Here are our top international picks that are out now in no particular order.
1. Danny Dymond releases “What Do You Want’
Electro-pop artist Danny Dymond releases a music video today for his Pride- month club-banger “What Do You Want”. With pandemic restrictions lifting, “What Do You Want” is the perfect uplifting anthem to celebrate freedom and pride. Co-written by So Fierce Music founder/producer Velvet Code (who has produced official remixes for artists like Lady Gaga), and recorded at The Orange Lounge in Toronto (a studio hosting the likes of Justin Bieber and The Weeknd), the cathartic release marries elements of old-school Robyn-esque euro-pop with a more modern, darker style of dance-pop vibe similar to artists like Dua Lipa.
2. needtobreathe release new track ‘Carry Me’
GRAMMY® Award-nominated rock band NEEDTOBREATHE have unveiled their new track “Carry Me” featuring longtime friend Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. The song is available to stream and download starting today HERE. The track will appear on the band’s forthcoming studio album Into The Mystery, which is due for release on July 30 via Elektra Records and is available for pre-order now HERE. Limited edition merch offerings are available exclusively through NEEDTOBREATHE’s online store HERE.
“It feels so special to have Jon on the album with us. He’s an old buddy, and we share so much mutual respect for one another as artists and friends,” NEEDTOBREATHE frontman Bear Rinehart shared. “He was one of the only people who came through the studio when we were making the album. He took a COVID test, joined the band for a day, and helped us make a campfire song.”
3. Blow release ‘Shake The Disease’
French electronic pop band BLOW today release new single ‘Shake The Disease’, the title track from the Parisian trio’s forthcoming album, produced by Kitsuné-fostered talent Crayon (who’s previously collaborated with Phoenix, Yuksek and Simian Mobile Disco) and due for release late 2021. The new track – featuring a guest appearance from HAUTE’s Anna Majidson – arrives today alongside a live performance filmed for COLORS. ‘Shake The Disease’ is now streaming across all platforms from here, with the COLORS session available from here.
As with their debut album & EPs, the lyrics across Shake The Disease are English in their entirety – a by-product of BLOW’s tendency towards English and American influences including Moderat, Jungle, and The xx. Whilst both Thomas & Jean-Etienne are traditionally conservatoire trained – originally meeting as roommates at Nancy’s Music Academy International – the new album is dominated by a collective love of hip-hop, particularly for rap obsessives Thomas & Crayon.
4. Sam Austin releases a beautiful stripped back version of ‘Your Power’
A disarmingly potent performance, Sam Austins injects his own vignette into Billie Eilish’s chart-topping hit with “YOUR POWER (Billie Eilish Cover).” With moody production and a passionate yet pensive edge, Austins’ artistry consistently stands out in the musical landscape.
Last week Austins tapped Norway’s Jimi Somewhere for “KILOS (Jimi’s Version),” a lush and lo-fi reinterpretation of Austins’ personal story into something altogether universal. It’s a true testament to the transcendent quality of incredible songwriting. Last month Austins revealed “KILOS,” his debut album single that hinges on an evocative guitar line offset by a lo-fi beat as melodies bubble up over the backdrop. The surreal accompanying visual brought his words to life as he leaves a shady motel to roam the empty streets at night before joining a giant Donnie Darko-style bunny in a diner. If Frank Ocean and Johnny Greenwood collaborated, it might sound something like Sam Austins. As Billboard noted in the visual premiere, “With his musical style, Austins is a boundary-breaker, challenging long-held ideas of what it means to be an alternative artist.”
5. Catbells new release ‘Wilderness’
Dreamy melancholic shoegaze meets alt-pop singer/songwriter Catbells engages her listeners with soft hypnotic vocals, lush soundscapes, and moody melodies that capture her deep, heartfelt emotions in the most intimate of ways. Gifted with a voice like an angel, Catbells gently immerses her listeners into a world of sweet nostalgia and velvety sentiments.
The singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist was introduced to the piano at age five, and by the 7th grade she was playing the guitar and writing songs about her middle school heartbreaks. After performing in several bands throughout her early music career, Catbells recently decided to focus on her own solo project.
Catbells is a somewhat enigmatic, shy wallflower type, with her name itself being an alter-ego. Named after the popular hiking spot recited in the famous children’s book The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle by Beatrix Potter, Catbells’ cinematic music is influenced by the vast natural wild. Raised in New England, Catbells often revisits the times of her childhood in her music, where she reflects on fond memories of the seasons changing, swimming in the eastern lakes, canoeing down the river, and working on the family farm.
