way!

Follow SHIPS

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watch: Nite Jewel, “Boo Hoo”


Industrial tears. L.A.’s Nite Jewel unveiled a new visual treatment for Liquid Cool standout track, “Boo Hoo”. To express “tears shed in an urban, industrial wasteland”, Nite Jewel toys with many aquatic expressions as she washes car, dances in beach and drinks smoothies. Watch below.

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watch: Mouth Breather, “Shrug”


Canadian Swag is the best kind of swag. A Victoria based songwriter Owen Hooper’s project, Mouth Breather recently revealed his newest video for “Shrug”. While singing about hopes and fears of our freedom free world, the song’s crisp Motown groove and Lo-Fi soundscape gets you moving endlessly. If you are a fan of Blood Orange, Washed Out or even Mac Demarco, have a listen. You will love it.

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listen: Her Magic Wand, “Draw a Line”


Paris-based producer Her Magic Wand is putting out his newest LP Everything at Once from Inpartment (JAPAN) and Modulor (Europe) in February. Mixed by Stephane Briat (Phoenix, Air), this album is a collection of crisp, uplifting synth-pop tunes. Despite of the album’s dark themes, it’s full of optimistic melodies and hope. Listen to one of the standouts, “Draw a Line” below.

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listen: Morly, “The Choir”


A multi-instrumentalist Morly released a daydreaming and romantic single from Cascine (Cuushe, Yumi Zouma) titled “The Choir”. It’s minimal and sensual, making all fall in love.

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listen: Haty Haty, “Run – Stop – Non – Stop – Belly ­ Flop”


While the aftertaste of 2014’s Moon Observation still in ours ears, Netherland’s electronic producer David Douglas is releasing his new album as Haty Haty, which is a collaboration with a singer Blauzun, called High as The Sun. Their second single from the album, “Run – Stop – Non – Stop – Belly ­ Flop” is a perfect marriage between House and Pop. Douglas’ dub processed beats are both uplifting and euphoric, more so as Blauzun’ tops the track with charming swagger, inviting audiences on the floor to dance their asses off.

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download: Still Corners, “Horses at Night”

Oh hey, hi! Long time no see! 2015 was a hectic year for me. Moving from Kyoto to Tokyo, starting a new job, etc. It is no excuse to say that I have been busy and not been able to update this blog. There has been many challenges, a lot of encouragements to keep me motivated and inspired, and I would like to continue introducing new music. One of my goals for this year is to actually organise an event in Tokyo. Let’s make it happen.

Putting all my hopeful resolutions aside, I would like to catch up with last year’s unforgettable leftover, which is Still Corners ‘ brilliant free-downloadable new single, “Horses at Night”. It feels as if you are put in the world of film-noir. Airy vocals float and run through the darkest hours of the night. Quality nocturnal synth-pop.

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