Tag Archives: Electronica-pop

Mark Barrott – Sketches From An Island Album Review

Mark Barrott’s newest album Sketches From An Island compresses this Balearic heartbeat into nine warm gems which paint a picture of the island, the people and the magnetic beauty that pulses through it.

Barrott himself is a man of serious musical pedigree. He founded the highly-respected International Feellabel in 2008 after moving to Uruguay, where his A&Ring tempted the elusive DJ Harvey out of studio retirement which he followed with new work from artists like Quiet Village, Gatto Fritto and the Italian cosmic disco don Daniele Baldelli.

Recorded in Ibiza’s northern hills using “weird percussion, some slide guitars and a few borrowed synths,” Sketches is a melodic and mysterious representation of a place seeped in a rich and rebellious history. Or as original Café Del Mar’s José Padilla, has it: “This is what I call Balearic.”

Baby Come Home kick starts the record with its summery, repetitive melody that allows this to become one hell of a soothing track. It has funk influences heard in the guitar riff while the natural sounds, such as the pipes, allow this song to let you feel free and careless.

Dr Nimm’s Garden Of Intrigue & Delight is very experimental and has a distinctly sci-fi feel to it. There’s psychedelic elements which make it atmospheric. Dr Nimm’s has a heavy electronic feel to it in comparison to Baby Come Home due to the use of lots of synths. Barrott has added natural sounds such as birds tweeting, the sound of waves etc that all compliment the title of the song – this idea of a wonderful, colourful, exotic garden of tranquillity and wonder.

Go Berri Be Happy changes the tone of the album entirely. This song has folk influences and lends itself to sound a little Laura Marling in places but without vocals. It gradually develops into the sort of track you hear on those chill out compilations. It’s soothing, sensuous and sparkling.

Deep Water introduces more World influences than heard in the previous tracks on the record. It starts with a meditative continuous sound and soft chimes blended with the sound of waves crashing gently on the shore. Gradually the pan pipes and the African drum come in giving this track a deep, meditative effect on the brain. Your muscles release as you listen, your mind pictures that perfect beach with light blue, warm sea to dive in and a smile creeps onto your face. It’s the perfect summer track. It’s the perfect track for your secluded island break.

Sacred Islands finishes off the album leaving the listener with a steady mind and calm breath. The sounds of birds are the only thing heard to start with before the soft piano steps in alongside the strings. Sacred Islands builds slowly and with each new note or instrument, the listener becomes more settled. The song ends with the natural sounds of birds singing and tweeting – what else could you ask for to keep you calm and happy?

Mark Barrott’s Skecthes From An Island is a cracking album for your summer. If you’re looking for chill out music that keeps you dreaming of hot weather, beautiful beaches and good times, look no further. This is the album for you. Sketches From An Island is out now.

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Introducing…Balue

Balue

Balue

Aztec, New Mexico’s one-man-bedroom-pop-machine Balue is back with another feel good song full of sunny guitars, hand claps, and woozy electronic loops. His latest release is Grow Up.

Quiet Dreamer, due out June 24 (right after the first day of Summer) on cassette/digital formats via Fleeting Youth Records, is wrapped in a bright and carefree surf aesthetic that’s sunburned by warm guitars, wafts of psych-pop vocals and a thick tremolo haze. Grow Up finds Balue reflecting on his Peter Pan Syndrome as he weaves layers of synths and electronic loops in and out of hand claps, shimmering guitars and bongos.

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Introducing…Sea Change

Fresh on the scene, Sea Change is the alter ego of Ellen.W. Sundes. With a chilling electronica-pop sound, she is pleased to reveal her new track Let’s Dance ahead of her upcoming album which will be released later this year.

Let’s Dance is made up of whispers of delicate synth-sounds ascending with Ellen’s beautiful vocals, serving as a perfect example of what to expect from this exciting new Nordic artist who has drawn comparisons to the likes of Fever Ray, Lykke Li and Robyn.

Sea Change

Sea Change Let’s Dance artwork

After the success with her debut single Bursting which led to radio spins in Norway, England, Denmark and Germany comes the second of three songs. They’re all a taste of what can be expected in her first album which will be released this autumn.

Born in the south of Norway in the late 80s with a natural fascination for noise, improvisation music, tiny acoustic instruments and synth pop. Sea Change creates a beautiful loop-based sound which contains beats, vocal harmonies and 80s choruses with her own ability to make a magic and mysterious ambience. Still there is a wide range within her music. It can be massive, putting the lower frequencies of the sound system to the test or gentle, almost like the wonderful nature of silence but always immersive.

Sea Change chose to move from Oslo to Berlin, after studying music for several years, to gain an international touch to her otherwise Scandinavian sound and vibe.

The Let’s Dance single will only be available at a limited amount of 7” vinyls and digitally. In context with the release, Sea Change will be on tour in January and February including 14 shows in Denmark, Norway, Faro Islands and Ice Islands, shortly followed by By:Larm festival in Oslo and other European festivals this summer.

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