Here are our weekly international singles from around the world that have been released this week.
1. Douglas Von Irvin’s Carnival share ‘Meet The Monsters
It’s a carnival horror-lovers just won’t be able to resist: Douglas Von Irvin’s Carnival, or DVIC — the Toronto- and Los Angeles-based garage-pop songwriting collective — has just released the third and latest single from their upcoming EP, Meet The Monsters, and it’s called “Vampire Lovers” — available now!
Judging from the title and the “monster” nature of DVIC’s forthcoming release, it’s reasonable to expect a frightening, gruesome, and fictitious tale about vampires romantically sucking the lifeblood out of one another, right? Well, that actually is the case… But not quite to the tee.
The enigmatic lyrical mastermind and lead singer behind DVIC, Douglas Von Irvin, revealed the ambient, four-minute ballad came about after some personal reflections about how exhausted he had become after being consistently surrounded by people that “have to be the centre of attention all of the time.”
Comparing their behaviours to the desperate cravings of vampires, Von Irvin said those people “actually take energy” and “leave nothing behind.“Except-worn out people that run in the other direction to avoid getting energy sucked out of their lives again,” he adds.
Though its concept was born of negative experiences brought upon by these so-called “lonely” people, Von Irvin was hell-bent on spreading a positive and inspiring message with “Vampire Lovers.” With that in mind, it’s a must-hear, because he really pulled it off in this track.
2. Anna Smyrk reveals new pop-rock bombshell ‘Human Condition’
Melbourne based artist Anna Smyrk weaves intricate indie-pop songs about far-flung places, long-distance love and trying to figure out what it means to be a human. Raised on a sonic diet of 60s and 70s folk music, Anna’s early work saw the young artist leaning into her innate indie folk sensibilities. Now, Anna is excited to debut her latest incarnation with pop-rock belter, ‘Human Condition’. Her first new music since 2019’s Swim EP, ‘Human Condition’ sees Smyrk teaming up with producer Joel Quartermain (Eskimo Joe, Meg Mac, Oh Pep) to mark a new era in the artist’s rising career. To celebrate the release, Anna will take to the road with her full band for a handful of live shows across Victoria this June, launching the single and sharing songs from her forthcoming EP, due for release in the second half of 2021.
‘Human Condition’ was catalysed by Melbourne’s 2020 lockdowns, when social isolation became the norm and Anna began musing about the way we connect in normal times. With fuzzy vocals, punchy drums and big, bold guitars, the song teems with frustration over seemingly endless disconnect and sickening loneliness. ‘Human Condition’ is the first taste of Anna’s anticipated third EP currently in the works.
3. Elaine release new single ‘Right Now’
South African R&B singer and songwriter Elaine is kicking off her next era of music with her moody new single “Right Now.” The beautifully shot music video, directed by Nape Phasha, shows Elaine living her best life and putting herself and her music first after being frustrated with her lover. The song was featured on Zane Lowe’s Apple Music radio show New Music Daily alongside a FaceTime interview Zane today.
“This song is exactly what it means and feels like to welcome growth, celebrate being a confident woman and find comfort in independence,” says Elaine. When making this song, I remember walking up to the mic with a lot of things I was carrying in my heart but had trouble communicating and relaying to others. After I recorded it, things changed for me. The concept of Love transformed from being a good lover to someone, to being a good lover to myself too.”
“Right Now” marks her first new song release since 2019’s history-making EP Elements. The 7-song collection blends mellow yet sweet R&B melodies with hints of trap-inspired moodiness. With Elements, which was certified Platinum in South Africa, Elaine became the first independent female artist to ever reach #1 on the Apple Music Sub-Saharan African charts.
4. Lia Pappas-Kemps shares ‘Sad in Toronto’
Pouring her heart out on new single “Sad In Toronto”, singer/songwriter Lia Pappas-Kemps is diving head first into her music. Having previously landed a role in popular CBC/Netflix series Anne With An E, Lia’s always felt most comfortable with her acoustic guitar in hand, much like her heroes; Joni Mitchell, Courtney Barnett and Taylor Swift and that’s where we find her today.
Sifting through photos from a pre-lockdown trip to Austria, where she spent the summer with family, Lia was struck with a sense of wanderlust which sparked the beginning of this song. While she longed to escape the four walls of her room, and the grey skyline of her hometown, from experience she knew it would only create a temporary sense of relief.
“I put a lot of weight on certain things ending or starting and how that’s going to change my life, then I’ll be happy,” Lia explains, “but man, being depressed doesn’t change.”
5. Jokers Hand release sunny new single ‘War Profiteer’
With their roots in punk rock, rock and hip-hop, the South Bay band explores those genres in their three forthcoming songs, the reggae-tinged “War Profiteer,” the guitar-heavy “Hibakusha” and “Devil’s Nest.”
“These songs are very different sonically,” Kawano says. “‘Hibakusha” is a harder, faster punk song. ‘War Profiteer’ is a new sound for us. It shows our reggae pop side.”
“War Profiteer” is a sarcastic take on people who profit from others’ suffering.
Joker’s Hand don’t hesitate to show their serious side. “Hibakusha” is a Japanese word that translates to “survivors of the bomb,” a nod to the atom bombs that fell on Nagasaki and Hiroshima.
6. The Mandevilles release ‘Fading Colours in the Northern Lights’
The Mandevilles deliver a rollicking rocker of a shanty all their own in this, their new single “Fading Colors in the Northern Lights” — available now!