6. Two Year Vacation release ‘Come Over When You Want’
Swedish feel good tropical indie band Two Year Vacation releases the second single “Come Over When You Want” from their upcoming EP “Getting Into Real Estate”, following up on the spring single “What Goes Around”.
“Come Over When You Want” is a song which covers the comfort and the general vibe of small townness. A feeling that surrounds the whole EP, due later this year. Vocalist Jacob Ahlstrand also describes how “Come Over When You Want” is about childhood in a romantic way and about the trembling of the knees when you realise you are at the mercy of another person.
7. Fences collaborates with Billy Strings for ‘Globe’
Singer-songwriter Christopher Mansfield (aka FENCES) has collaborated with Billy Strings, the singer, songwriter and musician who picked up a Grammy for ‘Best Bluegrass Album’ last year. You can stream their sublime introspective track HERE
Mansfield says “Globe” was recorded with Jonathan Wilson in Topanga Canyon. We tracked the song live together with the exception of a few overdubs. Billy and I had sorted out the final arrangement of the song over the telephone months before. He was in Tennessee I believe and I was in the woods of California knee deep in snow. He is truly a force of nature and it’s a tremendous honor for me to make art work with him. I hope it hits everyone’s ears with love and fearlessness in the way we intended.”
Fences recently released a new 5-track EP titled ‘Wide Eyed Elk Ensemble’ which built on the sounds of his previous effort, the critically acclaimed LP ‘Failure Sculptures.’
Over the years, the musician has caught the attention of and collaborated with a diverse group of fellow artists including Tegan & Sara, Macklemore, Death Cab for Cutie’s Chris Walla, Jacquire King (Of Monsters and Men), Nile Marr (son of Johnny Marr), Cedric Bixler-Zavala (The Mars Volta, At The Drive-In) and Ryan Lewis, while touring with the likes of Against Me! and Hellogoodbye.
8. Alessia Cara returns with two new singles
Grammy Award®-winning singer-songwriter Alessia Cara raises the curtain on her eagerly awaited upcoming third album with the release of two brand new songs, “Sweet Dream” and “Shapeshifter,” ava
“The theme of duality is recurring on this next album, so it made sense to release two songs to introduce both ends of the thread,” Alessia explained. “The first side being ‘Sweet Dream’ which represents the hardship & helplessness surrounding my last couple of years. It’s about insomnia and the hoops my brain jumps through at night while I’m supposed to be asleep. Never fun! Then on the flip side, there’s ‘Shapeshifter’ which is witty and sophisticated in a way that I feel represents the more mature and light-hearted parts of the album. I had to go through lots of pain to regain my footing and this song feels unwavering, despite it not being about the happiest of things.”
9. Cheat Codes release ‘Never Love You Again’
Multi-platinum pop-trio Cheat Codes, popularly known for their smash single “No Promises” (ft. Demi Lovato), follow their highly-anticipated debut album Hellraisers, Pt. 1 and its lead single “Lean On Me” (ft. Tinashe), with the release of new single “Never Love You Again”.
The genre-blending single is a collaboration with Grammy award-winning country group Little Big Town, who recently performed their hit “Wine, Beer, Whiskey” live at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards. The euphoric track also features British singer-songwriter and certified hit-maker Bryn Christopher, whose single with Sigala, “Sweet Lovin’,” reached number 3 on the UK singles chart and has over 500 million streams across platforms.
“Never Love You Again” marks a new step for Cheat Codes as they enter the country space and continue to expand their musical diversity with a powerful song that blends each artists’ distinct strengths to perfection – Cheat Codes’ dance pop production, Little Big Town’s intricate vocal harmonies, and Bryn Christopher’s soulful style.
10. CHUNK! NO, CAPTAIN CHUNK! release ‘Complete You’
CHUNK! NO, CAPTAIN CHUNK! take “easycore” to the next level with their latest single. The Parisian band have released the new track ‘Complete You’ from their forthcoming fourth album Gone Are The Good Days, out July 30 on Fearless Records. The song features AJ Perdomo of The Dangerous Summer.
‘Complete You’ has a slightly retro vibe. It mixes shimmering melodies with gnarly breakdowns. It also includes… a sax solo. Yes, really! It also ends with an extended fadeout. It’s a perfectly executed mix of heavy and heartfelt — with a decidedly ’80s pulse.