“Lyrically, it’s a bit ambiguous,” lead vocalist Serena Pryne nods, “but I love songs that leave room for the listener to make up their own minds about the story.
“For me, the song is about learning to let things roll off your back, and tuning out the bull****. It’s about letting go of senselessness, and of things that hurt your focus — like having the same argument over and over with someone.
“The main melody fell into my head when we were loading out after a show one night,” she recalls. “I sang it to myself for a few days; ‘something something morning light’… It finally came together in a session a couple of weeks later, and the words ‘Northern Lights’ just rolled off the tongue perfectly.”
“‘Fading Colors in the Northern Lights’ is our interpretation of a sea shanty,” the band — Pryne plus guitarist Nick Lesyk, synth/guitarist Taylor Laslo, bassist Dan Risi, and drummer Brett Bendo — add. “We were plowing through the rum and channelling that epic scene in the Goonies when Captain One Eyed Wily’s ship is freed back into the ocean…
“We went hard with hand claps, and kicked the **** out of a homemade stomp box.”
Beyond that, The Mandevilles layered ‘guitarmonies’ to give this song its dark, pulsating rhythm, with especially triumphant guitar styling in the bridge and outro. “Sonically, Nick was mimicking what a horn section might do to break the tension that builds through the whole song,” the band explains. “Think: Biffy Clyro, or Big Country.”
7. Eilish Gilligan shares new track ‘Up All Night’
Melbourne-based musician, Eilish Gilligan, reveals new single, “Up All Night”. Co-written with Alex Lahey and Gab Strum (Japanese Wallpaper), “Up All Night” is another dynamic stunner that is playful, percussive, and anthemic, it’s the antithesis of past EP, Hospital. Eilish’s radiating vocals are backed by a pulsing synth and an atmospheric energy that reverberates through the chorus.
As Eilish puts it, “Up All Night” is “the snap decision to go out, to stay up all night, to replace lovers with friends, to dance with a room full of strangers and sweat, to take drugs, to scream along and to blackout from drinking and full-body exhaustion.”
However, it’s the idealised night out, as Eilish reveals, its “my idea of the perfect version of that night, my idea of the perfect version of myself; someone who is fun, and chaotic, and the life of the party – not who I am, which is anxious, chronically sad, and frightened of drugs and blacking out and making out with strangers”
8. F/L/P shares ‘Kiss That’
F/L/P is a Norwegian artist known for his unique ability to collide the modern pop world with musical trends from the past four decades. Born into a family of music aficionados, singer/songwriter Philip Dementiev was exposed to a multitude of genres from a young age – everything from rock, classical, electronica and hip-hop, he was cultivating a diversification of musical preferences and broadening his sonic palette for as long as he can remember. Raised by Russian parents, his multi-cultural upbringing has helped him to build bridges between different cultures and ultimately infuses his music with colour and vibrancy. Refusing to accept the mainstream mentality, F/L/P creates music that is dateless.
The musician shares, “I think my curiosity comes from the crossover of cultural bridges, languages, the deep interest in various music genres, periods, instruments that has brought me into the one I am today. It has built me this landscape of opportunities to build my own self in music, creating my distinctive character in singing, songwriting and production. It has made me able to approach the fusion of different musical elements from different times and styles that somehow fit together into my own product.”
His latest single “Kiss That” depicts a strong love obsession that becomes dangerously addictive. F/L/P confides, “The song reflects deep melancholy, sadness and obsession. Being in love can go both ways because the aspects of love are so strong and powerful, it’s fascinating how much it has caused both happiness and problems for people.”
9. Ellis Mano Band release their latest track ‘The Question’
Swiss-based blues rock band Ellis Mano Band release their second single “The Question” on Friday May 14th. The single is taken from the band’s forthcoming sophomore album “Ambedo” released Friday June 25th. Pre-save the single and pre-order the album HERE.
“The Question” features a guest appearance from Australian keyboard wiz Lachy Doley on Hammond B3 organ. The band describe their trademark well-produced sound as “a sort of rock n’ soul, rooted deep down in the blues.”
“The Question is a true blues rock blaster,” says Edis Mano, the Ellis Mano Band’s guitarist. “It’s like a tornado blowing through your barn, nearly lifting it of the ground. It describes the writer’s demons and the constant temptation of past substance abuse and dependency.”
10. VEPS release ‘Girl on TV’
Following the release of their nineties tinged track ‘Ecstasy’, Oslo’s VEPS, today unleash the beautifully raw ‘Girl On TV’. The track, which is accompanied by a stunning self-directed video, is the second to be taken from their forthcoming EP Open The Door, out June 11th on Kanine Records.
A look through the window at the constant pressures of modern life, the bewitchingly vulnerable track is drenched in captivating harmonies, flipping between Laura and Helena’s poignant vocals. “’Girl on TV’ is more like a story with a narrative than any other of our songs. It follows a girl growing up in a home where she doesn’t feel like she is being seen,” says the band. “Ultimately it’s a song about loneliness and idealisation. It’s about how lonely it can feel to grow up in an emotionally distant household, and how it’s so easy to compare your own life to others when you’re in a bad place yourself.”
Again, holding tight to their DIY sensibilities, the band shot and directed the video themselves, with a little help from friends. “We planned it on the train back from a gig in Trondheim, but another lockdown happened right after we got home so we had to improvise a lot as we were filming and didn’t really know how it would turn out until the final edit,” the band said of the video. “We wanted it to have a more introspective tone that reflects the song itself, while still maintaining that not-so-serious «cheeky» undertone.”